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'We knew we'd have to keep taking away time and space from them'

Eddie Jones was delighted his with his team’s performance after England recorded a dominant win over New Zealand.

Steve Hansen and Eddie Jones share a word after Saturday's semi-final clash in Yokohama.
Steve Hansen and Eddie Jones share a word after Saturday's semi-final clash in Yokohama.
Image: David Davies

EDDIE JONES PRAISED the efforts of his players after England reached the World Cup final with a stunning 19-7 defeat of New Zealand.

England took an early lead against the All Blacks when Manu Tuilagi crossed after just 90 seconds, and their 10-0 advantage at half time didn’t tell the full story of their dominance. 

A poor lineout throw from Jamie George handed New Zealand a lifeline just short of the hour mark, with the hooker missing his intended target and instead overshooting his throw and finding Ardie Savea, with the All Black flanker left with the simplest of tasks to dot down.

Yet a superbly disciplined England team held out, with George Ford kicking four penalties in total, to reach a first World Cup final since 2007.

And head coach Jones admitted he was delighted with the performance of his team, who were full value for the win against the back-to-back World Cup champions.

“Look, we were playing against a great team today. New Zealand are a great team, Steve Hansen is a great coach, Kieran Read is a great captain,” Jones said.

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“We had to dig deep. We knew we’d have to come off the line hard and keep taking away time and space from them. We managed to do that, caused a few errors, and maybe had a few lucky bounces and got the result. 

“I think World Cup are always about defence, and our best form of attack is our defence. We create opportunities through our defence to attack. But again, I’d like to pay the greatest compliment to New Zealand. they won two World Cups in a row, they’ve been a great team so we had to dig really deep to beat them.”

Jones’ opposite number, Steve Hansen, will now have to prepare his team for next Friday’s Bronze Final, which will be his final game in charge of the All Blacks.

“Firstly I’d just like to congratulate England,” Hansen said.

“They played a tremendous game of footie, and on the day they deserved to win the game. You can’t give them half a step because they’ll take it. At the end of the day that’s what rugby is about, and well done to them.

“I’m really proud of our team. They have done a tremendous job for their country, and tonight we just weren’t good enough, so we have to take that on the chin and so does everybody back home and our fans, and you know all credit to England, you saw the boys at the end, they’re still trying their guts out and that is all you can ask.” 

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