Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

England v New Zealand Key Battles

Chris Robshaw, pictured, will square up against New Zealand's Richie McCaw

England must defeat New Zealand in Saturday's second Test at Forsyth Barr Stadium if they are to level the series.

Here Press Association Sport examines three key battles that will shape the match.

RICHIE MCCAW V CHRIS ROBSHAW

Only one winner emerged from this duel in the first Test with Robshaw comfortably outplaying his opposite number. Statistics show McCaw completed four all-important turnovers, but the All Blacks' aging openside undoubtedly came off second best to Robshaw who was the dominant force on the pitch. Expect England's captain to reign supreme again in Dunedin.

AARON SMITH V DANNY CARE

Two diminutive but brilliant half-backs will engage in a battle of wits that will be influential on the result. Care was sorely missed in the first Test as he recovered from a shoulder injury and England are a far more dynamic with his energy and quick-thinking present at nine. Smith is also a handful with his vision keeping opponents on guard.

JULIAN SAVEA V MANU TUILAGI

Tuilagi's Test debut on the wing is an exciting selection that has the potential to backfire spectacularly. The Leicester wrecking ball was England's most attacking weapon from outside centre at Eden Park, so tinkering with his position is a gamble. Standing opposite him is prolific All Black Savea who will be ready to exploit any hint of weakness.

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