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Jones: Smith and Farrell will only get better

Jones: Smith and Farrell will only get better

Eddie Jones believes Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell could blossom into the perfect 10-12 partnership after getting a glimpse of what they can offer in England’s 32-15 win against Australia.

The pair made a lightning start by combining to set up the first try of the match in the seventh minute, with a sensational move that saw Farrell pass to Smith, who then made space with a quick step and put Freddie Steward in for his first score in England colours.

The game quickly became a war of attrition and their chance to impress on the ball and get the back line moving thereafter was more limited than Jones expected but he sees a bright future for his new combination.

“They’re a bit like two opening batsmen who haven’t batted together, facing the new ball for the first time, every time they bat together after this they’ll be better,” he said.

“But I thought the first try we scored was probably one of the best tries I’ve seen from an England side, our handling, our running lines, hitting the holes was absolutely outstanding and we want to do more of that, and we’re aggressive about wanting to do more.

“But it’s just not going to happen all the time, but I thought it was really promising from those two guys.

“We had to battle today, we had to battle really hard and I was really pleased with the attitude of the players, because we predicted it was probably going to be more of a free-flowing game, like Australia like to play.

“It turned out to be a heavy penalty game, a lot of set-piece contest, a lot of kicking and I was pleased the way we adapted our game. Also really pleased the way our finishers finished the game.”

Australia conceded 18 penalties in comparison to England’s nine and much of the scoring came from the boot of kickers Farrell and James O’Connor.

The Wallabies kept pace with the hosts and O’Connor’s fifth penalty in the second half cut the gap to a point.

But a penalty each from Farrell and Smith, and a late try from hooker Jamie Blamire sealed an England win.

They now go in search of an unbeaten Autumn Nations Series campaign in a re-match of the World Cup final against South Africa – but Jones insists he’s not out for revenge.

“That’s a nice media line, but they’re a different team, we’re a different team, they’re the world champions, we’re not,” he added.

“But it’s going to be an important test with two very good teams to finish off the Autumn, we want to finish off the Autumn well.

“We’re going to have to play a little differently to beat them and we’ll start preparing that on Monday lunchtime.”

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