England 21-24 New Zealand

By Tom FordyceChief sports writer at Twickenham
England: (14) 21
Tries: May, Penalty try, Pens: Farrell 3, Con: Ford
New Zealand: (11)
Tries: Cruden, McCaw, Faumuina, Pens: Cruden 2 Barrett

England fell to a fourth consecutive defeat for the first time in eight years as New Zealand snuffed out their early threat with a ruthless second-half display.

Jonny May's brilliant try had given Stuart Lancaster's raw side the perfect start, and two Owen Farrell penalties had opened up a three-point lead at the interval.

But second-half tries from captain Richie McCaw and replacement Charlie Faumuina were a fitting reward for a dominant display from a dominant All Blacks team.

Lancaster impressed with young players

A late penalty try narrowed the gap to three points with 30 seconds left but England, who could offer only minimal attacking threat as the game wore on, were grateful for a series of missed kicks from the visitors' fly-halves.

England had fewer than half as many caps in their squad as the world champions and that gulf in experience and nous proved critical as conditions worsened.

May's debut international try lit up the stadium like a November firework as he fizzed through a narrow gap down the left and then skinned full-back Israel Dagg on the outside.

He then almost had a second after gathering Farrell's kick ahead but was scragged by the last defender, and England went close again as Billy Vunipola charged to within a few inches and then Mike Brown spilled a pass on the right wing with the try line open.

New Zealand had barely touched the ball in those first 10 minutes but on their first incursion into England's half they struck back.

Former England star Matt Dawson's analysis
"There are a lot of positives from the first half for England. Up until the last minute, England didn't score a point in the second half, they didn't get into the right areas. It was as if they stopped playing and New Zealand came on.
"They lacked the physicality and experience and the New Zealand bench told.
"I am confident that England can win in the World Cup against anyone. When the players are fit and the coach Stuart Lancaster works out what to do with the midfield. There is no question they can compete."

Jerome Kaino slipped between two weak tackles on the left before Aaron Cruden burrowed for the line, and if replays suggested he may have been marginally short, referee Nigel Owens gave the try without recourse to the television match official.

England kept coming. New Zealand's under-pressure forwards infringed at the breakdown and Farrell landed a brace of penalties for 11-5, only for the All Blacks to capitalise on a prolonged period of threatening territory with two straightforward penalties from Cruden's right boot.

Farrell's third penalty on half-time edged England back in front, but within a few minutes of the re-start the lead was gone.

Richie McCaw, right, dives over the line to score a try despite England's Dylan Hartley attempt to tackle during their international rugby union match at Twickenham stadium
Richie McCaw dives over the line to score a try despite Dylan Hartley's attempt to tackle

Owen Franks punched a hole up the middle, the ball was spread left with the defence right and Dagg fed captain McCaw for his 25th All Blacks try.

Cruden's conversion attempt was horrible but England were struggling for any control. Sam Whitelock almost stole another try as England dallied in a ruck on their own line after Eastmond's kick was charged down.

Lancaster sent on Ben Morgan and Matt Mullan to add ballast to the fortifications, and when Dane Coles was sin-binned with 23 minutes remaining for kicking out at a ruck and the deficit just two points, fresh hope blossomed in torrential autumnal rain.

Yet England could not get their hands on the ball. Julian Savea spilled the ball when charging for the line and although replacement fly-half Beauden Barrett made a mess of a simple penalty he clipped over another for 14-19.

Faumuina went over from close range to make it 14-24, and that late penalty try was barely even consolation for a crowd frustrated by both Owens' decisions and New Zealand's fifth win over England in 12 months.


England: M Brown, S Rokoduguni, B Barritt, K Eastmond, J May, O Farrell, D Care; J Marler, D Hartley, D Wilson, D Attwood, C Lawes, T Wood, C Robshaw, B Vunipola.

Replacements: G Kruis for C Lawes (22), B Morgan for B Vunipola (52), M Mullan for J Marler (54), B Youngs for D Care (62), A Watson for S Rokoduguni (62), G Ford for K Eastmond (64), R Webber for D Hartley (73), K Brookes for D Wilson (73).

New Zealand: I Dagg, B Smith, C Smith, SB Williams, J Savea, A Cruden, A Smith; W Crockett, D Coles, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, R McCaw, K Read.

Replacements: P Tuipulotu for B Retallick (40), C Faumuina for O Franks (45), R Crotty for C Smith (57), B Barrett for A Cruden (59), B Franks for W Crockett (59), TJ Perenara for A Smith (66), K Mealamu for D Coles (66), L Messam for J Kaino (66).

England team arrive at Twickenham
Chris Robshaw and the England team received a warm welcome upon arrival at Twickenham
Prince Harry watches on at the England game
Prince Harry watched England fight until the final whistle
Jonny May
Gloucester wing May stunned the All Blacks with his first international try
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams was an attacking threat in his second match since switching from Rugby League
Kyle Eastmond
Bath centre Kyle Eastmond tried his best to inspire England to victory
Chris Robshaw and Dane Coles
All Black Dane Coles was sin-binned as he kicked out at a ruck
Chris Robshaw and England team
England captain Chris Robshaw was unable to guide his side to victory a year out from the World Cup

Top Stories