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Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Zealand tested by England but the World Champions remain unbeaten

England weren't able to repeat the heroics of a year ago but they did put up a good fight as New Zealand won yet another away match in 2013. The 30-22 victory extended the All Blacks' undefeated run on the occasion of flyhalf Dan Carter's 100th Test cap.

Julian Savea scored twice and Kieran Read once as the AB's outscored the hosts three tries to one. England lost at home for the first time in seven games, but will take heart from the effort, and what they have achived in their last three matches.

"We are deeply disappointed having put ourselves in position at 22-20 but I'm proud of the effort," England head coach Stuart Lancaster said post match.

"We had a lot of young players, some new combinations, a lot of experienced players missing, and we didn't get off to the best of starts. Being 17-3 down to the All Blacks is not where you want to be but we kept our composure, we kept building our score.

"But you know against New Zealand one error can present them an opportunity that they might take and that's what happened. We've had two wins over southern hemisphere teams and pushed another, who have won every game this year, very close.

"We are building a squad, building depth, which is what we want - but that doesn't mean we don't have a desperately disappointed dressing room," he added.

Carter limped off in the first quarter of his 100th Test match but Aaron Cruden came on to steer the ship and in the end they managed to edge ahead and hang on fairly comfortably.

"It was a hell of a Test match, you had two committed teams going at it. We're very happy to come away with the win," said All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

Read and Ma'a Nonu both provided outstanding offloads for Savea's two tries, while Israel Dagg set Read up beautifully for his. Owen Farrell kicked 17 points for England, who will be pleased with their overall Autumn International results after having beaten Australia and Argentina previously.

New Zealand head to Dublin next weekend to take on Ireland, who lost to the Wallabies yesterday. 

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