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Page last updated at 18:20 GMT, Saturday, 7 November 2009

We will learn from loss - Johnson


Johnson convinced England can improve

England boss Martin Johnson admitted Australia were worthy winners at Twickenham but insisted his side would learn from Saturday's 18-9 defeat.

"Overall they deserved to win but there were chances for us to do a bit more," said Johnson.

"We started very well but lost a bit of control near half-time.

"The team's only playing its first game and at times we needed to be a little bit slicker, but we'll be better for it physically and mentally next week."

Johnson, who was delighted to welcome back the "world class" Jonny Wilkinson and Lewis Moody after long-term injuries, was pleased with his side's defensive effort but less impressed by some of their choices in attack.

"In the second half Australia dominated to such an extent they're going to score points - eventually penalties or tries are going to get you," added Johnson.

It didn't feel comfortable at any stage but we blew a few opportunities and hopefully we will take those next time

Wallaby fly-half Matt Giteau

"We kicked away too much ball, which gave it back to them a little bit too easily.

"I've said to the guys, we were playing a pretty battle-hardened team coming straight out of the All Blacks game and a Tri-Nations series and that probably showed.

"The southern hemisphere teams have proved pretty difficult to beat throughout the history of the game. It's not a modern thing, to beat them is always pretty tricky."

Toulon fly-half Wilkinson, who was playing his first Test for 18 months, was disappointed by the result but said it was a "fantastic feeling" to be back in action at Twickenham.

"Australia have played a lot of Test matches and they've been through a lot together," said Wilkinson.

"This is our first one - we needed a marker to find out where we need to go next. We're disappointed about some things but some things went well."


Australia vice-captain Matt Giteau was complimentary about England's efforts.

"It was a different England side, they were looking to attack and opened us up a few times," said the Wallaby fly-half.

"It didn't feel comfortable at any stage, but we blew a few opportunities and hopefully we will take those next time.

"We were creating opportunities in the first half, but just giving away too many penalties.

"We kicked a lot better in the second half, got field position and our line-out functioned a lot better."

Australia now go on to face Ireland, Scotland and Wales on consecutive weekends and Adam Ashley-Cooper, whose late try wrapped up victory, is relishing the prospect.

"This is a such a special tour for us - the Grand Slam is a great opportunity for us, but we are taking it one game at a time," he said.

"We are pleased to make a good start and it was very important for us to win. We will take a lot of belief out of this but Ireland next week is a great challenge for us. We are looking forward to it."

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see also
England 9-18 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Vickery undergoes neck operation
06 Nov 09 |  London Wasps
Australia pick new centre pairing
05 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
England pick Wilkinson & Thompson
04 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott column
04 Nov 09 |  English
Geraghty ready for England start
04 Nov 09 |  Northampton
Australia coach wary of Wilkinson
02 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Who is Courtney Lawes?
28 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Argentina 24-22 England
13 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
England 14-28 Australia
15 Nov 08 |  English

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