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England confident of improvement for second Test

Article Published: Monday 11 June 2012
Edited by: Rugbyweek.com.
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England confident of improvement for second Test

England backs coach Mike Catt and forwards coach Graham Rowntree are both confident that England will improve for the second Test after their attack was stifled and they were starved of chances in the first Test. 

England were edged out 22-17 at Kings Park but the tourists have two more chances this month against the Springboks in the remaining Tests.

Rugby World Cup winner Catt stepped in as backs coach for the three match tour and his job over the coming weeks will be to give England an edge over the Springboks.

"At the start of the second half we just didn't get any momentum, that go-forward we had in the first half," said Catt.

"That is a little bit disappointing and something we can look at," he told the Telegraph.

"We will address it with the boys and let's make sure we don't put ourselves in those situations again."

"With the attacking options we have got we would have liked to have had more ball in hand and I think that is something we have got to look at - why aren't they getting more ball."

England will have to make changes to their back line after Harlequins full back Mike Brown came in for his first start in four years shifting Ben Foden to the wing but he injured a thumb tackling Bok captain Jean de Villiers and has been ruled out for the rest of the tour.

South African born centre Brad Barrit has also been ruled out for the second test at altitude after he had an eye operation.

Due to the injuries Foden is likely to move back to fullback with Toby Flood coming in at centre or flyhalf and Jonathan Joseph starting on the wing after he missed training for the midweek team but came on for his first cap in Durban.

Foden scored England's only try of the match while Brown made some encouraging runs and Ashton found some space in the first half but on the whole the back were left frustrated.

"Ash (Chris Ashton) is working exceptionally hard, off his wing continually. Those chances haven't come for him just yet," explained Catt.

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree said: "I actually think the set-piece was a good area for us going into the last quarter. "

"But the last couple of scrums - they brought on some fresh 'cattle' and we struggled to deal with that. "

"That is something we will be working on this week but my overall feel from the forward pack, I was very pleased, particularly with the lineout."

"I have to make a special mention for Joe Marler and Tom Johnson, I thought their workrate was phenomenal."

"There are areas to improve on, as always against these big teams, but we will improve in the week."

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