LONDON - England produced one of their finest performances ever to stun New Zealand 38-21 and end the world champions' 20-game unbeaten run in the most spectacular style during a remarkable afternoon at Twickenham yesterday.
New Zealand, who had won their last nine games against England and not dropped a European tour game for 10 years, were 12-1 on favorites at the start.
But they were outplayed in every department by a callow England team beaten by Australia and South Africa in the last two weeks, who chalked up their highest score and record margin against a team being touted as the best ever to have played the game.
England deservedly led 12-0 at halftime via the boot of Owen Farrell and, though the All Blacks closed to within a point with quickfire tries to Julian Savea and Keiran Read, the hosts roared back with tries by Brad Barritt, an inspired Manu Tuilgai and Chris Ashton.
New Zealand, perhaps suffering the effects of an illness bug that hit the camp this week, got another late Savea try but England, with only 206 caps in their starting XV to the 789 of their feted rivals, dominated to the whistle to end coach Stuart Lancaster's first year in charge on an unexpected high.
In Cardiff, meanwhile, a last-gasp try to Kurtley Beale gave Australia a thrilling 14-12 victory over Wales - condemning the Welsh to a seventh successive defeat and left them facing a daunting World Cup challenge.
Flyhalf Beale dived over in the corner with 20 seconds of time left under a closed roof at the Millennium stadium.
Wales, needing a draw or win to stay in the world's top eight after a miserable run of form, now find themselves cast into the third band of seeds for Monday's 2015 World Cup pool draw.
Beale also kicked three penalties for the Australians, who return home after tour wins over Wales, Italy and England, with their only blemish a heavy opening defeat by France. Leigh Halfpenny, who needed lengthy treatment which delayed the end of the game, landed three penalties for Wales.
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