Rugby Union

Eddie Jones hails Jonathan Joseph's complete performance against Italy

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Football News

England head coach Eddie Jones acclaimed Jonathan Joseph's complete performance after the Bath centre ran-in a hat-trick of tries as Italy were swept aside 40-9 in Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash in Rome.

Joseph plundered all three of his scores in the final half hour and struck for the first time when the Red Rose led just 11-9 against a determined home team, prompting Jones to declare he had attacked "exceptionally well".

"Jonathan was very good. His defence last week against Scotland was outstanding. He knows when to close and when to drift," Jones said.

"Sometimes a 13 doesn't get a lot of ball and at Murrayfield you don't get a lot of ball. But here he looked sharp on his feet.

"He has a great short kicking game, a good outside break and has lovely footwork. We saw a bit of that against Italy.

"He read the game well - a 13 is like a number eight in that he has to be able to read the game well and he did that exceptionally well.

"Last week he did exceptionally well in defence, this week he did exceptionally well in attack and his defence was very good as well. That Italian 13 he was up against is a serious player."

England remain on course for the Grand Slam after following up their 15-9 victory over Scotland by prevailing at the Stadio Olimpico, where George Ford and Owen Farrell also crossed.

"We wanted to be two from two and we're two from two. We did some good things in the second half, in the first half we allowed Italy into the game," Jones said.

"The first half set the second half up for us and I was pleased by the way that we put them away.

"We could have scored 60 points out there and in the end we were quite dominant.

"We weren't expecting to score a lot of points in the first half, we were expecting to do that in the second half and that's how it turned out

"We've had two games and two wins and no major injuries, so we're sailing along pretty well at the moment."

Sergio Parisse admitted Italy had taken a step backwards since leaving Paris with a creditable 23-21 defeat by France last weekend.

"We lost by 40 points. Most of all I'm disappointed for the fans, but the best team won," the Azzurri captain and number eight said.

"We played until the end against France, but that wasn't the case against England. We were expecting a very physical game and that was the case.

"Scotland is now a crucial match for us. We have to keep the same approach and keep working with determination."

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