- England can draw on experience of summer tour, says Goode
- Pressure is on following Australia defeat
Full back Alex Goode is confident that England’s three Test Series against South Africa in June should help get the team better prepared for the challenge of the Springboks this Saturday.
The Saracens full back appeared in two games against South Africa during the summer, playing in England’s final Test in Port Elizabeth which ended 14-14. Although England failed to gain a win during the series it did provide an opportunity for Stuart Lancaster and the squad to get game time against a southern hemisphere giant.
Having lost to Australia 20-14 last weekend at Twickenham and with South Africa winning their last two matches against Ireland and Scotland, Saturday’s Test is expected to be a huge challenge for England. But Goode says that having played the Springboks three times already this year will be hugely beneficial to the England side and they are aware of the physical challenge ahead.
“We got that draw in the last game in June and I think we really built throughout the series,” said Goode. “A lot of people, including myself, grew as the tour went on and we are now more confident and more established within the England team and we feel more prepared for Saturday. We feel pretty good going into the game as we have a great chance to bounce back after the Australia game and we can really take it to them.”
“We know what the South Africans bring to the party. They are very physical and are possibly an even bigger team than the one we played out there and they are going to come at us with big men and want to get over the gain line constantly.
“When they are in your half they try and ramp it up and go at you and attack you, but the key with them is a lot of territory. They won’t play in their half so the key is to keep pegging them back.”
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Following England’s defeat last weekend the Twickenham crowd will be expectant come Saturday. England displayed an attacking mindset against the Wallabies and Lancaster has already pointed out this week that he fully supports his team’s ability to make decisions on the pitch.
However with the 2015 World Cup draw taking place on December 3 it’s crucial for England to get a win against South Africa and break into the top four rankings, and Goode says the team know the pressure is on.
“There is always pressure at home and you are expected to beat anyone at home, whether it be the All Blacks, Australians or South Africans. That is even more so this weekend and we want to put down a marker and put down a performance.
"We made some mistakes in the game that’s gone by and those are things we are going to look at this week and try and minimise. We are going to take it to the South Africans and see what they are made of.”