Rugby World Cup 2011: England nowhere near best - Toby Flood

Toby Flood
Flood kicked four conversions and a penalty in the win over Georgia

Toby Flood says England are "nowhere near" their best after a laboured start to the Rugby World Cup.

England made hard work of beating Georgia 41-10 after scraping a narrow 13-9 victory in their Pool B opener against Argentina.

"Good teams win poorly but I'd say we're nowhere near where we want to be," Flood told BBC Sport.

"We are striving to get better and striving to improve but at the moment there are big steps to be made."

England eventually ran in six tries against Georgia but were less than impressive.

"We're very disappointed," Flood said. "We were obviously expected to go out and win that game, we did so, but there was a bit of a bitter taste in the changing rooms afterwards.

Media playback is not supported on this device

England nowhere near best - Flood

"The guys have been pretty frustrated with one another and themselves for, I guess, simple errors and so-called mistakes that are pretty easily rectified on the pitch that we just didn't go about doing."

Manager Martin Johnson blasted England as "sloppy" after the game against Georgia and warned that they must make an immediate improvement, with Romania next up on Saturday before the likely pool decider against Scotland on 1 October.

And Flood said the team must take collective responsibility for their errors.

"I don't think we're a team now that just would point the finger and blame individuals," he said.

"I think we're a team, that as a collective, would say 'as a whole, this is poor and what we're doing is wrong' and hopefully we can get better."

England's ponderous start is in sharp contrast to Six Nations rivals Ireland and Wales.

Ireland produced a shock by beating Tri-Nations champions Australia 15-6 while Wales responded to a 17-16 defeat to South Africa with a 17-10 victory over Samoa.

And Flood admitted he was impressed by their performances.

"You've got to give them massive credit," he added. "Wales have come off a tough loss to South Africa and go and beat Samoa, who people would have put a bit of money on.

"Ireland were just absolutely sensational. It's the biggest upset from the outside but, I think, everyone in rugby would know that Ireland are capable of that sort of thing. Our wounds are still pretty raw from what happened when we played them in Dublin [in the Six Nations]."

Top Stories