England vs New Zealand: Chris Robshaw v Richie McCaw head-to-head

A look at how the rival open-side flankers fared at Twickenham

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The Independent Online

Who left the bigger mark at the breakdown?

Robshaw had the advantage at the first-half rucks. He set the tone for his side  and also played a more natural linking game than has sometimes been the case.

As England tried to build on May’s try, Robshaw was involved at least three times in moves which flowed left and right, he was there again when Cruden wriggled over for New Zealand’s equaliser. He could have done little more.

And in the set-pieces?

England use Robshaw more often at the lineout but here both were free to concentrate on roving roles. McCaw was at his best during England’s first-quarter assault, but his propensity to concede penalties cost territory. With so few scrums, Robshaw’s predatory instincts had free rein and his work rate kept him close to the ball whenever England threatened.


How did the big calls go?

There is so much experience in this New Zealand side that McCaw can leave plenty of decision-making to his senior colleagues. Robshaw is still more hands-on as captain, not least during the second-half melee which finished in a yellow card for Dane Coles. First Robshaw was on the end of Coles’s kick, then he was in referee Nigel Owens’s ear.

Richie McCaw smiles with the Hillary Shield

After 135 Tests, is time catching up on McCaw?

It is 13 years since McCaw, (left) made his international debut, which is a long, long time. Now aged 33, he hopes to return to Twickenham next year, leading New Zealand’s defence of the World Cup. So, in the 46th minute he turns up in just the right place to take Israel Dagg’s pass and canter over, giving his side the lead. As the second half wears on, you see more of McCaw as New Zealand dominate.