The obliteration game

Woodward, Greenwood and Fitzpatrick praise England's big win

Last Updated: 02/12/12 5:35pm

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England: crushed the All Blacks on Saturday

England: crushed the All Blacks on Saturday

England shocked the rugby world on Saturday afternoon when they demolished reigning world champions New Zealand 38-21 at Twickenham.

Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi each ran in tries as the hosts bounced back from Autumn International defeats to Australia and South Africa and ended the All Blacks 20-game unbeaten run in the process.

Click here for our match report

Sir Clive Woodward, Will Greenwood and Sean Fitzpatrick watched the drama unfold in the Sky Sports studio, and after the finals whistle blew, the trio gave their take on what could be a defining day for English rugby...

Sir Clive Woodward: England's World Cup-winning coach

"You had your fingers crossed that England could come in, front up and compete, but they put in the best performance from a Northern Hemisphere team since they won the World Cup in 2003. They didn't just win, they obliterated New Zealand and there wasn't a single part of the game they didn't dominate - and everyone stepped up to the plate.

"I am hugely proud of the whole team and this is a great opportunity for the whole team to move forward as there is real strength in depth; Courtney Lawes and Freddie Burns came off the bench, while Tom Croft can also come back into the side. England are now going to head into the Six Nations as favourites to defeat Scotland and Wales and the psychology will reverse, so now they have to learn to win as favourites, something we didn't do against Australia two weeks ago."

Will Greenwood: England - 1997-2004

"You can't underestimate what effect it has on a team's state of mind and confidence to go toe-to-toe with a team ranked number one in the world, who are miles out in front this year and blew everyone away and led all the stats in the Rugby Championship - the hardest championship in the world - and to score those tries and win. Now every time they turn up for training they will want to be better and do that extra training session and think: 'How good can we be?' and everyone outside the squad will be desperate to be in it.

"It is an incredible feeling to have and a victory they will be talking about in 15 years - that's the magnitude of this game. The mental side of the game is the biggest barrier in sport and to now stand with the same 14 blokes next time and draw on those pictures, know what is supposed to happen and know you have the ability to think under pressure, is huge."

Sean Fitzpatrick: New Zealand - 1986-97

"I am blown away because I didn't expect the All Blacks to play that badly. I expected them to want to finish off the season off on a total high but now there will be question marks about how they prepared this week.Maybe it was one game too far and guys ran out of petrol, but they will be bitterly disappointed.

"They were expected to win all four of their Autumn Internationals but they didn't deliver against England. They have had a great year, introduced a lot of excellent players and are rated number one in the world but they were beaten by a better team. England delivered everything that was asked of them; they weren't flashy and they got the rub of the green, but they were physical and took their chances."

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