NOVEMBER 22, 2003 : Jonny Wilkinson celebrates his successful field goal (drop goal) with less than a minute left in extra time during Australia v England Rugby World Cup final at Telstra Stadium in Sydney, 22/11/03. Pic Gregg Porteous. Rugby Union F/L
NOVEMBER 22, 2003 : Jonny Wilkinson celebrates his successful field goal (drop goal) with less than a minute left in extra time during Australia v England Rugby World Cup final at Telstra Stadium in Sydney, 22/11/03. Pic Gregg Porteous. Rugby Union F/L

End the torment: Stop losing to the Poms

LIKE the Ashes, the joy that comes with beating England in rugby never equates to the torment of losing to the Poms.

If the Wallabies win their quarterfinal in Oita on Saturday, most Australians will just breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the next match where there's bigger fish to fry.

But if the unthinkable happens and Eddie Jones' English win, the only sure outcome is they'll be beating their chests about it for years to come.

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When it comes to gloating, the Poms are the undisputed world champions, which is also why they loom as the Wallabies' World Cup nightmare.

It doesn't matter that the Wallabies beat England in front of the Queen in the 1991 World Cup final in London. Or that we booted them out in the pool stages when they hosted the last tournament in 2015.

No other country has caused the Wallabies more heartache at the World Cup than England and they haven't let us forget it.

In the previous eight Rugby World Cups, the Wallabies have failed to reach the semifinals just twice but both quarterfinal losses were against England.

Eddie Jones, the England head coach, walks past his team during the England training session
Eddie Jones, the England head coach, walks past his team during the England training session

The first time was at the 1995 tournament, when the Wallabies were the defending champions with Rob Andrew's field goal in injury time sealing England's 25-22 victory in Cape Town.

As the English celebrated like they'd won the World Cup, prematurely as it turned out because they didn't win another game, the Wallabies faced the shame of arriving back in Australia just as hundreds of their supporters were boarding a plane to South Africa expecting to see their team still over there.

It happened again in the 2007 quarterfinals in Marseille. Although Lote Tuqiri scored the only try of the quarterfinal, four penalties from Jonny Wilkinson was enough for the Poms to sneak a 12-10 win and go on to reach the final, which they lost to the Springboks.

The most gut wrenching defeat of all though - and the one England never shuts up about - was in the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney.

Jonny Wilkinson (C) makes an unsuccessful attempt at drop goal
Jonny Wilkinson (C) makes an unsuccessful attempt at drop goal

And once again it was England's reliance on kicking that proved the difference with Wilkinson booting the match winning field goal in the last minute of extra time.

That was the first - and to date still the only time - the Webb Ellis Cup has been won by a country from the northern hemisphere and they still haven't stopped crowing about it.

On the day they left, some of their players wore their winning medals under their shirts, deliberately setting off the alarms as they went through the medal detectors at Sydney airport - just so they could remind everyone within earshot that they had beaten us.

The current England team isn't in the same league as their 2003 side, which was led by the inspiring Martin Johnson, but then neither are the 2019 Wallabies as good as the side that made the final 16 years ago.

But that won't stop them from reminding the whole of Australia about their record against the Wallabies ahead of this weekend's showdown.

Even Jones, who was the Wallabies coach back in 2003 but is now working for the old enemy plotting against his homeland, can't stop grinning from ear to ear when he talks about how England are 6-0 against Australia since he took over.