WATCH - Eddie Jones: It was like a World Cup final... maybe a leprechaun tackled Heaslip in the warm-up
Eddie Jones said he could still be proud of his back-to-back title winners despite failing to break the world record for successive wins - and claimed the Aviva clash was akin to a World Cup final.
And he hailed a brilliant Irish performance even though he thought his team were going to find a way to win for the 19th successive time.
“That was like a World Cup final out there. We are better off having that experience today than in a World Cup final in Yokohama in 2019.
“I thought we were going to stick it out, we were starting to get momentum and get a few breaks. Unfortunately, we gave away a penalty for 13-6.
“You have these days. Ireland played superbly and were too good for us on the day and we weren’t good enough.
“We’re all human beings, we’re not perfect and that’s why world records finish at 18 games.
“It’s so hard to keep going. A team perform above themselves, we performed below ourselves.
“They played the conditions superbly, we probably didn’t. I told them to be proud of themselves, we’re joint record holders and back-to-back title winners. We’ll right the wrongs in November.
“We’re 14 months into a four-year project. We’re chuffed but realism shows we have work to do, we were caught in certain areas, they executed their plan brilliantly and are well-coached.
“Not too many teams have 90% winning records. Even Don Bradman got a 0 in his last test.
“We’re gutted but we’ll fight another day guys, it’s not the end of the world.”
Jones highlighted the influence of Peter O’Mahony in the lineout.
“Those conditions suited Peter O’Mahony more than Jamie Heaslip, who is more of a top of the ground type of player. Sometimes you have those bits of luck in the warm-up. Maybe he got tackled by a leprechaun! They can do what they want, we didn’t change our plan.
“They executed their plan superbly, they looked after the ball, technically they were good but not anything surprised us.
“I take full responsibility for the loss and I should have prepared them better. I make mistakes and the team didn’t play well, I have to fix it.
“It was a tough tournament, teams were at it, the standard has been much better, there is a real hardness there.”