England produced a gritty second-half performance to seal a 21-17 victory over Australia in Sydney and secure a series win Down Under.
Both sides struggled for momentum in the first half before Freddie Steward’s try cancelled out Tom Wright’s effort, just before the break, to hand England an 11-10 lead.
Eddie Jones' side kept their noses in front thanks to Owen Farrell’s kicking after the restart before Marcus Smith’s try put some daylight between them and The Wallabies.
Folau Fainga’a’s bulldozer try set up a tense finale but an impressive rearguard action saw England over the line to victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“I’m pleased for the players,” said Jones. “We’ve got a very young squad here. They’re learning about the game.
“If you look at the first and third Tests, they were very similar. We started both games poorly, gave Australia points and had to claw our way back into the game. First Test, we didn’t fight hard enough, but this test, we fought pretty hard, particularly the young finishers.
“We just had to fight. You know Australia’s always going to keep the ball for long phases but every phase they keep it, if you defend well, it is an opportunity to turn them over. We were lucky enough to turn them over and get the result.”
Australia vs. England final score
Scorers - Australia
Tries: Wright, Fainga’a
Conversions: Lolesio (2)
Scorers - England
Tries: Steward, Smith
Penalties: Farrell (3)
Australia vs. England as-it-happened
FULL TIME: AUSTRALIA 17 ENGLAND 21
England clinch a summer series win in Australia thanks to a battling 21-17 Third Test win over The Wallabies in Sydney.
Neither side produced a vintage performance at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but Marcus Smith’s second half try proved to be the catalyst for England, as Eddie Jones' side held their nerve to clinch the victory.
78 Mins: England win a penalty as Australia continue to push. The visitors will kick this as far as possible and look to push into added time.
76 Mins: England staying compact as the minutes tick down with Nick Isiekwe putting in a key block to prevent Australia from gaining ground.
Farrell then wins another tackle but Hooper recycles it for Australia……..
74 Mins: Van Poortvliet kicks long to ease the pressure on England and Australia concede a penalty in midfield. The visitors will be looking to kill the game from here.
72 Mins: The momentum is with Australia now in the final moments as England look to dig in and hold on to their lead.
68 Mins: Australia Bulldoze Through!!
The Wallabies have kept on hammering and hammering on the England door and they get the reward as Folau Fainga’a wrestles through and over for a MASSIVE try!!
Lolesio steps up and sweeps over the conversion and it’s Australia 17 England 21 with ten minutes to play in Sydney!!
65 Mins: Rinse and repeat as Australia keep England penned back inside their own 22 but the visitors stand firm again.
61 Mins: A waste from Australia as we move into the final 20 minutes as England break a maul within inches of their own try line.
57 Mins: TRY FOR ENGLAND
A HUGE moment for the visitors as they push for a series win in Sydney after Australia fumble a line out. Lolesio cannot get a grip on the loose ball and Marcus Smith stretches his legs over 50 yards to dive over and extend England’s lead!!!
No problem for Farrell from the conversion to make it Australia 10 England 21
52 Mins: First blood to England in the second half
A fantastic break from Ellis Genge forces a penalty from Michael Hooper and Farrell makes no mistake with his third penalty of the day.
Australia 10 England 14
50 Mins: Australia have the momentum at the start of the second half as they drive for a try. Taniela Tupou forces his way through inside England’s 22, but the visitors stand firm and clear their lines.
46 Mins: WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS AT THE SCG!!
HALF TIME: Australia 10 England 11
A huge try for England just before the break has given Jones' visitors the edge ahead of the second period but both sides need to improve in Sydney.
40 Mins: ENGLAND TAKE THE LEAD AT HALF TIME
Finally some ruthlessness from England as Freeman forces another penalty within a metre of the Australia try line. The visitors stay patient and Freddie Steward bursts through and over for their first try of the game!!
Farrell cannot tack on the conversion, as his kick from out wide drops past the post, but England do have the advantage.
Australia 10 England 11
39 Mins: SOOOOOOOO CLOSE FOR FARRELL
England win another penalty as Australia are caught out at a scrum but Farrell’s dead eye is just off as his effort comes back off the post!!
36 Mins: The game has slipped back into old habits with forward passes from both sides disrupting the flow of the contest.
Jones has also made a big pre-half time call, with Care substituted off, and Jack van Poortvleit on in his place.
33 Mins: England Respond
Despite struggling to gain a foothold in the contest, England force another penalty with a rare break into the Australia 22, and Farrell knocks over a straightforward penalty.
Australia 10 England 6
30 Mins: Australia really looking to put their foot down before the break as Marika Koroibete leaves Care on the floor with a driving run.
Billy Vunipola is then punished for not releasing the ball and Lolesio hammers over his first penalty of the game.
Australia 10 England 3
26 Mins: Australia HIT BACK!!!
Finally some precision in attack as Australia get themselves up and running!!
Brilliant link up between Nic White and Tom Wright, as the latter steams past Freeman on the break, and dives over for the try in emphatic style.
Lolesio steadies himself after that earlier miss to fire over the conversion.
Australia 7 England 3
23 Min: England’s plan to get the ball to Freeman in space almost works again but the Northampton Saints speedster is stopped by a bruising Australia recovery block.
20 Mins: Neither side have reacted to Farrell’s penalty. Australia still struggling to find a way through, and England’s scrambling defensive efforts are keeping them at bay.
15 Mins: England take the LEAD!!
Jones' England take full advantage on their first meaningful foray into Australian territory. Tommy Freeman spies a gap to burst through, he wins a penalty, and Owen Farrell calmly slots over the first points of the game.
10 Mins: Both sides looking really sloppy in the opening stages, as Care kicks straight out of play, and Reece Hodge throws a simple pass off the pitch.
Taniela Tupou almost makes a quick breakthrough for the hosts but another misplaced pass sees the move break down.
6 Mins: Chance MISSED for Australia
England are slow to recover from a loose ball and concede a soft penalty on their own 22. But, the hosts are wasteful with the opportunity, as Noah Lolesio kicks an easy effort wide of the post.
A let off for England!
4 Mins: A nervous start for England as Danny Care’s kick is charged down inside the opening seconds. Both sides then opt for territory kicking as the match settles.
KICK OFF: WE ARE UNDERWAY IN SYDNEY!!!
25 Mins to KO: With one win each, the series is on the line at the Sydney Cricket Ground
30 Mins to KO: No changes for England ahead of KO in Sydney
Australia vs. England lineups
Rennie has opted to shuffle his options for this crucial game with Harry Wilson and Reece Hodge both recalled to the starting XV with Suli Vunivalu named on the bench.
Australia starting lineup: Hodge, Wright, Paisami, Kerevi, Lolesio, White, Valetini; Hooper, Wilson, Philip, Frost, Tupou, Porecki, Slipper
Australia replacements (8): Fainga’a, Bell, Alaalatoa, Leota, Samu, McDermott, Ikitau, Vunivalu
Jones has brought Leicester Tigers lock Ollie Chessum in for his first England start in this clash with Mario Itoje and Sam Underhill ruled out, and Danny Care back in the team.
England starting lineup: Steward, Nowell, Porter, Farrell, Freeman, Smith, Care; B Vunipola, Ludlam, Lawes, Hill, Chessum, Stuart, George, Genge.
England replacements (8): Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Heyes, Isiekwe, Willis, Van Poortvliet, Joseph, Arundell.