England look to build on All Black triumph

By Julian Guyer, Julian Guyer is a Roar Guru

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    This time last year Stuart Lancaster had not long been appointed as the “interim” England coach, with many questioning whether he was the right man to restore the team’s tarnished reputation.

    But 12 months on the former boss of the reserve England Saxons arrived at the launch for the 2013 Six Nations as one of a select group of England coaches to have overseen a win over New Zealand and with the word “interim” obliterated from his job title.

    Lancaster first restored the faith of an England rugby public, unimpressed by the team’s drinking exploits during a 2011 World Cup in New Zealand where England went out tamely in the quarter-finals to France, with his back-to-basics approach that yielded a runners-up spot in the Six Nations and a record three away wins.

    Then came a tour of South Africa where England lost the first two Tests of a three-match series but drew the last.

    However, home defeats by Australia and South Africa in November appeared to suggest England, the 2015 World Cup hosts, were still a work in progress.

    But Lancaster never lost faith and was rewarded when England finished the year with a stunning 38-21 win over world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in December – their biggest margin of victory against the All Blacks.

    Even more impressive was that having had their 15-0 lead cut to a point at just 15-14 in the second half, England rallied to score three tries.

    Now Lancaster, whose career as England coach started with a Six Nations win away to Scotland, is preparing a side strongly favoured to beat their oldest rivals when they meet at Twickenham for this season’s Calcutta Cup opener on February 2.

    “I’d like to think we did deliver a change,” said Lancaster, speaking at the Six Nations launch in London on Wednesday.

    “This time last year I was sat here as interim coach and on the back of the World Cup we made 15 changes. Seven players got their first caps against Scotland, we had a new captain (Chris Robshaw).
    “The most important thing for me was to get that culture right and the reason why playing for England is special.”

    He added: “We’ve not won every game but we haven’t been smashed in any of them and we’ve always been competitive.

    “The trick now is to build on that All Black performance and get the consistency we need to win at the highest level and no better place to prove yourself than the Six Nations.”

    Robshaw is eager to back up England’s display against New Zealand.

    “We felt there was an improvement in every game in November, our attack was taking better shape, our defence was getting there,” he said.

    “In the New Zealand game it started to click and now it’s about kicking on.”

    © AFP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (50)

    • January 25th 2013 @ 5:24am
      mania said | January 25th 2013 @ 5:24am | ! Report

      lancaster should be proud of himself and his charges. that game beating the AB’s was the most complete performance i’ve ever seen against my beloved team.
      scary to think that england should only get better from here if team work improves and team spirit builds.

      • January 28th 2013 @ 12:22pm
        zhenry said | January 28th 2013 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

        The media reports during game week idicated the AB were in serious trouble with flu, the English public sensed the problem and turned up in droves to see a serously weakened AB side get run over by a fluless English.
        The England officials know it hence Lancaster’s plight.
        The problem was that AB officials did not confirm the obvious. An attack of NZites.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 11:20am
      JustinB said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      Getting tired of the continuous references to the All Black victory. The AB’s were fatigued, suffered a team virus and had an eye for the plane home after a very long season. England did the same to the Wallabies a few years back and went nowhere afterwards.

      • January 25th 2013 @ 11:31am
        Bazza Allblack Supporter said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        Justin, even if most Kiwis thought that and we don’t – of course – (nod nod wink wink), we know better than to say it..just going to wait and see what unfolds….

        • January 25th 2013 @ 1:35pm
          Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

          Yes it was the virus, the fatigue, the impending plane journey, the light was wrong, the ball was a funny shape, the ref was too ugly, the gods were against us, the grass was too long, the rugby jerseys were too tight, the crowd was too loud, the food was poisoned, our players were abducted by aliens, England cheated and the ABs just couldnt be bothered playing.
          NZ never would have lost if everything was perfect and even if they did it would be becuz it was too perfect.

          • January 25th 2013 @ 7:58pm
            nick said | January 25th 2013 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

            No no, just the obvious, self evident facts are necessary to get to the bottom of this one.

      • January 25th 2013 @ 11:36am
        Justin2 said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

        Need a tissue?

        • January 25th 2013 @ 11:40am
          Bazza Allblack Supporter said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:40am | ! Report

          My point is proven

          🙂

          We got beat it happens, and will happen again – it just does not happen that often so it hurts more for us…

      • January 25th 2013 @ 12:09pm
        Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        Wrong.
        In 2010 they beat Australia at end of the year the went on to win the 2011 6 nations and win 77% of their games. No rugby nation besides NZ won more than 60% in 2012 so to say they didnt do anything after the Australia win is false.

        England beating NZ was a big win for England. Not only is NZ #1 but its prolly the best #1 ever. This coupled with the fact that 4 of their 6 nats opponents have either never beaten NZ or havnt done it for over 50 years. Its a big deal.

        As for the illness, the players and coach said it wasnt a factor becuz if it was NZ would have fallen away at the end of each half and they had done the opposite. They also heaped praise on how England had played and when I say heaped I mean they were very impressed. Somethimg some fans deny and even imply was lies. They need to check themselves.

        I see no holes in England and they are going to get better. For me their forward pack is in the top 3 and their backs are becoming a very good unit.

        Eng are very young. Dan cole is only 25! Corbisiero, Marler and Vunipola are even younger. Lawes, Launchbury, Goode, Burns, Farrell, Tuilagi, Joseph, Clark, Morgan and B.Youngs are early 20s.

        A team that had a points difference of -4 after 6 games against SANZAR nations in 2012 is to be respected.

        Come 2015 England will be favs.

        • January 25th 2013 @ 12:11pm
          Bazza Allblack Supporter said | January 25th 2013 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          “Come 2015 England will be favs.”

          ohhhh…huge call…..

        • January 25th 2013 @ 12:39pm
          Peepers said | January 25th 2013 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

          One swallow does not make a summer, and one win does not make a winter.

          England need to beat ALL of the top teams (South Africa, Australia, New Zealand) consistently over the next three years before they can be called favourites for 2015.

          They have certainly addressed some of their weaknesses, in particular a lack of depth, with their policy of importing players, and it is paying dividends. However, scratch below the surface and there is still a lack of adventure in the back line below the starting line up. any injuries would lead to a revision in game plan, not easily pulled off under the pressure of match conditions.

          There is no doubt they have improved, and well done to them. To win a WC though, they need to show consistency, that is what Johnson’s men were able to do in the lead up to their (and the Northern Hemisphere’s) only WC win.

          • January 25th 2013 @ 12:46pm
            Bazza Allblack Supporter said | January 25th 2013 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

            +1

          • January 25th 2013 @ 1:01pm
            Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

            Why are we pretending that its 1 game? In 2012 they came within 6 of Aust, drew and came within 1 of SA, beat France, beat Ire, beat Scot, beat Ital. Like I said, after 6 games against SANZAR nations the points diff (not ave points diff, overall) was -4. The SANZAR teams scored 4 more points over 6 games. That is nothing.

            And to say they have to beat NZ, Australia and SA cosistently to be considered favs is wrong. Not reality at all. I would guess that France is favs (or one of them) for the 6 nats this year and yet they lost to Eng last time, lost to Wales last time, drew with Ire, lost to Arg etc. How can they be favs? The reason is that your laws on what makes a team favs doesnt apply ever and never has.

            • January 25th 2013 @ 2:35pm
              atlas said | January 25th 2013 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

              Pretending it’s one game?
              Because history shows that of the six tests played v SANZAR teams, England won just one, the last one v NZ.
              Any way you look at it, that is one win.
              ‘Nearly’ doesnt do it, and it’s not ‘nothing’ ask any team who wins (or loses) by one point.
              And for the year – six wins from twelve.
              I’m still backing France, consider their win over the Wallabies (who went on to beat England a week later) to be more relevant than that one England win.

              • January 25th 2013 @ 6:47pm
                Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

                Atlas. You are judging France on 1 game against Australia but have a problem with somebody judging Eng on 1 win?
                Hypocrite is the term used to describe that stance.
                Yes 4 points seperating Eng from 6 games against the SANZAR nations is sweet FA. What you think 4 points is a lot? Yes its 1 win but obviously Eng is very close to that level. 4 points over 6 games demonstrates that.
                Yes they only had a 50% win rate, they played the top 3 6 times.
                And no I dont consider a win over a crippled Wallabies playing poorly more relevant than a win over the best team that has ever played. Thats prolly becuz I make sense.

                I have no doubt England will be a very good team over the next few years and I also have no doubt that people are very resistant to this idea. Thats becuz they hold bias.

            • January 25th 2013 @ 7:57pm
              nick said | January 25th 2013 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

              Points differential isn’t really an issue if you lose all but one.

              This situation is the very definition of ‘1 game’.

              they lost the rest

              • January 25th 2013 @ 10:05pm
                Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

                So losing is losing? Really?

                England are competing well with the best in the world. They are coming very close to beating or beating the top 3. Unless you think that NZ, SA and Aust wanted close games or to be beaten, a reasonable person would acknowledge that Eng is doing very well against the top 3.
                Nobody is pretending that they won and it is REALLY annoying that people keep saying “England lost that game where they had less points”. Im not stupid, I know England lost against SA and Aust but I also know that they were very tight games.
                Yes a loss is a loss but that doesnt mean nothing else should be considered.
                I guess thats why I suggested Eng could upset NZ and was called foolish. I look past wins and losses and actually pay attention to what counts.

          • January 25th 2013 @ 1:02pm
            Colin N said | January 25th 2013 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

            ‘policy of importing players.’

            Ha, that made me laugh. So the RFU told London Irish to sign Riki Flutey? They knew Botha and Fourie would become England internationals despite starting off in the lower reaches of the English system?

            “However, scratch below the surface and there is still a lack of adventure in the back line below the starting line up. any injuries would lead to a revision in game plan, not easily pulled off under the pressure of match conditions.”

            Actually, most who know the English game would argue that the more expressive players aren’t in the starting line-up. Twelvetrees is a proper playmaking 12 unlikes Barritt, Joseph is a pacy and skillful 13, and then you get to the likes of Wade, May, Sharples etc etc.

          • January 25th 2013 @ 1:11pm
            Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

            Policy of importing players?
            Name the English squad members that they “imported”

        • January 25th 2013 @ 8:04pm
          nick said | January 25th 2013 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

          just huge hyperbole and conjecture. Thats the basis of this post. A team that lost all but one match and you’ve decided that they really were the better side all round?

          Weaknesses. 9/10 combination isn’t world class
          Midfield is limited and will be stifled by the lack of classy distribution. Tuilagi isn’t a world class 12 and thats been shown to be fairly obvious over the last 12-18 months.

          Front row is good, but it usually is. Backrow is pedestrian and thats going to be a major factor over the next couple of seasons heading into 2015.

          Enjoy it while you can, I feel you’ve overreached here.

          • January 25th 2013 @ 9:22pm
            Colin N said | January 25th 2013 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

            Tuilagi doesn’t play 12.

          • January 25th 2013 @ 10:17pm
            Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

            Nick you just proved you have no idea.

            Tuilagi has been good all year and although he had 1 or 2 ave games he also had 3 or 4 excellent games. He mainly plays 13 dude. Barrett plays 12. Tuilagi was motm against the worlds best team.

            Im sure you know better than Steve Hansen, Meyer and others though. These guys are very impressed. Hansen saying “there were 2 teams capable of winning a world cup playing tonight” and Meyer stating that England will be a contender in 2015.

            I find it fascinating. There is a real determination not to give England any praise.

            Nick you said “self evident facts” are whats required.
            The facts are that England were the better team against NZ in Dec.

        • Roar Guru

          January 26th 2013 @ 12:26am
          Jiggles said | January 26th 2013 @ 12:26am | ! Report

          Haha the best no. 1 ever! What a laugh.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 11:30am
      Bazza Allblack Supporter said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:30am | ! Report

      the wales and Irish games with the English will be very interesting to watch!

    • January 25th 2013 @ 2:12pm
      Justin Bennett said | January 25th 2013 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

      @Hightakle….some valid points. Many not though.

      England’s IRB rankings have been poor since smashing the Wallabies in ’10. They performed miserably in the World Cup and were a disgrace on and off the field during that tournament. Lancaster has brought genuine improvement truth be told. That said they lost a series in South Africa and lost to Australia and South Africa at home. Hardly consistent, hardly signs of a World Cup Winning team, more a team on the rise and why wouldn’t you be when ranked 5th in the world.

      Part of the amusement at the English media and fans somehow believing this is some epic watershed moment is their notion that this AB team is the best of all time. Just to remind you NZ nearly lost to Ireland at home this year and drew against a mediocre Australian team devastated by injury. To say this is the best team of all time is to insult the post ’87 WC winning AB’s who not only smashed the French come world cup time – something this team definitely did not do. And then remain undefeated for three years.

      Get some perspective, and consistency and maybe then you can start filling the barren trophy cabinet.

      • January 25th 2013 @ 7:37pm
        Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

        Justin you are wrong.
        Before the Aust game, Eng were ranked as low as 7th in 2010. Since they have not dropped below 5 as far as I know and have consistently hovered in around 4 & 5. To only have a deficit of 4 points over 6 games is consistent. They drew and lost to SA by 5 and 1 out of 4 games. Again this is consistent. In the 6 nats in 2011 & 2012 they won 4 from 5. CONSISTENT.
        After the Australian win they went on to win the 6 nats and in 2011 they won around 78% of their games.
        In the WC they lost 1 game to France. In 2012 they lost 1 game in the 6 nats to Wales after an equalising (with the conversion) try was disallowed.
        They then went to South Africa and drew and lost by 5 in 2 of their tests there.
        In the “autumn” tests they thrashed Fiji, came within 6 of Australia in one of Australias best performances of the year and lost by 1 to SA. They then thrashed the best nation on earth.
        Now to say they havnt been consistent or good since the win over Aust is wrong. They have been. If you think this is wrong then I disagree and the stats back me up.

        Justin a few more things you are wrong about. Im a kiwi, not English.
        The post 87 team beat Scotland by 3, drew and lost to Australia in the next year or 2 and the pre pro era ABs would lose by a cricket score in todays game imo. How did the post 87 team go against arguably the 2nd best team of the time? Oh thats right, they didnt play SA.

        My amusement comes at kiwis the try to wriggle and squirm out of losing by making excuses and playing the opposition down. Something the ABs didnt do this time but lots of fans seem to be doing it Justin…

        Im open to debating you.

        To pretend beating NZ by a record score is no big deal….pfffft only 4 teams have beaten NZ for over 50 years! Yeah no biggy. Its no biggy to kiwis that want to pretend it isnt significant but to Eng it obviously was.

        • January 25th 2013 @ 7:52pm
          nick said | January 25th 2013 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

          no it really was to do with all but 2 players of the squad coming down with a norovirus 72 hours out from a test to be honest.

          Management said otherwise, but of course they did, what else could they do?

          The effect of this was seen from the first minute, they ABs weren’t in the contest physically, which really demonstrates how out of condition they were. Its fairly obvious.

          This England team has had ONE game to be proud of against the SH in the autumn internationals and thats an important point to make, they will need to beat the ABs and probably one other SH side next year in Nov to make this even a discussion.

          Until then it’s really a case of choosing to state the obvious about a debilitating illness or trumpeting a victory that, currently, means nothing. Back it up and then come see us

          • January 25th 2013 @ 8:13pm
            soapit` said | January 25th 2013 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

            yep come on jhightackle. the kiwis will take the loss graciously and not mention the extenuating circumstances as long as you dont carry on like a porkchop.

            you got the win for sure but calm down and be realistic.

            • January 25th 2013 @ 10:39pm
              Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

              Im afraid you live in a fantasy land. The virus gets portrayed as the real reason all the time.
              Gracious? Did you read the posts on this thread?
              Obviously not.

              • January 26th 2013 @ 7:35am
                soapit` said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:35am | ! Report

                reread my post and see if you cant figure out why they’re not being gracious to you in this thread

          • January 25th 2013 @ 9:33pm
            Colin N said | January 25th 2013 @ 9:33pm | ! Report

            I thought they came down with the Norovirus a week before the match.

            • January 25th 2013 @ 10:20pm
              Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

              They did.
              Only 2 players had it 72 hours out from the game.
              It lasts 48 hours in bad cases.

            • January 26th 2013 @ 7:35am
              soapit` said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:35am | ! Report

              werent they playing a test match a weekbefore?

              • January 27th 2013 @ 6:34am
                Colin N said | January 27th 2013 @ 6:34am | ! Report

                The word ‘week’ being an estimate.

              • January 27th 2013 @ 9:22am
                soapit` said | January 27th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                you might need to be more precise seeing as hightackle is using it to calc when his 48 hours ends

          • January 25th 2013 @ 10:46pm
            Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

            Nick they beat NZ by a record margin.
            And although you completely dismiss everything that you dont want to hear, they came close to Aust and even drew with SA in SA.
            I dont care what restrictions you try to place on what matters. To me thats ridiculous. What matters is not what you decide should matter. To state that close games or draws are somehow irrelevant is absurd.
            England came close to 2 and 3 and beat 1. For such a young team that is relevant despite your insistance that it shouldnt be.

      • January 25th 2013 @ 9:31pm
        Colin N said | January 25th 2013 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

        Many were suggesting that this was the best AB side ever. I didn’t think it was, but there was certainly talk of it, you can’t deny that.

        However, I agree with you about consistency.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 5:18pm
      dcnz said | January 25th 2013 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

      The best AB team of recent was the 2005 team no?

      The biggest challenge for England will be consistency. I will say that their loose forwards SMASHED us at Twickers…

      The Wallabies know about the consistency issue, and so do France….

      England have all the resources to be up there in the next few years, or even the next few matches. It could simply be a matter of great coaching off the pitch and leadership on it.

      In other words, no one knows how this will play out. Except we do know that Deans will continue to pick players out of position (sorry couldnt resist a Deans dig).

      • January 25th 2013 @ 7:43pm
        Hightackle said | January 25th 2013 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

        Name the players Deans picked out of position?

        • Roar Guru

          January 26th 2013 @ 12:46am
          Jiggles said | January 26th 2013 @ 12:46am | ! Report

          The props in 2011.

          McCabe at 12.

          McCalman at 7.

          Timani at 6.

          Samo on the wing.

          Tapuai at 13.

          I’m sure some Kiwi’s could fill you in with his back line decisions around 03…

          • January 27th 2013 @ 6:20pm
            Justin2 said | January 27th 2013 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

            Let alone the unfit players like Robinson, Beale, Mitchell, Elsom etc etc.

          • January 30th 2013 @ 11:57am
            mania said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:57am | ! Report

            in the backs, cos deans was backs coach.

            leon mcdonald at 13 to kick goals when danCarter was playing 12, shouldve been tanaUmaga
            benBlair and LeonMcdonald at 15 instead of cullen, finally mils converted from centre.
            carlos intead of merhtens or carter.
            caleb ralph instead of anyone
            steveDevine ,benAtiga (who?)

    • January 25th 2013 @ 8:10pm
      soapit` said | January 25th 2013 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

      “He added: “We’ve not won every game but we haven’t been smashed in any of them and we’ve always been competitive.””

      it seems lancaster gets it even if no one in wallabyland does.

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