- Parling says French set piece was toughest the team has faced
- Team need to enjoy wins, says lock
Lock Geoff Parling believes that England’s ability to eventually overcome the French at the set piece last weekend was a sure sign that the team has matured during Stuart Lancaster’s 15 game tenure.
Parling, who runs England’s line out, was illustrative of the increased control the home side achieved in the second half when he eventually got the better of French flanker Yannick Nyanga, who had disrupted the English set piece for the majority of the match.
Although England’s throw operated at 88 per cent success rate throughout the game, it was the manner of the turnovers which riled Parling combined with England also squandering an encouraging attacking position on France’s 22 in the second-half.
The Leicester Tigers man grabbed five line outs during the 23-13 victory at Twickenham but says that England ought to have done better: “I’m disappointed at line out time – we lost three of our balls which isn’t good enough. It was mainly due to our poor drill and they were good at the set piece. They had the extra jumper on Samson and Nyanga called it really well.
“They’ve got very good players [at the line out] but one was a poor call by me, one was a throw, But we’ll review and look at it because we want to improve. But this should be taken in context, we still won against a very good French team.
“Their small, squad props were also difficult to deal with but I thought after a shaky start we ground it out and in the second half we probably got on top there.”
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After three rounds England are the only team with a 100 per cent record and Parling gives an insight into the mentality of the group, which is to focus on the performance and constantly search for ways to improve, regardless of the result.
If England’s celebrations were muted at the final whistle it was due the effort required to overcome Philippe Saint Andre’s side, but Parling added that the team need to learn how to enjoy these victories, given it is not often the players get to test themselves – and prevail – against the calibre of a team like France.
“We were just saying in the changing room that we need to learn how to celebrate these wins a bit more because when the final whistle went we were that knackered and were probably a bit annoyed with parts of the game,” he said.
“It didn’t feel like the big win it was, but France were a good team out there, they brought their A-game and a bit like the Ireland game we had to tough it out.
“But we can’t do better than three wins from three, we’re going well, we need to enjoy it because we’ve just beaten the French at Twickenham. There are two games to go in this Championship, a huge game with Italy and then away in Wales. We’ll re-group and want to keep pushing forward.”