Category Archives for Sport

Amazon Prime Day Don’t Miss It.

Amazon Prime Day 

 

You’ve heard of Black Friday, yeah? The name that was given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving in the USA. More recently they’ve added Cyber Monday where the electronics and electricals are sold cheap. Well, the good news is you can buy plenty of Christmas gifts and birthday presents earlier in the year.

 

When Is Amazon Prime Day This Year?

 

One way to find out is to ask your friend; “Alexa, when is Prime Day?” Prime Day is the middle of July, so for 2019, these dates fall on 15th & 16th July. What most people don’t understand is there are also offers available beforehand. These Pre-prime deals are also available just for Prime Members. You can even use the search engines, just type in ‘ when is prime day and hopefully the correct answer comes back.

 

How Do You Get These Offers?

Prime Day starts with signing up for AmazonPrime, believe it or not. Yes, it really is that simple. Just sign up!

There are some great savings to be had, some good savings and there are also a few quite average discounts. Keep in mind though, these are being offered with the free delivery, so that is an extra bonus.

 

There are other advantages with Prime, we really enjoy the video and tv services. There’s great viewing with some Prime Original series, which are only available to watch as a Prime customer.

We covered the tv and film aspect here briefly, but there are plenty of great series, shows, and films. Literally, something for all the family to enjoy.

 

Premier League Football On Prime

I bet you weren’t aware of this? Well, you can watch 20 Premier League games live & exclusive on Prime Video this December.  No better way to recover from the Christmas Day festivities, than spend a day watching all the Boxing Day Premiership games. Now might be the time to grab the new TV you’ve been promising yourself and get sat down to enjoy great viewing.

Prime Day Shopping

Try Prime Video

Never experienced this service? Get your Free Trial of Prime Video Here and you can enjoy the following;

Enjoy unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
Watch anywhere, anytime with unlimited access throughout the UK
Download movies and TV to their mobile or tablet to watch offline
Watch Amazon Originals in HDR on living room devices
Watch exclusive hit TV shows before they air on British TV
Get unlimited, FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of items
Borrow books from a choice of over 500,000 titles from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
Secure unlimited photo storage with anywhere access
Listen to over 2 million songs on Prime Music

 

It’s enough to make The Fat Lad as happy as a pig in muck.

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Women Soccer Vs Naymar

Is Neymar worth more than almost 1700 women?

The combined salaries of the 1,693 women playing in the top seven football leagues add up to $41.6m, slightly less than the $41.7m salary paid to Neymar. This is according to the Economist. The American females who play soccer are the top of their game, so to speak. The Stars and Stripes who are the national team, representing… Yes, you’ve guessed it, the USA. Now they are more successful than their male counterparts in the game of soccer. In fact, they’re the most successful side in the history of women’s football. As we are here in June 2019, they’ve already won the World Cup three times. Not forgetting the Olympic games, where they’ve also claimed Olympic gold four times.  Compare that with the men’s team, whose best result has been third place in the 1930 World Cup. More recent years have seen them struggle in group stages and even to qualify.

 

An interesting article in the WSJ confirmed that the female sport in the States is more popular than the males. Between 2016 and 2018 women’s games generated about $50.8m in revenue. These numbers are based on ticket sales, keep in mind. The men took in about $49.9m, so slightly less. Despite the female sport being more popular, the players are paid considerably less. A research study showed that; If each team were to play 20 friendlies over the course of a year and win them all, the women would receive $99,000 whereas the men would net $263,320 which is a huge difference.

Girls Soccer

There’s nothing more disheartening than having a passion and a natural skill, but not being able to make it pay to be a living wage. Do I think a woman should be earning $50million a year to kick a football around? Not a hope. Do I think a guy should be paid that? Again, not a chance. So was it any real surprise that United States women’s team marked International Women’s Day on March 8th by filing a class-action suit against their employer, the United States Soccer Federation (ussf)?  In a word – NO. The fact the females have been much more successful highlighted how unfair this was. The suit alleged that differences in pay and employment conditions between the women’s and men’s team violate the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

girls soccer

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any interest in women’s soccer. It’s not for any sexist reason, it’s just of zero interest to me. I’m not even going to go down the avenue of who should/ should not play sport. It doesn’t matter which team, which country or anything like that. IT IS NOT OF INTEREST TO ME.

Neither is men playing cricket. In fact, I have no interest in tennis, cricket, snooker, athletics or the vast majority of sports / so-called sports. The only possible time these would raise an eyebrow is if I was betting on these events.

Women Soccer players should be paid more, especially those in the USA. Looking at the success they have had in the past and no doubt can continue with in the future. The fact that the men’s game is nowhere near as successful as the women soccer teams, nor even as popular, says a lot. me watching these sport on TV, it’ll never happen. The sexist side of me can reveal I don’t even watch womens beach volleyball, nor did I used to watch topless darts or womens wrestling. There’s enough crap on tv as it is, so my viewing time doesn’t need to be cluttered with these less appealing events.

 

Womens World Cup 2019

So it looks like USA play England on July 2nd, Holland play Sweden the day after that. Both semi-finals are played at the Stade de Lyon. The 6th of June is the playoff for the third place and the final will be played on 7th July at the Stade de Lyon. Who will win the competition and lift the trophy? Who cares? As an Englishman, I’d prefer it to be England, but trust me I’m not going to be shedding any tears if England win or lose.

 

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Value Betting – What The Bookies Don’t Want You To Know

Straight from the horses mouth, amazing tips that sting the bookies.

Actually, we are telling a bit of a fib there, after all, horses don’t talk, do they?

I mean come on, if the horse was talking you’d not bother racing it, you’d have it on Britains Got Talent.

What Defines Value Betting?

Getting value for money, moving away from the 1/5 shot in a 4 horse jumps race. Do you really want to put £50 to make £10 profit and hope that one of the other horses doesn’t bring your very short priced favourite down?

Back to the serious stuff though. If the big money is on at Cheltenham for the National Hunt season and at Royal Ascot for the flat, where is the smart money going? Think of the Class 3, 4 & 5 races being held week in, week out at the minor meetings. Tracks that only serious race fans even know how to get to. You know what I’m saying here. This is the real insider info.
ALWAYS BACK WINNERS - HORSE RACING TIPS

I’ll tell you a little story here about getting top quality info straight from the yard or the owners. An example of this was a horse called Dinkum Diamond. I was given the horse on a Friday, told it was running next week at Salisbury. I was advised to lump on this, as soon as the bookies had a price and take the best odds guaranteed price. The word I was given was ‘ this is one of the best horses Henry Candy has ever worked with’.
This horse went out to Salisbury and won easily. It was then revealed to me it was already entered into Group races for the future. I then got a call advising me of the second outing and again to take the best price. Second time out, second win.  You get my drift here?

This is advice from people who know their stuff, make their money from horse racing.

 

 

Value Betting Is Profitable

Value Betting Is Profitable

Anyway, I’ve found this group of people who are former owners and very, very well connected. Last season April – October 2018, to give you an idea of this service,  they achieved just shy of £4000 from around 5 or 6 bets per week. Imagine turning £1k to £10k twice in the last 3 years!

That’s not too shabby as anyone with half a brain would agree. Want more information? Then this is the link for you.

 

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

 

Actually, with these types of returns, forget chicken and go for steak. As I’m writing this at 10am 16th June 2019, I’ve got to show you this;

Poet’s Dawn wins….BOG @ 9/1 at York in the 16.40 Ice Co Supporting Macmillan Handicap race, yesterday. Members on this service were given one piece of advice, 1 tip and that was to get on this horse

Their words were;  “Now a maturing 4yo, he should be competitive again of this mark and the choice of stable jock David Allan.

 

There’s a best 9/1 with Betfair and FOUR PAYING SLOTS this morning.”

 

Now winning by 2 lengths, beating the favourite into third, with a 15/2 starting price isn’t a bad result. Obviously, the early birds who took the 9/1 were even happier.

 

Now, let’s use some common sense here. These are not going to be the horses that win every race, as with all tipping services there will be losers. What we see here is the bigger odds mean that you get a better return. Had you had a £50 win bet and taken the 9/1, just think how many £50 bets at evens or 6/4 you’d need to be placing to get the same profits.

 

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UEFA Champions League Winners 2019

After what can only be described as one of the all-time comebacks in the semi-final against the mighty Barcelona, Liverpool were in their second Champions League final on the bounce. After they were outplayed and outclassed last season by the impressive Real Madrid, it was fate that this final would be played in Madrid, but between 2 English clubs.

Spurs had managed their own magical semi-final night against Ajax, just 24 hours after the heroics of Liverpool at Anfield. Along with Arsenal and Chelsea fighting out the Europa League final the week before, history was made as all 4 finalists in these two competitions, came from the same country.

Liverpool were looking to make up for the disappointment of going unbeaten except for the one defeat in the Premiership, but still only coming second. This was the opportunity to get some silverware back to Anfield. The kings of Europe for a sixth time would appease fans, who had thought the premier title as theirs this time around.

Interesting Fact;  Trent Alexander-Arnold (20 years 237 days), the Liverpool right back, is the first ever player aged under 21 to start in consecutive Champions League finals.

Without doubt, the bookies favourites were Liverpool who finished the Premiership on 97 points ( Spurs who were 4th, managed 71 ) and an impressive goal difference of 67 goals. This was second only to Manchester City.

 

What proved to be an eventful start saw a penalty awarded to Liverpool for hand ball in the box. Mo Salah scored from the spot, his goal times at 1 minute 48 seconds. The only faster goal was when Paolo Maldini scored in under a minute (00:50) for AC Milan versus Liverpool in 2005.

From here on the game was rather drab, Liverpool uncharacteristically looking nervous and out of sorts. Both teams were guilty of conceding possession. Shaky clearances and bad passes were aplenty by both teams.

The game rolled on, Spurs with 65% of the possession were unable to make use of this. They managed 16 shots all game with just half on target. Liverpool mustered 14 shots, but a poor return of 3 being on target said plenty about this fixture. Neither team looked dominant enough to make this a one way event. Liverpool were unsettled and the single goal margin left them open to the counter-attack possibility.

What was reassuring though was the investment in the best goalkeeper and also the best centreback in the Premiership in the shapes of Alisson in goal and Virgil van Dijk in the defence, gave Liverpool fans that bit of extra confidence in the outcome. Alisson was called into action several times later on in the second half. With Spurs bringing on semi-final hero Lucas Moura the pressure against the Reds stepped up. Finally in the 87th minute though, Divock Origi scored from a corner to put the game to bed and ease the nerves around the ground.

 

Interesting Fact;  This was the first ever Champions League final without a single card shown.

It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t sexy but it was an important win for Jurgen Klopp and the team

 

With the 2020 final being held 30 May at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı, Istanbul could we see Liverpool making their 3rd consecutive appearance? Who can forget the last time they played in a Champions League Final in Instanbul? Before that though, the reality is a Liverpool vs Chelsea Super Cup also played in Istanbul

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Premier League 2019 Season What A Finish.

Not many teams go on and score 97 points and don’t win the title.

Not many teams will ever lose just a single league game in a season, but still not win the title.

As a Reds fan though, it gutted me that that is exactly what happened to us. At Christmas we were top and clear and the general feeling was that this was Liverpools season, title number 19 ( first Premiership ) and long overdue. The disappointment of 4th place in the previous season, then losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final meant a bare season for the Liverpool faithful. This season there was that feeling of things had turned the corner.

 

 

 

While the top 2 teams were miles ahead of the chasing pack, it was Man City who on the final day of the season took top spot to add to their League and FA Cup haul.

Last season saw Mohamed Salah pip Harry Kane to the Golden Boot with an impressive 32 goals. This season Salah was slow off the mark again, but never found his stride as he did the season before. This season though Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah  (who were joined on 22 goals by Arsenal player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyan) shared the Golden Boot in a 3way tie.

Alisson claimed the 2018/19 Golden Glove award after keeping his 21st clean sheet of the season. This highlighted his value and the price tag which raised eyebrows at the time, is justified.

The PFA Player of the year was another Liverpool success. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was the winner for 2017-18 with Virgil van Dijk winning this season.

The Liverpool goalkeeper shut out Wolverhampton Wanderers in his side’s 2-0 win on the final day to win the  Golden Gloves award and rounded off his incredible season with a clean sheet in the Champions League. Conceding just 22 goals, the £66.8 million (€72.5 million) fee was worth every penny.

Liverpool 2019/2020 Season

liverpool vs chelsea super cup

With Sturridge and Moreno leaving over the summer, fresh blood will need to be signed. With a series of upcoming fixtures including playing Napoli in a friendly at Murrayfield on 28 July, then facing Chelsea in the first all-English Uefa Super Cup on 14 August in Istanbul.

Liverpool vs Chelsea Super Cup will be one of the first fixtures to see both teams new signings in a competitive fixture. Chelsea winning the Europa and Liverpool finishing as Champions League winners will prove to be an interesting fixture.
The Reds also play in the Community Shield ( sometime early August ) against Premier League champions Manchester City – at Wembley and also travel to Qatar in December to compete at Fifa’s Club World Cup. This means Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be in seven competitions next season, hence the need for fresh players to be signed.

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Calcutta Cup 38-38

A Point A Minute

It’s taken a week to get my head around this fixture. What on paper should have been such a one-sided affair, became nothing like it. When people talk about something being a ‘game of 2 halves’ they should cite this match as the example to use. Watching England running in a point a minute for the first half hour, 31-0 didn’t bode well for the Scots. Reminders of the 61-21 thrashing in 2017 were no doubt in the minds of the kilted following. The World Cup opponents would be watching this game to assess how good England are and see if Scotland have improved at all. The final score of this game was something nobody would have dreamed of, especially after the half hour mark. I’d expect the bookmakers had a really good day thanks to this scoreline.

 

England This Season

England were my choice to lift this cup this season. First round they went to Dublin on 2nd Feb and demolished the Irish in their own backyard. Leading 10-17 at half time, England had played well enough to gain the upper hand. The final score of 20-32 with the bonus point for scoring 4 tries ( May, Daly and Slade with a couple ) sent the warning out to the other teams, that England were coming for them.

The next round saw France battered 44-8 at Twickenham, another bonus point win with Jonny May scoring 3 tries for himself.

The 23rd Feb saw the England machine ground to a halt and beaten by the Welsh in Cardiff. Wales scored 21 points to Englands 13, so not even a losing bonus point in this match. This was not what the punters were expecting, as we reported here. After Wales had scraped home by 5 points against France in the first round, they had improved significantly to play England.

Against Italy, service was resumed. An impressive 31-7 half time lead meant the win was on the cards. Tries rained in from George, May, Tuilagi (2), Shields (2), Kruis, Robson and the final score of 57-14 meant the points difference was expanding further in the table.

Sat 16th March 2019 was the day that could have proved a game changer. Ireland had to win against Wales in Cardiff, not impossible but wouldn’t be easy. England just needed to beat Scotland and England would win the Guinness 6 Nations. So Wales decided that they didn’t like this, and Ireland were their next victim. Ireland looked clueless as we discussed here.

England set off out of the blocks like a bat out of hell, once again storming into a 31-7 lead by the break.

 

Scotland This Competition

First game was at home against Italy. A Half time lead of 12-3 didn’t give much indication which way the match was going to end. The final score of 33-20 and a bonus win with tries from Kinghorn (3), Hogg and  Harris made for a good start to the campaign, however the second half score of 21-17 showed a weakness in their second half defences. The following week saw Ireland visit Murrayfield. A close first half was too close to call at 10-12, but the second period saw Ireland come away with a deserved win at  13-22.  France next in Paris, with an average looking French team looking to bounce back. The first half was quite evenly balanced, 10-3 to France at half time. The second half saw French fans happier as they won 27-10, the bonus point for 4 tries much needed.

Wales at home and the low scoring game saw Wales run out winners 11-18, the Scots holding Wales to just 3 points in the second half. The HT score of 6-15, indicating this was going to be quite a close game. No doubt Englands 57-14 demolition of Italy will have caused concern in the Scotland camp.

So the Calcutta Cup, Scotland at the home of England rugby and it’s half time and the score is 31-7…..

 

Calcutta Cup Second Half

I am not sure what happened here. You have a powerful team such as England 31-7 up, coming back out of the dressing room and the stadium are expecting them to follow up and run another 10, 20 or 30 points past the hapless Scots. Well let me say, this was NOT the case. The wheels fell off the England bandwagon, the ideas faded, they looked void of concepts and ideas. Play making decisions were lacking, there was one team in this half who wanted to win, were determined to score and they were in Blue shirts.

As Scotland ran in an amazing 38 unanswered points at the ground they had not won for over 25 years since 1983, there was a sudden astonishment as to what people were seeing here. England were well and truly battered, both physically and mentally.

The belief here that England could throw away a game like this was slowly becoming a reality as Scotland racked up points, after points after points and took the lead. With the clock ticking down, Eddie Jones and the England staff looked shell shocked. On the Scotland staff faces, a wry smile was seen from Gregor Townsend on a couple of occasions at least. It was George Ford who came to England’s rescue, running in the final try to save the blushes. Finn Russell for Scotland was outstanding but the whole Scotland team must be applauded for the second half recovery. Scotland may have not had a great six nations, but they retained the Calcutta Cup, so have the bragging rights that they at least picked up a trophy this time around.

From an English perspective, with the World Cup coming up, this has to be a worry that you can concede 38 points in 40 minutes to end up in a losing position. There will be few countries who will go behind against England by 25-30 points after the first half as it is, but those who do should not be allowed back into the game like this.

Scotland faces Ireland in the World Cup, and also the hosts Japan, Samoa and Russia. Based on this Calcutta Cup performance, there’ll be no team in the group to worry them.

For more information including upcoming fixtures, please go to www.sixnationsrugby.com and we’d like to thank them for borrowing their photo above.

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Wales 21-13 England – Humbled By The Welsh

What was a pretty decent first half by England, the half time lead was merited for sure. After securing bonus point wins against France and Ireland, the expectation was this would be yet another England win on the way to a Grand Slam season.

Wales versus England

Well, the wheels came off that plan in Cardiff. Despite England going in a half time leading, the second half belonged to Wales. Their record-breaking 12th consecutive Test win, came about as they humbled England. I’m not sure what Eddie Jones said or did in the half time team talk, but the players who came back out for the second 40 minutes looked bereft of ideas. What had worked the previous 2 matches wasn’t put into play in this fixture.

Tom Curry

England had led 10-3 as the whistle sounded for the half time interval after 20-year-old Tom Curry scored his first touchdown in the six nations for his country. This young man is maturing as each game comes and goes, his awareness and positioning combining with the hits he makes on opposing players means he’s someone with a long international career in front of him for sure. This was a very much deserved try and he was my name to be Man Of The Match sheet.

 

Winding Up The Opposition

Wales decided to target Kyle Sinckler and it worked! He’d already caused controversy in the French fixture, by slapping France’s Arthur Iturria on the head during play. This incident happened shortly after being spoken to by referee Nigel Ownes in the previous scrum shortly before this act of petulance occurred. This is a guy who has been banned before for dangerous tackles, for eye gouging and is a ferocious tackler despite his faults in crossing the line.

Against Wales, he led the tackle count with 20 tackles made by half time, and he was on a roll. He’d made his presence felt with the tackles but also taking the ball into contact making hard yards. It is possibly his actions in the French game that inspired the Welsh to wind him up on the pitch in the second half.

Wales said before the match that while they felt Kyle Sinckler “struggled to contain his emotions in the heat of the battle, they had no intention of lighting his fuse”. So when he gave away a penalty on the 55th minute for a shoulder charge on Gareth Anscombe, which was pulled up by the TMO it was the first sign of him ‘losing it’. A couple of minutes later another penalty conceded for a UFC type choke hold around the neck of Alun Wyn Jones. Jones managed to flail his arm and raise his voice enough to get the referees attention though. Resulting in the final warning from Jaco Peyper handed out to Sinckler, the die was cast and Harry Williams was warming up while Sinckler was still being spoken to by the referee.

Wales Grand Slam

 

 

Welsh Secret Weapon

The combination of Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards has turned around Welsh rugby. After the dismal Gareth Jenkins results of 20 games played, Won 6, Drew 1, Lost 13 led to his sacking, it was time for fresh blood and this came in the shape of Gatland.

Warren Gatland who came to the attention of the British rugby fans as Wasps and then Ireland coach, is now touted as the replacement for Eddie Jones in the England role. His name has also been thrown about to manage the Lions 2021 tour too. As great as either or both these positions would be for English supports, the big question would be if he’d bring with him the former rugby league dynamo Shaun Edwards?

Shaun Edwards joined the Welsh coaching staff as the assistant coach (defence) on 14 January 2008. He made an instant impact as Wales conceded just two tries in 400 minutes going on to winning the 2008 RBS 6 Nations Championship and Grand Slam.

Another point to note, looking at Welsh records, during the 2013/2014 RBS 6 Nations, a new defence record by not conceding a try for 400 minutes, as set by the team under his coaching.

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England 35-15 Japan

Down To Earth With A Bump

For those who don’t really follow international rugby, this should have been a breeze for might England. After running the All Blacks so close, this was going to be easy…..

A Danny Care try within 5 minutes, surely this was the start of the steamroller. Japan, not the best known rugby nation, would seem to some to be the whipping boys here.

Japan though play with pride and Ford adding the conversion must have really got them fired up. Another home penalty given away, this time Tamura  kicking for 3 points after 15 minutes. Japan took the lead against New Zealand and England suffered the same. Ryoto Nakamura with his try, conversion from Tamura 7- 10 to the visitors. An England penalty though soon cancelled out as Leitch gave Japan lead 15-10 half-time lead with his unconverted try.

 

31-69

The significance of this score line, was the outcome of them losing against New Zealand a fortnight before. Played at Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, the outcome of this fixture was never in doubt. What was the surprise though to some, was the 31 points Japan put over the All Blacks.

Let’s put this into perspective, 34-36 was the All Blacks only loss in the 2018 Investec Rugby Championship, coming against South Africa. The Springboks are the only team to score more points against the All Blacks.

 

Second Half Recovery

George Ford landing a penalty 15 minutes into the second half, to narrow the gap. Mark Wilson scoring a try 5 minutes on, Ford again adding the conversion. George Ford pokes over a penalty just past the hour mark, to put the home team clear in the lead.

Quick hands sees Joe Cokanasiga  with the debut score as once again Ford pops over the conversion. 30-15 and the game should be wrapped up now. Dylan Hartley scoring an unconverted try made sure of the win, making the score look more flattering that it could have been,

England seem to be playing 40 minutes of telling rugby and 40 minutes of mediocre stuff. Fitness was a deciding factor, especially the last 20 minutes. Granted Japan didn’t score in the second half, but their performance in the first half was great.

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England 15-16 New Zealand

 

 

https://twitter.com/AllBlacks

Wow what a start to this match, England played their best starting 20minutes that I think I have ever seen. They steamrollered the mighty All Blacks into nothingness.

Sheer determination from the kick-off saw England set out their stall. The Twickenham fans singing Swing Low while the Haka was laid down, gave the air of expectation.

 

Chris Ashton scoring a try in the corner after two minutes was the start few would have expected. Using the wet surface to slide across the whitewash to open the scoring. Farrell’s attempted conversion just not scraping in, coming back off the sticks. The drop-goal for 8-0, was a great tonic for Farrell, who was dictating play at 10.

An Elliot Daly penalty hammered into touch by the corner gave the lineout to England. Dylan Hartley delivering a great throw in, before the driving maul saw him at the back, bound on with ball in hand. An influx of backs arrived to add extra weight and drive, seeing the juggernaut roll over the line for  Hartley to score the try. The conversion was good, 15-0 and the shell-shocked All Blacks were being schooled here it seemed.

 

Heading towards halftime, the game had levelled out a little more. England winger Jonny May penalised for offside as he intercepted a pass, saw New Zealand refuse the easier 3 point kick option, instead going to a 12 metre scrum. A good scrum saw quick hands slip an inside pass for Damian McKenzie to score for the visitors. Beauden Barrett adding the conversion and swiftly followed up with a penalty to make the halftime score 15-10.

 

Second Half

Straight out of the blocks, the All Blacks put pressure on from the restart. Flanker Ardie Savea looking to be on his way for a try, just managed to fumble the ball, a wake up call for England there.

Dylan Hartley was replaced during the interval, and the early costly errors by  New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick were soon forgotten as he upped his game especially in the line out for the second half. England who had been rock solid in the line out in the first half were now looking very average indeed. Stats at one point in this half was from 10 lineouts, won 5 lost 5 on their own throw !!!!

McKenzie putting his clearing kick straight into touch giving England an attacking line-out on the All Blacks 22, which was an ideal platform to look to extend their lead. Sadly replacement hooker Jamie George wasted it with a dummy throw and conceded possession.

Barrett showed he is a beast on the pitch. His first ever drop goal in an international sailed over the bar. His second penalty of the game nudged the New Zealanders into a single point lead.

 

Was He Or Wasn’t He?

Courtney Lawes charge-down with just 5 minutes on the clock was called back to the TMO, to check if he was onside or not.  Jerome Garces the referee and television match official Marius Jonker, kept the 82,149 crowd holding their breath before declaring he was offside. What a difference an inch makes. The sight though of flanker Sam Underhill turning Beauden Barrett inside out was beautiful to watch.

There are not many teams who can dominate the All Blacks as England did in the first 20 minutes. However this sport is 80 minutes and the pressure applied, in the pouring rain wasn’t going to last a further hour. Errors from both sides in this enthralling game and the TMO call with 5 minutes to go, made for an all round entertaining game of rugby.

This wasn’t a first choice England XV, it could be said ( but not in defence of the outcome). Several key players were not available; No.8 Billy Vunipola who is out for three months after breaking his arm,  Nathan Hughes faces a disciplinary hearing for punching & Sam Simmonds also out with an injury. Front row Mako Vunipola injured and Marler retired, backline missing  Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph through injury. So one positive to take away from this result England are looking strong, looking good and the game against Australia could be interesting, to say the least.

Wales beating Australia for the first time since 2008, 9-6 is a feather in the cap for Wales. This result should be another motivator for England to prepare and give the Wallabies a hiding.

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