Owen Farrell England vs New Zealand: Eddie Jones and Owen Farrell reveal why they decided to challenge the All Blacks

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England decided on responding to the Haka in order to challenge the “rugby gods” in New Zealand, with Eddie Jones stressing that that the decision to form a V around the All Blacks was part of a plan to prove their motivation for the Rugby World Cup semi-final.

England pulled off an historic 19-7 victory to seal their first ever win over the All Blacks at a World Cup and book their place in next Saturday’s final, where they will have the chance to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for only the second time in their history against either Wales or South Africa.

In what is already being considered as possibly England’s greatest ever performance on a rugby field, Jones’s side bullied and bashed their way to victory in dominant fashion so rarely seen by previous English sides, inflicting what is New Zealand’s first World Cup defeat for 12 years in the process.

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“New Zealand are rugby gods so we had to take it to them,” Jones said. “We wanted to take it to them to show we could take the game to them and put them on the back foot as much as we could.

“Owen [Farrell] and the leaders on the field were exceptional today. They kept the team disciplined, stuck to the game plan, kept attacking where we thought New Zealand were weak and didn’t divert from there.”

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Farrell was at the base of the V that stood in front of the All Blacks, with Joe Marler and Billy Vunipola crossing halfway to challenge their opponents that brought the stadium alive in a cacophony of noise, cheering and boos.

“We knew we had to be within a radius behind them and we wanted not to just stand there and let them come at us,” said Farrell. “We wanted to keep a respectful distance and be respectful to that but we didn’t just want to stand in a flat line and let them come at us.”

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