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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 12:33 GMT
Can England complete clean sweep?
England new boy James Simpson-Daniel in action against New Zealand
England beat New Zealand 31-28 at Twickenham, their first win over the All Blacks since 1993.

Can England complete a southern hemisphere treble?


This debate is now closed.


England stemmed a furious fightback at Twickenham, hanging on to record their first win over the Kiwis in almost a decade.

Clive Woodward's side led 17-14 at half-time, Lewis Moody scoring in the corner right on the whistle after Johnny Wilkinson and James Simpson-Daniel created the space.

England then surged into a 31-14 lead early in the first half, Wilkinson scoring with a delightful chip and chase and Ben Cohen outstripping the cover to score under the posts.

The All Blacks hit back through Jonah Lomu and Danny Lee tries, but England were not to be denied.

Can England go on to beat Australia and South Africa?


What a great game! The atmosphere in the stadium was truly electric. It's a shame about losing by three, but that takes nothing away from the strength and courage with which the All Blacks played. As for England: well done - the better team won on the day, and I (for one) will look forward to next year in Australia!
Oliver, Kiwi in UK


They should have buried the All Blacks but let Lomu et al come back at them
B.I. Jones, United Kingdom

The entire first choice AB forward pack was not playing and were left behind in NZ. This game was a waste of time and should never have been played. This IS undeniably the B team.

None of the forwards on the field can make the Tri-Nations team, even the captain Taine Randell. So it was no surprise that England won the battle of the forwards and ultimately the game.
Steve, Belgian

A good effort from the England side today and a deserved win. I think they can do the treble at home. But most NZ rugby fans are excited tonight (god knows how we would be if we had won!). You see, we have some very good talent that didn't go on this tour and some very good talent that did and we are witnessing a depth in our rugby that nine months out from the RWC has us pretty pleased!

And Jonah Lomu has really been struggling with his form and didn't get off the bench more than twice during our provincial comp - but the big fella is back and pumping. What can I say? RWC - bring it on! I don't think you will beat us next August - but it will be a good game for sure.
Wendy, New Zealand

Not much to congratulate them for. This was almost a NZ B team, England were playing at home and they were still outscored four tries to three. I wouldn't get too excited if I were the English press.
DB Howard, UK

England again let their opponents of the hook. They were expected to win the game but it was not a convincing performance.They should have buried the All Blacks but let Lomu et al come back at them.


When an All Black 'B' team can cut through your defence at will, you've really got to wonder what's going to happen when the real show comes to town
John, UK

Johnson has had his day. The new second row boys should take over now. The next game's team should be a reflection of next year's fifteen for the World Cup.
B.I. Jones, United Kingdom

What a shame England always have to win by scoring less tries than their opponents. Last year it was Australia (nil tries against two), this time New Zealand (three tries against four). And they wonder why England's home ground is called "Kickernam" in some circles.
Zad, UK

Congratulations to the England team. As an All Blacks' supporter, I have no excuses and no complaints [I'm sorry - I realise that probably makes for a boring post!]. Superb game - loved every second of it.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Kiwi in UK

This was an average team performance from England against what is probably the best team NZ currently have to offer - and they still outclassed them! Bring on the other southern hemisphere whingers so we can underline that their so called 'superiority' with the oval ball is worth about as much as their currencies!
Martin Leggett, London, England

England the team to beat? When an All Black 'B' team can cut through your so-called defence at will, you've really got to wonder what's going to happen when the real show comes to town.


So much for the All Blacks' World Cup chances!
Mark, England
England fans should be thanking the rugby gods (John Mitchell?) it wasn't Cullen or McDonald on the end of Howlett's pass instead of talking about winning the World Cup now.
John, UK

Now that England have beaten the All Blacks B team, they are going to talk themselves up, even more than before the game. Soon the World Cup will arrive and they will fly back to London two weeks before the final.
Laurent, France

Not bad for the fifth time in 97 years. Tables turning? Don't think they will do the treble, they only just survived the B-team from NZ and would be lucky to beat the Wallabies.
Kate, Kate & Kate, England

I'm pleased to see New Zealand fans blubbing about England only beating their "B" team. Yet these New Zealand players are match-hardened coming off the back of the Tri-Nations and the Super 12.

They couldn't even beat a below par, rusty England team today. So much for the All Blacks' World Cup chances!
Mark, England

To Andrew, New Zealand: you are the type of NZ rugby supporter that makes us look like sad gits who can't handle losing and who always need an excuse for when we do.

England beat the NZ team that was put out in front of them, and if NZ don't want to choose their supposed 'A' team (which is basically the boring Canterbury side) then that's not England's fault.


Why do England always seem to step off the gas just as they look like running away with the game?
Mark Gosbee, England

This was the most exciting NZ team I have seen play for ages, maybe we lost it a bit in the fowards but there was nothing 'B' team about our backs. I am actually looking forward again to seeing how we go in the World Cup now.
Steve, New Zealand

I hope and believe that England can win all three matches, but they need to improve on the final half hour against the All Blacks if they are to do so. England have beaten Australia and South Africa for both of the last two seasons and judging by the Wallabies' performance against Ireland they should win again next week.

England need to guard against complacency, though, and need to learn how to finish teams off when they have the opportunity. England almost paid for this against New Zealand and will not get away with this every time.
Gavin Upex, England

Well played England. A no win situation one feels. Win, and you were only playing the B team, lose and we can guess the media reaction. Great performances by Trevor Woodman and Lewis Moody. More to come from them I'm sure. Bring on the Aussies!
Neil Jones, England

Why do England always seem to step off the gas just as they look like running away with the game? And why do New Zealand, when invention and wit suddenly leave them, rely on Lomu to steamroller his way through? And why are England reluctant to kick for touch and lineouts on penalties?


No doubt they can beat all three, but can they win when it counts in Australia in 2003?
Matt H, Australia

Three point penalties are simply not enough against try-scoring units like the southern hemisphere teams who are not afraid to run the ball. A classic north v south tussle for all the wrong reasons.

Australia will be smarting after defeat by the men in green. Next week should prove a real nailbiter but I think England will have gained confidence from this rare victory against the All Blacks and will win their remaining matches.
Mark Gosbee, England

No doubt they can beat all three, but can they win when it counts in Australia in 2003? Absolutely no way. They don't win anything outside of Twickenham or against weak opposition like Italy, Wales and Scotland. Who cares about the treble, the World Cup is what we want.
Matt H, Australia

England's victory over a second-string All Black team will not inspire great amounts of confidence in the England team. However, they have laid their World Cup ghost to rest and having beaten South Africa and Australia for the past two years, England should do a clean sweep.
Miles, Hong Kong

England are the best team and world right now. Despite a determined performance from New Zealand, they were clearly in a class above the All Blacks. Were injury to befall Jonny Wilkinson, I'm not sure that would still be the case, but for the time being (especially after Australia's loss to Ireland) England are certainly the team to beat.
Matthew Lee, USA


Well done England! You beat the B team by three points
Andrew, New Zealand
What a great game! England must show better form against the other sides from down-under or they will struggle mightily in the RWC next year. As for New Zealand, what can you say about their depth and tenacity?

Looking at Aussie injuries and results so far we will struggle to come away with anything positive from this tour. Maybe a South Africa v NZ World Cup final?
Graham, Australia

Well done England! You beat the B team by three points. Now you can look forward to the World Cup....Hah!
Andrew, New Zealand

Brilliant result. No doubt we'll hear all about understrength All Blacks and nervous England, but the bottom line is victories against all the southern hemisphere teams in recent meetings.

Great stuff, perhaps we'll even get them to admit that we can play the game up here these days? I doubt it, but with Ireland beating Australia too, perhaps the writing is on the wall for the supposed southern hemisphere superiority.
Adrian, UK


England v Australia

England v NZ

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