Monday, November 22, 2010
Samoa proved a decent challenge for England who, after beating Australia convincingly a week earlier, laboured to a 26-13 win over the Pacific Island visitors at Twickenham on Saturday.
While on a high after the great conquering of the Wallabies, the reality is that a week is a very long time in Test match rugby. Just ask Scotland. The England fans and media had expected the Samoa game to be a chance for the apparently new found flair of their team to let loose. That wasnt the case as they made hard work of the win.
"I got asked: ' Oh haven't you got to win in style? ' These people don't understand what you are dealing with. It's bloody competitive, bloody tough," said coach Martin Johnson.
"They were strong in the breakdown, a couple of times up the middle of the field I wasn't comfortable in my seat. These guys can play. How many times do they have to do what they can do before people understand that?"
Matt Banahan, playing at centre, came away with a try in the second half though. He then played provider as he linked with Danny Care and Tom Croft for another. Toby Flood did the rest with 16 points with the boot.
Flood has warned that they needed show complacency when facing a wounded Springbok side this coming weekend. "We wanted to really put down a marker his autumn," Flood said.
"That means beating the world champions. We can't look back and say 'you know what, we played really well against Australia'. It doesn't work like that, we've got to keep building.
"We need to win this last game. We need to finish it off. South Africa is huge for us in terms of how our autumn looks. If you set the bar as high as we did against Australia you have to continue that. You can't have ups and downs," he added.
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