'Give us time' - Haskell
November 29, 2008
England's errors cost them dear in a match that New Zealand ultimately dominated © Getty Images
James Haskell has urged England fans to keep the faith because he believes the results will come under Martin Johnson.
England were comprehensively beaten 32-6 by New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday, hot on the heels of their recent losses to Australia and South Africa. But Haskell insisted that England were capable of turning things around as Johnson instils his ideas within the team.
"Anyone watching at home who cares about English rugby should know we have the passion, we have the ability," Haskell told Sky Sports. "It comes down to execution and ruthlessness. We will do it. When you're building something new, it takes time."
England were made to pay for some indiscipline as the All Blacks built a 12-3 half-time lead before running in a trio of tries after the break. "We were penalised quite a bit and you can't afford to have that against a side like New Zealand," Haskell said. "The scoreline was pretty flattering to the opposition. At times we were pretty good."
However, Haskell refused to criticise the referee, Alain Rolland, despite England being shown four yellow cards. "At this level you've got play to the referee, play to his interpretation. We didn't do that today and it's very disappointing."
Johnson felt that he had witnessed an improvement from his team, in spite of a scoreline that was not flattering in the final analysis. "We turned up and played but that is the absolute minimum for us. We have to learn the lessons of this autumn heading into the Six Nations," he said. "It's not a lost cause and the players will be far better for this series.
"They had a kick in the teeth today. It's a harsh world but they need to learn from what's happened," added Johnson. "I was proud of the players' effort. We had to stand up after what happened against South Africa and we did that very well. We gave ourselves a chance but we were just not good enough to take it.
"Mentally the way the players approached the week was good. Some guys have a lot to learn as a team - mainly that you make mistakes at this level and you get killed.
New Zealand's captain Richie McCaw, celebrating a rare northern hemisphere Grand Slam, was proud of the way his team played patiently in the first half before punishing English mistakes later in the game.
"I think in the end, especially in the last 20 minutes of the game we benefited from a couple of mistakes and there might have been a few more," he said. "A lot of what happens in the end is a result of what we did in the first half. We saw what was going to work and what's not. It's an 80 minute game."
The All Blacks have now emerged from their European tour without conceding a try and McCaw pointed to the emphasis on defence. "I think that indicates the attitude and the heart of the team, defence," he said. "It's what wins games."
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