Johnson: England deserved stunning win
November 13, 2010
England manager Martin Johnson reflects on his side's win
Martin Johnson felt England deserved their stunning 35-18 victory over Australia at Twickenham.
Chris Ashton scored two tries, including one sensational length-of-the-field effort, and Toby Flood produced a faultless kicking display to finish with 25 points. England had never before scored more than 32 points against the Wallabies and this equalled their largest margin of victory against Australia. Johnson's men took a step up from last week's 26-16 defeat to New Zealand.
"It was a good performance today. It was really good reward for all the work the guys have put in," said Johnson. "It is tough when you put the work in and you aren't getting the wins. It can be a little disappointing, more than a little disappointing.
"I am really happy for everyone. A lot of guys played very well today and a lot of our younger guys took a big step forward in their development. Mark Cueto was outstanding.
"There was lots of really good stuff. We got the go-forward and that momentum made it harder for them to compete. The counter-attack was sharp. We got on top of them and subdued them. Maybe they weren't expecting us to play how we did. We did it better than last week. We played very well. That is what you work for, for days like this."
Ashton's second try put England 26-6 ahead and will go down as one of the best ever seen at Twickenham. The Wallabies were mounting a fightback and were hammering away at England's line when Tom Palmer, Mike Tindall and Flood tackled Will Genia and turned him over.
Man of the match Ben Youngs spotted the chance of a counter-attack and fed Courtney Lawes who sent Ashton racing clear to score from 85 metres.
England's players celebrate after Chris Ashton's try © Getty Images
"Chris' second try was pretty special. We can play and we know that," said Johnson. "The space is there, we went from deep to go wide today because that is where the space was and we did it pretty well."
Asked whether he had seen a better try at Twickenham, Johnson joked: "I think I scored one, from two yards against Italy, which I thought was a better."
But with Samoa and South Africa still to come this month, Johnson refused to get carried away. "I have just been asked if that was the perfect performance. We want to be consistent and when we get back into camp on Monday we will look at getting better," said Johnson.
"The minute you start patting yourself on the back in rugby union you come unstuck. We have to go out and perform every week and that is what we need to get better at.
"We can't live off this win. It adds to the confidence of the team but at this level, against the top teams, if you are not on your game on any given day you risk losing. It is another step on the road for us."
England beat the Wallabies in Sydney during the summer and today completed back-to-back victories over Australia for the first time since the 2003 World Cup final.
"I am not surprised by England at all," said Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. "We had witnessed their progression and we knew they would be pretty keen to get a return for their improvement.
"We came second in the game. We are disappointed about that. The game was two tries apiece but clearly England deserved their win. There were a couple of critical moments where we were building pressure and it looked like a return for that was imminent when we turned over the ball and England scored at the other end on two occasions.
"England played very well. They picked up the tempo at every opportunity and played good rugby."
Youngs told Sky Sports 1: "Last week we got bits of it really well. We were bitterly disappointed but we learned a huge amount - and, had we won that, maybe we wouldn't have learned so much."
He was modest about his personal display, and said: "We're all here to play as we do for our clubs, that's why you get selected to play for your country and you've got to back that up. I know (Flood) inside-out, and vice-versa, so it makes it easier, but we've got world-class players all over the park."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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