Welcome to the second instalment of England and Harlequins No. 8 Nick Easter's weekly tour column from England's tour Down Under, exclusive to RFU.com. In his second entry Nick talks to us about sharks, steaks and Aussie Tests.
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Looking ahead to Saturday's second Test in Sydney, we cannot let Australia dictate to us like they did in the first. We allowed them to control most of the territory and possession early on, and as a result we went in at half time trailing 14-0.
We do believe in our ability and we know that we can beat Australia in many areas of the pitch. You saw during the 27-17 defeat in the first Test in Perth that our scrum was dominant but there wasn't much else and it was very frustrating because we know we can do much better. We need to make sure it doesn't happen again and make the most of our preparation time for the second Test.
Off the field there is still a great spirit and camaraderie within the camp and the midweek team's win over the Australian Barbarians was a big lift for everyone. It's all about momentum and another draw or another loss going into the second Test would have put us under far more pressure, but the boys dug deep and gave us something positive to build on for the Aussies.
We are now in Sydney and there is so much to do. It's very important to get the balance right between playing and relaxing and at this point in the season players do need a bit of time to relax, but once we're in training and in a game we are all focused 100 per cent.
Lads have been amazed by the bright lights of Sydney
Coming to such a big city like Sydney has been very exciting especially for a lot of the guys from smaller towns back home; they see the big city lights and are just amazed. On our day off a lot of the lads chose to do a climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge but a lot of the others chose to do a shark dive. After that, we all met up and headed to an Australian steak house called Ribs and Rumps.
Preparation for the second Test is now in full swing. Last week it was very physical for the forwards and there were a few sore bodies afterwards but we are all fresh now ahead of the weekend's game.
We have had a short and sharp training session and we are also going to the ANZ stadium for a quick look at the ground. From there, we will be raring to go to take the game to the Aussies and ensure we claim that much needed improved performance and second tour win.
Don’t forget to look out for Nick's next column next week and for all the latest news on England's tour to Australia and New Zealand, including exclusive audio, check out the Senior England Men news section on RFU.com.