England 19 All Blacks 7
England have reached their first World Cup final since 2007 after producing a performance for the ages to beat the reigning champions 19-7 at the Yokohama Stadium.
England were completely deserving of their victory and in truth, it should have been by a greater margin as they absolutely bested their southern hemisphere opponents in every facet of the game.
England’s intentions were clear from the off as they scored the first try of the game after just 98 seconds.
Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson broke up the right-hand side of the field before the ball went back to the left where Jamie George made a really strong carry.
Nearly every England player touched the ball in a superb passage of play before Courtney Lawes powered over two All Blacks which freed up space for Manu Tuilagi to crash over from close range with just 98 seconds on the clock. Owen Farrell converted to give England a 7-0 lead.
England continued to threaten and Tuilagi intercepted a pass and set Jonny May free but Scott Barrett superbly chased down the flying winger to force the turnover.
It was all England in the opening 10 minutes of the game and they could have gone further ahead but a Sam Underhill try was disallowed for crossing in the build-up.
New Zealand began to dominate possession but England thwarted them at every turn. Maro Itoje played a massive role as he continued to disrupt New Zealand in the air, the ground and during maul defence to force turnovers.
England should have been further ahead but a Ford penalty gave his side a 10-0 lead at halftime.
Eddie Jones’ side missed an opportunity to go further ahead at the beginning of the second-half as Elliot Daly missed a long-range penalty.
Ben Youngs looked to have scored a superb try when he sniped close to the line off a maul but the effort was ruled out due to the ball going forward in the maul much to the relief of the All Blacks who were dangling on the edge.
That didn’t stop England however, as they went further ahead after 49 minutes with a Ford penalty to give themselves a 13-0 lead.
New Zealand were offered a route back into the game when an overthrown lineout from England five metres from their own line fell into the hands of Ardie Savea and the flanker had the easiest of opportunities to score a try.
Richie Mo’unga’s conversion brought it back to a six-point game.
England responded very well as they found themselves just a metre out from the New Zealand line and an offside infringement from Steve Hansen’s side allowed Ford to extend England’s lead to 16-7.
Eddie Jones’ men continued to apply pressure and this led to another penalty opportunity for Ford who continued his accuracy from the tee to give England a 19-7 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
The All Blacks looked rattled throughout this game and they attempted one last hurrah but it came to nothing as England’s defensive pressure continued to force turnovers.