Jones looks on the bright side after Calcutta defeat

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 08:23

REACTION: England coach Eddie Jones was adamant all was far from lost for England following their shock Calcutta Cup defeat by Scotland.

Saturday's 13-25 defeat at Murrayfield was just reigning Six Nations champions England's second defeat in 26 Tests under their Australian coach.

The reverse, England's first loss to Scotland in a decade, left Ireland - the only side in the tournament who can now eye a Grand Slam following three wins out of three - in pole position to claim this season's title.

Scotland ran in three tries in a memorable first half at Murrayfield on Saturday, centre Huw Jones crossing twice and wing Sean Maitland also going over as Finn Russell, making the most of brilliant breakdown play led by Scotland captain John Barclay, produced a commanding display at flyhalf.

England, still second in the global rankings and one of the leading contenders for next year's World Cup in Japan, are set to lick their wounds at a training camp in Oxford before resuming their bid for an unprecedented third successive outright Six Nations title away to France in Paris on March 10.

England appeared to be caught cold by the pace and ferocity of Scotland's play, with Eddie Jones admitting: "We lacked intensity and we've got to find out why. We got beaten at the breakdown and we've got to find out why.

"We lacked proper spacing in defence and we've got to find out why" the former Australia and Japan coach added.

"We allowed the game to disappoint us at times and there are some good lessons. We are trying to develop a strong team but the occasion was too big for us. Scotland were too good for us.

"Scotland contested the breakdown well and read the referee well. Full credit to them."

Jones's admission was concerning as England's players ought to know by now how Wales's Nigel Owens, long one of the world's leading referees, likes to control a game.

But the England coach, while keen to learn lessons from a rare setback, was also determined to put it into context.

"You can start to find shadows in the corners. Once you get into the situation we got into, it puts pressure on you and we probably didn't execute as well as we can," he explained.

"But I'm not going to go down the track of saying everything is wrong because everything is not wrong."

Former England captain Chris Robshaw, a rare shining light for the visitors on a torrid afternoon in Edinburgh, insisted the squad had factored into their preparations how playing in front of a home crowd against the 'auld enemy' could inspire Scotland.

"We spoke among ourselves in the week about what an exciting and hostile place Murrayfield could be and how it's great for them if they got their noses in front. And that's exactly what happened," said Robshaw.

"We've got to take our medicine and learn. We'll keep fighting."

Meanwhile 'fighting' of a different kind is concerning officials following a tunnel fracas shortly before kick-off at Murrayfield.

As players from both sides returned to the changing rooms after the pre-match warm-ups, television footage appeared to show England's Owen Farrell and Scotland's Ryan Wilson involved in pushing and shoving before their teammates separated the duo.

"Six Nations Rugby will be writing to the unions to request clarification on what happened in the tunnel," a spokesperson said.

Once the unions have responded, tournament organisers will decide whether to launch an investigation or initiate disciplinary proceedings.

Agence France-Presse

Video: Raw Rugby

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