Sunday, March 17, 2013
Lancaster searches for silver lining after England demise
LONDON (Reuters) - England coach Stuart Lancaster said his team will be better for their 30-3 humbling by Wales who retained their Six Nations title and ended their opponents' grand slam hopes on Saturday.
England, who came into the final weekend with a perfect record from their previous four matches, were given a harsh lesson by their old rivals who triumphed by a record 27-point margin in Cardiff.
The visitors could have no complaints about the result, having failed to impose themselves on any aspect of the game, but Lancaster believes his inexperienced charges will learn from the mauling they were given.
"We have to take it on the chin and move on," Lancaster told the BBC on Sunday.
"There is still an upwards curve and we will be better for this experience in the long run. We're all in it together.
"We had less than 300 caps going into a game of this magnitude and have developed a lot in 12 months. I do believe in the journey we are on. This is a down but we will hold our nerve and stick to the plan because I think we will come good."
England's World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward issued a damning verdict on the performance and said man-for-man his former team came up against a better side.
"England were found out...their bubble has been burst," Woodward said.
"Wales were absolutely fantastic, man-for-man they were better.
"England had a good Six Nations but when it really came to it, man-for-man, they were not as good as Wales. It was a bad day, but this is a young team, they have to grieve for a few days and then get back on the horse and come back better.
"They are building a team for 2015. It is a young pack but the way Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins tore into the England front row was the difference. It was a huge learning experience for the players and the coaching team."
(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Justin Palmer)