Saturday 25 February 2017

Eddie Jones reckons England should have won by a lot more than 11 points

England's Dylan Hartley (centre right) congratulates his team
England's Dylan Hartley (centre right) congratulates his team

Eddie Jones feels England are an ever-improving force after they made it three wins from three in this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship with a 21-10 victory over Ireland at Twickenham.

The visitors held a 10-6 lead early in the second half following Conor Murray's converted try but Anthony Watson and Mike Brown touched down in quick succession, with Owen Farrell kicking 11 points, as the Red Rose built on their triumphs over Scotland and Italy.

Jones feels the margin of victory could have been greater but was happy to maintain his 100 per cent winning record as England coach.

He said in quotes published on the BBC Sport website: "I think our performances have stepped up. We were facing a better team today and we probably left 10 to 15 points out there, as we couldn't always convert our attacking pressure.

England head coach Eddie Jones and Dylan Hartley celebrate at the end of the match
England head coach Eddie Jones and Dylan Hartley celebrate at the end of the match

"We weren't quite sharp enough and we were letting them get a hand in at crucial times."

Billy Vunipola once again excelled in the number eight role and was arguably England's best player on Saturday.

Jones said: "Vunipola was great. He just loves playing rugby. He loves the team environment and loves playing for England."

Saracens lock Maro Itoje shone on his England debut after Jones said in the build-up he wanted to turn him "from a Vauxhall Viva into a BMW".

Following the win over Ireland, Jones added: "Itoje has gone up a level from whatever a Vauxhall Viva is but we need to let him develop as a Test player and go from there."

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