Rugby-Beaten England have made huge strides, says coach Jones
By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) – England manager Eddie Jones took “the positive” to a new level following Saturday’s 32-15 loss to Ireland, insisting his side had made major progress in the Six Nations, despite two defeats and some disappointing ones. performances.
England showed fantastic courage and defensive determination to go level in the final 10 minutes at 15-15 after sending off Charlie Ewels in the second minute, but Ireland then ran in their third and fourth down of the game to secure his biggest margin of victory. at Twickenham.
It came after the defeat to Scotland in the first round, a routine win over Italy and a nervy win over Wales, who beat England three tries to one.
Asked if that was a step up from last year’s shocking fifth place, Jones told reporters: “Oh, I think we’ve taken huge steps forward. We’ve dominated the game against Scotland – we were beaten. We dominated this game with 14 men, sometimes, and get beaten. And then we had two good wins against Wales and Italy and we will have a good victory against France. So I don’t see how we haven’t progressed as we want to progress.
“Obviously our target was to win the championship and we’re disappointed we didn’t do that, but sometimes circumstances mean that results don’t reflect performance. Results will catch up.”
Jones is famous for his left-field statements to the press, but his latest will no doubt bring a smile to Ireland manager Andy Farrell and France manager Fabien Galthie – whose teams remain in the hunt for the title next Saturday as the England wallows among the rest – runs again.
Jones was right to praise the spirit his players showed in the face of adversity on Saturday – they were described as heroic by Farrell – although he has also previously said ‘total spirit and commitment’ should be a no-brainer for any international player.
When asked how he could try and replicate that back-to-the-wall intensity for all games, the Aussie replied: “I’m not sure. If we had the secret potion for this we would use it all the time. time. But we are developing well as a team and we will only get better.”
Jones pointed out that England have beaten France in their last two meetings, although they have also lost their last two in Paris – where the teams will meet in the final game of the competition on Saturday night.
“We just want to play well, we want to bring it to them,” he said of the match where France will seek their first title in 12 years.
“I remember going there in 2016 for the Grand Slam and because it’s such a huge thing in European rugby, it becomes something in their head, and the only way to bring that to life a bit more in their head is to play with such intensity and ferocity that they are put on their backs.
“France are a good team, don’t get me wrong. But like any team – even the big All Black teams that win 90% – your day, if you can stick to it physically, take away their strength, you can cause their problems.”
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips Editing by Toby Davis)