England were on the wrong end of a contentious late decision as they fell to a 16-15 defeat against New Zealand in a gripping Test at Twickenham on Saturday.


Owen Farrell got away with a controversial tackle on Andre Esterhuizen beyond the 80th minute in a 12-11 victory over South Africa last weekend, but Eddie Jones’ side saw a marginal call go against them on this occasion as Sam Underhill’s 75th-minute try was controversially chalked off by TMO Marius Jonker.

Courtney Lawes was adjudged offside when he charged down TJ Perenara’s kick before Underhill, who started at openside flanker in place of the injured Tom Curry, beat Beauden Barrett to score in the corner.

England found themselves behind despite an electric start that saw Chris Ashton take less than two minutes to mark his first England start in over four years with a try and Dylan Hartley also cross to put the fired-up hosts 15-0 up.

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Full-back Damian McKenzie finished a lovely move in the 39th minute to start the New Zealand comeback, before Barrett added the extras and finished the first half with a penalty.

A drop goal and another penalty from Barrett then put the All Blacks in front for the first time, and they held on after Underhill’s late score was ruled out in debatable fashion.


Brodie Retallick failed to take in Farrell’s kick-off and the hosts made the most of the early ball with Ben Youngs looping a brilliant pass that Ashton took into the corner to become the first England player to score more than two tries against the All Blacks.

Farrell’s conversion attempt bounced back off the right-hand upright, but he slotted through a drop goal in the 10th minute to surpass 700 points in an England shirt.

England maintained the incessant pressure and Elliot Daly’s excellent kick gained territory before Hartley touched down off an unstoppable driving maul from the line-out in the 24th minute.


New Zealand turned the tide towards the end of the first half and McKenzie dived beside the posts following a lovely offload from Barrett, who successfully kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to five points at half-time.

Jamie George replaced co-captain Hartley for the second half and the All Blacks wiped out the hosts’ lead through a drop goal from Barrett and a penalty following the Saracens hooker’s stray line-out.

Retallick continued to disrupt George’s line-outs but Underhill thought he had won it after a brilliant step to get beyond Barrett and touch down on the left, only for England’s celebrations to be short-lived due to Lawes’ infringement.

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