Categories: SPORT

England surrender 31-0 lead as Eddie Jones slams his players’ mental strength


England surrender 31-0 lead as Eddie Jones slams his players’ mental strength in final Six Nations game

  • Eddie Jones questioned his players’ bottle after throwing away a 31-0 lead
  • England almost blew the biggest lead in rugby history in the Calcutta Cup
  • They conceded 38 unanswered points after leading 31-0, but salvaged a draw

Nik Simon For The Mail On Sunday

Eddie Jones questioned his players’ bottle after England almost blew the biggest lead in rugby history in the Calcutta Cup.

England conceded 38 unanswered points after leading 31-0, but salvaged a draw when George Ford scored a dramatic overtime try.

With the World Cup looming, Jones has vowed to address his team’s mental approach after surrendering leads against South Africa, New Zealand, Wales and Scotland.

Eddie Jones questioned his players’ bottle after throwing away a 31-0 lead on Saturday

‘It is a bit of a recurring theme for us,’ said Jones. ‘We have probably experienced this three times in the last 12 months.

‘It is a great lesson for us and the hardest lessons are the best lessons. If we do that in a pool game against Tonga we could find ourselves in a difficult situation.

‘I’d rather have it now than in the World Cup. It is not something we can fix easily. It is something deep in the team’s psyche. It is a recurring theme and 100% mental, 100% in the way you think.

England salvaged a draw when George Ford scored a dramatic overtime try at Twickenham

We take control of a game and then take our foot off the gas. It is never one thing. We get seduced by the scoreboard

‘We have got good time before the World Cup and we have to make sure we get the right people in to help us. We will sort it out. We will get it right.’

In the event of the draw, Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup.

Gregor Townsend’s side have not won at Twickenham since 1983 and the coach praised the spirit of his team’s comeback.

Stuart McInally of Scotland lifts the Calcutta Cup after their draw with England on Saturday

‘I’ve never been involved in a game like that as a player or a coach,’ said Townsend.

‘I’m very happy with the draw, considering the first half, but the players are absolutely gutted. We talked about winning back respect in the second half.

‘That was going to be a huge challenge against a team who had scored 31 unanswered points. We’re disappointed not to have held out, but to get into that position is an incredible achievement.’

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