Beauden Barrett Eddie Jones’ sensational England dethrone the All Blacks in Japan

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England 19

New Zealand 7 

ON THE SAME week that Japan’s new emperor was enthroned, back-to-back Rugby World Cup winners All Blacks were dethroned on Japanese soil.

Eddie Jones’ England stunned the Kiwis in Yokohama with a dominant semi-final victory that genuinely could have been even more comfortable.

Beauden Barrett ben-youngs-celebrates-a-try-with-henry-slade-and-manu-tuilagi-that-was-later-disallowed
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

England laid down a major psychological marker before kick-off by forming a V in front of the Kiwi haka and encroaching into the defending champions’ half. The match officials asked them to step back but England refused.

Jones’ men did as much with their performance too, leading from early on as they displayed unshakeable confidence and delivered on an intelligent game plan that suffocated the Kiwis.

The English were sublime with a physically powerful performance that also featured some classy attacking play and calm strategic decision-making from their 10-12 combination of George Ford and Owen Farrell. 

The English pack, led by powerhouses like Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Sam Underhill and Tom Curry, was spectacularly good as they offered superb lineout defence – forwards coach Steve Borthwick deserves credit – smashing tackles, thunderous ball-carrying and no shortage of handling skill.

Jones will point out to his team that they created more opportunities than the one they took for Manu Tuilagi’s brilliant third-minute try, as England now march on to their first World Cup final since losing to South Africa in 2007.

They could yet face the Boks here in Yokohama next Saturday, with Rassie Erasmus’ men set to take on Wales in tomorrow’s second semi-final. Whoever advances from that contest will be up against the new tournament favourites in England.

Beauden Barrett the-england-team-face-the-new-zealand-haka
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

This defeat is the All Blacks’ first in the World Cup since their quarter-final exit to France in 2007 and they can have no arguments about this exit, having been comprehensively outplayed and utterly shut down by England.

The Kiwis’ only score of the game came from a lineout error by the English, with Steve Hansen’s side stifled in attack just a week after they hammered Ireland in the quarter-finals.

England led 10-0 at the break after a dominant first-half that could have yielded more scoreboard pressure. That the Kiwis were nilled in the first-half for just the second time in 21 years spoke volumes. The other occasion was in Twickenham in 2012, when the English also won.

That win seven years ago has now been eclipsed and there were some familiar faces who shone again here. Manu Tuilagi was sensational at outside centre for the English in this semi-final, offering powerful running outside Ford and Farrell, the latt

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