England coach Jones plays down confrontation with South Africa fans

England coach Eddie Jones played down a confrontation with South Africa fans at the end of Saturday’s first Test.

Jones was verbally insulted by some supporters as he made his way down the tunnel after his side’s 42-39 defeat.

However, the 58-year-old dismissed the incident as nothing more than a “little conversation about a bottle of wine”.

“They have always got plenty to say. I was just asking them where I could get a good bottle of Pinotage,” said the Australian.

“They told me to go find it myself. That’s what happened, that’s what I asked him.

“I wouldn’t worry about that because it was such a great game of rugby.”

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Defeat for Jones’ side came after England – so poor in recent games – had raced into an early 21-point lead as they played some near-perfect rugby.

Mike Brown, Elliot Daly and Owen Farrell all crossed for converted tries but the Springboks fought back superbly and led 29-27 at the break via Faf de Klerk, S’busiso Nkosi (2) and Willie le Roux tries.

Aphiwe Dyantyi then went over for the hosts, and two Handre Pollard penalties meant scores from Maro Itoje and Jonny May were not enough for England.

Jones blamed “individual errors and indiscipline” for England’s loss but believes fans should be encouraged before next Saturday’s second Test in Bloemfontein.

“If you saw today’s performance I think you should be excited,” he added.

“I’m disappointed we lost the game, but there’s a lot to say out there that the team is going in the right direction.

“There’s no problem with our spirit and effort, what’s wrong is a few slight individual errors and indiscipline.

“If we can get rid of those we’ll be the team that gets the win in the second Test in Bloemfontein.”

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