Wed 11 Jun 2014 | 09:36
England breaking All Black myth
Wed 11 Jun 2014 | 09:36
England breaking All Black mythSHARE
The All Blacks reputation as the Invincibles of world rugby has been severely tested by England in their last few meetings.
After amassing 15 consecutive Test victories, the All Blacks came very close to stumbling in their 20-15 victory over the English on the weekend.
It was Stuart Lancaster's men who were the last team to dish out defeat to the New Zealanders in December 2012.
England prop Joe Marler admits to once being duped by the All Blacks myth, but it was the agony of coming so close that has exposed the their vulnerability for him.
Lancaster's tourists outplayed their opponents for much of the weekends game until the final minutes when Conrad Smith was able to take advantage of a quick-tap penalty and score the match-winning try.
Marler now insists England will attempt to level the series knowing that the World Cup holders can be toppled.
"From a personal point of view I probably had the idea in my head that they're invincible," the loosehead told a press conference in New Zealand.
"I've always looked on the All Blacks as year-on-year the best team in the world.
"When you break it down and look at them as individuals and collectively, there are 15 blokes on a field trying to do the same as you.
"We went into the game at Eden Park having spent the build-up trying to get rid of this All Black myth or aura of how they are invincible.
"We respect them as a team, know they have several world-class players and know they are world champions.
"But Saturday helped us even further. Now we can go toe-to-toe with these guys and if we want to win we need to go that extra step."
England's approach to the game has been labeled as one that deliberately slowed things down in a bid to reduce the tempo of the match and disrupt the New Zealanders.
Local media claimed these tactics were being employed due to England's inferior conditioning, However Marler regards the claim as "nonsense".
"We want to play at a high tempo and we showed that in the Six Nations when we took France, Ireland and Wales on at that sort of game," he said.
"Of course they've come out and said we slow the game down. I didn't see them running to any of the scrums or line-outs quicker than us. It's not a tactic of ours to slow the game down.
"As a spectator or a neutral you'd probably look at it and say it wasn't a great game to watch because there were a lot of dropped balls and set-pieces.
"That's why the game was slow. It's nonsense."