‘ We stayed in the arm wres­tle – bring on the All Blacks’

The Observer - Sport - - Rugby Union Quilter Internationals - Paul Rees

Bring on New Zealand was Eddie Jones’s re­sponse af­ter Eng­land clam­bered off the ropes to de­feat South Africa and set up next Satur­day’s date with the World Cup hold­ers.

“It was a real show of re­silience,” said Jones, Eng­land’s head coach.

“There was a lot of tough­ness from us. We stayed in the arm wres­tle and turned the game around.

“We were not quite good enough to take ad­van­tage of a cou­ple of op­por­tu­ni­ties we had but we scored the win­ning points. We played some of the big mo­ments re­ally well and I could not be prouder of the play­ers.

“The young play­ers did ex­cep­tion­ally well and we can look for­ward to New Zealand now. We are go­ing to pre­pare well and I can­not wait to play them. New Zealand are dif­fer­ent to South Africa, want­ing an ath­letic con­test. We will not be wear­ing sin­glets and run­ning shorts. It will be a proper game of rugby. You want to face the best in the world and the Ki­wis are that. Bring it on.”

Eng­land had a scare at the end of the match when a chal­lenge made by Owen Far­rell on An­dré Ester­huizen was re­viewed by the ref­eree, An­gus Gard­ner. At is­sue was the height of the chal­lenge and whether the fl y- half had used his arms. Gard­ner ruled no of­fence and blew for full- time.

“He was run­ning pretty hard and I tried to wrap my arms around him,” said Far­rell. “I did not know how the re­view was go­ing to go – any­thing can hap­pen. The im­por­tant thing is the fight the boys showed af­ter all they threw at us in the first half. ”

South Africa’s direc­tor of rugby, Rassie Eras­mus, would not be drawn on the le­git­i­macy of the chal­lenge. “We will just have to learn to tackle like that,” he said. “We played re­ally well for long pe­ri­ods of the game but when you lose by a point it usu­ally comes down to dis­ci­pline.”

The Eng­land fl anker Tom Curry was re­placed at the start of the sec­ond half and left the ground on crutches . Jones said it was too early to tell whether he would be in con­tention for New Zealand but Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes are ex­pected to be fit af­ter miss­ing this vic­tory.

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