THE BLOG
12/10/2015 09:22 BST | Updated 11/10/2016 06:12 BST

England Rugby - Battle a Tough Week to Deliver in Manchester

This Sunday morning the England Rugby squad will wake up and again it will hit them that they are no longer part of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and it will hurt. A 60 points to 3 victory is an empathic winning margin however if they are truly critical of themselves they won't be wholly satisfied with the 80 minutes of rugby. 

To be truthfully honest the match itself doesn't need to be over analysed or dissected to within an inch of its life because the fact is that this squad will now go back to their domestic clubs and the World Cup journey ends for England Rugby. Of course we can make observations from the match however I suspect that the lions share of 'analysis' en route will be of the highly critical variety focused on the campaign as a whole as opposed to this test match. 

Isolating individuals from the Uruguay fixture you have to say that Nick Easter put in a 'big shift for an old man' and if that is to be his last performance in an England jersey then I believe he did what you would call 'signing off in style'. Joe Launchbury continued to show what a tremendous athlete he is, Joe attacked the gainline at every opportunity, was industrious and totally committed across the park. Launchbury is a huge asset to England Rugby and indeed Wasps Rugby and will only get better and better as time goes on. England's pack delivered at scrum time however with a 77kg weight superiority over Uruguay they did what was expected of them. The breakdown wasn't a beautiful area but in fairness to England the gulf in experience between themselves and Uruguay meant that, that area was particularly scrappy.

With regard to the back line, in the second half, they did what we expected of them and showed us what happens when you have potent threats across it. In the first the whole team was guilty of over playing, they were over eager to make their statement and shipped it wide at every opportunity. As we all know you often need to earn the right to play and when England did that they were rewarded with second half tries galore. Jack Nowell and Henry Slade both flourished, the former made 122 metres and the latter's sublime handling was involved in everything good about England's performance. The opposition has to be taken into account however never has ever given us a reason to think that they wouldn't do the same against the best in the world. Personally I believe that England's future does lie with a back line that has George Ford at 10 with Jonathan Joseph and Henry Slade outside of him, as there you have a trio that defences simply won't know what to do with and certainly won't want to play against. 

When all is said and done this test match won't be the one that is remembered in years to come, however England deserve a lot of credit for the manner in which they fronted up this week and finished this competition. Stuart Lancaster spoke much about making a 'positive last impression' on the competition and with the second half I believe that England did that. The strength that it will have taken this squad to deliver such a performance after their hearts have been ripped apart due to the exit from the competition must be acknowledged and applauded by all. There won't be any individual across the country that will be hurting more than members of England's squad and they showed their professionalism with Saturday's performance. 

Now the match has been competed and England's journey in the 2015 Rugby World Cup has come to an end the analysis will begin. Personally I don't see any benefit in it being as brutal as it has been this past week, of course there are things to discuss and a lens to be shone on the campaign however there are ways and means to do so in order to move forwards, positively. 

From my position, what I will say right now, is that I believe that England Rugby shouldn't be afraid to want to play rugby because after all points mean prizes. England must have the courage of conviction in terms of their own strengths and abilities as a unit and select accordingly as opposed to worrying about the opposition. When it comes down to the test matches themselves this World Cup showed that the pressure of being the hosts can have a huge impact and baring on individuals. To a man every test player must show ice cold composure for eighty minutes, even in the most intense of battles. That composure comprises of reacting to the referee, handling their own decisions and keeping check of personal discipline. Much will be learned from this tournament and there is no question that this England side will be better for it, however it is a tough way to learn vital lessons isn't it?