New Zealand beat England 30-22 to extend its international rugby winning streak to 13 games and avenge its most recent defeat.
Julian Savea touched down twice as the world champion All Blacks outscored England three tries to one at Twickenham Stadium in London. Kieran Read also went over for New Zealand, which is unbeaten since a 38-21 loss to England last December.
“It was a hell of a Test match, you had two committed teams going at it,” New Zealand captain Richie McCaw said in an interview with Sky Sports. “We’re very happy to come away with the win.”
Owen Farrell kicked 17 points and Joe Launchbury scored a try for England, which lost at home for the first time in seven games.
“They are the No. 1 team and rightly so,” England captain Chris Robshaw told Sky Sports. “I think the difference between them and us is when they get a chance they are clinical. That’s why they are the benchmark in rugby and everyone wants to beat them.”
Australia beat Ireland 32-15, France defeated Tonga 38-18, Wales routed Argentina 40-6 and Italy held off Fiji 37-31 in today’s other international matches.
New Zealand needed less than two minutes to take the lead as Savea scored a try, which Dan Carter converted. Farrell kicked a penalty to put England on the scoreboard, which Carter matched to make it 10-3.
The All Blacks then extended their lead to 14 as Read touched down in the 17th minute as Carter converted.
England’s Ben Foden looked to have touched down as part of a rolling maul, but the television match official ruled replays were inconclusive and the try was not given. The home side pulled within 17-10 a minute later as Launchbury scored a try that Farrell converted.
Carter, making his 100th appearance for the All Blacks, limped off after 25 minutes and his replacement Aaron Cruden kicked a penalty to push the lead to 10 points. Two Farrell penalties, sandwiched around Read being sent to the sin bin, pulled England within 20-16 at halftime.
Cruden hit the post with a penalty try after the restart and Farrell’s fourth penalty boosted England to within a point. England then took its first lead with 20 minutes left when Farrell booted his final penalty to make it 22-20.
Savea put New Zealand back in front four minutes later when he powered through Mike Brown for his second try. Cruden then closed the scoring with another penalty in the 71st minute.
New Zealand will attempt to finish its northern hemisphere tour with an unbeaten record when it faces Ireland in Dublin next week. England dropped the final game of its autumn schedule after opening with wins over Australia and Argentina.
In the other games, Leigh Halfpenny kicked 20 points and Wales scored four tries in routing Argentina in Cardiff. Italy was outscored five tries to four in Rome, but held on to defeat Fiji after taking a 30-10 lead.
Michael Hooper scored two tries and Quade Cooper finished with 17 points as Australia beat Ireland in Dublin, while France scored four tries in defeating Tonga in Le Havre.