Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Johnno warns of ‘big trouble’ ahead for England

Published 16/11/2009

Martin Johnson warned England will be in “big trouble” if they fail to improve before New Zealand arrive at Twickenham for the final Investec Challenge clash of the autumn next Saturday.

England beat Argentina 16-9 but there was precious little for the 78,000 crowd to cheer — in fact they booed and jeered —and the only crumb of comfort for a frustrated Johnson was the result.

Usually that is all that matters but Johnson knows the battle-hardened All Blacks will punish England's myriad of mistakes far more ruthlessly than an Argentina side who had been together for only six days.

Matt Banahan eventually scored the decisive try with 10 minutes remaining after England's one quality attack in an otherwise turgid performance devoid of wit, ingenuity and confidence.

Despite all the promises of improvement and captain Steve Borthwick continually praising his squad's effort, England have made little discernable progress over the last three weeks.

Based on their performances against Australia and Argentina, many would argue England have regressed.

Twelve months ago New Zealand romped to a record 32-6 victory at Twickenham and Johnson said: “If the All Blacks are anything they are consistent in their performance and so we need to be a lot, lot better.

“If we make those same mistakes we will be in big trouble. It was a tough game to watch. It was frustrating for all of us. We have to get them back up for next week. I would take those mistakes with a win next week, but I don't think that will happen.”

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More


From Belfast Telegraph