England Rugby agonisingly missed out on a famous victory over New Zealand Rugby as they were beaten 16-15 at Twickenham on Saturday, in what proved to be another highly controversial finish to this year’s autumn internationals.
Tries from Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley gave England a dramatic 15-0 lead inside just 24 minutes, but they failed to add another point and an All Blacks side inspired by Brodie Retallick launched the sternest of fightbacks.
The All Blacks finally got on the board just before half-time as Beauden Barrett sent full-back Damian McKenzie over for a converted try, with Barrett adding a penalty a minute before half-time to cut the deficit to 10-7 at the break.
It triggered a wave of pressure on England, but both Ardie Savea and Kieran Read were guilty of butchering chances for the visitors and all that they could muster was a drop-goal from Barrett.
With the game in the balance heading in to the final quarter, Ashton was caught offside that allowed Barrett to kick New Zealand into the lead, and despite 20 minutes being left on the clock they were able to see the win out.
But it could have been very different had Sam Underhill’s 76th-minute try stood, with referee Jerome Garces deciding to rule it out due to Courtney Lawes being offside, according to TMO Marius Jonker, when he charged down TJ Perenara’s kick that sent Underhill over. The decision led to boos ringing out from the Twickenham crowd, but ensured New Zealand recorded their fifth straight win over England.
So how did the players perform? Click on the gallery above to find out.