November 30, 2008 - 4:19AM
England 6 New Zealand 32
New Zealand completed their second grand slam in three years and third overall with a 32-6 win over England at Twickenham.
New Zealand full-back Mils Muliaina scored two tries in quick succession midway through the second-half before centre Ma'a Nonu broke away for a third as the All Blacks recorded their seventh successive victory over England.
This win also meant New Zealand had defeated Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England this month without conceding a try.
Their margin of victory would have been greater had not the normally reliable Dan Carter missed five of his 11 goalkicks.
"I lost a little rhythm in the warm-up. I didn't kick well today but thankfully the team were great and the result didn't come down to kicking," said Carter."We played well and showed great character in the way we pulled away."
England, beaten by Australia, world champions South Africa the All Blacks on successive weekends, didn't help themselves by having four players sin-binned as they conceded too many needless penalties. After a lacklustre first-half, New Zealand were only 12-3 ahead. But they showed their customary ruthlessness after the break.
"There was not enough composure and we made mistakes when we were under pressure," said England manager Martin Johnson. "The sin-bins didn't help. Four in one game is a little unusual. We had them under pressure at times but we still have to do better. When they made mistakes we didn't take our opportunities and we have to learn that Test match rugby is all about pressure."
England, now denied a top four seeding in Monday's 2011 World Cup draw, almost caught the All Blacks cold when No 8 Nick Easter burst through only to be ankle-tapped in sight of Muliaina.
However, the try-chance disappeared and England, briefly back up to 15, were a man down again when Toby Flood was sin-binned for a high tackle on Jimmy Cowan as the New Zealand scrum-half broke clear. With Flood off, full-back Delon Armitage took over kicking duties and his first goal-kick in Test rugby sailed between the posts.
It was the first time New Zealand had conceded points in the second-half against any of the Home Nations this month. New Zealand's lead was now 12-6 and after Nonu had squandered a potential try-scoring chance, the centre scored. The New Zealand pack superbly turned an England scrum, allowing Cowan to feed Nonu. He then fed Joe Rokocoko, cutting off his wing, and he passed to the onrushing Muliaina, in at the right corner.
Carter, in his last match before joining French club Perpignan, sent Muliaina in for a second try with a well-weighted, defence-splitting chip that the full-back collected. And after England prop Tim Payne was turned over, quick hands between Cowan, hooker Neemia Tialata and Rokocoko sent Nonu in for a try before replacement Tom Rees was binned by Irish referee Alain Rolland, who'd seen his warnings to England repeatedly ignored.
Home fans had done their best to rouse England before kick-off by singing their anthem, 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' as the All Blacks performed the haka. England then had the chance to take a sixth minute lead when New Zealand captain and openside flanker Richie McCaw was penalised for breaking too early off the back of a scrum. But Flood, brought in at outside-half for the dropped Danny Cipriani, pulled the 42 metre chance well to the left of the posts.
England, as they'd done during their record-breaking 42-6 home loss to the Springboks last weekend, had a decent share of early possession and Easter drove strongly down the right touchline. However, when the ball came back it never looked as if England, rendered try-less by the Springboks, were about to break the line and New Zealand-born centre Riki Flutey was penalised for holding on. Fly-half Carter and Flood exchanged penalties to leave the scores at 3-3.
England though were a man down when hooker Lee Mears was sent to the sin-bin in the 24th minute for lying on the wrong side of a ruck. And when England scrum-half Danny Care infringed minutes later, Carter made no mistake and New Zealand were 6-3 ahead.
Worse followed for England when they were briefly reduced to 13 men after blindside flanker James Haskell was sin-binned for a swinging arm on All Black No 8 Rodney So'oialo. Carter add two more penalties before the break as the All Blacks, adding this slam to go with their 1978 and 2005 triumphs, handed out another harsh lesson to Martin Johnson's new-look England.
NEW ZEALAND 32 (Mils Muliaina (2), Nonu tries; Dan Carter 5 pens, con) bt ENGLAND 6 (Toby Flood, Delon Armitage pens)