Sunday, June 17, 2012

Robshaw: We must learn from defeats

Captain Chris Robshaw hopes England can combine the best from their two Test defeats in South Africa to gain a consolation win next week.
England's hopes of drawing level in the three-match series were dashed as they slipped to a 36-27 loss in the second Test in Johannesburg despite a stirring second-half fightback.
He said: "If we add a couple of little bits to our game, hopefully it will improve massively. Throughout the Six Nations and last week our defence was spot on but yesterday it wasn't quite there. These are things we are going to have to work on... It is about taking all these little areas and improving them."
While England were blunt in attack but proved their defensive resilience in the first Test defeat in Durban, the opposite was true in what proved a more open game in the capital.
The teams meet again in the final match in Port Elizabeth next week and Robshaw believes improving England's efforts can still earn tangible reward.
"The scrum was vastly improved from last week and our maul was very good and we challenged them with the kicks. Unfortunately we couldn't do them last week... Before the tour we really believed we could come over here and win the series. Unfortunately that has not been the case but hopefully we can get a consolation next week."
Despite the series loss, spirits remain high and England can still feel they are heading in the right direction under new head coach Stuart Lancaster. He has rejuvenated the team during a positive RBS 6 Nations campaign after the disaster of last year's World Cup.
The Springboks have just proved a little too good for them this time but the long-term goal is the next World Cup in 2015.
Robshaw, who has proved himself an impressive leader since appointed by Lancaster, said: "We are obviously very disappointed but credit to the South African side to win the series. They came out all guns blazing and we gave ourselves too much to do. Just after half-time we were down by an 18-point deficit and that is a long way to come back.
"Credit to all the boys to come back and win the second half but unfortunately it was too little, too late. It has been a massive experience and one everyone has, not enjoyed, but had a challenge with."


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