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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 20:58 GMT
Dublin - 24 February, 2007
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Jonny Wilkinson (left) and Martin Corry (right) look to captain Phil Vickery for inspiration
England slipped to a record defeat at the hands of Ireland on Saturday
England coach Brian Ashton paid tribute to Ireland after they secured their record win over the world champions.

"We were well beaten today," said Ashton after Ireland's 43-13 Six Nations victory at Croke Park.

"They looked a lot sharper and a lot fresher than we did in every position and I've no complaints at all.

"I've just been in the Irish dressing room and told them they stuffed us and that they've got to enjoy a good evening on the back of that."

Ireland led 23-3 at half-time and Ashton said his team was never at the races.

"We were never in the game in the first half at all," he said.

"I thought the Irish forwards played particularly well, especially in the first half.

"That was obviously an area of the game where we were hoping to get some dominance, and we didn't at all - it gave their side a very good platform.

This is only the third game we've had together and if changes need to be made they will be made

England coach Brian Ashton

"Some of our decision-making in the first 20 minutes of the game was poor in terms of what we'd said we were going to do, and we didn't.

"We kicked a lot of ball back to Ireland and they kicked it back to their advantage and we suddenly found ourselves pinned in our 22."

England conceded some costly penalties, with Danny Grewcock and Julian White notable culprits, and Ashton admitted he was not happy about England's lack of discipline.

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"It's discipline all-round, not just personal discipline - the penalty count must be horrific," he said.

"We knocked it down from 14 penalties against Scotland to six against Italy - I reckon it's gone up to damn near 20 this afternoon.

"If you're not getting set-piece dominance and you're giving that many penalties away you cannot even compete in games of international rugby, so we really need to address things like that."

Inside centre Andy Farrell was criticised by pundits after the game but Ashton refused to single out the rugby league convert.

"You look round the whole 15 of our players today and they didn't match up to international rugby," said Ashton.

"I'll look at the game when I get back to England and see what needs to be done to get us back on track again.

"This is only the third game we've had together and if changes need to be made they will be made, but they won't be made just in one position."




SEE ALSO
Ireland 43-13 England
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