After losing the first test to England, 28-39, in Brisbane last night, the Wallabies have been dealt a further blow today with injury keeping number 8 David Pocock out of the remaining two tests in the series.
Pocock was replaced in the 69th minute under the blood rule. Scans have confirmed a fractured eye socket. The 28-year-old openside flanker has missed just one test since 2014, following a knee reconstruction.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has yet to announce Pocock’s replacement for the second test next Saturday, June 18, in Melbourne, but Western Force number 8 Ben McCalman and Waratahs veteran Wycliff Palu are possibilities.
Last night in front of 48,735 fans the Wallabies started well, putting on two unconverted tries to Michael Hooper and Israel Folau, to take a 10-nil lead in the first 15 minutes.
But ill-discipline cost the side, especially in front of the post, with Lions goalkicking flyhalf Owen Farrell booting 24-points as the Wallabies conceded 15 penalties to England’s eight.
England finished the half 19-13 in front thanks to a try by Jonathan Joseph, plus a conversion and four penalty goals by Farrell.
At one stage the Lions led 29-13 before the Wallabies fought back to come within four points at with two minutes left, following tries by Michael Hooper and Tevita Kuridrani in the 58th and 71st minutes, both converted by Bernard Foley who then kicked a penalty in the 78th minute.
A fumble by the Wallabies gave England’s Jack Nowell a try on the bell, giving the Lions a 39-28 win.
It was England’s eighth Test victory in a row under former Australian coach Eddie Jones, and the first time the Wallabies lost to them in Brisbane.
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