Toby Flood: Quick start for England will test Australia's confidence
Toby Flood wants England to get off to a blockbuster start in Saturday's Cook Cup clash with Australia at Twickenham.
Last Updated: 14/11/12 12:42pm
Flood questions recent talk that the Wallabies will be 'unstable' after being humiliated 33-6 by France last weekend, but says they must be tested in the early minutes of England's second autumn international.
Australia will be without David Pocock through injury, and with Quade Cooper, Will Genia and James O'Connor also missing England have a huge chance to make it three successive wins over their southern hemisphere rivals.
"Whether Australia are unstable or not as a side is an interesting one because I don't trust the result against France," Flood said.
"The anomaly of France winning 33-6 is similar to Australia putting 50 points on the French two years ago. Both sides have the ability to do a lot of damage.
"I see them as a side that went 18-18 with New Zealand. Of course, they have had a few issues and the injuries will have had an impact on the continuity of the side.
"We will look to get an ascendancy in the first 20 minutes and drive home our advantage because if we can turn the screw in the first 20 minutes then it will make a big impact."
Skills coach Mike Catt was thinking along the same lines when he warned England that they must avoid the sluggish opening against Fiji when they face a much stronger opponent.
He said: "We can't give Australia 20 minutes like we started the game with against Fiji because they will punish us. Australia still have some world-class game-breakers in their team.
"That is why the first 20-30 minutes are crucial. We need to make sure we take the game to Australia and make sure they know they are in another Test match."