Ireland played 'above themselves' and England didn't, says Jones


Had England triumphed at a rainswept Lansdowne Road, they would have beaten New Zealand to set a new record of 19 successive Test wins by a leading rugby union nation and become the first team in the Six Nations era to complete back-to-back Grand Slams.

Under the tutelage of Eddie Jones England have maintained a faultless record and head to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin with history beckoning. We are batting at a good average. If Ireland were to get themselves within reach of the Championship title, Tierney believed they need to score first after half-time and acknowledged that they had chances to do so in the third quarter.

"Could we have prepared better? We have been chuffed with the results we have had, but realism tells us we have still got a lot to do", Jones said.

"I didn't prepare the team well".

"We are Six Nations champions, back-to-back, which is a fantastic achievement".

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England captain Dylan Hartley said his team had "big lessons to learn" from the defeat.

"We can't wait to play New Zealand and I am very keen on a match this year", stated Jones.

It would be awful for the town if both Abbey and Reading go down, but unless the former can pull a rabbit out of the hat by beating at least one of the top three sides in their final four games, it looks likely. When we get together again in November we have to right what happened here.

England's taskmaster boss Jones has continually insisted his side are nowhere yet near being considered the world's best Test team.

England dealt with a raft of injuries during the tournament, particularly in the forward pack where four presumed starters - Billy Vunipola, Chris Robshaw, George Kruis and Mako Vunipola - missed all or part of the campaign.

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Ireland came into the match having lost two of the last four matches in the championship but on a soggy evening, the hosts' intensity and physicality helped them overwhelm the champions.

If ever they needed their replacements or "finishers" as Jones calls them, it was now.

"Apart from Italy, every team has been able to beat any other team".

Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes have dominated for much of the Six Nations but this wasn't the case in Dublin.

"We're all human beings, no one's ideal". And, honed over the years, he hopes the mix will make them the best team in the world.

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England captain Sarah Hunter lifts the Six Nations trophy. No, it was tough for us. Fly-half Carlo Canna missed three penalties for Conor O'Shea's winless Azzurri, who collect yet another wooden spoon amid growing calls for the implementation of a promotion and relegation system that would allow the likes of Georgia to test themselves at the top level of global rugby on a regular basis. It really tested our depth. "It was still only 13-9 at the end of the game and we didn't play well". "There's still a fair bit of work to go but if the opportunity comes up, we'll be raring to go". "It will be a celebration of rugby and of Japanese culture as we will show off the best of our country and our hospitality on a global stage".