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‘Will they be brave enough to make the de­ci­sion?”.

It was es­pe­cially cruel on Un­der­hill – su­perb through­out – who turned world player of the year Beau­den Bar­rett in­side out with a feint and step on his way to the line.

Eng­land, 14-point no-hop­ers in the eyes of the book­ies, had stunned the All Blacks by rac­ing into a 15-0 lead.

Chris Ash­ton, in his first start for four years, opened the scor­ing af­ter just 106 sec­onds and Dy­lan

Hart­ley dou­bled the lead shortly be­fore the half-hour, driven over by his pack and half the three-quar­ter line af­ter Maro Itoje won clean li­ne­out ball.

But big de­ci­sions win matches and New Zealand got theirs on the stroke of half-time when cap­tain Kieran Read turned down a shot at goal for a scrum and was re­warded with a Damian McKenzie try.

Eng­land paid for tak­ing cap­tain Hart­ley off at the in­ter­val as their li­ne­out fell apart un­der Jamie Ge­orge. And fol­low­ing Un­der­hill’s un­lucky break, they failed to en­gi­neer a drop-goal op­por­tu­nity.

Jones re­fused to point the fin­ger, say­ing: “We en­dorse ev­ery de­ci­sion the play­ers make.” But he will know his team blew a golden chance to lay down a marker ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“Test match rugby is about those small op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he sighed. ENG­LAND:

TRY: Sam Un­der­hill scores what he thought was win­ner

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