Narrow defeat to All Blacks will fuel next match as full-back Mike Brown insists England team isn’t panicking

England full-back Mike Brown insists there will not be panic in the camp after a narrow defeat to the All Blacks at Twickenham.

It was thought that Stuart Lancaster’s team needed nothing less than three wins in their autumn internationals against New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, with their home World Cup now less than 12 months away.

But the world champions, after a tight first half, picked apart England with ease, the 21-24 scoreline not doing justice to their display or some questionable tactics and frequent errors from Lancaster’s troops.

With confidence key in the months ahead, the last thing England needed was a fourth consecutive defeat against the All Blacks and it puts severe pressure on gaining a result against South Africa on Saturday.

“If we’re going to be honest we’ve got to start putting those games away,” said Brown, who will regret fumbling Kyle Eastmond’s defence splitting pass, when the All Blacks’ line was brutally exposed – a gilt-edged chance that proved ultimately decisive.

“We’re a competitive bunch of lads.  It’s another ‘what it?’ We’re here to win and again we’ve let it go.

“A couple of momentum shifts in the game went to them instead of us. We’ll look at those incidents and how we can do better again and try and learn.

“I’ll scrutinise myself like I always do. I’m a competitive player, I always want to look for the perfect performance, that never happened obviously, but I would love it to happen. I’ll look at those myself and the coaches will go over it with me. It’s just disappointing really.”

Brown admits the post-match analysis at England’s luxury five-star Surrey hotel will make for painful listening – with fans growing increasingly tired of being so near and yet so far.

And while weekend results prove the gap between northern and southern hemisphere is narrowing – dramatic improvement is required as the countdown to the World Cup gathers pace.

“It’s good to have those disappointments in the back of your mind. It fuels you to get better as a player,” added Brown.

“It fuels you to do better and put it out there on the pitch the next opportunity you get. I for one hope I get that opportunity next weekend, it’s a massive, massive Test match for us.

“We’re definitely getting closer and we’re always learning. However, we know we need to start winning too.”

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Picture courtesy of researchtalk, with thanks

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