The All Blacks react following their defeat to England.
England produced one of their finest performances ever to
stun the All Blacks 38-21 and end the world champions' 20-game
unbeaten run in the most spectacular style on a memorable and
quite remarkable afternoon at Twickenham.
The All Blacks, who had won their last nine games against
England and not dropped a European tour game for 10 years,
were 12-1 on favourites at the start.
But they were outplayed in every department by a callow
England team beaten by Australia and South Africa in the last
two weeks, but who chalked up their highest score and a
record margin against a team being increasingly touted as the
best to have played the game.
England deservedly led 12-0 at halftime via the boot of Owen
Farrell and, though the All Blacks closed to within a point
with quickfire tries to Julian Savea and Keiran Read, the
hosts roared back with tries by Brad Barritt, an inspired
Manu Tuilagai and Chris Ashton.
New Zealand, perhaps suffering the effects of illness that
hit the camp this week, got another Savea try but England,
with only 206 caps in their starting XV to the 789 of their
feted rivals, dominated to the whistle to end coach Stuart
Lancaster's first year in charge on an unexpected high.
"To put that scoreline on an All Blacks side that good is way
beyond what we could have asked for, but we've had the belief
all through the week," Lancaster said in an on-pitch
"There was a lot of composure at halftime, real clarity of
thought, and that's what's grown over the last few weeks.
We've always had the energy and the attitude but today we put
the top six inches on.
"I'm just chuffed for the boys, we've all copped it but we
all stayed tight and I'm just pleased they've got their day
in the sun."
It was a result nobody saw coming after the contrasting
fortunes of the two teams in their previous outings over the
last three weeks. But from the moment the Haka was drowned
out by a rousing rendition of "Sweet Chariot" New Zealand
knew they were not going to have things all their own way.
Strong in the scrum, massively aggressive at the breakdown
and tackle and determined in their running lines, England
never allowed the All Blacks a moment to breathe.
The world champions barely threatened England's line in the
first half and even Dan Carter, who has known only unbroken
personal and team success against the men in white in nine
previous victories, was off key as he missed two penalties he
would normally have gobbled up and screwed one clearance
This week's listing of Farrell alongside Carter on the
shortlist as world player of the year was greeted with
incredulity in the rugby world but it was the youngster who
cannot even command the first-five starting berth at his own
club who looked the most accomplished number 10 on duty on
Farrell slotted all three of his penalty attempts, including
one just shy of halfway after 40 minutes, and clipped over a
drop goal as England reached halftime in a relative dream
New Zealand had never been close to being tested in their
three previous tour wins over Scotland, Italy and Wales and
coach Steve Hansen would have earned his money in the
changing rooms as his players came to terms with the
unaccustomed situation having not reached halftime pointless
since losing to South Africa in Wellington in 1998.
Another Farrell penalty straight after the restart made it
15-0 but the visitors hit back quickly and devastatingly with
two tries in three minutes.
Powerful left wing Savea showed great strength to touch down
his 11th try in nine matches before more high-speed passing
opened a huge hole for number eight Read. Carter also
rediscovered his touch by converting both from wide on the
England did not buckle, though, and scored the sort of try
the Twickenham fans have been crying out for for so long as
Barritt burst clear and exchanged passes with fellow centre
Tuilagi before squeezing in.
Two minutes later Tuilagi blasted through three tackles and
brilliantly delayed his pass to Ashton who showed all the
frustration of 11 games without a try to dive spectacularly
over the line.
New Zealand did not know what had hit them, missed tackle
after tackle and when Tuilagai intercepted again to score
another try England's lead of 32-14 was their highest score
ever against the All Blacks.
Lancaster could even afford the luxury of bringing on Freddie
Burns for his debut at flyhalf, and he slotted two penalties
to leave the shell-shocked All Blacks staring at potentially
their worst defeat, surpassing the 28-7 loss to Australia 13
Savea added his second try to limit the damage but it was
little consolation as England who easily surpassed their
record win in the fixture, a 13-0 success in 1936.
The All Blacks go into Monday's draw for the 2015 World Cup
still favourites to retain their title back at Twickenham in
three years' time but England, down amongst the second tier
of seeds, will look ahead with a totally different mindset.