England v New Zealand: The Aftermath

As the dust settles on England’s 16-26 loss to New Zealand, we’re keen to hear what your thoughts are on the game.  What did you think? Despite the frustrations of losing, are there encouraging signs to build on? Should we be demanding more from Johnson after two and a half years in the job?

As always we’re keen to bring you the post-match reaction from the England camp.  First up, England manager Martin Johnson:


England captain Lewis Moody:

[podcast]/Podcasts/Lewis Moody.mp3[/podcast]

Scrum-half Ben Youngs:


There’s more to come in this week’s Rugby Blog Podcast out on Wednesday with further previews ahead of the Australia match next weekend. In the meantime, add your comments below and let us know your thoughts.  Think of this as the online equivalent of the clubhouse bar after the game!

13 thoughts on “England v New Zealand: The Aftermath

  1. Thought we played well, but didn’t take our chances. Also thought there were some very poor refereeing decisions i.e the should charge on Hape when he dived for the line. Should of at least been a yellow card, if not a yellow card + penalty try. Considering NZ are the best team in the world, I thought we did ok – and could possibly come away with 3 wins out of 4 from the AI’s

  2. England put in a strong performance in my opinion. Could have been a victory had we had a little more game time to work out the niggles in handling. NZ’s Nonu need to be cited or should have been sent off, I thought shoulder charges were illeagle. That was blatant cheating !

  3. Tommy and Archie – getting a little picky don’t you think? Both teams had players guilty of play worthy of penatly action and possible yellow cards. England I believe played positive rugby and should be pleased with their sustained effort. The AB’s appeared threatening throughout but were under pressure by an England team intend on meeting them head on, closing down the line and being prepared to run the ball – they (AB’s) needed to draw upon their experience to get the win. Overall the AB’s were the better team on the field…but not by a country mile. Bring on the RWC and plenty more positive rugby. I pick the AB’s to win the RWC 2011 – if they keep their heads. England to make the 1/4’s.

  4. Picking out obvious and dangerous offences isn’t being picky, it’s analysing the game. True, both teams had infrigements, but shoulder charging is dangerous and illegal, and I hope he is cited for it! So was the head butt on Lewis Moody – though that was not quite so obvious. NZ were the better team and probably deserved the win more than England, but IMO the refereeing was poor and hinder what was a good game. I think England might finally be finding their feet – looking forward to the rest of the AI’s, the 6N’s and the RWC

  5. Did any one notice the “brilliant” last pass in the first All Black try was forward by miles. Why didn’t the video ref notice it. the ball is released before the 22 is reached and then caught after the 22. It is so obvious! that was 7 points that shouldn’t have been. Would have made the game a lot closer! Not such a “brilliant” pass really….

  6. Wow, you guys are being very picky. As a neutral viewer (I’m a saffa), NZ were the better team. England played much better than expected – especially the second half – but NZ also looked a bit out of sorts at times. Had they brought their tri-nations form it would’ve been a somewhat larger score.

    I’m surprised there haven’t been any citings? There were quite a few brain explosions by players on both sides, and i have to say i think they would’ve already been cited had they been done by the springboks. Mealamu has to get cited for that headbutt (consistency please!), and Hartley and Thorne will be lucky to get away with their respective shoulder charges off the ball. If that was bakkies botha, i’d envision 6 weeks at least. (I’m not condoning botha, he got what he deserved, but where is the consistency, IRB??)

    As for that tackle on Hape, it did seem a little reckless, but you got the try. It certainly wasn’t a card! And it wasn’t nonu, it was Isaia Toeava.

  7. Alex, how is analysing the game being picky? You yourself have said that their should be citings? A little hipocritcial i feel. Hape didn’t score a try as he has shoulder charged in the corner. In accordance with the laws of rugby a tackler must wrap arms around the opponents body to complete the tackle. If this is not done it is a should charge and deemed a dangerous tackle which (correct me if i’m wrong) is a sin bin offence. Toeava didn’t do this and so should have at least been sin binned. Also, that close the the line, the majority of people would have also award a penalty try.

    Also, why is it that whenever a team make NZ look human it’s always a case of NZ are having an off day as opposed to crediting the other team?

  8. As an ABs supporter my views could be somewhat biased but I imagine I am talking to a bunch of England supporters so we may be all guilty?

    I think the referee was too harsh on the ABs scrum. I am no scrum expert but I couldn’t see the kiwis binding as awfully bad as the penalty count suggests. I think it would have been a fair contest if only the referee had allowed it.

    I also wonder why in the lead up to the english try the referee didn’t see that the english player was one meter and a half in front of the kicker when the race was on.

    Stu Wilson says the ABs were tired in the second half , but I think they played poorly.

    We (ABs fans) can justify our team saying it’s been a long season and please our minds saying it would not have happened otherwise, but the second half was far from good and the ABs were lucky that the English did show the will but not the skills to claim one against NZ.

  9. Game was great to watch, but the referee’s handling of the game was poor. At times the game descended into lawlessness, with forward passes, offsides, shoulder charges, etc., etc., all going unpenalised (from both sides). Sure it makes for a better spectacle, but then the result is a bit of a lottery, and its not really a ‘rugby’ match, but some mutant hybrid of the game. I thought Mealamu’s head butt on Moody was the act of a recidivist coward (Brian O’Driscoll 2006) and agree with Alex that a lengthy ban is now in order.

  10. I think that the AB’s played a great game, especially since it was at the end of a long southern hemisphere season and that fact that it was played and won away from home.
    Foul play should never be condoned and those found guilty of such behaviour must pay the consequences. That said, I must now address Tommy’s concern about the so called shoulder charge on Hape. True, under normal circumstances, the tackler must use his arms when tackling an opponent. However, it is another ball game altogether when the opponent is going in low to present as small a target as possible so that he can cross the chalk and the tackler is forced to go in low as well in order to shut him out. Maybe this is why the Refs don’t blow in these situations.
    All said and done, I think you English fans are in for a rugby treat over the next few weeks.

  11. the rule is that an attempt to wrap must be made with the key word being “attempt”. toeavas right arm does start to come around but misses due to the impact. plus i see alot of complaining about that saying it should have been a try, however i see it as a bit of justice seeing as hartly’s try contained about 5 things which should have been pulled up i.e ashton doesn’t release the ball when tapping it, there are players in front of him when he does, he’s nearly 2 meters in front of the kicker when the ball is toe’d ahead, the pass to hartly is suspect and 9 times out of 10 he would have been pulled up for a “double movement”. that said was an exciting game and hopefully england can carry on with this attacking brand of rugby.

  12. Ah the ifs and buts of international rugby…

    Let’s be clear before I get accused of rose tinted glasses, AB’s won and won well. They were more accurate, more threatening and deserved it (regardless of any perceieved injustice). Lets not forget that whilst their first try was a fwd pass, Ashton was in front of the kicker for our try. Whilst Mealamu was lucky to stay on pitch, Hartley’s dropped elbow on McCaw could easily have been carded as well…

    The reality is that we had a real chance to win on Sat – about 50mins you could sense a real change in atmosphere at the ground as people started to believe (myself included). The reason we didn’t was the same as in previous seasons – lack of precision in execution. So if it is the same problem as always, why the positivity? Lots of reasons i think:

    1) We’ve not played together since June. A little ring rust in execution is not surprising

    2) After the AB’s 2nd try, they didn’t really threaten our whitewash (the Ashton defensive intercept apart). On the other hand, we had possession and threatened quite a lot

    3) I totally agree with Tommy, we made the AB’s look ordinary. This wasn’t a case of AB playing poorly, but a reality of what happens when you disrupt their not terribly impressive scrum, get aggression and play with some ambition. If we could’ve combined that with getting into their lineout/making eminently kickable penalties/kicking penalties into touch/etc… then who knows

    4) We adapted our defensive pattern. God knows if this was an on field call or message from management, but about 30 mins onwards (after the 2nd try), we stopped blasting out in the blitz defence and held back a bit more and adopted more of a drift. Suddenly the AB’s weren’t as able to pick the holes and we stopped them being so threatening. Bear in mind that under Borthwick I don’t think I saw a single change of strategy in all his games, this is progress indeed!

    5) We had a game plan and stuck with it. I was willing to bet my mortgage at half time that we would go back to Plan 0 (kick it and half heartedly chase), but we came out and attacked even more

    6) We’ve got a young team of real talent. If we can start to execute a bit more we can be a real threat

    Lets not kid ourselves that we should be doing cartwheels because we only lost by 10 pts to the AB’s, but equally given how dark some of the recent Twickenham days have been (think back 12 months to Ayoola Erinle) and there is a lot of reasons to be cheerful. I still think 2011 is coming 12-24 months too early, but we’ve got a chance and if we can put in some good performances and hopefully results in the coming 3 weeks, then who knows…

    And finally, whisper it quietly, but this AB team is mortal. They can be beaten. Teams have got to start believing it because if they do, I think the AB’s will once again be disappointed at the RWC

  13. I thought the ABs look relatively ordinary and that the Aussies will be a harder match.

    Yes i think the Aussies are the better team!

    THe aussies are showing that you dont need a monster scrum to win matches. they have clearly gone for lighter, quicker front 5 to be better round the park.

    That said, i am truely hopeful for England. We have a front 5 which will take any nation on.
    Im still no sure about our back row balance, I thought Fourie looked better than Moody when he came on.

    Cueto has got to go.

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