Thursday , October 22 2020

England produced greatest performance in win vs New Zealand, says Will Greenwood – Sky Sports, Skysports.com


        

                    

            

                Will Greenwood

            

                                    Rugby Union Expert & Columnist@ willgreenwood                            

        

    

                   

Last Updated: 27 / 10 / 19 11: 28 am

            

        
            

    

                            

England will now aim to emulate the 2003 World Cup-winning squad                

                     

                    

                England will now aim to emulate the 2003 World Cup- winning squad

            

                      

Will Greenwood has described England’s performance to defeat two-time defending Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand as their “greatest “.

        

England reached their first Rugby World Cup final since 2007 afterEddie Jones’ charges outclassed the All Blacks 19 – 7in Yokohama on Saturday.

Greenwood, who was part of England’s Rugby World Cup-winning side in 2003, watched the semi-final encounter unfold inside the International Stadium Yokohama and is in no doubt about the significance of the victory in England’s history.

England, who had never defeated New Zealand at the World Cup , will now face South Africa, who they lost again st in the 2007 final, next Saturday.

England are through to a third Rugby World Cup final

England are through to a third Rugby World Cup final

“As we were chatting through the game [and] the performance we got very quickly to the conclusion that it is probably, under pressure, the greatest England performance there has ever been,” Greenwood said.

“New Zealand hadn’t lost in a World Cup since the quarter-final of 2007. “

He added: “Last night wil l go down as one of the greatest sporting performances. “

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England head coach Eddie Jones was delighted with his side’s performance following their Rugby World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand.

England head coach Eddie Jones was delighted with his side’s performance following their Rugby World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand.

Greenwood also saw similarities in the performance by England to when the British and Irish Lions ended a 16 – year wait for a series win with a dominant victory against Australia in the series decider six years ago.

“The quality and the caliber of the players the All Blacks had at their disposal and the utter ruthlessness [England showed] reminded me a little of the third Lions Test in Australia in (when it was 1-1 in the series.

The British and Irish Lions scored four tries against Australia to win the series in 2013

The British and Irish Lions scored four tries against Australia to win the series in 2013

“[Warren] Gatland dropped [Brian] O’Driscoll. [Alex] Corbisiero scored after a minute and a half, Manu Tuilagi scores [on Saturday] after about a minute and a half.

“You then think ‘I have watched a lot of rugby, watched the All Blacks for years and years’ and I start thinking that doesn’t mean anything at the moment.

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England center Manu Tuilagi says reaching the World Cup final is ‘beyond his dreams’ and he is proud to beat ‘the best team in the world’.

England center Manu Tuilagi says reaching the World Cup final is ‘beyond his dreams’ and he is proud to beat ‘the best team in the world’.

“But it then became painfully obvious after about 15 – 20 minutes, and it sounds awfully arrogant thing to say, England completely and utterly controlled the game. “

Lock Maro Itoje was named man of the match but Greenwood said flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill were worthy of high praise for their performances in the back row.

Tom Curry has formed an excellent partnership with Sam Underhill

Tom Curry has formed an excellent partnership with Sam Underhill

“To play in a back row with Billy Vunipola and [for] Curry and Underhill to take the plaudits is brilliant,” he said.

“Billy was solid but the defensive power of Underhill and the turnovers that Tom Curry won were exceptional.

“I have never really seen Maro Itoje have a bad game and again stepped up and delivered. Everyone contributed. “

             

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