Reuters - Sat, 12 Jun 13:07:00 2010
Australia captain Rocky Elsom also crossed for the home side who were prepared to play an expansive game but were demolished in the scrum.
The Australian front row of debutant loosehead prop Ben Daley, hooker Saia Faingaa and tighthead prop Salesi Ma'afu, both of whom were playing just their second Tests, was constantly under pressure with referee Nigel Owens awarding two penalty tries to England for repeated collapsing by Australia.
The Wallabies' up-tempo game and several line-breaks through a porous England defensive line and a strong defensive effort however proved the difference.
"There was some great defence there," Elsom said. "The fact they didn't cross our line (in general play) was a big plus ... and there were a lot of big tackles stopping that from happening.
"We would have made a lot more play if we held on to the passes at the end ... and we have to get better at making those decisions."
Australia's two first-half tries were the result of sweeping movements with Elsom finished off after a midfield break, while Cooper took a clever inside pass from scrumhalf Luke Burgess after cutting back across the drifting defence.
Both tries were converted by fullback James O'Connor to give them a 14-0 lead at the break.
Toby Flood opened England's account with an early second-half penalty before their scrum pressure paid off and after a series of collapses by the Wallabies, England were awarded a penalty try, that Flood converted to bring them to within four points.
The Wallabies, however, struck straight back with Digby Ioane making two breaks and he then managed to free his hands in a tackle to feed Cooper who dived over for his second try.
England then spent the best part of 10 minutes camped in Australia's 22-metre area, slamming into scrum after scrum, with Owens sin-binning Ma'afu then awarding his second penalty try after another collapse by the Wallabies.
The Wallabies, however, managed to creep ahead when O'Connor slotted a penalty before Cooper took over the goal-kicking and put the match beyond doubt.
"It was a really slow start and we gave them too many opportunities," England captain Lewis Moody said in a televised interview.
"We had some dominance (in the scrum) and we stuck at it and it paid off for us but we have to work on some other things for next week."
The second Test is in Sydney next Saturday.