"We were appalling"

Robinson: "We were appalling"
By Reuters

12/03/2006 at 20:16Updated

England coach Andy Robinson described his team as awful and appalling after their 31-6 thrashing by France on Sunday. England began the match by handing France a first-minute try and continued to get everything wrong in a wretched afternoon.

The World Champions failed to even threaten the French try-line once during the whole match.

"We were appalling in all aspects of the game," Robinson told reporters. "Right from the whistle we allowed them to score seven points.

"When we had the ball we kicked very poorly and did not find touch. We were awful.

Robinson described the result as the biggest disappointment in his time as coach and assistant to Clive Woodward and said he took responsibility. He took over from Woodward in October 2004.

The coach said five of his squad had suffered overnight illness, with scrumhalf Matt Dawson the worst affected, but captain Martin Corry refused to blame the defeat on that.

"It's not the reason we lost the game, as a team we all realise that what we did was really not good enough," he said.


Corry described the first 20 minutes as shocking.

"A terrible start and we just never really recovered," he said. "There were a lot of mistakes, I don't know what to say, we've tried to play and we've played poorly.

"It's a huge setback, we said after the Scotland defeat we needed to come to Paris and put in a very good performance. But unfortunately we haven't done that and now the pressure is going to pile on us all.

"At least we've got another chance against Ireland to show what we can do."

"It doesn't mean we are going to win the title but it was an important game to win today," he said.

"The fact that we scored early was important, we put a lot of pressure on them.

"The centres were outstanding but all the players performed well and, as a team, we felt we were in control apart from a short period just before halftime.

"We were much more consistent than against Ireland and Italy and we had a high level of intensity, particularly around the tackle area."

France team manager Jo Maso said: "Our first objective was not to lose in Paris during the championship - it's done.

"Now we go to the Millennium Stadium to win and win the championship."