The final Test takes place in Sydney next Saturday as England bid for 3-0 win

The rivals fought each other to a standstill in an ugly but captivating second Test that was edged by the Grand Slam champions, who have climbed to second in the world rankings following their stirring rearguard action in Melbourne.

Captain Dylan Hartley, who became England’s most capped hooker, crossed in the first half before Owen Farrell added the decisive try with six minutes remaining.

The outstanding Farrell also kicked three penalties and two conversions, but this was a victory founded on the spirit that was evident during stirring rearguard action as Australia probed the whitewash.

It was a triumph of English spirit and resilience, of guts and grit, for they spent most of the match defending as Australia came at them in wave after wave of gold shirts. But England somehow held firm to record a landmark victory. Played eight, won eight under Eddie Jones. The man and his team can do no wrong. How the tide has turned, how the mood has shifted, how fortunes have been revitalised. The wheel has spun and England are on the up.

England Coach Eddie Jones said he would only be satisfied with a whitewash next weekend. ‘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.’

England climb to second in the world rankings on the strength of their victory in Melbourne and now head to Sydney in pursuit of a 3-0 series whitewash.