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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

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
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz