The Wallabies have suffered another wretched evening at the hands of their compatriot Eddie Jones, whose England side condemned them to a comprehensive 32-15 defeat at an exultant Twickenham.
On what proved a dispiriting and expensive night for an outplayed Australia, with captain Michael Hooper having to hobble off with a possible tour-ending injury, coach Dave Rennie admitted it was a big setback.
“You’ve got to be disciplined and you’ve got to be accurate – we were neither tonight,” he said.
Former Australia coach Jones watched his impressive, revamped side earn him an eighth successive victory over his home nation in Sunday morning’s (AEDT) contest in front of 81,575 fans.
Two tries, an early one from Freddie Steward and the sealer in the dying seconds from Jamie Blamire, proved more than enough for England to win yet again as the Wallabies barely got a sniff of the home side’s line and went tryless.
The boot of James O’Connor, who kicked all five penalties, kept the scoreline in check but indiscipline – in the shape of 18 penalties – and English pressure constantly derailed the visitors as both Tom Wright and Angus Bell spent time in the sin bin.
On his 100th international appearance in a fluid and innovative England attack, which was only let down by a cutting edge near the line, Farrell punished the Wallabies by converting six of his seven kicks before he left the field with an ankle injury.
Rennie praised his side’s effort and commitment in defence and, remarkably, they were within seven points of their hosts going into the last 15 minutes as the game lost its shape.
Yet the difference in class was evident.
“There’s plenty of character and courage in the squad but we’re really frustrated,” Rennie said.
“It’s not lack of effort, but at this level you don’t get a lot of opportunities.
“We’ve just got to be better on Saturdays.”
The hosts enjoyed a dream opening with their interchangeable attack led by the livewire No.9 Marcus Smith.
Farrell, coming in from centre to first receiver, slipped in Smith, whose perfectly-timed short pass allowed Steward to rampage past a wrong-footed Kurtley Beale and pile over for his first international try.
After an exchange of penalties, Wright was sent to the bin for a shoulder charge on Jamie George as the England hooker made a storming break.
Twickenham demanded red but referee Jaco Peyper let Australia off the hook, having to survive 10 difficult minutes before halftime with 14 men.
They hung in with Nic White making a brilliant try-saving tackle on George and when England were pinged in the scrum, O’Connor kept Australia in the hunt at 16-12 down at the interval.
When Maro Itoje, in his 50th Test, was penalised for going off his feet, O’Connor kicked Australia to within a point but soon after Bell was yellow carded.
Farrell extended the lead but Australia got away with any further damage during Bell’s penalty period, only to suffer another blow when Hooper limped off in the 55th, a problem he said he hoped would not keep him out of the Wales Test.
When Farrell went off, Smith gave England breathing space after White was pinged for obstruction – penalty no.17.
Ironically, the Wallabies at last found some gas to make a last ditch attack but Sam Simmonds latched on to a loose pass and rumbled down the field, finding replacement hooker Blamire, who powered over for a fine score that did not flatter the hosts.
Jones was not in the mood to rub in the victory.
“I don’t look at it as personal,” he said.