'Composed' England deserved win
Sat, 02 Nov 2013 19:03
It feels a hell of a lot better to have won than lost
England coach Stuart Lancaster believes his team is maturing and their win over Australia is a game they would have lost 12 months ago.
England launched their November campaign with a come from behind 20-13 victory over the Wallabies at Twickenham on Saturday.
England were 6-13 down at half-time and would have been 10 points adrift had Quade Cooper kicked a penalty early in the second half.
But two tries in seven minutes from captain Chris Robshaw and flyhalf Owen Farrell turned the match on its head as England regained the Cook Cup against a Wallaby side they will face in the pool phase of the 2015 World Cup in England.
"I'm pleased to get the win," said Lancaster.
"We conceded a couple of penalties and a soft try, but I was pleased with the composure we showed in the second half.
"We had a lot of young lads making their first starts at Twickenham. I think we deserved it in the end."
England captain Chris Robshaw - who pounced for his first international try in the second half - said he was "very happy" with his score.
He admitted his team "lost momentum" in a disappointing first half, but added: "I'm very proud of all the guys."
Lancaster believes it was a game his side would "probably" have lost last year.
"We did not have it all our own way in the first half," he said.
"It was a stop-start first half with a lot of kicking from both sides and we did not get the momentum we wanted.
"The second half was better. We did not get everything right until the last 20 minutes. I'm delighted with the effort.
"It was a really tough Test match for us and I'm delighted to get the win," added Lancaster.
"It was disappointing to go in 6-13 down after all the opportunity in the first half and conceding a sloppy try.
"It was a great start. If you put it into context in terms of the preparation we had and we were in a similar situation last year but the score was the other way round.
"It feels a hell of a lot better to have won than lost."
On Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood, Lancaster added: "He and Tom Wood were outstanding. They both led from the front and showed their experience.
"They're still relatively new in terms of caps but led the pack very well. Chris scored a good try and involved throughout the game."
England emerged with far more intensity and purpose for the second 40 minutes, and that helped them to power to the victory, to the delight of the England captain.
"We went out we started well, but lost a bit of momentum in that first half and they scored a try probably against the run of play," Robshaw said.
"But the endeavour from the guys was great - we came out for the second half and played well - the fans were brilliant and we gave them something to shout about and they spurred us on.
"We lost a bit of territory focus and lost some of the high balls and at the breakdown they started to get on top a bit at the end of the first half.
"But we addressed our intensity and physicality and we came out all guns blazing after half time, we had a great run by Marland [Yarde] down the wing and that kind of got us back into the game.
"We'll rest up - there'll be some sore bodies tomorrow [Sunday], but we're looking forward to getting back here next week against Argentina."
|South African news|
|» Springboks ready for last hurrah|
|» Preview: Wales v South Africa|
|» Gatland: What pressure?|
|» Are the Boks being French-fried?|
|» Cronje called up to the Boks|