Robshaw: The Pressure is on to beat South Africa

England captain Chris Robshaw says that it is high time for England to end their losing streak to South Africa and record their first win over the Springboks under head coach Stuart Lancaster.

England are playing with confidence even though they have lost their last four Tests – albeit all four to the All Blacks – which has equalled their worst run of results since 2006.

A worrying statistic for England is that under Lancaster in 12 matches against the ‘big three’ of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia since Lancaster took charge in 2012, England have won just two.

Their record against the Springboks during that time stands at three defeats and a draw in four Tests.

No one is more aware that England must improve their record against the southern hemisphere giants if they are to be taken seriously as World Cup contenders than Harlequins flanker Robshaw.

“The guys all know Twickenham is our place and with the World Cup coming up in a year’s time we need to deliver,” said Robshaw.

“We can’t wait for anyone, especially being at home. Whether it’s a tournament or a series, you want to start with a win,” he added.

“There’s probably nothing worse than starting a series with a loss, so there’s a huge amount of pressure on the guys to go out and deliver against South Africa.

“We’re not going to wait for the physicality and intensity which I’m sure South Africa will bring. Being at home we want to impose ourselves and get back on track.

“No one in the squad has beaten them so doing that would be a massive statement of intent that all the guys want to do.”

Robshaw was a novice Test captain when the teams last met, at Twickenham in November 2012, with his decision-making towards the end of a 16-15 loss coming under heavy criticism.

With just over a minute left, Robshaw told outside-half Owen Farrell to kick a penalty rather than set-up a line-out that might have provided the base for a match-winning try.

Farrell kicked the three-pointer but England couldn’t gather the re-start and the referee blew for full-time.

Robshaw was in the spotlight last weekend when England used up valuable time opting for a scrum rather than a quicker tap-penalty in the closing stages minutes of the All Blacks’ match.

England were eventually awarded a penalty try but had taken so long in setting it up — no surprise as there is rarely such a thing as a fast scrum in modern Test rugby — that they had again run out of time in the quest for a winning score.

“We were 10 points down. We spoke about it as a team quickly. It was the first time we’d been in their 22 for a long time,” Robshaw said.

“We thought we’d chance our arm and that we might then get the ball back around the half-way line and get a penalty. Then you back one of your kickers to have a go and get quite close. That was the thinking.

“In terms of scrum or line-out, it takes a bit of extra time to dry the ball for a line-out and I spoke to the front row who were keen to scrum. When your front row is raring to go you tend to give them what they want. And they delivered.

“I don’t know how many teams have got a penalty try in recent times against New Zealand so that was a huge positive for us and our forward pack.”

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