England want to answer critics says Moody

Lewis Moody insists England's wounded players are "chomping at the bit" to prove their army of critics wrong in tomorrow's final autumn showdown against New Zealand.

England have faced a barrage of criticism after an insipid performance in last weekend's 16-9 victory over Argentina followed an 18-9 defeat to Australia.

Former England players Josh Lewsey and Will Greenwood have both called for Martin Johnson's assistant coaches to be sacked while Steve Borthwick's position as captain has come under renewed scrutiny.

But Johnson has urged his squad to harness that criticism and take it out against the All Blacks, who arrive at Twickenham as the newly-installed number one team in the world.

Moody said: "We would be the first people to say that our form last week wasn't good enough and we have to improve on that massively.

"We go into the game as underdogs but we will be chomping at the bit to try to put things right.

"The anxious energy is fizzing at the moment. When anyone is criticised you want to go back at them and show them why that's not the case.

"For us it is about being a team. It is about going out there and leaving no stone unturned on the pitch. You never question an England's team's effort.

"We have just got to go out there and put twice as much passion and pride on the line as we do normally.

"This is the last game of the autumn series and you always want to go out with a bang and we will be making sure we will be crossing every bridge to be there."

Despite Moody's determination, and that of the 21 others tasked with facing the All Blacks, there is no disguising how big a challenge they face.

Only once in seven Tests since England won the World Cup in 2003 have they come at all close to beating New Zealand, with a ferociously physical performance in 2005 that pushed the All Blacks to the brink.

Andy Robinson's England ultimately fell short four years ago as New Zealand clung on in the dying minutes with only 13 players on the field to secure a 23-19 victory.

During that run of seven consecutive All Black victories, Dan Carter has scored more points on his own than England have managed altogether.

"The All Blacks are still one of the teams to beat in Test match rugby. How many times have they lost in Britain and Ireland over the last 50 years? Not many," said Johnson.

"Any Test against the All Blacks is very special. It would be nice to have a great performance. That is what we strive to do.

"There is a level of frustration amongst us as a group that we haven't put together a level of consistency in the game.

"No-one likes getting criticised but you put your neck on the line when you go out and play and coach.

"It does get to you but hopefully the players can harness that.

"We can't affect what has happened over the last two weeks but this is a chance to play the All Blacks and we can do something about it."

Johnson has been impressed by the character of his England side in what he admits has been a "tough week" and they are gearing up for another full-frontal physical assault on the All Blacks.

Simon Shaw and Joe Worsley have been recalled to the pack while Johnson has opted for the direct presence of Ayoola Erinle instead of Shane Geraghty at inside centre.

As the sole playmaker, Jonny Wilkinson needs to be spot on with his kicking game because the All Blacks back three can rip any defence to shreds on the counter-attack.

England have picked a side to run hard and straight with the ball and to try and pressurise Carter into standing deeper in position, earning their defence precious extra time to react.

But that ferocity must be well channelled. Twelve months ago, England had four players sent to the sin-bin as they crashed to a record home defeat to the All Blacks.

And Carter, who needs only two points to overtake Andrew Mehrtens as the leading All Blacks points scorer, will lap up any chance to make England's indiscipline pay.

"We need to be competitive at the breakdown because if we let them dominate that area, we will come second," said Johnson.

"But as ever it is a balance. If you give penalties away that will be possession, territory and points. We need to be smart, accurate and physical.

"If you win by a point it goes on the list of times you beat the All Blacks, which is not a long list."

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star