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Epic Aussie defeat makes you proud to be English
David Campese! Rolph Harris! Ian Thorpe! Skippy! – can you hear me, Skippy! Your boys took one hell of a beating!
There will be those who argue a victory by the reigning world champions against the current best team in the world cannot be hailed as a giant-killing. Those people are wrong.
Make no mistake, Saturday’s heroic 12-10 win was one of the gutsiest performances in English sporting history, as Brian Ashton’s Lionhearts - written off by everyone outside their own party - pulled off mission impossible.
There is nothing sweeter to us Poms than being able to ram the pre-match boasts of the whingeing Aussies back down their throats. And what a sugar-rush we have enjoyed where the World Cup is concerned.
We sent the Matildas waltzing back home with their tails tucked between their legs in South Africa in 1995, knocking them out at the quarter-final stage.
We went even better four years ago with victory in the World Cup final, and now we have completed a memorable hat-trick to book a semi-final place against hosts France in Paris on Saturday.
The famous gold and greens, pound for pound the greatest sporting nation in the world (population 20 million next to the 300 million who live in the United States) won’t be getting so much as a bronze at this world championships.
To see the Australian players in floods of tears at the final whistle was a joy to behold and a proud moment in our sporting heritage.
The England team came in for the usual Aussie abuse in the run-up to the match, ridiculed by press and public alike, and it wasn’t just the players who came under attack, with chief executive of the ARU, John O’Neill, saying that Aussies hated the English. Well it’s payback time now.
We may have won ugly but we were the better team, pulverising their pack and annihilating their scrum. Record-breaking World Cup points-scorer Jonny Wilkinson could even afford to miss three kicks at goal and send two drop goal attempts wide.
Whatever happens on Saturday now, the team have exceeded all expectations and made a mockery of the claim that England were the worst world champions ever to defend their crown.
In this section
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- Terry criticism is a crying shame
- Ferdinand is no thug
- England football's foreign invasion
- Should Cole's private life be public property?
- Hatton defeat good news for Witter
- Dolan sacking a baffling decision
- Vote Calzaghe for Sports Personality of the Year
- Premiership stars have earned their huge salaries
- Best of British is never good enough