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Wallabies’ Darcy Swain cited, England’s Jonny Hill and New Zealand’s Scott Barrett avoid further action

Darcy Swain will head to the judiciary on Tuesday but the man who wound him up by smacking him with two hands to the face then pulled his hair has gotten off scot free.

England lock Jonny Hill has avoided being cited for his clashes with Swain, who was red carded for his headbutt on Saturday night.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie accepted that a head butt was worthy of a red card but speaking in the aftermath of the game said the Wallabies would see if they had grounds for an appeal.

Swain is in danger of missing the rest of the series, while Hill is free to play on.

There was also no follow up to Eddie Jones comments post-match that the referee had evened up the game in favour of Australia after producing the red for Swain.

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. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

There was good news for All Blacks flanker Scott Barrett as well, with him cleared after calls for a citing after a clash with Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony in the 74th minute of the All Blacks’ 42-19 win against Ireland on Saturday.

The citing officer had until 1am local time on the night of the Test to identify incidents that may have passed the red-card threshold but no statement has been released.

O’Mahoney blew up at the incident but English referee Karl Dickson said: “I thought it was on the body with no arm.”

Barrett was red carded in a Test against Australia in 2019, and earlier this season in Super Rugby.

Wallabies to sing anthem in First Nations language

The Wallabies will recognise NAIDOC week by wearing the First Nations jersey and singing the national anthem in Yugambeh language against England on Saturday night in Brisbane.
It will be the first time the side has worn the 2022 iteration of the First Nations jersey, which is predominantly gold and with design by Dennis Golding.

By singing the anthem in Yugambeh language, the side will be paying homage to Uncle Lloyd McDermott, the first Wallaby to identify as a First Nations man.
During South Africa’s apartheid era McDermott (Wallaby number 470) made a principled decision to withdraw from the Australian team rather than play as an honorary white on the South African tour.

The Wallabies became the first national side to sing the anthem in First Nations language in 2020, when Olivia Fox sang in Eora language at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “As a team, we’re extremely proud to be able to celebrate NAIDOC week by wearing our First Nations jersey and singing in Uncle’s language on Saturday night in Brisbane.”

“We put a lot of time into understanding who we play for and who we represent and the privilege to play for Australia isn’t lost on us.”

England must increase intensity to stay in series

Maro Itoje has warned his England team-mates they must crank up the intensity for their second Test against Australia if they are to rescue the series.

England cancelled their post match social event after the defeat at Perth’s Optus Stadium where only two late converted tries spared them humiliation on the scoreboard.

It extended their losing run to four matches and concluded Eddie Jones’ eight-Test winning sequence against the Wallabies, yet Itoje insists the challenge facing England is about to get harder.

“It’s about raising the intensity. Every three-Test series I have played in the intensity of game two goes up. Game two is one of the crucial games,” Itoje said.

“Both Lions tours I’ve been on, and on the Aussie tour last time we were here, the intensity went up in game two.

“We need to raise the intensity, narrow our focus, focus on what’s important. We’ll be gunning for game two.

“In those moments when your back is against the wall the team has to get tighter. We have to narrow our focus, play tough rugby.

“That’s what is required of us as a team, as forwards, me as an individual. It’s about focussing and doing what we need to do to get the W.”

England cancelled their planned post-match social to begin dissecting a defeat that was among the worst of the Jones era as a final-quarter meltdown saw a 14-9 lead crumble.

Australia lost half-back general Quade Cooper to a calf strain shortly before kick-off and then full-back Tom Banks and prop Allan Alaalatoa departed with injuries sustained early on.

“I’ve played Australia numerous times and they always fight. They don’t go away. The way they prepared and played, nothing was too much of a surprise to me,” Itoje said.

“It’s definitely one that got away. There are aspects of the game we didn’t manage as best as we would have liked.

“It’s a bit disappointing from our point of view but we’ve got two games left and will look to rectify it in Brisbane.”

Among the areas in need of urgent attention is the attack, which started promisingly but fizzled out before igniting in the closing stages when debutant 19-year-old Henry Arundell delivered an inspiring seven-minute cameo off the bench.

The playmaking partnership of Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell was partly at fault but Jones will persevere with the creative axis in the belief that it will deliver.

“I’ve seen enough evidence that it will click. They’ve had one and a half games together and they’ll be very good together, but it takes time,” Jones said.

“There’s a lot of improvement in that area. They created some opportunities which we were not quite clinical enough to take. That’s what we need to make sure we work on.”

Jones is facing calls to choose either Smith or Farrell at fly-half and discard the other, although the lack of options at inside centre makes this unfeasible for the time being.

“I didn’t think we fired enough shots for a number of reasons, but I’m excited about what we can do together. I’m looking forward to getting it right hopefully,” Farrell said.

Noah was ‘pretty shocked’ with late call

Noah Lolesio aims to further repay coach Dave Rennie’s faith after his rollercoaster rugby career hit another high in the 14-man Wallabies’ breakthrough first Test win over England

The 22-year-old playmaker was a last-minute inclusion in the starting side when playmaker Quade Cooper injured his calf during the warm-up at Perth Optus Stadium on Saturday night. 

Lolesio says it may have worked in his favour, with little time to get nervous about the magnitude of his task as Australia strove to end an eight-game losing streak against the old foe.

After a shaky start with more injuries and a red card for lock Darcy Swain rocking the Wallabies, the five-eighth helped straighten up the attack to steer the side to a heroic 30-28 victory to open the three-Test series, heaping more pressure on England coach Eddie Jones.

His goal-kicking proved decisive, booting six from six for a personal haul of 15 points.

“I felt a lot more relaxed before I was told I was going to start which helped,” Lolesio said on Sunday as the team prepared to fly to Brisbane for game two on Saturday.

Noah Lolesio

Noah Lolesio. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“I was pretty shocked when Rens (Rennie) gave me the tap of the shoulder saying that I was starting. 

“It’s unfortunate for Quade, I know that would have been a tough call for him. 

“I just grabbed it by the horns and tried to do my best for the team and it took me a while to find my groove in the game, but I’m just happy we got that win.”

Lolesio was left shattered last month when a poorly-timed drop kick in the dying minutes was charged down, leaving the Brumbies just short in their Super Rugby Pacific semi-final against the Blues.

With nine Tests now under his belt, he was delighted to stand up in the big moments at Optus Stadium, rating it as a career highlight.

“I feel like I’m learning every game – I’m still so early in my career,” he said.

“But I never want to be complacent and I always want to be willing to learn.

“Obviously that semi-final sucked and my professional rugby career has been a rollercoaster and it’s pleasing…as a bright side.”

Lolesio said it was also “pleasing” that Rennie backed him to step up in place of Cooper, ahead of veteran James O’Connor, who came onto the bench.

“I’m just very privileged that that he backs me but in saying that I’ve got to put the work in too. 

“I can take confidence out of that but at the same time I won’t be complacent because I know I’ve got to be a lot better, especially in that first half to put the team in a better position.”

Cooper will undergo scans in Brisbane on Monday but was still limping on Sunday and looks unlikely to play in the Suncorp Test encounter.

The Wallabies allowed two late tries in the final three minutes which flattered the visitors and Lolesio said the end didn’t sit well with his team.

“We were definitely disappointed with how we let those late two tries in because the scoreboard would have looked a lot a lot nicer so we will look at that defensively and we’ll be better.”

Sexton on course for second Test

Coach Andy Farrell has held out hope Johnny Sexton will be available when Ireland attempt to bounce back from a 42-19 first Test thrashing by the All Blacks.

Veteran playmaker Sexton has passed the second of three concussion tests since leaving Saturday’s match at Eden Park in the 31st minute after a collision.

“Johnny’s good, he’s in fine spirits,” said Farrell. “HIA three will hopefully be passed in a few days and if that happens, then it’s concussion not confirmed.”

That could mean Sexton, who had been at the heart of a fast-starting Irish side in Auckland, will be available when the teams meet in the second Test of their three-match series in Dunedin on Saturday.

Ireland led through Keith Earl’s fifth-minute try and dominated much of the opening half hour, only for the home side to take control and establish a 28-5 lead at half time before going on to secure a 42-19 win.

“I thought we created quite a bit actually, but ultimately… you’ve got to score points against the All Blacks, there’s no doubt about that,” said Farrell.

“Some of those tries that they scored, they didn’t have to work too hard for them and on the back of that there’s been some decent rugby that’s been played for us.

“But if you switch off for a second you pay for it, and the scoreline was obviously too big at halftime, wasn’t it?”

Ireland, who have never beaten New Zealand on the All Blacks’ home turf, had been looking to become the first team to beat them at Eden Park in 28 years, and Farrell was disappointed not to see his side make history.

“You don’t get many opportunities to break a record,” he said. “It’s an outstanding record and you can see why they hold that here.

“We’re gutted to lose but having said that, the players know what they did well and they know how the game flowed and the things that we need to fix to stay in the series for next week.’”

(With AAP, PA)

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