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England cruise to victory over Crusaders

Ben Foden scored a brilliant individual try for England

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Article Published: Wednesday 18 June 2014|

England secured their first victory on their tour of New Zealand when they comfortably beat the Crusaders 7-38 at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

England outscored the seven time Super Rugby champion Crusaders by six tries to one in the midweek contest.

The Crusaders are the current leaders of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference and are third overall but were kept scoreless in the second half by England's midweek team.

England's game plan was based around defence and the Crusaders enjoyed 70% possession but could not turn the advantage into points.

England have suffered two narrow defeats , 20-15 and 28-27, in the first two tests but have another chance this weekend in the third and final test against the All Blacks.

England flyhalf Danny Cipriani staked a claim to be included in the England test side after Owen Farrell was ruled out of the third Test with a knee injury shortly before the match.

Freddie Burns played in the opening Test but Cipriani's performance will most likely see him being named on the replacements bench on Saturday.

Cipriani was replaced at half time but his passing helped England to first-half tries to hooker Joe Gray and fullback Alex Goode.

England scored six tries in total including four in the first half through Gray, Goode, winger Ben Foden and center Brad Barritt, but only two, to winger Anthony Watson and replacement Chris Pennell, in the second half, and after Cipriani left the field.

The 20-year-old Stephen Myler, who took over from Cipriani in his first senior start for England, was also impressive, creating Watson's try with a skilful slipped pass and adding the conversion.

The England side, technically a second string and excluding players in line for third-test selection, kept up the high standards the tourists have set in New Zealand.

They were technically sound at set-pieces, they attacked with fluency and imagination, they competed for possession with physicality and skill, and defended with strength and co-ordination.

Their comprehensive win over the Crusaders was an impressive indication of the depth England possesses.

"We spoke about it during the week, there are a lot of frustrated guys who haven't had the chance to play in the tests so this was our opportunity to play," England captain Ed Slater said.

"A lot of our focus has been on this game; we prepared well and we executed well."

The Crusaders sometimes stretched England when they held the ball and were able to lift the pace of the game but their periods in possession were too infrequent, and their play too littered with handling errors.

England played generally at a more measured pace but they were given a mobile platform through their forwards as players such as Slater and props Henry Thomas and Alex Waller carried strongly.

Their backs also ran with purpose and showed an outstanding ability to finish, through accurate passing, when tryscoring opportunities arose.

Gray scored England's opening try within two minutes of the kickoff and after sustained England pressure.

Cipriani slipped a tackle to unlock the Crusaders defence and passed infield to Gray.

Foden scored five minutes later, showing great skill to control a ball which seemed to be heading into touch and to outflank the defence.

Barritt scored in the 29th minute and Goode added England's fourth try six minutes from halftime after Cipriani threw an accurate long ball in midfield.

England took 18 minutes to add to their total after halftime but their fifth try came when Myler's pass set Watson on a long run to the line, eluding three defenders.

The tourists showed their ability to play the full 80 minutes, by adding a try to Pennell after the fulltime siren.

England was due to be based in Christchurch during the 2011 Rugby World Cup but a devastating earthquake in February of that year ruined Christchurch's rugby stadium and prevented any matches being played in the South Island city.

Tuesday's match, the first between the Crusaders and an international team, was partly designed to make up for that forced absence.

The jerseys worn by England players will be auctioned for a charity benefiting earthquake victims.

Final Score Crusaders 7 (7) England 38 (26)


Tries - Todd
Pen -
Con - Taylor
Drop -

Tries - Gray, Foden, Barritt, Goode, Watson, Pennell 
Pen -
Con - Cipriani (3), Myler
Drop -

Match Officials
: Nigel Owens



1 Tim Perry ,2 Corey Flynn ,3 Nepo Laulala,4 Jimmy Tupou ,5 Joel Everson ,6 Jordan Taufua ,7 George Whitelock (c) ,8 Luke Whitelock ,9 Willi Heinz ,10 Tyler Bleyendaal ,11 Nafi Tuitavake ,12 Kieron Fonotia ,13 Reynold Lee-Lo ,14 Johnny McNicholl ,15 Tom Taylor

Replacements : 16 Ben Funnell , 17 Joe Moody ,18 Siate Tokolahi ,19 Scott Barrett ,20 Matt Todd ,21 Andy Ellis ,22 Adam Whitelock ,23 Rob Thompson


15 Alex Goode , 14 Ben Foden , 13 Henry Trinder , 12 Brad Barritt , 11 Anthony Watson , 10 Danny Cipriani , 9 Lee Dickson , 1 Alex Waller , 2 Joe Gray , 3 Henry Thomas , 4 Ed Slater , 5 Dave Attwood , 6 James Haskell , 7 Matt Kvesic , 8 Tom Johnson ,

Replacements: 16 David Ward , 17 Nathan Catt , 18 Kyle Sinckler , 19 Michael Paterson , 20 Richard Wigglesworth , 21 Stephen Myler , 22 Jonny May , 23 Chris Pennell

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