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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 June, 2005, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
Johnson XV 33-29 Lomu XV
Martin Johnson
Johnson bowed out in style
Martin Johnson made an emotional farewell to rugby at Twickenham when his team edged past Jonah Lomu's XV.

Substitute Leon Lloyd sealed a narrow win with only two minutes to go and man-of-the match Austin Healey had a hat-trick before a crowd of 42,100.

But Johnson was the star of the show, signing off a career that claimed every honour including the 2003 World Cup.

Lomu, returning from two years out with a kidney disease, looked handy before hurting his shoulder while scoring.

The towering winger failed to reappear for the second half, dampening an otherwise encouraging comeback.

Afterwards Lomu, who has targeted a 2007 World Cup spot, said: "I enjoyed it. This was the stepping stone for me. I'm starting again and I want to reach the top again. You have to start from somewhere and this is the start for me.

"I'm pleased with where I'm at but there's a long way to go. We'll see how bad the shoulder is and we'll take it from there."

Healey had been lined up to mark Lomu but a late change of plan gave Ayoola Erinle that dubious honour.

That was a brilliant way to go out
Martin Johnson

Play was scrappy with handling errors, but the southern hemisphere eased into a seventh-minute lead when a sublime chip from Carlos Spencer was collected by Lome Fa'atau.

Healey replied with a try under the posts and Noon combined again to send the Tigers ace over for his second, but Lomu answered with a try in the left corner.

Spencer restored the southern hemisphere's lead in the 55th minute after good work from Eric Rush and they extended their advantage when a loose pass from Healey was taken and finished by Matt Burke.

But Healey made amends with a 69th minute solo try which he capped with a swan dive.

And then substitute Lloyd wrapped up the match with a simple run-in after substitute Pat Howard had created space.

Afterwards, Johnson insisted he was happy with his decision to retire, despite the emotion of the occasion.

It was a great honour to be there - it's the start of a dream for me
Jonah Lomu

"I've never been surer that I'm doing the right thing. I'm absolutely positive," he said.

"I'll walk away and won't be doing a George Foreman, although maybe I'll be selling toasters in four years' time!

"That was a brilliant way to go out. It's amazing that all these guys turned up because it's so difficult to get the team together and prepared in a couple of days.

"I was more emotional than I thought I'd be - I thought I'd just play and walk away. To get a crowd of 42,000 for a match like that is amazing.

Martin Johnson XV: Gregor Townsend; Austin Healey, Tony Marsh, Jamie Noon, Ayoola Erinle, Andy Goode, Kyran Bracken; Tom Smith, Raphael Ibanez, Darren Morris, Martin Johnson (capt), Chris Jones, Joe Worsley, Olivier Magne, Sebastien Chabal.
Replacements: Jonathan Humphreys, Will Green, Victor Costello, Anthony Foley, Will Johnson, Morgan Williams, Rob Henderson, Leon Lloyd.

Jonah Lomu XV: Bruce Reihana; Lome Faatau, Matt Burke, Daryl Gibson, Jonah Lomu (capt), Carlos Spencer, Mark Robinson; Kees Meews, Daniel Coetzee, Dave Hewitt, Greg Rawlinson, Troy Flavell, Justin Collins, Corne Krige, Toutai Kefu.
Replacements: Trevor Leota, Craig Dowd, Ian Jones, Scott Robertson, Jason Spice, David Howell, Keith Lowen, Eric Rush.


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