Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Jones not blaming Premiership for England's woes

Jones not blaming Premiership for England's woes

England need, as a team, to develop their breakdown game to the point where the nearest two players in the loose instinctively go in to support the ball-carrier and effectively clear out the first opposition player to contest the ball.

It was a stint in Ireland during the 1980s - in remote Multyfarnham, Westmeath - where he found his passion for coaching and steered Wilson's Hospital to a Leinster schools title. Once such a player is there, you can not expect a George Ford to take him out on his own; England need to have pairs of men hitting the same player to have any real chance of freeing up the ball. There was rarely any danger of a repeat display when, having made 10 changes, in a bid to develop squad depth ahead of next year's World Cup, Gatland saw Wales overpower Italy 38-14 in Cardiff on Sunday following back-to-back defeats by England and Ireland.

England will be condemned to their worst Six Nations performance since 2006 and could finish as low as fifth if they fail to prevent Ireland from completing the Grand Slam, leaving only a week to rectify the shortcomings evident against Scotland and France. All the while, the four-try win England needed to keep up their chase of a record third straight Six Nations title was never remotely in range. They would have had to follow it up with the ideal match next week, a four-try thrashing of Ireland at Twickenham, to win the title on points difference. He has often spoken about how he dreams of coaching the flawless game.

Ireland won the 2018 Six Nations on Saturday with a round of games left to play
Ireland won the 2018 Six Nations on Saturday with a round of games left to play

Whatever solutions Jones tried in the last two weeks, they did not work. We just didn't learn quick enough. "It's a very big moment, it's a big emotion to beat England".

Scotland's shock win at Murrayfield last weekend is to thank for the precarious status of England's title defence, but their away struggles continued in Dublin.

"Each player will get what they need to get". They conceded too many penalties, 16 altogether, and were outwitted at the breakdown. I think if you said at the start of the season that you're going to win a Championship without Josh, Sean (O'Brien), Jamie Heaslip, Rhys Ruddock, Robbie Henshaw, and then to lose Chris Farrell as well, and there's others in that list as well.

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Ireland boss Schmidt expects Eddie Jones' frustrated side to be hell-bent on venting some fury at Twickenham on Saturday however.

Where do you think it all went wrong for England? They have been running in a rut of uncertain form for a while now and it has led to back-to-back defeats.

"It's hard to imagine there are many people in the game who watch more rugby than Schmidt and his ability to produce brilliantly clever set-piece moves and power plays [which involve multiple pre-planned phases of attack] is unrivalled". But Joe Schmidt has been building his team all the while. The burly Toulon centre - who is built like a prop - had not played for his country for two years under Brunel's predecessor Guy Noves.

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Joe Schmidt's men have claimed the Championship Trophy with a game to spare after England lost to France on Saturday evening.

The former Ireland first-five Tony Ward believes the completion of a Grand Slam against England at Twickenham would represent "the greatest achievement in the history of Irish rugby".

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