Johnson laments England errors
November 27, 2010
Willem Alberts and Adi Jacobs celebrate the former's try during their win over England at Twickenham © Getty Images
England manager Martin Johnson lamented his side's mistakes in the wake of their 21-11 defeat by South Africa at Twickenham.
On the back of their recent wins over Australia and Samoa, many expected the home side to end a run of six straight defeats against the Springboks. However, they were thoroughly outplayed on the day and the final scoreline flattered Johnson's men.
Sharks duo Willem Alberts and Lwazi Mvovo scored tries for the visitors, who successfully bounced back from last weekend's surprise loss to Scotland at Murrayfield, before Ben Foden notched a late consolation try for England.
"There were too many mistakes today. Some of them were forced by their pressure but you can't compound them and let the opposition keep coming at you," he said. "We just invited pressure back onto ourselves. Test match rugby is pretty basic and pretty simple but you have to execute the fundamentals under pressure.
"Too many times today we didn't secure the ball. Those errrors just hurt us. We were turning over pressure too cheaply. It is a fundamental of Test rugby - if you make the mistakes we made all over the field, give penalties away then you invite pressure back on yourself. The reality is that if you don't do the fundamentals of Test rugby for 80 minutes you don't deserve to win."
England's cause was not aided by the loss of Tom Croft and Toby Flood to injury during the game but Johnson did not want to use their enforced withdrawals as any excuse for a disappointing team performance.
"They are a big heavy physical team. It was a real tough end-of-series Test match, there were some big hits going in," Johnson said. "We lost a couple of players which was a disruption but we have got to handle that too. If you are not getting the breaks you have got to handle it and not aid the process by turning the ball over."
Meanwhile, South Africa coach Peter De Villiers hailed his side's potency with ball in hand after seeing them rack up a third win on tour after earlier triumphs over Ireland and Wales.
"We saw the character. We stood up for ourselves," he said. "Against Wales we won the game with our defence. Tonight we won it with our attack. This is a big win for the country, a big win for the team. We put a marker down so we can build next year a bit easier."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup