• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Best England Game Ever

klitarris

Academy Player
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
104
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

My son has announced that he wants to sit down with me and watch 'the best England game ever'.

What do people think? He's 6 so it needs to be at least a relatively high scoring one, obviously needs to be an England win, needs to be exciting, ideally with plenty of fast action.

Early contenders for me are:
Eng-NZ 2002
Eng-Aus 2002
Eng-SA 2002
Eng-NZ 2003 (RWC warmup in Wellington)
2003 RWC final
Eng-Aus 2010
Eng-NZ 2012
ENg-Fra 2015 (6N crazy final day)
All matches in Aus 2016
Eng-Fra 2019 6N
Eng-NZ 2019 RWC SF

I'm sure there are some classics I've left out. I'm probably going to be relying on Youtube to watch it so not all will be available.

All thoughts and inputs welcome!
 

klitarris

Academy Player
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
104
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

v Ireland 2004 is the one that always stands out for me.

Edit: This thread doesn't have a chance man, trolls will be everywhere and I'm happy to oblige! ;)
I'd have thought the one in Croke Park would be better for you? 2007 wasn't it?

Yes, I'm expecting the wums to be chipping in (don't like the term trolls when it's friendly banter), fully expect there to be a few Cardiff 2013 from the Welsh! Hopefully in among all that lot I might get some genuine answers. Maybe I've got too much faith in you lot!
 

Not Eddie Jones

First XV
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Messages
1,128
Country Flag

England

England v Oz 2002- England 32-Oz 31, record England comback victory when all hope was lost against the reigning world champions and best side in the world. If that don't get him into it, nothing will. :)
 

klitarris

Academy Player
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
104
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

England v Oz 2002- England 32-Oz 31, record England comback victory when all hope was lost against the reigning world champions and best side in the world. If that don't get him into it, nothing will. :)
That's a great shout! Don't know how I left that one out, I can remember watching that at my local rugby club and the whole place going absolutely crazy when Cohen scored that try at the end.
 

Le Frére Alpha

Fat Boi
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Messages
15,089
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Leinster

I'd have thought the one in Croke Park would be better for you? 2007 wasn't it?

Yes, I'm expecting the wums to be chipping in (don't like the term trolls when it's friendly banter), fully expect there to be a few Cardiff 2013 from the Welsh! Hopefully in among all that lot I might get some genuine answers. Maybe I've got too much faith in you lot!
There's been a few good ones, 2004 was the first time I remember Ireland beating a big team* because we were better than they were rather than a passionate performance against a team that didn't show up like in 2001 or v Australia in 02.

On your list up there though the 2012 is my favourite, watched a rerun during the first lockdown and it's a very entertaining game. Wouldn't be to familiar with any pre-2003 though and a neutrals perspective might be a bit worthless too.

*Despite the exceptional decline post 2003 England were definitely still a big team at this stage.
 

ncurd

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
11,094
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

Eng-NZ 2002
All matches in Aus 2016
Eng-NZ 2019 RWC SF
This is probably what I'd narrow it down to,

The 6 man scrum match is probably the best match the orc's played in terms of their sheer bloody mindedness at the absolute height of their power.
The 2016 Aus series is special because its all about how your turn things around and dominate.
And I do think in terms of aethetics the 2019 RWC SF might be England's best game I've watched, they just absolutely took over from the start and never looked like letting up.
 

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
100,006,552
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Sale

Eng-NZ 2019 RWC SF
I think this is a good one to get someone interested in the sport more - not only was a it a very good game but the majority (all?) of the players are still playing now, so if he then goes on to watch club rugby (don't let him watch 2021 vintage England performances whatever you do) he'll be able to pick out players from that game from the masses, and it's easier to get invested when you know some names
 

Tallshort

International
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
6,097
Country Flag

Yugoslavia

Club or Nation

Nottingham

England V Australia 2007 WC.

England had been totally written off and against the odds put the screw on Australia. Many of the English pack were cast offs of the 2003 team. Shaw, Corey, Regan but they had a real hard edge and really ripped into the Aussie pack. Jonny Wilkinson had been injured for the best part of 4 years but played at his commanding best.

Never seen an England side turn the form book on it'd head like that and it really upset the Aussies who had been unbearable before the game.
 

Ragey Erasmus

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
7,017
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

This is probably what I'd narrow it down to,

The 6 man scrum match is probably the best match the orc's played in terms of their sheer bloody mindedness at the absolute height of their power.
The 2016 Aus series is special because its all about how your turn things around and dominate.
And I do think in terms of aethetics the 2019 RWC SF might be England's best game I've watched, they just absolutely took over from the start and never looked like letting up.
The thing that made the 2016 series all the sweeter is the Aussies being Aussies made that classless trolling video about England before they arrived for the tour only to have England clean the floor with them (and we haven't lost to them since, weird when you think about that really).

Cringe version:
And the response someone made after:

And to top it all off, they removed the video after and tried to pretend it never happened :D
 

RedruthRFC

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,209
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

England

England V Australia 2007 WC.

England had been totally written off and against the odds put the screw on Australia. Many of the English pack were cast offs of the 2003 team. Shaw, Corey, Regan but they had a real hard edge and really ripped into the Aussie pack. Jonny Wilkinson had been injured for the best part of 4 years but played at his commanding best.

Never seen an England side turn the form book on it'd head like that and it really upset the Aussies who had been unbearable before the game.
This is one of those times when I wish there was an archive of starting odds on sporting events. If England have ever won as bigger underdogs in an outright market, I can't think of it (maybe 2019 vs NZ?). This match had a fairly early kick off and I was all ready to bail at half time and watch my home town side play Blackheath, but had a funny feeling about how it was going and couldn't bring myself to do so. For once, I was right to back my gut, I don't think I've ever shouted louder or punched the air harder watching sport on TV than I did when the late exchanges went England's way. It was made all the sweeter my only having to watch the second half of a poor Redruth performance against a decent Blackheath side.

All of that said, it would be a sad day for me if watching Andrew Sheridan turn a fat bloke in a canary yellow jersey inside out all afternoon constitutes the best game ever, but each to their own.

Given the rivalry and quality of the opposition, you could pick any of the English wins against France in the late 80s / early 90s, but they all fade into one.

To me, it's Ireland 6 - 42 England in 2003 - the best performance the best England side put in. The XV vs XIII Orcs on steroids win was more of a great story than a great performance given the paucity of the opposition. The win over Australia in the same tour deserves more credit to me, as does Josh Lewsey for his contribution.

The RWC 2019 semi final could be the right answer though. If the scoreboard reflected the level of dominance and / or if England backed it up the next week, it would be better thought of in higher regard. England were significant underdogs against the side who the results that far in the tournament showed to be the pick of the southern hemisphere, so it was a hell of a performance. Made all the better to watch in the knowledge that taking your eye off the ball for just a few minutes against New Zealand can turn the game on its head.
 

Old Hooker

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
4,294
Country Flag

England

Firstly hats off to your son for asking and to you for getting him interested at such an early age.

Some great suggestions above, but at his age I reckon he’ll be more excited by winning the RWC than anything else. So the 03 final.

Others I’d suggest:

Ire v Eng 2003. Grand Slam decider. Big thumping for Ire in Dublin and added bonus of some red carpet shenanigans. And I vividly remember Jason Leonard looking petrified when he accidentally got his hands on the ball in open play.

Then a couple v Scotland. The draw a couple of years ago takes some beating for excitement but I suspect Klitarris junior will be more excited by a big Eng win so the 60-21 match from 2017.
 

RedruthRFC

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,209
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

England

Ire v Eng 2003. Grand Slam decider. Big thumping for Ire in Dublin and added bonus of some red carpet shenanigans. And I vividly remember Jason Leonard looking petrified when he accidentally got his hands on the ball in open play.
I'd forgotten that this was the game with the carpet carry on. Leonard's "carrying" was a thing of legend among me and my mates by 2003, it epitomised the way we'd been coached by wrote - take the ball into contart, turn shoulder, fall down, set up ruck. Whenever he got the ball in open play it was met with a chorus of "set it up Jase". By 2003 it was a lot harder for props to hide from carrying.

Then a couple v Scotland. The draw a couple of years ago takes some beating for excitement but I suspect Klitarris junior will be more excited by a big Eng win so the 60-21 match from 2017.
The 1991 RWC game trumps them surely. What a dour game, funnily enough there's only one thing I remember about it.
 

TRF_heineken

RIP #J9
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
11,898
Country Flag

South Africa

Club or Nation

South Africa

1999 RWC England vs South Africa
2007 RWC both matches against South Africa
2019 RWC final England vs South Africa
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,816
Gotta be Wales 2015.

The thing about the 2019 WC semi final is that NZ didn’t turn up and were terrible. So I’d say NZ lost that semi rather than England won it. Much like any Welsh victory over England. It’s not got anything to do with the Welsh being superior it’s about England losing the game.

This thread is fun.
 

ncurd

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
11,094
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

The thing about the 2019 WC semi final is that NZ didn’t turn up and were terrible.
mad max thats GIF
 

Welsh Exile

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
1,816

It is funny though. It’s bait when it’s something you don’t like but when England get outplayed by opposition the emphasis is always on how bad England were rather than how good the opposition was. Much like the Scotland game a couple of weeks ago.
 

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
100,006,552
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Sale

OP: My young child is showing an interest in rugby and wants to watch some games where England play well and are entertaining

Insecure opposition fans:
1614332570903.png
 

Old Hooker

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
4,294
Country Flag

England

A couple of games mentioned here that I went to with contrasting memories. RWC semi in 91 - result was all and Hastings was kind enough to miss that kick right in front of me. And then Croke Park, less said about that the better.

Heresy probably, but in the 19 semi vs NZ we were very very good from the Haka formation onwards but that really wasn’t a vintage NZ team. While still an excellent performance, with hindsight it doesn’t feel quite like the era defining win it did at the time. I think we celebrated more beating the aura more than anything else. Maybe we’ve had unrealistic expectations ever since.
 

Latest posts

Top