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Six Nations: Chris Robshaw knows England cannot afford any more slow starts

Last Updated: 03/02/14 12:46pm

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Chris Robshaw (right): England skipper laments poor start in Paris

Chris Robshaw (right): England skipper laments poor start in Paris

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England captain Chris Robshaw admits his side cannot afford any more slow starts in the Six Nations this season.

France took the lead after just 31 seconds in Paris on Saturday through Yoann Huget's try and the wing added a second touchdown midway through the first half to give the hosts a 16-3 advantage.

England, who also conceded an early try against New Zealand in the autumn, battled back to lead 21-16 but Gael Fickou's try four minutes from time eventually condemned them to a 26-24 defeat.

"We can't give teams a big lead like that and this is something we must address," said Robshaw.

"You put so much energy into getting yourself back in front that it knackers you out a bit. It takes quite a lot to get back in front.

"We can't give teams so many points, we need to be the team that imposes ourselves. There can't be any more lessons - we are in a championship."

Despite the result, Robshaw took plenty of encouragement from the game.

"The bounce of the ball went against us and it's tough to take. Credit goes to the guys for getting back in it," added the Harlequins flanker.

"You never know what you will get with the French and that is what we found out at the end. They took the try well.

"The way we looked after the ball at times was much better than in the autumn.

"Our attack was much improved on the last time we were all together, but unfortunately the final thing didn't quite work for us.

"We did cough the ball up a little bit too easily and that takes a lot out of the legs."

Inspiration

Robshaw knows any further slip-ups will result in the end of England's title aspirations, but takes comfort in Wales losing their Six Nations opener last year and yet winning the tournament.

"We can't give teams a big lead like that and this is something we must address. You put so much energy into getting yourself back in front that it knackers you out a bit. It takes quite a lot to get back in front."
Chris Robshaw

"We have got to draw inspiration now from what Wales did last year," he said.

"Of course we are in a very tough situation. We know the challenge and the uphill battle we face. It can be done.

"The dream of winning every game is not there anymore but we showed great potential against France.

"It's not about learning now, it's about kicking on. We came with one mission and unfortunately we didn't get it."

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