Catt: ‘Let’s go do it’

Whilst England’s shock win over Australia was deserved, Mike Catt believes that they will need to step it up a level for their semi-final against France on Saturday.

The 36-year-old World Cup-winning back admitted that while they had played a much more expansive game against the Wallabies, England perhaps had tried to be too ambitious.

“Australia’s back three didn’t push up at all, so we decided to run it, which wasn’t exactly the tactics the coaches and us had planned prior to the match,” Catt told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We just got into the mood and ran them ragged, but Saturday will be totally different. I think the present international game is all about possession, but we like to run it out of our half.

“We have to get the balance better and we’ll see how we go because it’s the first time that we have done that (running the ball) for a while.”

Catt’s return to the side last week was his first involvement since the 36-0 defeat to South Africa, and he is confident that there has not been a problem with the team’s tactics.

“A lot of teams have found it difficult when plan A hasn’t worked because plan B hasn’t, either, and several of them didn’t get out of their groups,” Catt said. He admitted things had been difficult after the South African rout.

“We always knew it would be a rough ride. But we’ve shown great character, pulled together and turned things round with the victories over Samoa, Tonga and Australia.”

Looking back at the two defeats England suffered to France in the warm-up games Catt was quick to point out that the current England side was both different and vastly improved.

“We understand what the French are about and we are playing totally differently to the teams that played in those games,” he said.

“We play into space and to our strengths.”

Catt was not worried that the younger members of the team, such as Mathew Tait, would wilt under the pressure of a World Cup semi-final against their bitter rivals.

“It’s just another game of rugby and the young guys won’t be fazed by it,” Catt said.

“They have a lot of self-belief and will relish taking on the French. All I would say to them is go out and play a good game and let’s go do it.”


365 Digital

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