England’s Robshaw reveals captaincy hurt

By Julian Guyer, Julian Guyer is a Roar Guru


36 Have your say

    England captain Chris Robshaw admitted he’d been laid low by the flak he encountered after some questionable decision-making during the 2012 end-of-year internationals.

    Robshaw’s leadership qualities came under severe scrutiny following England’s losses at home to Australia and South Africa in November.

    He was criticised for running kickable penalties against the Wallabies and then, with time running out the following week against the Springboks, his decision to tell Owen Farrell to go for goal with England four points behind and needing the five that would come from a try for victory.

    Farrell landed the kick but time ran out and England lost 16-15.

    However, England then ended the year on a colossal high when they returned to Twickenham the following week and, against all predictions, beat world champions New Zealand by a record 38-21.

    It was just what Harlequins flanker Robshaw, who captained the London club to the Premiership title last season, needed after a rocky few weeks.

    “Beating New Zealand like that was definitely satisfying for me. It’s always nice to finish on something special,” the 26-year-old openside said on Monday as he was confirmed as England captain by coach Stuart Lancaster for the Six Nations.

    “The previous year, we as a team and myself had enjoyed a lot of good press.

    “It was my first time experiencing the other side.

    “The day after South Africa, I went into camp and my head was a bit down. I went home for the weekend to try and get away. I was a bit down and moping about.

    “That night, the boys spoke to me and said, ‘Don’t worry – we’re going to win this weekend and it will be fine’.

    “It really made me appreciate the character of the guys we have in the England squad at the moment.”

    England, runners-up in last season’s Six Nations, head into their 2013 opener at home to Scotland on February 2 as one of the favourites for the tournament with France, the other major European side who impressed during the autumn Test series.

    And Robshaw said it was vital England maintained the standards they had set for themselves against the All Blacks.

    “New Zealand is the benchmark of where we want to be as a team. It’s where we strive to be,” he said.

    “We believed we could beat them. When you’ve been kicked down and written off, and this and that and has been said about you, it makes you closer together.

    “It bonds you and puts your backs against the wall. You want to prove people wrong.

    “But the win against New Zealand has gone. Now it’s about the Six Nations.”

    England are no longer an unknown quantity and Robshaw accepts they will face increased expectations as a result of their win over the All Blacks.

    “There might become a bit more pressure because of the autumn, but it’s about dealing with that.

    “It’s a different type of situation that everyone’s very excited about. It’s about backing up what we did last year.”

    © AFP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (36)

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 5:55am
      Justin2 said | January 23rd 2013 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      Thought his decisions were brilliant, as does Robbie Deans 🙂

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:34am
        The Battered Slav said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        That Robshaw chap clearly possesses far more sound decision making skills that Dingo, so I think the brilliance of Robshaw’s decision making would be lost on Dingo.

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 12:21pm
        Hightackle said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        Aust won by 6.
        There was a chance if he had taken a shot at goal that they might have scored another 2 penalties and won the game.
        It was blown way out of proportion and Aust still would have won imo. I love the way you take a shot at Deans for the opposition captain MAYBE making the wrong call. After all it was Robbies fault the English were within 6 right? Pfffft so sad, you are obsessed beyond reason.

        Robshaws big F up was against SA, as a reaction to his choices to go for the corner against Aust, when with time pretty much up he opted for the penalty. Def the wrong call.

        Julian time didnt run out after Farrells goal. SA kicked off and I think Morgan lost the ball over the sideline to end the game.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 1:20pm
          Justin2 said | January 23rd 2013 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

          “There was a chance if he had taken a shot at goal that they might have scored another 2 penalties and won the game.”

          As an Aussie supporter I was ecstatic to see him try and score a try. Not taking the points was daft and too many new age skippers attempt the glory play. They had a period they were on top and came away with less than they could have, end of story.

          And I am less obsessed than you are defending him at every turn… I have no idea why you bother, you arent an Aussie anyway, why do you care so much?

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 2:11pm
            Hightackle said | January 23rd 2013 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            Listen if Robshaw had opted to go for goal they may have missed, Australia may have scored again etc. A try and they are in front by 1, a penalty and they need 2 more. Im not completely convinced it was so wrong. It is hindsight that condems him and in hindsight it is still not possible to say it was the wrong decision. If he had gone for goal Aust may have won by 15 for all we know.
            As an Australian you wete thrilled that he didnt go for goal? You mean you were thrilled it didnt pay off.

            Why do I care about Deans? I care about people being reasonble. I dont care that people want Deans gone at all but when people start saying “he selected McCabe” when McCabe was one of the best players in all of super rugby in 2011 and really played well for Aust in the Samoa game and the tri nats victories. They whinge about other selections also. I do too, to me it is obvious Cooper should not be in the team. He has played sh#t and divided the change room but the thing is, most Deans haters want Cooper becuz ge is exciting.
            Another problem I have is that Deans haters blame Deans for all of the kicking. Aust has kicked no more than its opposition on 15 of 22 games since the start of the WC and I think its only lost 2 games in which it kicked more than the opposition.
            They blame Deans for the lack of try scoring whilst dismissing the absense of 90% of there most attacking players and injury turnovers.
            They whinge about not beating NZ when they are the only team who are competing well with them in the entire world. Having beaten and drawn with NZ in the last year in a half.
            They whinge that Deans is not doing well for Aust but then whinge that he wants to lessen the load on the Wallabies by not playing them in super rugby. A move that is clearly motivated by last years injury crisis and player overload.
            Deans is blamed for everything and Australian fans act as if a year where Austraia won 60% of their games was a disaster. In 2005 they won 38% and in 2006 53%. 2011 it was 70% and 2012 it was 60%.
            The Australian team is doing very well, all things considered.

            • January 23rd 2013 @ 4:29pm
              Ajax said | January 23rd 2013 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

              Interesting, amidst all the gloom and doom being reported from our results against the All Blacks, people forget his outstanding record against the Springboks… from memory he has won 3 games in the republic in 4 years, whereas prior to that we had only won 3 in the previous 40 years!!

              In addition from 2010-2012 we were 5 from 7 or something against the boys from the Veldt, and I think he has set the record for most successive wins against them??

              I mean, I dont agree with everything he has done either, but he has alright in my book. Last year, he had wins over the Boks, a draw against the All Blacks, a win in Argentina and a victory at Twickenham… how many international coaches would get critisised for having that on their resume?? Im pretty sure Warren Gatland would be happy to take those.

              • Roar Guru

                January 23rd 2013 @ 5:54pm
                biltongbek said | January 23rd 2013 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                people forget his outstanding record against the Springboks… from memory he has won 3 games in the republic in 4 years, whereas prior to that we had only won 3 in the previous 40 years!!


                Was only 2 mate, but thankfully PdV is gone and the rot was stopped.

              • January 23rd 2013 @ 6:09pm
                Lroy said | January 23rd 2013 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

                @ Biltongek, sorry about that, I must have counted that one at altitude as 2 😉

              • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:40pm
                Justin2 said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

                And was coaching against a guy who the whole world laughed at. Having said that you can’t take away his record against the Boks but we are nowhere near that now. We have gone backwards dramatically.

                Let’s also not forget his record against many lower ranked teams. You can give him credit but there are plenty of debits too.

              • January 24th 2013 @ 2:42am
                Hightackle said | January 24th 2013 @ 2:42am | ! Report

                Justin its not his record.
                Under PDV the Boks were very good and were very successfull against NZ. The Boks 3rd most successfull stint in the pro era was under PDV.
                In 2012 it was 1 all. Thats “gone backwards dramatically” in your books? It must be becuz Deans sux and PDV sux even more right?
                So predictable. So wrong. No thinking. All emotion. So sad.

              • January 24th 2013 @ 2:55am
                Ben.S said | January 24th 2013 @ 2:55am | ! Report

                PDV is gone and the rot was stopped… by a 3rd place finish in the RC, and uninspiring results/performances against England at home and on the European tour… Don’t really see what’s changed?

              • Roar Guru

                January 24th 2013 @ 3:23am
                biltongbek said | January 24th 2013 @ 3:23am | ! Report

                You need to pay attention BenS.

                Total new pack, 10 retirements and a bucket load of injuries.

                We are still ranked 2nd, a tad up from last year. 😉

              • January 24th 2013 @ 3:24am
                Justin2 said | January 24th 2013 @ 3:24am | ! Report

                I don’t think many people doubt we have gone backwards since we played such good rugby a few years ago. I wasn’t just referring to the Boks record, it’s obvious we are playing dreadful football and have since the RWC.

              • January 24th 2013 @ 7:19am
                Ben.S said | January 24th 2013 @ 7:19am | ! Report

                Aah… ranking number 2. The Robbie Deans excuse. Everything must be rosy in the garden in that case…

              • Roar Guru

                January 24th 2013 @ 7:48am
                biltongbek said | January 24th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

                Well we beat your team 3 times last year. And gave you a draw.

                Don’t really know why you have such an issue with the Springboks, but we’ll improve, it is only a matter of time, you can of course believe whatever you want.

              • January 24th 2013 @ 10:42am
                Ben.S said | January 24th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                I would have expected SA to beat a side ranked considerably lower than them and a side with less than 200 caps. In the circumstances the home draw must have been gutting. Clearly I don’t have a problem with South Africa, nor do I have a problem with you. What I’m pointing out, as I’ve pointed out before, is that there has basically been nothing to cheer about from a Springbok perspective this season. The side has in no way played any better than it did under PdV, and the results have been mediocre too, especially by the lofty Springbok standards. Absolutely nothing has changed, and yet it’s the same old thing we hear every few months from Springbok supporters. Really, come now.

              • Roar Guru

                January 24th 2013 @ 3:18pm
                biltongbek said | January 24th 2013 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

                Who’s cheering?

                You are making assumptions. go back to some articles I have done on the Boks and Heyneke Meyer over the past 8 months there has been plenty of critiicisms and suggestions from my side as to what needs to be done to improve the Boks.

                Teonly comment I made is the rot has stopped. If you read that in context with the conversation here it pertains to loding against OZ at home.

                Where you get your assumptions from is mind boggling at times. You are reading into my comments what you want and not what it means.

              • January 25th 2013 @ 1:46am
                Ben.S said | January 25th 2013 @ 1:46am | ! Report

                Sure. Sure. You’ve been unrelentingly realistic about the Boks. I stand corrected. And me refuting your assertion is me reading into things. Again. corrected I stand.

              • Roar Guru

                January 25th 2013 @ 1:59am
                biltongbek said | January 25th 2013 @ 1:59am | ! Report

                well, it has been fun thanks. 😉

                See you next time.

            • Roar Guru

              January 23rd 2013 @ 6:12pm
              biltongbek said | January 23rd 2013 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

              No worries mate. 😉

            • Roar Guru

              January 23rd 2013 @ 6:15pm
              Jiggles said | January 23rd 2013 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

              McCabe one of the best players in 2011?!?!

              He was an above average rookie winger/fullback…. And Deans picks him at inside centre….. Logical…

              • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:41pm
                Justin2 said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

                Excellent defence coupled with strangling attack 🙂

              • January 24th 2013 @ 2:14am
                Hightackle said | January 24th 2013 @ 2:14am | ! Report

                He played every single minute of every single game in 2010 for the Brumbies. He was not a rookie in 2011.
                He was awarded new comer of the year in 2010 and super rugby rookie of the year. McCabe was one of the most promising players in Aust.
                In 2011 McCabe finished the super season at 12 before being selected for the Samoa match (basically treated like a trials match) and doing very well.

                In 2011 Tapuai was only starting to solidify his spot in the Reds. He was selected for the Welsh tour in Dec.

                In 2012 Tapuai was injured for the Wallabies early games but as the year wore on he got his oportunity.

                The McCabe selection is made out to be an absurd selection. It wasnt.

              • Roar Guru

                January 24th 2013 @ 8:38am
                Jiggles said | January 24th 2013 @ 8:38am | ! Report

                What’s this got to do with tapaui? You’re a tad obsessed…

              • January 24th 2013 @ 1:53pm
                Hightackle said | January 24th 2013 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

                What other option at 12 was there?
                And lets not pretend that you wouldnt want a Queenslaner instead. It seems to be the standard.
                POT, KETTLE, BLACK?

              • Roar Guru

                January 24th 2013 @ 7:56pm
                Jiggles said | January 24th 2013 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

                Call me crazy, but I’d want a player playing in position…

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 2:42pm
      Rugby said | January 23rd 2013 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

      Is this guy really one of the contenders to captain the Lions? Get over it mate, it’s only a game. You live and learn by decisions or ultimately mistakes you make.

      The rest of Europe know England are nothing special and had a lucky win against the AB’s on the back of illness. People can argue against it, but it’s true. No one will fear England in the 6N, not even Italy will.

      Here’s to hoping Scotland start their slide.

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:25pm
        Colin N said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

        “Is this guy really one of the contenders to captain the Lions? Get over it mate, it’s only a game. You live and learn by decisions or ultimately mistakes you make.”

        Erm, I’m sure he has got over it, but he was asked a question so responded accordingly. That’s generally how it works.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:41pm
          Rugby said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:41pm | ! Report

          ahhh thanks Colin. I didn’t know.

      • January 24th 2013 @ 2:30am
        Hightackle said | January 24th 2013 @ 2:30am | ! Report

        The rest of Europe?
        Eng vs Europe in 2011+2012.
        Eng 13
        Europe 4

        Rugby you do know we are talking about rugby union right?

        A “lucky” win by a record margin?

        Anyway I dont think any team in the 6 nations will fear anyone. I however think that Eng will win the 6 nats.
        Robshaw wont be the Lions captain. Maybe in 2017.

      • January 24th 2013 @ 2:58am
        Ben.S said | January 24th 2013 @ 2:58am | ! Report

        ‘but it’s true’ and I know this because I have fingers in the Italian, French, Irish, Welsh and Scottish camps. Grrr.

        • January 24th 2013 @ 1:04pm
          Rugby said | January 24th 2013 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          Ben S: Why are you so defensive about England?

          Can you honestly tell me that if the Kiwi’s did not have the virus the week leading up to the game, England would have won?

          Hightackle: Well considering they probably won’t achieve a 17 point victory or victory alone over the AB’s for another couple of decades, i’d consider it to be lucky. England will do well in the 6N, but I don’t believe they will win it. Maybe 3rd place?

          • January 24th 2013 @ 1:58pm
            Hightackle said | January 24th 2013 @ 1:58pm | ! Report


            But imo Fra, Eng or Ire could win.

            I am not sure you can say NZ would have won if they didnt get sick. Im also pretty sure that when asked after the game McCaw said the illness had nothing to do with it and if it had they would have fallen away at the end of each half and that clearly wasnt the case.

            • January 24th 2013 @ 2:09pm
              nickoldschool said | January 24th 2013 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

              England have the best draw IMO with three home games although two are against The scots and Italians. The welsh have a weird one with three away games in a row in the middle. Could be all over pretty quickly.

              For me, the final of the tournament will be England vs france at round 3. I expect both teams to be 2-0 then. Grand slam for France

          • January 25th 2013 @ 1:54am
            Ben.S said | January 25th 2013 @ 1:54am | ! Report

            And can you explain to me how I’m being ‘so defensive’ as opposed to pointing out the absurdity of your comment? Frankly, ‘Rugby’ (sideyes) if Steve Hansen doesn’t moan then that’s good enough for me, and regardless of that result England have drawn in SA (something beyond Australia and Argentina this season) and last season they won away in Scotland, Italy and France and whacked Ireland at Twickenham. The games against Australia and SA were incredibly close, and bearing in mind this England side had less than 200 caps in the Autumn clearly your assertion borders on the ridiculous. Just get over it and pick a fight on another site.

            • January 25th 2013 @ 2:37pm
              Rugby said | January 25th 2013 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

              Well first of all, you ended your comment with ‘grrr’ indicating your frustration as to people being critical of English rugby. To me, that is being defensive.

              Steve Hanson and the Kiwi’s won’t moan because they’re good losers. They take it on the chin and won’t make excuses even though deep down they knew this effected them. They’ll just put 50 points on England next time they play each other.

              It appears that you”re the one who needs to get over it, not me. I was merely asking a genuine question in response to your post. Who’s fighting?