Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Can Battle Back, Insists North

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Can Battle Back, Insists North

Article excerpt

Byline: Nik Simon

GEORGE NORTH says England will bounce back from the defeat that shattered their Grand Slam hopes if they follow Wales's lead.

Rob Howley's men were largely written off after a run of eight straight defeats culminated in a home loss against Ireland in the Six Nations opener but silenced their critics with four victories in a row, climaxing in Saturday's emphatic 30-3 success at the Millennium Stadium.

North knows how low England are feeling but his own experience with Wales shows problems can be overcome. "It's a tough few months when you go from being in with the chance of a Grand Slam to losing it and losing quite convincingly," said the 20-year-old winger.

"It's a hard place. I spoke to some of their boys after and it was gutting for them because they were going for everything and then lost everything. "We lost in the autumn series and the summer tour by very small margins and that just put a lot of pressure on the team when it comes to winning. We stayed strong as a unit and came through."

Two tries from Wales's other winger, Alex Cuthbert, condemned England to their biggest defeat under Stuart Lancaster, a far cry from the home side's opening match of the tournament when hopes of back-to-back Grand Slams were effectively over by half-time as they trailed Ireland 23-3. "England will have to do what we did after Ireland, stick together, work together as a unit and push on to the next game," said North.

"Obviously it wasn't the best start to the Six Nations when we lost to Ireland but we shut everything out and worked hard and it showed when we came away with the win against France in the next game. Going there is really tough."

France went into that match on the back of their shock defeat to Italy but held Wales 6-6 in Paris until North claimed the only try of the game in a 16-6 victory. …

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