Jones had been under pressure going into Saturday’s clash in Cape Town, England on a five-Test losing streak having let leads slip in each of the first two matches with the Springboks.
But England were much improved in a 25-10 win in soggy conditions at Newlands. Owen Farrell kicked 20 of their points, while Danny Cipriani marked his first start since 2008 with an excellent cross-field kick for Jonny May to dot down in the corner.
It was a performance that sparked Jones to make the bold claim that England are on the right path towards challenging for the World Cup, a competition they had been seen as one of the favourites for prior to the start of their dismal run in the Six Nations.
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The head coach told Sky Sports: “It is a great reward for the players. I have been consistent in saying that our efforts have been outstanding, but we have lacked a bit of emotional control and played some big moments poorly.
“Today we were able to control those big moments really well and won the game conclusively.
“The emotional control and the way we stuck to a tactical plan pleased me – in other games we got seduced by the scoreboard a little bit but today we stuck at it and it is a great result for us.
“It’s never a dead rubber – England had never won at Newlands before so these guys will remember that. We want to be the world’s best team and we’re back on the road again.”
Singling out May, who has scored in each of his last five Tests for England, Jones added: “I thought Jonny May was outstanding – I think he has been the class winger all series.
“I thought [flanker] Tom Curry did well too – he has probably played more Tests now than he has Premiership games.”
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