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Aim the line-out and slow it down: how England can beat the All Blacks

Aim the line-out and slow it down: how England can beat the All Blacks

Start with three – if you can fight

The team selection of Steve Hansen gives us an idea of ​​New Zealand's mentality. I know they wanted to have two playmakers in the field for a while and with Damian McKenzie at full power it takes a bit of rest from Beauden Barrett. McKenzie is also a kick-option, but his first instinct is running. With Rieko Ioane and Ben Smith also in the back three, it means that Ben Youngs simply has to be on the money with his box-kicking because this is an All Blacks team that was set up to keep the ball in its hands. England has two options to counter that threat: the first is that the Youngs' spades must be debatable. If you give McKenzie, Smith and Ioane even five meters, they tear up England. Owen Farrell will also have to kick accurately, but if he and Youngs do well, the back of England New Zealand can cause problems in the air.

Target the All Black lineout

The second option for England is to kick the ball from the field – kick in row Z and back the line-out to cause New Zealand problems. It is an area where the All Blacks have shown a little weakness and in Steve Borthwick (the forward coach of England) and George Cross you have two of the largest line-out geeks in the neighborhood. It may not be nice, but the more you keep the ball off the field, the less threatening the backbone of New Zealand becomes. The middle way around the middle line will be so crucial and if England can impose sanctions – they can not stand South Africa – but with a bit more deception in the air, they have Elliot Daly who can overthrow them. The maul did not go that far last week, but England has traditionally had a strong decor and I expect that to be so again on Saturday.

Frustrate, frustrate, frustrate for the full 80

The All Blacks coaches will preach patience because it would play straight in the hands of England if they seem to be running out of the match in the first 20 minutes. We have seen New Zealand taking the 55-60-minute sign and the pace and intensity so often, but England will try to frustrate them everywhere and still hopes to stay within the score when TJ Perenara and Dane Coles come. England should probably be ahead in that phase, but even if they are in a score, they have their own weapons to get home and in Farrell they may have the best No. 10 in the world to move his team in the park.

Slow down and close Barrett

Beauden Barrett must be stopped.



Beauden Barrett must be stopped. Photo: Koki Nagahama / Getty Images

The selection of Sam Underhill shows how important the malfunction will be. He does not do as much as I like to see from an open side, but his main task, together with Brad Shields, Mark Wilson and Maro Itoje, is to slow the ball. If Barrett waits for more than three seconds, he is disturbed. New Zealand wants to feel at ease in their attacking form, they want a two-second ball but if England can slow it, it influences the flight from the forward, it affects the depth of Barrett and suddenly England is in the game with 20 minutes. Underhill's second task will be to target Barrett-off scrums and line-outs, he will go straight to him and try to eliminate time and space.

Use the sixth sense of Ashton

England will have to score scoring against New Zealand, so they have no chance if they have so little territory and just as few possessions in the opposition 22 as last Saturday. And that is why Chris Ashton has been selected. He is one of the best workrate wings in the game, he has a license to roam around, watch inside ball and his tracking is great. He has a sixth sense for where the ball will be and if Henry Slade can make a half-break and slide into it, which he is very good at, then you can count on Ashton that he is on his shoulder. In the recent Bledisloe Cup match we saw Australia making so many linebreaks, but the support was not there. With Ashton you know that it will be and it will be a big test for Jack Goodhue. He will have to look from the inside to Ashton because it is that extra step, the two hit within a single movement that can break the All Blacks. As Australia and South Africa have shown, you can score points against this side of New Zealand. Nick Evans played 16 Tests for New Zealand

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