x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Johnson pays the penalty for not making pressure count

The England manager Martin Johnson was annoyed that his side failed to turn pressure into points against Australia.

LONDON // The England manager Martin Johnson was annoyed that his side failed to turn pressure into points against Australia. Matt Giteau booted Australia to a 28-14 victory as England gave away too many penalties and the Wallabies punished them with the fly-half kicking six and converting Adam Ashley-Cooper's try 11 minutes from time with Stirling Mortlock adding a long-range shot.

"We didn't make them work hard enough for a 14-point win. We let them off pressure-wise far too easily," Johnson said. He added: "We had more opportunities and territory than them but just didn't score the points. "We conceded seven penalties and they scored 21 points. We had plenty of opportunities and didn't control the game. We gave away too many penalties, simple as that. They didn't have to do a lot to score. We made breaks and made the errors afterwards."

Although Nick Easter went over for a try and Danny Cipriani kicked penalties and full-back Delon Armitage dropped a goal, England failed to take full advantage of their opportunities. "England played smart rugby, we just looked to kick in behind and in the end it worked out for us," Giteau said. Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll claimed the first-half penalty try awarded to New Zealand cost the Irish any chance of victory at Croke Park on Saturday.

Ireland had been level at 3-3 in the final minute of the first half when the All Blacks were awarded a penalty try after Tommy Bowe was deemed to have denied a clear try-scoring opportunity. And O'Driscoll said: "To keep up with a side like the All Blacks you have to be at your very best and, to a certain extent, things really have to go your way. "But that penalty try really dropped our heads and, with Tommy Bowe sin-binned for the first 10 minutes of the second half, it made things really tough. After that, we never looked like recovering. It was a tough call."

Ireland failed to score another point as New Zealand wrapped up a confident 22-3 victory with subsequent tries by Ma'a Nonu and Brad Thorn and seven points from the boot of fly-half Dan Carter. Jaque Fourie rescued world champions South Africa in a 14-10 triumph over Scotland. The Scotland coach Frank Hadden said his team were frustrated after coming so close to a memorable victory. "Our discipline let us down just after half-time and our concentration let us down in the last 10 minutes. We'll never regret our chance to beat the world champions more than we did today."

Scotland led 10-0 at the break but the Springboks hit back and after Ruan Pienaar had cut the lead to four points with two penalties, Fourie made the overlap for the go-ahead try. "We were given a run for our money," Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said. "But at the end we got there and we're very happy." * With agencies