Wednesday 15 August 2018

Jones blames himself for England's failure to live with Scottish intensity

Scotland's Finn Russell celebrates with the Calcutta Cup after the win over England Photo: PA
Scotland's Finn Russell celebrates with the Calcutta Cup after the win over England Photo: PA

Duncan Bech

Eddie Jones refused to dwell on a tunnel scuffle involving Owen Farrell as he accepted responsibility for England's defeat at Murrayfield. Reports emerged shortly before kick-off that Farrell had been involved in a fracas with No 8 Ryan Wilson as the teams left the pitch upon completing their warm-up - with team-mates intervening to break up the fight.

Six Nations organisers are certain to investigate the incident and photographs confirm it took place, but Jones was unaware of what had happened.

"I've been coaching a game. I've been pretty busy. Are you aware of it? You can show it to me after the press conference, then we can have a chat about it," Jones said. "In all seriousness, I don't know about it. If there was, we shouldn't let that detract from a great Scotland victory. Don't get distracted by other things. Have you got an iPhone 10? The vision is better on an iPhone 10."

Scotland captain John Barclay had knowledge of the scuffle but was absent when it took place. "I've heard about this but I was in the toilets. I was first in after the warm-up to relieve myself," Barclay said. "I don't know how much of it's true or what happened. It maybe gets played up, made more of than what it was. The intensity and quality of play was what mattered. Not that."

The 128th Calcutta Cup match was a classic as Scotland matched their endeavour in attack - expertly orchestrated by Finn Russell - with a ferocity up front that saw England over-run at the breakdown.

Jones was impressed by the home performance and blamed himself for only the second defeat of his 26 Tests in charge. "Full credit to Scotland. They deserved the victory and played very well," Jones said. "For some reason at the start of the game we lacked intensity. We invited them to the game and they took full advantage. They raced away. It is hard to get back. "I have got take responsibility for the performance because we weren't there. I take full responsibility and I have to work out what I did wrong and work out how to fix it.

"These are lessons you don't want to have but they're the best lessons in the world. We'll learn a lot from this.

"We weren't there in the first half and I take responsibility for it. I didn't prepare the team as well as I should have and that's my fault. I have to work out what I did wrong and work out how to fix it.

"We were ready for it. It's 138 years of rugby history. We knew the significance of the game, we knew what would get thrown at us at Murrayfield. I apologise for our performance."

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