Hansen: England consumed with doubt

The Bolton News: Steve Hansen believes England are struggling to choose a suitable tactical approach Steve Hansen believes England are struggling to choose a suitable tactical approach

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen claims England are facing a dilemma over their tactics after discovering they are unable to match the All Blacks at a fast-paced game.

Stuart Lancaster's tourists enter the series finale at Waikato Stadium hoping to salvage some pride after slumping to defeat in the first two Tests.

They were blown away in the third quarter of the 28-27 loss in Dunedin, conceding three tries in 11 devastating minutes as New Zealand delivered a lesson in the art of finishing.

England entered the series hoping to develop the high-tempo gameplan that served them well during the RBS 6 Nations, but Hansen insists they are now overcome with doubt.

"They are in a bit of a quandary really because they took us on in Dunedin playing a game of real pace and worked out they couldn't," he said.

"So what are they going to do now? I've seen Lancaster mention in the paper that maybe they shouldn't play too much rugby down their end, so maybe they're going to kick a wee bit more.

"But they will have a good plan because they are good coaches, so we've just got to make sure we've got a good one to counter it.

"England are a determined bunch so they'll want to put in another performance they can be proud of, so I don't think we've broken their spirit.

"They're a group of people who believe in themselves, so they'll get up again for the last Test."

England arrived in New Zealand outlining their intent to win the series but have been outplayed by the world champions over the first two Tests.

In the 20-15 victory at Eden Park the All Blacks produced the match-winning try two minutes from time and in Dunedin they emerged convincing winners, even if the scoreline suggested otherwise.

A 2-1 series defeat would be viewed as an acceptable return and head coach Lancaster admits their summer tour should be deemed a success or failure based on Saturday's outcome.

"The series will be judged ultimately by the scoreline. We desperately want that win and that's why we need to put in a high-quality performance," Lancaster said.

"We will judge the tour by results but also the knowledge and experience we've learned about our players.

"The ability to learn who can and who can't deliver at the highest level has been absolutely invaluable.

"You can watch as many DVDs and games as you like, but it's only when you get your hands on players week in week out that you really learn the true strengths of individuals.

"That's been the most invaluable part of the tour because that's what you need leading up to a World Cup."

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