Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ireland loss hurt but we're still chasing Six Nations title

Nick Easter admits England deserved to lose to Ireland, but has vowed to bounce back at Murrayfield next week.
We may have edged it in terms of possession but the Grand Slam holders scored three tries, we scored one. Fair enough.

In some ways, it felt harder having victory whisked away once we were in a winning position than if we’d been completely outclassed. Ireland know how to win, they took their chances and maybe that extra experience made all the difference.

There’s been plenty said about learning from mistakes and taking positives, but the only thing we can do now is raise ourselves and have a real go at Scotland and France in the remaining two games.

The Grand Slam has gone but there’s still a chance the RBS Six Nations title can be won. Losing Simon ‘Ol Man River’ Shaw so early against Ireland was a big blow of course, but Leicester’s Louis Deacon had a good game as his replacement lock.

You’ll always suffer when you lose someone with the experience and nous of Shawsie in big games, but that’s rugby, the next bloke comes on and you get on with it.

I personally would have loved to have gone straight back into action again as I’m desperate to work off the frustration of losing to Ireland, but common sense prevails. I guess you do need another window in the intense Six Nations programme.

Most players carry knocks and niggles through the season – you just get used to that – but the increase in the number of domestic games means many modern pros have little time to recover.

Saying that, England’s players will be heading out for a summer tour to Australia this summer and I doubt you’ll see too many wanting to opt out for a rest.

Personally I like touring – trying to win away from home is more satisfying – but with the World Cup just over a year away and no planned summer trip in 2011, a lot of guys will be keen to stay in the frame. The management will take a large squad and no doubt want to blood a few eager young guns, keeping everyone on their mettle.

Ireland V Wales Hospitality

Six Nations Hospitality

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