Borthwick: 'We wanted a tough test and we got it'
REACTION: England coach Steve Borthwick wanted a really tough Test match and that is exactly what Samoa brought to the table.
Borthwick agreed that a lot of what England dished up, did not meet the required standard of what he expected of them.
“The first thing I’ll say is immense credit to Samoa. I thought they played brilliantly. They talked about it as being their World Cup final and that is exactly how they played. They really tested us and forced us into lots of errors. It was a very scrappy performance for long periods and a really tough test.
“Looking towards next week, what did I want? A really tough test and we got that. There [was a lot that didn’t meet] the required standard and for a period there were too many penalties conceded. But then the players got hold of it and found a way to get the result at the end of the day.”
The England coach was full of praise for his captain Owen Farrell for breaking Jonny Wilkinson’s point-scoring record.
“It’s testament to a man who has dedicated himself to be the very best he can be – the best player, the best leader, the best person around the squad. He’s an incredible role model. He has had an impact on so many young lives and it’s a privilege for me as a coach to work with him. Hopefully he will play many more times in an England shirt.”
Borthwick said Samoa was a good dry run for probably next opponents Fiji.
“We know it is highly likely we will face Fiji though it is not confirmed yet. We prepare for all eventualities. Today was a great test for us. There’s been a lot said about this team being in tough circumstances and there were today.
“They didn’t want to be there but this team found a way out of it. What you are seeing is a team that navigates their way through situations. They are often criticised but I see a team that find a way and never stops. Have we got to be better? Yes. We will learn from it for next week.”
Farrell was asked about being timed out for a penalty kick at the post-match press conference.
“I was unaware of the clock. I obviously got lost a little but that’s not good enough. I’m glad for the team that it didn’t cost us. Hopefully it won’t happen again.”
The England team surprises Farrell with a picture and gift for breaking the points record and the captain said it was a nice surprise but his focus is on the team.
“I’ve not got too many thoughts. The lads have just given me a nice presentation, which was nice, but my focus will be on us [as a team] over the next few days. But it is a huge honour. They gave me a framed picture and a gift.”