By RS.(in Nice)
Steve Borthwick did not hide his satisfaction following the XV de la Rose’s 34-12 victory against Japan.
Even if for many observers, the XV de la Rose does not produce great rugby, the English coach is enthusiastic: “ The players were huge. It was a big match against a team from Japan very well established. They stuck to their plan. The most important thing is to always win in the end. We expected a close match and we knew we were going to have to accelerate at the end. We did it. We score 4 tries. Our offensive game will continue to improve. This is what takes the longest to come. The Japanese kicked 37 times, which is quite rare. Today Fiji tried a kicking game too. What is important is that the players adapt. We knew it would be difficult. Japan has shown a lot of intelligence. They played a lot on foot, especially over the rucks or behind the advantage line, which is not their habit. And they were good. We had to work. We saw a real evolution offensively, and we hope that it will continue. Game launches are the hardest thing to set up because it requires cohesion. We work hard every day. » And Borthwick got annoyed when the very average level of his team was mentioned. “ I never thought my team was weak. If that’s what people think, great. I know that I have players who will respond and continue to gain strength. It’s a chance to work with this group. We’re going to play against Chile, and that’s all we can think about from now on. We still have a lot of room for improvement, this team will continue to grow. We play against Chile in six days, so we will recover and put a good game plan in place. We can’t wait to face them. »
With a puzzle. Replay Owen Farrell at the opening, finally available, or continue with George Fordthe man in good shape of the moment : “ It’s fantastic to have so much depth in the squad. I think a lot of countries would like to have the quality we have at the 10 and 15 positions. “When Marcus [Smith] came on in the last quarter of an hour, he was brilliant too. »