Stuart Lancaster (Gallo)
Bagshot - England coach Stuart Lancaster
has insisted his side will bounce back from their shattering Rugby World Cup
defeat by Wales when they face Australia in a 'Pool of Death' clash at
Twickenham on Saturday that promises to decide their tournament fate.
"We've got a massive game against
Australia and we'll batten down the hatches and make sure we come out firing on
all cylinders," he said on the day after the agonising 28-25 loss to Wales
at Twickenham on Saturday.
Lancaster's men twice led by 10 points but
the final result left England in danger of becoming the first host nation to
bow out of the World Cup before the knockout stages.
They now face Australia, recent winners of
the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, who beat Fiji 28-13 and thrashed
rank outsiders Uruguay 65-3 in their opening two Pool A fixtures.
Asked if the Australia match felt like a
World Cup final, Lancaster said: "Yes, it does. Everything rests on this.
"We're playing against a high quality
team, but equally we know it's a team we know we have beaten twice in the last
Those two England wins came on the back of
a dominant scrum but Australia's set-piece has improved under coach Michael
Cheika and Lancaster, speaking at his squad's training base in Bagshot,
southwest of London, on Sunday, said his side would not under-estimate
Australia's all-round game.
"We will have to be at our best because
I was impressed by what they did in the Rugby Championship and how much they've
"Obviously, they've got their own
threats at the breakdown in (David) Pocock and (Michael) Hooper, they've got a
talented back line, but I think our boys will be ready."
"On Monday morning when they come in,
they will be ready to go straight away. I am ready to go and if I am ready to
go, I can guarantee they will be," Lancaster said.
"We know that two teams go through
from the pool, we know we've got a very good chance of being in that position
should we beat Australia," added the under-pressure coach.
"Wales have got to play Fiji (who
knocked them out of the 2007 World Cup), that's a tough game for Wales, and
then Australia ...We are definitely not out of this pool."
But if England are to beat Australia they
will need to show a ruthless streak absent against Wales, where their failure
to put the match beyond the reach of the visitors came back to haunt them.
"We've got to make sure that when we
get that 10-point buffer, we play the game in the right areas of the
field," explained Lancaster.
England saw a last-ditch attempt to beat
Wales backfire. Instead of going for a kickable penalty that might have led to
a draw, they opted for an attacking line-out in the hope of a try that never
Chris Robshaw, the England captain, came
under fire for the decision, just as the Harlequins flank was criticised for
opting to kick a late penalty rather than go for a try in a 16-15 defeat by
South Africa at Twickenham in 2012.
But the following week England beat the All
Blacks 38-21 - arguably the best result of Lancaster's reign and one of
England's greatest victories.
"As a group, we were in a similar
position I think in 2012 where we all felt responsible because we didn't make
the decision work, and the mentality feels the same now," said Lancaster.
"Obviously on the back of that
performance, we beat New Zealand. And we'll be exactly the same this
week," Lancaster said.