High error count frustrates Lancaster

Date published: November 15 2014

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England’s high error-count cost them a victory in their Test against South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

England’s high error-count cost them a victory in their Test against South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

That was the word from England coach Stuart Lancaster who said his side’s mistakes was a frustrating part of their game.

The 31-28 loss was England’s fifth in a row despite being dominant in the territorial and possession stakes.

“We got some good field position in the second half and we took those chances well,” said Lancaster.

“I think in the first half we could have played smarter given the conditions, it was one of those days where territory was important.

“The South Africans benefited from our errors in the first half without constructing too much themselves, really. We need to be smarter if we are going to beat the world’s top two sides.”

“The frustration was giving points away when they didn’t have to work hard to earn them.

“To give those points away put us under some pressure. There was lots of constructive rugby and as the game wore on that showed. We needed to be smarter at the end of the game and win our own ball.”

England face Samoa next weekend and although Lancaster is expected to make changes to his run-on side he feels there is no reason for panic ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“You stick to what you believe is the right thing to do,” he added.

“You wouldn’t criticise the players for their efforts but sometimes being smarter and trying to manipulate the back-field is something to look at.

“I think when you give away points like we did in the first half and a little bit of ill-discipline are things we need to improve.

“We’ll not panic, we will not lose our nerve. We will not deviate from the course we are on.”

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