England 6 New Zealand 19: Lack of finishing power cost us laments Lewis Moody.

Lewis Moody admitted England's inability to get over the try line cost them as they lost 19-6 to New Zealand at a wet Twickenham.

All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan scored the only try of the game after 58 minutes to break open a contest that lacked much flair because of the conditions.

England have now scored just one try in their three autumn internationals so far and Moody admitted it is an area of concern.

Ugo Monye

Disallowed try: Ugo Monye knocked on

'I think at the end of the day they had sustained pressure and we just couldn't finish,' he said.

'Our goal was to throw everything at them and I think we did that. I am never happy with a defeat but I'm proud of the guys because we came out hard. They didn't know what had hit them in the first 20 minutes.

'Unfortunately those errors crept in at the end. We can't be downbeat though because New Zealand is the top team of world rugby.

'We are not where we want to be but we are getting there.'

Moody also backed his under-fire boss Martin Johnson, saying his team-mates had been determined to put in a gritty display for his fellow World Cup winner.

'Johnno is the heart soul and soul of the team, he leads by example and with his passion,' he added.

England's Lewis Moody tackled by New Zealand's Dan Carter

Clash of the titans: Lewis Moody is held up by Dan Carter

'He delivered a rousing speech before the game and I think that rubbed off on us in the first 20 minutes.'

All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter admitted his side had been below their best, but was happy to maintain their perfect record on a European tour during which their tryline remains unbreached.

'It was tough but we are happy to get a win at Twickenham,' he said. 'It is never easy and there are certainly parts of our game we need to improve on.

'It was greasy today so we have to take that into account, but there are still things that we will have to work on during the week.

'Defensively we were very sound. We pride ourselves defensively - that's where the attitude of the team comes from. But in terms of our attacking ability we have got to hold onto the ball more and build the phases.

'You take the good with the bad.'

The All Blacks face France next weekend and Carter admitted that would be his side's toughest test of their tour.

'I think so. It is the biggest challenge,' the former Perpignan player said.

'They are playing extremely well. It will be good to be back in France playing against a couple of old team-mates.

'They are hitting some pretty good form so it could make or break our season.'

Despite the defeat Johnson believes his injury-hit side are making strides forward, although he admitted they missed a chance to run the world's top-ranked team closer.

'I definitely think we are moving forwards. That may not be reflected on the field and I can understand people who might disagree with that with what they have seen,' Johnson said.

'But as a group they have been fantastic. I have mixed feelings because the players stuck at it and played well at times.

'But if you look at it we had the chance to put the All Blacks under pressure and we haven't taken it.'

Johnson added: 'There was a chance to be in the game. I'm not saying we could have ever have won it, but we had chances in that second half to be in the game.

'The breakdown was the big difference. They are very smart around the breakdown and that was the big difference in the end. They had players there that were always competing.

'It was one of those games where it is wet and when you get pressure on the opposition it can cause mistakes. It was who could nail the other team and in the end it was them. The try was the difference.

'I'm disappointed to concede a try like that.'

Captain Steve Borthwick believes his team proved their mettle after two weeks of criticism and can show their real quality.

‘I can hardly put into the words the emotions of the guys,’ said Borthwick. ‘They were devastated and it was a very quiet dressing room. But I can be so proud of the
effort, proud of the unity we have shown.

‘Martin spoke really well to us in the minutes after the game. He spoke about the
missed opportunity against New Zealand and players are already taking about how much we need to improve before the Six Nations. We are moving forward.’


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