“We had to look at ourselves really with our discipline. We made some decisions that probably weren’t right with the context of the game, so that was frustrating; Our attack didn’t perhaps click the way we wanted it to, and that will be the main focus of the session later” – Steward
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 09/11/22 2:06pm
England full-back Freddie Steward admits the squad have had to look at themselves and their poor discipline this week, in the wake of a shock defeat to Argentina at Twickenham.
A series of avoidable penalties, in addition to a stunted attack, saw Eddie Jones’ side suffer a 30-29 defeat to Argentina at the home of English rugby for the first time in 16 years (November 2006) on Sunday, in England’s first Test this autumn.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports at England’s Pennyhill Park training camp in Bagshot, Steward said there has been huge frustration following the defeat.
“I think we had to look at ourselves really with our discipline,” he said.
“We made some decisions that probably weren’t right with the context of the game and how the game went, so that was frustrating.
“We’ve had some good discussions and have got a plan in place, so hopefully we get a result against Japan.
“It was a frustrating day for us really. Obviously we’re very disappointed with the result.
“But we’ve had a good couple of days since to work out what went wrong and put things right.”
England next host Japan at Twickenham on Saturday in a 3.15pm kick-off, intent on avoiding more unwanted history.
The Brave Blossoms are a side England have never lost to in their history, albeit they have not faced one another since November 2018, and Japan pushed the All Blacks all the way in October, eventually losing 38-31.
England’s Autumn Internationals
|Sunday, November 6||England 29-30 Argentina||2.15pm|
|Saturday, November 12||England vs Japan||3.15pm|
|Saturday, November 19||England vs New Zealand||5.30pm|
|Saturday, November 26||England vs South Africa||5.30pm|
For 21-year-old Leicester Tiger Steward, who has excelled since breaking onto the Test scene this time last year, Japan are a side he has yet to face and one he is looking forward to locking horns with.
“Very excited. I’ve never played Japan before, and they play an exciting brand of rugby,” he said.
“There’s a good buzz around camp at the minute and the boys are excited to get into it on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us. They like to zip the ball around, edge-to-edge, so defensively we’re going to have to be on it, and in attack see what we can offer.
“Our attack didn’t perhaps click the way we wanted it to on Sunday, and that will be the main focus of the session later.
“It’s difficult. Everyone comes in from different places and you’ve got to be to gel quickly and be able to play out there together.
“It’s not something that’s going to happen instantly, we understand that, but we’re doing everything we can behind the scenes to build those relationships and make sure it all gels come the weekend.”
Steward, still a university student undertaking an economic degree, has already developed into one of the first names on Jones’ England teamsheet.
At 6’5″, adept in the air and quick on the ground, he is one of world rugby’s most exciting prospects.
“It’s incredible. I’m trying to take it all in my stride and not get overdone by it all, but I’m loving every second of it.
“I’m really excited by the weekend and then New Zealand, South Africa to come.”