Youngsters warned to curb ambition

Stuart Lancaster admits England must curb their “youthful exuberance” if they are to salvage an autumn-saving victory over 2015 World Cup group rivals Australia.

England's George Ford in action during the QBE International match at Twickenham, London.

A run of five successive defeats ended with Saturday’s 28-9 victory over Samoa at Twickenham, but the wounds left by New Zealand and South Africa in the opening two fixtures of the QBE Series will only begin to heal if the Wallabies are toppled.

Some repeated failings were evident against Samoa with missed chances and tactical naivete limiting England to only three tries against opponents distracted by a dispute with their union over mismanagement.

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“We have a youthful exuberance about us when it comes to wanting to play a bit, but as the weather closed in we needed to put ball in right areas,” said Lancaster.

“Overall, the ability to play in the right areas of the field against a side like Australia will be important and we need to improve in that area.

“I would have taken coming away with that final scoreline at the start of the day.

“It will relieve some of that pressure from the outside, but equally we’ll be pretty disappointed with some elements of our game.

“We know we need to improve to beat a quality side like Australia.”

On George Ford and Owen Farrell, Lancaster said: “It wasn’t a dry day and it wasn’t a game for running rugby. The set plays we used to get George and Owen going were effective.

“Jonny May’s first try came off a nice link between the two of them. It was a good start, but there a lot of ‘work-ons’ for us as a team.”