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Angry England boss Martin Johnson criticises players

Martin Johnson looks despondent after the final whistle
Johnson said England started the match 'very poorly'

Coach Martin Johnson admitted he was furious with his players after England's 27-17 defeat by Australia in the first Test in Perth on Saturday.

England dominated in the scrum but were poor in the rest of their game, especially in a woeful first-half performance at Subiaco Oval.

"I think that's as harsh as I've been with them," Johnson said after an angry post-match debrief with his players.

"The scrum played a big factor in the game but not enough for us to win."

Australia bossed the opening 40 minutes to lead 14-0 at half-time after outclassing England, who missed an astonishing 30 tackles during the match.

The only area they struggled was in the scrum and England's dominance in the tight increased after the break.

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The visitors' powerful scrum earned two penalty tries and there were also signs of an attacking presence that had been absent in the first half, but Australia were by far the more rounded side and were deserved winners.

"We said we should be angry with ourselves. If you give it a decent shot and get beaten [that is one thing] but when you add to it in the way we did it is disappointing," said Johnson.

"We make it too easy for the opposition. You have to be very good down here to win games and we didn't help ourselves.

"We started very poorly. We were more than a little off the pace, gave them a lot of chances and put ourselves in trouble.

"We had enough chances to put ourselves in the game but their composure on the ball was better.

"It is accuracy and execution. Their line speed was better and took away our time on the ball.

Lock Tom Palmer takes a tumble as England come a cropper in Perth
Lock Tom Palmer takes a tumble as England come a cropper in Perth

"But if you concede three tries you are probably not going to win. The missed tackle count was not healthy.

"We have got to be better. We can't expect to get two penalty tries every week."

Johnson plans to sit down with his players during the week and go though a video of the performance in detail.

"When we work through it next week we will have some very good teaching points," he said.

"I can say 'this is why we tell you to do this and that'. Maybe in club rugby you get away with it but here you get exposed."

Despite the result - and performance - England captain Lewis Moody insisted England were "a great team".

"It is frustrating when you play a game like that and don't perform. That game was in our hands, it was an opportunity for us to win today and we just didn't come to the races," he said.

"Everything felt good before but sometimes that's the way it goes.

"We move forward to next week very, very annoyed with ourselves. The opportunity was there for us and it's a bitterly frustrated changing room.

"I hope the anger drives us on because this is a great team with some quality players in it. We need to give them the opportunity to play. We didn't do that in the first half, the second half we got there a little bit."



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see also
Australia 27-17 England
12 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
International rugby as it happened
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Injury-hit Wallabies look vulnerable
11 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Guscott's analysis
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Hape set for England Test debut
11 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Aussie Barbarians 28-28 England
08 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott Q&A
01 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott Q&A
25 May 10 |  Rugby Union


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