Six Nations 2011: England were well beaten – Johnson

England coach Martin Johnson admits his side were "well beaten" after 24-8 defeat by Ireland

martin johnson
Martin Johnson admits his side were "well beaten" Photo: Patrick Khachfe

martin johnson

Martin Johnson bemoaned a “horrible” first half after England had their grand slam dream ruined by a 24-8 defeat by Ireland at Aviva Stadium.

Ireland’s Tommy Bowe and Brian O’Driscoll both scored tries while man-of-the-match Jonathan Sexton bagged a 14-point haul as the home side ran riot in Dublin.

Wales’ 28-9 defeat by France in Paris confirmed England had won the Six Nations title but Johnson was left bitterly disappointed to have seen his side’s grand slam hopes wrecked at the final hurdle.

“This is a scar and we’ll have to wear that scar,” said Johnson. “Do you have to get your scars and bruises in before you win something? You hope not, but Ireland had theirs before they won the grand slam in 2009.”

He continued: “Ireland are very good at what they do. They have a lot of caps, we don’t. We hoped we’d do better. They played well and we were beaten. We had a horrible first half.

“We were always chasing the game. It was tough but we gave it a crack in the second half because we needed to play.”

Johnson admitted his players were left devastated after the match. He said: “We knew at the start of the championship it would take one heck of a team to win five and we were in with a shot.

“The boys are very disappointed because they wanted to win a Test match and we know what was at the end of it.”

England Fly-half Toby Flood added: “You go into every competition to try and win it and we are in a better position than we have been in recent years.

“But it is a huge disappointment we weren’t able to finish it off – and we weren’t even close to doing it. They hammered us.”

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