SOUTHAMPTON’S Mike Brown admits the pain of defeat lingers longer than the satisfaction of victory as England begin the process of restoring Twickenham to fortress status.
Until New Zealand’s 30-22 triumph last autumn, Stuart Lancaster’s side had reeled off six successive wins at their headquarters in south-west London.
With England scheduled to play all but one of their 2015 World Cup matches at Twickenham, home form has taken on greater significance than ever.
To date their 2014 RBS 6 Nations campaign has been conducted on the road, losing to France and routing Scotland.
The visit of Grand Slam-hunting Ireland next week is the first of only six fixtures to be staged at Twickenham this year and Brown, pictured, is determined to erase the All Blacks defeat from memory as quickly as possible.
Bad memory “I do enjoy the wins, obviously, but I remember the losses more. I want to win every game but losing hurts a lot,” the former Peter Symonds College (Winchester) student and Salisbury RFC colt revealed.
“Whenever you lose it’s a bad memory, a scar you want to put right.
“It’s like we felt after losing to France two weeks ago – we wanted to put it right against Scotland. That’s what we’ll continue to do.
“For me a loss is a loss. I just hate losing, so losing anywhere is not right. It’s about how you react to those losses that defines you as a team. It’s about learning from those experiences, good and bad.”
England would have been chasing the Grand Slam themselves but for a traumatic defeat in Paris where substitute wing Gael Fickou danced over for a late match-winning try.
A polished 20-0 demolition of Scotland – lacking only a more emphatic scoreline – has revived spirits, but the wound inflicted at the Stade de France still festers.
“Some defeats really stand out – like that France game. It was massively frustrating to lose in the way we did,” the Harlequins star said.
“Giving them two tries and a head start like we did...it was the same against New Zealand. Things like that niggle away at you.
“You seem to look at the little mistakes you make before you look at the good stuff you did. Losses definitely niggle away at you.”
Brown entered this year’s Six Nations with 21 caps but had failed to cross the whitewash, a statistic that has been corrected with superbly finished tries in Paris and Edinburgh.
England’s ambition to involve Brown in their attacking game as much as possible is being rewarded on the scoreboard “I hadn’t focused particularly on scoring tries, they just seemed to come my way,” Brown said.
“In the autumn I put myself in good positions and when I was on the wing I was in good positions or one pass away from the scorer.
“This time I have just got on the end of a couple of passes to score.
“We ended up losing to France so scoring didn’t really mean too much. I’m sure I’ll look back on it at the end of my career with great pride, but still there’s not too much emotion with it.
“For me it is all about winning, not about whether you score or not.”