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Where England went wrong

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Sir Clive Woodward: Where England got it wrong

Sir Clive Woodward has put England’s 16-15 home defeat at the hands of the All Blacks down to decision making and thinks head coach Eddie Jones should be furious.

After the match Jones said “we’re disappointed, but we’re excited about where we’re going”.

England raced out to a 15-0 lead at Twickenham and led for the first hour of play.

“There were lots of plus points, but they lost the game,” Woodward toldĀ BBC Radio 5 Live.

“That was a game England should have won and I’d be pretty cranky this morning if I was in Eddie’s shoes.

“As the days go on they’ll become a little more angry with themselves that they didn’t win that game.

“I just don’t believe coaching and playing for England is about building for the future.

“It’s about the here and now and at the end of the day they lost to a very good All Blacks team. They lost by one point and you don’t get many chances to beat the All Blacks.”

Woodward was most frustrated by the decision to turn down consecutive chances at points in the second half and choosing to attack the corner.

Both times – from penalties in the 48th and 49th minute – England were unable to replicate the rolling maul that got Dylan Hartley over the line in the opening stanza.

When New Zealand were placed in a similar position ten minutes later, Beauden Barrett kicked the match-winning goal.

Woodward said that while players make the decisions on-pitch, it should be understood going in that you take points when they are on offer.

“Players do have to take the decisions on the pitch, but you can also do a lot of preparation off the pitch,” Woodward said.

“The conditions were awful. At 15-13 up and with the clock going down, we had a chance of adding the points to go 18-13 up. We went for the line-out. That was a big mistake.

“If you are five points up, you drop a goal and you’re eight points up and you win the game. Build the score.

“Everyone is harping on about the try or no try by Sam Underhill, but for me not to take those points was a big error.

“We’ve got the best goalkicker in the world in Owen Farrell. He’s a 100 percent goalkicker. And Elliot Daly can kick long ones.

“These leadership decisions on the field of play are absolutely key, especially as the clock counts down. They are what win or lose you a World Cup and we need to get a little bit better.

“Our calls against New Zealand were wrong. I think every player, if they were sat down in the classroom in the cold light of day, would say kick the goal.”

England will now host Japan in their first meeting since 1987. Jones coached Japan from 2012 to 2015 and led them to a famous victory over South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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Sir Clive Woodward: Where England got it wrong