Lancaster hails 'outstanding' Brown
November 2, 2013
Mike Brown excelled for England © PA Photos
England coach Stuart Lancaster described Mike Brown's performance as outstanding and hailed his team's composure as they saw off Australia 20-13 at Twickenham on Saturday.
England were 13-6 down at the break but two second-half tries from Chris Robshaw and Owen Farrell was enough to see Lancaster's men home. At the centre of everything England did well was Brown as he was solid under the high ball and made key yards with ball in hand.
And Lancaster was full of praise for his fullback and was also impressed by England's back-row.
"Mike Brown was outstanding," Lancaster said. "His ability to beat people with his feet and break tackles and the general fight he shows in his game, it's a real important quality we want in the team.
"And I thought Chris and Tom Wood were outstanding. They both led from the front and showed their experience. While they are still relatively new in terms of caps, I thought both of them led the pack very well. Chris scored a good try and was involved right the way through the game, as he always is.
"This time last year the scoreline was the other way around. It is better to have won than lost, that's for sure."
While much of the performance was dour and dogged, rather than exhilarating attacking rugby, head coach Lancaster was delighted to avenge last season's home defeat against the Wallabies, who are in England's 2015 World Cup group.
"I was delighted with the composure we showed in the second half and I thought we deserved the win," head coach Lancaster said. "We had some big players missing, three players making their first start in a Test match at Twickenham, a new guy running the lineout and Australia had been together since before the (British and Irish) Lions series.
"To go out and get the win like we did, it is a great start for us. We didn't start chasing the scoreboard early in the second half, and we built pressure on Australia. I thought our substitutes made a difference when they came on, and overall the pressure began to tell and we got the two tries."
Farrell struggled with the boot in the first-half missing three of five shots at the posts but Lancaster was impressed by the way he carried himself. He added: "Credit to Owen's temperament.
"He will be disappointed with himself, I am sure, for missing those kicks. He has a great self-belief, and when the big kicks came around in the second half and he had a chance to score (a try), he took them.
"The main areas for us to look at are restarts and managing the game within that 22-metre to halfway line zone. A couple of times we didn't kick when there was a lot of space in backfield, or we kicked when we could have played. Last year, we lost to Australia in the equivalent game, which put us under pressure. It is a lot easier to build momentum from a win."
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