England's Vunipola issues Wallaby warning

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:21

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mako Vunipola has told his England teammates they must raise their game against Australia otherwise the Wallabies will "take them apart".

England launched their November campaign with an unconvincing 21-8 victory against 2019 World Cup pool rivals Argentina at Twickenham in an attritional match coach Eddie Jones labelled a "grindathon".

Jones's native Australia are England's next opponents at Twickenham this coming weekend and prop forward Vunipola, the man-of-the-match against the Pumas, said only a much-improved performance will deliver a fourth successive victory over the Wallabies, who are coming into the game on the back of a 29-21 win over Wales. 

"It shouldn't happen again," said Vunipola. "The team Australia are at the moment and the form they are in, they will take you apart if you don't have that cohesiveness.

"We are obviously pleased to get a win against a good side but we know we could have played a lot better. There was a lack of patience but also accuracy. We have to learn from it," he added.

That lack of patience and accuracy prompted a furious outburst from Jones during the game, with television cameras catching him slamming a notebook and mouthing "how f***ing stupid are we?".

Jones said he could not fault the players' "100 percent effort" but highlighted a lack of cohesion as their main failing against Argentina.

"I thought most of the guys did pretty well, we just didn't play well as a team," he said. "It was a game where things aren't going right, you can't get your rhythm, you can't get the speed of ball you want.

"The game is difficult and you find a way to win."

Victory gave England their 20th win in 21 Tests under Jones but the Australian insisted that record was only a means to an end.

"We are trying to win the World Cup in 2019 so everything we do now is about that," he said.

Meanwhile Jones said he was unconcerned by Australia's view of England's performance against Argentina.

"I don't really care what Australia thought of us against Argentina," Jones said. "I want Australia to bring their best game to Twickenham and then see if we can handle it.

"We wanted to play well but the players know they have a big game next week and they're going to be up for it. We know we have to play better and we will."

Agence France-Presse