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Cricket: England lose to New Zealand in final Twenty20 warm-up match

Dernbach the weak link as England sink in final Twenty20 warm-up match

By
Paul Newman

PUBLISHED:

06:40 GMT, 6 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 7 February 2013

SCOREBOARD

New Zealand 171-7 (Latham 64, Devcich 33)

England 170-5 (Morgan 51, Buttler 51)

New Zealand win by 1 run

Click here to see the full scoreboard

England received a second welcome fillip from their captain but have concerns about the man earmarked to bowl at the death in their Twenty20 series against New Zealand.

Another encouraging display from Stuart Broad in Whangarei was more important than defeat by a New Zealand XI in the second of England’s two warm-up games ahead of Saturday’s first Twenty20 international in Auckland.

Plenty to ponder: Stuart Broad looks on after his England side fall to defeat against New Zealand XI at the Cobham Oval

Plenty to ponder: Stuart Broad looks on after his England side fall to defeat against New Zealand XI at the Cobham Oval

Yet England must decide if they
retain faith in Jade Dernbach’s ability to exert control with his myriad
of variations when the tour’s serious business begins.

Broad followed his hat-trick in
England’s opening victory with another three wickets and conceded only
24 runs in his four overs as England slipped to a last-ball three-wicket
defeat against a young New Zealand side.

But Dernbach, who suffered a
miserable one-day tour of India and lost his place in the 50-over squad
for the three matches that follow the short-form series in New Zealand,
was again expensive, going at close to 10 an over.

Batter up: New Zealand XI's Tom Latham strikes on his way to the game's high score of 64 as England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler looks on

Batter up: New Zealand XI's Tom Latham strikes on his way to the game's high score of 64 as England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler looks on

Nifty fifty: Eoin Morgan impressed with a half century but his effort of 51 was not enough to save England from defeat

Nifty fifty: Eoin Morgan impressed with a half century but his effort of 51 was not enough to save England from defeat

At least Dernbach clawed back some
credit in a final over which almost clinched an unlikely win for
England, Andrew Ellis eventually hitting the winning run off the final
ball.

Broad arrived in New Zealand complete
with new cushioned bowling boots to help protect the damaged left heel
that forced him to return home early before Christmas from England’s
Test tour of India.

It is the latest in a long line of
injuries for one of England’s most important players and the Twenty20
captain will be pleased that he has been so effective and pain-free in
his first two outings of a crucial tour for him.

Fall guy: Alex Hales reacts with disappointment after being dismissed Matt Henry

Fall guy: Alex Hales reacts with disappointment after being dismissed Matt Henry

Up top: New Zealand XI captain Andrew Ellis celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Luke Wright

Up top: New Zealand XI captain Andrew Ellis celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Luke Wright

England will be enthused by another
half-century from Jos Buttler who hit 51 from 31 balls in a partnership
of 87 in 8.2 overs with Eoin Morgan that took England to 170 for five
from their 20 overs.

But England’s bowling was
disappointing and Tom Latham looked to be leading New Zealand to a
comfortable victory when he struck 64 off 38 balls.

Broad and Samit Patel, who conceded
just 20 runs, brought England back into the game and they made the home
side work hard for a win that emphasised that the short-form series
should prove a close affair.

‘I think it will be tight against New
Zealand,’ said England’s Michael Lumb, who ran into form at the top of
the order with 45. ‘A lot of people have written them off but it would
be foolish to do that.’

Up in arms: Jade Dernbach unsuccessfully appeals for the wicket of Anton Devcich as England were denied a late fightback

Up in arms: Jade Dernbach unsuccessfully appeals for the wicket of Anton Devcich as England were denied a late fightback

Ashley Young "in danger of turning into a one-trick pony" Cascarino

Ashley Young 'in danger of turning into a one-trick pony'

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UPDATED:

10:40 GMT, 12 November 2012

Ashley Young was booed by the Aston Villa fans who once loved him and then 'hooked' at half time by Sir Alex Ferguson.

It wasn't the best return to Villa Park for the 17million forward, who has been struggling to recapture his dazzling early-United form.

And now Young has been heavily
criticised by ex-Villa and former Chelsea forward Tony Cascarino, who
scored 11 goals in 46 league games for the club.

Young tangles with Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar

Young tangles with Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar

In fact, it was only when Young came off and Javier Hernandez came on did United step into top gear to win 3-2.

Sub Hernandez scored a hat-trick as United increased their lead at the top of the table.

Writing in his column in the The Times newspaper, Cascarino says: 'Ashley Young is in danger of becoming a one-trick pony.

Young's replacement Javier Hernandez is congratulated by Antonio Valencia

Young's replacement Javier Hernandez is congratulated by Antonio Valencia

'He is a full international, signed for a lot of money. He needs to a do a lot mroe than cut inside and lay the ball off.'

Young has been involved in five United games this season, but hasn't scored yet.

Cascarino signs for Villa from Millwall in 1990

Cascarino signs for Villa from Millwall in 1990 and is joined by manager Graham Taylor (left) and chairman 'Deadly' Doug Ellis (right)

Villa's then record signing Cascarino goes for goal against Norwich in 1991

Villa's then record signing Cascarino goes for goal against Norwich in 1991

Wales 12 England 80: Josh Charnley scores four in rout

Wales 12 England 80: Charnley scores four to book place in Tri-Nations final

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UPDATED:

15:54 GMT, 27 October 2012

Wigan winger Josh Charnley grabbed four tries on his international debut as England put Wales to the sword in their opening autumn international in Wrexham.

Charnley, whose 31 tries enabled him to finish top of the Super League list in 2012, continued his prolific form as England outclassed a gallant but limited Welsh side in front of 4,014 fans at the Racecourse Ground.

Leeds stand-off Kevin Sinfield kicked 24 points on his first appearance as captain of the national side and took the man-of-the-match award for his playmaking skills as England secured their place in the November 11 final.

Star man: Charnley crosses for one of his four tries

Star man: Charnley crosses for one of his four tries

France will hope to provide more resistance to Steve McNamara's men in next week's game at Hull KR's Craven Park before the two meet again in the tournament decider at the City of Salford Stadium.

England, with seven players winning their first caps, ran in 14 tries but fell just short of their record 74-0 win over Wales in Bridgend in 2009.

Wales' sixth consecutive defeat leaves Iestyn Harris with still much to do if he is to realise his dream of achieving a place in the world's top three by 2016, while McNamara will be delighted with his side's first run-out of the autumn.

The warning signs for the Welsh were there in the third minute when second rower Gareth Ellis got centre Kallum Watkins bursting through the Welsh defence only to be brought back for a forward pass.

Left winger Ryan Hall, whose lethal finishing was too good for Australia in last year's Four Nations Series, opened England's account on nine minutes when he took Richie Myler's cut-out pass to slide over for his eighth try for his country.

Charnley then grabbed his first, taking Watkins' fine pass after Sinfield had twice handled in the move, and Zak Hardaker scored the first of his two, finishing off a break by loose forward Sean O'Loughlin.

Sinfield, who missed his first
conversion attempt and struck the woodwork with his second, succeeded at
the third attempt to make it 14-0 after the first quarter.

Rout: England booked their place in the Tri-Nations final

Rout: England booked their place in the Tri-Nations final

Watkins was the first to O'Loughlin's grubber kick to score his first try for his country and Hardaker produced another skilful finish after collecting a smart offload from second rower Gareth Hock to register his second try.

Although outclassed, Wales never lost their enthusiasm and, after right winger Elliott Kear had gone close, centre Christiaan Roets raised their spirits with a try on the stroke of half-time, touching down wide out after skipper Craig Kopczak had fed the ball back from the line.

Matty Seamark's touchline goal cut the deficit to 26-6 and he was on target early in the second half after replacement forward Dan Fleming shrugged off Hock's attempted tackle to score a second Wales try.

However, England remained firmly in control, with Hall and Charnley both scoring their second tries in the third quarter and Sinfield sending Ellis over for one.

When Hock burst through to put hooker Rob Burrow over for England's ninth try on the hour, Sinfield's seventh conversion brought up his side's half-century.

Wales' gallant efforts then began to take their toll and Charnley seized on a dropped ball in the home 20-metre area to complete his hat-trick on 65 minutes.

England were in no mood to show any leniency as Leroy Cudjoe grabbed two tries in the last 12 minutes, Charnley went over for his fourth and second rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan went past tiring defenders for another try.

St Helens 44 Castleford 12

St Helens 44 Castleford 12: Saints keep four-year run going over Tigers

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UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 17 August 2012

St Helens ran in eight tries to maintain their four-year unbeaten record against Castleford.

Saints, who had lost their last two matches, led 20-6 at the break to dash Castleford boss Ian Millward's hopes of making a winning return to his old club.

Tommy Makinson grabbed two of the Saints touchdowns, including a length-of-the-field effort, with top shows from skipper Paul Wellens, Jonny Lomax and man of the match Sol Soliola.

Strong victory: St Helens kept their run against the Tigers going

Strong victory: St Helens kept their run against the Tigers going

Saints were missing Michael Shenton – who returns to his old club Castleford at the end of the season – with an ankle injury and teenage co-centre Josh Jones was sidelined with a dead leg.

Jon Wilkin was also unfit with a thigh problem but Soliola was back after missing the last two defeats by Warrington and Wakefield.

Winger Ade Gardner was expected to return after being out since April 9 with an eye injury but was omitted and Adam Swift and Gary Wheeler formed a new centre partnership.

Cas, who had lost their last eight meetings against Saints, were without suspended Jamie Ellis with Ben Johnston playing only his second match after his debut in last week's heavy defeat by London Broncos.

Saints were favourites to repeat their 18-12 victory at the Probiz Coliseum but by a bigger margin, with Cas having lost four in a row to leave themselves in danger of the wooden spoon.

But the Tigers made an encouraging start with prop Jacob Emmitt held up over the line against his old club.

However it was Saints who took the lead after seven minutes when Anthony Laffranchi bravely dived on a kick from Jonny Lomax before crashing into the hoardings.

Laffranchi needed treatment before being helped off the pitch as Tommy Makinson struck the conversion.

Josh Perry would have scored his first try for Saints if he had held onto a pass before Lance Hohaia lost possession to squander another chance.

Cas refused to be overawed and a neat reverse pass from Craig Huby was almost rewarded with a try.

But Saints made it 12-0 midway through the first half with Wellens taking a smart return pass from Chris Flannery to cross with Lomax also involved in the move.

Saints were unlucky to concede a penalty for obstruction and Cas took advantage of their good fortune for Paul Jackson to crash through a posse of defenders with Danny Orr landing the conversion.

Wellens was again the key man for Saints' third try with his long pass missing out two men to allow Makinson to squeeze over in the corner and take their advantage to 16-6.

Flannery latched onto Lomax's kick to extend the Saints lead to 20-6 just before the break and leave Cas facing a near-impossible task.

The Tigers could not be faulted for their effort and sterling defence kept out Makinson early in the second half.

But a full length of the field try from Makinson after collecting a Richard Owen kick near his own line stretched the lead to 26-6 with Wheeler booting the conversion.

Wheeler grabbed Saints sixth try from Hohaia's kick and landed his second goal to make it 32-6.

The Tigers problems piled up when Swift went over with Wheeler again on target.

Lomax scored a deserved try to extend the lead before Steve Snitch crossed for the Tigers' second touchdown with eight minutes left.

Chris Robshaw ruled out of England"s third Test in South Africa

Hartley to captain England in final Test with South Africa as Robshaw is ruled out with broken thumb

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 18 June 2012

England captain Chris Robshaw has withdrawn from the last Test against South Africa on Saturday with a fractured thumb with Dylan Hartley handed the task of leading the team in his absence.

Just a day after Ben Youngs was ruled out with a shoulder problem, Robshaw became the fifth England player to have their tour curtailed by injury.

Taking charge: Dylan Hartley (left) will captain England in the third Test

Taking charge: Dylan Hartley (left) will captain England in the third Test

Head coach Stuart Lancaster revealed
Robshaw suffered a bang on the thumb in the first Test and another in
the defeat at Ellis Park three days ago. A subsequent scan revealed an
‘undisplaced fracture’ and the skipper was advised to stand down.

‘If he got another kick on it, it could require an operation that could keep him out for three months,’ said Lancaster.

Preparations: England train at St David's School in Sandton on Monday

Preparations: England train at St David's School in Sandton on Monday

England (v SA Northern Barbarians)

N Abendanon (Bath); C Wade (Wasps), A
Allen (Leicester), J Turner-Hall, U Monye (both Harlequins); C Hodgson
(Saracens), L Dickson (Northampton); M Mullan (Worcester), T Youngs
(Leicester), P Doran-Jones (Northampton); G Kitchener (Leicester), G
Robson (Harlequins. capt); J Gibson (London Irish), B Morgan
(Gloucester), C Fearns (Bath). Substitutes: J Gray (Harlequins), R
Harden (Gloucester), M Botha (Saracens), J Haskell (Wasps), K
Dickson (Harlequins), D Strettle (Saracens), J May (Gloucester).

So ends a remarkable season for Robshaw, who recovered from being left
out of the World Cup squad to take over as England captain, lead the
side to second place in the Six Nations and guide Harlequins to the
Aviva Premiership title. He also earned the division’s player of the
year award.

Danny Care’s absence from the midweek team playing SA Northern
Barbarians in Potchefstroom on Tuesday indicates the Quins scrum-half
will start the final Test, as will No 8 Thomas Waldrom, prop Alex
Corbisiero, lock Tom Palmer and full back Alex Goode. Ben Morgan,
Mouritz Botha and David Strettle’s involvement suggests they will be
demoted from the Test team.

South Africa 36 England 27: No excuses for Stuart Lancaster

No hiding and no excuses: Another heroic failure must not be enough for Lancaster

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 17 June 2012

The gravest threat to England’s prospects would be a willingness to take comfort from heroic failure, so arguably the most heartening aspect of Saturday’ s defeat was not the on-field fightback, but Stuart Lancaster’s refusal to hide behind it.

‘Taking the positives’ has become the modern-day mantra of beaten sides trying to find hope amid the wreckage of a negative result and England did fall back on it as a central plank of their post-match message.

Yet, to have any hope of a consolation victory in the series finale in Port Elizabeth next weekend, the tourists must instead focus on the negatives.

Down and out: England look dejected as they lost the second Test and the series to South Africa

Down and out: England look dejected as they lost the second Test and the series to South Africa

The post-mortem must be harsh and robust and not diluted by the merest hint of satisfaction at turning a potential rout at Ellis Park into a compelling contest.

If England are to produce the sort of seven-day transformation that Ireland achieved in going from cannon fodder for the All Blacks to so nearly conquering them, management and players have to agree that near-misses will not suffice.

Encouragingly, the man in charge of the whole operation insisted that rallying from 19 points down to trail 31-27 with 15 minutes to go, did not constitute a moral victory. ‘I don’t think there will be any hiding,’ said Lancaster. ‘We want to set the bar high — we won’t sit back and say that was good enough. If you review the game in the context of it being good enough to come back to within four points, there’s a danger of taking too much comfort and consolation from that.

‘But we won’t. We will review it in the context of a side that wants to win these games.’

Unstoppable: South Africa's JP Pietersen dives past England's Ben Youngs to score

Unstoppable: South Africa's JP Pietersen dives past England's Ben Youngs to score

What England did on Saturday was provide further evidence of the collective spirit fostered by Lancaster since he took charge at the end of last year. They dragged themselves off the floor to move within range of a stunning comeback through sheer force of will.

But what preceded the about-turn was one of the most shattering episodes any England team has ever endured, as the Springboks simply pounded them into the dirt.

Lancaster’s men were out-gunned in terms of intensity and physicality. Spirit alone is not enough, that should be a basic prerequisite. In these parts there must also be a sustained ferocity and that was lacking on Saturday. England were reeling at every collision in the first half. Their defence was all at sea.

Brought down: Tuilagi is tackled by South Africa's Marcell Coetzee

Brought down: Tuilagi is tackled by South Africa's Marcell Coetzee

They had missed 12 tackles after just 25 minutes as they toiled in vain to contain South Africa.

/06/16/article-2160270-13A4281E000005DC-166_634x455.jpg” width=”634″ height=”455″ alt=”Good catch: JP Pietersen takes a high ball as Mouritz Botha challenges” class=”blkBorder” />

Good catch: JP Pietersen takes a high ball as Mouritz Botha challenges

And yet. And yet. There was a lack of flow in many of the attacks as passes found static runners.

Manu Tuilagi was over-zealous in
following orders to look for support runners and off-load. Part of the
problem was that the support was not close enough, so he was isolated.
In addition, the line-out, which had been immaculate in Durban, was
less precise this time.

Put aside the issues of individual players such as Ben Morgan struggling to match exploits from earlier in the season and there was a team-wide inability to keep clear heads amid the first-half onslaught.

The obvious consequence of Lancaster’s bold selection strategy is a lack of experience.

Diving over: Toby Flood scores for England

Diving over: Toby Flood scores for England

On Saturday, the wheels came off for a
time as loose passes were thrown, kicks were wild, hesitancy and
indecision ruled. The senior players needed to restore order, but it
took too long for that to happen.

So the talk of learning went on.
England are young and callow — both the coaches and the players — so
they are on a journey of discovery together. That process will mean
there are setbacks along the way and the stark truth is that these are
the country’s finest.

Aside from injured absentees such as Tom Croft, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood, the English game does not have a stockpile of talent that is being ignored. This is a raw team and the development process will be savage at times. The character of Lancaster’s side was demonstrated in their ability to make a game of it, courtesy of Toby Flood’s try at the end of a sweeping raid, his flawless goal-kicking and Ben Youngs’ brace of touchdowns in the second half.

Stop there: Ben Foden is stopped in his tracks

Stop there: Ben Foden is stopped in his tracks

The revival was founded on a scrum
surge prompted by Alex Corbisiero’s arrival as a replacement, to join
forces with fellow prop Dan Cole. The London Irish loosehead should
start in Port Elizabeth, as could Tom Palmer and Thomas Waldrom.

Whatever the line-up, they must be prepared for this season finale in keeping with Lancaster’s pledge to avoid ‘hiding’ and set the bar high.

England are young and learning hard lessons but the education process cannot be used as a safety-net for defeats. If the coach is true to his word about aiming for the stars, there cannot be any excuses.

Heroic failure cannot be enough.

Diving save: Bryan Habana is tackled by Ben Foden

Diving save: Bryan Habana is tackled by Ben Foden

South Africa v England, Johannesburg, live

LIVE: South Africa v England: Follow the second Test in Johannesburg as it happens

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 16 June 2012

Follow the action as England battle to level the three-Test series with South Africa at the Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg. England head coach Stuart Lancaster has rung the changes for this make or break match with the Springboks who lead the series 1-0. Email [email protected] with your thoughts.

South Africa v England – essentials

ENGLAND: B Foden; C Ashton, J Joseph, M Tuilagi, D Strettle; T Flood, B Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole; M Botha, G Parling (Leicester); T Johnson (Exeter), B Morgan, C Robshaw (capt).

Subs: L Mears, A Corbisiero, T Palmer, P Dowson, L Dickson, O Farrell, A Goode.

SOUTH AFRICA: P Lambie; J P Pietersen, J de Villiers (capt), F Steyn, B Habana; M Steyn, D Hougaard; T Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessis, E Etzebeth, J Kruger, M Coetzee, W Alberts, P Spies.

Replacements : A Strauss, W Kruger, F van der Merwe, K Daniel, R Pienaar, B Basson, W Olivier.

3min: It's like a repeat of the first match. South Africa dominating possession, England defending for their lives in and around their 22 metre line. Bryan Habana finds the gap down the right, but he's pulled down just shy of the try line. A resulting knock on allows the Red Rose the chance to clear their lines. Ominous signs.

KICK-OFF: Here we go… South Africa get the game under way.

3.58: Chest out, chin up, lungs full… time for the anthems. Go!

3.52: England come ambling out… but the Springboks keep then waiting for a few moments. Mind games at work already early int his conflict as the hosts leave the visitors to stalk a highly partisan Ellis park on their own.

3.50: The players are in their final huddles in the changing rooms before they come out. Chris Robshaw sharing a few words with his players. There hasn't been a Test ojn this ground in three years what with one thing and another. No surprise then that every single one of the 62,567 have been sold.

3.46: And a brief mention goes top the fact that the match is being played at altitude this afternoon, making the task that much more difficult.

3.40: So many positives from Stuart Lancaster's short reign at the helm with England. But this would be the greatest moment, surely. But history is against him. England haven't savoured victory on South African turf since 2000.

3.30pm: Afternoon everyone and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of the second Test between South Africa and England from the Coca-Cola Park… Ellis Park in old money.

The die has been cast earlier this morning as two Northern Hemisphere nations – Wales and Ireland – have suffered agonising last kick defeats to Southern Hemisphere foes Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Stuart Lancaster's side will lose the series if they are defeated again following their reversal in Durban last weekend. But they have much to do.

The 22-17 scoreline suggests a close run thing. But it never was. Only some sterling defending and late scores made it a respectable return against the Springboks and thusly Lancaster has rung the changes.

Owen Farrell's omissions made the biggest headline as the England head coach brings in Toby Flood to increase the amount of passing in the midfield.

The ground is starting to fill up nicely in anticipation of this crunch clash. I'll bring you all the action as it happens and you can fire your thoughts on the play via my email address above. Thanks.

Revenge: England need to win at Ellis Park to level the series after defeat in Durban

Revenge: England need to win at Ellis Park to level the series after defeat in Durban

Ben Kay: England need to show cunning in second Test

England need to show cunning to level the series

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UPDATED:

23:13 GMT, 15 June 2012

Better balance: Jonathan Joseph

Better balance: Jonathan Joseph

England can beat South Africa in Saturday's second Test but they have to be cute to win at the altitude of Johannesburg.

Stuart Lancaster's team need to take a close look at how the All Blacks play in order to make the most of their opportunities.

The All Blacks have perfected the ability to be very clinical and to conserve their energy – something England need to do in the demanding conditions of Ellis Park.

New midfield options England have certainly picked a midfield designed to unlock defences. Jonathan Joseph's outside break – reminiscent of Jeremy Guscott, no less – provides better balance in the centres.

The London Irish youngster also gives England a doublethreat rather than just the direct approach of Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi.

Tuilagi showed his ability to brush off the first defender last week and the Springboks cannot afford to double tackle him and leave Joseph, in his first Test start, an inch of space on the outside.

Line-out battle

This provided plenty of possession for England last week, but they should remember to put pressure on the Springbok throw. This will spoil and disrupt their possession and make things as difficult as possible for the half-backs to put in those 'bombs' they are inevitably going to deploy.

Power play: England practice their scrummaging

Power play: England practice their scrummaging

Scrum Time

England need a good start up front. Last week they conceded three free kicks at the first three scrums, which dented confidence. The England trio need to curb their initial enthusiasm in order not to get on the wrong side of referee Alain Rolland. The return of fit-again Alex Corbisiero to the bench should also strengthen England.

Best of Youngs

Ben Youngs is one of England's best attackers and there is no one better at seizing an opportunity. But he is under pressure and the performance of Harlequins' Danny Care in midweek puts him under the spotlight even more. Care's ability to fire out quick passes gave England's midweek team a little bit more time.

Win Kicking Game

England have got to do better in this area. South Africa's dominance helped give their forwards the momentum in that critical period after halftime last week in Durban.

England coach Stuart Lancaster calls for attitude at altitude

Lancaster calls for attitude at altitude as England seek to hit new heights

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UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 15 June 2012

England will attempt to harness a
healthy dose of fear at the Springboks' stronghold of Ellis Park
to keep this Test series alive.

However brutal and draining the
experience of losing 22-17 to the host nation in the first Test in Durban last Saturday, Stuart Lancaster's players are braced for an
altogether more arduous ordeal here at altitude on the Highveld when
they bid to defy the odds and produce an upset.

In your face: England will face a hostile crowd in Johannesburg

In your face: England will face a hostile crowd in Johannesburg

S Africa VS England

Some 6,000ft above sea level, the reshuffled, raw national team must contend with the thin air that will burn their lungs. There is also the small matter of the heavyweight Bok artillery of thunderous ball carrying and sustained aerial barrage.

Whatever the opposition hurl at England, it will be matched by the stifling intensity of the occasion at the Johannesburg venue renowned for the hostility of the home crowd. South Africa have a 70 per cent success rate at the stadium, which staged the 1995 World Cup final when the Boks ambushed favourites New Zealand to claim the Webb Ellis Cup. That episode enhanced the forbidding aura at Ellis Park, but the Lions won 28-9 there in 2009.

Graham Rowntree, the England forwards coach who was part of the management team then, hopes that England will be galvanised by playing here. 'It is an inspiring place – the Springboks' spiritual home,' he said. 'That's the beauty of these young men playing in these big stadiums steeped in history – it's such a great experience for them.

'I have fantastic memories of going there with the Lions and winning three years ago and I would love this to be as great an occasion as that was,' added Rowntree.

'You have to be turned on by the fear of going to play in these big stadiums in front of passionate home support. We have to use that to drive us on.'

High point: Chris Robshaw knows England are up against it

High point: Chris Robshaw knows England are up against it

As for the altitude factor, England have been at pains to play down its significance. However, the midweek team sampled the Highveld air on Wednesday. Test captain Chris Robshaw said: 'It's pretty tough. They passed on their experience of it and we've been training at altitude, but we won't really know what it's like until we get out there.'

Familiarity means that the conditions will work in favour of the hosts – assisting their lethal kicking game as the ball travels further – and they are more used to adjusting accordingly. England kicked and chased poorly last week, and they know that aspect of their game must improve.

Gamble: Stuart Lancaster has had to make changes

Gamble: Stuart Lancaster has had to make changes

Given the adventurous team selected by Lancaster and his assistants, the hope is that England will play with more attacking purpose and freedom and avoid becoming embroiled in another arm-wrestling contest. Robshaw alluded to that, saying: 'We played into their hands a bit last week. We have to have more balance. We need to move them round more and focus on what we are good at by playing with tempo.'

Toby Flood has been recalled to unlock the potential in the new-look back line by playing flat and opening gaps with subtle, clever distribution. One of the men aiming to benefit from his passing is London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph, who is making his full Test debut. The 21-year-old is determined to stay true to his attacking tendencies as he forms a new combination with Manu Tuilagi.

'It would be pointless being on the
pitch if I wasn't going to give it a real go,' said Joseph. 'I'm going
to stick to my game and hopefully it'll go well. They're big boys but
I'm ready to challenge them. I'm looking forward to it. I want to go
out there and prove a point.'

England are in enforced experimentation mode following the injuries to Brad Barritt and Mike Brown.

Adversity has created an opportunity and the 10-12-13 area now has a
balanced and potent look about it, although such optimism is based on
mere theory at this stage.

Nevertheless, the management have been bold in their selection so now
it just remains to be similarly daring in on-field intent. England will
not beat the Boks in a tight tussle, so they must aim to stretch them
in the wide areas.

Yet, as
is always the case, they can do so only from a solid platform. Rowntree
admitted that last week's effort in the scrum was 'unacceptable', so the
visitors are bound to be better in that crucial area this time.

They also need a strong carrying contribution from No 8 Ben Morgan, along with – at some stage – Thomas Waldrom, who was yesterday promoted to the bench after Phil Dowson withdrew with a tight hamstring.

However, even in likely defeat, England can provide hope for the future, as long as the onus shifts from being reactive to proactive, from absorbing to threatening, from containing to challenging.

Stuart Lancaster has to shake up midfield

Ben Kay: Lancaster has to shake up midfield to avenge South Africa defeat

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UPDATED:

23:26 GMT, 10 June 2012

Stuart Lancaster has some tough decisions to make about England's midfield after defeat in the first Test.

Brad Barritt's nasty eye injury might prove to be a blessing for England's head coach as he looks to get even at Ellis Park next Saturday.

Blessing in disg-eyes: Brad Barritt receives attention to an eye injury

Blessing in disg-eyes: Brad Barritt receives attention to an eye injury

Fly-half Owen Farrell had his least effective game for England and could be moved to centre, giving a place to Toby Flood at No 10.

Ben Youngs' place at scrum-half is also under threat.

He's a match-winner when sniping around the rucks, but the slow speed of his service from the base – a scrum-half's bread and butter – is hampering England's other attacking options.

Not so effective: Owen Farrell struggled in the first Test

Not so effective: Owen Farrell struggled in the first Test

It would have been great if substitute centre Jonathan Joseph had been given more time but his exciting running will give him longer next week.

England can ill afford to lose the kicking duel in the high altitude of Johannesburg like they did in Durban.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is a master at the tactic, having spent his coaching career in Pretoria for the Blue Bulls.

Every time one of England's back three caught a high ball he was swamped by Springbok tacklers, negating the attacking threat of Mike Brown, Ben Foden and Chris Ashton.

Under threat: Ben Youngs' slow service was a concern

Under threat: Ben Youngs' slow service was a concern

Also, England may have won the physical battle in the first half, but did that give them a false sense of security

South Africa have terrific ball carriers, built momentum in the first 20 minutes of the second half and England could do little to stop them.

However, both new caps, in flanker Tom Johnson and loose head Joe Marler, had excellent debuts.

Johnson was outstanding in the first half and it was a puzzle why Marler was substituted in the second half.

Extended run: Jonathan Joseph needs more time

Extended run: Jonathan Joseph needs more time

I'd keep the same pack for next week. The back three will be disrupted with Brown out injured while Lancaster has headaches over his midfield.