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England in New Zealand archive: Dunedin

11 June 2014

  • Look back at England's last visit to Dunedin to face the All Blacks
  • Forsyth Barr Stadium also the scene of England's group games at RWC 2011
Carlos Spencer looks to break

Photo: Getty Images

Having played the majority of their group matches there during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, England are extremely familiar with Dunedin – a picturesque university city on the South Island.

However, that doesn’t mean the task of beating New Zealand there will be easy. The All Blacks have won 35 of 41 fixtures between three venues – Tahuna Park, Carisbrook and the latest, Forsyth Barr Stadium. They last tasted defeat against France, going down 27-22 in 2009 thanks to tries from Francois Trinh-Duc, William Servat and Maxime Medard.

Here is a look at two recent games in Dunedin.

New Zealand 36 England 3, June 12, 2004

Graham Henry marked his first match in charge of New Zealand with a convincing victory over world champions England, three tries through Carlos Spencer, Joe Rokocoko and Doug Howlett condemning Sir Clive Woodward’s charges to defeat.

The All Blacks seemed in the mood to cause havoc from the very start, and wasted no time in spreading the ball wide. Rokocoko was the main beneficiary, gliding past three would-be tacklers with his first run.

It took five minutes for Dan Carter to open the scoring with a penalty, but England held on and looked to have weathered the early storm when Charlie Hodgson drew them level on the quarter-hour.

However, New Zealand only needed a hint of weakness to recapture the lead. Matt Dawson’s box-kick was charged down, and a rapid counter saw the ball shifted right, where some neat interplay between Spencer and Howlett saw the fly half cross.

Another clinical attack allowed open-side flanker Richie McCaw to feed the prolific Rokocoko before Howlett grabbed his side’s third before half-time. A 30-3 deficit at the break was a bleak situation for Lawrence Dallaglio’s troops.

To their credit, they did dominate possession in the second period, but New Zealand’s aggressive defence drove them back time and again. England were not able to penetrate the black wall and Carter slotted two further penalties to put the result beyond doubt.

Ben Youngs scores

Photo: Getty Images

At final whistle, Woodward was forced to find the positives from a chastening night and pick his team up for another crack at the same opposition in Auckland a week later.

Also in this city: England 13 Argentina 9

An hour into their Rugby World Cup campaign, England were staring down the barrel. Inspired by a boisterous crowd, an exceptionally muscular performance from their pack gave Argentina a 9-3 advantage and they seemed in no mood to relinquish it.

Thankfully for Martin Johnson, a moment of brilliance from replacement scrum half Ben Youngs rescued an ignominious situation.

Stuttering in attack all match – Jonny Wilkinson enduring an uncharacteristic off-day from the tee as well – England found the Pumas extremely tough to break down. Compounding matters, a number of breakdown errors allowed Felipe Contepomi and full back Martin Rodriguez Gurruchage to put Argentina ahead.

Then, with less than a quarter-hour remaining, Youngs sniped over after picking up from a ruck and erupted into an ecstatic celebration.

Wilkinson held his nerve to snatch the lead with the ensuing conversion and landed a late penalty, hauling England home.