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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Sanderson tips England fightback
Pat Sanderson
Sanderson could do little to help inspire England on Sunday
England stand-in captain Pat Sanderson is confident his side can turn around their fortunes in the second Test against Australia on Saturday.

The tourists slumped to a 34-3 defeat to the Wallabies at the weekend - their third heaviest defeat in games between the two countries.

But Sanderson, who is leading England on tour, said: "Most defeats feel the same - they are hard to deal with.

"I'm certain we can do better next week and we can take big strides forward."

England had opportunities to go ahead in the first half on Sunday, which they squandered, allowing Stirling Mortlock to slot over three penalties for a 9-0 lead.

And then tries from Chris Latham, Mark Gerrard and Rodney Blake took the game away from them.

We were very rusty and I think we'll improve

Australia coach John Connolly
"We made a couple of breaks we should have finished, and we could have scored 17 points in the first half. We will learn from our mistakes," said Sanderson, who is in temporary charge with regular captain Martin Corry rested for the tour.

"I don't think we are far off, but we have got to do it for 80 minutes and be merciless with any chances we get."

Australia could be missing influential centre Mat Rogers for the second of the two-Test series because of a groin strain, while coach John Connolly said he could make a series of big changes for the game.

The former Bath boss said he expected to make "one or two changes in the backs" but warned England his side would improve regardless of any change in personnel.

"We were very rusty," said Connolly. "I think we will improve on that performance.

"There is a sense of relief, and I thought the players responded well, but we realise we have to play a lot better than that.

"We've got some ideas about what we would like to do next weekend, and these are incredibly important Tests for us to broaden our squad."

In the pack, New South Wales forward Adam Freier looks likely to replace hooker Tai McIsaac, while Wycliff Paul is tipped to step in for flanker Daniel Heenan, who suffered a shoulder injury and head knock.

Connolly also said he was considering using lock Mark Chisholm in the back row, while number eight Rocky Elsom may be rested after a man-of-the-match performance.

Australia 34-3 England
11 Jun 06 |  Internationals
Robinson laments 'sloppy' England
11 Jun 06 |  Internationals
England v Australia photos
11 Jun 06 |  Photo Galleries

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