NEW ZEALAND OUT-HALF Dan Carter limped off after 25 minutes of New Zealand 30-22 victory over England at Twickenham.
The All Blacks 10 looked uncomfortable for several minutes before signalling to the bench that his race was run. It was not the way Carter would have envisioned his 100th Test cap ending. The leg injury may now rule the top points scorer in world out of next Sunday’s match with Ireland.
The All Blacks started in determined fashion and looked on-course to avenge their defeat to England at the same venue late last year. No.8 Kieran Read was immense in the firs-half and picked a pass off his ankles before somehow offloading to Julian Savea from beneath the considerable bulk three white shirts. Savea raced in unopposed to dot down.
Carter and Owen Farrell traded penalties before the world champions ran in their second try of the game. Brodie Retallick fed Owen Franks and his line-bust opened up space for Israel Dagg to exploit. The fullback found Read in support and he dived over in the righthand corner. Carter converted but, five minute’s later, his afternoon’s work was over.
Liam Messam leads the All Blacks’ Haka. INPHO/James Crombie
England hit back with a driving try from close in by Joe Launchbury — converted by Farrell — before Cruden’s penalty made in 20-16.
England started the second-half brightly and earned two penalties, much to the frustration of New Zealand captain Richie McCaw. Farrell slotted them over and Stuart Lancaster’s men went into the closing stages 22-20 ahead.
The All Blacks dipped into their energy reserves and Charles Piutau went close on the right wing before play was switched left. Ma’a Nonu took possession and drew in two white shirts before his superb offload made room for Savea, despite the attentions of Mike Brown, to touch down. Cruden added a penalty on 70 minutes to make it a two-score game.
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