England 15-16 South Africa: Steve Borthwick ‘disenchanted however immensely proud’ after defeat

Steve Borthwick consoles players Ellis Genge and Freddie Steward
England head coach Steve Borthwick consoles his gamers Ellis Genge (left) and Freddie Steward (proper) after dropping to South Africa within the World Cup semi-final

Steve Borthwick stated he was “disenchanted however immensely proud” after England’s 16-15 World Cup semi-final defeat by South Africa.

Underdogs England, who led for a lot of the sport in Paris, had been denied a spot in a record-equalling fifth ultimate after a late Handre Pollard penalty.

Borthwick’s facet misplaced 5 of their six video games earlier than the match however went on to win Pool D and attain the final 4.

“I care an terrible lot for the gamers so I am gutted for them,” stated Borthwick.

Chatting with BBC Radio 5 Stay, the England head coach added: “I actually care deeply about English rugby and our supporters. There have been some powerful occasions and now we have work to do however you will notice simply how a lot these gamers care about representing their nation.

“In any sport like this you need to credit score the opposition, who discovered a option to win on the finish. South Africa are present world champions and world quantity ones for a motive.

“We thought we had been going to win tonight and we got here right here believing we might win. The gamers deserve huge credit score for that.

“I believe the tens of hundreds of England followers watching right here tonight and the thousands and thousands watching at residence can be very pleased with their staff.”

England produced their finest efficiency of the marketing campaign on the rain-drenched Stade de France as Owen Farrell kicked 4 penalties and a drop aim to open up a nine-point lead within the second half.

South Africa made adjustments throughout the staff and commenced to dominate within the scrum, which proved to be their launchpad again into the sport as RG Snyman scored the one attempt earlier than Pollard’s enormous penalty claimed victory.

Borthwick replaced Eddie Jones as head coach last December however pointed to the longer term together with his youthful facet.

“Now we have a really good group of gamers which are studying in a short time as a result of now we have needed to do it in a short time,” he stated. “The opposition have had 4 years and now we have had 4 months.

“That’s the reason the gamers deserve huge credit score. I requested the gamers to method the coaching in another way they usually have embraced that.

“In that 23-man squad, now we have seven gamers aged 25 or youthful. That’s the most of any of the semi-finalists so now we have an important mix of expertise and younger gamers.

“We’re disenchanted however immensely pleased with these guys and we’ll construct going ahead.”

‘Sport is merciless generally’

A kind of anticipated to be tasked with England’s rebuild sooner or later is full-back Freddie Steward.

The 22-year-old was composed below the excessive ball in greasy circumstances on his return to the beginning 15 after dropping out of the facet for Marcus Smith within the quarter-final win over Fiji.

“Loads of uncooked feelings on the minute… To go that shut in opposition to such an important outfit and to not get there ultimately is a troublesome one to take. Sport is merciless generally,” Steward informed BBC Radio 5 Stay.

“It’s a must to credit score South Africa, they fought until the tip and made us pay for a number of errors. However I’m so pleased with the hassle that the boys gave tonight.

“The teaching workers, they made us imagine. They put the plan collectively and we had been so shut, however didn’t get there sadly.”

On returning to the squad, Steward stated he was “as happy as you might be”.

He added: “Steve Borthwick made it clear. It’s a squad of 33 and it’s a 33-man effort, even the lads not within the squad tonight gave the whole lot to assist us and it’s simply unlucky that it has ended this manner.”

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