England number eight says Stuart Lancaster's men can take plenty positives from their performances in New Zealand this month.
England number eight says Stuart Lancaster's men can take plenty positives from their performances in New Zealand this month, despite losing the Test series 3-0.
The final outcome must be seen as a failure for a team desperate to prove themselves and shake up rugby's world order. Though able to compete with and rattle the All Blacks at times during all three matches, there always lurked the sense that New Zealand could go up several gears.
When they did, England could not live with them, shipping 29 points in the first half in Hamilton on Saturday, the final result a 36-13 defeat.
“It's not the way we wanted to end the first two tests after coming so close in the first two but obviously we have to take the positives,” admitted the number eight,
“New Zealand are the world's best at the moment and it just shows you've got to be right up there to contend with them.
“A lot of credit to them in the first half. They are the best attacking team and if you're not right up there with your details or if you're not kicking the ball exactly where you want it they're going to punish you and they did that.
“Compounding errors on errors is exactly what we didn't want to do and that was exactly what we did.
“It's uncharacteristic for us to compound errors like that so it was a case of getting focused at halftime. We know our roles, we know what we need to do to win and we needed to turn that round.
“And you saw that reaction when we came out. We were on the front foot, putting them under pressure, and we were getting points on the board.
“Across the team we showed we aren't going to go down out without trying. Everyone left everything out on the field and got stuck into them.
“We put them under pressure and apart from that breakaway try at the end we were right back in that.
“It's going to be great to have the opportunity to play them again and have them back at Twickenham in November.
“This is the end of a very long season for us so the challenge now is to go back to our clubs, get refreshed mentally and physically, rebuild and come back stronger.”