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‘NZ’s relief says it all’: How world media reacted to All Blacks’ victory

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 7 Jul 2024, 9:35am

‘NZ’s relief says it all’: How world media reacted to All Blacks’ victory

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 7 Jul 2024, 9:35am

How the world reacted to the All Blacks’ 16-15 victory over England at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

‘England left kicking themselves’

By Robert Kitson, the Guardian

England could theoretically still draw this two-Test series but on a cold night at the bottom of the South Island they were reminded of one of rugby’s oldest truths. If you want to beat New Zealand on Kiwi soil you need to be at your absolute best and an inability to take your opportunities is invariably going to be fatal.

While England were gallant, committed and ceaselessly enthusiastic, they will also look back and know this was a game they allowed to slip away. In a tight contest, three missed kicks from Marcus Smith, one of them from almost bang in front of the posts, permitted New Zealand just enough wriggle room to secure a narrow victory that ensures the Hillary Shield will stay in the southern hemisphere.

‘So near but so far - again’

By Chris Foy, Daily Mail

England came on a mission to make history but ended up becoming trapped in the same old story of defeat and despair against the All Blacks in New Zealand. It was so near but so far - again.

Ardie Savea of New Zealand runs in for a try against England. Photo / Photosport
Ardie Savea of New Zealand runs in for a try against England. Photo / Photosport

A decade after losing by a point at Forsyth Barr Stadium, there was the same agonising outcome at the same venue. But even under-prepared All Blacks are still All Blacks and their innate spirit and talent allowed them to turn the tables, to mark Scott Robertson’s first game in charge with a narrow, nervy win.

The English target was just a third victory against the host nation on these shores but Borthwick’s side could not claim the Kiwis’ scalp here in 2024, as their predecessors had done in 1973 and 2003. Those remain the twin peaks for England in rugby’s final frontier and it is now hard to imagine another such feat occurring in a week’s time.

‘NZ’s relief says it all’

By Gavin Mairs, The Telegraph

The relief on the faces of the New Zealand players at the death said it all. With just seconds left on the clock England had one final play to set up a kick at goal, only to be undone by another breakdown penalty as George Furbank became isolated. It had been a problem for England all night.

This had been a titanic test match, but it is hard not to come away from the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin with the feeling that a golden opportunity for Steve Borthwick’s side was missed against a new-look All Blacks side playing under a new coach and captain.

Instead, England’s 21-year wait for a victory against the All Blacks on New Zealand soil continues and Borthwick’s side will look back and regret key moments where this game got away from them, including two missed penalties and a conversion attempt by fly-half Marcus Smith.

‘Work to do for the All Blacks’

By Mantej Mann, BBC Sport

The All Blacks pitched up at their most southerly home with a new coach and a new captain at the start of a new era.

George Martin of England reacts in defeat. Photo / Photosport
George Martin of England reacts in defeat. Photo / Photosport

The first objective for Robertson was to overcome an England side they had not beaten in their past two attempts after a thrilling 25-25 draw at Twickenham in 2022 and that famous England win at the 2019 World Cup semifinal.

However, the new coach was vindicated in his selection of Perofeta, who produced a moment of brilliance to expose Earl in the one bright moment of attack.

Victory was all that mattered but there is clearly work to do for the All Blacks to find their fluency as they embark on the next cycle leading to the 2027 World Cup.

All Blacks can breathe a sigh of relief

By Liam Napier, NZ Herald

In a high stakes, drama-filled finish, Damian McKenzie ran out of time to kick a 78th-minute penalty that would have pushed the All Blacks four points clear to hand England one last crack at snatching a treasured victory.

The tourists couldn’t achieve their third win on New Zealand soil, with the All Blacks gaining a penalty to end the tense, scrappy contest which sparked an eruption - filled with as much relief as joy - from the 29,000-strong crowd.

When the dust settles, though, England will regret a golden blown-opportunity. This was their best chance to strike. And with victory in the offing, they blew it.

‘A scrap to the death’

By Gregor Paul, NZ Herald

The Razor area has begun with something more akin to a pop than a bang, but nevertheless, the new-look All Blacks have banked a victory in their first outing.

It was a scrap to the death; an impossibly grim struggle in the last 10 minutes when both sides decided they were going to play to extract penalties. New Zealand - just - had the wherewithal to find a way to win.

It wasn’t pretty, overly coherent or full of magical highs by any means, but there was graft, an outstanding scrummaging effort and enough rugby intelligence, refined skill and desire to sneak home against an England team who will feel they found the All Blacks’ soft spots but couldn’t quite exploit them.

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