All Blacks rally to beat England 16-15 at Twickenham
Early tries for Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley before a converted Damian McKenzie try and the boot of Beauden Barrett drag New Zealand to victory
World champions New Zealand came from 15-0 down to beat England 16-15 in a thrilling November Test at a rainswept Twickenham on Saturday.
England, bidding for just their eighth win over the All Blacks in 41 Tests, surged into a shock 15-0 lead on the back of tries by Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley and an Owen Farrell drop goal.
But New Zealand were only five points down at half time thanks to Damian McKenzie's converted try and a Beauden Barrett penalty.
Fly-half Barrett's second-half drop-goal and penalty then proved the decisive scores.
"It’s one of those ones where it comes right down to the wire. That’s what you want in Test matches and why I always love coming to Twickenham," All Blacks captain Keiran Read told Sky Sports.
"We’ve got belief in the squad, it was a 23-man game and the bench were great. The English really came at us and showed it for the full 80 [minutes] so I’m really proud of my lads."
"It felt much like last week, we stayed in the game from minute one to minute 80," England's co-captain Farrell said. "There were obviously going to be mistakes with the weather but similarly to last week we need to be that bit more clinical and look after the ball better – that’s the difference."
England fell agonisingly short of toppling the world champions after a late try by Sam Underhill was controversially ruled out with four minutes left.
Courtney Lawes charged down TJ Perenara's 76th-minute box kick and the ball fell to Underhill, who weaved full-back Damian McKenzie inside out to touch down in the left corner.
After reviewing the try with the TMO, however, referee Jerome Garces judged that Lawes had been in an offside position and awarded the All Blacks a penalty.
It was a marginal call and England responded with a late onslaught that failed to produce the crucial winning score, but it was a fine performance from Eddie Jones' men that will serve them well heading into next year's World Cup.
"I thought Sam Underhill had won it for us but I would do. That’s rugby. The same as last week, these decisions can go with you or against you," said Farrell, in reference to his last-second shoulder tackle on South Africa's Andre Esterhuizen that left agonising over the TMO decision before the officials ruled a fair tackle.
"We started looking for that last try and as soon as we did we didn’t manage to keep hold of the ball. There was time still on the clock, so we wanted to look after the ball and be able to pull the trigger on our terms."
In Saturday's other early kick off, a hat-trick of tries by Tommy Seymour saw beat Fiji 54-17 at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Sean Maitland, Jamie Ritchie and Adam Hastings also scored tries as the Scots survived an early scare when scores from Viliame Mata and Semi Radradra gave Fiji a 17-14 lead.
Updated: November 10, 2018 09:41 PM