ADDS Jones quotes, Japan coach Joseph
England coach Eddie Jones insisted defeating New Zealand was far from “mission impossible” as he vowed his side would “go after” the All Blacks after a 52-13 win over Japan at Twickenham on Saturday.
The win saw England revive their Autumn Nations campaign after a 30-29 loss to Argentina in November’s opener last weekend, with the hosts running in six tries and a penalty against Japan, who are the Pumas’ pool opponents at next year’s World Cup. in France.
England have won just eight of their 42 Tests against New Zealand but defeated the All Blacks when the teams last met, with Jones overseeing a 19-7 success in a 2019 World Cup semi-final in Yokohama.
That victory meant England ended New Zealand’s eight-year reign as world champions, but Jones’ men then lost in the final to South Africa.
New Zealand face Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday before heading south to play England at Twickenham on November 19.
“It’s an opportunity to play against one of the giants of world rugby,” Jones told reporters after the Japan game.
New Zealand lost to both Argentina and Australia in this year’s Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship, with veteran former Wallabies and Japan boss Jones adding: “They are in a re-development period of their game. We will see them play against Scotland tomorrow (Sunday) and then have a chat about how we play against them.
“For an England player it’s a massive opportunity. You look at the history of the sport, the game has been going for 150 years and England have won 19 per cent of Tests against New Zealand.
“So there’s a narrative about the game that says England can’t beat New Zealand. I think we showed in the 2019 World Cup if you have the right attitude, the right game plan, history can be broken. So we have a great opportunity this week which is going to break history again.”
Jones said a lot had changed in the intervening three years but believes England’s survivors from that game would have an important role to play in the week on Saturday.
“Repeat who played in that game, guys like (England captain) Owen (Farrell), Mako (Vunipola), Billy (Vunipola), Jamie George and Maro (Itoje) are going to be important to reinforce to the players that it’s not ‘Mission Impossible’, that if we go after them (New Zealand) they’re there for the taking and we’re going to go after them.”
Victory over Japan followed a lackluster display in just Argentina’s second win over England at Twickenham, with that result put into perspective by the Pumas’ 20-13 loss to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
“It’s an improvement,” Jones said after a game in which both England center Guy Porter and flyhalf Marcus Smith scored two tries each.
“As I said in the round after Argentina, the mistake that we didn’t play like that against Argentina was my bad coach, so this week it’s not my bad coach. It’s a good game from the players.”
Japan presented Farrell with a Samurai sword after the match, but there was no doubt which team had the upper hand where it mattered.
“England played really well and put us under a lot of pressure, especially at the start of the game,” said Japan coach Jamie Joseph, a former New Zealand flanker.
“You have to take your hat off to them.
“We panicked a little bit and pushed some passes.”
He added: “When we can create momentum we can be very dangerous but we didn’t do that in a Test which was a big game for our boys.”