Autumn Nations Series: England score three late tries to rescue stunning draw with the All Blacks

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

England, who looked dead and buried after 70 minutes, touched down three times late on to somehow rescue a 25-25 draw against the All Blacks at Twickenham.

After lightening fast openings to the games against Wales and Scotland, New Zealand repeated the trick and went 14-0 up.

Ian Foster’s men used the cross-field kick to great effect and were rewarded with tries for Dalton Papali’i and Codie Taylor.

The Red Rose were poor, meanwhile, with their only score in the first half coming from an Owen Farrell penalty, before Jordie Barrett kicked a three-pointer for a 17-3 advantage at the interval.

Although Marcus Smith reduced the arrears for the Red Rose, the visitors continued to control matters and Rieko Ioane’s try, allied by Beauden Barrett’s drop-goal, appeared to seal the win.

But Eddie Jones’ side had other ideas. A Beauden Barrett yellow card after a Smith break changed the course of the match, with Will Stuart also going over in that passage of play.

England had the momentum and the All Blacks looked shattered as the hosts crossed the whitewash twice more via Freddie Steward and Stuart to complete a dramatic finale.

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Jack van Poortvliet has barely put a foot wrong in his six caps, but the 21-year-old scrum-half gifted New Zealand their first try when his pass off a well executed line-out was easily picked off by the lurking Papali’i who ran half the pitch to score.

The All Blacks had started like a freight train and England were stunned when they ran in a second try in the ninth minute, their maul defence crumbling for Taylor to cross.

Van Poortvliet’s nightmare continued when he was hunted down while taking too long with his clearance kick but the ensuing try by Ioane was ruled out because of a neck roll by the New Zealand centre on Farrell, who was winning his 100th cap.

When they had possession England attacked with urgency through their ball carrying forwards and Sam Simmonds, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola made sizeable dents that forced the tourists to scramble.

An action packed opening quarter settled down into a series of scrums, penalties and free-kicks with play unfolding between the two 22s, but when the fireworks resumed it was the All Blacks lighting the fuse and only committed home defence limited them to a Jordie Barrett penalty.

Dramatic second half

Farrell was struggling with an ankle injury and while the centre soldiered on, Smith had taken over the kicking duties to land three points.

It was the Harlequins fly-half’s delayed pass that created a half-chance for Manu Tuilagi only for the Sale centre to be stopped short and after a tidal wave of pick and goes, England were penalised on the line for going to ground.

An opportunity had gone begging and they were made to pay as the All Blacks sprung into action, seizing on Sam Simmonds losing the ball in contact to construct a brilliant try from their own 22.

Beauden Barrett chipped cross-field for Caleb Clarke who turned and offloaded to Ioane on the loop and the outside centre had the gas to race over.

Beauden Barrett landed a drop-goal and was then sin-binned for holding on to Smith and England were finally over in the 72nd minute through Stuart.

Under two minutes later and they were in again, a stunning counter-attack that was finished by Steward shredding New Zealand’s defence, before another sweeping move was finished by super-sub Stuart with Smith sealing the draw.

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