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VIDEO – We must get stuck into All Blacks again says Farrell

14 November 2013

  • Owen Farrell chats to RFUtv about how to defeat New Zealand
  • "I thought our pack was outstanding last year" – England No.10

Rock-solid in the tackle, dead-eye from the tee and probing willing runners into action with the quick ball provided by the pack, Owen Farrell produced one of his finest performances in an England shirt against New Zealand this time last year.

Ahead of a second meeting with the All Blacks at Twickenham this Saturday, the 22-year-old has vivid memories of the 38-21 victory over the world champions – the widest margin England have achieved in seven victories over the visitors.

But ever the conscientious team man, Farrell prefers to recall the relentless and destructive performance of the forwards instead of his own obdurate defence, precise distribution and 17 points with the boot.

England fly half Owen Farrell kicks a penalty

Photo: Getty Images

Speaking to RFUtv after sending a series of penalties and drop goals through the uprights under the watchful eyes of Mike Catt, Farrell said: “I thought our pack was outstanding last year, as they have been for the last couple of weeks.

“We got stuck into them at the set-piece and then our breakdown was good, which always has to be the case against New Zealand if you want to get anything out of it – they’re the best at the breakdown.

“The belief we had as a squad during the week was outstanding and that definitely put us in good stead and then the intensity at which the game was played by us. Not just to play but to be physical as well. That’s how wins like that come about.”

England are two from two in the 2013 QBE Internationals, scoring six tries to defeat Australia 20-13 and Argentina 31-12.

But after contrasting second-half displays – upping the intensity against the Wallabies but struggling to subdue the obstreperous Pumas – Farrell knows England must produce a complete performance to defeat a team who “set the benchmark”.

England fly half Owen Farrell tackles Conrad Smith

Photo: Getty Images

“We’ve got to be able to step it up again this week,” said the Saracens man. 

“I thought the intent of the whole team was good against Argentina and our balance, especially in the first half, was very good. We probably got a bit impatient in the second half. But we’ll learn from that and put in an 80-minute performance.

“I think we’ve played in parts [as a back division] over the last couple of games. In the first half [against Argentina] I thought the backs were outstanding in terms of the options they were giving and the go-forward as well off set-piece. The chances we created were brilliant; we just need to make sure we get the balance right in the second [half].”

Dan Carter, the standard-bearer of No.10s, is set to make his 100th Test appearance at Twickenham on Saturday, a special moment for a man who has scored 1435 international points.

New Zealand fly half Dan Carter, who will make his 100th Test appearance against England

Photo: Getty Images

While respectful of the 31-year-old’s all-conquering ability to control a rugby match, Farrell will not change his approach against a player he considers to have been at the pinnacle of the sport for a decade.

Mentioning that consistency is what makes the difference between good Test players and great Test players, Farrell added: “You still look at their team the same way and look at how he controls the game for them.  He’s a key member of their side but you just get excited to play on these big occasions against world-class players.

“His longevity is why he’s one of, if not, the best. It’s about the amount of time he’s stayed at the top and I can’t ever remember seeing him have a dip in form. That’s the key to being one of the best, making sure that you go out there and perform every week.”