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Match report and reaction from first Test in Perth




The Wallabies suffered several huge blows as the much anticipated Test series kicked off against England in Perth, losing star man Quade Cooper before kickoff, Tom Banks to an agonising arm injury and Darcy Swain to a red card.

Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa was also forced off in the first half, which ended locked 6-6 after two penalty goals apiece.

Cooper pulled up with a sore calf in the warm up and withdrew, sending Noah Lolesio into the starting role. James O’Connor, who had been in the corporate boxes high above the field having been left out of the 23, had to hurry into a reserves jersey.

If that wasn’t enough Banks, who broke his right arm in September last year against the Springboks, fell from a great height on his left as he jumped for a kick.

His face was etched in agony after his left arm bent on a savage angle as it hit the ground.

Alaalatoa was helped off soon after but the Wallabies task became nigh on impossible when Swain was provoked into a red card by opposing lock Jonny Hill.

Earlier in the half Hill had shoved Swain in the face with both hands, and as the game neared halftime the pair clashed again.

Hill grabbed Swain’s hair and the Australian was incensed. He gave Hill a slight head butt and while Hill received a yellow, it was red for Swain, leaving the Aussies without a player for the rest of the game.

Darcy Swain of the Wallabies receives a red card during game one of the international test match series between the Australian Wallabies and England at Optus Stadium on July 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Darcy Swain of the Wallabies receives a red card during game one of the international test match series between the Australian Wallabies and England at Optus Stadium on July 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“I’m lost for words. Jonny Hill attacks the head of Darcy Swain. There’s an element of gamesmanship but it’s not a good look. Jonny Hill has baited Darcy Swain enough to get a reaction,” said former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison on Stan Sport.

Andrew Mehrtens added: “It’s a good result for Jonny Hill – he’s happy isn’t he?

“Part of it is from rugby’s focus on reaction to retaliation. It’s always the last action that gets penalised the heaviest. It just seems ridiculous . A player’s going to respond to that. It’s human nature to respond to a hair pull.”

Morgan Turinui though felt Swain needed to learn a lesson from the incident.

“As soon as you use the words head butt that was it,” said Turinui.

“You can’t use your head as a weapon (even though) there was no high force or danger in that. For Darcy Swain the lesson in that is when an opposition player niggles you you have to maintain discipline. He’s paying a high, possibly justified price for that.

He threw the shoulder but the head went with it. You promote your head like that at another player’s head you leave yourself at the mercy of the officials.”





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