All Blacks beaten at last as England turn on the style
Last Updated: 01/12/12 6:20pm
Manu Tuilagi is tackled by Conrad Smith
England ended New Zealand's 20-game unbeaten run with a simply sensational 38-21 victory over the world champions at Twickenham.
After leading 15-0 early in the second half, England were pegged back by two converted tries inside four minutes.
But they hit back in magnificent style with three tries of their own to claim their first win over the All Blacks since 2003 and end a nine-match losing streak against New Zealand.
England started fast and dominated the early possession, while there were early signs of New Zealand frailty both in the scrum and from Dan Carter's boot - as the fly-half missed a couple of very kickable penalties.
There was no such fallibility from England's Owen Farrell as he knocked over three nerveless first-half penalties, all of them earned by England's power at the scrum and in the contact area, and a 'free-shot' drop goal with another penalty coming.
After the All Blacks had been kept scoreless in the first half for the first time since 1998, Farrell extended England's lead to 15 points a minute after the break following another scrum penalty.
The game was turned on its head for the first time from New Zealand's first real attack, as Carter put a penalty into the corner and as the ball was swept to the opposite flank, Julian Savea beat Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs in the corner with a magnificent finish.
Carter converted from the touchline and three minutes later repeated the dose after incessant New Zealand pressure ended with Kieran Read crashing over in the opposite corner.
England looked in danger of being swept aside but suddenly they found a second wind - and it blew New Zealand away.
Farrell put Brad Barritt through and he exchanged passes with Tuilagi before scoring in the corner, although Farrell failed to convert.
England needed to score again to maintain the momentum and they did almost immediately, as Tuilagi crashed through Carter in midfield, shrugged off Richie McCaw and put Chris Ashton in for his swallow-dive finish.
Farrell's missed conversion was quickly atoned for by Tuilagi's interception try, as the centre picked off Read's pass and trotted in for a try, which this time Farrell converted.
The mighty All Blacks were in disarray by this stage and England took advantage with two Freddie Burns penalties to move out of sight.
Mako Vunipola was sin-binned for not stopping after the referees' whistle in the closing stages and wonderful hands put Savea in to score his second, but by then Twickenham was in celebration mode.
The scale of England's achievement can be gauged by the fact that this was just their seventh win over New Zealand, while their margin of victory surpassed the 13-point record that dates back to 1936.
New Zealand had won 19 and drawn one of their last 20 games, while England had won just one of their last six - against Fiji three weeks ago.
The stats and the experts all suggested England had no chance, but England made a mockery of that in an incredible second half that will go down in Twickenham folklore.
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