It was just after half time at Oita Stadium when the force of nature that is Marika Koroibete swept over for a converted try that brought Australia to within a point of England. A 17-6 lead had evaporated. The hopes of the green and gold were rising. Around the ground thoughts were flashing back to recent England unravellings. Not here? Not now? Not with a Rugby World Cup on the line? Owen Farrell gathered his side into a huddle, took one look in their eyes and knew it was not going to happen again. The England captain hit the reset button, his team struck back straight back away with Kyle Sinckler’s showbiz score and buried Australia with 23 unanswered points. The mental “hand grenades in the back of the jeep” that Eddie Jones identified during pressure situations in the Six Nations have gone. It has taken painful squad honesty sessions with psychologists Corinne Reid and Andrea Furst over the summer to arrive at this point but it seems England can finally match their physical threat with mental resilience. It is naive to think it is all going to sweetness and light against New Zealand in Saturday’s semi-final but England will… Read full this story
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