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- International Match
- 15th Nov 2008
- KO 14:30
- Ground: Twickenham
- Att: 80,688
Johnno - Penalties cost us
Manager offers simple explanation for Twickenham loss
After watching his England side slump to a 28-14 home defeat at the hands of Australia, manager Martin Johnson admitted that indiscipline formed the bedrock for the visitors' success.
Johnson's side led 14-12 early in the second half after Nick Easter touched down at Twickenham - but all of Australia's points at that stage had come courtesy of penalties converted by Matt Giteau.
The Wallabies subsequently pulled away to score 16 unanswered points and retain the Cook Cup.
England gave away 10 penalties in all, six of which were slotted over by Giteau and one by captain Stirling Mortlock.
"We had more opportunities and territory than them but just didn't score the points," Johnson told Sky Sports 2.
"We conceded seven penalties and they scored 21 points. We had plenty of opportunities and didn't control the game.
"We gave away too many penalties, simple as that. They didn't have to do a lot to score. We made breaks and made the errors afterwards.
"We need to trust ourselves and exploit the chances, and there were a lot of chances."
Work to do
Johnson also refused to criticise the performance of Danny Cipriani, who largely flattered to deceive.
The fly-half missed two conversions and an easy drop-goal chance early in the second half.
However, two breakaways which failed to reap any points showed glimpses of the 21-year-old's potential.
"I think he's learning all the time what Test match rugby is all about," Johnson continued.
"It's about how you handle the pressure of the field.
"We're together five weeks and then he's back to Wasps and will be playing in Europe.
"It's about finding out what being a full-time rugby player is all about. There are a lot of them doing that."
On a day which saw Australia's forwards issue a riposte to England's scrum dominance seen in last year's World Cup quarter-final, Lee Mears admitted England had plenty to work on.
"We are very disappointed, I thought we did some good stuff but were on the end of a tough game," the hooker said.
"We were better than that (a 14-point loss) but on the day they executed well and every time they got in our half they ended with points.
"They were the better side on the day and won the game. They were more composed and did a better job.
"We did some good stuff but made some bad decisions which cost us. As always you have things to work on for next week."
Meanwhile, Australia fly-half Giteau felt his side's experience was key.
"England played smart rugby, we just looked to kick in behind and in the end it worked out for us," he said.
"At times it felt we were losing the grip on the game a bit and we had to regroup."
Coach Robbie Deans said he was delighted by the manner in which his side responded to the physical challenge England's pack present.
"I'm delighted for the boys," he said after the Wallabies' first win at Twickenham since 2004. "They put in and they got the reward.
"A lot was asked of them. It was pretty brutal, direct and aggressive but they just kept turning up. They were asked a lot of questions but passed the test.
"Our kicking game was better today and we drew a stressed response, if you like, from England and that kept the scoreboard ticking over.
"There were opportunities for us to carry and finish but we were denied them and I guess we deserve credit for keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
"It doesn't concern us whether the points were penalties or tries. We'd prefer tries but those decisions are made by the opposition."