Six Nations: Lack of composure a worry for England coach Stuart Lancaster
England lost 30-3 in title decider against Wales
Tuesday 19 March 2013
Stuart Lancaster admitted the biggest disappointment of England's Grand Slam-wrecking defeat to Wales was their loss of composure in the final quarter.
England captain Chris Robshaw said immediately after the game that his side had "unravelled" as Wales stormed to a record 30-3 victory to win the RBS 6 Nations title.
Forty-eight hours on, Lancaster's frustration at the performance of referee Steve Walsh was still clear but it was the reaction of his own team which disappointed him the most.
"When we made the transition from the 2011 World Cup squad through to where we are now, we wanted to find out more about the players and we did that, particularly in the last game," Lancaster said.
"We were tested at the highest level. The final 20 minutes was the most disappointing thing about the game, to let it slip away like that.
"At 9-3 we were still in the game. We put the ball straight into touch and had a period of defence which resulted in 12-3.
"There was then a turnover at the breakdown - which we still need clarification on - and that was the tipping point in the game (because it led to Wales' first try).
"Whatever happened in that breakdown it was disappointing to lose composure and let the game slip away.
"Our ability to retain our composure in the heat of battle (is one of the biggest lessons to take from Cardiff)."
The other is execution. Manu Tuilagi should have scored in the opening minutes but he knocked the ball on and too often England forced offloads or lost the ball in contact.
"Everything matters in the game, whether it is the first minute or 21st minute, you have to take your opportunities when they are presented," Lancaster said.
Overall, Lancaster felt his side had made progress and he was proud they had put themselves in with a chance of winning the Grand Slam.
Lancaster will now use the summer tour of Argentina to uncover new talent, to develop some of England's rising stars and increase the depth of players available.
"Overall when you look at the campaign we made good progress," he said.
"We have a good group of players and we played some tough games during the Six Nations and to put ourselves in a position to win it was hugely pleasing.
"The next step is for our best players to go to the Lions and see how they develop under that pressure, which will be significant, and for Mike Catt and I to take another group of players to Argentina and make sure we get that depth of talent we really need to see emerge.
"It will be critical for us because we go to a hostile environment and put ourselves under pressure. That is why we want midweek games as well.
"It gives us a chance to work with a wider group of players and which players can make the transition from club to country and play and deliver in a hostile environment."
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'