England remaining grounded despite win

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England man of the match Toby Flood refused to get carried away with his side’s 26-19 win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium last night that got their Six Nations campaign off to a flying start.

Martin Johnson’s men held firm against rugged Welsh pressure and will now fancy their chances of reclaiming the title with their next three consecutive matches all taking place at Twickenham.

But Flood said: “It’s going to be tough. We’ve got one tough win and we can carry on and build next week against a tough Italian side. What we can’t do is ease off the gas like we did in the autumn.

“A lot of us have been here before and been unsuccessful, so we knew what was coming. We knew what we had to do to achieve this, and we did that.”

Two-try hero Chris Ashton added: “We’ve got a good team at the minute and we wanted to continue what we did in the autumn. I thought that showed today. We did well and we could have taken more chances but we took most of the chances that came and that’s what we have to do to win games like this.”

Wales winger Shane Williams admitted he was “immensely disappointed” by his side’s failure to take their chances.

Williams said: “We’re immensely disappointed that we’ve lost our first game at home. It’s never a good sign.

“We were prepared for a big performance and we did it in patches but that’s not good enough. They’re a very physical and very confident back-line at the moment and we made too many mistakes.”