Eddie Jones Says Lack Of Finishing Cost England Famous Win Against New Zealand
A happy Eddie Jones said that England were just short of converting their early dominance into a huge win against New Zealand as the visitors came from 15-0 down to win 15-16.
England's resurgence continued at a rain soaked Twickenham as the Red Rose came within a controversial TMO decision of beating the All Blacks in Saturday's test match.
Eddie Jones' side took an incredible 15-0 lead through Chris Ashton's opening try after two minutes and another try from Dylan Hartley, following a brilliant rolling maul.
New Zealand though kept the hosts scoreless in the final 55 minutes of the match and turned things around in the final two minutes of the first half to win 15-16.
After the match Jones was in higher spirits than he'd usually be in following a loss, blaming missed opportunities on the inability to capitalise, saying:
"Fantastic game of rugby. We're obviously devastated, but you take the good with the bad. We had opportunities to win the game, we didn't take them and they did, so they deserve to win the game.
"A good good rugby tussle that we're only going to improve on."
There was some criticism over the choice to kick to the corner instead of taking points and a frustration at not waiting for a chance to find a late drop goal to win the match but Jones's backed his players' choices adding, "If they feel the opportunity to crack the opposition they've got to go for it. Otherwise why do we want to have leaders on the team."
Owen Farrell's mistake on the stroke of half-time, kicking the ball straight into touch from kick off, gave the All Blacks the momentum and just a 15-10 deficit at half time, when it looked like it might have been a 15 point lead, and ultimately the win, as the world's number one came back to win.
However refused to blame any lack of momentum and bemoaned his side's inability to score when back in the ascendancy at the start of the second half, "I think when you play a team like New Zealand there's always going to be an ebb and flow of momentum and when you've got the momentum you've got to score points. We did that really well at the beginning of the game, they did that really well at the end of the first half. We had an opportunity to get points at the beginning of the second half and we didn't do that for a number of reasons and that's the crucial thing, we score points then and we win the game."
Sam Underhill may have won the game for England late on but the TMO decided that Courtney Lawes was offside, a tight decision, but the England boss refused to blame the officials saying, "Sometime the game loves you and sometimes the game doesn't love you and you've got to accept if you stay in the fight long enough the game will love you and we're here to stay in the fight so we'll get some love from the game further down the line so don't you worry."
The former Australia boss was clearly excited by what he'd seen from his players adding, "We're disappointed but we're excited about where we're going.
"Anyone who watched the game can see, on that performance we're not far away, so why wouldn't I be pleased?"
Next week England face 2019 World Cup hosts Japan, the team Jones used to coach, and the Red Rose will be determined to get over the loss and get a second win of the autumn.