Jones: ‘All we have to is prepare well’

Date published: March 12 2016

England head coach Eddie Jones described his side's late scare from Wales as another positive lesson for his side after their win on Saturday.

Wales fought back from 25-7 down to run England close in the dying stages at Twickenham after tries from George North and Taulupe Faletau, despite England dominating the majority of the contest.

Jones told reporters afterwards that England had needed not to retreat into their shell when the pressure was on, buy was understandably happy with how they build a commanding lead.

"I thought we played really well in our first 60 minutes, we played with a lot of precision and tactically smart and we were physical. The last 20 minutes are a really good learning curve for us, defending with 14 men," he said.

"To get a win over Wales, I said to the players this morning when you look at the history, with 58 wins for England to 57 for Wales, at the end of the day we want to be ahead. And now we are.

"In that last 20 we missed a couple of tackles. We’re always working on defence and getting better as a team, which is what we need to focus on rather than the first 60 or the last 20.

"What we needed to do tactically in the last 20 was not sit back. When we did that and gave the ball back to them then we struggled. It’s a really good lesson. There’s nothing massively we have to change, tactically we just need to have more awareness about what we need to do."

England lock Maro Itoje deservedly was named Man of the Match, with Jones praising the work done by the 21-year-old in training since joining the national squad and recognising the potential of his partnership with Saracens team-mate George Kruis.

Jones said: "I thought he played very well. He’s worked at his game and done a lot of the things we asked him to do. 

"It was a very good performance and he along with George Kruis could lock the scrums for England for a very long time." 

Next for Jones, yet to lose in charge of England through four Tests, is a shot at the Grand Slam against France with England bidding to end a 13-year wait.

"The Grand Slam is on. All we have to do now is prepare well. France will be passionate and full of pride playing their last game in Paris depending what the result is tomorrow," Jones said.

"We’re four from four. If you’d said after that loss in the World Cup that five months later we’d be up 25-7 after 60 minutes against Wales then you’d be pretty happy.

"We’ve won the game, and we’re moved on. We’re a new team, and we played a bit like the old team in the last 20 minutes.

"We’ve got a beautiful opportunity in Paris. Hopefully we get a fast track to play on."