Johnson defends bungee jump

2011-09-13 11:13

Queenstown - England manager Martin Johnson offered a staunch defence of his rugby players on Tuesday, not only for their performance in beating Argentina but for taking on the daunting 134m Nevis bungee jump on their day off.

The British media mauled England for their ragged display in the 13-9 pool victory over the Pumas in Dunedin but Johnson was in no mood to apologise.

"If you look at the weekend's games, every winning coach said 'I'm glad to get the win but we have to improve' and every losing coach said 'it was so close' and I know where I'd rather be sitting," he told reporters at the team hotel.

"That was one of the best weekends of pool games in World Cup history, it's a battle and Saturday for us was a battle right to the end - you need to be there for the fight."

England were on the back foot and trailed 9-3 until replacement scrumhalf Ben Youngs scampered through for the only try of the match after 65 minutes as the last World Cup's runners-up eventually subdued its third-place finishers.

"There's been a bit of criticism gone around in the past about meaningless pool games but you saw what happened at the weekend," Johnson said.

"For some of our senior players, every game they've played in the last two World Cups they've been behind.

"These teams are well organised now, their players play professionally in Europe and they are in good programmes. It's not turn up and score 50, 60 points any more. It's harder than that.

"If you get to terms with that mentally - 'we're going to be in a battle and we need to fight for every inch' - you're in a good place because that's what we had to do on Saturday and that's what we need to do against Georgia.

"New Zealand had probably won their game by half-time but nobody else had. Look at Wales-South Africa, what a game that was. We've been telling you it's like this."

The England squad are spending a few days in Queenstown, New Zealand's stunning "adventure capital" and some of them took the chance to leap the 134m Nevis bungee jump, the country's highest.

Johnson, who has also done a bungee in the past, laughed off a question over its safety.

"What they do in training is far more dangerous," he said.

"It's a long tournament and we need a balance. We're in Queenstown and we've come for a reason.

"Nobody's been skiing: that's too risky, and clearly nobody would have done it if they had an injury but we've got a long week and we've been back training today for Sunday's game."

Johnson will be without Courtney Lawes for that match in Dunedin and the next against Romania after the lock was banned for two weeks on Tuesday for kneeing Argentina prop Mario Ledesma.

It is a punishment that the England camp will take in their stride, though, as they always planned to rest several first-choice players and ensure that everyone in the squad got some game time ahead of the knockout phase.

Flank and nominal captain Lewis Moody could be in line for his first appearance of the tournament on Sunday after recovering from a long-standing knee injury.

* Click HERE to see these Rugby World Cup odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • Weepee - 2011-09-13 11:31

    Best you find a second goal kicker Martin.

      roboman1 - 2011-09-13 13:16

      Just a note, the England prop was cited for kneeing in that game. Check the Welsh number 3 kneeing Jean de villiers twice in the ribs, 7 minutes 45 seconds into the game on Sunday. Anyone got it recorded, watch, you will see him deliberately and maliciously knee Jean twice in the ribs. No wonder Jean is out!

      Barry Edwards - 2011-09-13 20:16

      They were testing it with the bungee just in case they have do it without the bungee in a few weeks. Come guys have some compassion !!

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-09-13 11:31

    Why is there always drama with the preparation of English teams? Just the other day people were belly-aching that the English cricket team were warming up by playing soccer.

  • Ballboy - 2011-09-13 11:43

    If England loses the next game Johson will be forced to bungee without the rope!

      MaanDonkie - 2011-09-13 12:02

      LOL or put it around his neck!!!

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-13 11:48

    England are in the same position as the Boks. The media are going to slam them.....humiliate them.....bash them, Fans will lose patience and wail to the heavens, Everything the team does will be wrong and everything the coach does even worse...... But both the Poms and Boks have won tightly contested games they could easily have lost. And the stance I took months back is the same: The Poms and Boks will be there and thereabouts at the end of the tournie. I don't like the Poms, but have a grudging respect for their attitude and a team they are more like the Boks than what we would like to think.....eeeeuw - can't believe I said that,

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-13 12:09

      They can say of England what they want, but they are a great nation and the English teams, whether it be their soccer, rugby or cricket team will always be a force to be reckoned with.

      jk - 2011-09-13 12:24

      raven- they as great as beer tits and football riots will give you... Saffa- the boks deserve to get grilled by the media...they deserve it...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-13 12:34

      Putting your ignorance on display again jk? You go boy! Shame.

      jk - 2011-09-13 12:38

      raven- listhen when jk and tits are great...ok, try it sometime...france by 8, wp by 8...

      Kevin - 2011-09-13 12:56

      Blue Raven - Soccer World cup history should convince that England are mediocre soccer players and not in the top 6 nations. The same goes for Rugby .

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-13 13:15

      Well then Kevin, the Rugby World Cup history should then convince that the All Blacks are mediocre rugby players don't you think?

      JMan - 2011-09-13 16:03

      @ Blueraven... England a force to be reckoned with in football? I mean at international level? Since when? The last I heard is that they won one world cup (in '66 was it?)...and a very dodgy one at that...since then, nothing. Just sayin.

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-13 16:42

      JMan football or soccer, which ever you prefer is much MUCH bigger than rugby, the competition is stronger. England is ranked no 4 in the world in soccer, ranked no 4 in rugby, ranked no 1 in test cricket and 5th in ODI... now I don't know about you, but to me that is pretty good.

  • burtfred - 2011-09-13 11:51

    Why are the England team wearing black? Did somebody die?

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-13 12:18

      It is their secondary strip... Like the French are wearing an all white strip as their secondary strip...

      jk - 2011-09-13 12:26

      raven- what do you know about secondary only know calamari strips...hence your oversize gut...

      InternetMan - 2011-09-13 12:28

      Yeah England died a few weeks ago. It's currently in the process of being rebuilt by sir Henry Britain and so far its going swimmingly.

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-13 12:30

      jk brommer... waar is my blik doom?

      jk - 2011-09-13 12:39

      raven- hoe lyk dinge by die bulle...??lol, downward spiral...wp by 8, france by 8...

      burtfred - 2011-09-13 12:45

      Anyone for a naartjie filled with Klippies?

      JustinD - 2011-09-13 12:46

      They are all NZ wannabees.

  • jk - 2011-09-13 12:23

    the french team all got sacked...latin it!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-13 12:34

      @jk - The French are just phucked - full stop. Latin attitudes se voet as an excuse for all their woes. Italy and Argentina are just as, if not more "Latin" than the temperamental frogs, yet they somehow manage to keep structure, play to their strengths (even when limited) and stick to their game plans. The Frogs are just on another planet entirely @jk - they live purely on emotion and passion without taking 'reality breaks' in between - end of. But yeah - still gotta love what they bring to the world, and the game of rugby.

      jk - 2011-09-13 12:57

      you got to love them...and where did the structure bring italy & arg??? arg plays negative when things get tough...and they will be just another italy in the 4 nations, their pedigree in in football...bottom line...

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-13 13:24

      You just don't like the Argies because they beat France all the time :)

      jk - 2011-09-13 13:50

      never said i dont like arg...and if they beat a team i support...god for them...

  • Dee Scott - 2011-09-13 12:38

    Good on you Martin, it was less dangerous bungeeing than the game against Argentina. What about the lower ranks, they're out to prove a point, look at Japan, that was a wake up. The French coach saw his job going down the toilet like a bottle of vrot wine haw haw

  • Justice - 2011-09-13 13:06

    Those who complain about Bungee jumping obviously haven't tried it. No dead bodies at the bottom of the jump. As long as it is done through approved clubs, Bungee & Skydiving are two very safe things to do. Driving there is more dangerous.

  • Not Black - 2011-09-13 13:26

    These British Imperialist Bas........ds, Bloody Agents........ Watching them was like a DUBIOUS DILEMA. Even they had a squeaker in their Opening Match, but they are Gutsy and an Uneccesary N Hemisphere team of huge support. Pity they wearning Black when their usual white kit seems just fine. Their sponsor 02 should actually have read: 0 Eng - 36 RSA. he he he he

  • SOOTHSAYER - 2011-09-13 14:31

    The English will never win any major trophy as far as I'm concerned, they always take world cup trips as holidays to enjoy with their sexy WAGS .........during 2010 FWC, the boys played a lot of Golf instead of training, during the 2011 CWC, they practiced soccer, and now they play Bungee Jumping ......May God be with them during this period, for the British Tabloids will slaughter them to pieces.

      jk - 2011-09-13 14:45

      WHAT ABOUT 2003...??

  • Buffalo - 2011-09-13 14:44

    Johnson was obviously not worried about any of his team bungee-jumping, because one usually bungee-jumps head first. No worries about any of those boys hitting the ground head first, hey Lawes? Except maybe for New Zealand - thick-headed Yobs head-butting the ground . . . shock-waves might cause another earthquake.

  • Bok Fan - 2011-09-13 17:07

    roboman excellent point. That shows how frekkin asleep BlafDivvy and the sevendwarves are. Why was there no citing. I get sick of SA always being on the receiving end of the IRB's crap systems. And before any welshies start whingeing that penalty curved in AFTER it had passed the post.

      Jim - 2011-09-15 16:06


  • Barry Edwards - 2011-09-13 21:04

    Then you you get the In-bred ingrate called jk. !

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