England v South Africa
Cipriani sees positives in defeat
November 17, 2008
Cipriani was replaced by Toby Flood late in the game against the Wallabies at Twickenham © Getty Images
Danny Cipriani believes Martin Johnson's new England side need just "a few tweaks" to turn them into a try-scoring machine.
The Wasps fly-half emerged from England's 28-14 defeat by Australia admitting he had learned a big lesson in how to close out a rugby match. But he remained in positive mood for next weekend's Twickenham replay of the World Cup final against South Africa.
Cipriani said: "I'm enjoying my rugby. It wasn't the right result but the signs are all positive. Just a few tweaking things and I think the England side will be much more productive next time."
The 21-year-old predicted they would learn the lessons in time for the clash against the Springboks, which also gives England the opportunity to erase the memory of that 26-0 demolition in the World Cup group phase. So what lessons did they learn on Saturday?
"Mostly about team unity," said Cipriani. "Australia knew what they were doing. They had a team structure and kept to it. That's what we need to do. It was a learning curve for a lot of us. There were some good things and some things we need to work on. We're a new side.
"We were a bit ill-disciplned and we need to work on that but it was not through lack of effort. We'll learn a lot more from this week's video than from last week's."
Cipriani, who awarded himself five out of 10 for his performance in the win against the Pacific Islanders, was not in the mood to score himself in defeat. He did, however, admit there was a lot more to come from the man who has filled the boots of Jonny Wilkinson and is seen as being the orchestrator of a bright new England future.
He said: "I did some good things, I did some things which were inconsistent. I need to improve but it was only my fifth cap. The Aussies have been together for a good while. They've had a whole Tri-nations together. They had that teamness about them and that's what we need to create and in quick time. We learned a lesson on how to close out a game.
"Our backs didn't get enough ball but we played some good rugby. Being our second game there was a lack of execution from us. I didn't enjoy losing but I learned a lot. It was fun and even though our backs didn't get enough ball we played some good rugby. It's consistency we are looking for. Playing the world champions there will be no room for mistakes."