Tag Archives: composure

Rio Ferdinand must be recalled by England – Neil Ashton

Neil Ashton: Cahill's slip against Brazil shows Hodgson needs Ferdinand at the heart of England's defence

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

00:07 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

01:39 GMT, 7 February 2013

High up in the stands at Wembley, the best available central defender in the country left his calling card. Rio Ferdinand is itching to play for England again, tweeting in advance of Brazil’s visit that he was on his way to north-west London.

Ferdinand will never give up hope, and Gary Cahill’s elementary mistake at the start of the second half is the reason why.

This is the scenario unfolding for England’s head coach Roy Hodgson as he continues to hide behind the ‘footballing reasons’ for Ferdinand’s continued exclusion. Cahill is a good defender, but not good enough at the very highest level.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand

Out in the cold: Rio Ferdinand has not played for England since the draw with Switzerland last June

He was brutally exposed when his failure to complete a pass allowed Fred, on as a substitute, to equalise at the start of the second half.

There will have been reminders from Hodgson at half-time for England to keep their composure after Wayne Rooney’s sweetly taken goal put them in front. Instead the mistake by Cahill is a cause for concern, an alarming moment for a player with a Champions League winner’s medal.

Until that moment he had done well enough, twice snuffing out the threat of Neymar in the first half as the Brazilian worried England’s defence.

At 34, Ferdinand is still good enough to represent his country. Frank Lampard, who scored after coming on in the second half, is the same age. Lampard has been assured that he will be part of Hodgson’s squad if England get through Group H and board the plane to Brazil next summer.

By then he will be nearly 36 and the assumption is that the remaining members of the Golden Generation will call it a day after the World Cup.

Gutted: Gary Cahill is dejected after his mistake allowed Fred to equalise for Brazil against England (below)

Gutted: Gary Cahill is dejected after his mistake allowed Fred to equalise for Brazil against England (below)

Fred scores against England

Lampard has made 17 Barclays Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season, but if Hodgson is number crunching then Ferdinand represents full value as well. The Manchester United defender has started 19 games for the club in the Premier League and come on as a substitute in one other.

He is playing, unquestionably, for the best team in the country and his selection, fitness permitting, against Real Madrid next week is automatic.

That is a Champions League tie, a second-round first-leg clash in the Bernabeu where Cristiano Ronaldo and Co will take some beating.

Fergie always turns to Ferdinand in big games, just as he has against Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea.

In command: Ferdinand has impressed in defence for Manchester United this season

In command: Ferdinand has impressed in defence for Manchester United this season

After his injury just days before the start of the 2010 World Cup, Ferdinand made only a handful of appearances under Fabio Capello the following season.

Hodgson has never picked him in a squad, preferring John Terry at the heart of his defence until he made the surprise decision to retire.

Recalling Ferdinand would provide some mild embarrassment for Hodgson, but ending the defender’s international career on the Tube is way out in front when it comes to wincing.

England have important games next month, particularly when they travel to Montenegro for a vital World Cup qualifier.

Those are the games that really count at international level, true tests for the top players.

Italy's Franco Baresi

Paolo Maldini

Examples: Franco Baresi (left) and Paolo Maldini both continued into their thirties at international level

Some of the great defenders, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi among them, have been to World Cups when they were well past their prime.

Simply because they were 34 at the time didn’t make them bad players and that is something Hodgson should consider carefully when he selects his squad next month.

Beyond that, Hodgson hopes this team will be heading for Brazil and the World Cup finals.
To do well, he will need England’s best players with him.

Gloucester 12 London Irish 18: Skivington double gives Exiles important win

Gloucester 12 London Irish 18: Skivington double gives Exiles important win

By
Andrew Baldock, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:22 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:22 GMT, 5 January 2013

Relegation candidates London Irish ripped up the Aviva Premiership form book by stunning title play-off contenders Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Irish had already lost three times to their hosts in domestic and European competitions this season, but two first-half tries from lock George Skivington helped the Exiles exact revenge.

Centre Steven Shingler added a penalty and conversion, while England international Freddie Burns booted four Gloucester penalties, yet Irish deserved a first Premiership away victory this season at the seventh attempt, and t was sealed by full-back Tom Homer's late penalty.

George Skivington scores the winning try for London Irish

Reaching for the line: George Skivington scores the winning try for London Irish

It took them five points above bottom club Sale Sharks, who tackle Saracens tomorrow, and sent them into a five-week league break with renewed optimism of avoiding the drop.

In contrast, a losing bonus point was scant consolation for Gloucester after a four-month unbeaten home record disappeared.

They were architects of their own downfall in many ways, taking wrong options, lacking the patience to break Irish down and losing composure when clear attacking opportunities presented themselves.

While the west country club remain firmly in the play-off picture, they could have few complaints about a defeat that underlined the Premiership's tight, intense nature this term.

Former England skipper Mike Tindall captained Gloucester in the absence of finger injury victim Jim Hamilton. Tom Savage filled Hamilton's second-row berth, while loosehead prop Dan Murphy took over from Nick Wood and Rob Cook returned at full-back.

Skivington was the difference between the two sides at Kingsholm

Scramble: Skivington was the difference between the two sides at Kingsholm

Irish included England centre Jonathan Joseph on the wing – Sailosi Tagicakibau and Shingler were rugby director Brian Smith's preferred midfield partnership – but England prop Alex Corbisiero failed a late fitness test and was replaced by Max Lahiff.

Burns booted Gloucester into a second-minute lead, yet Irish were not daunted by the size of their task, and after Shingler landed an equalising penalty they deservedly went ahead.

Gloucester were guilty of trying to run before they could walk, throwing out ambitious passes that were invariably spilled, with Burns guilty inside his own 22 by lobbing an ill-conceived ball to wing Charlie Sharples that Irish almost capitalised upon.

The visitors' opening try, though, arrived after 23 minutes when a spell of concerted pressure near Gloucester's line resulted in Skivington powering over. It was Irish's first touchdown for almost five hours of Premiership rugby.

Shingler missed the conversion, but Irish continued to grow in confidence and they capitalised on another Gloucester blunder after Burns had kicked his second penalty.

England's Ben Morgan batters the Irish line

Powerhouse: England's Ben Morgan batters the Irish line

Gloucester wing Shane Monahan was the guilty party, making a hash of trying to gather the ball just inside the home 22, and Irish scrum-half Pat Phibbs scrambled possession to Skivington, who touched down unopposed.

Shingler landed the conversion, and Gloucester could have few complaints about a 15-6 interval deficit as Irish threatened a first Premiership away win since they triumphed at Worcester last April.

The only blot on Irish's landscape was an injury to England squad hooker David Paice, who limped off on the stroke of half-time and was replaced by former Gloucester forward Scott Lawson.

Irish's Sailosi Tagicakibau evades a Gloucester tackle

Raw pace: Irish's Sailosi Tagicakibau evades a Gloucester tackle

Gloucester boss Nigel Davies made a triple substitution just 10 minutes into the second period, taking off Murphy, scrum-half Jimmy Cowan and flanker Akapusi Qera, but there was no immediate sign of his team showing an improvement.

Irish were content to keep their defensive shape and absorb Gloucester's heavy-duty runners, although Burns gave the home side hope when he completed his penalty hat-trick after 58 minutes and then slotted a fourth penalty three minutes later.

Shingler, having missed four of his six shots at goal, was replaced by Homer, and his 73rd-minute penalty from 40 metres meant Gloucester were sunk.

And they finished the game with 14 players when lock Will James was sin-binned by referee David Rose following a melee that spilled over the touchline in front of the main grandstand.

Tom Homer manages to get the ball away

Releasing: Tom Homer manages to get the ball away

Michael van Gerwen beats James Wade to book place in World Darts final

Mighty Mike hits maximum on the way to booking final place after seeing off Wade

PUBLISHED:

22:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

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UPDATED:

22:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

Michael van Gerwen tonight reached the Ladbrokes World Championship final and went agonisingly close to historic back-to-back nine-dart finishes in his semi-final win over James Wade.

Van Gerwen was leading three sets to one but trailing 2-0 in the fifth set when he produced a perfect leg, matching the achievement of Dean Winstanley earlier in the tournament.

The Dutchman hit a maximum 180, 177 and then finished 144 on double 12 to send the Alexandra Palace crowd wild.

Cloud nine: Michael van Gerwen hit a perfect nine dart finish on the way to booking his place in the final

Cloud nine: Michael van Gerwen hit a perfect nine dart finish on the way to booking his place in the final

And the fans were still on their feet moments later when the speedy right-hander hit two more maximums to start the next leg and narrowly missed double 12 for a checkout on 141.

Remarkably, Van Gerwen did not even win the set, with Englishman Wade holding his nerve to win the fifth leg and reduce his deficit.

The left-hander won the next set as well to make it 3-3, but Van Gerwen regained his composure to open up a 5-3 lead and looked set to seal the win when he needed 52 to win the ninth set.

In top form: Van Gerwen has looked at his very best in the World Championships

In top form: Van Gerwen has looked at his very best in the World Championships

However, he hit single five instead of 12 and ended up missing his only dart at double 20, allowing Wade in to make it 5-4.

Wade was unable to take further advantage though, Van Gerwen racing through the next set 3-0 to complete a hard-fought 6-4 victory.

On the money: Van Gerwen celebrates his perfect leg

On the money: Van Gerwen celebrates his perfect leg

'It was unbelievable,' Van Gerwen said. 'It was a very difficult game for me because Wade is a very slow player and I had not beaten him on TV, but it was a nice one to win.”

Asked about attempting to hit his second nine-dart finish, Van Gerwen added on Sky Sports 1: 'I was very concentrated, thinking 'Just carry on' because I was 2-1 down in the set and I still lost it, but it's not about nine-dart finishes, it's about winning games.

'It's nice to be in the final of the World Championships.'

Beaten man: James Wade looks dejected after losing the semi final

Beaten man: James Wade looks dejected after losing the semi final

Kenwyne Jones scores flick for Stoke against Southampton

Jones scores audacious goal against Southampton… so Sportsmail takes a look back at some other cheeky flicks

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UPDATED:

16:20 GMT, 29 December 2012

Kenwyne Jones scored a sensational goal for Stoke this afternoon against Southampton.

The Trinidadian gambled on the near post as Ryan Shotton slid the ball into the box. Jones showed incredible composure to flick the ball through Jos Hooiveld's legs, across Kelvin Davis and into the side netting.

It wouldn't be a Jones goal without his signature celebration, though. He coolly wheeled away and performed his trademark backflip.

Below, we take a look at some other reasons why we love a good bit of showboating.

No you see it: Kenwyne Jones flicked through Jos Hooiveld's legs and into the net

No you see it: Kenwyne Jones flicked through Jos Hooiveld's legs and into the net

Icing on the cake: Jones performed his signature backflip

Icing on the cake: Jones performed his signature backflip

Paul Gascoigne

One of England’s finest talents in the past 30 years also produced one of the European Championships’ finest ever goals at Euro 96.

A deft touch over the head of Colin Hendry to leave the Scotland defender on the ground before volleying home is fondly remembered as one of the best goals ever seen at Wembley – old and new.

Dennis Bergkamp

Even by Bergkamp’s ridiculous high standards this was something special. During a 2-0 win against Newcastle in the Premier League in March 2002, the Dutchman’s first touch was enough to completely bamboozle Nikos Dabizas before the Arsenal striker ran around the defender and calmly slotted home.

Gianfranco Zola

No wonder Chelsea were desperate to keep Zola after he decided to leave in 2003. From a low corner kick, the Italian put this 2002 FA Cup tie with Norwich to rest with a delicate back heel flick into the near post that left just about everyone inside Stamford Bridge startled.

Jay-Jay Okocha

Bolton under Sam Allardyce were often considered boring, one dimensional and long ball hoof merchants. But how many teams looking to see out a game from a corner kick decide to rainbow flick their way out of trouble in injury time against the Premier League champions, in this case Arsenal Remember, the Trotters and Jay-Jay Okocha did it as early as 2003.

Matty Burrows

An injury time winner scored with a double back heel flick from a cross is the sort of stuff not even Roy of the Rovers could produce.

But Burrows certainly could, and his stunning goal for Glentoran against Portadown was so good it was nominated by FIFA for Goal of the Year in 2010.

Joseph Ndo

Having gone to the 1998 and 2002 World Cups with Cameroon, you would think Ndo’s best years were behind him having spent nine years playing in Ireland.

But this pass off the back of his heel to find a team-mate while playing for Sligo Rovers last year shows the 36-year-old is possibly due an international recall.

Rodrigo Palacio

Better than Zola Quite possibly. Genoa’s Palacio proves there is some magic left in Serie A with a delightful back flick while running away from goal to meet a corner against Lazio last season. Spurs could have done with something like that against the Rome outfit in the Europa League this term following two 0-0 draws.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Proof that El Clasico isn’t just 22 men trying to win a free-kick after the slightest bit of contact. Ronaldo’s back heel to play himself through on goal is made even sweeter by his control of the difficult falling ball and subsequent finish to hand Real Madrid the lead against Barcelona back in August.

Neymar

Just to prove any doubters wrong of Neymar’s ability – here is one he made earlier playing for Santos. During a match against Atletico Mineiro in October, the Chelsea target left a defender so outraged by his perfect rainbow flick that it drew a cynical foul and a free-kick just outside the box. Genius.

Jon Otsemobor

The magic of the cup strikes again. A pulsating and historic FA Cup tie on Sunday between MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon was decided in stoppage time with the most casual of flicks from Otsemobor, whose strike (or lazy lift of the foot) for the Dons gave them a 2-1 victory over a Wimbledon side who play their trade a division below in League Two.

Alan Pardew praises Shola Ameobi

Pardew praises Ameobi 'the big man for the big occasion' as Toon struggle past Rangers

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UPDATED:

20:13 GMT, 22 December 2012

Alan Pardew hailed Shola Ameobi after seeing the striker come off the bench to fire Newcastle to a much-needed victory over lowly QPR.

The 31-year struck nine minutes from time to claim just the Magpies' second Barclays Premier League win in eight attempts with the game seemingly heading for stalemate.

Toon hero: Newcastle's Shola Ameobi celebrates scoring his sides winning goal with James Perch

Toon hero: Newcastle's Shola Ameobi celebrates scoring his sides winning goal with James Perch

Match facts

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Anita, Tiote (Marveaux 77), Perch, Gutierrez (Obertan 60), Ba, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 61).

Subs Not Used: Harper, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson.

Booked: Tiote, Perch, Shola Ameobi.

Goal: Shola Ameobi 81.

QPR: Green, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Hill, Mackie, Mbia, Granero (Wright-Phillips 56), Faurlin (Derry 78), Taarabt, Cisse (Hoilett 64).

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Diakite, Traore, Onuoha.

Booked: Ferdinand, Hill.

Attendance: 50,180

Referee: Kevin Friend

Latest Premier League results, fixtures and table

Pardew, whose decision to replace
Papiss Cisse with Ameobi 20 minutes earlier had been booed by a section
of the 50,180-strong crowd at St James' Park, said: 'I know the crowd
weren't particularly pleased when I took Cisse, a goalscorer, off but I
just felt Shola… he's a big man and this was a big occasion and he likes
big occasions.

'It said QPR on the programme but
really it was bigger than that, I think we all knew that and he has that
calm head – he knows what is demanded here – to produce a quality goal,
and it won us the game.

'I wanted to get Shola on the pitch, and thank goodness I did because it was a really class finish.

'He could have taken the shot with
his right foot, which is his stronger foot, but to have that composure
in that area is first-class.'

Ameobi's decisive intervention came
in the nick of time and was greeted by a huge sigh of relief on Tyneside
after he ran on to fellow substitute Sylvain Marveaux's
perfectly-weighted pass before shooting left-foot across keeper Rob
Green and into the bottom corner.

Leaving it late: Shola Ameobi scores to win the game for Newcastle

Leaving it late: Shola Ameobi scores to win the game for Newcastle

It was no more than the Magpies
deserved after dominating throughout but it proved a rare piece of
incision with Pardew's men too often lacking craft to open up the
visitors.

Vurnon Anita forced two second-half
saves from Green, but Tim Krul also had to get down well to keep out
Djibril Cisse's effort just after the break.

The Magpies might have won more
comfortably had Green not beaten away Marveaux's late effort after a
pacy run, but Krul had to ease late nerves by plucking Adel Taarabt's
free-kick from under his crossbar in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

Fight for the ball: Adel Taarabt vies for the ball with Newcastle's Mike Williamson

Fight for the ball: Adel Taarabt vies for the ball with Newcastle's Mike Williamson

Pardew had admitted before the game
that he would not enjoy his Christmas lunch unless he sat down with
three points safely banked, and he was delighted to be able to do so
ahead of a tough Boxing Day trip to Manchester United.

He said: 'The pudding will taste a
little bit sweeter. I feel sorry for our fans. We have put them through
the rack, really, over this last period.

'They have watched some football that
hasn't been our best. But you have periods in your tenure as a manager
and sometimes a season.

Midfield battle: Cheick Tiote is tracked by Esteban Granero

Midfield battle: Cheick Tiote is tracked by Esteban Granero

Pardew had admitted before the game
that he would not enjoy his Christmas lunch unless he sat down with
three points safely banked, and he was delighted to be able to do so
ahead of a tough Boxing Day trip to Manchester United.

He said: 'The pudding will taste a
little bit sweeter. I feel sorry for our fans. We have put them through
the rack, really, over this last period.

'They have watched some football that
hasn't been our best. But you have periods in your tenure as a manager
and sometimes a season.

Getting it right: Harry Redknapp gives instructions from the sidelines

Getting it right: Harry Redknapp gives instructions from the sidelines

'Last season, we sailed through one or two low moments but not many. This year, it's been a sustained little run.

'But the last five games, two wins in
the last four Premier League games, they are starting to look the right
sort of stats now.

'Now we need to back that up and get a big win against one of the big clubs, and that would really cement us into mid-table.'

Defeat on Tyneside was the first for
QPR boss Harry Redknapp since taking over from Mark Hughes, although he
admitted his side had been hanging on when Ameobi settled the game.

He said: 'I thought we were going to hang on and nick a draw. I couldn't see us winning, but we just couldn't see it through.

'I thought we could hang on for a good point to keep us going, but it just wasn't to be.'

All smiles: QPR owner Tony Fernandes watches on at St James' Park

All smiles: QPR owner Tony Fernandes watches on at St James' Park

Chris Foy: England have a great deal to learn after South Africa defeat

180 seconds of madness! But England have much more to put right than just scrambled thinking

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UPDATED:

01:16 GMT, 26 November 2012

Each week there is a different focus for the England inquest. This time, Stuart Lancaster was asked to identify the principal shortcoming in his side's game.

'Composure' was the response. The national coach is growing weary of the so-near-yet-so-far routine.

Another single-digit defeat against weakened southern-hemisphere opposition leaves England in grave danger of concluding this QBE International campaign with a dire return of one win and three defeats.

Madness: Captain Chris Robshaw made the wrong call in the latter stages of the game

Madness: Captain Chris Robshaw made the wrong call in the latter stages of the game

Crucial score: Willem Alberts goes over the line for the only try of the game despite the attentions of Joe Launchbury

Crucial score: Willem Alberts goes over the line for the only try of the game despite the attentions of Joe Launchbury

That supposes the host nation cannot possibly upset the world champions on Saturday.

On the basis of the latest evidence,
that is a fair assumption. The All Blacks swatted Wales aside while
England were picking through the rubble of this latest setback.

Put aside the debate about 'that'
penalty and Lancaster's observation about composure stands up to closer
scrutiny on various levels.

This result was not solely a
consequence of scrambled thinking in the dying seconds, it was founded
on a lack of composed execution too. While a piercing spotlight is
trained on captain Chris Robshaw's decision making, a telling example of
the fundamental shortcomings hindering England actually took place
seconds earlier.

With referee Nigel Owens playing
advantage, the home side worked an overlap on the right, Alex Goode
jinked forward but his pass was high and in front of Chris Ashton, who
fumbled.

Manu Tuilagi was lurking outside and
would have taken some stopping if released.

When the pressure was
stifling, the composure to execute accurately was lacking.

Earlier, in the 53rd minute, came an
even more glaring example. Tuilagi seized an interception and burst out
of defence before calmly waiting for support and releasing Ashton.

Family affair: Tom Youngs (left) attempts to intervene as Eben Etzebeth grapples with brother Ben

Family affair: Tom Youngs (left) attempts to intervene as Eben Etzebeth grapples with brother Ben

The Saracen appeared ready to reprise
his wonder try against Australia two years ago with an arcing run clear
of the covering defence, but instead he tried to release Mike Brown and
the pass was woefully inadequate.

A rare scoring chance was wasted. In a
day of debate about decision making Ashton admitted he may have taken
the wrong option, saying: 'Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I thought he
was a lot closer.

'I'm thinking now I probably should have had a go.'

While the wet conditions did nothing
to aid handling precision, England also lost lineout composure, with the
towering Eben Etzebeth managing to poach several home throws.

England had plenty of possession, but
it was squandered with aimless kicks – too deep and without the back-up
of an effective chase.

Toby Flood missed two shots at goal before he was replaced by Owen Farrell.

Hands up: Chris Robshaw is closed down by Adriaan Strauss (left) and Francois Louw

Hands up: Chris Robshaw is closed down by Adriaan Strauss (left) and Francois Louw

The first-choice No 10 left
Twickenham in a protective boot after suffering a toe injury and,
although a scan revealed no broken bones, he is seemingly destined to
miss the clash with New Zealand.

In that event Farrell is the man
most likely to take over at fly-half, but he could not conjure an
opening as England's replacement playmaker during a second half when
Lancaster's men swarmed forward but didn't appear capable of unlocking a
robust Springbok defence.

Gloucester's Freddie Burns re-joined the squad last night as the form stand-off in the country and he will be considered.

Bath wing Tom Biggs and, with Alex
Corbisiero struggling because of a knee injury, Gloucester prop Nick
Wood were also summoned.

It is fitting to note that the
attacking platform this week was made of sturdier stuff as the home pack
rose to the challenge posed by South Africa's imposing forwards.

After being out-muscled by Australia this was a stirring riposte.

Running free: Alex Goode breaks away from the clutches of Jannie du Plessis

Running free: Alex Goode breaks away from the clutches of Jannie du Plessis

Lock Geoff Parling was magnificent,
Joe Launchbury showed power and aggression on his full debut, Tom Wood
galvanised the improved breakdown operation and Alex Corbisiero led a
dominant scrum.

The visitors somehow led 9-6 at
half-time then took a firm grip on proceedings by snatching one of the
most fortuitous tries in memory.

Juandre Kruger fumbled near England's
line but, when Ben Youngs tried to kick the ball clear, it ricocheted
off JP Pietersen towards the line, Wood was unable to hold it and Willem
Alberts dropped on it.

Are you sure Owen Farrell remonstrates with Robshaw

Are you sure Owen Farrell remonstrates with Robshaw

Breaking away: Manu Tuilagi skips past Jean de Villiers

Breaking away: Manu Tuilagi skips past Jean de Villiers

Pat Lambie converted for 16-6. Three
penalties by Farrell took England to within a point but the last of
those provided the major talking point and left Robshaw defending himsel
f against accusations of losing composure.

Lancaster backed his captain, saying:
'International sport is tough for people if they make a mistake. You've
got to make sure people are supported.'

Players also spoke up for Robshaw but not even an adherence to the party line could disguise their frustration.

'Chris has the final decision but there are other guys on the field who should be assisting,' said prop Dan Cole.

'Sometimes the right decision is the
quick decision. We live and learn.' England will have to learn fast. In
five days' time they must try to smash the All Black juggernaut off
course.

If composure is lacking again,
Lancaster's side will be heavily beaten and this autumn campaign will be
damned as an abject failure.

Clearing his lines: Ben Youngs gets a kick away despite the attentions of Duane Vermeulen

Clearing his lines: Ben Youngs gets a kick away despite the attentions of Duane Vermeulen

Locked up: Joe Launchbury is tackled by Gurthro Steenkamp and Duane Vermeulen

Locked up: Joe Launchbury is tackled by Gurthro Steenkamp and Duane Vermeulen

HOW THE KEY FINAL MOMENTS UNFOLDED

Really Owen Farrell (left) argues Chris Robshaw's call

77min 14sec Referee Nigel Owens signals a penalty pending for England, just outside South Africa’s 22, slightly to the left of the posts, but allows the home team to play an advantage.

77.23 England ’s attack to the right breaks down when Chris Ashton is unable to hold on to Alex Goode’s pass, so Owens blows his whistle to award the penalty. Mike Brown and Danny Care can be seen urgently waving their arms for the ball to be passed rapidly back to the penalty mark.

77.34 Chris Robshaw initially points to the posts, but Owens is looking the other way. The England captain then asks Owens if the clock can be stopped, but the referee says ‘No, I can’t’.

77.43 Robshaw instructs Owen Farrell to kick for goal and the Saracens player indicates that he thinks England should kick to the corner. The skipper over-rules (right) him and orders him to go for the posts.

77.49 The discussion between captain and kicker continues for several more seconds, with Farrell turning round to offer a further observation before he begins to line up the penalty.

77.52 Farrell puts the ball on the turf next to Owens, then turns around once more and makes another comment while clearly shaking his head in frustration at the decision.

78.00 With Farrell still waiting for the kicking tee to be brought on and the crowd booing, an evidently concerned Robshaw approaches Owens again and asks ‘Can I change the call’ The referee says ‘No’ so Robshaw shouts to his kicker ‘Faz, quick! Quick!’.

78.30 Farrell quickly composes himself and finally the ball is struck, through the posts to bring England to within one point at 16-15 down.

79.00 South Africa ’s restart flies towards the touchline on England’s right flank, replacement lock Mouritz Botha attempts to catch the kick but spills the ball and it rolls into touch.

80.14 Having claimed the subsequent lineout and recycled the ball at a ruck, the Springboks drive again, Ruan Pienaar passes out to Francois Hougaard and he kicks the ball into touch to end the game.

Neil Lennon on brink at Celtic… 17 days after beating Barcelona

If you want me to go, I'll go! Lennon on brink at Celtic, 17 days after beating Barcelona

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UPDATED:

00:07 GMT, 25 November 2012

Neil Lennon sensationally threatened to quit Celtic after an angry altercation with fans during the 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Inverness at Parkhead.

With the home side trying to claw back Billy McKay's 65th-minute strike late in the game, the former Celtic skipper remonstrated with angry supporters behind his technical area and the match ended with a crescendo of boos from many of the frustrated Hoops support.

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

The Parkhead side have taken only one point from the last nine at home but remain top of the league by a point and are within one game of reaching the last-16 of the Champions League due, in part, to an incredible 2-1 home win over Barcelona earlier in the month.

However, in the post-match press conference the former Celtic skipper was clearly enraged by some of the criticism.

Lennon said: 'They are frustrated. I disagreed with them, I didn't like what they said about the team.

'Look, if they are not happy with what I am doing and they want me to go, I will.

'If the fans make it clear that they are not happy and they want me out then that's okay, I will do the honourable thing.

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

'I can't repeat it (what fans said) because it is public arena but there were a lot of expletives and heavy criticism, which I didn't think was justified and (there was) a lack of patience with the team as well.

'If there was a lack of application and commitment I would be the first to criticise the team.

'I didn't see that today but I did see a lack of composure and quality in the final third and that's what cost us.

'If I think it is justified then I don't have a problem with it but I don't think it was justified today.

'But they pay their money, they are allowed to say what they like. I've got my opinions on it and sometimes I give them as well.

'I am not happy with the league form, it is my team at the end of the day so I take the responsibility for it.

'It's not for the lack of trying to find the answers.'

If you want me to go, I"ll go! Lennon on brink at Celtic… 17 days after beating Barcelona

If you want me to go, I'll go! Lennon on brink at Celtic, 17 days after beating Barcelona

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UPDATED:

18:55 GMT, 24 November 2012

Neil Lennon sensationally threatened to quit Celtic after an angry altercation with fans during the 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Inverness at Parkhead.

With the home side trying to claw back Billy McKay's 65th-minute strike late in the game, the former Celtic skipper remonstrated with angry supporters behind his technical area and the match ended with a crescendo of boos from many of the frustrated Hoops support.

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

The Parkhead side have taken only one point from the last nine at home but remain top of the league by a point and are within one game of reaching the last-16 of the Champions League due, in part, to an incredible 2-1 home win over Barcelona earlier in the month.

However, in the post-match press conference the former Celtic skipper was clearly enraged by some of the criticism.

Lennon said: “They are frustrated. I disagreed with them, I didn't like what they said about the team.

“Look, if they are not happy with what I am doing and they want me to go, I will.

“If the fans make it clear that they are not happy and they want me out then that's okay, I will do the honourable thing.

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

“I can't repeat it (what fans said) because it is public arena but there were a lot of expletives and heavy criticism, which I didn't think was justified and (there was) a lack of patience with the team as well.

“If there was a lack of application and commitment I would be the first to criticise the team.

“I didn't see that today but I did see a lack of composure and quality in the final third and that's what cost us.

“If I think it is justified then I don't have a problem with it but I don't think it was justified today.

“But they pay their money, they are allowed to say what they like. I've got my opinions on it and sometimes I give them as well.

“I am not happy with the league form, it is my team at the end of the day so I take the responsibility for it.

“It's not for the lack of trying to find the answers.”

Toby Flood: What a shocker… England were second-best in every area

Toby Flood: What a shocker… England were second-best in every area

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 17 November 2012

I can 't remember the last time I felt this frustrated after a Test match.

A win was there for the taking. Instead we lost, and we deserved to lose, because they were better than us in many areas: from a skills point of view; from decision-making and, most of all, with how they managed the game.

You can talk about positives but you have to be honest in rugby and the truth is this is a big blow. We came into this game full of confidence after drawing with South Africa last June, and then putting 50 points on Fiji last week.

Going over: Nick Cummins goes past Toby Flood to score

Going over: Nick Cummins goes past Toby Flood to score

It hadn't been the perfect performance but it laid a good foundation. Instead we came second because we just weren't good enough on the day.

There are a number of factors why Australia won.

We had issues at the breakdown and we had issues holding on to the ball and we had issues with some of our skills but that's because we were always trying to force the issue, rather than be patient, and that led to mistakes.

I guess people will highlight some of the penalties spurned.

Our scrum-halves are both instinctive players like all good scrum-halves should be, and although I would have backed myself to have kicked those three points at the end of the first half, Danny Care's decision to take a quick tap led to Manu Tuilagi's try.

It didn't quite work out the same though when Ben Youngs also tapped quickly and went with 11 minutes remaining.

Best men won: Wallaby Nick Cummins celebrates his try with Kurtley Beale

Best men won: Wallaby Nick Cummins celebrates his try with Kurtley Beale

Perhaps that was a time when the context of the game has to be taken into account and, although you never want to curb the instincts of an attacking No. 9, we need to work on our collective composure.

Australia came off a really bad performance and result last week against France and on Saturday they threw caution to the wind and were aggressive in their attack.

Add to that an Australian pack who won more penalties than any other Southern Hemisphere side in the recent Four Nations Championship, and we had our hands full.

We should know how to deal with a situation like this but we are still making far too many mistakes under pressure and being caught out by sides who are taking their chances much better than us.

If you drop even by five percent at this level you almost always have to pay for it, and that's what happened against Australia.

So what now We face South Africa in six days' time and it is fair to say that we will have a hard week trying to eradicate quite a few failings that reared their head against Australia.

Then the All Blacks come to Twickenham the week after. It's clearly a tough couple of Test matches but if we can compose ourselves and start taking the chances that we continue to create then, of course, we can win them.

I'll accept yesterday is not a great platform. We have to start learning right now because I don't want to feel like this again for a long time.

Good read helps give me a kick…

Some of the London-based boys were able to get away for the night on Tuesday to go back and see their families.

But for those of us living further afield, we'll spend the majority of our time at the England squad's base at Pennyhill Park.

Of course, it can get a little claustrophobic at times but it's a fantastic facility and there are far worse places to be stuck.

When we're not training, I've been catching up on my reading with Tom Wolfe's novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Happy with kicking: England's Toby Flood boots a penalty

Happy with kicking: England's Toby Flood boots a penalty

I was pretty happy with how my goal-kicking went against Fiji.

Goal-kicking is a pretty hard thing to quantify and sometimes it's a very individual art. When I'm with England I have help from kicking coach Jon Callard and I work with Paul Burke back at Leicester.

But quite often I just like to take myself away and work on my own in order to refine the processes and ensure I'm happy with the way I'm striking the ball.

My aim is 2k for hair-raising feat

The moustache I've been growing for the Movember campaign to raise awareness over men's health issues is coming along pretty well.

I'm copping a lot of abuse for it from the rest of the boys, although so far I've managed to escape landing a new nickname.

I'm not taking anything for granted though. I've raised about 800 now and it would be great to make it 2,000 by the end of the month.

At least that would make up for all the dodgy looks I'm getting whenever I walk along the street.

London Welsh 15 Exeter 42: Nic Sestaret and Jack Nowell blow away hosts

London Welsh 15 Exeter 42: Late try blitz from Sestaret and Nowell blows away hosts

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UPDATED:

18:59 GMT, 11 November 2012

A completely-changed Exeter gained a measure of revenge for their Aviva Premiership defeat at the Kassam Stadium earlier this season with an emphatic victory over London Welsh in the LV= Cup.

The Warriors scored four of their six tries in the final quarter, with Nic Sestaret and Jack Nowell both going over twice, to blow away their hosts who had led 9-8 at half-time.

Will Carrick-Smith and Mark Foster touched down for Exeter before their late blitz, with Henry Slade adding 12 points from the boot.

Airborne: Myles Dorrian dives over to score a try for Exeter against London Welsh

Airborne: Myles Dorrian dives over to score a try for Exeter against London Welsh

The Exiles, who retained 10 players from the team that met bath last time out, relied on Gordon Ross to kick over all of their points.

The hosts had no answer to the young Chiefs who were a revelation, showing huge enterprise, and had they showed a little more composure in the first half then Welsh would have suffered an even greater defeat.

Exeter did not include any of their players who started last week's Premiership game against Worcester and they initially found themselves in an arm wrestle.

Helpless: Gordon Ross of London Welsh reflects on another defeat for the Premiership strugglers

Helpless: Gordon Ross of London Welsh reflects on another defeat for the Premiership strugglers

London Welsh took the lead after six minutes when Ross kicked a 20-metre penalty but Slade soon responded with an even simpler one for the visitors.

The first quarter was evenly contested but Exeter came closest to scoring.

One of their forward drives actually crossed the line but their effort was ruled out by the TMO and then following penetrative runs from Joel Conlon and Myles Dorrian, Junior Poluleuligaga was pushed into touch a metre short by some desperate home defence.

No way past: Joel Conlon (centre) is tackled by Nick Runciman of London Welsh as he attempts to break through

No way past: Joel Conlon (centre) is tackled by Nick Runciman of London Welsh as he attempts to break through

Against the run of play, Welsh regained the lead when Exeter infringed at a scrum 25 metres out and Ross made no mistake with his kick to give his side a 6-3 lead after 25 minutes.

Three minutes later, the more enterprising Chiefs deservedly scored the first try. Slade's miscued kick went straight to his wing Foster who ran strongly down the left flank deep into the Welsh 22. Exeter recycled the ball and Poluleuligaga's pass sent Carrick-Smith over for the try which Slade was unable to convert.

Welsh relied on their forward drives and the tactical kicking of Ross to have the better of the latter period of the first half and they were rewarded when just before the break, Ross kicked his third penalty to give them a 9-8 interval lead.

Rough and tumble: Lee Beach of London Welsh is tackled by Jack Nowell of Exeter

Rough and tumble: Lee Beach of London Welsh is tackled by Jack Nowell of Exeter

Early in the second half, Slade put the Chiefs back in front with a 45-metre penalty before they scored an excellent second try.

Chris Budgen got them moving forward with a 10-metre drive; the backs were then given their opportunity for Sam Hill to produce an exquisite dummy to send Foster in for an easy try which Slade converted.

Ross kicked two penalties in quick succession but Welsh still trailed 15-18 going into the final quarter.

Exeter then put their foot on the accelerator.

Try time: Miles Dorrian of Exeter celebrates with his team-mates after scoring at the Kassam Stadium

Try time: Miles Dorrian of Exeter celebrates with his team-mates after scoring at the Kassam Stadium

Their burst began with a skilfully created try scored by Nowell, who outflanked the cover defence.

With 12 minutes to go Sestaret went over from close range before the French wing, put away by the lively Poluleuligaga, raced in for his second.

Two minutes from time, Nowell collected his second and Exeter's sixth, which was converted by Slade, as the Welsh were ultimately routed.