Rugby: Five easy steps to steps to beating the ABs (according to UK paper)

England's Chris Ashton scores in last December's test. Photo / Getty Images
England's Chris Ashton scores in last December's test. Photo / Getty Images

Hugh Godwin of the Independent lists five things England need to do to beat the All Blacks for the second straight year.

England and New Zealand have met in 35 tests over 108 years and guess how many times the English have won back to back? Once.

In November 2002 and June 2003 the soon-to-be World Cup winners captained by Martin Johnson beat the All Blacks at Twickenham (31-28) and in Wellington (15-13) respectively.

So it will be a little piece of history if Chris Robshaw's team can follow up their famous 38-21 win last December with a repeat dose this Sunday, and in the process improve a dire overall record of seven England wins to New Zealand's 27 with one draw.

Can England do it? Last year's match may give clues, while form and astute selection will be crucial.

1. Dealing with the pressure

Former Wallaby first-five Michael Lynagh said last week that "England should be the favourites every time they play at Twickenham".

But how would they handle the expectation? Sometimes in rugby it pays to be the underdog, turning the strengths of the so-called superior team into weaknesses.

Last year England, led by Joe Launchbury and Tom Wood, brought power and intelligence to the breakdown. The spectre of a repeat defeat will be a real motivator for NZ captain Richie McCaw and No 10 Dan Carter.

Each man, incredibly, has a better than 88 per cent win rate in tests.

2. Farrell must be perfect

In the match 11 months ago the All Blacks were on top in the first 25 minutes but made one crass mistake after another.

It highlighted the groove Owen Farrell was in, kicking three penalties and a drop for a 12-0 lead after New Zealand's only scoreless first half in the past 15 years.

Can the world-record test points scorer Carter possibly be as generous again? If Farrell collects every point on offer, England have a chance.

3. Tales of the unexpected

New Zealand made no excuses last year even though all but two of their squad had been hit by the norovirus vomiting and diarrhoea bug.

Also Carter had missed the two previous games with a calf problem and there was an undercurrent of aggro over hooker Andrew Hore's violent tackle against Wales.

Assuming no one slips a mickey finn in the All Blacks' tea this week they will arrive in better health.

4. Stand up and be counted

England need a reprise of their back-rowers Wood and Robshaw jolting New Zealand backwards in and after the tackle. The home scrum and driving maul must also go well again.

But can anyone see Joel Tomkins doing the job of England's injured wrecking-ball of a centre Manu Tuilagi, who terrorised Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and the All Black loose forwards into uncharacteristic cock-ups?

5. You snooze, you lose

Be very afraid if New Zealand resume in the same vein they finished in at Twickenham last year. A brilliant last 10 minutes showcased the pace and handling epitomised now by the rubber-limbed Charles Piutau.

If the newbie Auckland wing and fullback Israel Dagg hit the turf running, it will take every bit of the home team's togetherness for English lightning to strike twice in the same place.

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