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"We can win a World Cup" - Hartley

By Alex Fisher
England skipper Dylan Hartley

England must continue to improve as the Rugby World Cup moves into view after establishing themselves as serious contenders since Eddie Jones took over in 2015, according to Dylan Hartley.

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Jones has won 19 of his 20 matches in charge of the 2003 world champions, claiming back-to-back Six Nations titles in the process.

That form has seen England climb to second in the world rankings behind New Zealand, and made them a serious contender for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

But captain Hartley is confident England can handle the challenge.

“We’ve had two great years evolving as a bit of an unknown team,” Hartley is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

“People are aware now and we need to kick on. We’re not the surprise any more. Maybe we do have a target.

“We want to win everything. In the past, we were too polite. We want to win every game.

“The belief’s 100 per cent there now that we can get to number one and that we can win a World Cup. 

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“If you don’t have these kind of goals, these dreams, I don’t think you’ve got any chance of achieving them.”

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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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