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Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Saturday, 14 June 2008 13:41 UK

Andrew salutes England's resolve

Rob Andrew

Tour boss Rob Andrew praised England's fighting spirit after Saturday's 37-20 defeat to New Zealand in Auckland.

Andrew believes his young tourists can only learn from the experience and will head to Christchurch for next week's second Test eager to bounce back.

"Test match rugby is a brutal place and if you make simple mistakes then you will be punished," Andrew admitted.

"But now the mystique has gone out of playing the All Blacks for many of the lads and they can build on this."

England's forwards tore into the hosts from the kick-off and were ferocious at the breakdown and in the opening exchanges.

But New Zealand hit back to take a grip on the game with 20 points in nine devastating minutes to ensure victory.

mikeyphil (U6711778)

And caretaker coach Andrew said: "We're disappointed with the end result and really, when you analyse it, they were better with the ball than we were and that was the difference.

"They scored four tries in two spells either side of half-time which clearly caused us a lots of problems and that took the game away from us on the scoreboard.

"But in other areas we were very competitive and the spirit was very good and we kept going to the end.

"We were strong around the breakdown and the set-piece went pretty well so we'll take a lot from that."

England captain Steve Borthwick added: "We made a few too many errors and New Zealand were very clinical and every chance they got they took.

"When they were going forward they were playing really well and we have to look at how to stop that next week.

"We are going to work very hard. The attitude of our boys is faultless but we have to look at the performance and cut the error rate."

England will head down to Christchurch with self belief they can really put us pressure after that performance

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter

Flanker Tom Rees urged his team-mates to show a positive response in the second Test next week, adding: "There is no hiding from it, we know what we've got to do and we'll be reminded about how bad we were at times. But now it's about time we had a bit of belief."

New Zealand coachGraham Henry said he was pleased with his side's ability to weather England's powerful onslaught in the first 20 minutes at Eden Park.

"The guys showed a lot of mental toughness," said Henry.

"After 20 minutes we were under the cosh, the England forwards had control of the game and were beating us at the tackle.

"But after that we came right and played very well for the next 40.

"The last 20 was not as good as we hoped. A bit of ball was dropped and turned over but overall (it was) very pleasing really and something to build on."

All-Blacks fly-halfDaniel Carter admitted: "England will head down to Christchurch with self-belief they can really put us under pressure after that performance.

"In no way can we get too comfortable, we'll have to pick it up and play better next week."

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw declared himself satisfied with the outcome as they were only really put under pressure in the early stages.

"We took some opportunities and overall we were happy," McCaw said.

"It was a tough Test match. It was a step up and after the first five minutes the boys came back well."

see also
New Zealand 37-20 England
14 Jun 08 |  English
McCaw and Palmer set for reunion
11 Jun 08 |  English
Barkley up for All Blacks battle
12 Jun 08 |  Gloucester
New Zealand 21-11 Ireland
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union

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