Robshaw: We need 80-minute performance
June 9, 2012
England captain Chris Robshaw saw plenty of positives in his side's display © Getty Images
Chris Robshaw refused to be downbeat despite England suffering an eighth successive defeat against South Africa, although he admits the visitors must learn quickly from their mistakes.
There was little to separate the sides before the interval and the scores were level at 6-6 as Owen Farrell and Morne Steyn traded penalties, but South Africa broke down England after half-time and tries from Steyn and Jean de Villiers gave the Springboks first blood in the three-Test series, with the hosts prevailing 22-17.
"We went in 6-6 at half-time, we came out all guns blazing but unfortunately they got an early score and managed to build pressure on us," Robshaw told Sky Sports 2. "South African sides, you always know they're going to be very physical but if you look at the game we were never more than a score away but unfortunately we were the wrong side of that score. We have to start building for next week, there's been a lot of positives and a couple of negatives you can pick out today."
Ben Foden's try was mere consolation but was reward for England's endeavour in the closing stages and Robshaw hopes they can take that into next Saturday's clash. "In this three-match series of course we would have liked to have won the first match but it's onwards and upwards now and there's a lot of hard work to do," he said. "It's all about the result at the end of the day but the last 10-15 minutes we showed we can put our game on the pitch and move them around. We did that throughout the majority of the first half but we've got to start to do it for the full 80 minutes."
England head coach Stuart Lancaster was disappointed with the result at Kings Park but full of praise for his side's spirited performance. "From our point of view, I was really pleased with the first-half performance. There are a lot of positives to take," he said. "The critical area for us to work on is that third quarter where the Springboks controlled the game well and scored their two tries.
"I am delighted with the comeback at the end and the mindset we showed to keep playing. For a lot of young players out there, and the new caps, there were some fantastic performances all round. I am really pleased with a lot of aspects of the game. There are one or two areas to work on but lots of positives as well, so we will go in really good heart to Johannesburg.
"Obviously the Springboks will learn a lot from the game, as we will. We have got a lot of young lads out there, the first time they have played at this intensity in this country, so we will learn a lot from it. We will keep positive in the way we approach it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports