England

Harsh lessons for England

Sat, 21 Jun 2014 16:30
Lancaster-bleak630
We started poor and it got worse
Quote-end

England came in for scathing criticism from their coaches after failing to measure up to the intensity of the All Blacks in Hamilton on Saturday.

In the first two Tests, the All Blacks had to come from behind in the second half to win, but in Hamilton they seized control from the start and went on to easily secure a series whitewash.

"We started poor and it got worse," assistant coach Andy Farrell said, referring to a Freddie Burns opening kick-off a that failed to go the required 10 metres, setting the All Blacks up for a first-half rout in which they led 29-6 at half-time.

"The first half wasn't good enough," Farrell said, adding that the two sides demonstrated "in black and white what intensity looks like and what intensity doesn't look like".

The All Blacks scored four of their five tries in the first half, carving holes through the England midfield and forcing head coach Stuart Lancaster to replace hapless inside centre Kyle Eastmond after 40 minutes.

Eastmond, in only his fourth Test, was distraught after being the subject of attention by a barrage of All Blacks, including the powerful Ma'a Nonu playing his 90th international.

Farrell described Eastmond as "obviously disappointed" after the game.

England fought back in an even second spell, but only after Lancaster delivered what he described as "sharp words" during the break.

"I thought we might have put pressure on in the second half but the first half the All Blacks demonstrated why they're the number one team in the world at the moment," he said.

"For us to win at this level we need to be better."

On the All Blacks side, coach Steve Hansen deflected praise for the win to his assistant Ian Foster for masterminding their gameplan after analysing England's performance in the first two Tests.

Foster "set up plays that were going to challenge them a bit and tonight we got rewards for that," Hansen said.

"We got quality ball and we executed our skills probably better than we had in the last two Tests, our running lines were better and our catch-pass was better, so as a result of that we put them under a bit of pressure."

Left wing Julian Savea scored three tries and has now touched down eight times in four games against England, leaving Lancaster to point to the difference between the world champion All Blacks and fourth-ranked England.

"Savea's a phenomenal player ... and probably a reflection of the quality of the skills the All Blacks showed, particularly during the first half," he said.

SAPA

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