Former Blues captain James Parsons believes England “panicked” against the All Blacks last weekend, as they decided to settle for an anticlimactic 25-all draw.
After an up and down international season, which has included first ever losses in New Zealand against Ireland and Argentina, the All Blacks were looking to make a statement at Twickenham.
With plenty to prove less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup, New Zealand had the chance to extend their unbeaten run to seven Test matches – and their next opponents were one of their fiercest rivals.
The All Blacks raced out to an early 14-nil lead after tries to Dalton Papali’i and Codie Taylor, and they never really seemed to be at risk of squandering their advantage.
A sublime Rieko Ioane try after the half-time break appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for England, who were trailing 22-6 soon after.
But All Blacks star Beauden Barrett played the role of both the hero and villain in the dying stages, as he was yellow carded just a few minutes after a successful drop goal.
England capitalised on the one player advantage, and scored three tries inside the final nine minutes to draw the scores level at 25-all.
While they were playing with all the momentum, and with the energy and passion of the Twickenham crowd ready to spur them on to something incredible, England decided to end the Test there.
After the kick-off, Flyhalf Marcus Smith kicked the ball into touch and brought an end to what was a thrilling end to the blockbuster clash.
Speaking on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod, former Blues captain Parsons said that England were in control and could’ve gone on to win the Test before settling for a tie.
“They’ve done it with ease like that last eight minutes, in terms of counterattacking,” Parsons said.
“One of the biggest players that probably came off was Dalton Papali’i, who was slowing their ball down all night and once he came off, they were just getting that front foot ball.
“Their actual ability to have front foot ball from that kick-off is right there, it was a short kick-off, they were 60 out.