Dreadful start cost England dear against Springboks
21:30 GMT, 17 June 2012
Stuart Lancaster should force his players to watch a re-run of the dreadful opening to the game in an effort to put this tour back on track.
The root cause of England’s defeat came in the opening minutes when they fell off too many tackles by using their arms rather than shoulders in tackling the Springboks.
England had clearly not learned lessons from the first Test in Durban which had seen the Springboks build an unstoppable momentum in the early stages of the second half.
Post-mortem: England gather after their second defeat to South Africa
It was no surprise that South Africa used the same tactics at the start of Saturday’s match and it looked as though England’s mindset was wrong.
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Crocked: Ben Youngs (centre) will miss the final Test through injury
It might work in England’s favour, despite Youngs’ role in leading the revival on Saturday.
His over-use of ‘crabbing’ across the gain line, looking for a hole to open up for either himself or another runner, can hamper England’s attacking opportunities.
This tactic allows the opposition to close up the midfield, leaving Flood and his outside backs little time.
Care, who had a very good midweek match last week, is one option, while Dickson, a substitute on Saturday, gives Lancaster strength in that position.
Option: Danny Care could come into the England side for the third Test
Another player under the spotlight is line-out organiser Geoff Parling. He had his poorest game in an international shirt as the Springboks disrupted England’s flow of possession from the set-piece.
The line-out has been an area of great strength and it has to improve next Saturday. Dylan Hartley must look at his throwing because he seemed to be hitting his men too low.
Parling should hang on to his place — ahead of substitute Tom Palmer — but one change in the pack could well be at No 8, where Ben Morgan has yet to produce the form of the Six Nations. Thomas Waldrom backed up his good game in midweek as a substitute and deserves his chance.