England gave themselves a great chance of an historic series victory over Australia after recovering from an ominous start to crush the Wallabies 39-28 at Suncorp Stadium.
Early tries by Michael Hooper and Israel Folau threatened to overrun the Grand Slam champions but they responded magnificently with Jonathan Joseph, Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell crossing.
The boot of Owen Farrell, who had replaced George Ford at fly-half, did the majority of the scoreboard damage as England sealed only their fourth victory Down Under in 18 matches.
Nowell plundered his try in the final minute of a pulsating showdown in Brisbane as Australia went in search of a match-winning try of their own.
England head to Melbourne for next Saturday’s second Test knowing one more win would complete a series triumph over the World Cup finalists and identify them as a genuine force in the global game.
Head coach Eddie Jones remains unbeaten since taking over at Twickenham and now has seven Test victories in the bank, but the most recent of these – against the side he once coached – is by far the most precious.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Kieran Read celebrated his elevation to the All Blacks captaincy by leading a come-from-behind victory as his team produced a lethal finish to crush Wales 39-21 in the first Test in Auckland.
In a Test which swung from scintillating to scrappy, in the end it was the pace and intensity of the All Blacks in the closing 20 minutes that determined the outcome.
It was an “awesome feeling” said Read who takes over from World Cup winning skipper Richie McCaw.
“The boys showed some belief and showed that connection that we needed. It was a tight spot.”
Read paid credit to the All Blacks bench who come on to pick up the speed of the game when it mattered.