Eddie Jones named coach of the year after England beat Samoa

November 27, 2017

England secured their third win out of three in the Old Mutual Autumn International Series as they defeated Samoa 48-14 at Twickenham on Saturday (November 25th).

There was more to celebrate afterwards for head coach Eddie Jones, who was named the coach of the year by World Rugby. 

Samoa had served notice of their intention to put on an entertaining display in their high-scoring defeat against Scotland at Murrayfield earlier this month, but it was England who got off to a flying start with an early try by Mike Brown after Maro Itoje's burst forward from the breakdown. 

Alex Lozowski scored his first international try and Charlie Ewels also crossed the line in the first half. With George Ford kicking seven points England led 22-7 at half-time, with Samoa's reply coming from Piula Fa'asalele's converted try. 

Elliot Daly and Henry Slade stretched the lead to 29 points in the second half, before Chris Vui superbly scored Samoa's second try. 

Forced into a scrappy second half against a side reduced to 14 men when Fa'asalele was sin-binned, England still pushed on to finish off the game, with a fine try by Elliot Daly before Semesa Rokoduguni played the role of finisher to perfection by scoring the final try in the closing moments of the match. 

Having enjoyed his 22nd victory as head coach in 23 games, Jones was then able to get the champagne out at the World Rugby awards yesterday (November 26th) as his coaching skills were recognised. 
Commenting on his prize, the Australian said: "It's great for the team and this award is a reflection of the great team that we’ve got. 

"I always thought England had very good players but there was just something missing. The players have been able to find that out by themselves and we are only halfway through the project and there is still a fair bit to do.

"We are getting better, we've had some good periods, some not so good periods but I think we are on the right track."

He noted that this year has been one in which the squad had gained more depth and experience, with 12 new caps being given out as competition for places has intensified.

Never one to be satisfied, Jones said he is now looking forward to the RBS Six Nations in the spring when his side can "create history" by winning an unprecedented third successive title. 
Fans booking corporate hospitality for England's home games against Wales and Ireland may be interested to see where the biggest challenge will come from. Ireland, who inflicted the only defeat of Jones's reign in last year's tournament, beat Argentina 28-19 at the weekend, while Wales lost 33-18 at home to New Zealand, the side everyone is keen to overcome. 

However, after years in the doldrums, it could be Scotland who emerge as the strongest rivals, according to former England star Jeremy Guscott, who was reflecting on their 53-24 hammering of Australia after a strong display in defeat against New Zealand. 

Writing in his BT Sport column, Guscott said: "This side means business and they have a big chance for the Six Nations. They look as if they will be challenging very closely to win the Championship, and why shouldn't they be?"

Image: Getty, from Keith Prowse subscription

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