Misfiring Wallabies on brink of unwanted record
THE Wallabies will create another piece of unwanted history if they lose this weekend; they'll become the first Australian team to lose six games in a row against England since the rivalry began 109 years ago.
Neither team has lost six in a row against the other in the century-old battle, but Michael Cheika's side head into the clash at Twickenham having lost the previous five encounters.
That started when England pulled off their historic 3-0 clean sweep of the Wallabies in Australia in June 2016, followed by wins at Twickenham later that year and November 2017.
Eddie Jones has coached England to all of those victories over rival Cheika, and it would be ironic if the Australian was the architect of a new record of six straight.
That would break the five-match losing streak the Wallabies suffered to England between 2000-03, culminating in the World Cup final defeat in Sydney on the back of Jonny Wilkinson's field goal.
England's record losing streak to Australia is four games, between 1984-88.
Australia will be underdogs for the match after a disastrous 2018, but they will be buoyed by winning last weekend's match against Italy.
This is the final game of the year for Australia and they desperately need to break the psychological hold England has over them and finish with some positivity to take into their World Cup campaign next year.
One player who will not be weighed down by the recent history against the Poms is bullocking tighthead prop Taniela Tupou, who has yet to face them.
Tupou was impressive in the starting role against Italy, scoring a try and stinging rivals in defence, although the Wallabies scrum was penalised three times.
Many Australian props have left Twickenham with tails between their legs after a scrum hammering but Tupou is confident the Wallabies will rise to the challenge.
"I haven't played against England before, I know they have a good scrum and we'll be going there having done our homework to see what we can do," Tupou said.
"I am sure our forwards can do what they do best.
"We have been trying to fix [our scrums]. We have been too long in the bind which is something we have been working on for next week's game. We need to better as England will be watching and try to go hard at any weaknesses we may show.
"It can't get any bigger. If am lucky enough to get picked I will give it everything."
Already, this Wallabies side has created history-making defeats as the first Australian side to lose 3-0 in a series to England, the first to lose a home series to Ireland, the first to lose home and away in one year to Scotland, the first to lose to Wales in a decade, and the first to slip to seventh in the world rankings.
They've moved back up to sixth after the 26-7 win against Italy, and ending their losing streak to England would take enormous pressure off Cheika and his assistant coaches.