"Inexcusable" - Four England players who flopped and who should replace them for second test - Ruck

“Inexcusable” – Four England players who flopped and who should replace them for second test

New Zealand narrowly defeated England 16-15 in a thrilling opening Test in Dunedin, marking a victorious start for new head coach Scott Robertson.

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Damian McKenzie secured the win with two crucial second-half penalties, overturning England’s lead after Immanuel Feyi-Waboso’s try had given the visitors a five-point advantage.

The teams were tied at half-time, with Sevu Reece and Ardie Savea scoring for New Zealand, while Maro Itoje’s try, converted by Marcus Smith, kept England in contention.

Below, we look at what changes Steve Borthwick could make for next weekend’s clash with the All Blacks at Eden Park.

#1. Marcus Smith

Rugby Pass 5/10: “Inexcusable miss in front of the posts early in the second half, but bounced back immediately with some passes timed to absolute perfection as England scored their second. After being penned back in the first half due to New Zealand’s territorial supremacy, he was able to express himself much more after the break as England gained more control. Unfortunately, two kicks from five are the statistics that can define Test matches though, and that might well have been the case in Dunedin”

Telegraph 6/10: “Missed two sitters off the tee which England had to take. Didn’t love the grubber when England were attacking well but two slick passes before Feyi-Waboso’s score. Bottom line, the missed points were critical. “

Planet Rugby 6/10: ” Ultimately, those kicks were costly, while there was one errant decision in attack, but he still brought plenty to the game. Option-taking was good and he was absolutely central to Feyi-Waboso’s score. A mixed display but Smith deserves another shot.”

Replacement: Fin Smith is waiting the wings, but we’d give Marcus another run out next weekend