Rugby

Jones wary of Samoa after record Wallaby win

2017-11-19 16:05
Eddie Jones (Getty)

Twickenham - Eddie Jones insisted he could yet field England's strongest side against cash-strapped Samoa after they beat his native Australia 30-6 at Twickenham.

The match against the Wallabies on Saturday was always going to be the centrepiece of an end-of-year home series for England that started with a 21-8 win over Argentina and concludes with the November 25 fixture against the Pacific islanders.

Earlier on their European tour, Samoa responded to the Samoa Rugby Union declaring itself bankrupt with a battling display in a 44-38 defeat by Scotland.

And after England beat Australia by 24 points, their largest winning-margin over the Wallabies, coach Jones was coy about making wholesale changes against Samoa in a bid to increase squad depth ahead of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

"Samoa's a difficult team," he said.

"If you give them a bit at the start of the game, they literally grow another leg."

Jones was delighted by the way England adapted to the rainy conditions against Australia at Twickenham, the hosts scoring four tries to none from the Wallabies.

England were only 6-3 up when Elliot Daly crossed in the 54th minute after officials could not be certain that fly-half George Ford's kick ahead had found touch.

It was one of several key decisions that went England's way, with referee Ben O'Keeffe sending both Australia captain Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale to the sin-bin.

The New Zealander also disallowed tries by flanker Hooper and wing Marika Koroibete for offside.

- 'Smart' -

England capitalised with three tries inside the last eight minutes from backs Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May and replacement Danny Care.

"In the end tactically we played smart," said Jones after recording his fifth straight win against Australia as England supremo.

"The rain came down heavy. Even at the start of the game the pitch was slippery... I thought in the end we played the conditions superbly."

Jones, the former Australia coach, added: "It was an arm wrestle. You had to take your opportunities when they came about and we managed to take our opportunities better than them."

Meanwhile he bristled at suggestions England had been lucky after a win that saw the stay second in the world rankings to Australia's third place.

"Why do we have a referee? Why do we have a TMO (television match official)? How were we lucky?

"They do 10 replays of video and they make a decision," insisted Jones.

Australia were left searching for a first win over England since knocking them out of the 2015 World Cup with a 33-13 pool victory at Twickenham -- a result that led to Jones' England appointment after Stuart Lancaster was sacked.

The Argentina match saw television cameras catch Jones swearing in frustration at England mistakes -- which led to a rebuke from his 93-year-old mother.

But there was no repeat on Saturday.

"I didn't throw a pen today, I didn't swear. I think my mother will be pleased," Jones said.

By contrast Australia coach Michael Cheika, who played in the same team as Jones at Sydney club Randwick, could find himself in trouble after losing his temper with both O'Keeffe and sideline officials.

Cheika was more measured afterwards, saying: "We stayed in the game against a fair bit of adversity and then when the moments came to really get back in the game, to put pressure on England, we made some mistakes, released that pressure, and they were able to capitalise on those errors."

Australia conclude their tour against Scotland in Edinburgh on November 25, with the Scots fresh from pushing world champions New Zealand close before losing 22-17 at Murrayfield.

Read more on:    england  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
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