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South Africa taught England brutal lesson, says Johnson

South Africa's Willem Alberts

Highlights - England 11-21 South Africa

England coach Martin Johnson admitted his side's own errors cost them as South Africa punished their hosts to record a 21-11 victory at Twickenham.

Second-half tries from Willem Alberts and Lwazi Mvovo for the Springboks ended England's hopes of achieving a third victory in four autumn Tests.

"That is the brutal reality of Test rugby," said Johnson. "If you make errors they come back to haunt you.

"You have to get the fundamentals right all of the time in any form of rugby."

He added: "We made too many mistakes. Not one area killed us but we had too many knock-ons, we weren't getting the loose balls, we had penalties and lost a little bit of set-piece ball.

Johnson frustrated by sloppy England

If you go two or three mistakes on the trot then you concede.

"South Africa come and play a little bit of a different way at times, we handled that pretty well. I thought their kicking game was pretty shrewd.

"One game doesn't change anything, either good or bad. That's what we said after we played well and that's what we have to say after we've not played so well.

"That's the first time a lot of our guys have played South Africa and it is a different challenge. It just leaves a bit of a bad taste right now."

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Skipper Lewis Moody agreed with Johnson's assessment but remains pleased with the progress shown by England - with the victory against Australia a highlight - ahead of the Six Nations and next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

"In the second half, we tried to play and we created a lot of opportunities but the ball just wouldn't stick in hand and we forced the ball a little too much. They played well," said Moody.

"But I am very proud. We have come and played rugby in every game [in the autumn Tests]. It's just difficult when you've come off a defeat like today to look back and still be happy about things.

"We have to happy with the way we're playing at the minute. We're building and we're confident as a group - we're a tight-knit group now.

"We just have to keep building, keep delivering and keep believing in ourselves."

De Villiers proud of SA 'belief'

South Africa coach Peter De Villiers felt his team's "show of character" was more important than the actual result at Twickenham.

"England are a very good side we respect them a lot but we believe in what we are doing and how we are doing it," said De Villiers.

"We didn't convert all of our efforts into points but we'll take the win.

"We are a team that like to be defined by our character and winning, for us, is a just reward for our hard work. We will always do our best because our people back home deserve the best."



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see also
Croft likely to miss Six Nations
23 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
England 11-21 South Africa
27 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Autumn internationals as they happened
27 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union


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