In “the” international game of the year, England walloped the All-Blacks 38-21 at Twickenham, Saturday, December 1. This was the Red Rose’s first victory at home against the down under perennial powerhouse since 2006.
The media in the UK unleashed a barrage of deserving praise, using words like “masterpiece,” “stunning,” and “thumping” to describe the rout. The 17-point margin of victory represented England’s largest ever total against New Zealand. And it was the first time the All Blacks failed to score in the first half of a Test Match since 1988.
The win came from a total team effort, from pack, forwards, and backs. The post-game analysis recorded that England’s forwards dominated play, and one journalist described the phenomenon as the England XV “out- Blacked the All Blacks.”
The crowd was delighted with England’s three tries in eight minutes of the second half, highlighted by an interception try off an errant NZ pass. And New Zealand staged a worthy come back with two tries in the second half, also.
At the whistle, a result of historic proportion had occurred in the venerated stadium. Although the record over time indicates New Zealand up 26 – 7, England can bask in this victory over the 2011 RWC champions that suffered its worst defeat since 1928.
England will not forget this triumphant win soon. But for now, it’s time to prepare for the upcoming Six Nations series, and, importantly, to see what occurred in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Draw today (December 3).
England (38): A Goode; C Ashton, M Tuilagi, B Barritt, M Brown; O Farrell, B Youngs; A Corbisiero, T Youngs, D Cole, J Launchbury, G Parling, T Wood, C Robshaw (capt), B Morgan.
Replacements: D Paice, D Wilson, M Vunipola, C Lawes, J Haskell, D Care, F Burns, J Joseph. Haskell for Morgan 57, Burns for Farrell 64, Lawes for Lunchbury 66, Vunipola for Corbisiero 66, Jospeh for Tuilagi 66, Care for B Youngs 68, Paice for T Youngs 72, Wilson for Cole 72, Cole for Wood 78.
New Zealand (21): I Dagg; C Jane, C Smith, M Nonu, J Savea; D Carter, A Smith; T Woodcock, K Mealamu, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, L Messam, R McCaw, K Read
Replacements: D Coles, W Crockett, C Faumuina, L Romano, V Vito, P Weepu, A Cruden, B Smith. Romano for Retallick 48, Faumuina for Franks 52, Coles for Mealamu 62, Vito for Messam 63, Cruden for Carter 64, Weepu for A Smith 64, Crockett for Woodcock 66, B Smith for Dagg 71.
Referee: G Clancy (Ireland).