Australia Barbarians 9-15 England, Gosford, June 15
Johnson hails 'huge effort' after first tour victory
June 15, 2010
The boot of Olly Barkley proved decisive against the Australian Barbarians in Gosford, Australia, June 15, 2010
England were restricted to penalties in Gosford © Getty Images

Martin Johnson confessed himself satisfied by England's 15-9 victory over the Australian Barbarians but said he was disappointed his side did not make the most of their chances.

Two penalties from Charlie Hodgson and three from Olly Barkley was eventually enough to seal England's first win of the tour but they created precious few try scoring opportunities as the pack again dominated.

"We have won in Australia. Our second string have played their second-string twice and we have got a draw and a win. Am I saying it was fantastic and great? No," said Johnson. "We should have finished our chances, we got in trouble with the referee and we found ourselves three points down away from home in difficult conditions.

"Ultimately in games like that you have to find a way to win. We found a way to win. It was a huge effort and credit to the guys who played."

Despite the nature of the narrow victory, Johnson believes the result can give the senior players a boost before Saturday's second Test.

"You can't substitute winning, you can't fake it. That is what we are here to try and do. We played some really good rugby in the first 25 minutes and in the last 20.

"It would have been nice to score when we had the opportunity. We needed a killer touch to finish it off but the build-up play was good and effective. They got back into the game on our turnovers. Defensively we were far more aware than we were last week. We fixed it quickly and the guys got their heads up a lot more. The kicking game was better as the game wore on."

Johnson also highlighted the performances of lock Dave Attwood and Dominic Waldouck as plus points.

"The balance changed a bit with Dom going off. We needed some of the punch he gave us. He has been fantastic for us, a very good lad," added Johnson. "John Wells [forwards coach] told me Attwood was a good one. He handled everything.

"They all enhanced their prospects, whether for Saturday or July 1 when we name the [elite player] squad. Playing games has been great. They have come on tour, trained with the Test guys, played tough midweek games when things have not been easy."

Australia's head coach Robbie Deans was not so complimentary about his side's performance. "It was a pretty ugly contest. The sooner we move on, the better," he said.


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