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Page last updated at 20:51 GMT, Saturday, 14 February 2009

Johnson rues missed opportunities


Missed chances disappoint Johnson

England manager Martin Johnson said his team could have claimed a famous Six Nations victory over Wales if they had more belief in their own abilities.

Johnson's side scored two tries to Wales' one but played 20 minutes with 14 players after two sin-binnings and conceded 18 points in penalties.

"Despite the penalties and sin-bins we kept ourselves in the game," he said.

"We could have been good enough to overcome that if we'd backed ourselves. We let the Test match slip by."

England leaked 11 points in the time fly-half Andy Goode was off the pitch after he was yellow-carded in the 42nd minute for killing the ball at the ruck.

Worsley blames sin-bin disruption

He was the second player to have been sin-binned, following Mike Tindall was given a 10-minute break in the 16th minute for infringing at the breakdown.

But Johnson denied the suggestion that Goode's trip to the sin-bin was the turning point of the match.

"We did come back from it and scored after that," said the former England captain.

"We missed a penalty and could have come back into it and really put pressure on them.

"There were opportunities for us to win the Test match, it's disappointing that we didn't take it."

Johnson added: "We were 5-0 down in the penalty count very quickly. The calls were made, we were away from home and you have to overcome that.


"They kicked 18 points and that's disappointing because our defence was good. When you're down here the calls can go either way."

Johnson's decision to recall flanker Joe Worsley was one major plus-point for England, with the 30-year-old producing arguably his best ever international display to nullify the threat of Wales' Andy Powell and Jamie Roberts.

But Worsley admitted that indiscipline was continuing to cost England dear.

"It was a huge improvement on last week," said Worsley.

"I know the Wales coaches (Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards) and kind of knew what was coming.

"We are getting a lot of sin-bins. We're a relatively new team and probably hadn't been in that situation before and we reacted badly to it.

"Now that we've had that situation, hopefully next time that happens it won't be such a big issue.

"I know Warren and Shaun are such good coaches and Wales are such a fantastic team, but I'm gutted we didn't win."

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see also
Wales 23-15 England
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Gatland delight at Wales defence
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Wales v England photos
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Six Nations as it happened
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Wales v Italy match stats
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Jeremy Guscott column
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England 36-11 Italy
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Scotland 13-26 Wales
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Review - 2008 Six Nations season
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