England 67-3 Romania, Rugby World Cup, September 24, 2011
Tindall promises no more antics
September 24, 2011
Mike Tindall returned to an England shirt against Romania © Getty Images
Mike Tindall insisted England's World Cup party days are over as they gear up for the business end of the tournament - starting with next Saturday's showdown with Scotland.
Tindall has been in the spotlight since joining a group of England team-mates on a drunken night out in Queenstown a fortnight ago, when he was pictured in conversation with a woman. The England vice-captain admitted it was a relief to return to action in today's 67-3 10-try victory over Romania, which leaves them with one foot in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Next weekend's clash with Scotland at Eden Park in Auckland could well decide which team faces France in the last eight, and which faces hosts and favourites New Zealand.
"Our off-the-field antics are going downwards. Quiet ones from now on," said Tindall. "It was a relief to get back on the field. It was nice to just go out and play and get down to business.
"Even though no-one believes it we put it to bed on the Tuesday of two weeks ago. We've just got to get on and play rugby. We've got a massive game against Scotland and then we'll see what everything throws at us and go from there.
"It's generally becoming a week by week thing. Potentially we've got three games and we've got a final and that's what we've got to focus on."
Tindall was watched at today's game by his wife Zara Phillips, the Queen's grand-daughter, whose arrival in Dunedin on Thursday caused a media frenzy. But Tindall said he felt greater pressure from inside centre rival Shontayne Hape, who scored two tries against Georgia last week, than from any external forces.
"I always have something to prove to myself. I don't care what you think," Tindall said. "I always want to play. Hape did a really good job last week. There is always pressure around. "You have those battles in training and you have to have that pressure when you go on the field. I enjoyed today, I enjoyed running around. I'm so happy with how the guys played and the fact they didn't take their foot off the pedal. As an overall performance it pretty satisfying."
Tindall has moved to inside centre so England accommodate Manu Tuilagi, who today scored his fourth try in five Tests and was too powerful for the Romanian second-string to cope with. And Tindall today offered the same compliment to Tuilagi as Will Carling offered to Jonah Lomu at the 1995 World Cup.
"Manu is getting better and better so it will take something to go wrong to knock him out of that spot," said Tindall. "He's a freak to be honest, in the nicest possible way. The power that he's got and his feet and that little change of pace he takes on the outside. He's got a massive fend and it just makes it difficult for people to tackle him.
"Even if people do tackle him he's always half-through and we can play off quick ball. He's a handful. We've got a good variety in the whole thing with the flyers we've got in those back three - Cuets' hat-trick must have been up there with the fastest in a long time - and two quality 10s We've got loads of options."
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