English newspapers in seventh heaven ahead of Cup final

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Some of the reactions are listed below:


Stephen Jones, The Sunday Times: "This was England’s greatest performance in any World Cup. I cannot imagine the circumstances in which I would have seen a better one in any location, nothing better than the glorious exhibition of inch-perfect planning and execution that they gave in Yokohama, on their way to their fourth World Cup final.


"The last 20 minutes of this staggering game were played to a backdrop of English rugby songs — admittedly a genre not to everybody’s taste, but it was lovely to imagine the joy back home in England. English rugby needed this so badly, and now they must be favourites to become world champions.


"Eddie Jones, the maddening, occasionally intoxicating, usually baffling Australian, must take the lion’s share of credit for the forward planning. His plans shut down New Zealand’s fast-paced game, putting their key players such as Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga in a prison of tackling. New Zealand had to resort to scuttling in desperation behind the advantage line, and whenever they did so they were hunted down either by the organisation of the defence or by thunderous one-off tackles from Manu Tuilagi, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje (the man from a different planet) and the new wonder twins of the back row, Tom Curry and Sam Underhill."


Owen Slot, The Sunday Times: "This was the end of an era. It was the end of the longest reign of any team in the 32-year history of the Rugby World Cup. Eddie Jones gave the stature of his opposition broader perspective six days ago when he suggested that these All Blacks were the greatest team in the history of sport. At that point he was still talking present tense. What was so striking about this moment of finality was the authority with which England sent the double world champions packing. They didn’t edge it. It wasn’t a win by a nose. There was clear distance between England and the All Blacks.


Mick Cleary, The Sunday Telegraph: "Eddie Jones hailed his team’s display after they demolished and dethroned “the gods of rugby” in a near-perfect 19-7 victory to win through to their first World Cup final in 12 years. England’s stunning performance against the All Blacks, who were back-to-back defending world champions, means they will play either Wales or South Africa, who clash this morning in the second semi-final. It also took them to No 1 in the world rankings.


"Jones, who took over as England coach in the aftermath of the 2015

home World Cup debacle, said: “New Zealand are the gods of rugby so we had to take the game to them. We have got the right focus and have had since our very first meeting at Pennyhill Park four years ago.


“We want to be the best in the world and we are not the best yet. This win gives us an opportunity next week. That is all. We had two-and-a-half years [since the draw in Kyoto] to prepare for this game while the All Blacks had one week. We are ready for another good week now.”


Robert Kitson, The Observer: "No one connected with English rugby will ever forget the annus mirabilis of 2003 but finally Martin Johnson and co have some serious competition. While Eddie Jones’s squad are still 80 minutes short of their ultimate ambition, it is impossible to recall any Red Rose side, ancient or modern, playing better than this.


"If it sounds faintly unreal to report that New Zealand, the tournament favourites and previously unbeaten in 18 World Cup matches dating back to 2007, could conceivably have been beaten by 30 unanswered points that is the plain, unvarnished truth. Their dreams of becoming the first team to win three consecutive Webb Ellis Cups were not so much dashed on a humid evening as sliced and diced by a bunch of sword-wielding Samurai warriors.

New Zealand, so dominant en route to the last four, could cope with neither the extra power at England’s disposal nor their defensive strength and tactical acumen after Manu Tuilagi’s second-minute score had set the spectacular early tone."


Nick Cain, The Rugby Paper: "This was the Eureka moment English rugby has been waiting for, not just for four years but, in World Cup terms forever. New Zealand were dethroned from their Olympus heights as world champions by Owen Farrell's side in brutally emphatic fashion. And now England have given themselves the chance to supplant the All Blacks as the best in the game by winning the final in this stadium a week from now. And how they deserve that chance, because this was an England performance for the ages; certainly one of the best I have seen."


Sir Clive Woodward, The Mail on Sunday: "I am in awe of the entire England team and those who coach and prepared them after that performance. I expected the win, I've been sticking my head above the parapet and confidently predicting an England win all week, but what surprised even me was the 80-minute excellence of that display.


"I can't imagine England have ever played better on the biggest stage. I felt a huge surge of pride watching this team and admiration for how clever and skilled they were.


"Eddie Jones has got this group ticking over beautifully. What a magnificent job he has done, though I was glad to see him in business-like mode and already thinking about the final. He knows England must still go to the well once more. England played with great tempo. They were massively powerful, disciplined, clever, indomitable, unmoveable – everything as a fan you'd want them to be. And more."


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