New Zealand-England: 5 Biggest English Defeats vs. All Blacks
New Zealand is a tough place to tour, England know that. Over the years the All Blacks have inflicted their fair share of drubbings on English touring sides.
England have won the sum total of two of their 12 Tests on Kiwi home turf and will realise that turning that record around will take some doing.
England's five heaviest defeats have all come in New Zealand. England will also be without those players involved in the Aviva Premiership final for the first Test in Auckland on June 7. This makes an uphill battle even more of a climb.
Stuart Lancaster is under no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge that awaits them Down Under.
New Zealand is a very tough place to go, as people have found. There will be no end-of-season tiredness in us whatsoever. We will go out there with all guns blazing and have a really good crack at it as we believe we can win down there. We pushed New Zealand close in the autumn and have beaten them once before.
This countdown of England's heaviest All Black-inflicted defeats shows what an unforgiving rugby environment New Zealand is. Lancaster's England will hope avoid making this list at all costs and perhaps even to steal at least one win.
5. 42-15, Wellington 1985
New Zealand's 27-point margin of victory over England at Wellington in 1985 is perhaps flattering to the tourists. Back when tries were only worth four points, the Kiwis touched down a total of five times.
The contest had been close until half-time, the scores standing at 13-9 to the hosts. Containing the Kiwis on home turf is no easy task, though. Wingers Craig Green and John Kirwan shared three tries between them. Back-rowers Murray Mexted and Mark Shaw registered efforts of their own to round off the tale of two halves.
England's tries through Mike Harrison and flanker John Hall restored a level of credibility. However, even had their tries been worth five points, they would not have threatened a dominant All Blacks outfit.
4. 40-10, Auckland 1998
This was a day to forget for all the England players at Auckland's Eden Park in 1998. Bad memories for all—even Matt Dawson, who scored all 10 points for England.
The tourists again showed that competing with the All Blacks' intensity for 80 minutes is harder than stopping the aforementioned scrum-half from talking. A 14-7 half-time score was stretched out to a 30-point lead by full-time.
This was a good day to be a Kiwi No. 8. Captain Taine Randell was followed across the whitewash by his replacement Isitolo Maka for a debut score. All the rest of the scores were run in by the All Black backs. Mark Mayerhofler and Joeli Vidiri added one each while there was a brace for winger Jeff Wilson.
3. 44-12, Christchurch, 2008
There were first Test tries for Richard Kahui and Danny Care in this All Black rout. Only Kahui, however, would come away with a win.
With deadly Dan Carter pulling the strings and pushing off tackles, England were swept aside. Care's consolation try was a sign of things to come from him; a quick tap from a penalty five metres out. Forgotten paceman Tom Varndell added another to tick England's total into double figures.
This was a night all about the All Blacks, though. Their familiar blend of brute power and technical play opened England up. New Zealand bulldozer Ma'a Nonu revelled in the space. Sione Luaki's try confirmed the Kiwi dominance with a powerful pick-up from No. 8.
It was when the clock went red that New Zealand truly showed what makes them great. Not content with an already ample margin of victory, the All Blacks showed hunger for more. Some would have kicked the ball into touch. Jimmy Cowan quick-tapped the penalty and rode the challenges to cap a conclusive win.
2. 36-3, Dunedin 2004
Dunedin, "The House of Pain." England found this out first hand in 2004, belying their world champion status.
Clive Woodward's side could only register a solitary Charlie Hodgson penalty as they were hammered by their hosts. It was a familiar foe that did the damage. Dan Carter, in the relatively unfamiliar No. 12 shirt, kicked 21 points as New Zealand won by 33.
Business as usual, then, for the All Blacks as try-magnets Joe Rokocoko and Doug Howlett picked up tries. A Carlos Spencer effort made it three tries for Graham Henry's Kiwi side and a laboured loss for England.
1. 64-22, Dunedin 1998
The House of Pain strikes again. England's heaviest all-time All Black defeat came at Dunedin in 1998 as the Kiwis finished 42 points clear.
The Kiwis ran riot against an England side featuring Josh Lewsey alongside three other debutants. Danny Grewcock's red card only added to the misery. This one wasn't even close at half-time, the scoreboard reading 26-8.
There were braces for Christian Cullen, Taine Randell and Jeff Wilson. Openside Josh Kronfield and a certain Jonah Lomu both picked up five-point scores. Mark Mayerhofler rounded off his dream debut with a try of his own.
Stuart Lancaster and his inexperienced squad will be looking to avoid a repeat of the 1998 "Tour from Hell" in one of rugby's toughest tests: a tour of New Zealand.