We need to improve basics - Johnson
Manager Martin Johnson admitted England were given a lesson in Test rugby after their 28-14 home defeat by Australia.
"We got a lesson in how to win a Test match," he said. "They kicked their penalties and took their chances; we didn't and wasted opportunities.
"We got a bit frantic and tried to force the game and we didn't need to.
"Test match rugby is quite simple. You have to control the ball and take your opportunities. We had those but didn't take them and that is disappointing."
Australia were clinical as they retained the Cook Cup with a well-deserved victory.
England conceded 10 penalties, six of them punished by Matt Giteau and another by Stirling Mortlock, before Adam Ashley-Cooper's try sealed victory.
Johnson refused to blame poor discipline for his side's defeat though, instead blaming a lack of ruthlessness.
"We let the pressure off too easily with our errors," he added. "I'm disappointed because at half-time we had a chance to win a big Test match.
It should be set in stone that you don't give away that many chances; it's not down to experience
England number eight Nick Easter
"I don't think indiscipline cost us. Yes we gave away too many penalties but that is not why we lost the game.
"They didn't have to do a lot to score. At half-time we were in the game but we made silly errors and couldn't impose our physicality.
"The difference was we didn't take out opportunities when in their 22."
Number eight Nick Easter refused to blame inexperience for England's defeat, preferring to highlight a lack of discipline and the inability to convert chances into points.
"We just played a very smart team, they took their opportunities and we didn't," Easter told BBC Sport.
"It's good news that we are making these opportunities but obviously we have to better than we were.
"You cannot give that many penalties away in international rugby and expect to win. You have to be whiter than white and we were duly punished.
Mortlock praises Australia's positivity
"It should be set in stone that you don't give away that many chances, it's not down to experience."
England face South Africa next Saturday and Easter insists they will have to improve significantly if they are to beat the world champions.
"International rugby is about decision-making and keeping a cool head in pressure situations," said Easter.
"We have to improve and we have to improve fast ahead of next week's challenge against South Africa."
Australia were expected to come under pressure up front, especially in the scrum, but the tourists more than held their own.
They put a stake in the ground and were a lot more resolute compared to recent times
Australia coach Robbie Deans salutes his players
Prop Al Baxter competed superbly against opposite number Andrew Sheridan, who had tormented him in previous encounters.
"I'm really proud of the boys," said hooker Stephen Moore, who was named man-of-the-match. "We had faith in our ability and I'm happy that Al Baxter showed what he was capable off.
"We targeted this game and it's a special victory."
Australia coach Robbie Deans added: "They grew out there today. They put a stake in the ground and were a lot more resolute compared to recent times, when we have caved after half-time.
"The key thing now is to push on, back it up next week (against France in Paris) and show it is a lasting growth."