ABs take defeat on the chin

2012-12-01 22:13

London - Laid low by a vomiting bug midweek, the mighty All Blacks were dealt another blow to the guts at Twickenham on Saturday by a lion-hearted England side who recorded their biggest victory over the world champions.

Although nothing meaningful was at stake, this 38-21 defeat hurt New Zealand's finest. You could sense it in their body language. You could see it in their eyes.

"They caught us on the hop," skipper Richie McCaw said at pitchside, matter of fact but slightly stunned. "It's bitterly disappointing. We struggled to get any sort of momentum and England played particularly well - credit to them.

"You're prepared for a big battle and that's the way it was, they caught us on the hop. It's disappointing but we'll be back another day."

A defeat had never been in the script. It was meant to be Dan Carter's day and a victorious sendoff for McCaw before he takes a six-month sabbatical.

New Zealand's last nine matches against England had resulted in All Black wins, and Carter had played in them all, averaging more than 18 points on his own.

At Twickenham he was meant to orchestrate a 10th, but was out-kicked by Owen Farrell, the English youngster nominated alongside Carter, McCaw and Frenchman Frederic Michalak for the International Rugby Board Player of the Year award.

"He missed a couple of kicks today he would have normally got, but that's what happens in sport sometimes," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told reporters.

"This is sport and you have to accept it. We had 80 minutes to do our best but on this occasion we were beaten by a team who did better."

England performed the unthinkable. They made the All Blacks, a byword in fluidity and graceful power, appear hesitant, slow and stilted. Perhaps it was a combination of England's vigour and the virus which swept the Kiwi camp, but no All Black was looking for excuses.

"I felt fine in that department," McCaw said. "But we struggled to get into the game. We were put under pressure. It would have been nice to finish off with a performance to be proud of. We'll get over it. Once we get past the disappointment of today, the year hasn't been too bad really...

"There's no doubt there's some talent in that (England) team."

It was an extraordinary result. But most extraordinary of all was that there was nothing remotely fortuitous about the hosts' victory in front of 80 000 spell-bound rugby fans.

New Zealand headed into this match unbeaten in 20 games, chasing their own record of 23 set between 1987-90.

Between them their team had nearly 800 caps; 10 of their number had been capped 30 times or more.

England's XV contained just one player of that level of experience, and perhaps that was the secret. It seemed as if nobody had told this England team they were underdogs.

"I thought Stu and his crew were getting their team together," Hansen said. "The only issue they had was they didn't have many caps but maybe that helped them.

"We don't have an excuse, we just got beaten by a better team and we have to take that on the chin. England played some magnificent football.

"I find it interesting that everyone is surprised - this is a good England side and a good lesson for some people. You need to get out there and back them a bit. They have shown what they can do.

"What we saw tonight was a great England performance and an All Black side proud enough and strong enough to hang in there.

"Right now how do I feel? Disappointed."


  • Daniel Nunes - 2012-12-01 22:49

    so they have done what the boks cant then...

      caleb.drumm.1 - 2012-12-01 23:03

      Bang on

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-12-02 00:21

      Turn that around, and say the Boks did what the ABs couldn't do!! Well done HM and the Boks!!!

      omge.klits - 2012-12-02 01:09

      "He missed a couple of kicks today he would have normally got, but that's what happens in sport sometimes," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told reporters. Yip - if Morne didnt suffer from the same affliction in Duneden the AB run would have stopped then already. Quite clear what gameplan can beat the All Blacks - and didnt Carter execute the AB's up and under type game badly today.

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2012-12-02 07:00

      You mean the Boks did what the AB's could not, and that is beat England.

      simone.dechandra.7 - 2012-12-02 09:52

      by "defeat" they mean "English balls"

  • paul.hemming.39 - 2012-12-01 23:05

    Wow that's a turn up for the books. The All Blacks are certainly still the best team in the world, but the Boks and France were the only unbeaten teams from these year end tours- I like it ;-)

      omge.klits - 2012-12-02 01:11

      So - the Boks the only Southern Hemisphere team that completed their European excursion unbeaten . . . . . .

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2012-12-02 07:28

      Yes a swallow does not make a summer (or what is the saying), and the ABs is still the no 1 team in the world. But a good win for England. England and France need to push harder for the top spots and both teams had good wins over a Southern Hemisphere side this month. Good for them. (But I will mention this result to some NZ colleagues at work tomorrow…)

      glen.keesing - 2012-12-03 06:22

      Boks played one less game though. What would France have done to them????. Their victories were more about good luck , than skill. Even in defeat the AB,s scored more tries and points than The Boks could muster in any of their games

  • zwartsj - 2012-12-02 00:04

    The All blacks played crap its only a matter of time before they sink to there rightful place on the on the IRB rankings would love to hear what "fake maori" have to say for him self now

      niel.walt - 2012-12-02 08:06

      Their rightful place is nr1. Best rugby team ever. Do u think that kick and crash crap the boks play deserves to be ranked nr1? Will be a sad day for the game of rugby if that happens.

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-12-02 10:12

      Now suddenly bok supporters are taking credit for what they couldn't do! AB's have been no.1 for close on 90% of the time rankings have been around (20 years). We Are The Greatest team in the professional era, get over it you bitter idiot!

      zwartsj - 2012-12-02 14:18

      No Minot saying the boks are playing good rugby all I'm saying the AB's will drop from spot 1 at some point. That pedestal they are on is high they will fall hard at some point. Also if one AB's supporter think its was a no 1 team out there yesterday should go and do some thinking

  • steve.vanrooyen - 2012-12-02 00:12

    YYAAHHOOOO!!!!!!! nice win England! the mighty All Blacks unexpected fall makes rugby union a super spectical this weekend! I for one am delighted for this young England team that made all the right choices today

  • yandisa.mashalaba - 2012-12-02 01:01

    England played extremely well, credit to them. (How i wish i could mention the stomach bug that swept the entire AN team in the week though)...The Boks will do a further damage next year.

      simone.dechandra.7 - 2012-12-02 10:14

      my aunt in england also got the bug. it lasts 36 hours man, they were whining at the beginning of the week. my aunt flew in to SA yesterday, had the bug on monday and tuesday and feels fine. she doesnt have the medical team the all blacks do either.

  • rlong1952 - 2012-12-02 02:19

    Hey, where is that All Black dude that is always being so rude on this website? Very quiet now... ha ha ha!! How the mighty have fallen.

      omge.klits - 2012-12-02 02:24

      You speaking of cape.maori or dean.greeves ?

      Wayne - 2012-12-02 07:40

      Cape.maori is a joke. I would love to have 1 minute of him. N paar PK gee.

      niel.walt - 2012-12-02 08:04

      Fallen from where? World champions and still ranked nr and most successful sporting union of all time.

  • leonard.w.gray - 2012-12-02 09:25

    no team can win all the time.

  • Jimmy NZ - 2012-12-02 09:40

    Really gutted, but onwards and upwards! Fantastic season nun the less and now for a break. Have a great xmas everyone and let the banter continue come S15 next year :) Go The All Blacks !!!

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-12-02 10:51

      Better get used to it buddy, ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!! Btw where is your blood brother cape.tooffless? M.I.A. like a true fake all black supporter I see. Enjoy your Xmas too coz it's only going to only get better for the Boks next year.

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-12-02 11:11

      We'll see bro... :)

      simone.dechandra.7 - 2012-12-02 11:18

      does cape maori know the words to the new zealand national anthem? does he know the ooga wooga booba jooba part in the beginning? doubt it. and he claims to be maori

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-12-02 12:26

      Jimmy... ;-) Simone... Whaahaahaahaa.

  • heinrich.badenhorst.395 - 2012-12-02 10:08

    The Poms won so what. They caught a flatfooted AB team on the day. The Poms were outscored in the try department 21-17 and it was only Farrell's boot proving to be the difference against a strangely lethargic looking team. When last did you see the AB's scoring two tries and instead of finishing it off they got smashed for the next 10 min, much like a boxer that punched him out. The truth will be revealed in the 6 nations. The Poms are going to come down to earth with a bang!

      Flemstone - 2012-12-02 14:37

      Well they also drew with SA and got pipped by one point in the next game. England finished second in last years 6 nations, they have their feet firmly on the ground. The also lost about 10 games in a row, I hardly think their heads are in in the clouds. When last have you seen SA hammer the AB's by 17 points? Answer 1928. The AB's on the other hand have beaten SA but 17 points or more 12 times. South Africans are claiming this tour as a huge victory. Lets just ignore what happened in the Rugby Championship. A draw against Argentina and a 16 point hiding from the AB's. The truth is this is a very young and inexperienced England side. This is the excuse offered by Bok supporters as the reason why SA has struggled this year. The truth will be revealed next year in the Rugby Championship, when SA gets hammered once again. And for a Bok supporter to criticise a team that's benefited from points scored with the boot? Come now.

  • glen.keesing - 2012-12-03 06:18

    Bravo England well played. The All Blacks faced "themselves" and got a taste of their own medicine. They created enough opportunities to win, but execution was poor esp in the kicking department, leaving plenty of points on the field. Contrastingly England were creative clinical and took all their opportunities well . It was like someone had swapped the shirts before kick off. But all other teams need to take note, especially South Africa, if you want to beat the All Blacks, you need to have a functioning back line that can be creative, attack and take some chances, and also forwards who can off load, complementing the backs. One team at least have done their homework. I'm a big AB's supporter, but at the same time can really appreciate a fine performance from an opposition team. I can't wait for the next match up of these to teams, I've been waiting a long time to see a quality opposition challenge the AB's. 10 to 15 years ago it used to South Africa, then it became Australia, and now we have a new challenger it seems, time will tell...

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