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Page last updated at 23:46 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

Six Nations: Martin Johnson demands England improvement


'You have to set your standards high'

England manager Martin Johnson said his team can improve upon their opening Six Nations victory against Wales.

Two tries from winger Chris Ashton sealed a 26-19 win in Cardiff and England now have three home games starting with Italy next Saturday.

"Next week we can say 'actually, we can play loads better than this' and not give teams the chance to get out of jail," Johnson told BBC Sport.

"But we need to enjoy this win. We will hand out the rollockings on Monday."

Wales - who extended their winless run to eight Tests - dominated the early exchanges but missed two penalty opportunities.

That allowed England to seize the initiative with Chris Ashton's opening try after 14 minutes, a lead they never surrendered.

"We got the early try, which was great, and they missed a couple of opportunities with kicks and a couple of opportunities with ball in hand, but that's the game," said Johnson, who led England to their last Championship victory at the Millennium Stadium eight years ago.

"We made little mistakes, some of our own making, in the first half and gave them chances. We need to turn the screw there."

England survived the loss of Louis Deacon to the sin-bin without any further damage after the initial penalty and scored three points of their own while down to 14 men.

Chris Ashton scores for England

Ashton grabs second try against Wales

And they capitalised on a yellow card for wales prop Craig Mitchell in the second half when Ashton profited from a huge overlap in the 56th minute to extend the lead to 23-9.

Wales fought back with a converted Morgan Stoddart try and James Hook penalty to reduce England's lead to four points with 10 minutes left, but a 75th-minute Jonny Wilkinson penalty closed out the victory.

"We said if we can finish tries in their 22 that would be big for us and Chris's second was that," added Johnson.

"We had two more chances and came away with nothing. But we came back with penalties and squeezed them.

"It's all about finishing it off in that last 10-15 minutes when it becomes tense and we did that."

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see also
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Wales v England photos
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Wales v England as it happened
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
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