Is an English victory out of the equation?

11:42 am on 29 September 2015

Wounds have been licked, minds re-focused and now the advice flows - just what will hosts England need to do to beat Australia this weekend and stay in the Rugby World Cup?

Why the long face? England captain Chris Robshaw after defeat by Wales.

Why the long face? England captain Chris Robshaw after defeat by Wales. Photo: AFP

There are plenty of people offering advice and we'll be keeping you up with the latest thoughts ahead of the crucial encounter.

Graham Henry, the former All Blacks coach, writes in The Guardian that England need to focus on their "mindset".

"Sport at the highest level is all in the mind. When a battle reaches its hottest point, the strong get even stronger.

"England melted at Twickenham when the game against Wales was theirs to take and their decision-making fell apart. They have this week to put it right.

"The first part of this strategy is players having a basic knowledge of how the brain works under pressure. Under intense pressure the brain has a tendency to freeze. Players need the ability to stay in the now, making good decisions and playing with intensity and accuracy, using individual triggers to stay focused."

It may be a lot to pick up in a week.

The Daily Telegraph offers a number of reasons why England can still make the quarter-finals, including: the Welsh injury crisis (the rely on another team's bad fortune option); Wales have a dreadful record against Australia (noticing a trend here?); Fiji could beat Wales (definitely a trend); Australia are green as a team and with a fairly new coach (England's longer serving coach is struggling at the moment); Australia give away a lot of penalties (even more than England).

Not a lot of controlling your own destiny in those suggestions.

Australian great David Campese, also writing inThe Telegraph, echoes Henry by saying England needs to "think on their feet" better. He believes their game plan is too structured and they struggle to adjust.

Sir Ian McGeechan, a former Scotland and British Lions player and coach, writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that England must remember what went right in the loss to Wales.

Welsh Rugby - Gareth Davies try

A Gareth Davies try propelled Wales to an astounding victory over England. Photo: Supplied

"Their front-five must get on top of Australia's, they must be accurate at the breakdown.

"They can still win the pool. It may no longer be in their hands but they must not lose sight of the fact that there were a lot of positives to come out of that match [against Wales]. For 55 minutes, England had Wales on the back foot. Their breakdown work was as clinical as it has been for some time. Their set piece was strong. They bossed the contact area."

Who will be the boss on Sunday morning? The tension mounts.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.