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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 November, 2003, 11:17 GMT
Johnson: We kept it simple
England captain Martin Johnson
Johnson was keen to get off to a good start against the French
England captain Martin Johnson said his team had concentrated on doing the basics right in their Rugby World Cup semi-final win over France.

Rain made conditions difficult inside the Telstra Stadium in Sydney, but it was England who adapted best as they secured a date with Australia with a 24-7 victory.

"We weren't happy with the rain," said Johnson. "We tried to play. It was difficult but it's all about pressure.

"We kicked more than we intended but we had to do it.

"We dominated territory in the second half. As the game wore on, you could see France getting a little bit frustrated and mistakes crept in."

He added: "We wanted to be passionate and play with a lot of emotion. It was about getting a good start and being physical with the French.

"When it comes down to it, it's quite a simple game. You've got to win the ball and go forward, and play your kicking game. And we edged both those areas today."

I don't know how many thousand English fans were there, but it was fantastic, absolutely brilliant
Martin Johnson

England forwards coach Andy Robinson added: "It was a magnificent effort by the forwards.

"There have been various comments made about them, whether they are too old.

"But as always, they've gone out and performed. It was magnificent, and I've got total respect for them."

Johnson made special mention of the support his team had received from the army of England fans.

"The support was awesome," he said. "I don't know how many thousand English fans were there, but it was fantastic, absolutely brilliant.

"I am sure there will be a lot of people in England trying to book flights and get tickets for next Saturday."





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