Lancaster laments missed opportunity
Tom Hamilton at Forsyth-Barr Stadium
June 14, 2014
Marland Yarde's try gave England the lead © Getty Images
England coach Stuart Lancaster said he felt the "positives far outweigh the negatives" of their loss to New Zealand but he lamented missed opportunities which he felt cost his side the game.
England led at half-time against the All Blacks but a hugely impressive third quarter from the Kiwis saw them go into a lead which England could not pin back. Heading into the third Test in Hamilton, the All Blacks have the series sewn up but Lancaster took heart from England's showing.
"I thought both teams went at it from the first minute," Lancaster said. "Obviously we made a great start and probably deserved the half-time lead but I thought in the third quarter, New Zealand played some of their best rugby off turnover ball and a couple of loose kicks put us under pressure.
"I thought we created lots of opportunities and the frustration for us is not having completed those opportunities. Three tries for us in Dunedin is not a bad return so we are moving in the right direction but still we didn't quite finish the deal."
Lancaster felt England made some poor decisions in between their 22 and the halfway line and admitted it "doesn't' pay to overplay against the All Blacks" and his assistant coach Andy Farrell was impressed by the Kiwis' game management.
"The All Blacks showed why they are world champions," Farrell said. "The speed of thought and the speed of the game was outstanding. When you are playing at that pace to have core skills that are excellent as well, it allows them to keep the continuity in the game.
"We were holding the pace at times and we could have had a barrage coming our way but we got ourselves back in the game and that says a lot about this group."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.
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