New Zealand beat England 30-22 at Twickenham to avenge last year's defeat, reports SIMON BORCHARDT.
The first 20 minutes of this Test were all New Zealand, the next 40 all England as their pack took charge.
But the world champions, who trailed 22-20 going into the final quarter, raised their game when they needed to and came away with a win that will help ease the pain of last year's 38-21 loss at this venue. They have now won 13 matches out of 13 this year and with just a game against Ireland to come next weekend, should become the first team in the professional era to complete a perfect calendar year.
The All Blacks made the ideal start to this match when Ma'a Nonu kicked ahead and forced England to run the ball into touch 5m out from their tryline. New Zealand won the lineout, and while it wasn't clean ball, they launched an attack that saw Kieran Read go blind, draw three defenders and offload in the tackle to Julian Savea, who scored a second-minute converted try.
While the All Blacks scrum would go on to be dominated, a strong shove on England ball saw the visitors turn over possession and win a penalty that Dan Carter kicked to cancel out Owen Farrell's earlier effort.
England then conceded a free kick for going in early at a scrum, Owen Franks burst through a hole in the defence and quick ball from the ruck allowed Israel Dagg to put Read away for a try that made it 17-3 after 18 minutes.
Then the game changed.
England thought they had hit back with a try from a rolling maul, but the TMO agreed with assistant referee Nigel Owens, who had said the ball had been grounded short of the line. However, from the next scrum, which was wheeled, the loose ball came off Aaron Smith, before being kicked ahead by Tom Wood and collected by Joe Launchbury, who scored. This time, referee Craig Joubert made the decision himself after watching the replays, ruling that Launchbury had not been ahead of Wood when he put boot to ball, and awarding the try, which Farrell converted.
Soon after, Carter's 100th Test came to a premature end when he limped off the field and was replaced by Aaron Cruden, who kicked a penalty.
The All Blacks were then reduced to 14 men in the 33rd minute when Read was yellow-carded for diving into a ruck from the side and slowing England's ball down. Farrell slotted the penalty and then added another to make it 20-16 at half-time.
Cruden's penalty attempt early in the second half came off a post, before Farrell kicked two penalties to put England in front for the first time in the game. At that stage, with 20 minutes to go, it looked as if Stuart Lancaster's team would soon be celebrating another famous win.
But the All Blacks responded with a try after stealing a lineout inside England's 22. They took the ball from one side of the field to the other, with Nonu passing brilliantly in the tackle to Savea, who grabbed his second.
Cruden kicked the conversion and then added a penalty that gave his side an eight-point lead, and that's the way it stayed.
England – Try: Joe Launchbury. Conversion: Owen Farrell. Penalties: Farrell (5).
All Blacks – Tries: Julian Savea (2), Kieran Read. Conversions: Dan Carter (2), Aaron Cruden. Penalties: Carter, Aaron Cruden (2).
England – 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Subs: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 David Wilson, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Alex Goode.
All Blacks – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Ryan Crotty.
Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
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