A bullish Eddie Jones quipped he requires no vindication in terms of team selections within his role as England head coach as he basked in his side’s 24-12 Six Nations win over Ireland.
Having lost to France on the opening weekend of the Championship, England responded to beat Scotland in Edinburgh in Round Two and then fired their way back into title-contention with Sunday’s Twickenham win.
The Aussie took the chance to fire a shot at the media in the aftermath of the win after some of his previous team selections had been questioned.
We’re going to go for six locks next week to give you something to write about, Jones said sarcastically.
I don’t need vindication. I pick the team I think is right for the week and some of you guys are so clever.
You’re all clever, so I’ve just got to suck it all up, enjoy what you say and try to learn from you. Maybe I can pick a better team next week.
There’s a lot more to come. We played tough in the first 40 today, probably took our foot off a little bit in the second half but they were always going to get some ball and get some referee’s calls.
We had to defend, which we did pretty well. We’re disappointed to give the try away at the end so we’ll need to be better against Wales.
Tries from George Ford, Elliot Daly and Luke Cowan-Dickie saw England cruise to victory, with a first-half scoreline of 17-0 far too much for Ireland to claw back.
At half time, if it was a cricket game it could have been declared, Jones added.
We played with a lot of control, we read the conditions well, read the referee well.
We have been building up. I got the preparation wrong for the France game and apologised for that. We were good against Scotland in difficult conditions, and then we took another step up today and we’ll take another step up when we play Wales (on March 7).
Jones’ counterpart Andy Farrell plans to undergo a period of self-analysis following his first defeat as Ireland head coach.
The visitors paid a heavy price for their sloppy start and costly errors as the chance for a second Triple Crown in three years quickly slipped away.
I wouldn’t say we were off the pace – I think they started pretty well. No excuses though because they’ve started pretty well against us before and we should have been ready for that, said Farrell.
We were coming here to try and win a Triple Crown and they were trying to fight to stay in the championship.
We can assess all the bits, all the technicalities and the ramifications of accumulative errors etc, or refereeing decisions or whatever, but the reality is that they came out of the blocks hard, got on the front foot and we took a few sucker-punches.
I need to look at myself. Were they up for it more than us? Us, going for a Triple Crown? That’s my responsibility to make sure that that shouldn’t happen, so I’ve got to look at myself first and foremost.