England’s Brave Battle Against the All Blacks: A Story of Missed Opportunities

In a tightly contested match, England’s spirited display against the All Blacks showcased their resilience and growing potential under the new management team, despite the narrow 16-15 defeat. Former hooker Brian Moore examines the key factors that contributed to the result, including controversial refereeing decisions and missed opportunities, as England seek to learn from this experience and continue their upward trajectory.

BBC Rugby Union: England Unlucky in Tight Loss to All Blacks

Former England hooker Brian Moore believes the home side were hard done by in some of the refereeing decisions, particularly at the scrum, during their narrow 16-15 defeat to the All Blacks on Saturday.

The All Blacks’ dominant scrummaging performance in the tight contest was rewarded with several penalties from the referee, who felt the English front row of Joe Marler, Fin Baxter, Will Stuart and Dan Cole were struggling against their opponents.

“England’s scrum got on the wrong side of the referee but, as pinpointed by Sky Sports’ co-commentator David Flatman, that was because Nika Amashukeli failed to notice that Ethan de Groot was illegally shifting outside Will Stuart and driving straight upwards,” Moore wrote in his Telegraph column.

While the scrum was a factor in England’s narrow loss, Moore also highlighted the errant goal-kicking of fly-half Marcus Smith as a key contributor. The young playmaker missed two relatively straightforward penalties and a more difficult conversion, which could have swung the result in the visitors’ favor.

Despite the defeat, Moore praised England’s overall performance, stating that their intensity and pace matched the All Blacks for most of the 80 minutes. He believes the display was evidence that the level set by England in the recent Six Nations was not a one-off, but a foundation for further improvement.

The rugby union expert believes Borthwick should raise the scrum concerns with the relevant authorities at World Rugby, as is standard procedure for coaches. England will look to learn from this narrow loss as they continue their upward trajectory under the new management team.

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