Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Eddie Jones praised England for avoiding more "Psycho horror movie drama" on Welsh soil following a 24-13 Autumn Nations Cup win over Wales in Llanelli on Saturday.

Victory meant England booked a place in next week's Nations Cup final, with France their likely opponents at Twickenham.

The Six Nations champions did not have things all their own way, however, and were only 11-7 ahead come half-time at Parc Y Scarlets.

But tries in either half from Henry Slade and Mako Vunipola, allied to 14 points kicked by England captain Owen Farrell, saw them to victory after Wales had opened the scoring through Johnny Williams' converted try.

And that meant there was no repeat of last year's Six Nations clash in Cardiff, where England led 10-3 at the break only for Wales to run out 21-13 winners.

"At half-time it could have been a 'Psycho' horror movie," England coach Jones told reporters as he compared his team's position to one of most notorious murder scenes in film history.

"The woman goes to the shower and you know what's coming from behind the shower curtain.

"It was the exact same situation as the game in the Millennium Stadium where we did most of the play in the first, were slightly ahead. Wales did a few things at the end of the first half to put us off our game and then we had a choice at half-time of how would we react.

"Would we allow them to continue to do that or do we stick to our game? The boys showed really good tactical discipline to stick to our game," the former Australia and Japan coach added.

- 'Not there yet' -

England's victory was built on scrum and line-out dominance, with Jones accepting their attacking play could be improved.

"We want a bit more fluency with the ball in hand, but we're not quite there yet," he said.

If France are England's opponents, it will be a chance to gain revenge for a 24-17 loss to 'Les Bleus' in February.

That Paris reverse, in what was England's first game since last year's World Cup final defeat by South Africa, ultimately cost Jones' men a Six Nations Grand Slam even if they pipped the French to the title.

Next week's match is set to see fans back at Twickenham for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, with 2,000 tickets having gone on sale, and Jones said: "We want to make sure we put on a performance that lights up people's eyes when they sit there."

Meanwhile, Wales coach Wayne Pivac was frustrated by French referee Romain Poite after a seventh defeat in eight Tests for his side, with the New Zealander questioning why Slade's try had been allowed following what he thought was an illegal challenge on Dan Biggar, the hosts' fly-half.

"Dan Biggar was clearly taken in the air," Pivac insisted.

"The TMO (television match official) comes in and calls that, but he is over-ruled by the man in the middle," added Pivac, who said he would take up the issue with World Rugby.

He was also unhappy with Poite's officiating of the scrum, where England won several penalties.

"There are a lot of resets and a lot of scrum penalties being awarded, and in some cases, we think, wrongly so," Pivac said.

Nevertheless, this was an improved display by Wales.

"We asked for a lot of energy, we asked for a bit of passion," explained Pivac. "We wanted to start well and I think we got the good start after weathering the storm, with the breakout try."

Source: News24

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