RWC2019: England v New Zealand Rate the Match

Owen Farrell

England are into the Rugby World Cup final! An incredible performance that dominated the All Blacks from start to finish, keeping them scoreless in the first half and only conceding one soft try in the second.

What did you think of the match?

What were the main talking points?

Tell us what you thought of the game in the comments below, and we’ll put together some reaction and analysis in due course.

187 thoughts on “RWC2019: England v New Zealand Rate the Match

  1. Oh my.

    I can’t breathe. 20 minutes in and we knew it wasn’t going to be an AB blitz on England, and Eddie has got things right.

    Fair to say Itoje, Curry and Underhill were the difference.

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    1. How often do NZ rack up so many penalties?
      the look on Kieran Read’ face when Owens told him, “one more and there’ll be a yellow card was absolutely priceless. If we can match or even slightly raise our intensity next week,the WWE trophy is coming to HQ.

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    2. Those 3 were brilliant. Underhill was the name I was mentioning to my Welsh friend yesterday and did he deliver. The whole team put in an enormous shift. New Zealand had no discernible plan B, and had nowhere to go. Totally outplayed and could have been embarrassing for them but for some disallowed tries. Humbling for the AB’s.

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  2. Wow, if it weren’t for that line out screw up they’d have nilled them! Utterly dominant. John Mitchell needs a lot of kudos for that defence! Itoje, underhill , ford, curry and Manu all had the games of their lives!

    Roll on next week, hope there aren’t too many injuries!

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  3. Firstly can i just say YYYYEEEEESSSSSSSS!!.
    If any one eyed, mithering, moaning New Zealand fan wants to say anything other than congratulations England, you blew us away, then don’t bother saying ‘owt.

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      1. No , I genuinely don’t mean him specifically. I just think they can be quite ungracious in defeat and hate to admit when they have been bested.

        1. Understatement of the year! If New Zealand share one trait with Ireland it’s that their game only works when they get on the front foot. England got them on the back foot and dominated them for most of the 80. Brilliant from them. New Zealand have been found wanting several times in the last number of years. South Africa or Wales will ask different questions but so far England have had all the answers.

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        2. The NZ Herald coverage has been mixed. Some very gracious reports pointing to England’s physicality and defense, but also a few snide-ish comments lamenting the refs favouring England (clearly watching a different game – I counted at least two NZ forward passes not pulled up, and the call on Slade’s tackle was absolutely right).

          That said, the NZ players themselves have been the paragons of sportsmanship – I can only imagine how gutted Kieran Read was at the final whistle and he still went round and shook every English hand, and gave credit where it was due in his media bit. Classy team of true professionals who happen to have been beaten by the better 1-23 on the day. Such are the thrills and spills of knock out rugby!

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    1. Still seeking approval Acee? Doom & gloom gone now has it? Cup already in yr sky rocket? Good to see a modicum of modesty in victory though. Nice. Congrats.

      1. Oh piss off Don. If you actually bothered to READ my comment , I said i didn’t mean you specifically but , if you are going to be a twat about it , bring it on baby.

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            1. Is that you Grayskull? Where HAVE you been hiding? I’m not plying rugby anymore BTW, but in answer, come Bronze day, suspect I will. Cup already in yr pocket is it? Funny if..?

              1. Don P get the message, you’re a nob, no one likes you and no one gives a damn about what you have to say, layers bronzey.

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                1. Haven’t you noticed yr lack of thumbs ups Bat Cat Harness? WTF’s that? AKA Grayskull, Sorceress of Castle Grayskull, AKA Teela Na? Are you a woman? See why you’re still in the closet!

          1. Heat of the moment Don? Come on, a LOT of Kiwi Rugby fans were expecting to put 40 points on us and cruise to the final and weren’t shy about saying so.
            I’ve nothing against you Don. I enjoy a lot of your banter and you know your Rugby, hence my saying i wasn’t aiming at you specifically.
            Added to which, you must have known that if we won the game you would get a lot of good natured flak being TRB’s resident Kiwi!

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            1. For balance, I will happily put on screen that Brexit is absolutely the most moronic thing a country has pursued in history.

              Having seen your intelligent rugby comments I’m surprised and saddened to hear you support such a deluded course of action.

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        1. SJ, I think Michael Lynagh described your type as being a ‘bad winner’. Didn’t quite realise how much I’d got to you. Hope the win helped assuaged yr feelings though. Congrats. There that better?

  4. Wow! As comprehensive as 2012. Itoje played brilliantly. I’d give him MOTM. The Cunderhills were epic. Made the ABs (a great side) look average at times!

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    1. More comprehensive that was the best performance i have ever seen england put in. Knew we had it in us just wasnt convinced we would see it

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  5. I was going to say NZ got it tactically wrong going for line out and loose work over breakdown. But they got smashed at everything!

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      1. Retallick, Mo’unga and Reece let you down on hindsight. Otherwise you were ok. You weren’t really smashed, but well beaten.

  6. I want to thump Nick Mullins, that wasn’t one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history and his words undermine a massive performance.

    I expected New Zealand to win a tight game but am I surprised England won? Not in the slightest, their defence this tournament has been immense as has the discipline.

    Everytime New Zealand tried to get going, England had an answer, fingers crossed for next weekend and I’m off to lie down kn a darkened room now.

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    1. He’s probably crying into a cup of warm milk. Out manned in every department. They thought they were playing super rugby. Ireland’s crap performance set them up for a fall. NZ were overconfident and undercooked. England northern hemisphered the crap out of them.

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      1. Oh yes. How could I forget the sell out Paddy. Well Bigg’sworth, as it happens, I’m in Nero’s having a coconut cappochino. Don’t drink milk. Perhaps we can cry together, unless you’re still attempting to forget Ireland by being more English than the English? Stop being a suck holer fella! May make you feel better. Have a good’un.

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          1. Are you old enought to post Bigglesworth? Did you get yr mother’s permission. Obviously wasn’t yr father’s. It’s 100% subjective sh***. Need yr mother to change yr naps, or can you do it yrself.

  7. Oh and don 1 try each but england took the points when on offer to keep the scoreboard out of reach. Perfect example of why you take the points when you can. First kick take it beyond 1 score. Second kick make it 2 tries 3rd kick restore 2 score lead 4th kick make it 3 scores and goodnight

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    1. Retro wisdom & euphoria rool after 1 result Leon. And you the stats King? Thought YOU’D have a bit more restraint. Not much diff from me really eh? Tut, tut.

      1. Suck it up and stop whinging Don P. You got put in your place. I wasn’t even supporting you and you were playing England!! (how’d that happen?)!! How could you get that arrogant. Australia put up a far better fight than you guys. They brought it to England. I feel sorry for Cheiks. Like the guy.

      2. Easy don just pointing out that this was an example of the arguement for taking the points when on offer. Im not one of those haters above. NZ will bounce back from this and come back stronger it has been a feature of their reign at the top that they learn a lot from their defeats and bounce back stronger

    2. Well, I did state domewhere that it depends on the context of the game. Also, cherry picking 1 game proves little. If Wales, e.g., had gone for goal, they wouldn’t have scored their try. Former would have put them out it altogether, instead of giving themselves a shout. Not a black & white sit methinks.

  8. Underhill’s tackle on Jordi Barratt said it all ‘take a seat, you’re gonna be waiting a while to come to the party’. Amazing performance.

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    1. What impressed me most about that tackle was the controlled aggression, I was panicked he was going to drive him downward when he picked him up, but instead he drove him back.

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      1. I think you hit “post” before finishing your sentence:

        “Drove him back AND used him as a bowling ball to take out another Kiwi player”.

        Absolutely beautiful tackle.

    1. You asleep at the wheel too Charlie, whoever you are?! Only just come out of the woodwork? Where were you before? Anyway, already posted, prev as ALREADY stated. Ever thought of using your eyes before yr keyboard fingers? Rhetorical.

  9. Only one side in it, WHAT a performance. Totally suffocating and forced all the errors and poor play by the Kiwis. The tactic that worked against the Aussies, worked a treat against the team given a ’15 point +’ win on this blog.

    A huge monkey off the back for English rugby.

    An inspired team display on the day and I think certain players (Itoje, Underhill, Curry) are working their way into the history books. Not sure what the final will bring now, but that is a performance for the ages.

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  10. Made the kiwis look poor, even though they weren’t. Great test match. Not sure my blood pressure is going to normalise for a few days. Well done England and EJ – never doubted you… well not much…..

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  11. Immense performance; every player maxed out to ensure NZ couldn’t breathe. Itoje, Curry, Underhill and Tuilagi were fantastic. Hopefully May and Farrell are ok. Even with the ref team wearing All Black t-shirts we dominated the game in all facets; can’t believe we could have nilled them but for our own mistake!

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    1. Glad someone brought that up. Apparently the AB’s deploy some sort of cloaking device when they pass it forwards and Joncker obviously has a Grand dad in Auckland!!

    2. Think Nigel had a good game. The TMO though?! Underhill probably rightly ruled no try but Youngs was very harsh. Not clear that it was forward, as George still had it. Very few viewings to confirm this.

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      1. Nigel always has a good game. I would’ve liked to have seen him over-rule Joncker on those tries, both of which were fine* in my view. But it feels more satisfying in a way seeing England win so comfortably despite those interventions.

        *Underhill try – so are you only allowed to run a dummy line if it doesn’t work? Whitelock bought the decoy and tackled the wrong man. That is the whole point of the move. Curry’s line in no way prevented him from tackling Sinckler.

        Youngs try – ball never left George’s hand! I’ve watched it a few times and, OK maybe it’s me, but I cannot see anything wrong with this.

        But! What I REALLY like is how, England were completely untroubled by these decisions and just got straight back to business. Underhill’s expression never seems to change – just steely determination and a Zen-like calm.

      2. Jonker is almost certainly the illegitimate love child of Andre Watson and has not yet forgotten the Boer war. Apart from that not sure whether Owens had a good game or not. He missed two absolutely blatant forward passes and a number of lesser ones, ignored not straight at the scrummage and line out, as well as the back foot offside line and players gong off their feet, as most refs seem to nowadays. He also bottled out of overruling his TMO having awarded the Youngs try, in the absence of clear evidence of an offence. On the other hand, he had it well under control, explained his decisions, shut Farrell and Read up as soon as they started moaning and let the game flow. Does ignoring the Laws in the interests of a good spectacle constitute having a good game? Not sure, because having played the game for thirty years, refereed it for 10, coached it for another ten and watched it for well over sixty, I have to hold my hands up and admit that my predictions were all completely wrong, I never saw an eighty minute performance like that coming from this England side, and I wonder whether I know anything about the game at all! Finally, can we please get back to discussing rugby on this blog rather than the childish bad-tempered sniping that has been going on recently.

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    1. Guardian reporting that Spencer has been flown out as emergency cover and is expected to be on the bench. Quite a lot to ask of someone who will still be jetlagged!

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      1. Yes this moment shows the error in squad selection of not taking a 3rd scrum half. If we have taken Spencer instead of Francis or McConnocie then he would have been in camp the whole time getting benefit of the fitness and strategic sessions as well as getting some game time in group stages. Now he will be coming in jet lagged and expected to get up to speed very quickly

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        1. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If heinz had come through unscathed we wouldn’t be talking about this.
          Hopefully youngs is fit so will play most of the game. Saracens and England’s game align quite well so there shouldn’t be too much to get to grips with. Fingers crossed but I’m hoping he’ll step up when called upon, he’s a good player.

          1. It was many many posts ago, but I did say that I thought only taking 2 SH’s was a bad idea at the time. Hope BY can play most of the final.

        2. History shows that when England have fly a scrumhalf out to the World Cup as last-minute emergency cover, they ultimately won’t need him and they’ll go on to win the cup…
          Healey in 03, Spencer in 19. Portents are good.

  12. Having decried Fords selection I thought he was huge.Despite all my other reservations about Eddie he delivered when he said he would when he took over 4 years ago.That was the most dominant performance v NZ by any team in the last 10 years.Immense and massively uplifting

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    1. I thought we dominated them in Chicago. The emperor really has no clothes unless you think he has. That’s the problem with Ireland. Gave the AB’s too much respect in that QF and got hammered as a result. England just formed a V and got ready to dismantle them. Australia were a better challenge for England than New Zealand. Never at any point did I feel New Zealand were going to get a foothold.

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        1. You are listening genius. You just responded. Seriously man, get a life. Noone cares about your soyboy periods. Get lost and stop trolling.
          Done with you.

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      1. Yep. Immensely satisfying how England so effectively nullified NZ’s attacking threats. Apart from the one unfortunate try, NZ never looked like scoring. Even when they mounted their trademark counter-attacks, when ordinarily you’re thinking shit this is where they’re most dangerous, the scramble defence was unbelievable.

        Don’t know if England are using a psychology coach or similar, but the way they just reset and got on with business after that NZ try which put them (unjustifiably) in touch, and the disappointment of the disallowed tries, was exemplary.

      2. Ireland beat a very experimental and under strength team in Chicago, and did not lose in the QF´s because of giving them too much respect. They simply didn´t turn up, had a pair of half backs who are well past their sell by date, lost most of the major collisions and were utterly predictable.

        1. Both teams had 5-6 players that were not playing in the QF’s. I’d hardly call it “very experimental”, especially since they had a full strength bench so clearly they weren’t there to lose. They never are. The record books will show that the AB’s lost only a handful of games during Hansen’s tenure and 2 of those were to Ireland.
          Beating the AB’s is not exclusively reserved for England. Actually I think it works out that 1/5 of all the AB’s losses in Hansen’s reign are from Ireland by the numbers.

          2 can play that petty game. Barrett at 15 was experimental. Reece was experimental..
          Each game is an experiment .. in trying to win.

  13. Well done England.The All Blacks looked a lot
    like a heavyweight boxer suffering from a devastating body blow in the first round after England’s early try and never recovered from it.

    They were denied space and time and looked
    lost in defense and attack.I am pretty sure that
    Eddie is also saying like ‘“I love it when a plan comes together.”, like Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith.

    Don’t think Mitchell will be a guest of honour
    at the All Black’s Christmas parties, his defensive strategy was superb.

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    1. It’s a sucker punch conceding an early try to a big physical side. There’s only one team I know that gets up after a beating like that and comes back to win and it’s Wales. But they have a lot of injuries.

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  14. Aggression & out and out physicality from the off. Love it! We really got up their noses which knocked them off of their stride.

    As an aside, am I the only one who feels that Slade is way out of form at the moment? He contributed nothing of any note and looked to be a liability every time he got near or on the ball. He’s undoubtedly a class player, but did nothing today.

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  15. Congrats it was an immense game. NZ had no answer and for some reason wanted to keep it near your extra man (touchline).

    Hope my welsh lads can raise there game against SA and see you in a weeks time!

  16. Can we have a minutes silence for Don P. I don’t think we will see another post from him again. Bong….bong….bong…..

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    1. Over it DMaul. How ironic if you fall over at the last hurdle though eh? Blimey, sealed lips gathering no feet & all that? Don’t reckon it’ll happen of course.. but then you never know? On the day..? Congrats.. to Eng at least.

      1. Still got a shot at the big prize Don P, no three in a row, unbeaten run totally obliterated, anything else?

        The futures bright for Don P the futures bronze PMSL.

  17. Where do you think New Zealand went wrong, Don? I’m not totally objective, but I thought England were the better side today, and the All Blacks never really looked like scoring – just that overthrown lineout for their only score.

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    1. Same as for the rest really Hutch. Already summerised under yr prev Semi’s Predict post. BTW, what was it? Too busy fending off the singing when winning brigate at present. Ha, ha. Prob more approriate to address further if you’re still interested after D Day celeb’s have subsided a tad. Also mobile battery running out! Regds. D

      1. Here’s your comment on that thread so that others can see it, not sure why you didn’t see this post which was published at the final whistle:

        Disappointing. Case of what happened on the day? Eng got more ball. NZ didn’t. Too many t/overs. Taylor overthrew. S Barrett didn’t work at br’down. Cane, Coles on too late. Eng ‘D’ held. End of. Leave it to others to reveal retro pearls of wisdom. Eng prob go on to win it. Can’t see the Welsh doing so, if they get through. Mind you, SA might fancy their chances more now if they win tomorrow. Potential danger to Eng is if they played their ‘final’ today.

        In my opinion, England were too good today, and there was nothing that the All Blacks could have done that would have won them that game. I kept waiting for them to come back at England, but they couldn’t make any inroads against the English defence.

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        1. Hutch. As my view is now re-stated here, I don’t think there’s anything to add. I can only state that when I posted it, the above article wasn’t available on my mobile. Retrospectively, It may have been that I needed to have refreshed TRB then, but it didn’t occur to me. I assumed that you’d not had time to post this article as is sometimes the case with other articles. Rather than wait, I simply posted where I could.

  18. I also think there is a real chance England played their final today and, even if they have enough in the tank/strength in depth to make it a competitive match, SA/Wales will pip it. Nerves already on edge and it’s a week away!

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  19. The battle was won upfront.The All Blacks lacked
    intensity at the breakdown.The problem for England is that you have to repeat that performance again and again against the top teams if you have aspirations to dominate like NZ did for a long time.
    So what went wrong.The emphasis in the Southern hemisphere has been on running rugby and the running and passing is often a delight to see.Unfortunately forward play has been neglected to a certain extent.

    The All Blacks were bossed ,playing on the back foot unable to launch any meaningful point scoring attacks.

    Hats off to them, for a small population of 4.5 m
    people it has been a remarkable achievement and knowing them I a sure they are making plans to come back with a bang.

    1. Frans. ‘Fwd play had been neglected’? Not for at least the last decade it presumably hasn’t been. Otherwise how would NZ have been No.1 for all this time? It was 1 game. When Eng lose a game v SH, is the converse true?

      1. Agreed everyone talks about nz like they are Australia but they have built their legacy on a brutal forward pack led by titans of the game like rettalick, whitelock, read, mccaw and more recently savea

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  20. Not to bash a man when he’s down and all. The AB’s will be back and you’ll be knocking chunks of flesh off of us again soon Don!
    It was a great game and the AB’s were worthy opponents. Big up!

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    1. Hutch I’d agree but isn’t The Rugby Blog a blog for England rugby fans so isn’t the fact Don P is here proving that he is trolling?

      And you have given it out to Don P too.

      1. I know, and then I realised it’s a waste of time. I generally dislike Don’s contributions to this site, I do think he winds people up deliberately, but as I tell my squabbling children, it’s best to ignore him. He’s had a warning this week about some of his comments with the threat of a ban as well.

        The fact that we are even discussing Don after that incredible England performance is a sign that he’s getting what he wants.

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        1. Im very disappointed in the childishness of the don baiting talk about kicking a man when he is down. Sure he rubs people up the wrong way and can be a bit cocky but like us all he is a passionate rugby fan who has strong opinions

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          1. Well regds II Leon, if taken at face value. Like 1995, it’s not whether you fall down. It’s whether you get up again. Went dancing to local bluesy band this eve. More moves than some. So, back on the gee gee again? Bit of a sore head though.. me not the gg.

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        2. Hi & well Hutch, the warning of a ban is news to me. If you deem such necessary, then you have my private mail address. Also disappointing that you dismiss my comments as being subjective & getting what I want. What is it that I want? Perhaps you know my mind better than
          I? If you take some time to read a couple of my more recent posts explaining where I come from, maybe you would take a slightly different view? You & some others may dislike my style, but I do state some objective views too I think. At least a couple on this very thread seem to support my contention. I do believe people ought to justify their opinions, so I challenge these if they seem subjective. Also as a blog site, you presumably expect blogs. More blogs, more custom? In this respect I think I pull my weight. Anyway, if others discuss my being here, I don’t have control over this. Additionally, as you state, people are fee to ignore me as you mention in respect of yr children. If you have further advice, rules of posting etc to proffer, then it will be appreciated via email please. Thanks. Regds.

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    2. Actually Hutch, is it actually ‘beneath us’ ? Surely, all the subjective vitriol directed in my direction proves otherwise, does it not? This is not a complaint, merely an objective ?

  21. Missed the game, I was in the air taking the much better half on a break after a couple of truly heart breaking weeks.
    As I’ve said before, sport is supposed to enhance life, so let’s not forget during our celebrations to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
    I’ve got the VPN connected and the ITV hub cued up, with a nice Red warming in the sunshine….Can’t wait…..
    As for Don, he provides a little colour doesn’t he? A bit like watching the game in an English pub when the only Kiwi shouts “genius” every time an AB catches the ball..,
    Quite funny really….

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    1. You sounded a bit like Conor McGreggor Dark if you know he is. Stay away from busses and put the traffic cone down 🙂

      I’m sorry I just don’t have any sympathy for the AB’s. They always get nervy against the bigger rugby nations like France, Australia and England (as in bigger populations) and they mask it all with fake arrogance. They bottled it and England did them!

      Hoping SA or Wales go on and win it. SA (the Bokke with the new South African flair where it means more to their people than any other) and Wales (the boxer that always gets back up and somehow wins). Really hoping and praying the winner of tomorrow goes on and wins it. But I can’t spite this England team that’s for sure. It was strange, being so disappointed with NZ and then supporting England but England won me over with their efforts in this game. They battled them off the pitch.

      1. Didn’t realise I got to you so much too Dark S. Still, easier to jump on the band wagon I suppose. 1 swallow & all that. Only have to turn up eh? Done deal.

        1. Quote ; Didn’t realise I got to you so much too Dark S.

          Funny, I thought what I said indicated the exact opposite. You’re the Simon Cowell of the rugby blog, all year round Pantomime villain that everyone loves to hate. If I was being really mischievous I’d say you were originally just an alter ego that was created to stimulate discourse. A concept that succeeded so well you now drink coconut capochino (sic)…..amazing.
          The banter is good for the site, and compared to some other blogs it’s pretty reserved to be honest. Long live Don I say, even if he isn’t real…..

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        2. Actually I said Eng by 1 point. It was you that mocked anyone calling the result close. An NZ win, easily pulling away at the end by 10-15 points was the prediction. So anyone saying all you have to do is turn up, would I think, be you me old mucka…
          No Eng supporters will be counting their chickens in the final….Confidence is an essential quality to be successful at most things in life. English rugby supporters arrogant self entitlement is, I’ve found over the years, to be a perpetuated myth beloved of the bigoted. One of the truly great aspects of the game, is the respect true rugby supporters have for each other and their allegiances. The vast majority of Eng supporters have the upmost respect for NZ, why would they have anything else. To be honest, I’ve never seen much of the same coming back the other way from your good self…

          Hansen and the NZ boys were amazingly gracious in defeat. A true credit to the game….

      2. Biggleswort, Con McGreggor is another Paddy gobshite. He also talked a good game, before falling off stage. AB’s get nervy? Well, not for the last decade they haven’t. After 1 loss, they’re suddenly not the most successful team in sports history? Try a reality check newbie. And what’s yr crystal ball say? Might find that sealed lips gather no feet, beJesus! Although looking fwd might be a bit diff for you I suppose. Jettison the grudge, prejudice. Make you a more rounded adult.

    2. Well actually D Stan I only shouted out, ‘It looked alright to me’, when alleged NZ fwd passes that had the pub masses baying. And indeed. they did this ‘quite funny really’. Do get yr facts right DS.

  22. Can we all leave off Don please. Sure he gets silly occasionally but he also clearly knows his onions and when he can be bothered, writes interesting, incisive posts from a different point of view than the rest of us. Variety adds colour and interest.
    Nor should we mind the occasional piss take from him, this is rugby not football and we should take it in our stride and not resort to name calling or fanatical tribalism.
    Lecture over – time for celebrating. My daughter is currently chanting ‘England won’ whilst in the bath…

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    1. Regds Pab. More insightful than I supposed. Certainly more so than most of the baying herd. Hands up. Underestimated you. Careful YOU too don’t get labelled as being a troll though!

  23. Yeah, he’s had enough but he was a disrespectful little shit on here so he had it coming.

    I wish I could say that I enjoyed watching that but it was just a painful match to watch. If this is the future then I might watch rugby league more. Today I was expecting this England team to be asked questions they had not been asked so far in the comp and New Zealand didn’t put their hands up at all. England beat a 14 man Argentina and didn’t play France. They bullied NZ like they bullied Australia. AB’s got a taste of their own medicine.

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    1. Wholeheartedly agree. Maybe they got the jitters or was it that England played that flippin’ well! S. Barrett seemed a bad pick on Hansen’s part whilst the fabled centres – Leinart-Brown, SBW et al looked average and didn’t conjure up many line-breaks. Laumape might have been the one after all!
      Thought the Mounga pick at 10 back-fired too. Beauden for me at 10 every time as he’s probably the world’s best. Ford has gone up in my estimation though whilst his kicking from the T was great. Wonder who the AB’s will choose as coach!

      1. It’s a sad day when such attacking threats didn’t get a shot off. As Reid said, they just couldn’t get a foothold. I don’t blame Reid, I think Hansen has just had one game too many. It’s been a long successful journey for him but his time has come. It’s a good thing he’s already leaving, but it’s such a pity he couldn’t leave on a higher note. We all know the 3rd 4th place playoff is just salt in the wound for a team like New Zealand.

          1. Still wounded from yesterday I see Don P. Get over it. if the All Blacks cried like you do, they would never get anywhere.

    2. Who are you to state I’ve ‘had enough’ you Paddy gobshite, Bigglesworthless? You only arrived yesterday, yet you’ve be been giving it large as though it’s yr team whom wasn’t demolished prev! Did some itinerant Kiwi tap up yr mother so you’ve some permanent chip?

          1. Sorry about that Don P
            Joke was in bad taste.

            Chin up. I like you Kiwis even though you yourself don’t seem to like us “Paddies”. Play the way you played against us against Wales and I hope Wales played the way they play at their very best too. It might be the more exciting of the games.

  24. I’ve seen a few comments suggesting england may have peaked because “they played their final today”. A few months ago I may have gone along with that but having charted their progress from two perspectives, passionate fan and semi detached observer, I think Eddie has plotted and planned a near perfect trajectory for this comp and the team. His post match comments today were almost desultory, “It gives us another week in the competition” etc and it’s this cold eyed detachment coupled with the maturity and rock solid self belief he has imbued in the team over the last year that makes me think we now WILL go all the way and bring it home.

    1. And it wasnt just eddie saying another week 1 game to go etc it was like a team mantra in the post match chats. The team didnt celebrate like it was the final on the pitch or after they seem very grounded.
      What i would say is it seemed quite a brutal match so probably a few carrying cuts and bruises into next week

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      1. Yes. Whoever is responsible for England team psychology (not sure if Jones himself or if he’s brought in a specialist) is doing an amazing job.

        1
      2. They will have had a day longer to rest and have played a game less than SA though Leon, so that should count for something.

    2. Absolutely. “England played their final today” seems to be one of those fatuous, meaningless clichés that somehow gain currency for no reason. In fact, One of the most satisfying things about this win was that England hardly got out of third gear whilst beating NZ comfortably. Celebrations at the end were relatively muted I thought, clearly reflecting a sense of another step on the way and not a mission accomplished in its own right.

      Injuries to Farrell, May and Heinz are a worry, but:
      – Farrell got his knock early in the game and still played the entire match at at least 80% intensity, whilst sensibly handing over goal-kicking. Keep him wrapped in cotton wool for a week, hopefully he’ll be fine. He is needed for the final.
      – May would be a big loss, he’s playing his best rugby of his life, far more comprehensive and composed than he used to be. However, Nowell or Big Joe are not too shabby backups!
      – Spencer’s been flown out as last-minute emergency cover And the last time that happened England won the World Cup. Yes I am a superstitious idiot.

      2
      1. Not sure about third gear – I reckon they were top gear for much of the match, which is impressive in itself. Particularly in defence!

        2
  25. EJ certainly got selection and tactics bang on!
    Ford orchestrated a masterly performance.I know it is probably a faint and fruitless hope,but maybe the Cipriani Fan Boys will shut up and go back to their cage where they can join the more bitter MU fans-Their time has gone and waits for no-one.
    Got to feel a little bit for Owen-its a good job he is already a father as he is going to have a full appreciation of the term “Engineering Water” with the amount of ice baths awaiting to get that bruising out.
    One has to wonder whether Jonny was fit to start-Barrett is a great player but there is no way he could get anyway near Jonny if he stepped on the gas-the only people who could would be Watson and Kerebite.
    So EJ may have to dip into his box of conjuring tricks.To my mind Slade still isn’t right,maybe a confidence issue but hes not the player of 6 months ago.,good job JJ is on top form.
    I can spend the week having sweet dreams about the possibility of Big Joe being let loose on the hapless Welsh and Bok defenders,this has been a great World Cup and a reminder of the Great Lomu in his prime would be fitting!

    1
    1. Regarding Cipriani JS10, Jones was never going to pick him anyway. However, if the most accomplished fly1/2 in the country had been given a chance , how do you know Eng couldn’t have done even better? Yr retro opinion proves little.

      1
  26. Allow me to a address Don P. Dear Don
    I have seen in my lifetime the best of what rugby had to offer.
    Many touring teams visited my country,including
    the all-conquering 1974 British and Irish Lions.
    All these teams had one thing in common and that is solid forward play from which attacks could be launched.
    All of a sudden local coaches became besotted with the rolling maul.
    The All Blacks became dominant in the Southern
    Hemisphere because the Aussies and Boks
    and many local teams wanted to play like the
    All Black teams and often neglected the basics.

    There was a long time the Springboks dominated the rugby scene because their forward were often physically stronger upfront
    and could dominate.Remember the Springboks
    were the first to invent the modern scrum 3-4-1
    formation while NZ teams were still stuck with
    the 4-3-1 formation and also invented the dive pass.

    Those day are long gone and as soon as the
    All Blacks adopted the new formation they slowly became a force to reckon with and
    recovered from the 1949 defeats.In 1949 they achieved a record of 13 wins, 7 losses and 4 draws, and they lost the test series 4–0.

    The Northern hemisphere teams were slowly catching up and the 2003 world cup victory
    by England was a remarkable achievement.
    But it has taken them 16 years to reach another
    final and break the stranglehold of Southern hemisphere teams,At last somebody with enough savvy realised that it all starts upfront and that you have to dominate the game in the tight phases and the rest will follow.

    So Don the All Blacks started to show cracks as soon as their forward dominance no longer prevailed as recent losses have shown.I still picked them to win by a small margin,but also
    have commented elsewhere, as you might recall
    that England might go all the way.

    So allow England their moment of glory in their
    Brexit-crisis ,won’t you?

    1
      1. Yes, seems a well thought out idea to leave a job before getting another one I have to admit. Who is the UK going to sell what to, when are they going to sell it, is the the rest of the world falling over itself to buy what from Britain? What does Britain actually make or have to sell? What sort of deal will the UK get out of Europe? Will Europe make an example out of Britain for rocking their boat? For instance, if they slap 50% tariffs on UK agriculture as has been mooted, will this affect the economy or not do you think? Answers on a post card please, because I don’t have any. Presume you’ve thought these issues clearly through & have a fistful of answers handy AlexD.

        2
        1. Hi Don.
          Yes thought about it loads. Not one to take lightly as you say. My reasons are the same as most leavers:
          1. Sovereignty. We get our waters back (60% of fish caught and sold from our waters is not done by a Brit). We get to make all our own laws again. We haven’t for some time.
          2. Money – ?13bn a year. Rather than paying a socialist fee for the privilege of trade we get to do it through WTO free trade regs. Free trade as invented by the Brits in the 19thC ! The UK is #2 out of the 28 for net contributions whilst #21 out of 28 for net receipts. i.e we don’t get much back. All money better spent on NHS etc.
          We’ll be much more competitive too without EU diktats e.g ‘elf and safety which crucifies this country.
          3. An Aussie points-based system instead of a mad Merkel-esque border scheme. I recommend a good read – ‘The Strange Death of Europe’ by Douglas Murray!
          I could continue but I won’t. This is a rugby blog not a political forum.
          Hope this satisfies.
          AlexD

          Will you support England or SA in the final?

          3
          1. yeah yeah. Let’s stick to rugby. I’ll tell you what will happen if Brexit happens:

            The exact same thing as if it doesn’t happen.

            The rich will get richer. The horse has long bolted. The dice are long loaded.

            Now back to the rugby:

            England are a far superior team right now but they still need to do it on the day.

            Didn’t like the ‘V’ or Farrell’s smirk. Was far more disrespectful than Fields of Athenry BUT I think it helped unsettle the AB’s.

            1
            1. The V, Farrell’s smirk, Tuilagi looking super-chilled, Sinckler bobbing his head to and fro like he’s bored of the whole performance and thinking “come on guys let’s play some rugby” – all absolutely superb.

              What I didn’t like, as is always the case in these situations, was the officials insisting on where England players could or couldn’t stand. Personally I love a Haka, but teams MUST be allowed to respond in any way they see fit.

              2
          2. Maybe, but can’t eat sovereignty. Maybe live on 60% fish? If not getting more out of EC, than input, why join. Economy 0.1-0.3 % growth since Brex & UK slipped from 5 to 6 in table. Too much leap into unknown with no plan A let alone B. Concerning as it’s a hope for the best sit at best. Will support 1 of the 2. Depending on the vitriol? Whom will you support on Fri?

            1
            1. Don, Good to see you’re on the right side of the Brexit debate. When you’re not baiting / trolling you make some very intelligent and insightful comments, both on the rugby and now it seems on British politics too.

          3. As you say, rugby over politics, but I would be remiss not to quickly point out that all three of your arguments above have been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked over the last three tiresome years.

            1
        2. NO, NO , NO. I can tolerate your thoughts on English Rugby Don but Brexit on a rugby blog. NO. Cease forthwith or I shall join the voices crying for your banishment to the wilderness. Same applies to you Alex D.

          3
        1. France made it in 2011 as well, and I think that there have only been two all southern hemisphere finals in the RWC since it’s start. Albeit the northern hemisphere hasn’t been overly successful!!!

          1. England and France have got to what 3 finals each now? But France just couldn’t quite get the win.. yet. I believe England will have Webb Ellis #2 next week. England are scary these days and I feel even South Africa can’t match their physicality and power. But we’ll see. Could be a real borefest or could be a classic, could be the test we are waiting for for England because as yet, they have steam rolled everyone including the AB’s! Farrell was asked how he felt after the game and he said “comfortable”. England are dominating, let’s be fair.

            1
  27. Frans. Long & erudite response no doubt. Yes, I have heard of the SA scrum formation you mention when NZ deployed the then orthodox wing fwd. Also heard of Danie Craven’s dive pass. Have we been hear before? Also heard that teams need a solid scrum. But really, what’s yr pt? Teams have always required a sound scrum foundation. Whether the NH are catching up is yet to be seen. I mean some performances in the last 6N & WC warm ups were hardly imposing, although I’ve been told the latter didn’t count. Sometimes WC’s have upsets. SA v Japan 2015 for instance. Besides, why were NZ favourites going into this WC? You may have been sucked into the old 1 swallow syndrome. It was 1 game. Eng may well lift it this time, but they ain’t quite there yet ‘for their moment of glory’. If they come unstuck of course, yesterday’s win may be rendered somewhat hollow. We’ll have to see. Meantime, worth keeping powder dry?

    1
    1. No – because both Curry and Underhill have added carrying to their all round game – and are doing it well both physically and in terms of picking lines to run.
      What I think we are missing is some proper support for BV. He must be knackered and it is showing a bit despite his great performance on Sat. Would still have liked to see Morgan in this side.

      3
      1. Agree on lack of BV sub. Not sure Wilson is that but he’s awesome at what he brings. I wonder if Morgan would fit in the 23 as just a not quite as good BV. At least Wilson adds something different? Also, weirdly we don’t see to be short of big ball carriers at the moment….

        1
  28. Am hoping to be eating some more humble pie for my previous comments about EJ’s selections come next weekend.

    On the other matter that seems to be dominating this thread, I do have one or two comments to make to Don.

    I have on the whole largely ignored Don’s posts on here for quite some time. Every now and again he actually makes an insightful post about rugby, but this is sandwiched between another 10 posts that are either unintelligible, ridiculous or totally one eyed.

    Don, if you stick to commenting on non NZ matters, you can generally be of interest to read. Unfortunately when you comment on NZ, you become a one man cheerleader for all things black and lose any sense of objectivity.

    You have rammed the superiority of NZ down all of our thoughts ad nauseum, and to be fair, your team hasn’t let you down very often. However on this occasion, and much to my surprise, England were the better team and clearly deserved the win. Most NZers seem to have been gracious in defeat and congratulated England. As far as I can see you haven’t done this. What I do think that you need to accept is that there was always going to be a backlash (or blacklash as I think you kiwis say!) given your very outspoken views on the superiority of the ABs.

    My suggestion is that rather than resorting to name calling, you man up and accept all of the banter coming your way which is well deserved in my opinion, congratulate England for a superb win, and concede temporary defeat in your one man crusade for the ABs.

    There will undoubtedly be another day and when (as I am sure there will be) the AB’s next defeat England, I hope that I am magnanimous enough to hold up my hand and say well done to the men in Black.

    At the end of the day this is game that we all love and one of the reasons for this is the respect shown between players and fans.

    Over to you.

    8
    1. Ho hum. Getting a tad tedious now Staggy. Know you’ve been bottling this up, but I’ve already addressed this AB stuff elsewhere. You & Uncle Tom Cobley & all miss the pt about the AB’s. So, by now to be frank, think what you want to think. Understand, like Shylock, you want yr pound if flesh, schadenfreude etc. However, you could try looking at it from my POV. After 1 win, Eng have yet to lift the big one. Prob will, but from the torrent of congratulatory comments here, you’d think that they have already done so. For me, better to have had a modicum of modesty before giving it so large. This is Michael Lynagh’s view anyway, i.e., that Eng have a rep as ‘bad winners’. So works both ways I guess? You could try looking at it from the outside in. For me, better to have waited until after the final. Anyway, you can always keep on ignoring my stuff, even the rare gems, if you like. So fingers xxed for nxt Sat then?

      1
      1. Better a rep as a bad winner than a bad loser Don. I gave you a chance and am genuinely sad that you didn’t take it.
        We might win next week, we might not. SA are going to take some shifting. However if they beat us I will applaud them for it. As far as I am concerned, you can keep your opinions to yourself. You’re just not worth the bother.

        3
        1. Each to his own I suppose Staggy, but you may chose to read a few other posts on this thread. Do get occasional thumbs up or even a modicum of support here. I only mention this as a counter to your views which seem generally condemnatory. Really don’t get this AB stuff though. I may compare to counter a diff reality in mind sets which I think there is. May be useful to give specific e.g.’s rather than general ones? Noted what you’ve stated though, so see how it goes?

          1
  29. Well Ireland is yr team, so I can’t understand why you seem so critical of them. After all, until this yr they have looked pretty decent. Also, you seem to support England more than yr own team? Seems I unusual that’s all. Nothing against the Irish. Former wife’s from Dublin. Went there a few times.

  30. I like this site as it’s not twitter which I don’t like. There’s no betrayal of my country here Don P. You’re pissed off we get it….

    GET OVER IT

    1. But you don’t get it B’worth. Was at Cardiff 2007, saw Twic 2012 etc, so like you, experienced disappointment before. To state that I should ‘get over it’ is to misread me. You’re making an assumption here. And when you state ‘we’, is it appropriate? Surely, you can only really accurately ‘speak’ for yrself? Risk overstepping boundaries otherwise. And BTW, I never used the word ‘betrayal’. You still seem defensive about my above post though, which I think is relatively conciliatory?

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