Saturday, June 21, 2014

Savea's class highlights the skills differences between sides

All Blacks wing Julian Savea's wondrous pick-up of a bouncing ball in scoring his second try in Saturday's 36-13 win over England demonstrated the difference in skills levels between the sides during the first half of the game.
That was England coach Stuart Lancaster's summation.

"I thought the All Blacks' demonstrated why they have won 36 out of 37 games and that's why they're the No.1 team in the world at the moment," he said.

The record was outstanding not only in a rugby sense but in international sport. Their wins were not just against teams ranked sixth, seventh or eighth, they were against the teams ranked, two, three and four.

"They have a great blend at the moment of athletic talent and ability, skill set , experience, continuity and consistency," he said.

Lancaster said the All Blacks thoroughly deserved the win on Saturday, especially on the back of their first half effort to lead 29-6 at the break.

He said he was disappointed with England's first half where they lacked the intensity they had demonstrated in the first two Tests. But he was proud of their effort in holding the All Blacks in the second half.

Lancaster said it was disappointing to concede the injury time try to the All Blacks when their second half effort had been much improved.

Assistant coach Andy Farrell said the side's defence had started poorly and got worse.

"From the start of the game to the short kick-off and a couple of errors and they are back in our 22 and they get such a quick lineout we are not even set and ready to go. So we are behind the eight ball all of a sudden and we are being reactive instead of going getting them which is what our defence has always been about.

"We certainly weren't near 80 percent and we needed all hands on deck," he said.

"The minute that you are behind the gain line it becomes a snowball and we didn't stop it for 25 minutes. The first half wasn't good enough and we have something in black and white now about what intensity looks like and what intensity definitely doesn't look like," he said.

Lancaster said while the tour was disappointing, a lot had been learned about the players during what was a period of transition for the side.

No comments: