JIMMY Gopperth believes England’s only realistic chance of toppling world champions New Zealand will be if the All Blacks’ minds are already on the flight home.
Newcastle’s Kiwi stand-off will be on club duty against Plymouth Albion tomorrow night but will be denied the chance of catching his countrymen in action the day after at rugby HQ.
Gopperth said: “I was meant to be going down to Twickenham for the game, but our team Christmas party has been organised for the same day now!”
With England already beaten by Australia and South Africa this autumn, Gopperth added: “They will be hurting from last week against the Springboks and the only thing working in their favour could be the fatigue factor for the All Blacks.
“Saturday is the last game in New Zealand’s calendar and a lot of the guys have played a heck of a lot of rugby in 2012.
“I have been on tours before and when you get to that last game you just want to get home.
“I am not suggesting the All Blacks are going to have that mindset at all, but if you are looking at ways England could get something then that could be it.”
Explaining the simplicity behind New Zealand’s dominance, Gopperth stated: “It is down purely to one thing – understanding.
“From prop-forward right through to full-back, every player in a black shirt has a total understanding of the game and what their role in it is.
“They don’t do anything especially different to any other team and they are not flash, they just do the basics relentlessly and precisely.
“The way in which they use their decision-making opportunities is a big part of it, and again that is every player rather than just the fly-half or the No 8.
“Every player can read with amazing accuracy in any instance whether they need to go into a ruck, to step in and play half-back, to stay out and do a decoy run or just draw and pass to the next man.
“That is why they are so good, not because they are revolutionary.”