Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - Page 18 News List

‘Hairdryer’ approach pays off for Meyer’s Springboks

‘A FEW HARSH WORDS’:Heyneke Meyer took a page from Alex Ferguson’s book after they were down 12-3 at halftime, and they responded with 13 unanswered points

AFP, DUBLIN

France were merciless in attacking the Australia set-piece, notably in the scrum.

It was no coincidence that Picamoles’ try was a direct result from pressure on the Wallaby eight, and the penalty try was rightly awarded by Welsh referee Nigel Owens with the French turning the screw on an Australian front-row in complete disarray.

ENGLAND vs FIJI

AFP, LONDON

England coach Stuart Lancaster has told his side they will need to sharpen up their act when they face the world’s best sides over the coming weeks following a 54-12 thrashing of Fiji.

Lancaster saw an inexperienced side that contained 11 players with 13 caps or fewer each outscore Fiji by seven tries to two at Twickenham on Saturday as England launched their European autumn campaign with a record margin of victory over the Pacific Islanders.

Charlie Sharples, playing in place of suspended wing Chris Ashton, scored his first two England tries and Saracens fullback Alex Goode again showed signs of his play-making ability at Test level.

However, with Australia (Nov. 17), South Africa (Nov. 24) and world champions New Zealand (Dec. 1) all visiting Twickenham in the coming weeks, Lancaster knows his side cannot afford a repeat of Saturday’s sluggish opening quarter.

England also made a mess of several potential tries and, while that did not matter much against Fiji, such carelessness is sure to cost them dear against world rugby union’s top three nations.

England were a man down early when Danny Care was yellow-carded by referee Glen Jackson, on the advice of a touch judge, although sin-binning the scrum-half for a “dangerous” tackle on Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa seemed harsh.

Lancaster said he expected Care to avoid additional disciplinary action over the incident.

WALES vs ARGENTINA

AFP, CARDIFF

Wales are sweating on the fitness of two of their marquee players, center Jamie Roberts and lock Alun Wyn Jones, in the wake of their 26-12 defeat to Argentina at the Millennium Stadium.

Roberts lasted 22 minutes before being laid out in a sickening clash of heads, while Jones damaged his left shoulder in a collision with opposite number Manuel Carriza in the second half.

“Jamie has mild concussion — to say the least — and Alun Wyn has done his AC [joint capsule in collarbone] and right now it does not look good. It is certainly going to test the strength in depth of our squad,” Wales interim head coach Rob Howley said.

It was the fourth defeat in a row for the this year’s Grand Slam champions, who now have to face Samoa on Friday night before tackling New Zealand and Australia.

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