I hate to say it, but I have witnesses such as the editor, that I had full confidence that England would get the job done against the All Blacks. I had not been fully convinced by the way New Zealand had played, especially at the back, and that is where England ripped them apart yesterday morning. The score line could and should have been much harsher, with the former world champions lucky to have kept 15 men on the pitch.
Yokohama was the All Blacks graveyard and the man who haunted them from the coaching box was Eddie Jones. Jones, who spent all week toying with the media and fans like a mischievous private school boy executing pranks on his nanny, pulled off a magnificent heist in Japan.
He said in the build-up that no-one rated his team, that even his wife supported the All Blacks and that his boys were being shown no respect by anyone apart from their mums and dads and his coaching staff.
However, deep inside England’s bunker in Tokyo Bay, Jones had kept fuelling his players’ self-belief by telling them he was going to give them the game plan that would topple the team hunting the title three-peat.
England could have won by more, too, had tries to half-back Ben Youngs and to Underhill, either side of half-time, not been disallowed. The All Blacks entered this game with the world going gaga about their attacking game, but it was as if someone had poured sawdust into their gear boxes.
And I will take a punt on England now winning the World Cup.
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