“I’m a bit disappointed the referee didn’t allow us to scrum fully,” said Eddie Jones. “That would be my only complaint. We got six scrum penalties and we didn’t get a yellow card. We are disappointed we didn’t get more out of that. No one proportions blame on Charlie Ewels.”
Last Updated: 12/03/22 8:49pm
Eddie Jones was proud of his England side in defeat to Ireland at Twickenham, adding he was frustrated their scrummaging efforts did not result in a yellow card to the visitors.
England lost second row Charlie Ewels to a red card by French referee Mathieu Raynal after just 82 seconds for a high tackle on James Ryan as Ireland eventually pulled away to a 32-15 Six Nations victory.
The hosts’ scrum efforts kept them firmly in the game, however, as six penalties were earned and Marcus Smith levelled the contest at 15-15 into the final quarter.
Jones admitted there was frustration in the aftermath, but added there was no blame apportioned to Ewels in defeat.
“We showed great spirit, great tactical discipline,” Jones said at his post-match press conference.
“There was about 15 minutes to go, 15-15, we are controlling the game, and we just made a couple of mistakes that allowed them into the game.
“I couldn’t be prouder of them. It’s a great learning experience. The young guys adapted really well.
“I’m a bit disappointed the referee didn’t allow us to scrum fully. That would be my only complaint.
“We got four [six] scrum penalties and we didn’t get a yellow card. We are disappointed we didn’t get more out of that.
“No one proportions blame on [Charlie Ewels]. It was a genuine attempt to make a tackle he just got his head in the wrong place. We have no complaints with the red card.
“Kyle Sinckler has got concussion, but Tom Curry is looking a little worse for wear, and doesn’t look like he will be involved next week.”
England skipper Courtney Lawes, who shifted from blindside flanker to second row after the red card, added: “We lost a few territory battles which hurt us a bit, and swung the momentum.
“We were playing with 14 men for most of the game – it is tough, but we never gave up, and put everything into the game. We came up short because of a bit of accuracy but we can learn from that.
“Ireland are obviously a very good team, very, very organised. They are one of the best teams for knowing what each other are going to do and playing little tips to each other. We wanted to disrupt them and we did that. We can be proud of what we did.”
“It’s tough work in the [second] row, I’m not going to lie. Obviously I can play second row, and Nowell is basically a flanker anyway, so we were flying in the scrum.”
Farrell, Sexton: Ireland hoping for England favour in Paris
Speaking after the victory, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell admitted there were set-piece and discipline concerns that will need to be looked at.
The former England defence coach also admitted he now hoped Jones’ charges would go on to do Ireland a favour against table leaders France in Paris.
“We’re over the moon. We were under pressure for a while but showed composure at 15-15. And to come away with a bonus-point we should be proud,” Farrell told media afterwards.
“We learnt a lot about ourselves. We’ve been under pressure before and games got away from us. This time round we came away with a brilliant victory in the end.
“We started the game really well. We were making linebreak after linebreak but it was just the final pass. England’s set-piece was outstanding, our discipline creaked a bit. Hats off to them.
“There’s a few things we need to work on at set-piece. A few things we need to go through and see whether it’s our fault or not.
“It was a crazy old game. Test matches are never perfect: they are there to put you under pressure. We managed to find a way, job done and move on to the next one.
“We hope so! [England can beat France in Paris in Round 5] They’ll want to finish the tournament well themselves.”
Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton, having announced his intentions to retire from the game after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, was likely making his final Six Nations appearance at Twickenham.
The 36-year-old echoed the words of his head coach after the win.
“It was a good Test match. It was never going to be easy coming here. At times we didn’t play our best but at times we did play well. We got our rewards keeping to game plan.
“Two years ago we’d have lost that game. We will build towards next week no: playing at the Aviva Stadium with a chance for a Triple Crown. We haven’t had the chance to play for something at the Aviva in a long time.
“We were composed through the whole game. We didn’t execute at times, missed a couple of chances. Our lack of execution we will look at.
“England are building a new team, put in some good performances. I think England could do some real damage to France.
“I congratulated him [Marcus Smith] on what he’s done so far and that I hope he wins next week. He has a huge career ahead of him.”