Joltin’ Joe gets Ed­die World Cup ap­proval

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page - By GARY FITZGER­ALD

ED­DIE Jones opened the World Cup door to Joe Cokanasiga af­ter see­ing the Bath flyer run the Wal­la­bies ragged and help Eng­land end a suc­cess­ful Au­tumn cam­paign in scin­til­lat­ing style.

The head coach smiled broadly as Cokanasiga’s sec­ond try in as many Tests en­sured he savoured a sixth suc­ces­sive win over the land of his birth since tak­ing the reins af­ter the World Cup.

A com­fort­able 37-18 tri­umph meant Jones’ men fin­ish with three wins from their four games and just that ag­o­nis­ing loss to world cham­pi­ons New Zea­land.

Jonny May, El­liot Daly and Owen Far­rell, who es­caped a yel­low card for a no-arms tackle in the first half, were the other try he­roes with Eng­land equalling their best points to­tal against their ri­vals at Twick­en­ham.

While Aussie boss Michael Cheika fumed about Far­rell es­cap­ing a card when he went shoul­der-to-shoul­der with Izack Rodda and de­nied the Wal­a­bies a pos­si­ble try, Jones picked out 21-year-old wing Cokanasiga in­sist­ing:

“I prob­a­bly know 85 per cent of my World Cup squad but there are one or two who have re­ally pushed them­selves fur­ther for­ward. There was a wing out there to­day who did a lit­tle bit of dam­age. We knew he

had po­ten­tial and he is grow­ing in stature. He will only get bet­ter and bet­ter.

“He’s just start­ing out and has still got his train­ing pants on...but wait un­til he gets his proper pants on! I think he’s gone shop­ping now for them!

“The door to the World Cup squad is open to ev­ery­one and he and a lot of other play­ers can force their way into it be­tween now and next au­tumn.”

Cokanasiga in­sisted: “I’m just there to fin­ish it. We pushed on af­ter the break and kept our foot on the ac­cel­er­a­tor. It’s a good win but we have to keep it go­ing and keep this win­ning men­tal­ity into 2019.”

Un­der-pres­sure Wal­la­bies boss Cheika whose side have lost nine of their 13 Tests this year, was crit­i­cal of South Africa ref­eree Jaco Peyper for not send­ing Far­rell to the sin bin and award­ing his side a penalty try at the end of the firsthalf.

He fumed: “Eng­land were the bet­ter team but for the ref­eree to jus­tify his de­ci­sion that Izack Rodda tried to take him on with his shoul­der is lu­di­crous.

“I don’t know...per­haps it’s be­cause it’s Aus­tralia in the North­ern Hemi­sphere. It clearly has some­thing to do with the home crowd! We went to the ref­er­ees’ meet­ing af­ter the Eng­landSouth Africa game and the ref­er­ees cat­e­gor­i­cally told us it (Far­rell’s tackle on An­dre Ester­huizen) should have been a penalty.

“So if Far­rell’s one against South Africa was a penalty this should have been. And we also scored two tries that were not even put up for re­fer­ral!”

Jones would say only: “The TMO has been the busiest man this au­tumn. We’ve had some go for us and some go against us.”

Man of the Match prop Kyle Sinck­ler, said: “We started re­ally well and let our­selves down near the end of the first half when we took the foot off the gas.

“We are al­ways striv­ing for per­fec­tion and that 80minute per­for­mance. We were a bit off that but it was good to fin­ish the Au­tumn se­ries with a win.”

Manu Tuilagi was greeted with a huge roar for his re­turn to the in­ter­na­tional stage. The Tigers cen­tre re­placed Henry Slade for the fi­nal 12 min­utes, and Jones said: “I’m just happy for Manu. He showed us a few bits and pieces.”

Do­ing dam­age: Joe Cokanasiga scores Eng­land’s third try

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