England head coach Eddie Jones was magnanimous in the face of his side’s crucial 40 – 24 Guinness Six Nations defeat to Wales at the Principality Stadium, branding Wayne Pivac’s side ‘worthy winners’.
England conceded 14 penalties to Wales’ nine, while match referee Paul Gauzere awarded two hotly contested tries, but Jones’ refused to blame the official.
“It is what it is,” he said on BBC One after the final whistle. “We can’t argue with the referee, the result is there in stone, and we have to accept it.
“Maybe they were tough calls, but we have to be good enough to get out of it.”
Jones added England had little option now but to “accept the referee’s decision”.
He said: “It could have been tough, but we have just got to ride with it and be good enough to handle it.”
The England head coach added: “We were not good enough on the day, we might have had some tough calls, but we have to be able to adapt to the game and to the referee.
“If the referee is going to referee like that, we have got to be able to adapt to it.”
Jones paid tribute to Wales as “worthy winners”. “I was really pleased with the way we fought back, got ourselves back to 24-all.
“Probably the last play summed up our day – we do some lovely attacking work, get to a final pass, they intercept and score down the other end.
'If I was Wayne Pivac, I'd go to a blackjack table and have a bit of a go'
— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) February 27, 2021
“That is the difference of the game.”
On England’s penalty count, Jones said: “I think we are probably trying too hard. I thought the effort today was outstanding.
“It was a difficult game for us, given what happened. We have to be able to adapt to those emotional disruptions. It is a good lesson for us.”
He did have time to suggest that the Pivac and his Welsh players got the rub of the green in the match.
“If I was Wayne Pivac, I’d go to a blackjack table and have a bit of a go,” he quipped.
Eddie Jones has given his reaction following the defeat to Wales.
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— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 27, 2021
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