So the mighty All Blacks came and squashed all before them at Twickenham. England suffered their biggest defeat on home turf by going down 20-41 to New Zealand on Bonfire Night.
[It all looks promising (above) as the boys line up to face the Haka (below)]
What went wrong for England? Well, I didn't actually think they played really badly, they just didn't clean up as well as the ABs - any mistake and they make you pay, usually with 7 points! We gave away five penalties but scored as many tries as they did - unfortunately, ref M. Jutge didn't quite see it that way and disallowed Jamie Noon's perfectly good first try. The Ref's boss agreed it was a try after the match. Plus Dan Carter's boot rarely let him down - so the penalties were made to count.
Merde, as they say.
As for the newbies; Shaun Perry looked good at No. 9, and scoring a try on your debut ain't bad either. He and replacement Pete Richards both looked more lively than I've seen say, Harry Ellis, in an England shirt recently. I hope they can both make a go of it - a rivalry like the one between Dawson and Kyran Bracken could only be good for the Scrummies, I say.
Paul Sackey burned up the turf when he got the ball. Not often enough, sadly. And Anthony Allen did OK too - even though it was his wayward pass that gifted Joe Rokocoko a try. Let's face it, if it wasn't Allen, it probably would have been someone else! And he was certainly making and taking plenty of big hits, even on guys twice his size. Brian Ashton was pleased with the new guys , at any rate.
The front row boys, Sheridan, Chuter & White (sounds like a dodgy car-dealership!) are usually renowned for their dominance up front, but Messers Woodcock and Hayman were shoving as good as they got - and often better.
From memory, I don't think the lineout was too shakey; Ben Kay and Danny Grewcock seemed to have that mostly sewn up. Pity they couldn't steal a few more though. Lewis Moody chased round the pitch after everything, as usual! BBC Sport gives them all points out of ten.
I've plenty more photos from the game at rugbypix.com.
So next weekend, we have the Pumas. Another team who will give us a run for our money. Look how they held off the Lions to a draw last year. It was only Jonny's last-minute penalty that saved face at the Millennium Stadium.
I'm not going to that game, but will be along to see Sarries vs Leicester in Watford on Sunday. Will report back later!