South Africa 22-17 England: Revenge on England’s mind after defeat
ENGLAND head coach Stuart Lancaster claims his players already have their minds set on revenge after their narrow first Test loss to South Africa.
Scorers: South Africa: Tries: M. Steyn, de Villiers. Pens: M. Steyn 4. England: Tries: Foden. Pens: Farrell 4.
Lancaster’s side were edged out by the Springboks at the weekend in the opening game of their three-match series at Durban’s Kings Park. But he insists players are far from disheartened ahead of the second Test in Johannesburg.
“The boys are disappointed because they lost. But, when we look back on it, at half-time we were definitely in a positive mindset and we felt we had the better of the first half, even though it was only 6-6,” said Lancaster. “The boys are certainly very positive and the good thing is we have already seen one or two areas we can fix up.
“The players are talking about it already and that is a good sign. They are not downcast. If anything, this will be their motivation to right the wrongs we did in this game.”
England twice led with Owen Farrell penalties but both were cancelled out by Morne Steyn before the Springboks upped the tempo after the break and relentless pressure eventually told as Steyn and new captain Jean de Villiers broke through for tries.
England responded with two more Farrell penalties but another two from Steyn put the game beyond them despite a late try from Ben Foden.
Lancaster said: “I don’t recollect too many clear-cut chances that we created but we definitely created some and put pressure on. But they defend with pretty much everyone in the line, it is hard to break them down.
“Once they were across the gainline, irrespective of how we slowed the contact down or got around the corner, eventually the hard-running South African forwards made a dent into us.”
The players who did not feature will get their chance to stake a claim for the second Test in a match against the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley on Wednesday.
Lancaster said: “We need the midweek boys to pitch up and play well, put pressure on us and make sure we have some selection decisions.”
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