Courtney Lawes: England motivated for Six Nations title challenge; Eddie Jones on ‘rub of the green’ against Wales | Rugby Union News

“We’re highly motivated, and all eyes are on the prize. Next job is Ireland, we get a good win and we put ourselves in a good position” – Courtney Lawes; “There’s a rub of the green here, and sometimes you get it and sometimes you do not. If we got it today, well and good” – Eddie Jones

Last Updated: 26/02/22 9:11 pm

Eddie Jones referenced England remaining the title hunt, and the 'rub of the green' in decisions in the aftermath

Eddie Jones referenced England remaining the title hunt, and the ‘rub of the green’ in decisions in the aftermath

England skipper Courtney Lawes says they are ‘highly motivated’ to continue challenging for the Six Nations title, while Eddie Jones laughed off suggestions his side were fortunate to be awarded a try vs Wales.

Lawes returned to make his first start of this year’s championship in England’s 23-19 win over Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, keeping their title challenge – after defeat at Scotland in Round 1 – on track.

Alex Dombrandt scored England’s only try in the victory, while Marcus Smith added six penalties with the boot.

“We’re highly motivated, we know the job at hand and all eyes are on the prize at the minute,” Lawes told media afterwards.

“Next job is Ireland, we get a good win there and we put ourselves in a good position.”

England's Courtney Lawes says the squad is highly motivated in terms of keeping their title challenge on track

England’s Courtney Lawes says the squad is highly motivated in terms of keeping their title challenge on track

Head coach Eddie Jones added: “All I know is that there are probably three teams who can win it and we’re one of them and I’d rather be in our position than those who can not.

“Very good win for us. Plenty of resilience, plenty of toughness.

“We put ourselves in a good winning position in the first 50 minutes, had a moment there for 10, 15, 20 minutes where we were a bit untidy in our defense, let them back into the game, but then the last five or six minutes I thought we were exceptional again for a young team that’s developing.

“We’ve got nine, 10 and 15 (Harry Randall, Smith and Freddie Steward) who have played under 10 caps, and a No 8 (Dombrandt) just out of university. They are young guys and they need to learn how to handle situations.

“I thought there were some really good signs out there tonight.”

Alex Dombrandt scored England's only try in victory, coming after a Wales lineout malfunction

Alex Dombrandt scored England’s only try in victory, coming after a Wales lineout malfunction

In terms of improvements, Jones pointed to England’s lack of a ruthless edge in their opponents’ 22.

“We got ourselves into a lot of good attacking positions and were not able to convert that to points, which was similar to what happened against Scotland, but again for a young team we just have to find a way to be more ruthless when we get in the opposition’s 22.

“We should have been more clinical when we were down there.

“Defensively, we just knocked off, especially for that quick-tap try they scored, which was disappointing. But we’ll fix that.”

England’s only try came courtesy of Dombrandt when an overthrown Wales lineout in their own 22 fell for the No 8 to romp over.

Wales felt Maro Itoje had impeded Adam Beard, which caused the set-piece malfunction, but the incident was not looked at in any great detail by the TMO, who okayed the score.

Jones refused to get drawn into the decision in the aftermath, instead referencing the decisions which went against England in Cardiff last year.

“You’ll have to ask the referee. I really do not know,” Jones said.

Jones instead referenced last year's Six Nations encounter, and the refereeing decisions which went in Wales' favor that day

Jones instead referenced last year’s Six Nations encounter, and the refereeing decisions which went in Wales’ favor that day

“I do not comment on the referee, so we take the good with the bad.

“We took 14 points last year [vs Wales in Cardiff] in the Six Nations where they were allowed to play when the ball was not alive, and then from a blatant knock on, so there’s a rub of the green here, and sometimes you get it and sometimes you do not.

“If we got it today, well and good. We’re not going to complain about it, just like we did not complain when we did not get the rub of the green.”

Leave a Comment