New Zealand v England: Chris Robshaw eager to end series on high

England skipper hoping for positive result in final Test

Chris Robshaw has rallied his England team for one final assault on New Zealand by demanding they salvage some pride from their series defeat.

The All Blacks added to their first Test victory with a gripping 28-27 win at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday - made possible by a devastating third-quarter spell that produced tries for Ben Smith, Julian Savea and Ma'a Nonu.

Once a midweek fixture against the Crusaders has been negotiated, England will head to Hamilton for the climax to the series in search of that elusive triumph on Kiwi soil.

Although temporarily deflated by their inability to set up a decider, Robshaw insists England will give everything in their quest for a precious All Blacks scalp.

"We've come down to win a series and we haven't done that. We've still got one more chance and come close on the last two occasions," the captain said.

"We'll throw everything at this last game. It's a big finale and hopefully we can pull one back.

"I don't think it'll be hard at all to lift the team for this match because we still want to win a game down here.

"We all believe that's still very much obtainable as long as we continue to be professional.

"There were some upset players in our changing room after the second Test

England captain Chris Robshaw looks dejected after the final whistle following the narrow 20-15 loss to New Zealand England captain Chris Robshaw looks dejected after the final whistle following the narrow 20-15 loss to New Zealand
"We'll have our sulk, but by Monday morning we'll be straight back into it.

"All our detail will have been prepared and we'll have reviewed everything and be ready to go again."

The score may say only one point separated the rivals, but in truth England were well beaten with late tries from Mike Brown and Chris Ashton offering scoreboard respectability.

For a second successive weekend, they were left mourning a missed opportunity.

A fearless first half bristling with intent hinted that something special was brewing, and it appeared all too easy as a 10-0 lead was posted inside the opening eight minutes.

Try-scorer Marland Yarde and Billy Twelvetrees were influential as England pummelled New Zealand's defence, but they lacked the points their superiority deserved as chances went begging amid a succession of unforced errors and poor decision-making.

When the third quarter arrived they were being given a lesson in finishing by the ruthless All Blacks.

"Once again it's gutting. We came out with all guns blazing trying to execute our game plan and couldn't have started better," Robshaw said.

"It was a great first half from all the guys, but unfortunately in the second half we lost a bit of momentum, lost the ball and struggled to get it back.

"We always knew that they could strike as quickly as that because we've experienced it at Twickenham.

"If we start slowly against them, switch off or miss tackles, they're probably the most dangerous side in the world. They're very effective at taking their chances.

"The difference between the sides is they take their chances - it's as simple as that. There's no secret recipe they have."


The experiment of playing Manu Tuilagi on the wing failed on this occasion and it is difficult to argue a case for his retention there for the third Test.

Isolated and repeatedly targeted with kicks that made him turn, he bore little resemblance to the tackle-breaking giant that roamed Eden Park.

A popular decision would be his restoration at outside centre with Ashton starting on the right wing, while doubt also hangs over the underperforming Joe Launchbury, Ben Morgan and Danny Care.

It will take a monumental effort to prevent the All Blacks from amassing a 17th successive victory when the series concludes at Waikato Stadium, but Robshaw is adamant it can be done.

"We want to make sure we get a win before New Zealand come to us in the autumn," he said.

"It will be a huge challenge to do it down here in their own backyard.

"But we very firmly believe it's doable. We've shown huge potential over the last few weeks, but that's not what counts."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own