Gregor Paul: New Zealand must humiliate England

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The Independent Online

The important thing for the All Blacks to remember when they play England this week is to leave no room for ambiguity.

The Poms have to get their beans. They have to be humiliated - they have to be given the equivalent of a pants down smack on the backside from matron in front of the other boys.

This isn't just because it feels good to ridicule them on their home ground - to see the self-styled governors of the game take some from the colonial upstarts. It's also because England, for the good of the world game, have to dispense with the guff they have served so far under Martin Johnson and find a new path.

The game on Sunday (NZT) has to raze the English game plan - scorch the earth and leave no trace. If there are any positives, Johnson will cling to them and no doubt persevere with this style that is neither one thing nor the other.

A royal hiding should enable Johnson - if he survives a royal hiding - to see that under the current rules England can go back to their strengths.

They can kick for territory, stick up bombs and roll the mauls. They can pick jumbo forwards who can dominate the set-piece and collision and do little else. That's okay in the current game. It's more than okay in fact - it's not a bad plan at all and should see them at least like winning some more tests.

The world game needs England to be strong. It really does.

Test football is all about heroes and villains. It never feels the same when it is heroes versus heroes - a Conrad Smith versus Brian O'Driscoll - two clean cuts guys, two great players and while you can sit back and admire their craft, cheer them both as a neutral, it's not the same as having a baddy in the mix.

And England, whether they like it or not will forever be cast as the villains. The current generation can thank Will Carling and his crowd for that.

They were a side that no one could like and the damage is irreversible. England are rugby's villains - everyone loves beating them...Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Australia, South Africa, France and New Zealand. Everyone has a historic injustice to fuel their dislike, to make them that little bit more animated when their country is playing England. As Andrew Mehrtens once said: "They are pricks to lose to."

Villains spice the mix better. Remember the anger former hooker Brian Moore could induce? What about Jerry Guscott - the so called prince of centres yet he couldn't tackle or hold a candle to Frank Bunce. Or Walter Little.

Carling and his silly little chin cleft; Kyran Bracken and his annoying hair; Andy Gomarsall and his even more annoying hair; Mike Catt and his explosively combined English and South African arrogance. The list could go on.

As much as they riled, got under your skin, the old England is easily missed. We need them back - strutting, preening and telling everyone how good they are. We need them to be better than they are and the only way it is going to happen is if they are shredded at Twickenham on Sunday.

Sourced from: The New Zealand Herald