England defeated New Zealand 19-7 in Saturday’s semi-final match of the Rugby World Cup.
To defeat the defending champions who had not lost a World Cup match since the 2007 quarter-finals, England had to produce one of their greatest performances.
After showing their intent not to buy into the ‘All Black aura’ by defying the officials and lining up against the Haka in a V formation, England backed it up once the whistle had sounded, scoring a brilliant try through Manu Tuilagi in the second minute after a sustained, high-paced assault that swept the width of the pitch.
I believe we can create history in Japan.
England then built their lead through the brilliant goalkicking of recalled flyhalf George Ford. New Zealand, who had won 15 of the teams’ last 16 meetings, barely threatened and managed only a gift of a try by flanker Ardie Savea.
The victory swept England into their fourth final and first since 2007, where they will seek their second victory after 2003 when they became the first, and still only, northern hemisphere country to triumph.
England awaits the winner of Sunday’s South Africa vs Wales semi-final, to contest the November 2 final.