England seek All Black boost

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:01
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England coach Stuart Lancaster wants to use the team's record-breaking win over New Zealand as a springboard to success in the Six Nations.

England coach Stuart Lancaster wants to use the team's record-breaking win over world champions New Zealand in December as a springboard to success in the forthcoming Six Nations Championship.

Following narrow defeats by Australia and South Africa, England stunned the world of rugby with a blistering 38-21 victory over the All Blacks at Twickenham on December 1.

The 17-point difference gave England their greatest winning margin against New Zealand but the manner of their victory was especially impressive.

Having gone 15-0 up early in the second half, England saw New Zealand close to within a point after two tries in three second-half minutes.

However, England themselves then responded with three tries of their own as Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi crossed New Zealand's line.

Lancaster, though, warned on Monday the euphoria of beating the All Blacks would count for little if England, last season's runners-up, failed to maintain their form in this term's Six Nations.

In contrast to the New Zealand match, England will be firm favourites to beat a Scotland side who haven't won at Twickenham since 1983 when they start this latest Six Nations at home to their oldest rivals on February 2.

"We need to make sure we build on our performance," Lancaster told Sky Sports. "We had a great win there but equally we're still disappointed to have lost the Australia game and the South Africa game.

"What a great way to finish and a great stepping stone to take into the Six Nations, but the games go on and what we need to do is learn our lessons from that and take the positives, of which there were many - the consistency, the intensity and the way we kept playing for 80 minutes.

"That's great confidence for us and the players to take into the Six Nations but with Scotland round the corner we can put that to bed and recognise there's going to be a huge challenge coming our way and we need to be ready for it."

England won the last of their 26 Championships two years ago but they haven't completed the coveted Six Nations Grand Slam since 2003 - the same year they won their lone World Cup title.

AFP

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