England must improve defence for second Test, says Paul Gustard

Paul Gustard is looking for a much-improved defensive display from England in the second Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Springboks ran in five tries – a total matched by England – as they prevailed 42-39 in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Defence coach Gustard accepts that was a poor effort, but remains optimistic the tourists can level the three-match series with a victory this weekend.

“We’re disappointed. We didn’t defend well. We were tight and our spacing was poor. I don’t coach that,” said Gustard, who takes up his new role as Harlequins head coach following the tour.

“It’s not what the players want to do, we just didn’t deliver what we know we’re capable of. We’ll look to put that right this week.

“Overall we played some really good stuff. The first 20 minutes and last 20 were really good, the middle 40 were not so good.

“We lost composure. There’s a knock-on effect of things going against you, which you can’t quantify perhaps – the mental and energy drain that comes with losing momentum. And we need to correct that.

“But there are some real positives there. No team has gone to Ellis Park and taken apart South Africa with such conviction. It was a real fast start, so we’re pleased with that.

“Absolutely we can rescue the series. We lost by three points. The penalty count was 17 v four. There are lots of positives.

“I know we conceded five tries, but they conceded five as well. There’s still lots of opportunities left and we’re looking forward to putting our best foot forward on Saturday.”

South Africa vs England

June 16, 2018, 3:00pm

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Meanwhile, Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus is expecting a fresh approach from England boss Eddie Jones in the second Test.

“Eddie is sharp, he will have a few plans up his sleeve and that is the only way we are going to learn,” said Erasmus.

“To be able to change it in the game is the most important thing. Hopefully, if they throw something else at us, the guys will handle it.”

Will England bounce back in the second Test? Tune into Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 3pm on Saturday, June 16 to follow the Rose on England’s journey to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.