- Lancaster has confidence in players' decision making
- Frustration was the overriding feeling following Australia performance
Head Coach Stuart Lancaster has backed his players’ attacking mindset shown against Australia saying that he wants them to have the freedom to go out and win games.
England opted to kick to the corner or tap-and-go instead of going for goal on four occasions in the second half during the 20-14 defeat to the Wallabies in the second QBE International at Twickenham Stadium.
Late in the game No.8 Thomas Waldrom was denied a try by the TMO, after peeling of a driving lineout, which would have vindicated England’s attacking mindset in the second-half. With hindsight a wonderful thing, Lancaster says that a couple of the decisions made may not have been correct but ultimately he wants his players to retain the positive mindset they displayed.
“As a coach you try and get messages onto the pitch but things happen so quickly in game that players ultimately have got to make the decisions and what we have got to do is when we have those decisions that need making we back the players,” said Lancaster.
“We want the players to have a positive mindset to win but equally within that there are times when we need to show composure and take the points when they are on offer. So I don’t think all decisions were wrong by any stretch of the imagination.
"When we look back at one or two decisions we think they should have been done differently but the reality is the players wanted to go out and win the game and I wouldn’t want to stop them doing that".
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Australia no doubt put in a stronger performance than the 33-6 defeat to the France in Paris two weekends ago. Their pack impressed at the scrum and at the breakdown – led by openside and Man of the Match Michael Hooper – and Lancaster is looking for England execution and decision-making to improve to challenge the best teams in the world.
“Frustration was overriding emotion in the dressing room because it’s a game we felt we could have won,” said Lancaster.
"It’s important for me to channel players frustration into positive action now and take all positives out of the game that we have got, but equally learn at this level we have got to have a very high level of decision making and execution.
"We were not quite high enough against a very motivated and improved Australia side who to be fair have just come out of a tough Rugby Championship and are ranked second in the world."