Haskell : England shot themselves in the foot

James Haskell admits England shot themselves in the foot

England back row forward James Haskell says that they cannot afford to “shoot ourselves in the foot” again ahead of a must win Rugby World Cup clash against Australia.

Rugby World Cup hosts England were beaten 25-28 by Wales at Twickenham which has seen them drop to third place in the Pool of Death.

England must beat Australia this weekend to remain in the hunt for the play offs but they are not out of contention yet as Wales still have to face Fiji and Australia while the Wallabies have matches against Wales and England ahead.

Tournament hosts England twice led by 10 points against Wales only to lose 28-25 in a dramatic clash at Twickenham on Saturday, with Welsh fly-half Dan Biggar punishing their indiscipline at the breakdown with seven penalties.

“We can’t afford to do what we did,” Haskell said Sunday. “We can’t get ahead and show great ability and then shoot ourselves in the foot.”

Haskell, who came on as a 62nd-minute replacement for No 8 Billy Vunipola, said England would have to treat the Australia match as if they were playing for the World Cup.

“It’s going to be a final for us,” said Haskell.

“Everyone involved will have to imagine it’s the last time you put that white shirt on.”

England wing Jonny May scored a first-half try against Wales but this was cancelled out nine minutes from time by Welsh scrum-half Gareth Davies.

“We gave away a penalty after penalty and then conceded a try,” said the 30-year-old Haskell, a veteran of 61 Tests.

“Our discipline cost us the game and that is really disappointing.”

England came from 10 points down to beat Wales 21-16 at the Millennium Stadium in the Six Nations in February only to have the tables turned dramatically at Twickenham.

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