England skipper Chris Robshaw has called on his team to discover a killer instinct after they succumbed to a fourth consecutive defeat for the first time in eight years as New Zealand produced a ruthless second-half display at Twickenham at the weekend.
Just like the summer Test series against the All Blacks in New Zealand; it was a case of so close but yet so far for Robshaw’s men as they fell to a 21-24 loss.
Jonny May’s brilliant try had given Stuart Lancaster’s raw side the perfect start but second-half tries from captain Kiwi Richie McCaw and replacement Charlie Faumuina saw England downed yet again.
“We’re getting there yeah of course, especially back at home,” said Robshaw. “The crowd are fantastic and we put in a great first half performance which I thought they were potentially on the ropes at stages.
“We have to remember that – to have the best team in the world on the rope is impressive but we need to learn how to produce that killer blow and kill teams off, and produce that second half performance.
“We’ll look at ourselves. I think we let a couple of opportunities out there. Our scrum was dominant all day and so I’m pleased with it.
“But New Zealand takes their chances, simple as that. There’s no magic formula. Defensively there are opportunities out there and we showed that today. If they get an opportunity more often than not they take it.”
Despite the morale-sapping defeat Robshaw refused to be downcast as his England side prepares to take on South Africa this weekend before finishing the autumn series against Samoa and Australia.
Playing the best side in the world, New Zealand last weekend and running them so close again highlights the improvements for England under Lancaster and Robshaw admits they will learn lessons following the weekend.
“In tight situations New Zealand turns it up a gear and that’s where we need to get to,” he added.
“That’s the next gap we need to take when we need to increase our performance by a couple of per cent. We can do that
“They have strategies about how they want to play the game and they did, they kept it tight and credit to them they kept hold of the ball and eventually got it over.
“We thought we had enough chances, we thought we had enough dominance in the scrum.
“They did keep hold of the ball extremely well, especially in those conditions and they aren’t the best team in the world for no reason.
“We need to learn from playing the best, take what New Zealand did on board and then try to keep improving our own game.”
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