Eddie Jones ordered his players to draw inspiration from New Zealand by going for Australia’s jugular after England built an unassailable lead in their series Down Under.
A stirring 23-7 victory at AAMI Park means Jones’ grand slam champions will head to Sydney in pursuit of a glorious three-Test whitewash of a team that reached last autumn’s World Cup final.
England have climbed to second place in the global rankings after completing an historic series victory over one of the southern hemisphere giants - but Jones will only be satisfied by a whitewash.
“We’re very pleased with the victory. That was a real, tough Test match. A proper Test match.
“We’re looking forward to winning the series 3-0. We came here to win the series 3-0 and that’s what we want to do on Saturday.
“The boys started talking about it on the field and we’re committed to doing that. We want to be the best team in the world. And we want to win the series 3-0.
“If the All Blacks were in this situation now, what would they be thinking? They’d be thinking 3-0. If we want to be the best team in the world, we have to think 3-0.
“Australia will come back because they’re a well-coached, driven team, so we’re anticipating a feisty encounter in Sydney.
“We’ve got a few players with bumps and bruises so will have to look at our selection very carefully, but we have a great squad of 32 and we’ll start preparing for that Test on Monday.”
Victory was founded on a remarkable defensive display that saw England make 169 tackles compared to Australia’s 49 as wave after wave of attacks were repelled in the second half.
The tourists, who crossed through Dylan Hartley early on, fed off scraps after the interval but as the teams fought each other to a standstill, they were able to snatch the decisive try through Owen Farrell.
“We had to play rope-a-dope. That was the sort of game we had to play. We have to be tactically flexible in Test rugby and that’s why I’m so pleased for the team,” Jones said.
“We got an opportunity to score a try and we took it. That’s the sign of a good side.
“Other sides will have 60 per cent of possession and we have to be able to score points with that possession - then we’ll be a really, really good team.
“Our defence was outstanding and (defence coach) Paul Gustard did a terrific job this week in preparing the team. Generally we handled the Australian attack pretty well.
“Australia came out with different tactics after the first Test, surprise surprise. There was a lot of play off the ball which we had to cope with and we coped with that pretty well.”
Epitomising the commitment was a relentless display from deposed World Cup captain Chris Robshaw, who celebrated his 50th cap by winning the man of the match award.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team so pleased for a player to get his 50th cap...after what Robshaw has been through. We’re all pleased for him,” Jones said.
“He’s a really good, solid Test six. I saw someone describe him as a Richard Hill and that’s what he’s like.
“He does all the unseen stuff in the game, makes good tackles, keeps driving forward, cleans out.
“And that’s what he’s done for us, game after game for eight Tests in a row since he lost the captaincy.
“It was difficult when he lost the captaincy. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but he’s bounced back really well and we’re all delighted for him.”
Australia can only salvage their pride in Sydney on Saturday and head coach Michael Cheika had no complaints with the outcome at AAMI Park.
“It feels pretty bad, pretty bad. We played a lot of footy, but that doesn’t always win you the game,” Cheika said.
“You have to pay credit to England, in both games they were smart. They spoilt a lot of good ball and well done to them.
“They have seen that we are going to play a lot of footy and chosen an opposite way - and that has been victorious. We will have to take it, suck it up and use the scars later on.”