‘Small steps ahead’: Borthwick praises England’s maul after win over Italy | Six Nations 2023

Steve Borthwick after the match.

Steve Borthwick believes the Twickenham devoted could have lapped up England’s maul-or-nothing efficiency towards Italy after chalking up the primary win of his tenure as head coach.

England killed off a harmful Italian aspect with three tries from driving mauls in addition to a close-range rating from Ollie Chessum earlier than Henry Arundell dotted down late on to return their aspect to successful methods after the defeat by Scotland within the match opener. Borthwick was fast to level out how far behind their championship rivals – who performed out an exciting contest on Saturday – his aspect are however pointed to “small steps ahead” with a visit to Wales subsequent up on Saturday week.

Borthwick’s adjustments to his group have been successful insofar as Ollie Lawrence impressed at inside-centre and Jack Willis excelled at openside flanker however England largely did not click on into gear as an attacking pressure with ball in hand, counting on lineout drives to construct their lead. Within the second half there have been audible groans as gamers persevered with the tactic of kicking in behind however Borthwick insisted: “That is nonetheless the primary layer of the rebuild. I believe the followers loved the maul, they actually take pleasure in a maul at Twickenham so I used to be happy to see just a few.

“The very first thing is that I need the supporters to be happy with their group. The group must construct the suitable tactical plan inside a sport. [Here] was the maul, it doesn’t imply it will likely be subsequent week or the week after however we’ve acquired to construct some strengths inside this group and that’s what we’re making an attempt to do.”

Steve Borthwick after the match.
Steve Borthwick is all smiles after the primary win of his England tenure. {Photograph}: Patrick Khachfe/JMP/REX/Shutterstock

Eire are high of the Six Nations desk after the primary two rounds after bonus-point wins towards Wales and France with Scotland in second on factors distinction. England’s journey to face Wales – who’re backside after two heavy defeats from two matches – might make or break their marketing campaign however Borthwick was keen to focus on how his aspect are taking part in catch-up with the pacesetters.

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“These groups are within the ultimate yr of their four-year plan,” added Borthwick. “They’ve used the 4 years very well and now they’re placing the ending touches to it. They know their choice, the caps beneath their belt, they’re arriving on the World Cup with the suitable variety of caps, you’ve spent the correct amount of time collectively as gamers and a training group. We’re not in that state of affairs. The way in which we prepare, play and the best way we method our off-field preparation is that we’re maximising each minute. We’ve got to. The gamers have embraced that. I’ve requested them to do one thing completely different and so they’ve embraced it.”