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'Eddie Jones should resign on the spot' - England told to 'get real' after record loss

By Kim Ekin
Eddie Jones, Head Coach of England (Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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The nature of England’s loss to Ireland might have stayed any potential executioner’s hand for Eddie Jones, but not everyone in the English press were sold on the heroics displayed in Twickenham on Saturday evening.

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England were eliminated from Guinness Six Nations title contention with a round left after losing 32-15 but they showed remarkable resilience having lost Charlie Ewels to a red card for a dangerous tackle after only 82 seconds.

Two late tries propelled Ireland over the finishing line and gave the scoreline a lop-sided look, but they were rattled for long periods and had been pegged back to 15-15 heading into the final quarter.

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Back in the Game – RFU
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Back in the Game – RFU

“We showed great spirit and great tactical discipline. There was about 15 minutes to go, it was 15-15 and we were controlling the game and we just made a couple of mistakes that allowed them into the game,” said Jones in the post-game press conference.

“It was a great learning experience for this team. I see that as a foundation game for us where we set our campaign for the World Cup in 2023.

“The spirit, the determination, the ability to work through problems were all absolutely outstanding,2 said the Australian.

Despite the admittedly gutsy showing by a 14-man England side, not everyone was buying the line that it represented a moral victory for Jones’ side, who are staring down the barrel of a likely fourth-place finish if they don’t pull off a win against the high flying French in Paris next weekend.

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The Daily Mail’s Mike Keegan branded it a humiliation, tweeting: “Another national humiliation delivered by the experts in national humiliation. Eddie Jones should resign on the spot. Underdogs? Do me a favour. An outrageous statement given the comparative investment and resources. Year upon year they consistently underachieve.”

The Sunday Times columnist Stephen Jones was buying the valiant losers tag either. “Apparently we are meant to be celebrating England’s record defeat by Ireland at Twickenham as some form of England triumph. Really time to get real”

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Australian journalist and broadcaster Christy Doran suggested pressure was continue to mount on Jones following the loss. “Pressure rises on Eddie Jones. Lots of talk about his future. Ireland 32-15 winners over England, having scored 17 points in last 16 minutes to win at Twickenham. England lost lock Charlie Ewels after a minute to front on head clash. “Responsibility of tackler”.

Many others were more optimistic. Writing in the Daily Mail, Nik Simon wrote: “As far as defeats go, this will be remembered as one of England’s best. What could have become a disastrous day in the ‘New England’ project in fact provided a foundation stone in their journey towards the World Cup. They will take pride in the gladiator-like spirit of Maro Itoje, Jamie George, Ellis Genge and Jack Nowell who, against the odds, stayed in the fight for more than an hour.”

British & Irish Lions guru Sir Ian McGeechan, who was on ITV’s panel during the game, said that he believed the defeat would provide a cornerstone for England moving forward.

“If we learnt much about England, this match also confirmed what we suspected about Andy Farrell’s Ireland. In short, they are a really impressive team who are among the very best in the world at the moment.

“Although they bent under the ceaseless pressure of the English onslaught, they didn’t break. That tells you all you need to know about their quality as players but also their character.”

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Commentator Nick Mullins was also looking on the bright side after what everyone agreed was an instant Six Nations classic. “So as it happens, reds don’t always ruin games. A Six Nations classic. England deserve to be chipper even in defeat, Ireland kept believing. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.”

Retired commentator and Test international Brian Moore tweeted: “This is a very good Ireland side, and who knows what would have happened without the red card? England’s character can’t be questioned after their self-inflicted handicap. An absorbing test match.”

In his Daily Mail column, Mike Brown also suggested the game would be used a fuel ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

“I was part of the England side that crashed out of our home World Cup in the pool stages in 2015,” he says. The pain of that disappointment was unbelievable but we used that as motivation to win a Grand Slam the next year.

“There’s no reason why we can’t see this England team produce a similar turnaround from this year’s Six Nations and go on to win the next World Cup. I firmly believe Eddie Jones’ men are on the right path for France next year.”

England will regroup before their campaign defining trip to Paris for the 2022 Six Nations ‘Super Saturday’. A win would certainly see them leaving the tournament with their heads held high, but a loss will no doubt see wolves back at the Eddie Jones’ door.

additional reporting PA

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