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We will learn from mix-up - Cole

Dan Cole has criticised England's indecision in the crucial closing stages of their 16-15 defeat to South Africa.

The Leicester prop watched from the sidelines as fly-half Owen Farrell questioned England captain Chris Robshaw's instruction to kick a late penalty for goal. England trailed 16-12 and Robshaw believed England had time to take the points, gather the restart and put themselves in a position to win the game with a drop-goal or another penalty.

"You have two minutes to go and we are wasting 30 seconds trying to decide what to do, which isn't good," Cole said. "Sometimes the right decision is the quick decision. We will live and learn."

Robshaw's decision-making is under the spotlight for a second weekend running. Last Saturday, England were criticised for not kicking their goals as they chased a win against Australia.

The England players, all well briefed, presented a united front in support of Robshaw's decision after the match.

"We were always going to back his decision because he is the captain and makes the calls," Farrell said.

England flanker Tom Wood believes Robshaw's decision was influenced by the fall-out from the Australia game.

"Maybe last week played on our minds a little bit in the final stages," Wood said.

"None of us hold it against Chris for the decision. We were still in the game.

"Unfortunately we did the one thing we couldn't afford to do, which was fumble the kick-off and give the ball back to them with a minute left on the clock."


From Belfast Telegraph