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Eddie Jones reacts to Japan's heavy defeat to England

By PA
Former England manager and current Japan head, Eddie Jones (centre R), speaks with England's Joe Marler (centre L) after the international rugby union match between Japan and England at the National Stadium in Tokyo on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

Jamie George was pleased with the way England adapted to the heat and humidity of Tokyo’s National Stadium to crush Eddie Jones’ Japan 52-17.

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Apart from patches of the first and final quarters, Steve Borthwick’s men were in total control as they warmed up for their two-Test series against New Zealand by running in eight tries.

“It was a really tough game. The conditions were very difficult. I’m very proud with the way we went about our business,” said England captain George, speaking on RugbyPass TV.

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“It was always going to be very difficult to come over here and get the result, but we’re very happy with that.

“It took us a little while to get used to the conditions but off the back of that we were really efficient with the ball and moved the ball into space.

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“We’ve got some really talented backs with a lot of speed and we managed to show that.”

England came up against Jones for the first time since he was sacked by the Rugby Football Union 18 months ago but their former boss had no surprises up his sleeve for the launch of his second term in charge of Japan.

“Japan are a fantastic team. We knew they would be well drilled and we obviously know Eddie very well. We couldn’t have more respect for him as a person and a coach,” George said.

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“Japan played with very high tempo and I think they will be very successful over the next few years.”

Marcus Smith orchestrated England’s brightest moments in the first-half, to justify his selection at fly-half ahead of Fin Smith, but the late dismissal of Charlie Ewels for a dangerous clear-out of Michael Leitch placed a cloud over the performance.

Ewels was shown a yellow card that was upgraded to red by the bunker review system to earn him the unwanted distinction of becoming the nation’s first player to be sent off twice.

“I’m really pleased with the result and I thought the application of the players was really excellent,” head coach Steve Borthwick said.

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“Clearly late in the game our cohesion broke up a little against a very fast and skilful Japanese team who took their chances really well.

“The ball movement of the Japanese team was really excellent and you can tell that over the next period of time their team is going to grow.

“They play in a certain way and are very, very dangerous and we had to defend really well to keep them out, especially in that first 20 minutes.”

There was no fairytale return for Jones, whose young Japan side were taken apart in most facets of the game to reveal the extent of the rebuilding project facing the Australian.

“It was a pretty tough game for us. England are a strong, powerful team,” Jones said.

“But I was really pleased with our set-piece work which kept us in the game for a long period of time.

“We’ve been working on things in our attack and we created opportunities but we weren’t able to finish them.

“Our movement around the ball still isn’t sharp enough. But there is real potential here for Japanese rugby.”

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Comments

2 Comments
m
monty 27 days ago

So the poms put on a big score and were dominant for the most part. But a minor, although a relative point throughout was the japs opened them up twice effectively which resulted in points, plus I feel a weakness in the poms defence was apparent.

D
Don M 27 days ago

As we saw with Eddie’s disastrous Wallabies WC selections, potential doesn’t win games. And potential is subjective to a degree. A few more thumping losses and Japanese fans will demanding that the proven are selected, and that a sensible game plan is installed that will give the team every chance of success. Irrespective, it will end in tears.

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