VIDEO: Eddie to 'blame' for England's defeat
REACTION: Eddie Jones volunteered to be the scapegoat for England’s 6-11 defeat to Scotland a Twickenham on Saturday.
The Scots claimed their first victory at Twickenham since 1983 after dominating the Auld Enemy on the 150th anniversary of the first meeting between the rivals, wing Duhan Van Der Merwe crossing for the only try.
Gregor Townsend’s underdogs celebrated the win wildly at the final whistle and the only disappointment was that that the scoreline failed to reflect their mastery of opponents who failed to fire a shot.
“You never atone for a game like this. This stays with you for a long time,” head coach Jones said.
“But the most important thing is that we get together and we find a way to improve our performance and play like England do when we come up against Italy next week.”
Jones returned to a well-worn theme of blaming himself for one of the worst performances of his reign as England coach.
Jones’ men found possession and territory hard to come by at Twickenham as they struggled to assert their usual authority on proceedings.
The hosts’ backline saw little of the ball – inside centre Ollie Lawrence was limited to a solitary carry – and Jones admitted the lack of a platform held his team back.
“We just couldn’t find a way to get into the game. On a day like this, the set-piece will always be important, the contest in the air will be important, the gainline will be important, and we couldn’t win any of those areas,” Jones said.
“We just seemed to be off the pace and I have to blame myself, I didn’t prepare the team well enough.
“The players play the game but sometimes you have those days and we had one today. Scotland played very well.
“They had a particular game plan which they stuck to and executed really well. They had enormous possession in the first half and a big penalty count and we’ve only got ourselves to blame for the discipline issues. It was just one of those days.”
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Apart from Billy Vunipola, England’s Saracens contingent had not played since the final of the Nations Cup on December 6 and unsurprisingly they made little impact.
“Maybe it wasn’t the ideal preparation but it is what it is and we’ve got to be good enough to be able to cope with that. Everyone is a good selector after the game.”
He added: “We’re just grateful for the opportunity to be able to play rugby,”
Meanwhile, captain Owen Farrell believes England’s slow start cost them dearly.
“Credit to Scotland first and foremost,” the England skipper said.
“The way that they played kept us out the game, they got a good start and a fair bit of momentum off of a few penalties from us and they got their try.
“They kept us out from then on and we didn’t seem like we could get a grip of it.
“We can talk about the attack or we can talk about the defence but it’s all joined up, we’re going to have to look at the game as a whole and look at the story of the game and see how we can get some momentum back quicker than we did today.”
Source: Rugbypass & SixNations