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England v New Zealand: All Blacks prepare for semi-final kicking contest


Richie Mo'unga

Fly-half Richie Mo’unga has kicked 14 conversions and three penalties during the World Cup
Rugby World Cup semi-final: England v New Zealand
Venue:International Stadium, YokohamaDate:Saturday, 26 OctoberKick-off:09:00 BST
Coverage:Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen is leaving nothing to chance in the Rugby World Cup semi-final against England, even the unlikely event of a kicking contest to decide the game.

If Saturday’s match is locked at full-time, the sides will play two 10-minute periods of extra time.

If they are still tied a further sudden-death period of 10 minutes follows where the first to score wins.

After that, five players from each team will take shots at goal.

“It’s unlikely it will be decided that way,” said Hansen.

“Have we prepared for that? We know those are the rules, so yes. You’d be foolish if you hadn’t prepared for it.

“But I would be highly surprised if after 80 minutes, then 10 minutes each way, then sudden-death extra time – by which time there’ll be no-one standing – that someone hasn’t scored some points.

“But funnier things have happened, eh?”

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Funnier things did happen earlier this year in another World Cup match between New Zealand and England.

With the scores tied after the regular 50 overs and sudden-death super over, New Zealand lost the Cricket World Cup final to England in July on a countback of boundaries hit during the game – and Hansen was not impressed with the ending.

“I don’t know if they got the cricket one right, really,” he said.

While the responsibility of a kick-off is likely to fall to the backs, lock Scott Barrett, whose brothers Beauden and Jordie are regular goal-kickers in the team, backed himself if called upon.

“I’m sure there’d be a few backs first,” said Barrett. “We’d have to be quite short but out of the forwards I’d definitely back myself.”

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