England v Australia, Twickenham, November 13
Johnson calls for fortress Twickenham
November 12, 2010
Martin Johnson has called on England to rebuild Twickenham's aura © Getty Images
England manager Martin Johnson has called on his players to turn Twickenham into a fortress - beginning with Saturday's meeting against Australia.
Since the former Leicester lock took the reins in 2008 England have lost six of their 13 games at HQ and have only beaten the Pacific Islanders and Argentina during November series. Under Clive Woodward England racked up an unbeaten run of 22 Tests over four years before lifting the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Johnson's men need to turn their home form around and face a stern test against a superb Wallabies backline. Last weekend they came up short against New Zealand while Australia triumphed in Cardiff despite a dismal scrummaging performance.
"We want teams to come here and not look forward to playing," Johnson said. "You only do that by performance. It doesn't happen any other way. You have to go and play with intensity and accuracy and make it bloody difficult for them.
"We are expecting a very hard Test match and a tough challenge. We were disappointed with things we did last week but it is good to have that as a reference point. We didn't start well enough last week, defensively we compounded errors and suddenly they are scoring. You can fix those things up."
Johnson is expecting a lift in performance this weekend and believes that his side have taken on board the necessary lessons to secure a result.
"The guys were realistic last week that they hadn't played well enough for long enough in the game," he said. "They had played well in parts but that won't win you a game against teams of this quality. Australia are very dangerous. They are very good at spotting opportunities, mismatches, holes on the inside. We have got to be sharper than we were last week.
"We will be better for playing the All Blacks. One of the guys yesterday said: If we had done that in Premiership we would have scored but it wasn't good enough. It is that recognition from the players that they need to produce 80 minutes of Test match intensity and execution. Everything is about intensity. The pace of it is faster, more powerful, there are heavier tackles and you get less time. You have to get into that mode."
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