Defeat not an option for England

Getty Images     26 Nov 2012     Getty Images

Narrow defeats to Australia and South Africa have left Stuart Lancaster's young side facing the prospect of finishing their autumn campaign with just a solitary win against Fiji.

"We need to salvage something next week. Three losses would be pretty unacceptable and for all the good work we need to reinforce that with a win," Wood said.

"To finish the autumn with three defeats would be pretty disappointing. We came out with high expectations. We have come very close and fallen short unfortunately.

"The South Africa result was really tough to take and the Australia result was tough to take because we felt we were right in the games and capable of winning them."

The challenge facing England is immense, particularly given the acute disappointment they feel following a 16-15 defeat to the Springboks.

New Zealand are unbeaten in 23 matches and they have barely been tested on their stroll through Europe, cruising to a 33-10 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium yesterday.

England fell 16-6 down to a fortunate Willem Alberts try yesterday but their forward pack matched the Springbok physicality and built a platform to win the game.

But once again England were unable to convert their tryscoring opportunities. Not for the first time, the England forwards were left frustrated by the lack of killer instinct in the backs.

"It is pretty difficult not to be disheartened by that game," Wood said.

"We poured our hearts and souls into that game. I thought we did a lot of things right.

"The work rate, the aggression in defence in particular and scrum time was spot-on considering the size of their pack and the physicality we talked about all week.

"To lose by a point is tough to take because in a lot of areas I thought we had the ascendancy.

"We are getting in those positions to score but we just have to nail them and take the chances because at this level you don't get many.

"We did more than enough to win the game and aside from that bounce of the ball [for Alberts' try] we would have won it.

"It will break for us eventually because we are doing a lot of good stuff.

"We have to get back on the horse quickly. We can't feel sorry for ourselves for too long.
"It would be a great way to finish the series with a win next week against the world champions but we know we will be in for another battle."