Jones urges England to improve discipline

England head coach Eddie Jones has urged his side to improve their discipline after defeat in the opening Test of the their three-game series in South Africa.

His side were beaten 42-39 in a 10-try thriller at Ellis Park Stadium, with England's penalty count a particular concern for Jones.

England conceded 12 penalties to South Africa's four, with Springbok fly half Handre Pollard kicking three to help seal victory, and it is an area that Jones wants to change.

"It’s a game we could have won," he said. "I’ve never seen a better 20 minutes by a visiting side at Ellis Park.

"I thought the next 40 was a mixture of inconsistency; lack of discipline was the main cause of our penalty count against us. It’s hard to win any Test match with a penalty count like that. I’m proud of the boys but we need to sort that discipline."

He added: "It’s my problem, I select the players and we need to change their behaviour - sometimes that’s not easy."

Jones also believes his side conceded soft tries, while explaining the 35th minute introduction of forward Brad Shields for Nick Isiekwe was an attempt to "change the momentum of the game."

"We conceded some easy tries today and we struggled to get our spacing right, but it’s something we’re working on," he said. "At times the South African’s attacked well, and we’ll keep working on it.

"The game was slipping away from us and we needed to change it and the only way you can do that is by changing personnel.

"We felt bringing Brad Shields on in such an open game and having another back row forward out there would help us defensively."

Despite the defeat though, Jones says his side can take positives heading into next weekend's second Test on Saturday.

"Our effort and attitude was outstanding and it’s the first time I’ve seen a visiting team applauded off the field at Ellis Park. We played with a lot of courage but lacked discipline."

 


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