Match report: Clinical New Zealand dash England hopes
NZPA
June 14, 2008

The All Blacks extended their historical rugby stranglehold over England in strong fashion with a comprehensive 37-20 victory at Eden Park.

New Zealand were rampant when required and comfortably improved their unbeaten home record to 27 tests by crushing the World Cup runnersup in the first of two internationals.

Both sides are rebuilding mode after last year's World Cup and England's new-look squad will be starting from the ground up in Christchurch next Saturday after being dominated in all facets before a capacity crowd of 44,000.

A 20-point scoring burst in 15 minutes leading up to halftime set the platform for New Zealand's victory as England's composure deserted them shortly after Olly Barkley had kicked the tourists' into a 6-3 lead.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was issued with a warning in the 20th minute by Welsh referee Nigel Owens after being penalised for a ruck infringement and although Barkley slotted the goal, the admonishment simply spurred the All Blacks to lift a gear.

Barely two minutes later the All Blacks took the lead for the first time when England botched the restart and turned over the ball deep in their territory.

After a couple of powerful forward thrusts Daniel Carter placed a grubber kick through for Conrad Smith to collect and bounce over the tryline after evading English defenders Mike Tindall, Mike Brown and Richard Wigglesworth.

The converted try signalled the beginning of a horror period for England as their core skills and discipline deteriorated.

A ruck infringement allowed Carter to goal a 41m penalty and when the restart found touch on the full New Zealand were gifted a solid platform to attack.

Three minutes later the excellent Carter slid over for a try after an smart scrum base move instigated by halfback Andrew Ellis.

Ellis slipped an inside ball to winger Sitiveni Sivivatu, who broke the line with ease before drawing his opposite Topsy Ojo to give Carter a saloon passage to the goalposts.

Carter, who ended the match with 20 points, added the extras and in the 33rd minute England's plight deepened when Owens lost his patience with persistent English infringing at the breakdown.

Loosehead prop Andrew Sheridan was the fall guy when he failed to roll clear, leaving England a man down and in disarray.

Carter landed the resulting penalty and in no time the All Blacks had cruised to a 23-6 lead.

Their advantage seemed certain to inflate further two minutes before the break when Carter ghosted through England's defensive line but Ojo made a timely intercept before the debutant streaked 80m down the right hand touch to score.

Carter delayed his pass to Smith by a split second, a rare blemish from the pivot, and a delighted Ojo outlasted solitary chaser Mils Muliaina.

Barkley's conversion narrowed the gap to a deceptive 10-point margin at halftime but two minutes after the resumption Muliaina had a more profitable chase, keeping in touch with a Ma'a Nonu line break to cross untouched.

Nonu's surge aptly summed the threat posed by the respective backlines as the barrel-chested midfielder took a pass from Ellis, bounced off Charlie Hodgson and charged 20m before putting Muliaina in the clear.

The second five-eighth was in destructive mood again four minutes later, making an incisive bust and toying with the English defence before Sivivatu found himself in clear air to score one the easier of his 23 test tries.

Leading 37-13 with more than 30 minutes to play, a rout loomed but the contest then lost its shape as the All Blacks emptied the bench, handing debut caps to lock Anthony Boric and Stephen Donald, who replaced the impressive Carter with 11 minutes remaining.

Perhaps comforted by their lead, New Zealand lost their impetus and it was the livewire Ojo who had the final say when he grabbed what appeared an innocuous chip kick to elude Sione Lauaki to score seven minutes from fulltime.

The win was New Zealand's 23 in 30 tests against the English stretching back to 1905 and leaves the 2003 English team as the most recent visiting team to win on New Zealand soil.

New Zealand (23) 37 England (13) 20

New Zealand: Tries: Smith, Carter, Muliaina, Sivivatu. Cons: Carter 4. Pens: Carter 3.

New Zealand: Muliaina, Tuitavake, Smith, Nonu, Sivivatu, Carter, Ellis, Tialata, Hore, Somerville, Thorn, Williams,
So'oialo, McCaw, Kaino.

Replacements: MacDonald for Muliaina (53), Donald for Carter (70), Cowan for Ellis (60), Mealamu for Hore (48), Boric for Thorn (53), Lauaki for Kaino (48).

Not Used: Schwalger.

England: Tries: Ojo 2. Cons: Barkley 2. Pens: Barkley 2.

England: Brown, Ojo, Tindall, Barkley, Strettle, Hodgson, Wigglesworth, Sheridan, Mears, Stevens, Palmer, Borthwick,
Haskell, Rees, Narraway.

Replacements: Noon for Hodgson (50), Care for Wigglesworth (63), Payne for Sheridan (64), Paice for Mears (76), Kay for Palmer (54), Worsley for Haskell (63).

Not Used: Tait.

Sin Bin: Sheridan (32), Tindall (77).

Att: 37,500

Ref: Nigel Owens (WRFU).

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