England flanker Tom Curry has declared their upset victory over the All Blacks in the 2019 Rugby World Cup semifinals meant more to some English fans than lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.

The 19-7 win ended New Zealand's chances at claiming a third successive Rugby World Cup, and with it their chances of rounding out the careers of coach Steve Hansen, captain Kieran Read and a number of others on the perfect high.

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Speaking to the Daily Mail, Curry, who was a standout in the match, says the result is a moment savoured amongst many English fans, to the point where some argued them beating the All Blacks was a bigger deal than their failure to raise the trophy in the final against the Springboks.


'We understood what it meant to beat New Zealand, but not fully until we got back and everyone was so excited about it at home.

"Someone came up to me and said 'the World Cup will be remembered for you beating New Zealand, not South Africa winning it'.

"That probably hit me the hardest as it showed just how much the result of that one game meant to people here."

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England dominated the All Blacks in every facet of the game and negated everything the Kiwis threw at them. They made a rapid start, receiving possession early on and scoring after just 96 seconds through midfielder Manu Tuilagi, which Curry says perfectly portrayed their pre-match plan.

It was their first win over New Zealand at the World Cup, having previously lost all three.

Curry believes their V formation during the haka may very well have been the mechanism that offset the All Blacks.

"It gave me a lot of confidence because it looked like they were a bit unnerved by what we had done. They are just used to staring someone out."

England flanker Tom Curry after their semifinal win over the All Blacks at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty
England flanker Tom Curry after their semifinal win over the All Blacks at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty

Loose forward Billy Vunipola says they wanted to show they were ready to fight.


"That's what they do when they're doing the haka. They're laying it down, so we thought, 'Bring it on, we're coming back for you a little bit'."

Vunipola's older brother and England prop Mako added to his sibling's sentiments.

"We wanted to make sure they understood that we would be ready for the fight," he said.

"We knew it would rile them up, it probably felt like we disrespected them. We meant no offence by it, we just wanted to let them know we were ready."

Former England coach and World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson labelled the victory as the greatest in English rugby.

England qualified for their fourth World Cup final with the victory over the All Blacks, but were unsuccessful against the Springboks, going down 32-12 - not that it apparently mattered to some English fans in the end.