I don't need vindication, says Jones after impressive England win

  • Rugby
  • Monday, 24 Feb 2020

Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - England v Ireland - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - February 23, 2020 England head coach Eddie Jones arrives at the stadium ahead of the match REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

LONDON (Reuters) - Eddie Jones was delighted with England's dominant 24-12 win over Ireland on Sunday, particularly their first-half strangulation job, but then had a dig at the critics who have questioned the team since they slipped from their World Cup high.

England were on fire for the first 40 minutes, racing into a 17-0 lead with tries by George Ford and Elliot Daly, treating the Twickenham fans to some of the inventive play that served them so well in their run to the World Cup final.

Ireland clawed their way back into the game after the break, but England had plenty in reserve to chalk up their second win of the championship, having lost their opener in France.

"We played really well and we know they're a good team so had to play well to beat them," Jones told a news conference.

"We played with a lot of control, and played the (windy) conditions well. They're a good team, this England team, and any time we have a small mishap it's the end of the world, the whole world's falling in. The players get a lot of criticism, and I'm really proud of what they did."

Jones was asked if he was pleased that his selections, criticised or at least widely questioned, in the media, had come good, but he was dismissive.

"I don't need vindication" he said. "I just pick the team then wait to see what you blokes and all the experts write about it. Maybe next week we'll pick six locks to give you guys something to talk about.

"The Six Nations is a different sort of rugby. People want to see this floaty, long-passing game but it's just not like that, the conditions don't make it like that and the intensity of the rivalries - it's a different type of game.

"We dominated the game in Scotland and we dominated today. We were fitter so we were able to play with more intensity."

Captain Owen Farrell, who landed all four goalkicks in difficult conditions - while opposite number Johnny Sexton missed both of his, simple, attempts, was also upbeat after getting one over on his dad, Ireland coach Andy Farrell.

"We were very consistent throughout that first half and the way we prepared gave us the confidence to play like that," he said.

"We feel like we’ve built again and put a good performance out but there’s loads left in us."

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Toby Davis)

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