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'On borrowed time' - England fans aren't happy with Eddie Jones

By Kim Ekin
Eddie Jones /Getty

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England’s failure to convincingly put an understrength Wales to the sword in Twickenham has created considerable hand-wringing online.

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An 18-point haul from flyhalf Marcus Smith underpinned England’s second straight win of the championship which keeps alive the title chances of Eddie Jones’ team. But England still have the hardest finish possible – games against Ireland and then away to table-topping and grand slam-seeking France in the last two rounds.

Wales couldn’t recover from falling 17-0 behind, thanks to four first-half penalties from Smith and a try from No.8 Alex Dombrandt, who collected an overthrown lineout by the Welsh and barged over the line.

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Wales had been dominated up front until that point, giving away sloppy penalties as a result, but gained a foothold in the match when winger Josh Adams ran onto a flat pass from scrumhalf Tomos Williams and raced over in the left corner in the 54th.

And when centre Nick Tompkins was fed by Williams in a central position and barrelled over from close range six minutes later, Dan Biggar’s subsequent conversion meant the teams were separated by just five points.

Smith snuffed out any danger by kicking his fifth and sixth penalties of the game in the final 12 minutes, allowing England to back up their 33-0 win in Italy two weeks ago.

A third Welsh try of the second half, by replacement scrum-half Kieran Hardy, at least earned the visitors a losing bonus point to take back over the Severn Bridge.

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And there was a desperate final, 16-phase attack in injury time that reached the halfway line only to end, much to the relief of England’s fans.

Yet, against this, there was annoyance among fans who were expecting England to cut lose and punish a Welsh struggling with injuries and playing mediocre rugby. England scored just one try to Wales’ three, and it came from a misfiring Welsh lineout, all after fireworks were promised pre-game.

Welsh journalist Andy Howell wrote: “Lawes should have been another blatant yellow card. Wales’ best display of 6N. Will say it yet again Eddie Jones on borrowed time with Gatland waiting in wings for RWC. Lose to Ire & Fr & fast Eddie could be gone.”

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Daily Telegraph golf correspondent James Corrigan wrote: “Wales played well second half. England should be so much better. They should get rid of Eddie Jones pronto.”

“Glad England got the win but another underwhelming performance from Eddie Jones team. Just not clicking & hasn’t for a while,” wrote one fan. “Lacking pace & power in the backs & poor 1st phase defence. Feels like the EJ era is past its sell by date.”

“Saw an England side today that, with great respect, should have put a lot of points on Wales but didn’t; but they were ‘sort of’ clinging on at the end,” wrote another. “Eddie Jones is not the coach this young, talented team need. In fact he’s not the coach anyone needs. Living off reputation.”

“If Wales turn England Rugby over in this half, do you think we might finally bin off Eddie Jones and his boring style of Rugby,” penned another discontent fan.

“England rugby team not improving under Eddie Jones anymore, going backwards actually,” Tweeted another. “Time for a fresh approach?”

“If England think they have any chance of winning the World Cup they really need to think again very poor against Wales squandered the lead no flair Marcus Smith the best they have Eddie Jones needs to sort it pronto,” wrote another peeved fan.

England are four points behind France, who beat Scotland earlier on Saturday for a third straight win.

  • additional reporting AAP

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