- Full back laments stuttering second-half display
- “These games are always banana skins. If you don’t win by 60, it's a disappointment” – Foden
Two-try full back Ben Foden conceded that Sunday’s 41-21 victory over a CONSUR XV was somewhat underwhelming, but also believes England have now negotiated a tricky “banana skin” ahead of the Test series against Argentina.
The Northampton Saints man crossed the whitewash once in either half as the tourists wiped out a 7-0 deficit to rack up seven scores at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo, eventually ousting the enthusiastic invitational side.
However, he was quick to point out that the failure to turn an imposing 31-7 half-time advantage into a one-sided win would have to be addressed.
“We’re probably a little bit disappointed,” said Foden, the most capped man on the trip with 30 Test appearances. “We were expected to put up a bigger score than that but all credit to the CONSUR XV – they came out firing and it took us some time to get into the game.
“I think we showed our strengths and our patterns in the second 20 minutes and actually scored the majority of our points then. But coming in at half-time we talked about certain things and didn’t put them into action in the second half.”
Going on to explain the slightly disappointing facets in more detail, Foden outlined an inability to get on the same wavelength as Uruguayan referee Joaquin Montes – something that contributed to the sin-binnings of Jonny May and Alex Corbisiero.
Indeed, with twin tussles against the Pumas looming large, the 27-year-old insisted that discipline would be a crucial area of improvement.
“We found ourselves trapped within our own half trying to play an exit game,” he added. “Obviously the sin-binnings didn’t help us out too much either.
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“They were a passionate, dogged team that came out today. They gave us a real fight at the breakdown and the scrum and they played a very tight, physical game – that is a taste of what is to come against the Argentinians.
“In games like this the referee is probably going to make something of a competition of it, but you’ve got to deal with that. We need to be squeaky clean over here.
“There’s a bit of a different interpretation of the scrum and breakdown and we need to manage that and communicate with the referee, so that when it comes to the Tests we know what we can and can’t get away with.”
“I think the scoreline flattered them a bit because we played the majority of the rugby and were the dominant side. But these games are always banana skins – if you don’t win by 60 points then it is a disappointment. If you do, it’s expected.”
Back in a Stuart Lancaster side for the first time since playing the Springboks in Port Elizabeth last June, Foden finished by admitting a personal edge to the enjoyment of grabbing a brace.
“This time last year was my last cap,” he smiled. “It’s nice to be scoring tries in an England shirt. I think that is first and foremost – it’s great to be running out wearing white representing my country.”