Published: Tue, November 20, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Eddie Jones makes bold Owen Farrell claim after comeback win

Eddie Jones makes bold Owen Farrell claim after comeback win

England was much improved following the introduction of Owen Farrell at the break, with Mark Wilson, debutant Joe Cokanasiga and Dylan Hartley going over as they fought back to win 35-15.

And Jones has hailed Farrell, who came off the bench, for his impact against Japan.

Danny Care had got the home side off to a flyer but tries from Ryoto Nakamura and Michael Leitch stunned Twickenham in just the second-ever meeting between the sides. George Ford added the extras and it was England 7-0 to the good. "But then we had a 10-minute lapse in concentration that cost us". We just needed to up it, they were beating us round the corner and winning the one on ones.

The halftime statistics told a sorry story for the hosts as Japan enjoyed 69 percent possession and 77 percent territory, conceding one penalty to England's eight.

Japan initially withstood the concerted England pressure but a Ford penalty narrowed the gap and Wilson's maiden worldwide score, as he sprinted over after Ford had drawn his man and produced an inside offload, gave the hosts a lead they would never surrender.

The Newcastle Falcons back-rower has had an impressive autumn and deserved the relatively simple task of running the ball over the whitewash.

The 15-10 scoreline at halftime probably did not do Japan justice as they dominated the breakdown and made England - whose lack of ideas was summed up by Elliot Daly having to kick a 50-meter penalty - look very pedestrian.

From the ensuing scrum, half-back Fumiaki Tanaka found Nakamura, who went in under the posts after Alex Lozowski - replaced by the influential Owen Farrell, England's regular co-captain, at half-time - missed a tackle.

With the set piece starting to struggle and gaps appearing in their defense, Japan rarely threatened and England took a strangle grip on the game.

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"The attitude was better and we played like England in the second half".

First global tries for Mark Wilson and Joe Cokanasiga helped England avoid a shock defeat as a second-half comeback eventually saw off a valiant Japan side.

"When I brought them over to Europe we played Georgia, Romania and the French Barbarians", he said.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game, I think possibly we got seduced a bit by the start".

"We were actually in a pretty good position and we just needed to find the right way to play in the second half and Japan is a hard side to play if you haven't played against them before".

"The way we responded pleased me".

Their defense was a lot tighter than two weeks ago in their 69-31 defeat by the All Blacks and the pace at which they played the game early on will test the Irish and Scots.

England forward Maro Itoje: "Against any team in global rugby we know the opposition will have quality and Japan had a lot of quality, they didn't give up".

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