Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Composure Delights Johnson

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Composure Delights Johnson

Article excerpt

MARTIN Johnson tackled the reality of top-flight rugby after his England side had made hard work of defeating Samoa at Twickenham.

After the brilliance against Australia the week before England had to come back from 8-6 down to grind out a 26-13 result, which owed more to hard work and pragmatism than creativity.

Yet while Johnson admitted his team lacked cohesion he was happy with the composure they demonstrated against feisty and physical opponents. Johnson said: "I got asked: 'Oh haven't you got to win in style?' These people don't understand what you are dealing with.

"It's bloody competitive, bloody tough.

They were strong in the breakdown, a couple of times up the middle of the field I wasn't comfortable in my seat.

"These guys can play. How many times do they have to do what they can do before people understand that?" England struggled to control a match in which they led 6-3 at half-time before going behind when Samoa full-back Paul Williams went over to record the first try scored by his nation in a senior international at Twickenham. …

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