New Zealand 20 England 15: Proud Stuart Lancaster left heartbroken as he believes England 'draw would've been a fair result'

Lancaster admits he is 'frustrated and proud' to coming so close to ending New Zealand's winning streak at Eden Park

Stuart Lancaster voiced his frustration after England opened their series against New Zealand with an agonising 20-15 defeat in the first Test at Eden Park.

Only a 78th-minute try from Conrad Smith in the right corner gave the All Blacks a 15th successive Test victory and protected their 20-year triumphant run at their Auckland stronghold.

Lancaster accepted that England contributed to their own downfall with unforced errors and a lack of composure in the closing stages of a match that was there for the taking.

"There's frustration at having not got across the line despite having done so much good work to achieve a draw or potentially even a win," the head coach said.

"We created lots of opportunities. We made line breaks, broke the gainline. Our set piece was good, but it's fine margins.

 

"The over-riding emotion in the changing room is frustration. What we must do as a coaching team is bottle that frustration and turn it into a positive mindset for next week.

"It definitely feels like we missed a chance. At 15-15 it's all about territory and how you manage and close out the game.

"We had opportunities to clear our line a bit and play in their half and put pressure on them.

"In tight games at 15-15 it's a drop goal or penalty that wins it. They got the penalty and tapped and won it.

"We're desperately disappointed having fought so hard to be in the game for so long.

"It's an 80-minute game and credit to them for closing it out. It was a tremendous effort and it's tough to not come away with anything."

New Zealand 20 England 15 match report

Much of a desperately tight match was a battle of the boot, with the outstanding Freddie Burns and Aaron Cruden exchanging penalties, and it was not until the 71st minute that New Zealand were able to take the lead for the first time.

England threatened the line on several occasions and despite being hamstrung by a lengthy injury list and the absence of their Aviva Premiership finalists, who watched from the stands, were the equal of the world champions.

The performance bodes well for the remainder of the series, which continues in Dunedin next Saturday and concludes in Hamilton seven days later, but Lancaster admitted there is no more margin for error.

"We definitely need to win the next Test to win the series. It's a massive game for us because we always came into this series believing we can, but you must deliver," he said.

"The game next week is huge for us because we want to tie the series and go to a decider in Hamilton believing we can win it.

"They will have a similar side while I imagine we'll make a couple of changes. They will definitely improve, but we'll improve as well.

"We'll learn a lot from this game and we do that well as a team - we learn quickly."

Lancaster had no complaint with the late yellow card given to Marland Yarde for killing the ball but hinted at frustration with the general performance of referee Nigel Owens.

Arguably the key moment of the game was Cruden's brave decision to spurn a shot at goal for a tap penalty that ultimately led to Smith's try.

"It was one of those games where we had to take the match by the scruff of the neck. We needed to break the deadlock somehow," All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said.

"There were two teams going at it hammer and tongs and Cruden did something different and that changed the game. I thought 'good on you son'.

"Now I hope you'll see what we've known all along and that's what a good team England are.

"It was a dour game and there were a lot of errors from both sides, probably down to rustiness. We have a lot of work to do between now and next weekend.

"We know now this will be one of those special Test series. We gave ourselves a mark of around 70 per cent. We'll probably have to be 30-40 per cent better next weekend."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam