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RWC 2003 REACTION – England not satisfied despite Wales win

11 November 2013

  • Woodward relieved with victory against Wales
  • Johnson unsatisfied with sloppiness

Clive Woodward has promised some “harsh words” ahead of next weekend's semi-final against France after England dug deep to beat Wales 28-17 in their last-eight clash in Brisbane.

Steve Hansen's side were 10-3 up soon after the interval, but England stemmed the tide and ultimately prevailed thanks to a Will Greenwood try and 23 points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson.

“Extremely relieved – it was about winning the Test match,” said Woodward. “We're not playing anywhere near like we know we can, but we're still winning and I think that's a sign of a very good side.

“We're very disappointed we conceded three tries but we're glad to win and fly to Sydney now. There will be some serious talking this week about how we're playing because we're obviously not our normal selves.

“If we play [against France] like we did today we'll have no chance. We've got to up the ante big time. We came here to win the World Cup and we're on course to do that.”

Will Greenwood

Photo: Getty Images

Woodward's Wales counterpart Hansen was full of praise for England, admitting that his side could have done little more to remain in the tournament.

“We're all gutted but obviously I'm very proud of them – they've come a long way,” he said. “We came here to win it and we threw everything at them.

“They showed why they're a good side and in the end they held on for the win. I can only congratulate England as they've been put under the cosh three times now and they've stood up. That bodes well for them.”

England captain Martin Johnson bemoaned a below-par first-half showing and knows there is plenty of room for improvement against France.

“We pretty much dominated the second half – disappointed to concede a silly penalty and they did well to finish that try at the end,” said the Leicester Rugby lock. “We took control in the second half but still a little bit sloppy to be satisfied.”

Wales skipper Colin Charvis, meanwhile, has his sights set on a bright future despite the disappointment of defeat. “We're glad that we've improved our performances throughout the tournament but unfortunately this was one hurdle we couldn't get over,” he explained.

“I think the guys will be very proud of what they've achieved. A lot of the guys who performed over the last few weeks will be around for a long time, so hopefully in a few years they'll be a great team.”

To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the 2003 Rugby World Cup win, is posting highlights and reaction from each of England's matches. On Friday, head here for highlights from the semi-final against France.