They came to bury him, now after a resilient series victory in Australia, fighting back from Test to Test, the British press kit praised head coach Eddie Jones for his ruthlessness and his big calls to thwart the Wallabies.
While England won the 2016 series here with a whitewash, Jones was even more pleased to see his team come from behind to win the series with a squad that included five players making their debuts.
In the pillory after their first defeat in Perth, Jones came under fire from rugby scribes with his work, so they said, under threat… but the gutsy 21-17 victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground thanks to a Herculean defensive effort prevented the wolves of the gate.
Join The Roar experts Brett McKay, Harry Jones and Jim Tucker for their verdict on the third test
“Eddie Jones can no longer lead the England team with an iron fist, having accepted his players’ request to reduce the intensity, stop texting at 4 a.m. and stop the 6 a.m. workouts, but his relentless streak remains as loud and brutal as ever,” wrote Alex Lowe of The Sunday Times.
“There were shades of 2016 when Danny Care was substituted after a miserable 36 minutes as England fell behind. It’s the kind of decision that can end an international career. It was Luther Burrell and Teimana Harrison who were hooked as soon as England secured a 3-0 victory in the Test series against the same opponents.
“It was the right choice then and it was the right choice here as England responded well with Jack van Poortvliet at scrum-half, opened a 21-10 lead and then held on with a defensive performance of true courage and spirit to win the Trial Series.
Loud critic Clive Woodward even raised his cap to Jones.
“Bravo Eddie Jones and England. It’s really nice for me to say that,” conceded Sir Clive in the Mail on Sunday.
“At the final whistle you could see how much a win in Australia meant to the team, and I have to give credit to Jones for righting the huge mistake he made in starting Danny Care.
“I take my hat off to Jones for that, as it was a big and bold call. As an England manager, I have never substituted a player before half-time, but the decision to replace Care in scrum half was the correct one.
“It was a huge mistake. Care had a really bad half hour but Jones realized he had made a mistake and quickly rectified it. It takes courage to do that and his move has Van Poortvliet made a huge difference when he arrived.
Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio says a series win in the southern hemisphere was a ‘significant achievement’ but England still need to close the gap to France and Ireland ahead of the World Cup next year, but that the team is heading in the right direction.
“Series wins in the Southern Hemisphere are significant achievements and this one will accelerate the maturity and big game intelligence of young players – so important a year from the World Cup – as much as winning 15 caps would. “, wrote Dallaglio in the Sunday Times.
“The resilience of the men in white has rarely seemed in doubt. Did England close the gap on France or Ireland? No. Anyone who has watched the events in Dunedin and Wellington will see Andy Farrell’s Ireland remain more advanced.
“What we can also agree on, however, is that England come forward again. Not with the impulse of Bundee Aki hitting the All Black defensive line, but the important thing is that are heading in the right direction.
Stuart Barnes, writing in the same newspaper, said Jones – “who considers himself half too smart” – was so wrong, but still managed to snag the ineffective Danny Care.
“It was so typically Eddie Jones. He got it so wrong, yet he got it so right. The decision to start with 35-year-old Danny Care at scrum-half turned out to be the mistake many thought it would be.
“Yet the England head coach will rightly point to another accomplished performance off the bench by Jack van Poortvliet – 14 years a Care junior – as proof of his tactical savvy.
“The right man was on the pitch for most of the game. It was more a matter of bad luck for Care and poor judgment on Jones’ part. Care’s selection will go down in English rugby history with those of Luther Burrell and Teimana Harrison.The center and back-row striker were infamous hunchbacks gone awry when England whitewashed Australia less than six years ago.
“Like Care, neither Burrell nor Teimana reached half-time. He was written as the wandering genius of a man, such was the feeling towards a coach who couldn’t stop winning in those heady days.
“These are different times. The lack of wins became an issue, as did the quality of performances. Yet for a team uncertain of winning, the result was all that mattered for England.
“The admiration for Jones’ ruthless streak lingers after all these years, but the worrying feeling is that he sees himself as half too smart. That worry runs like a strong undercurrent through any assessment of this series win.
The Sunday Telegraph’s Daniel Schofield highlighted England’s defensive steel in securing the decisive series victory.
“Coming into this litmus test, Eddie Jones had prioritized performance over result. Performance will have to wait until the fall, but Jones picked up another series win against Australia and also discovered a well deep in fighting spirit and defensive courage,” Schofield said.
“As in the first two Tests, England had to withstand a furious Australian fight back after taking the lead through tries from Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith.
“In Perth they crumbled with Billy Vunipola’s yellow card before holding the Wallabies scoreless in the final quarter of their second Test win 25-17 at Brisbane.
“It was even more impressive. In the second half alone, England managed 114 tackles. After Folau Fainga’a’s try in the 66th minute, Australia knocked on the door, chaining phase after phase.
Courtney Lawes has revealed trash talk from Australia spurred England to win the Ella Mobbs Cup.
“We just stayed in it,” Lawes said. “We fought for each other… I mean, they give us good fuel in the press to be fair. They spoke badly of us.
“We saw a lot in the press of their players and what they were saying – some people targeting Gengey and some calling us Poms and so on. It’s good fuel for our tank and any good team uses it as motivation.
“It motivated us a bit but the boys stuck together, stuck to our guns. Unfortunately, we didn’t fire many shots tonight, but we found a way to win. This is the big improvement.
Charlie Morgan, in The Sunday Telegraph, said England still had some areas to iron out ahead of the important pre-World Cup home tests later this year.
“While undeniably tenacious, a series win over the Wallabies leaves England with familiar areas to tackle ahead of a fall in which Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa visit Twickenham” , Morgan said.
“Having said that, an away win is still seen as a significant achievement which should instill confidence as they hit the home stretch of the World Cup cycle. And the role of Eddie Jones cannot be understated. valued.
“Assessment of in-game substitutions leaves the door open to hindsight bias, but it feels like the England head coach has lost his Midas touch in this regard with his team collapsing late Jones will be delighted with the impact of his bench in this triumph and also deserves praise for the timing of his changes.
The Guardian’s Robert Kitson summed up the England series as outstanding, but there is still work to be done ahead of the World Cup.
“Every series win in the Southern Hemisphere is a notable effort, no matter how achieved,” Kitson wrote. “Never mind that England only clicked sporadically in Australia and were up against a Wallabies side who frequently left them to their own devices.
“The balance of England’s attacking play clearly needs attention, but they have won back-to-back matches which they could easily have lost. That implies there is little wrong with the spirit of the game. team and they also unearthed some young talent who should mature more over the next year.
“These two teams may even meet in the quarter-finals of the World Cup next year in France depending on certain group results. If so, England won’t want to give their opponents 60% of the ball and can’t rely on the Wallabies to create as many chances as here.
“The English player in the series? Steward, already his country’s player of the year at home, has always been outstanding with Van Poortvliet and Ellis Genge not far behind. Farrell’s shots on goal and Courtney Lawes’ calm captaincy were also influential at times, especially with so many other senior faces sidelined.
“As for the Australian Rugby Union, they can only hope that this series has been enough of a spark to reignite the game among home fans ahead of the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour and World Cup. rugby 2027. The profile of rugby has dropped significantly in these areas and a winning Wallabies side would help immensely.This time around, however, it was England month.