Cape Town (AFP) – England coach Eddie Jones praised his team’s return to form after a 10 – 25 victory Saturday over the Springboks, boasting “it’s all on again” as the tourists concluded a Test series defeat.
Jones told journalists at the Newlands stadium in Cape Town that England bounced back in the third and final Test as “we handled the bigger moments better”.
“If you look back at the last two Tests, both Tests we put ourselves in the position to win the game but with the pressure or when the scoreboards changed we haven’t handled those situations well,” he said.
“Today we kept our composure and just focussed on the next play and good leadership by the players out there.”
Jones said that the smaller number of penalties awarded against England compared to the first two Tests had played a role.
“I think discipline is a matter of trusting your teammates and trusting the system and not trying to solve things by yourself,” he said.
– ‘They’ll continue to get stronger’ –
“I think the team, if anything, was over-eager to play well, they probably felt the pressure of the scoreboard and the pressure of losing some games.
“Today we really focussed on just playing each play as it comes, play that play well then focus on the next play.”
Jones said that he had not fixated on England’s dismal run of recent form and was only interested in the next game.
“After every Test you either feel good or you feel bad — and that lasts about three or four hours and you’re back on the treadmill again,” he said.
“No — I feel better than I did the previous two. But it’s all on again boys… I think we’re coming to the peak now.”
“We’re trying to arrange a game at Twickenham next week — so we’ll put back SuperRugby for a week,” he joked.
Jones described the South Africa tour as a “great series of rugby… for the health of rugby it was a great series”.
“(But) South Africa was too good in the first two games,” he said.
Asked which players had stood out during the series, Jones said Jonny May had a strong outing.
“I think Jonny May has been outstanding — he’s been incredible,” he said.
“He nearly gave them a try and then saved a try — I thought he was going to run off to one of those corporate boxes — he forgets its a north-south game, he runs east-west.”
“I was glad to see Robshaw play so well… he bounced back.”
Jones added that he “100 percent” sees the hosts as World Cup contenders following their Test series performance.
“Rassie (Erasmus) has done a good job getting young players through,” he said. “They’ll continue to get stronger.”