Es­cape to vic­tory

Far­rell’s con­tro­ver­sial last-ditch tackle seals win against the odds for Ed­die Jones’ men of steel Jones lays down chal­lenge with New Zealand up next Far­rell de­fends tackle amid late TMO con­tro­versy

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - Mick Cleary RUGBY COR­RE­SPON­DENT at Twick­en­ham

Ed­die Jones threw down the gaunt­let to the All Blacks ahead of their show­down with Eng­land at Twick­en­ham next Satur­day af­ter a heart-stop­ping 12-11 win over South Africa.

How­ever, the head coach faces an anx­ious wait to learn if his co-cap­tain, Owen Far­rell, will be avail­able as cit­ing of­fi­cers ex­am­ine the fly-half’s added time tackle on An­dre Ester­huizen. Ref­eree An­gus Gard­ner ruled it ac­cept­able af­ter con­sult­ing with his TMO, Olly Hodges, but match cit­ing com­mis­sioner Keith Brown, of New Zealand, has un­til 5pm to­day to make a call.

“It was a good solid tackle,” said Jones. “We can’t wait to play New Zealand. They’re all sit­ting in their ho­tel, prob­a­bly drink­ing cups of tea, maybe hav­ing some scones, say­ing, ‘Oh we’ll take these guys.’ They’ll be con­fi­dent and we can’t wait to get them.

“New Zealand are a dif­fer­ent ket­tle of fish to South Africa. They play the game dif­fer­ently. They want the game to be an ath­letic con­test. We won’t be wear­ing sin­glets and run­ning shorts out there. It will be a proper game of rugby. One hun­dred per cent we can win.”

Spring­bok coach Rassie Eras­mus ac­knowl­edged that he was frus­trated by events and en­deav­oured not to ad­mit to sar­casm as he stated that he must teach his play­ers to tackle like Far­rell as it was so ef­fec­tive.

“It was a good tackle, well done, be­cause I haven’t seen An­dre Ester­huizen be­ing tack­led like that in a while,” said Eras­mus. “If it was all le­gal, we should start tack­ling like that. It’s ob­vi­ously some­thing that’s re­ally ef­fec­tive. Noth­ing up­set me. To tackle a guy like An­dre Ester­huizen like that and stop him in his tracks, that’s un­be­liev­able.”

Far­rell felt his tackle was fine. “It went to the touch judge, he said check and then it all slows down,” said Far­rell, who kicked three penal­ties. “Some­times you can take what you want from it. It’s hard to wrap your arms around when you’re both hit­ting each other at that much force, but I tried to. [It was deemed OK], that’s what the ref­eree said and that’s what is most im­por­tant.”

Eng­land had lost five of their pre­vi­ous six matches and pres­sure was mount­ing on Jones, who was asked if this had been an im­por­tant game and re­sult for Eng­land in that con­text.

“Why is it al­ways the most im­por­tant game? Be­cause you want to sack me? You’re go­ing to do it at some stage,” he said. “If I stay long enough, you’re go­ing to get me sacked. One day you’ll be happy. You’ll come in and say, ‘Fan­tas­tic, we’ve got an­other bloke we can ter­rorise.’ It was a good Test match. We’re happy, they’re not so happy.”

Shoul­der­ing the bur­den: Owen Far­rell’s ‘no-arms’ tackle stops An­dre Ester­huizen in the dy­ing mo­ments yes­ter­day, en­sur­ing Eng­land’s thrilling nar­row vic­tory over South Africa in front of an en­thralled Twick­en­ham crowd

Smil­ing again: Ed­die Jones is de­lighted Eng­land made it two wins in a row against a re­born South Africa

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