Jones take aim at All Blacks

Ireland, who ended the All Blacks' winning streak at 18 with a 40-29 victory in Chicago in November, boast a formidable home record.

England's Aussie coach Eddie Jones shouldered responsibility for the first loss of his tenure as coach.

"I expect at least 15 of our guys to go on the Lions tour, I'd be disappointed if we don't have that many guys in", said Jones.

Peter McGunnigal reflects on why last week's loss against England did not define this Scotland team's season, but how tomorrow's result could.

If they are going to be too old, not quite good enough or can not be trusted to have the fitness to go head to head with the All Blacks for 80 minutes, then a parting of the ways must come now - if World Cup success is to be achieved.

Ireland produced a superb performance to halt England in their tracks winning 13-9 in the Aviva Stadium this evening.

Both Ireland and England were captained by potential Lions skippers in hookers Rory Best and Dylan Hartley respectively. We were trying to look at ourselves and we knew it was going to take a monumental effort to stop a team like this. We're not the finished article - this'll keep us grounded.

"I believe so", he said.

"We're all human beings, we're not flawless and that's why world records finish at 18 games".

"I told the players to be proud of themselves, champions and world record holders", said Jones.

Another Jonathan Joseph hat-trick would certainly help England's cause, but Ireland will do everything they can to try to stop the visitors posting their 19th consecutive win and making history.

Ireland almost carved open the England defence on nine minutes, Simon Zebo had a kick charged down, Rory Best threw a reverse pass to Jared Payne, the full-back offloaded to Keith Earls but the Munster winger spilled the ball in contact close to the try line.

Valkyries' Rochelle Clark also played for England. Due to Ireland's pressure England struggled to win and maintain possession at crucial points in the match.

Sexton, who was subject to a debatable late hit from Tom Wood, then nailed a hard 50m penalty after Maro Itoje had strayed offside.

To rub salt into English wounds Johnny Sexton banged over a penalty to seal the victory thanks again to a late tackle in the second half.

Rather than go for goal, Ireland opted for a line-out just five metres out.

Ireland failed to turn their continued dominance of the half into points and had to be satisfied going into half-time holding 10-3 lead.

But that seven-point advantage looked precarious as England emerged more determined in the second half and seized control of possession, forcing the Irish into collapsed scrums and sloppy penalties.

England dragged their sore heads and bodies on to a flight home on Sunday knowing the next time they gather, they could be facing the ultimate Test.

If ever they needed their replacements or "finishers" as Jones calls them, it was now.

England's ambitions came undone in front of a roaring 54,000-strong crowd that helped to fire Ireland's swarming defence on a rainy St. Patrick's holiday weekend.

It was also the first time England's latest adopted antipodean tasted defeat as England coach, with the Six Nations trophy as consolation.

  • Julie Sanders