Planet Rugby

Lancaster left 'frustrated and proud'

07th June 2014 13:45

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New Zealand v England Stuart Lancaster

Mixed emotions: Stuart Lancaster

England head coach Stuart Lancaster was left torn after his side came so close to making history against New Zealand.

A XV without several starters from the Six Nations nearly pulled off an incredible upset over New Zealand, with Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns kicking four penalties and Danny Cipriani adding one before Conrad Smith scored in the final moments.

Lancaster though will take great heart from England's performance after leading New Zealand for so long.

"It's really disappointing. To come to Eden Park and lose at the end is heartbreaking. I thought a draw was a fair result," said Lancaster.

"I'm frustrated and proud in equal measure. I'm proud of the lads out there, it was a fantastic effort, it's just a shame we couldn't nail it.

"There was some great attacking and our defence was strong but once or twice we could have relieved the pressure in middle area and put the pressure back on them.

"There are one or two things we can improve on and there are one or two high-quality players sat in the stand who will be itching to have an opportunity too."

Lancaster also reflected on the gamble by Aaron Cruden to tap a kickable penalty, with the result proving to be Smith's try.

"In tight games at 15-all it's a drop goal or penalty that sometimes wins it," added Lancaster.

"Unfortunately they got the penalty then tapped and went and of course go the try."

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