Ian Jones, all 2m of him, fell into his business class seat and suddenly the scale of achievement hit him. Happily ensconced at the front of the plane, Jones and his All Black team-mates could only smile as the English team they had crushed the day before trooped past.

Seeing the enormous Martins - Bayfield and Johnson - squeeze down the aisle to the cheap seats was the highlight of the 1995 World Cup for the All Blacks. Both teams had been booked on the same flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg after the semifinal. The winners flew business; the losers didn't. The All Blacks had won in a performance that was not only one of the best in World Cup history but one that changed the landscape of test rugby. It was the game that Jonah Lomu became a household name; the game that Zinzan Brooke dropped the most outrageous goal; the game that pushed rugby into the arms of broadcast moguls and professionalism; the game that has served as a blueprint for All Black teams ever since and the game that saw the All Blacks take revenge on a team that had hurt them two years previously.

It will be 16 years this Saturday since the All Blacks belted England 45-29 in Cape Town - a landmark worth noting and celebrating.

There have been few All Black victories that have tasted so sweet. There have been few where a high quality opponent has been so comprehensively pounded - and there probably has never been a test for which the All Blacks have so comprehensively planned and prepared.

For the first six months of 1995, the All Blacks focused on little else than preparing to play England. "We expected to play England in that semifinal," recalls Laurie Mains, the All Black coach of the time. "The style that we thought England would play and the size of their forwards were a big part of our planning. We wanted quick ball from phase play and to get the ball out into space and as wide as we could as quickly as we could. We were all about making sure that their forwards - Dean Richards, Tim Rodber, Ben Clarke and those guys - couldn't suffocate our ball."

The All Blacks spent several months conditioning themselves to play high tempo rugby and practising their basic skills. If they were going to be successful, they needed to be super-fit and they needed to have the ability to pass and catch and to clean out effectively to get the ball released quickly.

They held camps in Taupo, Greymouth and Christchurch during the year - running themselves into the ground. It was painful, but these men were driven by the desire to make amends for the defeat they suffered at Twickenham in November 1993.

Losing to England was never fun but that 15-9 defeat in 1993 was particularly excruciating. The All Blacks had fallen into the trap of trying to take on the massive English pack physically and had come off second best. There were also a number of characters in that English side who were less than gracious in victory.

"I suppose it was a little bit about revenge," says Jones. "Rightly or wrongly, you didn't want to lose to them."

The All Blacks were certainly not going to make the same mistake twice. The English forwards were not going to dominate the semifinal. The All Blacks were also not going to underestimate the ability of the English. They were a side laden with big men, a few of them who could play a bit, too.

The world expected an epic on June 18 - the All Blacks had been impressive in their earlier games, yet so too had England who had defeated the highly fancied Australians in the quarter- final. What actually played out was almost too hard to believe. The All Blacks annihilated England.

"It was just so much fun to play in," says Jones. "I can remember after the squad was picked in Whangarei we stopped off the next day and trained at Mahurangi College. No one knew we were there and we trained in private.

"Laurie had plotted the tactics we would be using to play against England and we rehearsed them and rehearsed them. We practised the switch kick-off where the forwards went right and the ball went left and we worked and worked on our strategy. It was testament to Laurie that we played so well." Planning and preparing is one thing, but it is rare for the execution to be as smooth and effortless as it was that day. Everything the All Blacks did worked just as planned and some of the credit has to go to the players.

Frank Bunce and Walter Little played a massive part in the victory with their organisation, passing and vision. They had also identified that England midfielder Jeremy Guscott was defensively vulnerable and it was their decision to target him and to try to unsettle him.

"He was a talent for sure," says Bunce, "but when he'd come out to New Zealand to play for the World XV in 1992, he was obviously here for a holiday. We thought he might be a bit frail so we set out to intimidate him. We didn't think we could unsettle Will Carling like that but we did Guscott."

Little was the first to test Guscott when he opted to attack the space from inside the All Blacks' 22. He burst the Englishman's feeble tackle and 30 seconds later Josh Kronfeld scored in the corner.

After 12 minutes, the All Blacks had scored two tries and they had England rattled. "I can remember Rob Andrew [England first five] kicking for goal and me and Ian Jones standing in front of him telling him he was useless. We managed to put him off because he missed a few early on.

"I can also remember shoving over Mike Catt. He was just getting up and I ran past and I pushed him over. We got stuck into them and I don't think they enjoyed it much."

Without any possession, territory or points, England had no comeback. They were being taken apart and the All Blacks were in their faces all over the field.

No one was more destructive than Lomu who gave the most extraordinary performance. His first touch saw him swat Tony Underwood, then Carling, before steamrollering over the top of Catt in what became the most memorable stampede since David Attenborough filmed the wildebeest advancing across the Serengeti.

The All Black No 11 was unstoppable; securing a hat-trick within half an hour. "I can remember reading Tony Underwood talking in the press before the game," says Mains. "He said something along the lines that, yes, Jonah had been impressive but that he hadn't played anyone of note and it would be different when he did.

"I showed that to Jonah and something clicked in him. He became more focused than I'd ever seen." It didn't help Underwood's cause that he winked at Lomu during the haka or that Bunce and the other senior All Blacks had spent all week goading their own wing about the cockiness of his opposite man. They wanted the big man to be angry, as they all had seen what Lomu was capable of.

"When he was in a mood like that, you just gave him the ball and gave him the ball," says Bunce. "Everything became about getting the ball into Jonah's hands and then supporting him."

The game was over as a contest after 30 minutes. England had no clue what had hit them and they were totally destroyed when they trailled 22-3. What really broke their spirit was seeing All Black No 8 Zinzan Brooke casually drop a goal from 40m for no particular reason other than he could.

"When that went over," says Jones, "we could hardly believe it. We felt like we could do anything that day. That whatever we did was going to come off. It was an incredible feeling."

England did manage a late rally long after the game had been lost but they returned home aware that they had been blown away by a previously unseen brand of rugby. The English knew they were not fit enough, skilled enough or quick enough to live with the All Blacks.

"Suddenly the world saw that international rugby didn't have to be dull," says Mains. "We showed it didn't have to be low-scoring. We set on the structure to get quick ball and to give our inside backs the freedom to play and to get it wide. It was a style the players really enjoyed playing and it changed the face of professional rugby."