Thursday, 22 November 2012

Robshaw wrong to talk up England chances

Chris Robshaw says his England side can land their first win over South Africa at Twickenham since 2005 on Saturday but it remains a huge ask for Stuart Lancaster's side to come out on top.

The Springboks remain one of the best side's in the world and, in the eyes of most experts, they remain firmly ahead of the Red Rose in the international
pecking order.

You only have to check the record books to have that assertion backed up with England not being
able to boast a home win over SA in seven years.

Robshaw, however, believes his side does have what it takes to compete with the tourists and many are expecting a tight, physical battle this weekend.
England will certainly need to improve if they are to give themselves any chance of a morale-boosting win.

Last weekend's 20-14 result against Australia looks, on paper, closer than it really was and Robshaw knows all of England's big players will probably have to put on a virtually flawless performance if they are to secure the win.

Key to being able to achieve it, according to the captain, will be matching the Springboks' physical presence at Twickenhham but, on top of that, England also need to be clever in the final third and, crucially, make the right decisions at the right times. It sounds obvious but, clearly, the home side need everything to come together in the game to be able to achieve a positive result against the two-time world champions.

"What South Africa do is they raise the intensity when they get to that final third and that's something we've got to look at," Robshaw said. "They're very good at  clearing their lines. They've got a great kicking game.

"We need to play to our strengths and it's all about playing in the right areas. We've got to keep our composure and when they put balls in behind us, we've got to make sure we cover that up."

So far in the current series, England have been found wanting when asked to raise their game and only a significant improvement will give them any sort of
chance of hurting a powerful South Africa side in what could be heavy conditions, with plenty more rain forecast for Saturday in the south east.

Robshaw certainly knows what his side must do to get something out of the game but putting that into practice is not as easy as it sounds.

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