Six Nations - Johnson: England must improve

Sun, 13 Feb 11:59:00 2011

Martin Johnson warned his England side that despite the eight-try hammering of Italy they still need to improve for the match against France in two weeks' time.

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Chris Ashton became the first England player to score four tries in a championship match since 1914 in an emphatic 59-13 victory at Twickenham.

"We can look at what we have done well and what we need to be better at," said head coach Johnson.

"We won't get the same amount of opportunities to score - that won't happen - so when the chances are there you need to take them. We should make it difficult for Italy when they come to Twickenham and I'm very pleased.

"For about 20 minutes we did a lot of good things, had try-scoring chances and didn't take them. But we kept on executing and got away from them, which is what you want to do.

"We're not used to having big leads and hopefully it's a problem we can get used to. We got the tempo into the game and get some fatigue in them pretty quickly, but did I think we would get that many? Probably not."

Johnson insisted that he had spoken to four-try wing Ashton in the week, but had not banned him from swallow-diving over the line as he did in the opening RBS 6 Nations win in Wales.

Ashton did it twice more and Johnson just smiled when the subject was brought up.

"I said I would see him on Tuesday. I knew he would do that one at the end - we had no subs left, but I nearly put his number up any way," added Johnson.

"I told him it would have been an interesting way to end his career! You are allowed to have fun and he is a finisher. He gets in the right places and scores tries - that's what he does."

PA Sport

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