New Zealand 36 England 13: Stuart Lancaster wants lessons to be learned
New Zealand 36 England 13: Stuart Lancaster wants the Red Rose to learn lessons from All Blacks whitewash
Stuart Lancaster insists that England must learn the lessons from a 3-0 series whitewash to New Zealand to be able to challenge the world’s best in November.
The England head coach was left disappointed as the ruthless All Blacks took advantage of some woeful defending in the opening quarter in the final Test in Hamilton as they slumped to a 36-13 defeat.
It’s about applying lessons and making sure the players are aware what is required to win at the highest level
The defeat was one of England’s heaviest in New Zealand as Steve Hansen’s men equalled the record for consecutive Test wins at 17, two months before they open their Rugby Championship defence against Australia.
“What’s important is that we take these lessons, the players get a decent rest as they’ve had a long season, particularly those who played on the back of the Lions—they need a rest,” said Lancaster.
“It’s about applying lessons and making sure the players are aware what is required to win at the highest level.
“We need to use the pre-season well and the start of the season to make sure the top-end players are playing at the intensity they need to when we get to the New Zealand game we are hitting the ground running.”
A weakened England side blew their chance to win the opening Test as they conceded a 78th-minute try and the coaches were powerless as the All Blacks produced periods of stunning attacking rugby in the second and third Tests to hand Lancaster’s side a major setback as they as they failed to take their chances.
“In the first game it was nip and tuck throughout the whole game and I don’t think side edged it one way or the other,” he added.
“In the second game there was a period when the All Blacks had the ascendency, but we had the ascendency in the first half and played some great rugby.
“The difference between the All Blacks and ourselves is when they have periods of ascendency they convert that into points. When we’re in the same position, we perhaps didn’t do that.
“We can all sit here and talk about changes to the side, everyone in the know knows why those changes were made, so that scheduling issue has to be sorted and cannot be repeated. It is unfair on the players.”