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France 24-17 England: Eddie Jones blames slow start for Six Nations loss


Six Nations: France 24-England 17 highlights

Coach Eddie Jones blamed a slow start for England’s 24-17 defeat by France in their opening Six Nations game.

Hosts France led 17-0 at half-time and had scored all their points before two Jonny May tries gave England hope.

England centre Manu Tuilagi was also replaced with injury in an error-strewn first half in Paris.

“We were slow out of the blocks, sorry for ourselves and out of kilter,” said Jones. “We weren’t good enough in that first half and they were very good.”

It was the first time that England have failed to score in the first half of a Five or Six Nations match since 1988.

Vincent Rattez and captain Charles Ollivon crossed for converted tries for France before Romain Ntamack added a penalty, and Ollivon’s second try seemed to put the hosts out of sight.

But May’s opportunistic chip ahead finally got World Cup finalists England on the board, and the winger followed up with a searing run under the posts eight minutes later.

Six Nations 2020: ‘What a try!’ May scores superb running try

‘No World Cup hangover’

Jones denied that his side are still struggling to get over their World Cup final defeat by South Africa in November, adding: “I don’t think we would have seen the response we got in the second half if we had a mental hangover.

“I was really pleased with our second half. It was a game that could have been ugly for us. The crowd were going nuts.

England face Scotland, who lost 19-12 to Ireland in their opening game on Saturday, at Murrayfield next Saturday.

“It’s a good challenge,” said Jones. “We are disappointed in our first-half performance but I have a lot of admiration for the way we came back in the second.

“We have to pick ourselves up, go to Murrayfield and have a bit of fun.”

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Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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