England snatched a sensational draw on a dramatic night at Twickenham after Will Stuart crossed in the dying seconds to hold New Zealand to a 25-25 stalemate.
Trailing 25-6 with nine minutes remaining and a distant second best in all departments, Eddie Jones’ men exploded into life with two tries from replacement prop Stuart and full-back Freddie Steward.
There was less than a minute left on the clock when Stuart burrowed near the posts and with Marcus Smith’s conversion a hopeless situation had been saved in the most exciting way imaginable.
The All Blacks now have to live with further misery inflicted by England, their defeat in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals in the last clash between the rivals followed by this extraordinary capitulation.
Seemingly fueled by frustration at their 19-7 defeat at Yokohama in three years, New Zealand tore Jones’ side apart from the first whistle.
They were leading 17-3 at the break after running through Dalton Papali’i and Codie Taylor, but hapless England rookie scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet helped them with a string of errors.
Rieko Ioane’s electric try with half an hour remaining built what seemed like an unassailable lead, but England had other ideas in a game that was marred by picky refereeing from Mathieu Raynal.
Van Poortvliet barely went a foot wrong in his six caps, but the 21-year-old scrum-half gave New Zealand their first try when his pass from a well-executed touch was easily caught by the Papali ‘i who is hiding walked half the pitch to score.
The All Blacks had started like a freight train and England were stunned when they ran in a ninth-minute second down, their maul defense crumbling for Taylor to cross.
Van Poortvliet’s nightmare continued when he was stalked while taking too long with his punt kick, but Ioane’s ensuing try was ruled out due to a neck strain from the New Zealand center on Owen Farrell, who won his 100th cap.
When they had possession, England attacked with urgency through their forward ball and Sam Simmonds, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola made significant bumps that forced the tourists to scramble.
An action-packed first quarter turned into a series of scrums, penalties and free-kicks with play between the two 22s, but when the fireworks resumed it was the All Blacks who lit the fuse and only committed home defense limited them to a Jordie Barrett. sadness.
Farrell was struggling with an ankle injury and as the cross continued, Smith took over kicking duties to score three.
It was the delayed pass from the Harlequins fly-half that created half a chance for Manu Tuilagi only for Sale’s cross to be stopped dead and after a tidal wave of picks and starts, England have was penalized on the line for going down.
An opportunity had presented itself and they were forced to pay as the All Blacks swung into action, grabbing Simmonds losing the ball on contact to build a brilliant try from their 22.
Beauden Barrett chipped the crossfield for Caleb Clarke who turned and unloaded to Ioane on the loop and the outside center had the gas to run.
Beauden Barrett picked up a drop-goal and was later condemned for hanging on to Smith and England finally finished in the 72nd minute through Stuart.
Less than two minutes later and they were back, a stunning counter-attack which was finished by Steward shredding the New Zealand defense before another sweeping move was finished by super-sub Stuart with Smith sealing the draw.
. England produce return exciting for secure match draw with New Zealand