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Chris Robshaw vows England will iron out second-half flaws exposed by Argentina
If you said to me at the start of the day, 31-12 against Argentina, I'd have taken it.
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Captain Chris Robshaw was at a loss to explain why England were unable to continue their impressive first-half display against Argentina for the full 80 minutes at Twickenham.
England looked to be cruising to a comprehensive victory as they built a 24-6 interval lead, but Stuart Lancaster's men could not carry that form into the second half against a resurgent Argentina.
In the end, a late Ben Morgan try ended Argentina's fightback and sealed a 31-12 triumph for England, but Robshaw concedes his side will need to look at the reasons why they lost their way ahead of next week's clash against mighty New Zealand.
Asked if the second-half turnaround was down to Argentina or because England's level dropped off, Robshaw told Sky Sports: "It think it's probably a bit of both. Credit to them, we need to look at ourselves ahead of next week.
"We came out all guns blazing and got off to a flying start. Unfortunately Argentina came out with a bit more impetus in the second half and put us under a lot more pressure.
"I'm not really sure (about only playing well for 40 minutes), this is something we'll have to look at in the week.
"We slipped off a couple of tackles in the second half which allowed them to build up a head of steam and probably saw us head in the opposite direction. We'll focus and we'll get it sorted."
On what he did like about England's first-half performance, Robshaw added: "The shape. Especially after last week we were very effective at the breakdown, scrum and lineout.
"I think this week, especially in the first half, we got a lot numbers in motion, players working hard for each other and offering themselves up."
Lack of consistency
Head coach Stuart Lancaster was measured in his assessment of England's performance and also paid tribute to the resilience shown by Argentina.
Lancaster said: "We went in at half-time (leading) 24-6 and the first half, in total, was pleasing.
"There were one or two areas we didn't quite get right. Second half, I thought we were a bit loose and Argentina upped their game.
"We did a lot of defending. It was a good defensive workout but not good enough overall for an 80-minute performance.
"But, if you said to me at the start of the day, 31-12 against Argentina, I'd have taken it.
"We have to get consistency for 80 minutes. Our intent and accuracy was good in the first half but that slipped off a little bit in the second half and Argentina raised their game and gave us a hard time defending.
"Overall, there were plenty of positives to take from the game."
Lancaster admitted selection for the New Zealand fixture will be tough, particularly in light of improved displays from under-pressure backs Billy Twelvetrees and Chris Ashton.
He said: "Everyone had a point to prove. We wanted to build on our winning run - we've won eight of the last nine - and wanted to continue that. I thought they did that well and we've got some decisions to make for New Zealand next week."
Character and personality
Argentina captain Juan Manuel Leguizamon was heartened by his side's fightback in the second half.
"The first half was rough for us; we couldn't put onto the pitch what we had trained for during the week," he said.
"We spoke in the changing room at half-time and said we should got out and show some character and personality.
"I think we did that but there is still a lot of work to do."
|Saturday 1st November|
|TBC||USA vs New Zealand|
|14:30||Barbarians vs Australia|
|Saturday 8th November|
|14:00||Italy vs Samoa|
|14:30||England vs New Zealand|
|14:30||Wales vs Australia|
|16:45||France vs Fiji|
|17:30||Scotland vs Argentina|
|17:30||Ireland vs South Africa|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Italy vs Argentina|
|14:30||England vs South Africa|
|14:30||Wales vs Fiji|
|17:30||Scotland vs New Zealand|
|20:00||France vs Australia|
|Sunday 16th November|
|14:30||Ireland vs Georgia|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|14:00||Italy vs South Africa|
|14:30||Scotland vs Tonga|
|16:30||Ireland vs Australia|
|17:30||Wales vs New Zealand|
|19:00||England vs Samoa|
|20:00||France vs Argentina|
|Saturday 29th November|
|14:30||England vs Australia|
|14:30||Wales vs South Africa|
|Saturday 18th October|
|Australia 28 - 29 New Zealand|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com