Dan Carter kicked 16 points to lead New Zealand to a 26-16 victory over England in their opening autumn rugby international match.
Hosea Gear and Kieran Read touched down as the visitors outscored England two tries to one at Twickenham Stadium in south-west London. The top-ranked All Blacks rebounded from a 26-24 loss to Australia last week which ended their 15-Test winning streak.
“It was really important,” New Zealand captain Richie McCaw said of the victory in an interview with Sky Sports. “We knew we were going to be in for a big challenge.”
Dylan Hartley scored a try for England, with Toby Flood kicking 11 points.
“We’re a very disappointed group,” England’s Nick Easter told Sky. “For 15 minutes in the first half we switched off and you can’t do that in top-class rugby.”
New Zealand scored both of its tries, with Carter converting, in the opening 21 minutes to take a 14-0 lead. Flood kicked a penalty in the 25th minute, which Carter matched to give the All Blacks a 17-3 halftime lead.
Flood and Carter exchanged penalties after the break before Hartley’s try in the 54th minute. Flood added the conversion to make it 20-13, but Carter booted two more penalties to push the New Zealand lead to 10 points.
England’s Shontayne Hape had a try claim turned down in the 76th minute when video review showed he dropped the ball before touching down after being tackled by Isala Toeava.
Both teams next play Nov. 13 with England hosting Australia and New Zealand meeting Scotland in Edinburgh. Australia defeated Wales 25-16 in a match played in Cardiff.
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