DURBAN (Reuters) - England hooker Jamie George says the thrilling 42-39 loss to South Africa at Ellis Park on Saturday has served as extra motivation to snap their four-game losing streak in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
England let a 24-3 lead slip as the Springboks roared back to claim victory in the opener of the three-match series and while George says there is “frustration” in the camp, he is ready to “rip into it” ahead of the second game.
“We just want to put things right. We were nearly very, very good, so hopefully we can string a few things together and get that 80-minute performance next week,” George told reporters.
“The frustration, for me, of not getting it quite right means that I just want to rip into it this week and if it was up to me we would be playing again tomorrow.
“The first 20 minutes was some of the best rugby we’ve played and we then let them back into the game by ill-discipline, which is so, so frustrating. So hopefully we can build on why the first 20 minutes that was so good.”
George added that the players needed to take responsibility for the errors that allowed South Africa to score five tries in Johannesburg.
“Honesty is a big part of it and players need to take responsibility at the same time,” he said.
“There were a lot of individual errors that led to the ill-discipline, so first up we’ve got to be honest with ourselves, brutally honest at times, and hopefully that will lead to coaches not having to say too much.”
The hooker admitted that the Boks had mounted an incredible comeback with the quality of their backs and work-rate at the breakdown, but says this England side is good enough to level the series.
“You have to have big respect for what South Africa did out there, 24-3 down is a very difficult place to come back from and fair play to them they got stuck in.
“We know we’re up against a very good side, a very physical side so it’s going to be a challenge for us but one I feel we’re ready for.”
Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by John O'Brien