Eddie Jones wants a clean sweep for England over Australia

Eddie Jones wants a clean sweep for England over Australia

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 3:16 p.m. ET

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) With two wins and a first-ever test series victory in Australia, England coach Eddie Jones isn't about to lower the bar for his expectations of a successful rugby tour Down Under.

Jones, an Australian who formerly coached the Wallabies and Japan, wants a third consecutive victory next Saturday in Sydney to complete an unprecedented sweep.

''We want to win three-nil,'' Jones said after England's 23-7 victory Saturday in Melbourne. ''The players are already talking about it now. If the All Blacks were in this situation what would they be thinking? They'd be thinking three-nil, and that's what we're thinking.''

England moved to No. 2 in the world rankings with the win, leapfrogging World Cup finalist Australia and moving closer to the world champion All Blacks.


''We want to be No. 1, mate, and I think we've got the talent to do it,'' Jones said.

It was Jones' eighth consecutive win for the Six Nations champions since he replaced Stuart Lancaster in the wake of England's disastrous World Cup campaign. It was a loss to Australia in the group stage which sealed England's early exit, and failure to quality for the knockout stage of the World Cup it was hosting.

On Saturday, Jones lauded his team's defense; making 215 tackles to Australia's 81, as key to the win. Australia, which lost the first test in Brisbane 39-28, led in another forgettable category - 15 handling errors to England's one.

''Generally we handled the Australian attack pretty well,'' Jones said.

Australia coach Michael Cheika, meanwhile, says he'll take full responsibility for Australia's wasted possession in Saturday's match.

The Wallabies saw 68 percent of the ball, had 56 percent of territory and ran for almost 700 meters more than England but rarely found a way past the resolute defense.

The only points Australia scored were from a converted first-half try to captain Stephen Moore, which came via a rolling maul.

Cheika said the Wallabies played too much in the ''wrong areas'' and said that was his fault.

''I've got to really own that as a coach,'' he said. ''We prepare that in the prep of the week. I've got to explain it to the lads more forcefully.''

Cheika also conceded he got some of his tactics wrong, saying the Wallabies should have kicked more often to alleviate pressure.

But he said full credit had to be paid to England and Jones, his former teammate at Sydney club Randwick.

''In both games so far they've played very smart, they've played in the right areas and played well at the ruck, they've spoiled a lot of good ball for us,'' Cheika said. ''We're going to have to take that, suck it up and (I'm) not even going to say learn from it, just use the scars later on.''