Three Jonny Wilkinson penalties and a try from Jason Robinson have England leading Australia 14-5 at half-time in the RWC final.
Australia started as they had done against the All Blacks in the semi-final and went in front in the 7th minute when Lote Tuiqiri gathered a superb cross-field kick from Stephen Larkham to score a try in the left-hand corner. Elton Flatley's conversion struck the upright. Jonny Wilkinson registered England's first score with an 11th minute penalty. Throughout this early stage the Ausssie defence was impressive as their ball-handling in the wet conditions.
In the 18th minute Larkham was penalized just outside his 10 metre line - he was also taken off to have a blood injury treated - and Wilkinson kicked England ahead (6-5). He was wide with his first drop-goal attempt four minutes later and when Australia knocked on in the 25th minute England countered and should have scored but Ben Kay knocked-on when all he had to do was hold and fall over for a try. But they reacted magnificently, had Australia in all sorts of trouble in a five-metre scrum and when the home side were penalised Wilkinson's radar-like penalty extended the lead (9-5). From the restart Matt Giteau - who had come on for Larkham - was flattened by Josh Lewsey, England were penalised for dropping a scrum but from just inside the England 10 metre-line, Flatley dragged his penalty attempt wide. That was a significant miss because England, already beginning to grow in confidence seemed to be lifted still further by that miss.They went further ahead with a minute to go to half-time when Lawrence Dallaglio, linked with Wilkinson to send Jason Robinson in at the corner (14-5). From an Aussie point of view the half time whistle couldn't come quick enough.
Ireland Women's Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall is in Langford this week for the Canada leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series. Following Ireland's Bowl win in Atlanta, Lucy previews our prospects this weekend.
Ireland Women's Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall speaks about the build-up to the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. The girls in green begin the pool stages against France at 12.52pm local time/5.52pm Irish time today.
IRFU High Performance Manager Colin McEntee reflects on the Easter matches played by the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 teams, which ended last weekend with wins over the England Counties U-18s and France U-19s.
Watch highlights of the Ireland Under-18s' seven-try 43-0 victory over Scotland during the inaugural U-18 Five Nations Festival in Caerphilly, Wales. Number 8 and captain Caelan Doris scored a hat-trick of tries and winger Daniel Hurley bagged a brace.
Railway Union's Kim Flood made her debut at full-back for the Ireland Women in last weekend's 14-3 Six Nations win over Italy. She is looking forward to experiencing the partisan crowd at Donnybrook again this Sunday when Scotland are the visitors. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.ie.
Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek spoke to Irish Rugby TV on the eve of the final round of the RBS 6 Nations Championship. He is happy that the team are focused but warns that it will be a tough encounter with Scotland tomorrow.
Looking forward to the lineout battle with Scotland, Ireland lock Devin Toner said: "We went well again Italy, I think our set piece went well. If we can just build on that and build on the positives then I think we'll be okay."
Joe Schmidt spoke to Irish Rugby TV this morning with an update on the squad, a look back at Ireland's nine-try win over Italy and a preview of our final match of the RBS 6 Nations Championship against Scotland.
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney was pleased to see his new-look side come away with a 14-3 win over Italy. Full-back Kim Flood, winger Liz Burke and replacement centre Claire McLaughlin made their international debuts on the day.