Gustard Q&A: Updates on injuries and facing the Boks

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Ahead of England's second Test match against South Africa in Bloemfontein, defence coach Paul Gustard provides an injury update on the squad, reflects on the first Test and gives his thoughts on the series.

Any injury updates?

“Just Luke Cowan-Dickie really, he’s got a tight hamstring so Jack Singleton is coming over as a precaution. We’ve only got two hookers in the camp so we need to be careful."

How do you think he will be for Saturday?

“He’s progressing well, we’ll have to just see and assess it.”

What was your take on the performance on Saturday overall and defensively?

“We played some really good stuff of course in that first and last 20, but the middle 40 was not so good, so there are some real positives.

“No team has gone to Ellis Park and taken apart a team like South Africa which shows the conviction and a real fast start, so we’re pleased with that."

What’s your view on after that first 20 minutes?

“We lost composure and there‘s a knock on effect of things going against you which you can’t quantify perhaps.

“The mental and energy drain of losing momentum and we weren’t able correct that.”

In terms of the mood for Saturday, is there still belief?

“Absolutely. We lost by three points and the penalty count was 17 against four, so there were lots of positives.

“I know we conceded five tries and I’m sure there will be questions about that but they conceded five as well.

“So there’s lots of opportunity and we’re looking forward to progressing forward and getting excited again.”

And the five tries you conceded, what was your view on those?

“Of course we’re disappointed, we didn’t defend well.

“We don’t coach that and it’s not what the players want to do and we didn’t deliver what we know we’re capable of – we’ll put that right this weekend.”

 


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