England v New Zealand: Rugby World Cup 2019, semi-final – live! – The Guardian,

England v New Zealand: Rugby World Cup 2019, semi-final – live! – The Guardian,

64 mins. Loads of subs have happened.

Dane Coles, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett are all on for NZ.

Dan Cole, George Kruis, Willi Heinz and Henry Slade all on for England

PENALTY! England 16 – 7 New Zealand. George Ford

62 mins.The little out-half thuds it over.

Youngs is replaced by Willi Heinz.

61 mins.England are back in possession and warming everyone’s hands with possession, it’s chipped back to NZ before Underhill – again with a thunderous tackle -dislodges the ball to give his side another attack in the New Zealand 22. England win a penalty, and George Ford calmly beckons the tee onto the field.

That’s a potential game-winning tackle by Underhill.


All England’s magnificent defensive work is undone by a terrible technical error. This is mortifying.

TRY! (mins: England) – 7 New Zealand (Ardie Savea)

Both the TMO and Nigel Owens agree it was a genuine tackle attempt, play on, England tricky defensive lineout on 5 meters is horribly overthrown to Savea at the tail, and he walks it in. Mo’unga slots the conversion.

New Zealand’s Ardie Savea scores a try despite the efforts of England’s Ben Youngs and Sam Underhill.
New Zealand’s Ardie Savea scores a try despite the efforts of England’s Ben Youngs and Sam Underhill. Photograph: James Crombie / INPHO / Shutterstock

New Zealand’s Richie Mo’unga converts a try.
New Zealand’s Richie Mo’unga converts. Photograph: Issei Kato / Reuters


55 mins. Perenara, on for Smith, is chirping instructions as his side attack the England 22. Underhill rattles Read’s bones in a tackle and on the next phase they go right to Sevu Reece who blasts towards the corner, but he’s put in touch five meters out by Slade.

The TMO is checking whether Slade used his arms in the tackle.

England’s Henry Slade tackles New Zealand’s Sevu Reece.
England’s Henry Slade tackles New Zealand’s Sevu Reece. Photograph: Matthew Childs / Reuters


53 mins.England go all hands left from the lineout and a grubber is put into coffin corner for Daly to have a run at. Mo’unga beats him to it and the All Blacks run their way out. After Savea wins a penalty at the breakdown the ball is out for a lineout on the England 22. This is their first attacking platform for a long time.

51 mins.England are taking a long-term rental in the NZ half and have yet another lineout, this time from midway between the 22 and the 10 – meter line.


Eleanor Ainge Roy

At the Bulloch Bar in central Wanaka, in the bottom half of the South Island, the mood is unusually subdued and quiet as the first half ends. A seriousness hangs over proceedings. Dominance of the All Blacks has come to be par for the course in this rugby obsessed nation, and England’s fierce and fiery outing has given locals a shock. The usual joviality is noticeably absent.

Bulloch Bar in central Wanaka during the England v New Zealand Rugby World Cup semi-final on 26/10/2019
All is quiet in the Bulloch Bar. Photograph: Eleanor Ainge Roy


PENALTY! 49 mins: England 13 – 0 New Zealand (George Ford)

He makes no mistake from just right of the posts. Bridge is off for Jordie Barrett and Dane Coles replaces Codie Taylor.


(mins.) Tom Curry is on the ball at the NZ ruck again and England have the ball back in the 22, the referee is continuing to play advantage for an off the ball tackle by Sam Cane. Owens has a long chat with Kieran Read as he’s not happy with NZ regularly infringing, particularly off the ball.

Ford is lining up the kick.


48 mins.England have a lineout outside the All Black 22.

Meanwhile Cole is on for a limping Sinckler, and Slade has replaced May.


46 mins. NO TRY!

Marius Jonker says that the ball was lost forward back into the ruck. I don’t agree, I thing Jamie George never let go of the ball and Jonker made that call far too soon and with too much confidence. If England lose this game then this will be a massive call as you see that happen in thousands of rucks without note



A breathless passage of play with offloads and turnover all over the shop. Youngs grabs it and is into the New Zealand 22 and England get a penalty . They go into the 22, Youngs dummies and goes through a gap and over . But they want to check if it’s knocked on in the maul before it.

England’s Ben Youngs scores a try that is later disallowed after a TMO review.
England’s Ben Youngs goes over … Photograph: Edgar Su / Reuters

England’s Ben Youngs celebrates a try with Henry Slade and Manu Tuilagi that was later disallowed.
Youngs, Henry Slade and Manu Tuilagi celebrate but alas it was for nought as the try was ruled out by TMO. Photograph: Billy Stickland / INPHO / Shutterstock


MISSED PENALTY. England 10 – 0 New Zealand. Elliot Daly

42 mins.Daly launches it virtually from Korea and it has the legs – but is just left.

Elliot Daly of England thumps his penalty kick but it drifts wide of the posts.
Elliot Daly of England thumps his penalty kick but it drifts wide of the posts. Photograph: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images


Second half

40 mins.New Zealand have it and have already put a few more phases together than in the first half. The ball is scrappy out of a ruck and Sam Whitelock is penalized for blocking Youngs. It’s just in the England half and Elliott Daly goes for a long-range special.

Updated (at 5.) EDT

The teams are on their way back out.

As predicted, Sam Cane is on for the failed Scott Barrett experiment.

New Zealandwill at some point have a sustained period of possession, they always do. They will also come back at England on the scoreboard, they always do.

Don’t discount them coming back and winning the thing, they (almost) always do.


Rhys Knott(@ buck_mitchell)

New Zealand living off scraps here. England not doing enough with the possession they’ve had though, this has All Blacks soul splinterer written all over it@ bloodandmud

October 26 , 2019

Yes, the specter of the Soul-Splinterer still looms large, as always, but England look not only dominant but also mostly relaxed and at ease, which is the biggest surprise for me.

If they can score early again this half and make it 17 – 0, then you have to say that would be the game.


New Zealandwere largely nowhere in that half, and on the few occasions they did get somewhere England’s defense dealt with it comfortably. They are also getting murdered at the breakdown and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam Cane makes an appearance from the tunnel for the second half.

England couldn’t have asked for more in terms of performance, but they might should’ve had more points for their nearly 70% possession.


PEEP! Half-time!

There’s time for the restart, but England gather and get it off the field to bring the first 40 to a close.

Updated (at 4.) am EDT

39 mins.At a time when England needed their so far flawless lineout to continue it fails and the All Black snaffle it, they are into the England half but Mo’unga dithers and is tackled and Underhill clamps on. Penalty England 45 meters out and George Ford is lining it up.

37 mins.NZ win it and go wide on first phase to Beauden Barrett joining the line, he chips forward but Watson mops up on his own 10 meter line. NZ have it back from a kick but the return from Barrett meets Underhill head-on, Goodhue carries the next phase and this time Tom Curry is over the ball, on it and winning the penalty.

Perfect vignette there of what this young flank partnership have brought to England this year. It really has made all the difference.


31 mins.England win a scrum penalty and Elliott Daly just about makes touch on the N Z 22. Farrell, who looks to still be struggling is doing his best to run things, but he’s clearly in trouble. Ford goes for a drop goal but it’s high and wide ride.

Farrell is staying on, which says a lot about how fundamental he is to England.


29 mins.New Zealand are forced into touch again on their next possession – a combination of England lightning blitz and energetic scramble is proving too much for them at the moment.

New Zealand have lost two lineouts, so whatever Scott Barrett was meant to bring is not obvious so far.


25 mins. NO TRY!

Nigel Owens rules that the dummy runner, that Sam Whitelock tackled in front of the ball, was a blocking run.


23 mins.After another good territorial kick from Ford forces another touch-finder from Beauden Barrett that allows England to go again in the All Blacks ’half. A few phases are marshalled before Farrell puts it in touch in the corner. New Zealand will have to catch and exit.


20 mins.It’s been frenetic and this first scrum of the game is also the first chance for everyone to suck some air in. England win it after a couple of collapses and Youngs puts a box kick up for NZ to attack. They try to mix it up with a kick-pass wide to Bridge, he gathers it but Jonny May pummels him into touch.

18 mins. Courtney Lawes nicks the All Black lineout and England exit up to their own 10 meter line. New Zealand make no mistake with this one and the maul gets going, but then it collapses legally, the ball won’t come and England have the scrum.

Nothing is happening for New Zealand at all at the moment.


17 mins.Penalty to New Zealand on the halfway line after Sam Underhill is off his feet at the ruck, and they’ll have a lineout on the England 22.

Updated (at 4.) am EDT

13 mins. The All Blacks win their lineout but it’s scrappy and they can do nothing but chip it forward for an easy mark to England. Farrell clears it and Itoje wins a fabulous turnover as the NZ maul splinters. England are back on the ball and back in New Zealand’s 22. Updated


11 mins.Elliot Daly’s first clearing kick is a poor one, not enough distance and right into Beauden Barrett’s bread basket, but the NZ full-back does little other than kick it straight back. Possession is traded before an angled NZ kick forces Daly to run it into touch on his own 22.


9 mins.Of course, that is the cue for England to spill it in the tackle and NZ have transitional possession to attack with but all they can do is throw and interception back to England. Jonny May is streaking away up the left but has to check inside as Scott Barrett covers, he tries to find Farrell with an inside pop but it goes forward.

NZ kick a penalty to touch in their next possession.

6 mins.England win the lineout and again it’s carried repeatedly through multiple hit ups again, each of which are inching forward. It’s kicked eventually and Beauden Barrett can only find touch in his own half again.

England look precise, powerful and at ease presently.

Courtney Lawes of England wins a lineout over Kieran Read of New Zealand.
Courtney Lawes of England wins a lineout over Kieran Read of New Zealand. Photograph: Hannah Peters / Getty Images


TRY! 2 mins: England 7 – 0 New Zealand (Manu Tuilagi)

England’s first lineout is a good one and Manu has his first carry. They are putting it through hands with Daly up and present in the line early, Watson carries into the NZ half and two phases later they are under the posts. Manu pops up again to pick and drive over from three meters. Farrell converts.

That is quite the start.

England go on an early attack.
England go on an early attack. Photograph: Francois Nel / World Rugby via Getty Images

Manu Tuilagi of England scores their first try.
Manu Tuilagi of England scores their first try. Photograph: Tom Jenkins / The Guardian

England’s Manu Tuilagi scores a try.
Tuilagi avoids the All Blacks boots when he goes over. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko / AP

England’s Manu Tuilagi, center right, celebrates with teammates after scoring a try.
England’s players celebrate Tuilagi’s try. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko / AP


Kick off

George Ford passes the ball toOwen Farrellto send the ball up into the Yokohama gloaming and deep into NZ half. They recycle and exit to touch with little fuss.

England stand in a deep V formation to face the Haka. It’s encroaching into the NZ half and the officials try to move them back but they’re having none of it.Owen Farrellhas a sly smile on his face as he looks on and the needle has started early.

Just as we like it.

Owen Farrell and the England team look on as the All Blacks perform the Haka.
Owen Farrell and the England team look on as the All Blacks perform the Haka. Photograph: Issei Kato / Reuters


Anthems Watch.

The spine-tingling nature of the game is in direct opposition to that of the anthems, if I’m honest.

It’s haka time and then we’ll be underway.

Updated (at 4.) am EDT

Here come the teams!

Out they come down an incredibly long corridor to the tunnel. Seriously, that was like something out ofLabyrinth,minus David Bowie in jodhpurs. Eventually they emerge into the light, drums and noise.

Kieran Read (L) and Sam Whitelock of New Zealand take the field.
Kieran Read (L) and Sam Whitelock of New Zealand take the field. Photograph: Hannah Peters / Getty Images


Eddie Jones is chatting.

“We have a certain way we play and we’re sticking to it, we’ll need points and George and Owen give us plenty of options in attack”

He may say that, but don’t be surprised if they spend the first 20 minutes keeping it tight in the carry and kicking.

TAO Whiteboard(@ TAOWhiteboard)

In ‘everyone gets lucky’, my prediction of Ireland v ABs was so accurate I’ll venture another. A physical standoff decided by England’s kicking out of hand and their ability to score three tries. Simple game – have to be clinical in the extreme. Mistakes and ABs win

(October) , 2019

This is the thing, England can win this but it will have to be a 98% performance. The difference between the sides is that NZ can probably drop to 90% and still do it, it’s a small gap, but at this stage and this level that’s all it takes and the All Blacks are so ve ry good at being the right side of the gap most often.

“Not many people about is there? And no food trucks either, have we got the kick-off time wrong? ”

No, that’s not it …

Rugby World Cup 2019 ™ Fan Information(@ Japan 2019 _ ENG)

* International Stadium Yokohama announcement * 📢
As there have been reports of spectators confusing the location of the stadium, please be advised that# ENGvNZLwill take place at International Stadium Yokohama, and not Yokohama Stadium the baseball ground.# RWC 2019

October 26, 2019

Updated (at 3.) am EDT

New Zealand coachSteve Hansenis talking on the TV.

Addressing the Scott Barrett selection he simply says “we wanted some more height” with his usual deadpan delivery. So there you go.

Updated (at 3.) ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (am EDT)

“Much as I admire Dan Cole for his scrummaging, there’s little else apart from the fact he’s a really nice guy.” Says Phil Merivale, “I’d have thought that the prop these days should be able to pass, run, tackle, swerve, and / or, not knock-on or give away pens. ”

I know where you’re coming from Phil, but Cole has I think a very simple role in this team and that’s to come on and scrummage – a strength as you point out – and also make a mess of opposition ball in the ruck. Previously, he has run too close to the penalty line with the latter, but he seems to have ironed that worry out of late.

Updated (at 3.) am EDT

Terrifyingly talented brothers alert!

Andy Bull fill us in on the Barretts, those special but unassuming rugby siblings:

Updated (at 3.) am EDT

Some good portent for England fans here, maybe.

Charlie Whitting(@ CharlieWhittin1)

Some solace for you. Australia in 1991 are the only team to have beaten Ireland in the quarters and won the subsequent semi. All other teams have fallen at the next hurdle# curseoftheirish.

(October) , 2019

Pre-game reading:Rob Kitson runs his eye over the match:

Updated (at 3.) am EDT



Eddie Jonesreturns to the Ford-Farrell axis and moves Henry Slade to the bench despite his impressive display against Australia. The only other change sees Lewis Ludlam give up his bench spot to the indefatigable gnarly physicality of Mark Wilson. It should be quite a tussle when both Wilson and the All Black Sam Cane enter the fray from the dug-out to have a competition as to who can be the most deceptively destructive physical presence.

Steve Hansenhas done what passes for rolling the dice for him. Scott Barrett, a lock-forward, starts today at blind-side for the first time in his 34 caps. He’s not a complete novice at this level having come off the bench to play flanker eight times, including for a full half in the dismantling of an already beaten Ireland last week, but he’s not far off.

What to make of this? Barrett offers another lineout option, which will certainly counter Itoje’s threat to get in front of opposition jumpers and steal ball if he has more to cover. He will also offer more bulk to counter England’s carriers, especially the Vunipolas. Either of these makes some sense, but what has jaws wagging is that making a change to counter opposition tactics is not very Hansen and even less All Blacks – they usually prefer the ‘let them worry about us’ approach.

If England can work their blueprint early, they could have enough to hang on. But, I’ve a feeling we could see a plan out of the blocks from NZ similar to how they attacked thefirst Lions test in 2017: incredibly physical carries off precise short passes, either offloaded or from around the ruck, that inched them up the field, ground the opposition under them and led to a comfortable win (including a Fifteen Minute Soul-Splinterer early in the second half, by the way).

When you consider that, Scott Barrett’s selection appears the most logical of decisions.

England:Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi,Owen Farrell(capt), Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola

Replacements:Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Mark Wilson, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade, Jonathan Joseph.

New Zealand:Beauden Barrett; Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, Kieran Read (capt).

Replacements:Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta ‘avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett

Updated (at 3.) am EDT


Hello everyone and welcome to this first semi-final, as England take on New Zealand in Yokohama.

You may have heard mention that England won aRugby World Cuponce, something about a drop-goal, I think. What is less mentioned is that the Red Rose team have defeated every nation they have played against in the nine World Cups so far with the exception of one, New Zealand. England have beaten New Zealand seven times in their history – it happens roughly once a decade with notable regularity, the pattern of wins since the 70 s going 1973, 1983, 1993, 2002 -3 (twice) and 2012. Worrying for them, note they’re not due another for at least three years.

How much the past is a predictor of the future is up for debate – just ask anyone who thought Sir Clive Woodward would make a good rugby pundit – but England are up against it today.

New Zealand for a while were a running joke at Rugby World Cups; the best team in the world that couldn’t win the tournament that proves it. The near quarter century of outings after their 1987 win echoed to some harrowing version of“four more years, boys!”. They limped over the line on home soil in 2011 to finally throw the monkey off their back then, emboldened, they chased the thing down the street and bludgeoned it with a bat as they dominated the 2015 tournament. Meet the new Blacks, same as the old Blacks. Relying on some type ofFrench-style RWC kryptonite impeding themas it did a few times before isn’t going to do it these days.

There is also no side in the world for the past decade better than the All Blacks at taking a game away from a team. For a while, it seems like their opponents are in it: a good contest, plenty to play for, “we might just do this, you know!”

Then it comes – The Fifteen Minute Soul-Splinterer.

A quarter-hour in which they tear you asunder like piranhas – such massive piranhas – stripping a carcass. It could be in the opening burst as a battered Ireland discovered last week, or perhaps in the run up to half-time, but usually it’s in that horrible five or ten minutes into the second half, leaving limited time afterwards for your flayed team to somehow claw three tries back.

England must overcome all this. Can they do it? If any team is capable on form so far then it is Eddie Jones’s charges, they are a settled side and they know what they’re about. They have a working blueprint of applying pressure, getting points on the board, then employing some significant shutdown forwards from the bench alloyed with arguably the best scramble defense in the tournament to ensure those points are enough. So far, so comfortable.

It’s about to get less comfortable.

Kick-off:9am BST, 9pm NZDT.


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