Lancaster: No need to panic

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Stuart Lancaster insists there is no need to panic despite England’s 31-28 loss to South Africa on Saturday – the team’s fifth consecutive defeat.

England were far from their best at Twickenham and while two tries from David Wilson and Ben Morgan temporarily drew the Red Rose level at 20-20 in the second half, the Springboks ran out worthy winners.

The defeat, coming seven days after a convincing loss to New Zealand, furthers the suspicion England are a long way off winning the World Cup next year but Lancaster remains calm over his side’s stuttering form.

“We’ll not panic or lose our nerve and we’ll not deviate from the course we’re on,” Lancaster said.

“We’ve played the top two sides in the world now and that’s the benchmark for us.

“We’ve never said we’re the finished article. When we took the roles in 2012 we knew we had to take a young group of players through some tough environments.

“Playing New Zealand first up (last week) was always going to be tough but we’re not going to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves.

“I believe in the coaches, I believe in the players and I believe in what we’re doing.

“It hurts to lose and to lose at Twickenham but the hurt can be turned into a positive.

“It’s about learning who can and cannot deliver in 11 months’ time because that’s when it really does matter.”

England were made to pay for a number of sloppy errors throughout the contest and a failure to adapt to the conditions on a wet afternoon in south London.

The Red Rose trailed 13-6 at half-time after Jan Serfontein intercepted Danny Care’s pass for an early try and Cobus Reinach extended South Africa’s lead with another score shortly after the restart.

Wilson and Morgan looked to have turned the match in England’s favour with two driving touch-downs but Schalk Burger hit back immediately to put the Springboks in charge before Brad Barritt reduced the deficit late on.

“Having gone down 20-6, I thought the momentum we generated back in the game before we made any substitutions was a positive,” Lancaster said.

“The frustration was giving points away when they didn’t have to work hard to earn them.

“At international level every point matters and to give those points away early in the second half put us under some pressure.”

Lancaster added: “It was one of those days when territory was going to be important and the South Africans benefited from our errors rather than constructing too much themselves.

“That’s what we need to improve on. We need to be smarter if we’re going to beat the top sides in the world as has been shown in the last two games.”

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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