By Cameron Russell
Hello and welcome to Auckland for coverage of the All Blacks vs England from Eden Park.
The first All Blacks Test of the year is always a big occasion and tonight is no different as the season starts in a place where the Kiwis haven't lost in 20 years.
The Kiwis are heavy favourites in the first Test of three as key English players didn't arrive until earlier in the week due to the English Cup final.
We bring you live streaming written commentary, video highlights (be sure to refresh your browser) and all the action. VIDEO will be available as soon as the final whistle goes.
All Blacks 20 - 15 England
FULLTIME: How about that for a mad finish? All Blacks win it... only just. Highlights up now.
79 min: Last throw of the dice for England who have the ball as the hooter goes...BUT PENALTY! VICTOR VITO FORCES THE PENALTY. All Blacks will steal it verrrrry late on.
78 min: Off the back goes Kaino who goes close, and then Vito goes closer. It comes wide to CONRAD SMITH ON THE WING AND HE'S IN THE CORNER!!! TRY ALL BLACKS! They've done it late! Cruden missed the kick and the lead is 20-15...
77 min: Crockett is short! It will be an All Blacks scrum...
76 min: QUICK TAP?! Cruden tries to catch the napping and takes off for the corner. He combines well with Victor Vito and they get inside the 5m line. The All Blacks get over the line!! Is it a try??? It will go upstairs!
75 min: England are down to 14 players it must be remembered. All Blacks win themselves a kick-able penalty as an English player doesn't release the ball...
72 min: Danny Cipriani on to try and create things for England and he makes an immediate impact as he slices through the line. Mealamu pinged for coming in from the side and now Cipriani will have a chance to turn his run into points on the board...He nails it! Game it back to 15-15 all!
69 min: RETALLICK! The big lock grabs a loose ball and shows us his pace as he bursts down the field inside the English 22m. He is pulled down from behind by Yarde who doesn't release him and the ball. Penalty and YELLOW card! Basically gone for the rest of the game and Cruden will have the chance to give NZ the lead...and does, 15-12.
66 min: Tuilagi pinged for being offside from a clearing English kick. A big mistake and the All Blacks will have a chance to tie it...And Cruden knots the game back up 12-12!
65 min: Into the last 15 minutes here. The longer this ticks on, the longer the English will think they can beat the All Blacks! Big finish coming up...
63 min: First chance of the second half for Freddie Burns who kicks England back into a 12-9 lead.
60 min: All Blacks debut! Here comes Fekitoa on for Nonu. In come Mealamu and Crockett as well.
58 min: Great meters made by Morgan off the back of the scrum. He tears up field for some great meters. The English attack in numbers...BUT how about a Richie McCaw moment?! The captain is in there ripping the turnover for the All Blacks. Top class!
56 min: CHANCE SPURRED! So close for the All Blacks as Aaron Smith wheels away from a scrum down the blindside and tries the chip and chase. He overruns the bounce, but it falls to Kaino who KNOCKS IT ON! It was RIGHT THERE to be scored. Handling errors are the story of the night!
55 min: First changes for the All Blacks as Barrett comes on for Dagg and drops to fullback. Big Charlie Faumuina on for Franks.
53 min: Freddie Burns pelts a high ball, here comes Dagg, but it goes straight through the hands! Not much going right for the ABs fullback. Marland Yarde toed away the loose ball, just for a second it seemed like a chance was on, but the ball rolled into touch.
50 min: Been some shifty knock on calls from Owens in this game both ways. The balls clearly gone backwards from Burns, but the referee is ruling since he dropped it out of the hand it will be a scrum. Odd call. The All Blacks win the scrum and it comes to Dagg who moves into the attack, but he loses it forward. A telling story of how the night has gone for the ABs. Frustrating.
47 min: Cory Jane shows the lads how it is done as he rises highest to pull down a deep kick. Things have turned into a bit of forcem-back at the moment with kicking. We are nearly running at a kick a minute as that was the 41st in 48 minutes of game.
44 min: A mad dash of play opens up as Dagg breaks RIGHT UP THE GUTS! He finds Nonu who pushes away Tuilagi! Inside ball to Cruden, but England are back smartly to wrap him up and kill the chance. First real linebreak from the All Blacks. Good fire to start the second half with.
42 min: An Aaron Smith kick right into the corner puts all sorts of pressure on Jonny May who is grabbed by Kaino. The All Blacks are up quick in support, but the English get a penalty! Dane Coles got a little overexcited and illegally cleared out May's support.
Second half, 41 min: Things back underway here. Can the All Blacks step up and break down England?
ICYMI: Back to second half action in just a moment, but it case you missed it, why not check out a story from 3 News about the man behind the whistle, Nigel Owens. Click here.
HALFTIME: All Blacks handling is letting themselves down, but the English have certainly looked the more dangerous side. All locked up 9-9 thanks to the first-fives in a hard-fought Test match.
39 min: Hold the tea and biscuits, here come the English! Tuilagi breaks a gap and links up well with Brown. The rumble the ball inside the All Blacks 22m...the siren goes and Burns will attempt a dropkick to end the first half...but it goes wide.
37 min: And Cruden locks things up. 9-9 game as we approach the half.
36 min: English looking like the real movers and shakers out there. All Blacks have been left to soak up pressure. A Cruden kick relieves some pressure and the All Blacks are up quickly to shut down the English. It comes to Launchbury and he's pinged for holding on. All Blacks win the penalty which Cruden should dispatch...
32 min: Ten minutes to go in the first half. The All Blacks have only troubled the English once when Jane got them inside the 5m. That attack ended in a penalty.
28 min: A set-piece lineout from the All Blacks is snuffed out by the English. An overthrown lineout for Kaino to offload to a darting Ben Smith is stopped by Morgan who wrapped up the big No.8 before he could pass.
26 min: England test Dagg again, this time with a ball along the ground. It was stabbed through by Eastmond and Dagg had to come forward at speed to grab it on the hop. He hangs on and is smacked down in the tackle immediately. Cruden clears.
24 min: Robshaw pinged for coming in offside and kicking a ball from the ruck. Cruden will have a chance to pull one back...no problems there as the Kiwis close the gap. 9-6 game.
21 min: The ABs screw the follow up scrum and another English penalty. A confident Burns will have another dig at the sticks. This kick is a bit tougher and is probably over 50m on the angle. He punches the ball and eases it through. 9-3 to England.
20 min: All Blacks lacking a bit of rhythm at the moment as Ben Smith comes forward to grab a Youngs box-kick and spills it without any pressure. Two kicks stuffed in a matter of minutes for the ABs.
17 min: Burns will go to the air and test Dagg with his first bomb. The fullback goes up, but coughs it up when he comes down. Looked like he was taken in the air by Morgan but the referee doesn't agree with his appeals. England regather the ball and shortly afterwards get themselves a penalty. Burns will have a shot at goal a few meters in from touch. He whacks it straight and true, a great kick and England lead 6-3.
13 min: Sweeping moves from the All Blacks as Jane gets away on the outside. He sees Yarde closing in and puts it onto the boot. Dagg in chase with Tuilagi, and neither will ground it as they get there at the same time and the ball is pushed dead.
11 min: England respond well and in a hurry! Robshaw, who has looked great early on, key as the forwards show good handles to move the ball forward. England are inside the 5m! It goes wide and through Brown's hands! The fullback has knocked it on before Burns dives in to score. Great, quick attack by the English, but it ends in an ABs scrum.
8 min: Here come the All Blacks creeping inside the English 22m. It goes wide to Jane who gets within five of the line before he is pulled down by Mike Brown. Ball out to McCaw and the captain has dropped it, but there was penalty advantage for offside. Easy three points for Cruden off the boot. 3-3.
6 min: England turnover the All Blacks ball as Cruden loses it on the deck. It comes wide to Robshaw who shows quick hands to flick on a pass to Youngs. But the late replacement halfback skids his pass into touch and the counterattack ends right there and then. The English certainly look to have settled well.
4 min: First running chance for the All Blacks back three as we see a quick throw. But Burns is there quick and takes Ben Smith around the ankles. A great tackle on halfway. Nonu will kick and gets it ALL WRONG as it goes into touch on the full by some distance.
2 min: Robshaw, the English captain, bursts away up the middle. Penalty advantage as Nonu tugs back on the jersey of James Haskell who was in support. The chance is gone, but it will come back for the penalty and Burns will have a shot from right in front...No mistake! England take an early 3-0 lead.
KICKOFF - Freddie Burns gets us underway and Jerome Kaino who gets an early touch to the ball in his first Test match back. Cruden gets away a clearance that doesn't fit touch and England will have a good opportunity...
7:34pm - A spine-tingling Haka lead by Liam Messam. If that doesn't pump you up, I don't know what will! Nigel Owens moments away from getting us started...
7:30pm - A resounding cheer as the first All Blacks team of the year comes out behind Richie McCaw. Anthems and the Haka to come...
7:29pm - Chris Robshaw leads out the English to a mixed crowd reception, but hey, they even got a few fireworks. Not often the away side gets that kind of treatment...
7:28pm - The teams are back in the sheds getting ready for the Test and going through last minute preparations. The stadium of course is filling up soundly for another All Blacks clash.
7:25pm - So just what should we expect from the All Blacks? Nothing but a win of course. The bookies have the point start at -19.5!! (if you don't understand over/under bets, basically means the All Blacks are faves to win by 19 points) and the ABs will want to keep the 20 game unbeaten streak ticking over.
7:20pm - So just where do the cracks lie in this English side? Look no further than the inexperience backline combination of Freddie Burns and Kyle Eastmond. Burns wins his fourth cap, while Eastmond (3rd cap) is down the pecking order in the 12 jersey and hasn't played since April. Not only might Eastmond be rusty, he has the tough job of marking Nonu. I'm going with Ma'a first try scorer for that very reason.
7:15pm - Starting to fire up now as we draw closer to kickoff. The clouds have flirted with us all day in Auckland, but the rain has held off and we have great rugby conditions tonight! Stick with us for all the coverage and if you're watching on TV, then I will be your Mysky for the night and fill in the blanks.
We will start commentary from around 7:15pm (NZT). In the meantime check out the video interview before the game with IRB CEO Brett Gosper.
All Blacks: 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Ben Smith, 13. Conrad Smith, 12. Ma'a Nonu, 11. Cory Jane, 10. Aaron Cruden, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Jerome Kaino, 7. Richie McCaw (capt), 6. Liam Messam, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Brodie Retallick, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Dane Coles, 1. Tony Woodcock. Bench: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Victor Vito, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Malakai Fekitoa.
England: 15. Mike Brown, 14. Marland Yarde, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Kyle Eastmond, 11. Jonny May, 10. Freddie Burns, 9. Ben Youngs, 8. Ben Morgan, 7. Chris Robshaw (capt), 6. James Haskell, 5. Geoff Parling, 4. Joe Launchbury, 3. David Wilson, 2. Rob Webber, 1. Joe Marler. Bench: Joe Gray, Matt Mullan, Henry Thomas, Dave Attwood, Tom Johnson, Lee Dickson, Danny Cipriani, Chris Pennell.
All Blacks v England at Eden Park.
Head to Head: All Blacks 28 England 7 Drawn 1
Last clash: All Blacks 30 England 22 at Twickenham, November 16, 2013
Tab odds: All Blacks $1.05 England $8.50
The All Blacks are traditionally slow starters to an international season and injury has robbed them of IRB player of the year Kieran Read and rampaging winger Julian Savea. However, it would be a major boilover for an undermanned England side to go 1-0 up in series. Under coach Stuart Lancaster, England are playing a more expansive game and they are coming off a strong Six Nations campaign. However, injury and last weekend's English Premiership final mean Lancaster had 16 players arriving late and not considered for selection.
Keys: Experience and Eden Park. Despite three uncapped players on their bench, the All Blacks' 23 have a combined 968 Tests between them. England's total is 367, with 12 players having had 10 Tests or fewer. Also, the contest will be at a venue that has become a fortress for the All Blacks, who have strung together a 32-match unbeaten run (one draw followed by 31 wins) since France's victory there 20 year ago.
source: newshub archive