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Lancaster takes positives from defeat
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is convinced his side can still challenge South Africa after drawing plenty of positives from their first Test defeat.
England's hopes of making a winning start in the three-match series in Durban were scuppered as they went down to a battling 22-17 defeat at Kings Park.
Lancaster's men coped with the Springboks' physical approach as the first half ended 6-6, but the hosts edged away with tries from Morne Steyn and captain Jean de Villiers after the break. Lancaster said: "Well done to the Springboks on the win. It was a tough test for both sides and I thought both sides competed really well, but the Springboks came out on top."
He added: "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.
"I am delighted with the comeback at the end and the mindset we showed to keep playing. For a lot of young players out there, and the new caps, there were some fantastic performances all round.
"I am really pleased with a lot of aspects of the game. 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."
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer admitted England had given his side a stern test in his first match in charge.
Meyer was pleased to come away with victory after coming under fire from some critics in the country over his squad selection. The former Leicester coach said: "We know England are very well prepared and they are a very physical side.
"We knew they would go out firing on all cylinders. There were a few nerves at the beginning with the new captain and the new caps but I am very happy with the guys."