Beauden Barrett All Blacks v England: England’s kicking game holds the key to place in RWC final

Beauden Barrett This is one interesting item.

Beauden Barrett Ben Youngs will be a crucial kicker for England against the All Blacks.

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Ben Youngs will be a crucial kicker for England against the All Blacks.

OPINION:Former England international Will Greenwood says England must dictate terms against the All Blacks in their Rugby World Cup semifinal through their kicking game.

Greenwood wrote in the Daily Telegraph that challenging the gifted Beauden Barrett at fullback may also pay dividends if the underdogs need to spring a surprise in Yokohama on Saturday night.

Here’s how Greenwood sees the best approach for England:

Go long and right with restarts

England need to kick long to the right of the field because New Zealand are loaded with right-footed kickers. Going long right, into the opposition’s bottom left-hand corner of the field, makes it much harder to box kick and for a team’s fly-half to get their clearing kick away.

For a right-footed fly-half in your own bottom left, you must swing your right leg across your body well out in front of you, with no protection of the kicking foot. Classic charge-down territory for a right-footed-fly half is along the left touchline. It is just as hard for the scrum-half, who has to swing the foot around to the open side of the breakdown much closer to the defenders, with the ball in full sight the whole time.

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Aaron Smith has wobbled when England have played the All Blacks in previous years. Smith is a beautiful rugby player, but I would lay a hefty bet now that England will charge down one of his kicks today, especially with big men like Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes around the fringes.

If they are to win, England need to get into New Zealand and mess with their supply lines. They need to spread panic in the ranks, and get the All Blacks scrabbling to maintain the ball. If they pass back to Richie Mo’unga, then England need to know that he has an issue – neither of his centres kick. They will want to force another pass to Beauden Barrett. But two passes in your own 22, even by a team as good as New Zealand, should be an open invitation for carnage.

How do England make that happen? They need to be creative and fashion a one-man mission for their fastest player. Most teams use the scrum-half and, while Ben Youngs used to be a wizard at this, his pace is not what it was.

AARON WOOD/STUFF

The All Blacks team to play England in the Rugby World Cup semifinal at Yokohama Stadium on Saturday.

My rogue thought for Eng

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