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Sunday, June 15, 2014

New Zealand win England series 2-0 with victory in Dunedin

New Zealand wrapped up their with England by winning the second Test 28-27 in front of a capacity crowd at the Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin on Saturday. The All Blacks retain the Hilary Shield, with one match left to play in Hamilton next weekend.

England started well, scoring the first try of the game through Marland Yarde, but had to wait until the final ten minutes to cross again. New Zealand scored three tries of their own, through Ben Smith, Julian Savea and Ma'a Nonu.

In the first half a breakaway chance for Manu Tuilagi down the right wing could have extended England's early lead, but he wasn't able to break the cover defence, or find a supporting player.

With dominant possession and territory, the All Blacks took their chances and with the score at 28-13 at one stage, the game was out of reach. An injury time try to Chris Ashton - from an excellent Tuilagi offload - added gloss to the final score, but the win was already secured.

"We certainly played better than in the first Test but we needed to because England were a lot better, too," said New Zealand coach Steve Hansen. "It was a great Test match. The ball was thrown around and everyone would have left satisfied with what they saw.

Stuart Lancaster's England side are in a good position ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup, with a good squad system developing. "Scoring three tries in Dunedin is not a bad return so we are moving in the right direction but we didn't quite finish the deal."

Skipper Chris Robshaw said that they'll aim to finish the tour on a high, despite two losses.

"It's a result-based industry and unfortunately we've had two losses and lost the series. But we've got another match to come next week and we're going to come out fighting again."

England play the Crusaders on Tuesday before the final Test in Hamilton on Saturday.

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