Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Ashton raring to go after Fiji frustrations



Winger Chris Ashton, forced to watch from the stands through suspension, was so frustrated at missing England's 54-12 victory over Fiji that he walked out of Twickenham after an hour and drove home in a sulk.

As England scored seven tries, including two by his direct replacement Charlie Sharples, Ashton was left to rue the three yellow cards that led to his one-game ban, knowing he was missing a glorious opportunity to end his personal try drought.

Having nailed 15 in his first 17 internationals, the former rugby league man has now gone nine without scoring.

"It's killing me," he told reporters on Thursday having been recalled in place of Ugo Monye in England's only change for Saturday's game against Australia.

"I was pleased for Charlie but it was so frustrating to see so many tries being scored and not be involved.

"It was so frustrating I had to leave after 60 minutes, I couldn't watch it. I just went out to the car park and drove home. Every now and then I put the radio on but I had to turn it straight off again. I couldn't even listen.

"Two weeks goes pretty slowly when you're not allowed to play. It's been tough and I'm glad I'm back involved."

Down-to-earth Ashton is no prima donna and stressed that he would far rather see England win without him scoring than lose with him crossing the line.

But for a man who made such an explosive impact in his early tests, the dry spell is hard to deal with.

"I've not changed anything, I'm trying to do what I do normally," he said. "Maybe we're not making quite the same number of breaks at the moment but there's not much I can do about it."

'POPPING UP'

Coach Stuart Lancaster certainly has no concerns. "He's a proven try scorer over the long haul for us," he said. "He hasn't scored so many recently, but you watch him in training and he's popping up all over the place.

"He's hungry for the ball, his work rate off the ball is outstanding and his positioning and the understanding in the back three with (Saracens teammate and fullback) Alex Goode is a strength for us."

Only four players from each starting team survive from their last meeting at Twickenham two years ago, when Ashton blasted into public consciousness with a wonderful length-of-the-field try.

Created with some ambitious work on their own try line by scrumhalf Ben Youngs and lock Courtney Lawes, Ashton had the home crowd roaring as he tore clear before braking suddenly to wrong-foot Drew Mitchell then sprinting away and diving over the line for his second score in the record 35-18 victory.

"There were a lot of new faces that day and there was a 'no fear' mentality how we played," said Ashton, whose first international try also came against the Wallabies in the 21-20 Sydney victory earlier that year.

"I think sometimes you get that against Australia, the way they play it's an open game and you're encouraged to play that way as well.

"It was just one of those days, they only happen once in a while and people still talk about it."

England fans hoping that day would herald a bright new era of attacking rugby were to be disappointed, however, as Martin Johnson's team eventually retreated into their conservative shell.

Only flyhalf Toby Flood, prop Dan Cole and lock Tom Palmer of Saturday's starting team also remain as England set about another rebuilding job.

"It's relatively similar this time, a lot of new people, but our defence is a lot stronger now," said Ashton.

"I've got 26 caps but I still feel relatively new here and I think with Stuart coming in it's new for everyone and we're all enjoying that."

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Gavin Rich
Kudos to Bok conditioning coach
The perceived superiority of the All Blacks' conditioning was the main reason I was taking a...

Brendan Venter
Boksing clever
Having suffered back-to-back away defeats – albeit by narrow margins – the Springboks’ chances of...

Tony Johnson
'Expect the unexpected and deal with it'
The All Blacks had a mantra through the last World Cup, one that has continued to serve them well.

Brenden Nel
Boks v NZ battles - bring them on!
It came as an innocuous question from an All Black supporter on Twitter, but it summed up the...