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Six Nations: Chris Ashton rebuked by Martin Johnson

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Johnson fumed at Ashton - Flood

England wing Chris Ashton got a "tongue-lashing" after Friday's win over Wales despite scoring two tries, team-mate Toby Flood has revealed.

Ashton starred in the 26-19 win, yet manager Martin Johnson was unhappy with several aspects of his game, including the spectacular dive for his first try.

Flood told BBC Sport: "There were lots of things he got a tongue-lashing for.

"There was the celebration, mouthing off to the ref and putting his hands in the ruck, so he had a good afternoon!"

But fly-half Flood, who was named man of the match for his performance in the Six Nations opener at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, praised the 23-year-old Northampton wing.

You're kind of hoping he doesn't do that again, but this is how he behaves and he's a bit special

Toby Flood on Chris Ashton's dive for his first try

"Ashy plays his game on the line, that's where you want him to play," said Flood.

"He wants the ball, he wants to score, he wants to be a part of it. You don't want to discourage that. We understand you want to control him and curtail the little bits of his bad behaviour, but overall you want to encourage him."

Speaking about Ashton's diving effort for his first try, he said: "I've had a bit of a shocker in my time when I've dived over the line and he'll certainly learn that one day, but hopefully not in an England shirt.

"You're kind of hoping he doesn't do that again, but this is how he behaves and he's a bit special."

Flood said the whole team are aware they need to improve in their next match, against Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.

"We all understand there were certain areas where you make poor decisions, little errors and you don't want to do that," he said.

"There were certain areas of the game where we made mistakes. There were certainly areas of our game we are going to make huge strides and improvements on.

"The standard of the team now is so high, [but] we're a long way off where we want to be. We want to make sure a win in Wales in not good enough.

"The fundamentals the Italians give are very strong. We'll try to keep the game as open as possible and really challenge with our backs and our runners.

"The Italian teams come to really take you on up front. We understand we've got to play as well as we can to get the right result."



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see also
Wales 19-26 England
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales v England stats
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales v England as it happened
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union


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