Rugby World Cup 2015: England need game of their lives, says Geoff Parling
The Exeter Chiefs lock says England must be ruthless against Australia
Geoff Parling insists England need to discover their ruthless edge after wasting the chance to take control of their Rugby World Cup pool.
Stuart Lancaster’s side take on Australia at Twickenham on Saturday knowing defeat could put a premature end to their World Cup campaign.
That is after a 28-25 defeat by Wales last weekend – after the Red Rose had held a ten-point lead – left them three points adrift of the top two in Pool A at the halfway stage.
The hunger is unbelievable. We have been building towards this World Cup for a long, long time. We know we probably threw away an opportunity last weekend and we do not want to repeat that. This is the game of our lives
A wasted lineout denied England the chance to grab a dramatic late winner on Saturday but Parling believes the writing was on the wall long before then – and the hosts must learn their lessons.
“It’s maybe about putting our foot on other teams’ throats and keeping them down,” Parling said.
“When you are ten points up in a game like that, you get a couple more penalties or the next try – suddenly the other team is chasing it and they do what they’re not meant to do. We get ourselves in good positions, we have just got to finish them off.
“We allowed them back in it when we were ten points up – take everything else out of it. When we get ahead, stay ahead and keep going ahead. Get our foot on them and don’t let them get back up.
“I think we showed for 50 minutes that when we focus on us, we get what we do right and we do it well – we are a very good team. We have got to keep that going.”
This week, Lancaster has been plagued by injury concerns, with Billy Vunipola leaving the tournament early and the likes of Jonathan Joseph, Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs and Ben Morgan each fighting their own fitness battles.
However, Parling insists the wounds – both physical and mental – of last weekend have not diminished England’s hunger to bounce back and secure safe passage to the quarter-finals.
“Our World Cup has just come a little bit earlier, hasn’t it? We’re up for a massive game this weekend,” he added.
“The hunger is unbelievable. We have been building towards this World Cup for a long, long time. We know we probably threw away an opportunity last weekend and we do not want to repeat that. This is the game of our lives.
“This is everything to me, it’s everything to the other players, to the staff – get behind us and back us because we are doing everything we can to give the best account of ourselves at the weekend and I’m sure we will.”
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