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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 September 2007, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Easter calls for calm after loss
Nick Easter
Easter says the world champions have just not been good enough
England forward Nick Easter has urged his team-mates to stay calm despite Friday's crushing 36-0 defeat at the hands of South Africa in Paris.

"That was a trouncing. It was pretty embarrassing, the scoreline," said the Harlequins number eight.

"But there is no point being angry. If you lose your head, it's over. You have got to have a cool head.

"We've had three poor performances in a row, but we've got to back ourselves more, maintain tactics and discipline."

The loss leaves England needing to beat Samoa to keep alive their chances of making it out of Pool A and into the quarter-finals.

But judging on their performance against the Springboks, a win is far from guaranteed.


"It is case of dusting ourselves down over the next couple of days," said Martin Corry, who captained England in the absence of the suspended Phil Vickery.

"We are not going to hit the self-destruct button, we know what a challenge we have got next week.

"We will analyse this performance but after 48 hours everything will be focused on Samoa.

"We know we are a side not playing to our full potential at the moment. But we still believe we can hit it and we have to keep striving to produce a performance we know we are capable of."

England coach Brian Ashton was blunt in his assessment of his side's game with Samoa in Nantes.

"There has to be a big performance next week," he said. "If there is one in there, it has to come out otherwise we will be on our way home."

The spirit is going to be down in the whole camp but we have to pick it up

Simon Shaw

The defeat to South Africa left England third in Pool A, needing to win their two remaining games against Samoa (22 September) and Tonga (28 September) to progress.

It was the first time since the 1998 Tour of Hell that England ended a Test without a point, and came hot on the heels of a turgid display against USA.

England second-row forward Simon Shaw admitted it would be hard to lift the squad's morale.

"It is a problem because we had a pretty poor performance in the first game and now we have lost this game," he told BBC Sport.

"The spirit is going to be down in the whole camp but we have to pick it up and take something out of this game.

"In terms of the game plan, a lot of things went right but certainly parts of our game are just not clicking and we have to sort those out pretty quickly.

"We had one or two chances where we could have gone on and scored, but the fact is we haven't scored a point and have not really looked like scoring any points."

We have to be straight with one another, be honest about what is going wrong and then put this to bed, because we have got to win next week

Andy Farrell

Centre Andy Farrell, who came in for more criticism following the loss to the Springboks, added: "We need to be harsh on ourselves now and, when we review the match, tell ourselves some home truths.

"We have to be straight with one another, be honest about what is going wrong and then put this to bed, because we have got to win next week."

England's problems could mount during the next 24 hours after injuries to full-back Jason Robinson (hamstring) and centre Jamie Noon (knee) left them licking their wounds.

Fly-halves Jonny Wilkinson and Olly Barkley missed the Springboks calamity through injuries, while Vickery serves the second game of a two-match ban against Samoa.

Easter added: "It's how you are in the face of adversity, and at the moment we haven't been good enough.

"I don't think we will have a fully fit team, not the way Jason Robinson went off. I think Jonny will be back, he's been doing a lot of intensive physio."

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