England pride dented as the All Blacks triumph at Twickenham


Aaron Cruden scored 11 points as the All Blacks overcame a plucky England in Saturday’s QBE autumn international at Twickenham. 

The All Blacks fly-half added two penalties to a first-half try after England had taken an early lead with Jonny May’s try.

Owen Farrell added three penalties of his own, but second half tries from Richie McCaw and Charlie Faumuina and subsitute fly-half Beauden Barrett’s penalty gave the All Blacks a healthy lead.

And although England were awarded a late penalty try, they must now look to South Africa’s visit next week to salve wounded pride.

The game’s opening volley was fired when the haka was met by ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ swelling with oceanic grace around this vast cathedral.

And three minutes in, a searing virtuoso run from Jonny May eviscerated the All Blacks defence for the first try, as the Gloucester wing flew up the left past Conrad Smith to touch down.

Farrell couldn’t convert, but England were on the up and when May took a high ball he looked to be away again before being brought down by Israel Dagg

Billy Vunipola was held up inches from the line after Dave Attwood’s line-out take, but when the ball was fanned out to Mike Brown he fumbled with the try-line gaping.

The All Blacks rallied, and after Ben Smith took a high ball they attacked down the right, with Aaron Smith feeding Cruden to burrow over the line for a try after 13 minutes.

Farrell kicked a penalty moments later to put England 8-5 up and the Saracens fly-half doubled England’s lead with a second with a quarter of the game gone.

An already hollowed-out England front five was further weakened when Courtney Lawes departed injured to make for way for debutant George Kruis.

And Cruden put New Zealand within three points of the hosts when he kicked his first penalty of the day after Dylan Hartley’s high challenge.

New Zealand probed England, but 6ft 4in code-crossing colossus Sonny Bill Williams, who had 5ft 7in Kyle Eastmond  keeping manful vigil over him, was not getting much change out of England’s defence.

Farrell went close with an attempted drop-goal before Cruden kicked his second penalty of the game as half-time approached and the England fly-half made it 14-11 from a straightforward penalty with the last kick of the half.

Cruden’s penalty struck the upright just after the restart, and the visitors went ahead for the first time when skipper Richie McCaw took Dagg’s pass from just behind him to go over the try.

England found themselves a man up when a kick by All Blacks hooker Dane Coles on Hartley had referee Nigel Owens eventually reaching for his yellow card.

Cruden was replaced by Beauden Barrett with twenty minutes remaining, and a flurry of England subs saw Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs and George Ford on for Danny Care, Semesa Rokoduguni and Eastmond.

Barrett’s penalty extended the All Blacks lead to 14-19 and substitute Charlie Faumuina confiirmed the All Blacks second-half dominance when he scurried over for a try which Barrett failed to convert.

A penalty try for persistent All Black infringement with seconds remaining was converted by Ford, but after five straight defeats to the All Blacks, England coach Stuart Lancaster must find a way to beat them before next year’s World Cup.

Picture courtesy of researchtalk, with thanks

Related Articles