All Blacks Seal Series Against England 2-0
The All Blacks sealed the series against England 2 nil with a 44-12 win. The All Blacks certainly built on their performance of last week, but not so England. The only area where there was any discernible improvement was their scrum, everywhere else it was either more of the woeful same, or worse. The midfield defence was dreadful, the attacking back play was non-existent and the forward play was only marginally better. For NZ however it was an improved performance. They kep the pressure up for 80 minutes this time around, and while the lineout was the weakest point it was still an improvement over last week. Perhaps the largest influence here was the refereeing – Jonathan Kaplan was approximately 1000 times better than last weeks referee. That meant that certain key areas of the game (notably the breakdown) were policed rather than being the confused mess that they were last week. Carter reproduced his great form of last week, as did Nonu – let’s hope he is finally realising the potential that people have seen in him. Richard Kahui had an impressive debut both on attack and in defence, justifying his contentious selection. Richie McCaw and Ali Williams were injured early – a worrying sign – but the silver lining here was how well the All Blacks operated without them. Still – the Springboks will be a much tougher outfit. It is only once the Trinations starts that we will really be able to judge this team.