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Johnson rues slow start

Martin Johnson was frustrated England once again paid the price for a slow start as New Zealand sealed a 26-16 victory at Twickenham.

The All Blacks raced into a 14-0 lead and they were 17-3 ahead before England staged a rousing second-half comeback on the back of a powerful scrummaging performance.

Johnson said: "I am encouraged and frustrated. We did lots of good things but for two weeks we talked about starting well and we were not on the pace from the start. What cost us in the end was an inability to start at the same pace and tempo they did."

He added: "At the end we were far better, we had more conviction in what we did, but that first Test syndrome we have suffered historically was there today.

"You can't replicate the tempo and physicality of Test rugby in training, much as we'd like to. We were rusty in all areas early on and that is going to hurt you - 14-0 is not a great place to be.

"To get back from that position and give ourselves a good shot was good but it comes down to scoring when you get the opportunities.

"They got their two and the second was a poor try to concede at this level. We had a good opportunities at the end of the first half and in the second.

"There were a lot of positives out of the game. The players were frustrated afterwards and that is good.

"I would be disappointed if they were all pleased with their comeback. They know they have got to be better than that."

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