Rugby World Cup 2011: Slam pain inspired England - Tindall

Manu Tuilagi scores for England against Ireland

Captain Mike Tindall admitted the pain of England's failed Grand Slam attempt in March inspired them to victory on their return to Dublin.

"You don't need any motivation coming over here," Tindall said after their 20-9 World Cup warm-up victory.

"But when you have something that hurts in the back of your mind, you use every tool you can lay your hands on.

"We talked about how we felt after that game. We weren't going to let Ireland's energy and intensity overwhelm us."

Tindall, who was named man-of-the-match after a superb all-round display, conceded that victory was a "massive" lift two weeks before they face Argentina in their opening World Cup match.

"We were disappointed with how the Six Nations finished and disappointed with how the Wales game in Cardiff finished. We had a lot of points to prove to ourselves. We started really sprightly before the weather started to dictate things and it became a bit more attritional.

"But credit to our defence, I thought it was outstanding. Whatever they hit us with, we kept hitting them back."

Tindall was at the heart of that defensive effort, and also showed some nice touches in attack, his pass sending Manu Tuilagi through for the opening try before Delon Armitage latched on to his grubber kick for England's second try.

His partnership with Tuilagi was England's 13th different combination in 35 games under manager Martin Johnson, but they now seem likely to start the World Cup together.

"I have trained with Manu but I have never played with him before and you never really know how that is going to develop," Tindall said of his 20-year-old partner, who scored his second try in his second Test.

"You saw the raw power and raw talent he has and every time he takes the field in that white shirt, I think he is going to grow and get better and better."

England manager Martin Johnson took pleasure in the way Tindall, who limped off late on with a tight hamstring, answered his critics.

"Shontayne Hape and Mike have had a bit of grief but you saw why Mike is in our team and what he does in big Test matches," Johnson told BBC Sport. "That kick through for Delon [Armitage]'s score was probably the [key moment in the] game, when we were down to 14 men."

Johnson said Nick Easter and Tom Wood, who were both late withdrawals, could have played if it was a World Cup match.

He insisted they would both be fit for the World Cup opener against Argentina, and praised his side's reaction in adversity, with late replacement Hendre Fourie tweaking a hamstring after 21 minutes, causing Tom Croft to switch to open-side and Courtney Lawes to move into the back row.

Wing Mark Cueto also departed early with a back spasm, but later tweeted that his injury was "nothing serious, just a niggle".

"I thought we did very well considering the big disruption we had before and during the match," he added. "We got on with it and didn't miss a beat, which was good.

"There were still too many penalties which kept Ireland in the game and gave them field position. But we took our chances well, and it was a big, physical effort up front.

"When you win 20-9 in Dublin it is a decent performance, but we have to get better for the next one."

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