Try takes pressure off May

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Published: Sunday 9th November 2014 by The News Editor

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England wing Jonny May insists his spectacular try in Saturday’s 24-21 defeat by New Zealand has relieved the pressure generated by his previous white line fever.

The All Blacks departed Twickenham as comprehensive winners in contradiction of the final score, but the Red Rose management could at least draw comfort from seeing their faith in May being rewarded.

Only two minutes were on the clock when May gathered the ball in midfield, accelerated around Conrad Smith and then outpaced Israel Dagg to touch down in the left corner.

It was a sensational burst of speed that bewitched the classy Smith and Dagg, enabling the Gloucester threequarter to cross for the first time in eight Tests in a cathartic moment having dropped the ball over the line against Ireland in February.

“I’m so happy to have done that. I feel as though that has been coming for a while now. It’s almost a demon off the back to get that first try,” May said.

“As a winger you want to score tries and the pressure does build on you when you don’t. I remember just thinking after the Ireland game…’bloody hell’.

“You just want that chance to prove what you can and I’m glad I had the chance to put what happened against Ireland right.”

England’s patience with May appeared to have been exhausted during the summer after he was dropped in the wake of the first Test defeat by New Zealand in Auckland.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster was dismissive of a player criticised for running sideways too often, but the lack of form shown by Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell offered a reprieve that resulted in a score to savour.

“I saw bits of it on the big screen. It’s funny because when you’re playing you can see clips of it and you think, ‘ah, that was me’,” said May, whose best time in the 100m is 10.7secs recorded two years ago.

“I remember getting the ball, going as fast as I can and then the next thing I’m dotting down.

“When you’re moving at that speed, everything happens in an instant. I can’t remember thinking much, it’s just a case of going for it and scoring.

“It was a great feeling. I’m over the moon and will remember that forever.

“Hopefully it’s the first of many tries and I can move forward from here. I knew I could do it and the coaches knew I could as well.

“I’m glad they’ve shown patience with me and that I’ve been able to pay them back.”

May’s terrific try was one of the few highlights as New Zealand landed a psychological blow ahead of a potential Twickenham rematch in the knockout stages of next year’s World Cup.

England’s record against the southern hemisphere superpowers under Lancaster is now starting to make grim reading: played 12, lost nine, won two, drawn one.

Once again they squandered a winning position against Richie McCaw’s All Blacks after a 14-11 interval lead was overhauled in a one-sided second half that saw the world champions play the wet conditions perfectly.

Lancaster now faces calls to make changes in response to a fifth successive defeat to New Zealand and May admits an inquest will be held into why England managed the game so poorly.

“It’s so frustrating because we were ahead of the All Blacks at home….could have, should have, would have,” May said.

“We need to learn from this because we’ve been in this situation too many times now and we’ll ask ourselves why. That’s exactly the question, why’s this happening?

“New Zealand got ahead and game management-wise we have to look at ourselves because we just didn’t get any field position.

“We had our backs against the wall. Fair enough we kept going, but the game was gone.”

Published: Sunday 9th November 2014 by The News Editor

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