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Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 17:01 GMT
Larder plans for Aussie decoys
Lomu scores, despite the attention of Jason Robinson and Mike Tindall
Lomu dives over for his first of two tries at Twickenham
England v Australia, 16 November, kick-off at 1430. Live coverage on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Sport Online, TV highlights at 1725 on BBC One.

England defensive coach Phil Larder believes his team have two options come Saturday: improve or lose.

Despite recording only their fifth-ever win over the All Blacks, he remains unimpressed with many aspects of their game.

England usually miss seven to eight tackles a game - on Saturday the total was 23.

And while New Zealand's use of 'decoy' runners has come in for criticism, most notably from England coach Clive Woodward, Larder refuses to use this as an excuse for conceding four tries.


Defensively we have to be smarter
Phil Larder
"If we defend against Australia as we did against New Zealand then we are not going to win," he told Grandstand.

"In that respect I am not happy and a lot of improvement has to be made, both by individuals and the team as a whole."

Earlier in the week, Woodward argued that Jonah Lomu's two tries should have been disallowed because decoy runners were blocking English defenders.

While he acknowledges that similar moves would be penalised in the Zurich Premiership, Larder says he is preparing his charges for more of the same on Saturday.

"We had a training session on Wednesday when we did nothing other than practice defending the same kind of moves," he said.

"Australia are as smart as the All Blacks, and they have several plays themselves where decoy runs are used.

"Before we played New Zealand, we had only conceded five tries in the last two years against southern hemisphere opposition.

"What it proves is that we have to be smarter defensively."

Defensive know-how has been added with the return to the back row of Neil Back, owner of 51 caps and, according to Larder, one of the best rugby brains in the business.

Back displaces Lawrence Dallaglio and renews his acquaintance with Australian flanker George Smith.

The pair have enjoyed a number of close encounters, with Back claiming the most recent scalp in England's 21-15 win over Australia last November.

"Neil is an outstanding defender, and he reads the game very well," Larder said.

"But it isn't just his tackling, he is also a great communicator around the pitch.

"To have Richard Hill and Neil together in the back-row really adds strength in our defence."


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