Eddie Jones says England are 'coming to a peak' after win over South Africa

• Australian hails impact of Leicester wing Jonny May on tour
• Springboks coach admits third Test selection was experimental

Eddie Jones says he would love to arrange another Test against South Africa this Saturday, following England’s stress-relieving 25-10 victory against the Springboks. The visitors will fly home as series losers but the head coach believes his team showed crucial signs of improvement in their final game.

Assisted by a 14-6 penalty count in their favour, England led for the majority of the match to record their first win against South Africa in Cape Town. “We just handled the big moments better today,” Jones said. “We kept our composure and just focused on the next play.

“We’d like to play South Africa next week because we’re coming to a peak now, so we’re trying to arrange a game at Twickenham for next week.”

Jones also paid tribute to England’s try-scorer Jonny May, who has now touched down in each of his past five Tests, one short of the English record held by Rory Underwood. “Jonny May has been outstanding on this tour. He’s scored three tries and was probably involved in two or three others. He’s been incredible. He nearly gave them a try, then he saved a try, then I thought he was going to run into one of the corporate boxes in the far grandstand.”

Among other players who impressed Jones in the third Test were Chris Robshaw, Tom Curry, Joe Marler and Danny Cipriani, whose cross-kick created May’s crucial score. “I said before the game we might not have many opportunities. There was one opportunity for us to score a try, it was a beautifully weighted kick and we scored, so I’m sure he’ll be on the front page of The Sun.”

The Springbok head coach, Rassie Erasmus, however, said his third Test selection had been partly experimental with the series already in the bag. “We experimented with the Championship in mind ... you can’t really experiment against the All Blacks,” Erasmus said. “We weren’t at the same level intensity‑wise today.”

Overall, however, Jones believes the series was a positive one for Test rugby. “I thought it was a great series. For the health of Test rugby it was fantastic. The South African side are revitalised, well coached with a good balance of players.

“For the first two games South Africa were too good. They deserved to win the series but there were only small margins in it. I feel better than I did on the first two weekends but that only lasts for about three or four hours. Then you’re back on the treadmill again.”


Robert Kitson at Newlands Stadium

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