ENGLAND lock Dave Attwood has dismissed criticism of Saturday’s defeat of Australia, insisting they are happy to sacrifice entertaining, expansive rugby in favour of results.
Two tries by No8 Ben Morgan and 16 points from the boot of fly-half George Ford helped the hosts to a pragmatic if unspectacular 26-17 victory over the Wallabies.
They may not have finished the autumn with a flourish, but England were pleased to claim a major southern hemisphere scalp at the third attempt, following losses to New Zealand and South Africa.
“People can say we’re the most boring team in the world if they want, but at the end of the day winning is winning,” said Bath’s Attwood, who started all four November Tests.
“No one cares about style if you lose: no one is going to say ‘You lost by three points, but you played so excitingly’. People might talk about that for a day, but two months later, three months later, three years, six years later, nobody cares; people only care about results.
“We’re in the business of producing results, so we’re bitterly disappointed about the first two results, very pleased with the second two. So we’ll build on that momentum and carry that into the Six Nations.”
Head coach Stuart Lancaster has played down the significance of beating Australia – group rivals at next year’s World Cup in England – less than 12 months before the tournament, but forwards coach Graham Rowntree called it a “vital” boost to morale.
“Our performance levels haven’t been as high as they should have been,” he said. “The best thing to restore belief is winning. We had very frank discussions after New Zealand and South Africa, but you always need to look forward. We’ve got a great young set of lads and it was all about getting a win against a big nation.”