2019 W杯・備忘録 60
～ NZに勝つ ～
大会後に出版されたエディー・ジョーンズ・ENG・HCの自伝『My Life and Rugby』（以下「EJ本」）は、どこを読んでもエキサイティングで面白い。日本語訳がすぐに出版されるだろうと期待していたのだが、今に至っても出版されていないようだ。残念なことだ。
It is imperative we impose ourselves on the All Blacks and control possession while putting them under sustained pressure. Possession alone will not win us the game, but I am convinced that if we attack them in cohesive bursts they will crack. We will run at them and play aggressive and fluid rugby. Beyond that basic premise we will make our tackles count and maintain discipline at the breakdown to avoid giving away penalties. (p162)
『かつてENGのHCであったWoodwardは、選手たちに「All Blacks」という言葉を話すのを禁じて「New Zealand」と言うようにしていた。』と紹介した上で、こう書いている。
But I wasn’t so convinced. I had beaten them enough times to know the truth. They were neither gods nor monsters. I could say the words ‘All Blacks’ without quaking. But I had also lost enough times to New Zealand to appreciate that they are not just another team. (p397)
We know New Zealand would not have been expecting our V response（注：NZのハカの時のENG選手の陣形） and we want to keep them thinking. So we stick to the plan we have for kick-off. All Blacks it looks as if George Ford, who starts again at 10 in a sign of our attacking intent, will kick to the right. But he quietly informs the referee that we are doing the opposite.
Ford flips it to Farrell who sends the ball spiralling up into the dark sky to the left. We are ready to shake up the All Blacks. (p406)
Farrell suffers a dead leg when he tackles Goodhue. He limps for a while but makes it clear he is going nowhere. After 30 minutes we have had 61 per cent of possession and our defence has been enormous. New Zealand have not been able to create much and they are making mistakes. But we are still only seven points clear.
Towards the end of the half, the television cameras lock on me. Ben Kay, the 2003 World Cup winner who offers analysis on ITV, suggests that, ‘Eddie Jones will be desperate. With three minutes to go, having had all the possession, he would have more than seven points going into half-time.’
Nick Mullins, the chief commentator, replies. ‘No other coach has got the better of New Zealand more often than Eddie Jones. Those wins include the 2003 World Cup semi-final when he was in charge of Australia.’
Lawrence Dallaglio, another World Cup winner, clips in to say that, ‘This break comes at a good time for England to breathe life back into Owen Farrell because he’s been really struggling with whatever injury he is carrying at the moment.’
I am oblivious to the chatter and concentrate on the match. It is heartening to see how Itoje, Lawes, Curry, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola are using their downtime. They are involved in an animated conversation, with Itoje leading the way, which is just what we wanted; Ric Charlesworth taught us so much about how best to use time when the ball is dead.（p406）
Ric Charlesworthは、「had been a state cricketer for Western Australia, an Olympic medal-winning hockey player, a doctor, a federal member of Parliament for ten years and a bestselling author.」であり、「is most interesting coach in world sport.」で、1996年・2000年オリンピック金メダルの豪女子ホッケーのHCなど務めている。EJを含むENGコーチ陣は、2018年秋のテストマッチ後AUSに行き、Ricから「ボールデッド時の時間の有効活用＝選手間のコミュケーションの重要性」を学び、選手たちに落とし込んでいた。
New Zealand come again and, with two minutes left on the clock, we have to defend attack after attack. Farrell brings down Savea and, in the fight for the ball, Lawes and Underhill form a white net which chokes the black shirts. Underhill has his hands on the ball and Scott Barret makes a basic mistake. He is penalized and, at the award of the penalty for England, Itoje lifts his right arm in triumph. Curry smiles broadly and Youngs claps his hands in delight.
England’s pressure is forcing cracks in the black wall. We are 8-3 up in turnover ball and soon 10-0 clear on the scoreboard after Ford curls the penalty between the sticks as the half-time gone sounds.（p408）
We remain undaunted and even the New Zealand substitutes feel the pressure. Sam Cane is penalized for tackling Billy Vunipola without the ball. Ford slots it home: 13-0.
Another big moment comes after 55 minutes when Underhill knocks Read off his feet with a devastating tackle. Our intensity remains as high as it has been from the opening whistle.
But a minute later our lineout implodes. The call is muddled and George’s throw sails over Itoje, Kruis and Curry and straight into the arms of Savea, who will never score an easier try.
‘The All Blacks are back in the house!’ Mullins yells.
‘Boy,’ Kay agrees, ‘do we have finish on our hands now.’
Having worked so hard to keep New Zealand out, we have just offered up the softest tries. We are about tested again.
In the previous 18 months we have let many big leads slip away but not today, not everything we have leant and tried so hard to implement. Two minutes after that error, Underhill smashes into Jordie Barrett with another legitimate big hit. That turnover is just one of 19 we will produce in the match.（p409）
At the whistle, it is noticeable that the England players do not really celebrate. It looks as if they knew, all along, that they would win today.（p410）