Jones delighted as England raise their game to beat Ireland


Eddie Jones praised England for stepping up their game to beat Ireland 21-10 and keep their Six Nations Grand-Slam hopes alive.

Second-half tries from Anthony Watson and Mike Jones proved decisive at Twickenham, while the boot of Owen Farrell ensured Jones remains unbeaten since replacing Stuart Lancaster.

England were made to work for the win, though, as a resolute Ireland side kept them at bay in the first half before scoring the game's first try early in the second.

However, as in both their previous wins over Scotland and Italy, England turned on the style after the break and held on to secure the victory.

"We were facing a better team today and we probably left 10 to 15 points out there, as we couldn't always convert our attacking pressure," said Jones.

"We weren't quite sharp enough and we were letting them get a hand in at crucial times.

"We expected a tough game against Ireland. Our finishing wasn't excellent but our structure was right. Today was a pretty decent step up."

Jones had particular praise for number eight Billy Vunipola after the 23-year-old made 96 metres in 18 carries.

"Vunipola was great. He just loves playing rugby. He loves the team environment and loves playing for England," Jones added.

"He has a senior role as vice-captain and he leads by example. He can only get better, he's a kid just learning the game."