Lewis Ludlam insists there is no such thing as a sense of panic after England launched the Steve Borthwick period with a 29-23 defeat by Scotland that positioned an early dent of their GuinnessSix Nations title chase.
Gregor Townsend’s aspect got here out on prime of a seven-try Calcutta Cup traditional to put up a 3rd successive victory over the Auld Enemy and register consecutive wins at Twickenham for the primary time within the fixture’s 152-year historical past.
England led by a single level heading into the ultimate 10 minutes however the defensive frailty obvious all through was uncovered once more when turbo-charged wing Duhan van der Merwe struck for the second time.
Although not the end result to dispel the gloom current for the ultimate 12 months of Eddie Jones’ stewardship, there was a lot to admire about Borthwick’s first outing as head coach as the thrill returned to Twickenham.
“There’s no panic about that performance but it’s important that we build on that because we have Italy coming and we need to be better,” Northampton flanker Ludlam mentioned.
“It was a proper Test match. It’s hard not to be frustrated with the result. A few of our mistakes let them into the game and that’s Test rugby, they punished us for those mistakes.
“In terms of how we want to play and the fight we showed, it was really encouraging from an England point of view.
“There’s a clarity about how we do things. I feel like this group is closer. There’s now a really deep, emotional connection over what it’s like to play for England.
“The boys want to fight for each other and for the coaches. It’s encouraging and while disappointing that we didn’t get the win, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Van der Merwe emerged as Scotland’s matchwinner by pouncing in every half, though debate will proceed over whether or not his gorgeous first strive owed as a lot to England’s defensive failings as his personal particular person brilliance.
The imposing Lions wing evaded 5 tackles throughout a run initiated from inside his personal half as a mixture of velocity, power and footwork swept him throughout the whitewash.
“Van der Merwe was a massive threat for them and he had a fantastic game. He really got them on to the front foot and we didn’t deal with that well enough,” Ludlam mentioned.
“He’s a fantastic player and is very good at finding space. If we worked on our defence for the next two years, would he have made that break? I don’t know. It’s hard to gauge that.”
Like Ludlam, England’s two-try wing Max Malins was one other participant who had been marginalised by Jones but was accommodated within the beginning XV by Borthwick.
The Bristol-bound Saracen believes there was sufficient within the efficiency to position a spring within the step of supporters forward of the spherical two conflict with Italy.
“I’m sure fans went to the game not really knowing what to expect. Hopefully they can see that performance and look at the good in it,” Malins mentioned.
“I am adamant there were some good things in there and hopefully that gets the fans excited.
“At the end of the day we get to represent our country and we’re proud to do so and want to make those fans happy. So that’ll be our aim in eight days time.”