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Best of social and reaction: England salvage stunning late draw with All Blacks

Best of social and reaction: England salvage stunning late draw with All Blacks

2022 Autumn Nations Series, Twickenham, London 19/11/2022 England vs New Zealand New Zealand's Rieko Ioane and England's Henry Slade Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

In a game that flipped on its head in the final stages, Eddie Jones said England had to weather a storm before hitting back superbly to leave it honours even against New Zealand.

A stunning comeback from 25-6 down to draw 25-25 with the All Blacks showed how quickly momentum can shift in rugby as Will Stuart touched down in the final minute to avoid defeat.

Stuart had kickstarted the unlikely fightback with eight minutes remaining before Freddie Steward surged through the visitors’ backline to set up a blockbuster finale.

But as Jones acknowledged, New Zealand were on another level in the first half, which saw tries from Dalton Papali’i and Codie Taylor before Rieko Ioane added another in the 49th minute.

“I thought New Zealand played superbly in the first half. They were aggressive. They won the ruck and when they had opportunities they were able to score.

“We hung in there a lot. They were flying through, putting pressure on. We didn’t play as well as we could, but I thought they played superbly.

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“They played really good, tough Test match rugby. They went at us, kicked well to win some advantage and we couldn’t get any rhythm in the game.

“Sometimes when a side plays that well, you’ve just got to hang in there.

“But you always know it’s going to come your way and when it comes your way you’ve got to be good enough to take it.”

And take it they did in a barrage of attacking rugby, which Jones said was exactly what the squad had been training towards this month.

“Like in most games you get your turn to attack and we had our turn at the end,” said Jones.

“I thought we put into practice some of the things we’ve been working on, running straighter, attacking gaps, quicker support play. It was fantastic.

“And what was fantastic today was the crowd. They really lifted us in the second half and we’d really like to thank the fans.”

For All Blacks head coach Ian Foster, it was mixed emotions at the final whistle, after a consummate display in the first three quarters before letting the lead slip late on.

“Overall, we’re really proud with the way we played. For 70 minutes we were in control and played the sort of rugby we’ve been searching for. It was a game we dominated pretty well for large parts of it.

“There was a big swing in that last 10 minutes. You have got to take your hat off to England the way they played the last 10 when we were down a man.

“We just had to settle down and try to get composed defensively but between us scrambling they managed to go wide to wide and got in behind. Then momentum went their way so we’ve got to look at that.”

And social media was abuzz with praise for both sides, as well as special attention paid to Owen Farrell and Brodie Retallick who both earned a century of international caps at Twickenham on Saturday.

 

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