“So many people have criticised our scrum but today we are back there. Louis Deacon wanted a mindset shift and we’ve finally done that.”
‘My phone went into meltdown at full-time’ – Middleton
While New Zealand had not played a Test in two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, England have claimed 14 straight wins in that time.
Middleton praised the “unwavering commitment to keep the women’s game on the field” in England, adding: “We’ve used the last two years very wisely and we’ve worked very hard. That is what you’ve seen today – the product of a lot of commitment and a lot of hard work.”
All four of England’s autumn Tests, including a repeat fixture against New Zealand next Sunday and games against Canada and the United States, will be live on BBC Two and Sandy Park was at capacity for the opening win.
Middleton said the increased exposure meant his phone “was going into meltdown” when the final whistle blew.
“My mam phoned me telling me how great it was,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to a few people and they were like wow, that was amazing. Hopefully we’ll ramp the figures up next week and get the sales up.”