The remarkable over-reaction about England’s win over South Africa overlooked how wasteful the Springboks were.
There was little to suggest England had undergone a significant rehabilitation of form.
The quietness of Twickenham was a reflection of how far Eddie Jones’ star has fallen, from saviour to loser.
The employment of Will Carling as a mentor and the experienced John Mitchell to a position he has never been in before – defence coach – fly in the face of common sense.
Of course, Jones is one of those eccentric, outside-the-box thinkers whose fuse is as short as most of his jobs.
Are England on a road to nowhere or can the Australian revive the sleeping giant?
It is not just off the field where Jones has gone for broke.
The recall of the controversial Chris Ashton is a stretch back in time.
Apparently, it is based around Jones having “a gut feeling” about the Sale winger’s support lines and ridiculous strike rate.
Up front, Ben Moon starts ahead of fellow Exeter Chief Alec Hepburn and Sam Underhill comes in at openside for the injured Tom Curry.
The All Blacks have asked Karl Tu’inukuafe to step in for Joe Moody in the front row.
The centre combination between Sonny-Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue looks well balanced and potent, and the electric Damian McKenzie has been given the freedom of Twickenham from full-back.
The spine of the pack is formidable with Codie Taylor, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock and Kieran Read providing the experience and Ardie Savea the X-factor on the flank.
Then, they have the half-backs in Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett to take them to a comfortable victory that would ramp up the pressure on Jones.
England: E Daly; C Ashton, H Slade, B Te’o, J May; O Farrell (co-capt), B Youngs; B Moon, D Hartley (co-capt), K Sinckler, M Itoje, G Kruis, B Shields, S Underhill, M Wilson. Reps: J George, A Hepburn, H Williams, C Ewels, C Lawes; D Care, G Ford, J Nowell.
New Zealand: D McKenzie; B Smith, J Goodhue, SB Williams, R Ioane; B Barrett, A Smith; K Tu’inukuafe, C Taylor, O Franks, S Whitelock, B Retallick, L Squire, A Savea, K Read (capt). Reps: D Coles, O Tu’ungafasi, N Laulala, S Barrett, M Todd; TJ Perenara, R Mo’unga, R Crotty.
Verdict: New Zealand
- AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL, ENGLAND v New Zealand, Live Sky Sports (KO 3.0)