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Johnson: Still room to improve


Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson believes there is "plenty more to come" from his side after England opened their RBS 6 Nations campaign with a first win over Wales in Cardiff since 2003.

Wing Chris Ashton scored a try in either half of 27-16 victory. Man of the match Toby Flood added 13 points with the boot and replacement Jonny Wilkinson kicked a late penalty. England now have three home games in a row and have the chance to set up a Grand Slam clash with Ireland in Dublin on the final weekend of the championship.

"I am really, really happy with the win as that's what we came here for," said Johnson. "We have not won away from home for a while in the Six Nations so it's good, but if we play badly next week against Italy what would that feel like? So we have to keep going and keep improving and the great thing is there is a lot we can improve on."

He added: "The great thing is when you get the same guys back in camp as you had on the summer tour and in the autumn, you get that continuity and you can go from putting foundations in place to putting more detail on to your plans and ensuring we execute under pressure and there is plenty more to come.

"We left some chances out there but that composure is getting there game on game."

Wales launched a spirited fightback from 23-9 down as Morgan Stoddart crossed and James Hook kicked a penalty to narrow the deficit, but England held out for their first win in Cardiff since 2003.

"Someone had to lose, and unfortunately that was us," said Wales coach Warren Gatland. "But I can't fault the effort of the players - they tried really hard. We are disappointed, but it was a good, hard physical Test match.

"I don't think there was a huge amount between the sides. I thought at times we were fantastic, and we played a good off-loading game and caused England problems.

"We need to keep reminding the players about having the confidence to keep playing rugby and making sure we control our own destiny. Sometimes we don't do that because we keep making a few errors, and those are the things from a coaching point of view that are frustrating.

"It's important for us next week with Scotland away to get a win, then we've got to believe we can win the next two games. I don't think England will go through this competition unbeaten, so if we can win the next two games, hopefully that puts us back into contention for the championship."

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