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England’s best victories

December 1st, 2012 Sports

One for the ages: Jonny Wilkinson kicks the drop goal that wins England the 2003 World Cup Photo: GETTY IMAGES

1936: England 13 New Zealand 0

The All Blacks were the team to beat even back in the 1930s but England
achieved victory in sensational fashion with dashing Russian Prince
Alexander Obolensky scoring two of the best tries ever seen at Twickenham.

1972: South Africa 9 England 18
Ellis Park, Johnnesburg

England in the 1970s rarely got their act together but they did, gloriously,
on tour in South Afrca on this occasion when they achieved the virtually
unthinkable and defeated the mighty Boks at altitude at Ellis Park. It was
Moseley full-back Sam Doble’s finest moment with 14 points.

1991: England 21 France 19

England had spluttered along after their 1980 Grand Slam and then under Will
Carling they perked up. This was a classic match of massive tension but iron
resolve and nerveless goal kicking from the unheralded Simon Hodgkinson saw
England home.

2003: Ireland 6 England 42
Lansdowne Road, Dublin

The greatest all-round performance by Clive Woodward’s England was their Grand
Slam head-to-head in Dublin when they subdued Ireland for 50 minutes and
then clinically ripped them apart in the final half hour with four more
tries. Flawless rugby from England in their pomp.

2003: England 20 Australia 17
Sydney (AET)

Not the greatest ever performance by Woodward’s England but their most
significant win, dug out at the death by the ice cool play of their gnarly
pack, Matt Dawson and of course Jonny Wilkinson with his dropped goal in the
final minute of extra time to claim the World Cup.