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England Stun World No. 1 New Zealand In World Cup Semis

England have produced one of their greatest performances to end New Zealand's bid for a third-successive Rugby World Cup, outplaying the defending champions with an epic 19-7 semi-final win in Japan.

England dominated on Saturday from the outset, looked sharper, faster, stronger and more disciplined. The All Blacks hadn't lost a World Cup match since the 2007 quarter-finals but barely threatened all night.

England are into their fourth final and first since 2007. They will seek their second cup against South Africa or Wales after their 2003 victory and are still the only northern hemisphere country to triumph.

England scored after 90 seconds through centre Manu Tuilagi and built their lead through brilliant goalkicking by recalled flyhalf George Ford.

New Zealand, who had won 15 of the teams' past 16 meetings, managed only a gifted try to flanker Ardie Savea.

Coach Eddie Jones was remaining focused.

"We have another week in the competition, the prospect to work hard and see where we can take our game and get better," he said.

"We had great tactical discipline. You try and play at their game, you come off second best. We stuck to our game really well.

"I thought the discipline of our players was outstanding in attack and defence."

Asked if England would be final favourites, he said: "We don't bet. We don't look at the bookies - we aren't concerned. Our expectation is to get better every day."

England captain Owen Farrell said it was brilliant to reach the final.

"It doesn't get any bigger at this stage. We felt like we prepared well and we started the game well.

"We've got a number of ways of playing. We've got a big, powerful pack but they can use the ball as well. We play to play to space and, tonight, we did that well."

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said his players weren't good enough.

"Congratulations to England, they played a tremendous game of footy and deserved to win. You cannot give them half a step, but they took it."

"I am really proud of our team, they have done a tremendous job, but we were not good enough ... the boys tried their guts out and I am proud of them."

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read said they struggled to get into the game.

"I think we will look at the game and have so many 'what ifs' and things we could have done better. On a stage like this, you can't afford to do that and it cost us."

After lining up against the Haka in a V formation, England backed it up via Tuilagi's try within two minutes.

Dual playmakers Farrell and Ford were full of speed and creativity. The All Blacks, hardly venturing into England's 22, were relieved to reach halftime only 10-0 down after a late Ford penalty and a Sam Underhill try being ruled out by the TMO.

England piled on the pressure immediately in the second half, but suffered another TMO setback when Ben Youngs' try was disallowed for a knock-on after six minutes.

A Ford penalty made it 13-0 as New Zealand continued to make rare mistakes. But they were invited back into the game when, for the first time, England's lineout went wrong and Jamie George threw the ball straight into the arms of Savea, who fell over the line.

England hit back immediately after a huge hit on Jordie Barrett by Sam Underhill forced a knock-on and, from the subsequent attack, New Zealand offended on their line again and Ford kicked another penalty to make it 16-7.

Ford, taking over kicking duties after Farrell had been hit hard in the first half, added another to give England breathing space as the desperate All Blacks ran out of time.

Featured Image: Getty