TOKYO: England, despite having two tries disallowed, upset favourites and champions New Zealand by 19-7 to reach the Rugby World Cup Final. Tokyo thus saw the All Blacks fall short of a cup hat-trick.
Coach Eddie Jones’s outstanding England team, who took control of the match from the kickoff, will face Wales or South Africa, who play tomorrow [Sunday], in next weekend’s final in Yokohama.
Jones said: “We’re excited to be in the competition for another week. Out tactical discipline was great, we attacked well though we missed a couple of opportunities. We came here eight weeks ago and wanted to go right to the death. Our players made a commitment to each other that they enjoy the World Cup and I think you can see that.”
Captain Owen Farrell said: “We felt we prepared well. It’s brilliant to get to the final – but we’ll enjoy this first.”
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, who will step down after the third place play-off. said: “England played terrific game. You can’t give them half a step so well done to them. I’m proud of our team. They’ve done a tremendous job for their country but tonight we just weren’t good enough and we have to take that on the chin.”
England raced into an first half 10-0 lead courtesy of Manu Tuilagi’s second-minute try and a long-range penalty from George Ford. The 2003 winners could have been out of sight had tries for Sam Underhill and Ben Youngs not been ruled out by the video referee.
Ardie Savea pounced on a poor line-out to reduce the deficit to 13-7 but Ford responded with a trio of nerveless penalties as England secured one of their greatest victories.
The All Blacks had not lost a World Cup game in 12 years and had won 15 of the past 16 games between the two nations.