On this day in 2012: England end New Zealand’s 20-match unbeaten run

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  • Owen Farrell
    English rugby league and rugby union footballer
  • Julian Savea
    New Zealand rugby union player

England ended world champions New Zealand’s unbeaten 20-match run on this day in 2012.

The All Blacks were completely outplayed as England claimed a famous 38-21 victory in front of an 82,000 Twickenham crowd.

It was England’s first win over the All Blacks in nine years – and only their seventh in history.

Rugby Union – QBE International – England v New Zealand – Twickenham
Owen Farrell (top) celebrates with his England team-mates after Chris Ashton’s try against New Zealand (Clive Gee/PA)

Four penalties and a drop-goal from Owen Farrell gave England a 15-0 lead after 42 minutes, only for New Zealand to show their class and storm back.

Julian Savea crashed over in the corner and Kieran Read also touched down, with two Dan Carter conversions reducing the deficit to a single point.

England’s early work was in danger of going to waste but three quick tries secured a record victory.

Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi all crossed, the latter having intercepted Read’s poor pass to Carter and strolled across the line in an atmosphere of disbelief.

Rugby Union – QBE International – England v New Zealand – Twickenham
England centre Manu Tuilagi powers away for an interception try (Clive Gee/PA)

Farrell and debutant replacement Freddie Burns added late points with the boot to render Savea’s second try meaningless.

Australia and South Africa had both inflicted autumn Twickenham defeats on England before the New Zealand game.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “What makes great teams is a strong culture and I think we’ve got a strong culture here building.

“We’ve got a good young English team that should take us through the next five, six, seven years.”

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