England 38 New Zealand 21: Sensational display of character sees Lancaster's men turn their autumn around
16:19 GMT, 1 December 2012
18:46 GMT, 1 December 2012
England's young men came of age at Twickenham with a sensational record-breaking victory over world champions New Zealand.
Owen Farrell kicked England into a 15-0 lead before the All Blacks hit back with two tries in three second-half minutes from Julian Savea and Kieran Read.
Twickenham sensed the worst. The All Blacks had found their cutting edge and a third consecutive defeat to southern hemisphere opposition seemed in the offing.
But England responded with a stunning three-try blitz from Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi and the records tumbled.
Showmanship: Manu Tuilagi made two tries and scored one
Flying high: Chris Ashton goes over in typically exuberant fashion
England's previous biggest win over New Zealand was 13-0 at Twickenham in January, 1936.
England's previous highest score against New Zealand was the 31 points they scored in a 31-28 victory at Twickenham in November, 2002.
Only once in 498 Tests had New Zealand been beaten by a bigger margin – 28-7 against Australia in August, 1999.
England's last victory over New Zealand was 15-13 in Wellington in June, 2003.
England had not beaten New Zealand in their previous nine matches before this game.
New Zealand were unbeaten in their 20 Tests (19 victories and one draw) before this game.
New Zealand had not lost a Test to European opposition on an autumn tour since the 31-28 defeat to England in November, 2002.
The All Blacks had not lost in 20
matches. They had not lost an autumn Test for a decade, since England
beat them 31-18 in November 2002.
That England team went on to win the
Rugby World Cup a year later. Stuart Lancaster's current England team
are at the opposite end of their development.
The absence of Toby Flood through
injury left them without a single 50-cap player. England had fewer caps
in their entire starting line-up than New Zealand had in their front
The team's character had never been
denied but their maturity and ability to turn positive performances into
results had been questioned after narrow defeats to Australia and South
No longer. England rocked the All
Blacks. New Zealand were hit by a vomiting bug in the week. But not as
hard as they were hit by England.
The first signs of England's physical
dominance came in the lineout and with their early ball-carrying, with
Joe Launchbury, Tom Youngs and Tuilagi all making early ground.
But it was without the ball that
England really set the tone. Their kick-chase had the All Blacks under
pressure and they swamped New Zealand in defence.
On the charge: Brad Barritt breaks away before going over for England's first try
England had a slice of fortune when
Cory Jane was judged to have strayed marginally offside before
collecting Dan Carter's inch-perfect cross-kick.
Carter, almost inexplicably, also
missed two penalty shots at goal. England felt they had not had that
bounce of the ball against Australia and South Africa. Today they made
the most of it.
After 21 minutes, England won a scrum
penalty and Farrell kicked a fantastic touch, to move play into the All
Blacks 22 for the first time and Geoff Parling won a confident lineout.
England drove powerfully but fell
foul of the new five-second law after referee George Clancy, under the
mistaken impression the maul had halted, called on scrum-half Ben Youngs
to use it.
Setting nerves jangling: Kieran Read went on the charge for the All Blacks' second try
New Zealand were awarded the scrum
but England kept the pressure on. Tom Wood charged down Savea's
clearance to keep England in the All Blacks 22 and more pressure earned
Ben Morgan peeled off the driving
maul, Chris Robshaw crashed the ball up the middle and England moved it
wide through Morgan and Alex Goode to Ashton.
The wing dropped the ball but he was
well covered anyway and referee Clancy brought play back for a penalty,
which Farrell kicked confidently to push England ahead.
Almost immediately from the restart,
Morgan was penalised for hitting a ruck from the side but Carter missed
his second shot at goal from virtually in front of the posts.
On the charge: Julian Savea scores the first of his two tries to give New Zealand a foothold after half-time
New Zealand began to work through the
phases but England's white defensive wall responded with some ferocious
tackles, notably Tom Youngs on Carter, before Dan Cole won a turnover.
Israel Dagg tried to run back a Ben
Youngs box kick but he was smothered in his own half by Launchbury and
Wood, who won the penalty and Farrell coolly kicked the goal.
Keven Mealamu then overthrew a
lineout and England were back on the attack, with Tuilagi and Goode
combining to break the gain-line before Farrell slotted a drop-goal.
As the clock ticked down to
half-time, England kept the ball. Robshaw drove around the fringes, the
All Blacks were drawn offside and Farrell slotted his third penalty.
Metronomic: Owen Farrell's right boot accounted for 20 points
England then extended their lead
beyond two converted tries when the All Blacks scrum went down and
Farrell landed his fourth penalty from wide on the right.
But when Farrell scragged Aaron Smith at a ruck near England's line and was penalised, the tide appeared to have turned.
New Zealand went for touch, won the
lineout and then spread play to the opposite wing where Savea cut
infield and beat four defenders to score, with Carter converting.
Suddenly, the All Blacks had their
tails up. Farrell was under pressure as he tried to clear England's
lines and he failed to find touch.
Clearing his lines: Ma'a Nonu kicks under pressure Owen Farrell
Dagg danced down the right touchline,
England's defence was disorganised and the All Blacks cut them open
again with Jane and Conrad Smith combining to send Read over.
England could have wobbled under the
onslaught of two tries in three minutes. Instead, they hit back with a
vengeance with Tuilagi the destroyer in-chief.
Smith drifted too early in defence,
Barritt straightened through the gap and passed to Tuilagi before
receiving the offload back to score his first Test try. Farrell's
conversion hit the crossbar.
Tuilagi then crashed through two
defenders as England attacked from clean lineout ball and his
perfectly-delayed pass sent Ashton searing over the line for his first
try in 12 Tests.
Under pressure: England were 12-0 up at half-time, the first time New Zealand have failed to score before the break since 1998
Tuilagi then picked off a loose pass
from Read and galloped 50 metres for England's third try in eight
minutes, which Farrell converted before being replaced by Freddie Burns.
The Gloucester fly-half wrapped up the victory with two penalties.
Savea scored his second try with five
minutes remaining but nothing could deny England their first win
against New Zealand in nine years.