All Blacks stamina and depth accounts for England

Getty Images     17 Nov 2013     Getty Images

New Zealand scored three tries, two of them to wing Julian Savea, to one for England and it was the goal-kicking boot of first five-eighths Owen Farrell that kept his side close.

The All Blacks had to overcome a period of play where they were hit hard by penalties from referee Craig Joubert during the middle stages of the game but once getting through that, their ability to play at increased tempo allowed them to break the English defensive shackles.

England would feel some reward for getting close to backing up their win of last year, but they lacked the depth on their bench in comparison to the All Blacks. The sides will next meet in a three-Test series in New Zealand in June next year.

It took the All Blacks 1m 40s to make a statement after No.8 Kieran Read played two hands in the opening try scored by Savea. He fielded England's first downfield kick of the game, drove ahead to set up a ruck which New Zealand won before spreading the ball for second five-eighths Ma'a Nonu to kick along the sideline forcing England to take the ball into touch five metres from their line.

Attempting a variation in the lineout, New Zealand put backs in the front of the line but threw to the middle and while flanker Liam Messam tidied the ball, it was moved to the blindside where Read secured an untidy pass, before slipping a backhand pass to Savea who slipped inside to score.

Knowing that England believed they had the superior scrum, the All Blacks had to wait 10 minutes for their first opportunity to contest that viewpoint. They demolished England and won a penalty in the resulting play for first five-eighths Dan Carter to goal.

At the second scrum, after 15 minutes, England were penalised. A quick kick was taken and New Zealand moved it wide. Coming back, lock Brodie Retallick fed a superb short ball to prop Owen Franks and he charged into space like a centre. From the ruck the ball was again moved to the blindside where fullback Israel Dagg probed and then sent a perfect pass to Read who scored.

England took three five-metre lineouts from penalties awarded to attempt to score and from the last No.8 Billy Vunipola looked to be driven over the line but television evidence was unable to see the ball grounded.

From the five-metre scrum loose ball was knocked on by Read and in the melee it was lock Joe Launchbury who scored in the 24th minute.

Carter's 100th Test ended moments later when he limped from the field with an ankle injury to be replaced by Aaron Cruden.

Farrell landed two penalty goals, the second from a tighthead scrum won in Read's sin-bin absence.

New Zealand led 20-16 at half-time and started the second half without prop Tony Woodcock who had a hamstring strain.

England enjoyed a strong period on attack through the middle stages of the game, managing a high degree of continuity play with No.8 Vunipola denting the defences and creating chances for the inside backs, Billy Twelvetrees and Joel Tomkins, to carry ball ahead.

However, the pair were not able to find space in the more open play.

Vunipola's replacement Ben Morgan proved equally as useful with the ball in hand.

A testing final quarter was set up when Farrell landed his fifth penalty goal in the 59th minute to claim the lead 22-20.

However, their lineout disintegrated, losing three successive throws, after the replacement of hooker Dylan Hartley, and the All Blacks made the most of it to run the ball back at England and it was a superbly placed pass from Nonu to Savea that allowed the big wing to charge over the line in tackles to get the ball down.

Fine chasing work by wing Charles Piutau on a kick from the base of a ruck by halfback Aaron Smith resulted in a penalty chance 40m out and Cruden landed it to take the All Blacks to a 30-22 lead.

Scorers: England 22 (Joe Launchbury try; Owen Farrell con, 5 pen) New Zealand 30 (Julian Savea 2, Kieran Read tries; Dan Carter 2 con, pen; Aaron Cruden con, 2 pen). HT: 16-20