26 Oct 2019

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks lose semifinal 19-7 to England

11:15 pm on 26 October 2019

The All Blacks' hopes of a third successive Rugby World Cup have been smashed by a superior English squad in Yokohama.

England's Mark Wilson reacts to the win, while Richie Mo'unga and Sevu Reece can only look on.

England's Mark Wilson reacts to the win, while Richie Mo'unga and Sevu Reece can only look on. Photo: AFP

An error-prone New Zealand effort has seen them beaten 19-7 by a ferocious England outfit in their semifinal.

As well as eliminate hopes of an historic third straight title, the result puts the All Blacks into the match no leading team wants to take part in.

They will play in the bronze medal fixture next weekend against the loser of Sunday's second semifinal between South Africa and Wales.

England - and their smiling coach Eddie Jones - will play the winner for the right to lift the Webb Ellis trophy.

2019 Rugby World Cup Semi-Final, International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan 26/10/2019
England vs New Zealand
England's Maro Itoje tackles New Zealand's Anton Lienert-Brown

Photo: NPHO/James Crombie / www.photosport.nz

Given how well England had played and how poor the All Blacks had been, the defending champions had reason to feel pleased they weren't trailing by more than 10 at the break.

Follow how the game unfolded with RNZ's live blog

Jones' side started with a hiss and a roar, fullback Elliott Daly almost immediately making a clean break and putting wing Anthony Watson away.

Three phases later they had opened the scoring, big centre Manu Tuilagi barging his way over from the base of the ruck.

England's players react after Manu Tuilagi's first try during the first half of the Semi-Finals in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Japan against New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture on Oct. 26, 2019. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun )

England's players react after Manu Tuilagi's try. Photo: AFP

One try would have been two just five minutes later, had it not been for blindside flanker Scott Barrett proving he has speed as well as size to make a superb cover tackle on flying wing Jonny May.

The English had started with such physicality and pace that after quarter of an hour the New Zealand forwards were visibly fatigued with hands on hips.

England then went close again on 25 minutes, Sam Underhill's try ruled out for an obstruction at the initial break 20 metres out.

From the resulting penalty came New Zealand's best moment of the half but Brodie Retallick's clean bust on halfway eventually came to nothing thanks to a loose pass and good scramble defence.

The error was a reflection of a very scratchy first 40 minutes, the World Cup favourites inexplicably missing 13 tackles, making several poor kicks and losing two of their own lineouts.

England had also had the upper hand at scrum time, a long George Ford penalty right on the break giving his side a double digit buffer as the teams headed for the sheds.

2019 Rugby World Cup Semi-Final, International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan 26/10/2019
England vs New Zealand
England's Billy Vunipola tackled by New Zealand's Aaron Smith and Ardie Savea
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie / www.photosport.nz

Photo: INPHO/James Crombie / www.photosport.nz

The All Blacks didn't get the improved start to the second half they would have been after, the side in white consolidating well after the resumption.

Five minutes in England again thought they had their second try, as halfback Ben Youngs darted away and went through a gap after a strong rolling maul from an attacking lineout.

But the replay showed a small knock on in the maul, handing New Zealand another let off.

Another Ford penalty soon after did, however, extend the lead to 13-0, though the match was not quite done there.

After 55 minutes dealing with a lack of ball and making numerous mistakes, the All Blacks were able to capitalise on an English error.

An overthrown lineout on their own five metre line was gladly accepted by Ardie Savea who dotted down, the successful conversion closing the gap to six going into the final quarter.

New Zealand's flanker Ardie Savea (2nd L) scores a try during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama on October 26, 2019.

ardie Savea goes in for his try. Photo: AFP or licensors

But England were not deterred from their work.

Two further Ford penalties extended the buffer back out to 12, the first the result of an unnecessary Jordie Barrett pass which forced a knock on close to his own line.

The final 10 minutes was as frustrating for New Zealandfans as the first 70.

Any half chance their team created came to nothing because of a mistake or dogged English defence.

It had been an outstanding night for England, and a night to forget for the All Blacks.

Kieran Read during the game

Kieran Read during the game Photo: NPHO/Billy Stickland / ww.photosport.nz