England took a huge step towards winning the first ever three-match series against Australia after staging a brilliant comeback to defeat the World Cup runners-up in a thrilling first test in Brisbane. The Wallabies stormed into a 10-0 lead after a quarter of an hour but Eddie Jones' men were unperturbed and stormed to victory after holding off a late charge from Michael Cheika's team.
Michael Hooper and Israel Folau each went over in an ominous start for the hosts at Suncorp but three penalties from Owen Farrell thrust England back into the contest. Jonathan Joseph put the visitors into the lead for the first time after capitalising on Tevita Kuridrani's fumble and the Six Nations champions led by six at the break thanks to another Farrell penalty.
Marland Yarde justified his controversial selection with his fifth international try in eight tests after collecting replacement George Ford's audacious pass to stretch the lead to 16 points. Scott Sio was sin-binned but the numerical advantage made little difference as Hooper reduce the deficit with his second try in the corner.
Farrell kicked his fifth penalty but Kuridrani bundled over with 10 minutes remaining to set up a grand stand finale. Australia pilled on the pressure, winning a penalty but opted to go for the posts rather than the corner and the score which would have claimed a first test draw.
The gap was reduced to four points but an Australia error allowed England to put the cherry on the top of their first ever win in Brisbane. Ford produced a delightful kick to put Jack Nowell through as England recorded their highest score against an Australia team in a performance for the ages down under.
"First and foremost the result was key for us," captain Dylan Hartley said. "There are aspects of the game we need to look at. we're going to keep our feet on the ground. This is the first of three, we put all our energy into this first game and to get the result is a god way to start the campaign.
"They had a lot of the ball in the first 10 minutes. Obviously we were 10-0 down. We struggled to get a foothold in the game, we struggled to get field position but we got down there end and got some points on the board. Great character forth boys and play to the 80th minute because I was on the edge of my seat. It's built up for a big series.
"The scrum was very messy, there is a lot between Australia and England it is built up to be quite big but today I don't think we saw many completed scrums. The line-out maul was very effective for us. Well enjoy this now, keep the egos in check and move on to the next one."