Eddie Jones joked that he felt too old to administer the hairdryer treatment at half-time of England’s 35-15 victory over Japan at Twickenham.
Jones addressed his players after they fell 15-10 behind at the interval following a brilliant 40 minutes from the Brave Blossoms, but the introduction of Owen Farrell from the bench turned the tide.
Mark Wilson, Joe Cokanasiga and Dylan Hartley touched down to rescue England against Jones’ former team, who the Australian had advised in the build-up to “go to the temple and pray”.
When asked if he had delivered a half-time ear-bashing, Jones said: “It’s different these days. Once you get past 55 you tone it down!
“We just talked about the fact we needed more effort and needed to get stuck in. We weren’t getting stuck, but started doing that in the second half. It’s really pleasing and our players will learn a lot about that.”
An England side showing 11 changes to the XV controversially beaten by New Zealand took a third-minute lead through Danny Care, but then found themselves under constant siege until Wilson touched down in the 59th minute.
“We wanted a game that would test us. We put out a different team and different combinations and wanted to see how players were combining in different positions,” Jones said.
“We were tested and probably got seduced by the game in the first couple of minutes by scoring an easy try.
“The players subconsciously think it’s going to be easy and we knocked off a bit in our effort and attitude, which is disappointing, but I thought our second-half response was excellent.”
The Rugby Football Union is reeling following the resignation of chief executive Steve Brown on Friday night and Jones emphasised with the man who will remain his boss until the end of the year.
“You have got to remember those CEO jobs, particularly CEO of English rugby, is a difficult job,” Jones said.
“You have got so many conflicting interests and you are always trying to manage the parties. It’s like being the head coach of England!
“Steve is a good guy, has good skills and has a nice manner as a CEO. He was very supportive of the team and he will certainly be missed.”
Japan’s outstanding captain Michael Leitch felt his side “could have won” and his conviction was matched by head coach Jamie Joseph.
“There was a lot of belief in our camp, although 80,000-odd people at Twickenham didn’t believe it,” Joseph said.
“I’m very proud of how our players matched England physically most of the time.
“When it comes down to the crunch we were sloppy in the second half and conceded a couple of soft tries. That was disappointing but a good lesson for us heading towards the World Cup.”