YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME

Un­der­hill de­nied late try a week af­ter TMO de­ci­sion went Eng­land’s way against South Africa, as world cham­pi­ons New Zealand come from 15-0 down to win 16-15 at Twick­en­ham

Sport360 - - Front Page - By Niall McCague @niallm360 ✉ niallm­ccague@sport360.com

World cham­pi­ons New Zealand came from 15-0 down to beat Eng­land 16-15 in a thrilling November Test at a rain­swept Twick­en­ham.

Eng­land surged into a shock 15-0 lead through Chris Ash­ton and Dy­lan Hart­ley tries. But the All Blacks were only five points down at half-time thanks to Damian McKenzie’s con­verted try and a Beau­den Bar­rett penalty. Bar­rett’s sec­ond-half drop-goal and penalty proved de­ci­sive – though Eng­land were on the wrong side of the TMO’s de­ci­sion this week af­ter their for­tune in last week’s win over South Africa, when flanker Sam Un­der­hill’s try was ruled out due to Court­ney Lawes’ charge down be­ing deemed off­side.

Here’s our re­port card from a thrilling con­test.

The good

Stun­ning McKenzie: There was no­body more ex­cit­ing on the field than the 5’ 9” full-back. His pace, power and skill level was head and shoul­ders above any other player in Twick­en­ham and he capped off a fine per­for­mance with a try just be­fore half-time.

The 23-year-old also made 55 me­tres and beat 11 de­fend­ers – six more than any other player on the pitch. Ev­ery­thing good about the All Blacks came from their star man, and lock Brodie Re­tal­lick.

Eng­land spirit: No-one can blame the Red Rose for ef­fort. They worked hard right up to the 80th minute, try­ing to score tries, hold back the All Blacks wave, keep the score re­spectable. It is not the ef­fort that can be faulted, es­pe­cially with a string of in­juries to big name play­ers.

Eng­land will be dis­ap­pointed with the TMO’s de­ci­sion not to award flanker Sam Un­der­hill a try in the 75th minute, but nev­er­theWales less, to re­strict any All Blacks side to just 16 points is an out­stand­ing feat.

The bad

Eng­land mis­takes: If you are go­ing to beat the All Blacks, you can­not make mis­takes. But the Red Rose missed 29 tack­les from a to­tal of 192 – just an 80 per cent tackle rate. They con­ceded seven penal­ties and lost five out of their 15 li­ne­outs. In con­trast, the All Blacks had a tackle suc­cess rate of 88 per cent, con­ceded three less penal­ties and only lost one li­ne­out. First 38 mins for All Blacks:

Trail­ing 15-0, the vis­i­tors looked

a frus­trated unit and were un­able to breach a gran­ite-like Eng­land de­fen­sive wall. They were steam­rolled at var­i­ous points of the open­ing half, but went on to re-or­gan­ise them­selves, find their con­fi­dence and they held on to grind out an­other vic­tory.

Poor sub­sti­tu­tions: Lead­ing by five points at the break, Jones opted to sub­sti­tute his co-cap­tain Hart­ley at a point when his side were in con­trol. It was a strange time for the boss to take off his trusted lieu­tenant and Eng­land were sub­se­quently out­played in the li­ne­out in the sec­ond half with New Zealand steal­ing five of their throws.

Key mo­ments 2 min­utes:

Ben Youngs sends a clev­erly weighted pass out to the right wing and Ash­ton dives over in the cor­ner to score a try. Fairy­tale start for Eng­land.

10 min­utes: Hart­ley steals the ball from the li­ne­out. Two phases later, Youngs flings it back to Owen Far­rell who clips over a drop goal to make it 8-0. 24 min­utes: From a li­ne­out, Itoje sets up the driv­ing maul and within sec­onds, the All Blacks are driven back 20 me­tres to send Hart­ley over. Far­rell con­verts (15-0).

39 min­utes: With a penalty ad­van­tage in the bag, Aaron Smith slips the ball to Beau­den Bar­rett who pops the ball to McKenzie for an easy dive over. Bar­rett con­verts to cut the lead to eight points (7-15).

40 min­utes: Bar­rett kicks a penalty just be­fore the break to close the gap to five points.

46 min­utes: Bar­rett re­ceives pos­ses­sion and floats a drop goal from the 22 to make it 13-15. It was his first ever in­ter­na­tional drop goal.

60 min­utes: The Hur­ri­canes fly­half sneaks the ball through the posts to put the All Blacks in the lead for the first time in the match.

Tac­ti­cal turn­ing points

A belter of a Test. Af­ter strug­gling for nearly the en­tire first half, the All Blacks in­tro­duced Ryan Crotty for the in­jured Sonny Bill Wil­liams and that im­me­di­ately brought mo­men­tum back into the game.

Mis­takes to­wards the con­clu­sion of the first half al­lowed the All Blacks to go in just five points be­hind and they duly upped the in­ten­sity in the sec­ond half.

Steve Hansen’s side may only have kicked two penal­ties af­ter the break, but they looked dan­ger­ous in the loose and their tran­si­tion from de­fence into at­tack in wet con­di­tions was out­stand­ing. In ad­di­tion, their abil­ity to dom­i­nate the Eng­land li­ne­out (pinch­ing five of their throws) and make an im­pact in the tight ar­eas were the key dif­fer­ences.

Eng­land, though, will walk away frus­trated with the de­ci­sion not to award them a late try.

Mak­ing the dif­fer­ence: Fly-half Beau­den Bar­rett kicks his first ever in­ter­na­tional drop goal early in the sec­ond half.

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