Beware of England at next World Cup

Last updated 12:00 17/06/2014
Jerome Kaino
BACK IN BLACK: Jerome Kaino made his return from injury for the All Blacks against Argentina today. How did he perform?

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Like most arm chair critics, I sat through the first half of the All Blacks vs England game shaking my head and swearing at the television.

There was McCaw's missed tackles, Rettalick's needless penalties, and Aaron Smith's aimless kicking.

Then the second half rolled in, no more missed tackles, needless penalties and some rectification on A. Smith's part.

Kaino was my match favourite; his fearless defence and metre-eating runs are what makes an excellent loose forward.

I fear that once Read is better, Messam will take a trip to the pine and Kaino will go to No.6.

Ben Smith is, for now, our man at the back proving that good Super Rugby form can transfer to good international form.

Corey Jane was a little quiet but showed glimpses of what he can do.

Savea was a force, as should a man of that size should be.

If he goes up against Folau, in the way he played on the wing this weekend, it should be good.

Smith and Nonu showed why they are one of world rugby's best centre pairings, although if Manu Tuilagi was in the centre for England, I do wonder how that battle may've gone.

I thought Cruden, apart from some kicking fails, played well and will keep the starting spot, although Barrett did nothing wrong when he came on.

A. Smith, like I mentioned above, had some box kicking blunders and at times is not aware of where the ball is, but he still has the quickest pass from the base, and will also keep his position.

The forward effort was good at set piece time.

Their defence was bone jarring at times but I would like to see them come off the line quicker, especially when they come up against the Boks.

McCaw must've taken a wake up pill at halftime because he was grunty in the second half, but again my match fav was Jerome Kaino, closely followed by Ben Smith.

England were again competitive but not classy enough.

I again wonder why Tuilagi was sent to the wing as Burrell didn't do anything but made a half-hearted tackle on Nonu... we all know where that got them.

Tuilagi is England's Ma'a Nonu, and when he comes up against Nonu he always seems to get the upper hand.

It was a spirited comeback at the end from England but a little late, especially when the changes had come.

Beware of England at the next World Cup, they'll be dangerous.

Like the commentators said, nine of New Zealand's 22 players are aged 30+, where England has one player over 30.

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Do we hold on, like we did at the '91 World Cup? Seems likely, and then flood the ranks with some up and comers?

Unfortunately, by the looks of our Under 20s team, this may be a challenge.

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- Stuff


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