England rugby coach Eddie Jones backs Lions to push the All Blacks

England rugby coach Eddie Jones backs Lions to push the All Blacks

Victory for Eddie Jones' men at the Aviva Stadium would see them set a new record of 19 consecutive Test wins by a leading global rugby side. They were two key areas in a game like today. "That was like a World Cup final out there".

And while consolation for Jones and England came in the form of a second successive championship title, it did not seem to matter.

But he said England did not play to their potential and that he would take full responsibility for the defeat. "We're joint world record-holders, but we weren't good enough today".

"It is exactly the same when you are climbing the ladder of success - everything becomes a bit harder".

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But Ireland, who ended the All Blacks' winning streak with a 40-29 win in Chicago in November, proved too strong at a rainswept Lansdowne Road.

"I expect at least 15 of our guys to go on tour with the Lions and will be disappointed if we do not get that many in".

"We're 14 months into a four-year project", he said.

And even in giving Ireland their due credit, we must acknowledge that there remains a clear gap between themselves and the world champions.

More recently, Ireland have found it tougher going against their neighbours.

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Eddie Jones had one simple message for his England team: "Be proud of yourselves boys". "I thought we were going to get out of it in the second half", said Jones.

Meanwhile Best, who labelled Sexton a "real warrior", downplayed talk of deliberate late hits on the playmaker by saying: "I don't think it was anything other than trying to put pressure on Johnny".

Cotter rarely displays any emotion publicly but the New Zealander was in tears after the game, his last before moving back to French club rugby next season.

England has won just twice - in 2003 and 2013 - in eight previous visits to Dublin in this tournament. Ireland fans had cause for complaints after Itoje escaped the sinbin despite one late tackle on Sexton and an offside takedown of Marmion during the ruck.

She executed a number of steals and was the main ball victor in the Irish line-outs however the home side were on the backfoot for most of the contest as the English produced some excellent rugby to win easily. We have been chuffed with the results we have had, but the reality is we still have a lot to do.

"He'd be a loss to any team in the world when he's at his best".

England coach Eddie Jones admitted that Ireland deserved their win. "Discipline probably let us down; when you give away penalties, you end up playing down in your own half more than you want to".

The Red Roses sealed their bonus point four minutes later when Scarratt darted over after fine offloads from Bianca Blackburn and Wilson Hardy and wing Thompson came off the bench to add to the scoreline from a team effort.

Elsewhere, Scotland face Italy in the opening game of the day at 4.30pm UAE time and that will be followed by Wales and France at the Stade de France at 6.45pm.