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Jones enjoys last laugh as England beat Australia

Other Sports
Sat, 03 Dec 2016

Twickenham, United Kingdom: England coach Eddie Jones had the last laugh after a 37-21 win over his native Australia at Twickenham yesterday.

Prior to the match, The Australian newspaper had depicted former Wallaby boss Jones as a clown.

But after England made it 13 wins out of 13 under Jones for a perfect 2016, the coach said: "Firstly I'd just like to apologise, I've forgotten my red nose, but I'll get it later and put it on."

England's victory, their fourth over the Wallabies in 2016 following a 3-0 series win in Australia in June, was far from straightforward.

They were 10-0 behind early on after a Bernard Foley penalty and Sefa Naivalu's converted try gave Australia the edge.

But England's pack gradually got into gear and the home side, with Owen Farrell landing all six of his goalkicks, fought back.

Jonathan Joseph, Farrell's centre partner, scored two tries, with Marland Yarde and impressive scrum-half Ben Youngs also crossing Australia's line.

"Australia came out hard in the first half -- we knew that was going to happen and they played some very good rugby," said Jones.

"We just had to hang in there and we did. We got to half-time 16-13 (behind), recuperated, and got our heads on a bit better.

"In the second half we did the basics really well. To win the second half 24-5 is a pretty fair effort."

But Jones, speaking after England jhad equalled their national record run of 14 straight wins -- set in 2003 when they won a World Cup final against an Australia team he was coaching at the time, said England still had work to do if they were to replace world champions New Zealand as the game's number one-ranked Test side.

"It's a good step forward for us," said Jones. "But we can't get too carried away.

"We've still got a hell of a lot of work to do to become the best team in the world. All the players realise that.

"But the great thing is we're developing a real desire to go there."

Asked what had changed in the second half, Jones replied: "We just had to work that little bit harder.

"We started to stop them at the gainline, the big No 8 (Lopeti Tomani) didn't carry so much over the line and that put them under pressure in attack.

"And when they're under pressure in attack they gave us mistakes and gave us some points."

Jones, who said England's 2003 team were a "much better side than we are at the moment", insisted records were of no concern as he looked to guide England to glory at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

"The only record we are interested to beat is to be the number one team in the world and to do that we have to win the World Cup."

Meanwhile Jones said he felt no special joy in beating Australia, labelling Saturday's match as "just another game of Test footy."

However, he added: "To beat the third ranked country in the world 4-0 is fantastic isn't it?"

Defeat meant Australia, who knocked England out of the World Cup before going down in the final to New Zealand, had lost nine of their 15 Tests in 2016.

"Everyone knows the game goes for 80 minutes so you have to play both halves as best you can," said Australia coach Michael Cheika.

"We've played some great rugby over the year and we've played some poor rugby.

"The first half was good, but we needed to score more points.

"In the second half, we needed to react to stop the momentum that England created."