England 21 New Zealand 24: We’re not far away, insists Stuart Lancaster

England head coach Stuart Lancaster looks to the positives after 24-21 defeat by New Zealand

Stuart Lancaster is taking encouragement from England’s performance against New Zealand despite the world champions edging to victory at Twickenham.

The Red Rose made a brilliant start as wing Brad Barritt streaked past Israel Dagg to find the corner, but Aaron Cruden struck back with a try of his own as New Zealand made their first foray into England territory.

We’ll keep our confidence and maintain the direction in which we’re going

Stuart Lancaster

The All Blacks No10 traded penalties with his opposite number to leave the half-time score at 14-11 in England’s favour, but Richie McCaw went over early in the second half to help the away side wrestle control of the Test.

Cruden added a further penalty and Charlie Faumuina scored New Zealand’s third try to extend their lead to 24-14, before England’s penalty try provided late consolation.

“We haven’t got the right result, but we don’t feel we’re far away. In the first half we were pretty close if not level,” Lancaster said.

Lancaster added that England have to learn to kill off opposition, pointing to New Zealand’s efficient second-half performance.

“We’ve got some good players watching the game, so we’ll keep our confidence and maintain the direction in which we’re going.

“The All Blacks have played eight games and two-and-a-half months together since we last played them and I thought we put them under pressure.

“We created opportunities in attack but obviously there’s a period of play they constructed that shows why they have the experience to close out a game like that.

“That’s what we’ve got to get.”

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