58 thoughts on “Rate the Match: England v New Zealand

  1. Holy sweet mary mother of god. That was one hell of a game.

    This is worth dropping out of the top 4 of the rankings.

  2. MOTM: Tuilagi. The man has come of age. Full credit to the whole team, they fully deserved the win.

    I’m draping my england flag round my shoulders as a cape for the whole of next week.

  3. Well done boys!!

    Cracking match, I thought the kiwis showed up at half time, but England regathered and dominated!!

    Well done to all the Poms who tipped with their hearts!

    1. In fact, the only criticism I have of England’s performance was Ashton’s ‘LOOKATMEE!’ swan dive over the try line.

      WTF was he thinking? He could easily have butchered that great offload from Tuilagi.

      1. Why does everyone harp on about it – people have short memories, Ben Cohen used to do it all the time, in fact last time we beat the Kiwis at home he produced a dive to shame Ashton’s.

  4. Great to see Owen Farrell showing who the front runner is for Player of the Year!

    Unbelievable performance. Some luck but the victory is hugely deserved, and so good to finish the Autumn on a high. Lots of positives from the series and now very excited about the Six Nations!

  5. Joe Launchbery.Dan Cole,Tom Wood,Parling,Ben Morgan,Tom Youngs are the ones who set up the back line,They fought like terriers.Farrel surprised me with his performance,Tuilagi finished off all the good work,Barrit and Mike Brown Had the game of there life.But still have to say that Goode Looked ordinary and Stephan Armitage is still better than Robshaw,Satisfied with the work that Lancaster has done..Lets hope better things are yet to come from this team…

  6. So happy to have been so wrong on the prediction. The most committed England performance since the win in Wellington. Captivating game!

  7. Well done England!! What a game they played!

    That is the best all round game of rugby I have seen England play since the 2002-2003 era, and possibly the best performance by any team this year. They dominated the break-down and were aggressive in the tackle. Tom Youngs stood out for me but the whole pack shone.

    And, as a Kiwi, just as I was about to start muttering to myself about England only being able to win through the boot they scored some beautiful tries. Great running by Tuilagi but I was impressed by Mike Brown all game. And I didn’t know much about Farrell before the game but I do now!

    Well done England, I don’t mind seeing our boys lose to a performance like that!

  8. For such an inexperienced side to do this is nothing short of amazing. Yes its one game. Yes they were tired. But still this result is amazing. Woodword had to wait much longer and had a far more experienced team to fo this. Trust in talented youth.

  9. I am now persuaded lancaster knows what he is doing and we have a team that was very capable of winnong the the previous two games as well they just underperformed.And it is clear we do have some very good ypung players.I am massively encouraged after the previous underdelivery.Go England!

  10. I gave the game a 10 I think that says enough in itself. Apologies to James too yep England by 17 knew you could do it whistle whistle.

  11. I gave 7. Can’t get too carried away with it. Yes, this is a famous victory to look back on and there was a lot of improvement, but I do feel New Zealand were poor. England can’t sit back though and say “we beat New Zealand” – they need to back it up and win the 6N.

    Not to take it away from England, they put the pressure on, kept the pressure on and took opportunities. They did their homework on the rucks and knew when to hit it and when to leave it, but most importantly, Tuilagi was getting good ball.

    On an amusing note – did anyone else notice that the QBE sign the players were photographed by said “Congratulations All Blacks”?

  12. All those people who doubted Farrell’s ability at this level have been shown today just how capable he is. He kicked for territory in the first half, kicked the penalties to build a score, and then moved it around in the second half to help England score some tries. I don’t ever remember seeing Flood in at the breakdown trying to win turnovers like an extra flanker, but we saw Farrell doing just that several times today. IRB player of the year?????

    1. Farrell played well today but not amazingly. Yes he kicked his goals, yes he defended well (he always does this). But his kicking from hand was not that great, his distribution was average and he still showed no threat with ball in hand. He was given such an armchair ride by the forwards that he couldn’t help but look good.

      1. Maybe that post was a bit negative. I do think he played really well but I think Flood or Burns would probably have done as well.

  13. So I’m going throw my opinion out there. England (in their current inexperienced standing) put on the performance of their lives against a NZ team that misfired (it”s going to happen to even the best teams at some point). I’m never going to know the ‘details’ as it were, but something didn’t click for NZ tonight. That being said, if NZ were at full pelt, the way England fronted up, it would have been a close call.
    We’re not going to consistently see that intensity for a while, but surely that performance at least points us in the right direction. My one following comment is that this team needs to front up like they did today or they will lose, and lose again. and again. and most likely again.

  14. xxxwookie gotta agree with you to some extent. as i said in my post, it was not NZ at their best. HOWEVER, we, as I tried to detail earlier, hit harder than we have previously. i would like to now see us keep the intensity, becaause if we can , we have potential. If we can’t then we might aswell give our try line away to students and alcoholics

    1. Like I say, it was absolutely a much better performance today and it looked a lot more like Mike Catt’s started earning his money. There was more of a gameplan and it was being executed. The intensity was there and England ran out deserved winners. There’s still plenty that worried me like a lot of empty kicks (which fortunately were responded to with poorer kicking) and I’m still seeing a lot of cases where all the passing takes place several metres before the gainline. I’m not down on England – they improved, but I’m also not running away with excitement on the result thinking that England are the best in the world.

  15. Absolutely bemused by the result. Never ever thought that we could do that to the AB’s. Total commitment rattled them and they never really recovered.

    Even as a shed head, I didn’t want Burns to come on as I thought that Farrell had a blinder, although when he did he didn’t look out of place which is good news for the future. Flood watch out!

    Saw Tuilagi pass today, which I wasn’t expecting, and pass well.

    Fantastic all round England performance. Very happy.

  16. All whites now – well they sure as hell showed up for this one and the AB’s were stunned by England performing like that.. just wish they’d kept up that pace in all the matches.
    Well done to the world class all Blacks and see you next year

  17. “8” is a reasonable match rating, because we did not really get to see the best new zealand side they gave away to many penaltes, every side slips up in a while its a bit like wales they won the grandslam then played awful in autamn series, but i have not seen england play like this is a while, i think it will be between england and wales in the six nations this year!

  18. What a game. Had the privilege to be there. The crowd really got behind England with a rendition of Swing Low that completely snuffed out the Haka. What a stupid thing that is? Why should the opposing team have to hang around while NZ prance about. Lets consign it to the changing room if it’s that important to NZ.
    Back to the rugby. I think we have seen the end of Flood, Manu learnt to pass the ball, Ashton must learn to tackle and catch the ball, anyone could have scored his try if they had been in the right place. All the bench did well and could have started so that’s very encouraging for injury back up cover and there are other quality players to come back into the squad. We must continue the improvement and win something, like the grand slam. And then again. We could be on the road to an exciting 10 years in English rugby. The aim is to be the best team in the world.

    1. I love the Haka and i think most other fans do as well. Its up to the team to work out how to respond to it. It doesn’t necessarily give the ABs an advantage you can use it to inspire yourself (eg Chabal 07 RWC).

      “anyone could have scored his try if they had been in the right place”… being in the right place is actually a talent wingers need to have. He worked hard to be where he was it wasn’t just luck.

    2. As per every AB tour of the NH I have seen a lot of moaning about the Haka on various forums, this one included.

      I would be really interested to see a survey on this site to see how many people want to see the Haka vs keep it, as like anything the complainers are the ones who tend to make the most noise. I would also be really interested on seeing some opinions by past and present players who have played against the ABs to see what they think. Editors can you do something to make this happen?

      The thing I personally like about the Haka is the fact that it pumps the atmosphere up and gets the players (from both teams fired up). It also brings together the opposition’s fans when they are on their home soil – the fact that the whole crowd responded on the weekend and drowned the Haka out is awesome IMO.

      The thing I really dislike regarding the Haka is the IRB stepping in and mandating how the other team should respond. The French response to the Haka last year in the Final and the Welsh stare-down from a couple of years ago were spine-tingling yet the IRB seem like they are trying to avoid them.

      The most frequently cited reason for axing the Haka that I have seen is that it gives the ABs an unfair advantage. If that was the case then it would be logical to assume that in most games that the ABs play they would dominate the initial stage of the game since the other team would be cowed / intimidated.

      However, if you look at the evidence, time and time again the AB’s opposition start just as well, if not better than the ABs do. It often tends to be in the last half/quarter of the games that the ABs win that they tend to pull away from teams from up North, and at that stage the Haka is a distant memory. At that stage fitness, composure, and mental attitude are what get them through. I think the Italian game was a good example of that.

      Of course if you think that the Haka is just plain silly then there isn’t a logical argument to be made. However it is something that has been performed by NZ teams for longer than the National Anthem has been sung before games and I think that Rugby’s traditions and folklore are part of what make the game so great.

      My 2c

      1. I’m good with the Haka and having been there yesterday, you could her fans hurrying to get their seats so that they wouldn’t miss it

        It adds a sense of drama and theatre that all sport needs to an extent.

        The only problem is that the Kiwis get so precious about it and accuse any kind of response as “disrespect” – witness when Wales wanted to sing their anthem in response to the haka and NZ got in such a snit about it that they performed the haka in the dressing room.

        I’ve even seen Kiwi fans complaining that England fans drowned out the haka by singing Swing Low yesterday. They obviously expect everyone to sit in hushed awe whilst the ABs go about their prancing.

        Have the haka, its fun and dramatic but let teams respond to it however they wish. The ABs hardly need protection

      2. I love it, but my opinion doesn’t matter. What is important, aside from it’s cultural significance, is that players like facing it. Aussies who face it more often may have a different opinion, but it always crops up in English player interviews (past and present) as career highlights. I don’t like the 20m separation between the teams, the Haka being answered with some sort of challenge (e.g. rendition of swing low, advancing arrowhead) are spine tingling moments. If answering the challenge is seen as disrespect by some Kiwi’s then I think perspective has been lost, what is the point of laying down a challenge if it can’t be answered?

        Love Manu’s quote as to why he was smiling and licking his lips “I accept your challenge – lets play some rugby”

        1. The thing about the Haka is to think back to when you where a kid – my father took me to see Canada vs NZ in France at the 91 World Cup, and seing the Haka live was the highlight of my life!

          Now I couldn’t give a toss, but it’s traditions like the Haka that make the sport what it is.

        2. It’s good to see that there are a lot of people on the same page. Hopefully the IRB back off from their current stance and stop interfering with the other team’s right to reply.

          I personally don’t know anyone down here in NZ that would have the audacity to object to another team responding to the Haka. In fact when the IRB fined the French team for advancing up to the ABs in the RWC final NZers donated money to pay it off such was outrage against the IRB’s decision amongst NZ rugby fans.

          Anyway, all the best for the 6N to you all up North, hope they play some good rugby!

  19. congratulations england !, thats the best i have ever seen england play, 100% commitment anld looked proud to wear the shirt for a change, they were switched on to anything NZ tried and the backs matched the forward play which is not often seen from england, although a couple of tries were not of their own making they took their chances and now look like a side capable of actually winning the WC again , farrel was near faultless although hes not a player to excite he does whats needed and got the backline doing what they are paid for. great performance . envious welshman .

  20. maximum respect England from thi irishman. Can we finally accept now that the syatus quo has been reestablished. sh teams the best witj england and france in hot pursuit for a chance to win it on 2015. ireland argentina and wales – forget it. im really hoping this is the moment we can finally put the hyped up declan kidney in hos place as well as our overrates players. u dont see ireland beating the ABs we never did. o for one hope this puts them rightfully in their place as rhe overrated team they are. in the end its Always eng and france that lead the way for the nh teams and theyre the only nh teams to get to a final eoth england winning one. i think if farrell played againstt SA england would have had a clean sweep against the sh teams. impressive. tiulagi is incredible. lancaster has shown he knows his sh#&. brilliant!

  21. Well done England! And a salute to NZ for being magnanimous in defeat…Mind you,no point playing the tummy bug card twice.

  22. Now reflecting on the game in the cold light of day, I would say that the AB’s are still the best side in rugby, although they can be beaten when they are put under pressure, as several RWC’s have shown. England have taken a massive step forward but now need to show some more consistency, but generally the future is looking pretty good.

    Tuilagi has taken some stick in this blog over the past few weeks as a one trick pony and have to say that I wasn’t convinced. I think this game showed he can do everything that a centre needs to (with the possible exception of kicking!).

    So Gatland has already made up his mind that Robshaw isn’t good enough to go with the Lions has he………

  23. That was probably the best game England have played since 2003. I thought every English player had a good game, and certainly wouldn’t give any player less than 7 out of 10. Wood stood out for me and deserved the man of the match award. Tom Youngs also deserves a mention, his carrying was good, and the line out was spot on, and I’m not so sure Hartley will have his place come the 6N. Glad to see that Burns had a run out, and a nice first cap for him, Lancaster showed a lot of faith bringing him on. Farrell had a great game, and there’s a part of me that thinks this might be goodbye to Flood.

    I will also say that it wasn’t like NZ didn’t show up. I almost lost hope when they scored those two tries, but what did England do? Kept composure and scored three dazzling tries. It may be worth noting that if Carter had been anywhere near his usual form, the result would have been far closer, nothing seemed to click really. Those penalties he missed were sitters really. Mccaw found himself nullified at the breakdown, where, as earlier post have mentioned, everyone wanted a go, from Brown and Farrell to Cole. And as mentioned Wood had a hugely influential roll.

    I hate to be the person that says this but we have had a similar victory before, against Australia a couple of years ago. It was supposed to be the new dawn of an era English rugby where we played freely and scored tries, but it wasn’t. This performance needs to be followed up, and really England should be aiming for the grand slam come the 6N, although the French might have other ideas about that.

    All in all, I am a happy man. Happy to bask in the glow of what was one England’s most glorious Victories in recent years. (sorry if I come off as boasting, it certainly is not my intention).

    1. This test does remind me very much of the Aus game. Perhaps one difference is the age (and therefore potential) of the players. That squad was very much at a peak whereas this one still has plenty of time to push on.

  24. i dont think we have the best team in the world based on 1 result, but what i do think based on this autumn is that we have one of the best forwards coaches in the world in Graham Rowntree, they have really fronted up this autumn

  25. I was at the match and i can honestly say that that was the best game i have ever seen live. I could feel the team’s pride i though we were outstanding. Congratulations England.

  26. This result changes the mindset and mentality of the English squad and could be a pivotal experience for this group.

    I was particularly impressed with the improvement in our handling of the ball. Very well done England and I am looking forward to the 6N.

  27. Well done lads.I don’t know what they ate on Friday night but it must have been sprinkled with gold dust.What a performance.Outstanding new bloods,established heads stepping up,Manu nullifying Nonu,Ashton’s running lines,a steely nerved Farrell, Mike Brown’s lion heart,unearthed golden nuggets( Launchberry,Youngs),Brad making a break,a very good Goode,intensive ball carrying ,defence and a priceless newly installed belief that if we can play like this now then the future is very bright. Every time a team steps on to the pitch with England they will have to contend with the fact that this team took apart by far the best team in the world and god help us if they feel that ravenous today.

    1. just wondered what people thought of the NZ norovirus / stomach bug chat during the week? they did look out of sorts, is that why?

      1. I don’t think so – it’s not like they fatigued early, more that they didn’t turn up. I think that they may have been guilty of thinking about the holiday after the game if anything.

      2. Just an excuse, we dominated in the first half and if this were true New Zeland would of fatuiged quickly in the second and not rallied to get within a point.

        It was an excellent perfomance with a well deserved result.

      3. Gallagher in the Telegraph made a good point (for once), in that he had concerns over the All Blacks prep, not the virus but the fact that Carter was tweeting from a Rolling Stones gig a few days before a big match! We’ve been in there pocket for so long, I think they took us too lightly. Even after the second try, the body language of players like Conrad Smith was “don’t worry guys we’ll pull this round”.

  28. Well done England. Not just a win, but a proper smashing. They, and their fans, have every right to talk about this one till the cows come home as the manner of victory was so impressive. Well done.

  29. It was easily the best we’ve played since Australia 2010, but that’s my biggest concern. As delighted as i was, in the long run that turned out to be a massive false dawn. We got progressively worse through the 2011 6N and were abysmal at the WC. So as much as i enjoyed beating the All Blacks, my biggest hope is that it becomes the start of the next big thing for England, not just a one-off.
    To be fair, Stuart Lancaster has pretty much acknowledged that.
    So, even though i’m still buzzing from it, it will count for nothing if we don’t cash in and really start bossing some teams in the 6N 2013

    1. Agree with you about not getting carried away until we see evidence this isn’t a one off.

      My grounds for optimism are the longer this team stays together the better it gets (e.g. last performance in SA, last performance this Autumn, last performances in the 6N), where as before our best performances came at the start of Autumn 2010, first game Vs Wales in the 2011 6N and the RWC world cup warm up games. The longer they stayed together as a group the worse they got. We had players capable of good performances, the coaching and selection was a failure and let the players down.

      Currently our coaches boast one domestic trophy between them I think. So both coaches and players have a long way to go, but if they continue to be better at the end of each campaign than they were at the start then something is being done right! So I’m cautiously optimistic!

      1. It is a fair comment to be cautious but lets put things into perspective.
        Ref the coaching staff: I am not and never will be one of those people who will only approve of someone with a winning record. I would rather have a coach who can take on a good/average group of players and propel them into greatness. Such coaches themselves become GREAT.
        As a player I would not have had a bad word said about Martin Johnson and his record as a player speaks for itself, but that is as a player and to think that just because he was a winner on the pitch automatically makes him a winning coach is ludicrous.
        Lancaster for me has done what previous coaches before him did not have the bottle to do. And that put simply was say thank you for your years of service (but your time has now ended) to all those players who should have gone from the international scene years ago.
        England suffered badly as a result of past players living on past performances/past achievements just hoping that,that kind of experience alone would prevail and leaving all the young talent at club level.
        Then when it was finally realised by the RFU that Johnson was not destined to become the worlds greatest coach overnight they fobbed a disastrous situation onto Lancaster.Now some in his position would have no doubt stuck to the players who would at least not embarrass him and just do a job because after all if it did not work what had he lost! not a lot really as at that time it was a temporary situation.But his vision was nothing more than most fans had said year after year.
        He did not bring in some fantastic new play book nor did he make drastic changes to the style of play, he merely brought in new, younger players who had the energy and hunger to perform.
        Such a re shuffle on the international scene in any team would take years to bare fruit yet these lads have grown very quickly and although they are not quite the finished article, they ain’t far from it.
        So let him be and I am confident Lancaster will become one of England’s finest.
        Andy Farrell!!! anyone who has a bad word to say about this man and what he can bring to any team knows little about the game of rugby. For those not quite sure look at the Saracens records both pre and post Farrell.
        The current coaching team and players now need time to cement what they have learned over the past year or so and take English Rugby to new heights.
        As someone who has been disappointed with England performances (on the whole) for the past 4 years, I am at the moment a happy man.

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