Ashton braced for Johnno blast
February 6, 2011
Ashton's elaborate dive on his way to scoring his first try at the Millennium Stadium is set to earn him a ticking off from boss Martin Johnson © Getty Images
England's try-hero Chris Ashton is expecting a ticking off from boss Martin Johnson when he returns to the squad's Surrey base on Monday.
The 23-year-old winger grabbed two tries as England opened their Six Nations account with a 26-19 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium - their first win in the Welsh capital since 2003 when Johnson himself was captain.
The result left England well placed to end their title drought with successive home fixtures against Italy, France and Scotland o follow in the coming weeks before a trip to Ireland on the last weekend. But Ashton is set to be brought straight back down to earth when the video analysis begins in preparation for the Azzurri on Saturday.
The Northampton speedster risked Johnson's wrath by scoring his first try with an extravagant one-handed swallow dive, which could easily have resulted in him spilling the ball. But Ashton guaranteed himself a dressing down by conceding a needless penalty just three minutes into the second half to hand the Welsh some momentum.
"I don't think Johnno's best pleased (with the celebration) and I'll get one of those rollockings," said Ashton. "I did drop one once, for Northampton at Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup. It got knocked out my hand. I won't be doing that again.
"The penalty was just stupid. I thought we were under a bit of pressure but we weren't really. I tried to get through the ruck and just got my hand in the way. Mike Tindall came over and gave me a bit of a rollocking after it. I'm sure it will be picked up on Monday. If he (Johnson) needs to make a point and humiliate me then he will do it. I don't mind, I don't get embarrassed too easily."
Johnson is determined to drill home the message that England must continue striving for improvement and that complacency will not be tolerated as they build towards this year's World Cup.
"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?" Johnson said. "You don't get better by patting yourselves on the back too much. There are a few silly penalties we don't need to give away. That could have cost us.
"I'm not being ultra-critical, I am just being realistic about where we are. Our standards have got to be up there every time we play. People make mistakes in Test matches, it is how you bounce back from them. There are many varied types of rollockings. We are not going to shy away from saying 'You can't do that'."
"There is a spirit there and a belief in this group and a pride in what they do. They want to do it well and win and we are getting there," Johnson said. "It was an important game for us, a massive game. The great thing is we want to get over the line and close matches out."
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