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England lose to Australia at Twickenham

England started the autumn international series with a disappointing 16-9 defeat to Australia at Twickenham yesterday afternoon. Martin Johnson's team were completely outplayed by their opponents despite the closeness of the final score.

The only real plus point for England was the return of Jonny Wilkinson at fly-half. The World Cup winning hero proved that he still has a lot to offer at Test match level with an impressive display with the boot, but the home side were one dimensional and pedestrian throughout and never looked likely to score a try.

England took an early 6-0 lead thanks to the boot of Wilkinson who scored an early drop goal and a penalty to punish Australian indiscretion. However, the visitors finally got some points on the board through live wire scrum-half Will Genia who took advantage of some sloppy defending on the side of the ruck to dot down.

Wilkinson slotted another penalty to give England a 9-5 lead at the break. However, the Wallabies came to the fore in the second half as the home team's creative deficiencies behind the scrum were exposed where Wilkinson and Shane Geraghty failed to gel.

Despite adding just one further try late on through Adam Ashley-Cooper, Australia squandered two gilt edged try-scoring opportunities in the second half. England will have to show more adventure and guile if they are to have any hope of silencing the critics against Argentina next weekend.

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