DURBAN (Reuters) - Captain Owen Farrell believes England will be better prepared for the second test against South Africa in Bloemfontein on Saturday as he dispelled the notion of panic in a squad that have now lost their last four test matches in a row.
England raced into a 24-3 lead after 17 minutes of the first test at Ellis Park last weekend, but were beaten 42-39, with ill-discipline and an inability to contain the Springbok backline at the heart of their latest loss.
Farrell said once the Boks gained momentum in the game, England found it difficult to seize the initiative back and that has been a focus for them in the build-up to the second game.
"We’ve had a productive week so far but just because you’ve had a productive week you can't expect it to carry on, we’ve got to build it," Farrell told www.englandrugby.com
“I thought we did get the emotion right (last week), just when the pressure came on and they started getting momentum we probably didn’t cope with it as well as we should’ve done, so we’ve spoken a lot.
“The last thing we should do now is panic or worry, it is about us practising how we get it right.
“We had a good training session on Wednesday which we felt there was more control in what we were doing and we’ve got to carry on building it towards this weekend.”
Centre Farrell has been handed the captaincy for the series, a role he is enjoying as he tries to ensure England stay alive in the series this weekend.
“Yeah I’m loving it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s probably as challenging as what people make out to be from the outside but I’ve got a lot of players doing a lot of work here in camp.
“The main thing for me as a captain or one of those senior leaders in the team is to make sure we’re all pulling in the right direction and we’re all doing that.
“I don’t think anybody doesn’t believe that we’re able to win the test match at the weekend. What we’ve got to do is get it right between now and then.”
The third and final test will be played in Cape Town on June 23.
Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty