Planet Rugby

England aim to scare teams into errors

05th March 2013 17:47

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Andy Farrell England training

Andy Farrell: 'Go and get them'

Assistant coach Andy Farrell says England are trying to use a high-pressure defensive system to rattle their opposition.

Much has been made of the number of missed tackles in England's Six Nations win over France at Twickenham but Farrell insists that reading too much into statistics blurs the bigger picture.

England missed a whopping 21 tackles against les Bleus, including one by Courtney Lawes in the build-up to Wesley Fofana's try. While Farrell conceded that was a mistake, he believes the intention to pressurise the opposition is as important as the execution.

"Everyone goes off the missed tackle statistics. I look at it differently," said Farrell.

"I wouldn't want us to be a passive defensive side that back off and doesn't put pressure on the opposition. If you do that, there will be misses here and there.

"There is a difference between a glaring one-on-one missed tackle when you are isolated (like Lawes' on Fofana) and the team going, 'Let's go and get them'.

"If somebody like Courtney gets off the line and puts the fear of whatever into somebody's mind, the next time that guy is taking the ball up he is not thinking pretty thoughts.

"He is thinking, 'S***, where is Courtney Lawes?'.

"We are a side that likes to force errors on the opposition and make sure they realise it will be a physical, hard game. It is definitely part of our mantra. That is why we are hard to play against.

"We want to have a reputation that we are a force to be reckoned with as far as defence is concerned."

Farrell believes that England are building a reputation for striking fear into their opponents.

"If you ask most teams we have played against so far, they would back that up," he added.

"Building a reputation is massively important.

"Teams can already see the difference in what we are trying to do.

"There will be other implications we need to be mindful of along the way. No defensive system is unbreakable.

"Teams will play against us in a variety of ways and we have to be good enough to deal with all types of scenarios."

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RBS Six Nations Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ireland58
2England58
3Wales56
4France56
5Scotland52
6Italy50