Catt to address England's attack problems
June 10, 2012
Mike Catt has promised improvements to England's attack © Getty Images
England backs coach Mike Catt has admitted that they need to find a cutting edge in attack if they are to trouble South Africa in Johannesburg next weekend.
A revamped England side were beaten 22-17 by the Springboks in Durban on Saturday, with Catt's main concern being the lack of chances created for a new-look back-three.
Harlequins' in-form fullback Mike Brown was drafted in for a rare start, with Ben Foden shifting to the wing to accompany Chris Ashton. Foden scored a late consolation for the tourists but South Africa were rarely troubled, with a lack of cohesion apparent between fly-half Owen Farrell and his centres, Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi.
"At the start of the second half we just didn't get any momentum, that go-forward we had in the first half," Catt said. "That is a little bit disappointing and something we can look at.
"We will address it with the boys and let's make sure we don't put ourselves in those situations again. With the attacking options we have got we would have liked to have had more ball in hand and I think that is something we have got to look at - why aren't they getting more ball."
Despite their struggles, Catt praised the workrate of Ashton and also promised improvement before the second Test, which will be played at altitude.
"Ash is working exceptionally hard, off his wing continually. Those chances haven't come for him just yet," he said. "But the back three of Foden, Brown and Ash - it is the first time they have played together. There will be more continuity next week. We can work on the things Browny and Fodes think we need to work on."
Forwards coach Graham Rowntree took positives from the game - noting the contributions of debutants Joe Marler and Tom Johnson - but lamented England's late failings at the scrum.
"I actually think the set-piece was a good area for us going into the last quarter," he said. "But the last couple of scrums - they brought on some fresh 'cattle' and we struggled to deal with that.
"That is something we will be working on this week but my overall feel from the forward pack, I was very pleased, particularly with the lineout. I have to make a special mention for Joe Marler and Tom Johnson, I thought their workrate was phenomenal. There are areas to improve on, as always against these big teams, but we will improve in the week."
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