In a less than satisfactory performance, the New Zealand All Blacks were humbled 7-19 by England Rugby superiority, in the 2019 Rugby World Cup semifinal in Yokohama on October 26.
In a change in form that caught some by surprise, a wiser game plan and ‘bulletproof forward play’ undermined the All Blacks presumed strengths. The England Rugby side dominated in the breakdown; outmanning the taller All Blacks by their energy, diligence to the plan and in opposing the New Zealand men for the entire 80 minutes.
It was one of the best performances by England at a World Cup in nearly 16 years, and sees them place one hand on the Webb Ellis Cup. Their superiority in virtually all facets of the game sees a reward for the players, captain Owen Farrell and head coach Eddie Jones.
The winner of the second semifinal between Wales and the Springboks of South Africa, will determine England Rugby team’s opponents for the Cup final, on November 2.
All Blacks humbled 7-19 by England Rugby superiority
The above video highlights package demonstrates how the New Zealand team failed to deliver their usual style of match.
With a try inside the opening minutes of the match start, it surprised the favoured New Zealand team. They were trying to use an open-play approach, yet the cramped defence hampered that play. England Rugby superiority was evident in multiple areas; they were successful in controlling the twin-pivot roles of Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga – in fact it was one game where the young Crusaders first-five was outclassed.
Opposing them, England’s George Ford and Owen Farrell controlled the center of the park. Manu Tuilagi was a huge barrier that was impenetrable to every All Blacks attempt. Complimented by the superb forward pack, where Maro Itoje was elected Player of the Match.
As much as All Blacks substitutes attempted, they were unable to take back control of the match. Penalties adding to the final score, and New Zealand failed to cross the line, and a poor response to the pressure of a Rugby World Cup semifinal.
‘Four more Years’ for humbled All Blacks
Losing their first match in 18 games at World Cups [2011/2015/2019] the All Blacks were humbled. No doubting that, as the England Rugby team had a plan in place that stripped away the once-mighty aura of the defending World Champions.
Accepting defeat by the better team on the day, is the best mindset. No questions over the match outcome – losing can be a harsh reality to accept; for players, as well as fans. Speaking to All Blacks TV post-game, Read summed it up well. “It’s probably the hardest thing to take, is that you put so much effort in for each other, and it doesn’t come out.
“There’s guys here who will have plenty more chances hopefully, to come back to a tournament like this and set it straight”. While that might sound magnanimous from the All Blacks retiring captain, in a sport where the team has dominated themselves for so long, the once hated threat of ‘four more years’ can be used as inspiration to redress their display in Yokohama.
Known for all-out attacking rugby, the time eroded away, so that the team had to ‘chance their arm’ at the end of the match. Still running the ball at the 75th minute, a resolute England rugby superiority in defence, stifled any attempts to win at the death.
Retiring players, coaches, and management must now make way for the next era of players and leadership, that naturally occurs after each World Cup cycle [in every sport]. Hansen will be replaced in time, a senior player in 2020 will be announced as captain, and a humbled All Blacks side can aim to go one step further in the 2023 tournament in France.
Forwards deliver England Rugby superiority in Cup semifinal
Owen Farrell and his group of players must now deliver on their promise. In a more confident space than in February and March, when they were tripped up in the Guinness Six Nations, the forward’s dominance has assured them of a place in the final. One more delivery of a game like this may push them into rugby folklore.
The 2003 model which played against an Eddie Jones coached Wallabies, delivered on their promise. Steve Borthwick was not a member of that RWC winning squad, but he was pointed out for much of the success that this 2019 unit delivered. “Steve and Neil Hadley did a brilliant job with the forwards. I think we were able to get a physical ascendancy in that area.
“I think it’s due to the attitude of the players, which is a reflection of their coaches. Steve and Had’s did a great job.”
“We wanted to take the game to them. Wanted to put them on the back-foot as much as we could. The leaders on the field were disciplined, that they kept to our gameplan and didn’t divert from that, is a credit to Owen and the senior players,” was the answer given by Jones when asked how he thought the team managed to get up against the All Blacks.
That is the impressive outcome from Saturday’s fixture. The confidence born from the semifinal win will propel the team towards a Cup final appearance. Jones answered well, when he said ”
“Main video credit – World Rugby”