The All Blacks’ dream to win a third successive Rugby World Cup came to a shuddering halt on Saturday as England produced a performance for the ages to completely dominate their opponents and emerge with a 19-7 victory.
The scoreline doesn’t do England justice as they should have won by much more and they will now look forward to a first Rugby World Cup final since 2007.
For the All Blacks, this wasn’t part of the script.
Almost everyone, especially in New Zealand, expected them to lift the Webb Ellis trophy next weekend but they will now have to contend with playing in the dreaded third-place playoff against the loser between South Africa and Wales.
The media reaction in the land of the long white cloud reflects the shock felt around the world at this loss.
New Zealand Herald
‘End Of The World. All Blacks Stunned By Incredible English’
Patrick McKendry writes, “In the end, it never really materialised; a strange way for them to fail given their attacking weapons. Their World Cup-winning run ends at 18 matches, the dream of winning three trophies in a row ending in a nightmare.”
Gregor Paul – How England killed the All Blacks’ dream
“As much as it hurts to see the dream of three successive Rugby World Cups be killed at the hands of an extraordinary rush defence, the All Blacks can only accept their fate with good grace,” Gregor Paul writes in the NZ Herald.
Liam Napier – The All Blacks dream that turned into a nightmare against England
Yokohama’s field of dreams turned into a nightmare scene for the All Blacks, their quest for three successive World Cup titles ending abruptly in England’s smothering hands,” Liam Napier writes in his column.
“England thoroughly deserves this victory, their first over the All Blacks at World Cups and one that ends an incredible 18-match unbeaten run in this area.
“Eight years the All Blacks have reigned supreme. Here England dethroned them in the most clinical fashion.”
Kiwis react to All Blacks’ gutting loss to England in semi-final
A piece on Kiwi fans’ reaction on social media threw up this gem…
“The AB’s were like my old Honda… Lost every gear except reverse, and took over 80 mins to get to running temperature.”
New Zealand’s three-peat hopes over after heavy loss to England
“What a sorry way for Steve Hansen and Kieran Read to end their All Blacks careers,” Richard Knowler writes.
“The All Blacks, stunned 19-7 by England in the Rugby World Cup semifinal in Yokohama on Saturday night, have lost their chance for a title three-peat.
“It’s farewell to Hansen and his captain, the great No 8 Read, who will retire after the dreaded third-fourth playoff game next weekend.
“Yokohama was the All Blacks graveyard and the man who haunted then from the coaching box was Eddie Jones.”
Eddie’s magnificent men send champs tumbling out of RWC
Marc Hinton was particularly cutting of the New Zealand performance…
“It is over. Out-played, out-coached and out-fought, the All Blacks tumbled out of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday night in Yokohama with barely a whimper.
“But hold your tears and quiet your jeers, New Zealand. Yes, your All Blacks chose this semifinal of the global tournament to play their only poor match of the event. Their worst since 2007’s quarterfinal elimination, actually. They were ill-disciplined, sloppy and beaten to the punch throughout almost the entirety of this captivating contest, won 19-7 by a richly deserving England.”