England flanker Chris Robshaw had the last laugh against Australia, starring in their historic Test win in Melbourne.
Heading into the series, Robshaw was the target of a television campaign reminding England of their embarrassing World Cup exit last year, which led to his axing from the captaincy.
But it was Robshaw who was smiling after his team stunned the Wallabies 23-7 to win their first series on Australian soil.
Playing his 50th Test, Robshaw was named man of the match after getting in the faces of the Wallabies and forcing crucial turnovers.
England coach Eddie Jones said the team was delighted to cap his milestone game with a momentous win.
“He’s a great team man,” Jones said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team so pleased for Robbo to get his 50th cap and to be man of the match.
“After what he’s been through, after what Fox Sports did to him … we’re all pleased for him.”
England made almost four times as many tackles as Australia with Robshaw saying it was a major focus after letting in four tries in the opening Test in Brisbane.
In a defensive master-class they kept the home side scoreless in the second half.
“They had a huge amount of possession but you look at the character of the guys, getting up making double tackles and getting back into line,” Robshaw said.
He said their display on the halftime siren when they held out Australia for 21 phases, typified their spirit.
“That passage pretty much summed up the game.”
Robshaw said it was satisfying to reach a new high with England after the World Cup horror when the hosts failed to make it out of their pool.
“At one point I was unsure whether I’d ever get my second cap to now being out there with 50 caps it was an extremely proud moment for me and in an outstanding game it was a great way for me to celebrate it,” he said.