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VIDEO – All Blacks win opening Investec International

06 November 2010

  • First-half tries from Hosea Gear and Kieran Read secure All Blacks win
  • Dylan Hartley scores but Carter inspired New Zealand too strong

England 16 New Zealand 26

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Despite a rousing second-half performance, England are still searching for their first win over New Zealand since 2003 after a 26-16 defeat at Twickenham.

There were plenty of positives for Martin Johnson's side, with the exception of a familiar-looking scoreboard against the All Blacks, but they lacked the clinical finishing of the visitors in the opening Investec International.

Two tries in the opening quarter from the Graham Henry’s side – plus 16 points from star fly half Dan Carter – ultimately proved decisive as New Zealand bounced back from last weekend's defeat to Australia in Hong Kong.

That result ended the world number one side's 15-match winning streak and England hoped they would prove vulnerable to another setback at Twickenham.

But despite a brave effort from the hosts – characterised by a scrum that was almost completely dominant – the All Blacks' class with ball in hand earned them a ninth straight win over England.

Lively start by the hosts

England flanker Tom Croft wins line out possession against New Zealand in the opening Investec International

Photo: Getty Images

England made a lively start but the first chance fell to Carter on eight minutes after hooker Steve Thompson was penalised for not rolling away, but for once the fly half was wayward from the left touchline.

The reprieve did not last long, however, as after England were penalised for not rolling away, New Zealand claimed quick ball from their subsequent lineout and scored the opening try.

Debutant centre Sonny Bill Williams' superb offload put flanker Jerome Kaino in space and after taking a long, looping pass, wing Hosea Gear finished superbly in the corner under pressure from fellow wing Chris Ashton.

This time Carter made no mistake from a similar position and New Zealand led 7-0.

The lead was doubled within two minutes after a silky-smooth run by Carter through midfield, as England's defence was once again almost fatally sucked in towards the ball-carrier.

This time they survived but conceded a five-metre scrum and from more quick ball after another Gear's burst, No.8 Kieran Read drove in low and fast to score, Carter adding the extras to double the advantage.

England fly half Toby Flood cut the deficit with a penalty but Carter soon punished England for a ruck offence and when full back Ben Foden narrowly failed to touch down with the final play of the half, the near-miss set the tone for the rest of the match.

Hape just denied maiden Test try

England centre Shontayne Hape loses control of the ball with the try line at his mercy against New Zealand

Photo: Getty Images

England's scrum began to completely dominate and Flood cut the gap to 17-6, only for England to infringe from the kick-off, gifting Carter another three points.

England's try arrived on 53 minutes. Ashton set it up with a quick tap penalty in his own half and after a hack forward by Flood, substitute hooker Dylan Hartley crashed over from close range, with Flood's conversion cutting the gap to seven.

Again England conceded a penalty from the kick-off and although Flood kicked one of his own, Carter replied after a high tackle from replacement back Delon Armitage.

With nine minutes left Kaino was yellow-carded for killing the ball yet again, but England could not make their pressure and man-advantage tell.

Their frustration was summed up six minutes from time when a three-on-one overlap was wasted by hesitant passing. After the ball was delayed heading wide, centre Shontayne Hape was tackled into the corner by replacement Isaia Toeava before he could touch down.

Johnson's frustration was evident on the touchline. The performance was a vast improvement on last year’s showing against the All Blacks but the visitors gave a reminder of the clinical finishing the will be required to go far at next year’s Rugby World Cup

England v New Zealand teams

England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Mike Tindall 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Andrew Sheridan, 2 Steve Thompson, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Courtney Lawes, 5 Tom Palmer, 6 Tom Croft 7 Lewis Moody (captain), 8 Nick Easter.

Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 David Wilson, 18 David Attwood, 19 Hendre Fourie, 20 Danny Care, 21 Charlie Hodgson, 22 Delon Armitage.

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Sonny Bill Williams, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Alby Mathewson; 1 Tony Woodcock, 2 Keven Mealamu, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Brad Thorn, 5 Sam Whitelock, 6 Jerome Kaino, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 8 Kieran Read.

Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Franks, 18-Anthony Boric, 19 Liam Messam, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Isaia Toeava.

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