Jones vows to improve 'awful' England

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 06:57

REACTION: England coach Eddie Jones promised to do a better job after his "awful" Grand Slam champions launched the defence of their Six Nations title with a scrappy 19-16 win over France at Twickenham.

France had much the better of the play but England, yet to lose under Australian boss Jones, were able to grind out an 'ugly' win as they secured a national record 15th consecutive Test victory.

The visitors were 16-12 up on the hour when replacement prop Rabah Slimani went over for a try France had long threatened.

But in the end, it was England's bench strength that proved decisive, with replacement back Ben Te'o's try nine minutes from time giving England a lead extended by Owen Farrell's conversion.

"It is always good to win when you do not play well, and we did not play well," Jones said. "I take full responsibility for the performance."

The former Australia and Japan coach added: "I thought we were awful, but I thought we were always going to win the game and that is what I like about these boys. They have got a never-say-die attitude."

Jones sent on several replacements after Slimani's try, with loose forward James Haskell, returning after a broken toe, and Auckland-born Te'o, whose maiden Test try came just moments after he took the field, making the biggest impact

"The bench definitely made a difference," Jones said. "Haskell, for a guy that has played 35 minutes and 35 seconds this year was brilliant, and Ben Te'o did really well for us, too."

As for France, Jones said: "I think they are selecting right, they've got a big physical team and they are starting to understand how to make modern French flair."

Next up for England is a February 11 clash in Cardiff against Wales, who begin their Six Nations away to Italy in Rome on Sunday. 

"I did not prepare the team well enough," said Jones. "I have got a lot of homework to do over the weekend."

He added: "England versus Wales in Wales, can you believe the Test record? Sixty percent of the Tests have been won by Wales, and 40 percent have been won by England. 

"I've been to the Principality Stadium and it's just another ground.

"So I need to work out why the English don't play well in Wales."

Victory maintained England's bid for back-to-back Grand Slams did and saw them top the previous Red Rose record of 14 straight wins they had shared with Clive Woodward's celebrated 2003 side, who went on to win that year's World Cup by beating an Australia team coached by Jones in the final.

But cricket buff Jones insisted: "Records don't mean anything. You score a hundred in a Test and next day get out for a duck.

"We want to be Six Nations champions and that starts now by beating Wales next week and that is the only thing that matters. 

"If we win the Six Nations I will stand up here and do handstands. I will be that happy."

For Guy Noves, the France coach, there was renewed frustration at once again seeing his side fail to claim a major scalp after narrow November home defeats by Australia (23-25) and world champions New Zealand (19-24). 

"We had opportunities, you're right, we need to work to have a better result," said Noves.

"But, undoubtedly, we're on the right path," he added ahead of France's next match at home to Scotland who upset Ireland 27-22 at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Noves said a France side captained by hooker Guilhem Guirado had been "polluted by quite a few individual mistakes" as he lamented their inability to close out the match. 

"It lacks rigour, it lacks maturity," explained Noves. "We've got a very young team.

"We're ahead by four points 10 minutes before the end, we shouldn't have lost this game."

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Lions v Sharks 26 | 19
Leinster v Scarlets 20 | 13
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 2 2 0 0 9
England 2 2 0 0 9
Wales 2 1 0 1 6
France 3 1 0 2 6
Scotland 2 1 0 1 4
Italy 3 0 0 3 0