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Newz Forum: OTHER: RUGBY: England crushed by the All Blacks

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posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:29 AM
England suffered a crushing 36-3 defeat at Carisbrook as the wheels well and truly came off their World Cup chariot against a New Zealand side superior in every department. The world champions faced one of their toughest assignments during Sir Clive Woodward's 80-Test coaching reign.

They arrived at Carisbrook, knowing that only the Lions and Australia had successfully stormed New Zealand's Dunedin fortress during the past 99 years.

The All Blacks had won 28 and drawn one of their previous 32 Tests on a ground which was packed to its 40,000 capacity for new coach Graham Henry's first game in charge.

England, 15-13 conquerors of New Zealand in Wellington last June, were chasing their third successive win against the All Blacks, but they arrived on the South Island minus more than a dozen World Cup squad members.

The absentees included Jonny Wilkinson, Jason Robinson and Phil Vickery, yet England still boasted a combined cap tally of 500-plus, giving them a considerable edge on experience over their opponents.

Woodward made seven changes, including Josh Lewsey's positional switch from wing to full-back as replacement for Robinson, following the defeat against Six Nations rivals France 11 weeks ago.

There were starts for wing James Simpson-Daniel, centre Mike Catt, fly-half Charlie Hodgson, prop Julian White, lock Simon Shaw and flanker Chris Jones, with Hodgson also handed goalkicking duties on his return to Test rugby after a 16-month absence.

New Zealand handed a debut to Waikato flanker Jono Gibbes, and were captained for the first time by Wellington centre Tana Umaga.

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