England are “bitterly frustrated” at their inability to hold leads and maintain their discipline in South Africa and have a point to prove in the final match of the series in Cape Town Saturday, lock Joe Launchbury has said.
England lost the three-match series with defeats in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, where they made excellent starts to both games but allowed the Springboks to roar back and claim victory as the penalty count mounted against them.
England coach Eddie Jones has backed the commitment of his players and believes they will save their best for last to avoid a whitewash in the third and final test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.
“It is bitterly frustrating, parts of those first 20 minutes have been some of the best rugby we have played in a while and other parts we have been struggling to put things together,” Launchbury told reporters.
“Sometimes that happens, but as a forward pack it is important for us to really drive the team forward in that regard, go back to our basics.”
The Wasps second-rower says there will be no drop in intensity despite it being the final match of a long season for England’s players.
“It is easy to view this as a last game of the season, a tour that is over in terms of result being 2-0 down,” he said.
“But what we do have is a massive opportunity to end a run of form which we are desperate to change, get a win here and we know we are capable of it.
“Any opportunity to play for England is something to cherish and get excited about and I’d be very surprised to see someone in the squad who isn’t. We are desperate to put the record straight this weekend.”