England manager Martin Johnson was in buoyant mood ahead of the World Cup after a morale-boosting win over Ireland, saying his side "can go with anyone" at the showpiece tournament in New Zealand.
England fly out to Auckland on Monday having completed their warm-up campaign with a 20-9 victory over Ireland on Saturday - their first win in Dublin since 2003 when a team captained by Johnson also won the World Cup.
They are now bidding to appear in a third successive World Cup final following a 15-6 loss to reigning champions South Africa in the climax of the 2007 edition in Paris.
Not that former lock Johnson, no rugby romantic, was getting carried away ahead of England's pool opener against Argentina in Dunedin on September 10.
"You don't win World Cups by thinking about winning World Cups," he said.
England came into Saturday's match on the back of a 19-9 defeat by Wales where they repeatedly squandered try-scoring chances.
But in Dublin, a strong pack overpowered Ireland at the breakdown and created the platform for the remorseless points machine that is Jonny Wilkinson to land four goal-kicks from four attempts.
England also scored two tries, with 20-year-old centre Manu Tuilagi showing his pace and power before fellow midfielder Mike Tindall, like Wilkinson a World Cup winner eight years ago, provided the grubber kick replacement back Delon Armitage latched onto behind Ireland's line.
England's gameplan lacked the dynamism displayed by both southern hemisphere giants during Australia's 25-20 Tri-Nations clinching win against New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday - a match former Ireland lock Neil Francis said took place "in a parallel universe" to the one hours later in Dublin.
However, as Francis, writing in Ireland's Sunday Independent, acknowledged, "limited is good if it is competent limitedness".
England have every chance of proving awkward opponents for even the most strongly-tipped of teams.
But Johnson, having seen England atone in part for a 24-8 Dublin defeat in March that cost the Six Nations champions a Grand Slam, challenged his side to maintain Saturday's level of performance without the motivation of proving their critics wrong.
"We talked all week about having a bit of angst - it's a good place to be," he said.
"It was almost the perfect storm for us coming here in March and we probably didn't know what we were getting into with some guys. I said then it was a scar that you sometimes have to get.
"It's always nice to be the underdog in some ways and be written off, but we've got to be able to play when we're not. We've got to get that high level whatever the external pressures or expectations are.
"We've shown when we've done that, we can go with anyone.
"If we don't hit those standards, particularly in a World Cup, you'll be in trouble."
For Johnson, England's win on Saturday was a vindication of all the work they'd done on the training ground.
"It just demonstrates to us, if we ever have doubts, that when we go and do what we talk about doing, it's effective and we're a pretty decent team."
Among several encouraging displays in Dublin for England were the efforts of James Haskell, switched to No 8 following Nick Easter's late withdrawal because of a tight calf, that saw him charging off the back of scrums to good effect and the set piece work of fit-again prop Andrew Sheridan.
Meanwhile Johnson said he expected all 30 of his World Cup squad to be on the plane for New Zealand on Monday.
That was despite the knee injuries sustained by squad captain Lewis Moody and scrum-half Ben Youngs, the "minor" calf problems of both Tom Wood and Easter and the back spasm suffered by wing Mark Cueto in Dublin.
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