New Zealand 28-27 England, 2nd Test
Wood fed up with valiant defeats
Tom Hamilton in Dunedin
June 15, 2014
Tom Wood said England's performance "wasn't good enough" © Getty Images
England led 10-6 at half-time but eventually fell 28-27 as the All Blacks stepped up a gear in the third quarter. Wood missed the first Test due to him playing in the Aviva Premiership final but he was fast-tracked back into the team for the Test in Dunedin but he was unable to prevent New Zealand tying up the series ahead of the final game in Hamilton.
"It was there for us," Wood said. "At half-time it felt like we had them. They're a dangerous team, you can't give them anything. Unfortunately we gave them too much. We left the door ajar for them and they kicked it open. Fair play to them, they did turn up the heat and they showed what quality they have.
"A lot of the credit goes to them for being so dynamic with it but a lot of the blame lies with us. We can talk about the character and the positives to come out for us for weathering that storm and coming back at them, but it was all too late in the day. I'm getting fed up of going through the process and having to explain a loss away. Frankly it just wasn't good enough."
Wood also lamented the opportunities which England let slip. In the closing stages of the first-half Manu Tuilagi was clear only to be hauled down by the superb Ben Smith while a couple of overlaps were not taken full advantage of.
"We were pretty organised in the first half. Our lineout maul was causing problems. We were winning ball with ease and driving well. Their only way to stop it was to come it at the side and give away penalties.
"Perhaps we should have stuck at that bit more. But we wanted to play with variety. We wanted to cause problems with our midfield runners too. There was one time when we were on their line, Chris Robshaw was out on the left, a bit isolated, if we had gone right we were walking it in. It is little things like that, the white-hot pressure, making sure your lines of communication are good.
"Manu's breakaway was crucial. Could we have got that away over the line? That would have been a massive nail in the coffin for them and a big up for us. Fine margins but Manu couldn't quite get there."
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Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.