The All Blacks brought up by England at the last second

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The All Blacks brought up by England at the last second

And while the English, on fire, could hope to win at the finish this meeting which they had started very badly, their opener Marcus Smith cleared the ball in touch, ensuring like a grocer this draw, 25-25, which is a lesser badly for the XV of the Rose and a frustration for the All Blacks who led until the 79th and the double while in force of Will Stuart. As the ball, kicked by Marcus Smith, left the pitch, the Twickenham crowd gasped. But we don’t know if it was relief or astonishment…

New Zealanders – not just the players but a whole people – have been waiting for this meeting since the semi-final lost at the 2019 World Cup (19-7). The All Blacks were said to be a little adrift this season: in three tries at Twickenham, they demonstrated that they had lost none of their edge and that they were still capable of innovating in the game, evidenced by the try by Rieko Ioane (50th, 6-22) born from a foot pass for Caleb Clarke, crossing with his three-quarter center launched at full speed to overflow the English defense for seventy meters.

English inspired in the last minutes

It was not the turning point of this shock at the top since the All Blacks dominated from the start, Abraham Papali’i intercepting in the 4th a blind pass from the English scrum half Jack Van Poortvliet, really next to his pumps in a first quarter of an hour which then saw Codie Taylor score in force (9th, 0-14). Seven times, the English got into position in front of the Kiwi in-goal (12th, 21st, 28th, 45th, 59th, 64th, 68th) but they fell on an airtight defense, especially on the ground, and committed too many handling errors to hope to plant a test…

At Twickenham, whose songs masking the haka did not have the expected effect, the English did honor to their captain Owen Farrell for his hundredth cap only in the last ten minutes. Boosted and in numerical superiority (yellow card against Beauden Barrett in the 72nd), the XV de la Rose then scored two contrasting tries (72nd in force by Will Stuart and 74th in the alrge by Freddie Steward) but too late to hope to win.

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