England have a huge task on their hands to claim a vital victory over the Wallabies this weekend. Here are five things that need to change for the game…
One of the most disappointing parts of England’s loss to Wales was the basic errors that saw them gift penalties to the opposition. You can understand the first few given how hot referee’s have been on certain areas at the game, but to continue repeating the same mistakes for the full 80 minutes at this level is unforgivable.
Linked to the discipline issue, England have been truly abysmal at the breakdown so far regularly conceding penalties and turnovers during the World Cup. Given they look set to come up against Michael Hooper and David Pocock they cannot afford to make the same mistakes or they will be severely punished.
3.The impact of the bench
At a time when England were desperately in need of players coming onto the pitch who could change a game, they were severely lacking in options off the bench. For the Wallabies game Stuart Lancaster needs to select options on the bench who can make a positive contribution to the game.
4.Selecting a side to win
It felt a little like the England side to face Wales was selected more with not losing in mind than actually going out to win. Given England have been fairly successful with a range of creative forces in the backline, it was a shame to see them revert to a more direct game plan that succeeded in slowing down Wales, but not actually winning.
5.Decision making under pressure
England are now in a position where their game against the Wallabies this weekend is do or die. If they fail to win they are as good as out of the Rugby World Cup. It is therefore of vital importance that they make the right decisions when under pressure, with particular focus on the choice of taking the points or rolling the dice.