Alex Goode has warned Australia that England have the attacking potential to blow the best teams in the world out of the water – and he is determined to prove it next weekend.
Goode was named man of the match for a sparkling individual performance as England warmed up for Tests against the Wallabies, South Africa and New Zealand with a record 54-12 win against Fiji.
The Saracens full-back had a direct hand in three of England’s tries and he lends a new dynamic to the red rose attacking game, joining the line from full-back to act as a second playmaker.
England have been direct and predictable with the ball in hand in recent times but there were glimpses against Fiji of a side with greater variety to its attack.
And with Australia reeling after Saturday night’s 33-6 thumping in Paris, Goode insists England are ready to pounce on the wounded Wallabies.
“We are trying to evolve,” Goode said.
“When Stuart Lancaster came in he laid the foundations and what a good Six Nations it has to be, it was built on a mixture of hard work, defence, a kicking game and the set piece.
“Attack takes time for people to understand each others’ roles, to get with the pattern but that is hopefully something we are really looking to push this autumn and test it against the best.
“We have tough teams coming against us. We have to make sure we are on the money and play well.
“There will be a big improvement for next week. If we play as well as we can do then we are good enough to blow teams out of the water.”
Fiji were predictably blown out of the water at Twickenham. After defending for most of the first 20 minutes, England scored seven tries.
Charlie Sharples celebrated his first two for England, Manu Tuilagi touched down twice late on as Fiji tired, while Ugo Monye and Tom Johnson both made the scoresheet.
The dominant red rose pack also earned a penalty try as England completed the most comprehensive of their five Test victories over Fiji.
Although Australia were humbled by France, England know their execution must improve if they are to beat the Wallabies for a third consecutive Test.
The potential return of Chris Ashton on the wing and London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph to face the Wallabies would increase the attacking options and sharpen England’s cutting edge.
“It will be a different type of game. It will be tight against the Aussies,” said Goode.
“We will be tested a lot more but that is the challenge for everyone. We have to raise the intensity a lot more and in defence just make sure we smash them from minute one.
“There are bits to work on. There were some great chances created against Fiji but some opportunities went begging out there and there will be a big improvement for next week.”
Goode made his England debut on the summer tour of South Africa and he retained the full-back jersey for the Fiji Test ahead of Mike Brown.
The competition is strong. Brown is enjoying a stellar season. He is a rock under the high ball, a strong counter-attacking runner and he possesses a siege-gun boot.
But Goode’s ability to see the match in widescreen, to read the game as a fly-half from the full-back’s position, is something that appeals to Lancaster.
“What I try and bring to the party is organisation, to try and make the back line work a bit better if I can and today it went alright,” added Goode.
“There were times when Toby Flood and I really created well together and linked well. In attack the performance was probably a seven or eight out of 10.
“Overall I was pretty happy. To be at home for my first game was a massive day for me and my family.
“Walking out and hearing the anthem was a real proud day for me. My mum and my girlfriend told me they were crying. I luckily kept the tears in.”
England: Goode, Sharples, Tuilagi, Barritt, Monye, Flood, Care, Marler, T. Youngs, Cole, Palmer, Parling, Johnson, Robshaw, Waldrom. Replacements: Brown for Monye (59), Farrell for Flood (59), B. Youngs for Care (58), Vunipola for Marler (46), Paice for T. Youngs (65), Wilson for Cole (58), Launchbury for Palmer (50), Wood for Johnson (59).
Fiji: Koniferedi, Wara, Goneva, Naqelevuki, Votu, Talebula, Matawalu, Makutu, Veikoso, Manu, Nakarawa, Ratuniyarawa, Naikatini, Ravulo, Qera. Replacements: Matavesi for Koniferedi (40), Fatiaki for Wara (67), Naureuere for Veikoso (47), Saulo for Manu (67), Kalou Qaraniqio for Ratuniyarawa (73), Ratuva for Naikatini (52).
Not Used: Somoca, Bolatagane.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand).