England coach Eddie Jones has acknowledged that his side were simply dominated by the Springboks in their crushing 32-12 defeat in Yokohama.
South Africa displayed their physicality throughout the decider to claim their third World Cup title in as many attempts, with Jones lauding the Bok forwards’ superiority during Saturday’s final.
Jones, who refused to comment on his England future post-game, conceded that his charges struggled to impose their gameplan on the Springboks, one which they implemented so effectively against the All Blacks during last week’s semi-final.
‘We just struggled to get into the game, the effort of the players was outstanding but we just struggled to get on the front foot today,’ said Jones.
‘They had dominance and it’s hard to play on back-foot ball.’
The 59-year-old has now suffered a second World Cup final loss as head coach, having previously tasted defeat with his native Australia on home soil in 2003. He commended Erasmus’ side for their set-piece play and noted that England were overwhelmed at scrum time during the enthralling final.
‘We were dominated in the scrum, particularly in the first 50 minutes. When you’re in a tight, penalty-driven game, it’s difficult to get any sort of advantage,’ continued Jones.
‘We needed to fix up the scrum, little things around the lineout, then get a bit more accurate in how we attacked. We did that for a while, got ourselves back into the game, but in the end we had to force the game and gave away a couple of tries.
‘They were too good for us at the breakdown today. That’s the great thing about rugby, one day you’re the best team in the world and the next a team knocks you off.’
Jones is contracted to England’s RFU until mid-2021, but has previously indicated a desire to continue with England until the 2023 World Cup in France.
‘We have no excuses and it’s not the time now to discuss my future, but this team will keep developing.
‘I can’t fault the preparation of the players who have worked hard the entire World Cup. I think they just played with a lot of pride and passion. We weren’t good enough today and congratulations to South Africa on an outstanding performance.
‘South Africa are worthy winners, but I can’t fault the effort of our players … my team are hurting badly.’
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