Lancaster takes positives in defeat
England head coach Stuart Lancaster feels there were plenty of positives to take out of defeat to South Africa on Saturday.
The tourists went down 22-17 to the Springboks in Durban and will face the mighty South Africans in two more Tests over the next two Saturdays.
The Red Rose performed well in the first period and repelled everything that the hosts threw at them and a half-time scoreline of 6-6 was no more than they deserved.
But the Boks took control early in the second half to run in two tries and, despite an encouraging England comeback with Ben Foden's try, they held on for the narrow victory.
England have improved dramatically under Lancaster's guidance and finished second in the Six Nations but a tour to South Africa is a step up and considered one of the toughest tests in world rugby.
And Lancaster was pleased with the way in which his charges matched their illustrious opponents during the first 40 minutes of action while admitting they need to keep up their concentration levels for the whole 80 minutes.
"It was a tough test for both sides and I thought both sides competed really well, but the Springboks came out on top," he told reporters.
"From our point of view, I was really pleased with the first-half performance. There are a lot of positives to take.
"The critical area for us to work on is that third quarter where the Springboks controlled the game well and scored their two tries."
England are a side in transition after a number of senior players were jettisoned or retired following last year's World Cup debacle and the coach feels they will head into the second Test with a positive attitude after coming so close at Kings Park.
"I am really pleased with a lot of aspects of the game," he added. "There are one or two areas to work on but lots of positives as well, so we will go in really good heart to Johannesburg."