The autumn Tests on Saturday saw 14-man England overcome Argentina 27-14 in a drama-filled encounter at Twickenham, while Ireland pulled off a historic win over Australia in Dublin.
Former England and Lions centre Jeremy Guscott analyses the action.
Can Jones’ England be compared to the class of 2003? Not yet…
Considering England were down to 14-men for 76 minutes and they played for 20 minutes with 13 men, it was a very good win – especially against quality opposition like Argentina, who only a year ago were in the semi-finals of a World Cup.
The media remind people that this is now 13 games unbeaten – 12 coming under Eddie Jones. The record of 14 matches without defeat came between 2002-2003, in a period when England famously won with only 13 men against New Zealand in Wellington. That was way back when, and Jones is good at making it about the here and now.
The side of 2003 probably had three or four players who would have got into a world XV. This England side currently don’t have that. They have some arguable cases, but not clear-cut. They are not where the 2003 side was, but that’s not to say that they can’t get there.
The work-rate of Chris Robshaw, Tom Wood and Billy Vunipola was world-class on Saturday. Mako Vunipola’s confidence has been elevated, and we’re seeing the developing partnership between George Ford and Owen Farrell. The guys are playing like it’s their last game and it’s really great to see.
A big question I’ve had about this England side is whether they can play with huge intensity? You have to have a high level of fitness, and to go for that long during a match with only 13 or 14 players shows their fitness level is certainly improving. It’s nearer where it needs to be if they want to be the number one side in the world.
The Daly red card? He must get over it
Eliot Daly was sent off after taking out number eight Leonardo Senatore as he caught a high ball.
It was 100% a red card for Daly.
Players in today’s game have to understand that if you can’t see where you’re placing your foot, or you can’t see what’s in front of you, and you hit someone’s head, then you run the risk of a red card or citing – so don’t do it.
Daly is an incredibly gifted young player who I think mistimed that tackle. He could have pulled out, he chose not to. He knew up to the final seconds that he ran the risk of doing what he did.
In the heat of the first few minutes of an international, you don’t always think clearly. He wasn’t able to have those racing driver reflexes to be able to pull out. You don’t want to think of the consequences if Senatore had landed more awkwardly.
I’d like to think it wouldn’t affect Daly at all. He’s only the fifth player to ever be sent off for England. But I’d like to think he’s a good enough player and human being to understand it was a very silly mistake. He has to get over it and move on.
Can England end 2016 with a win over Australia?
I think Australia are in good form. Some of the tries they score are so wonderfully crafted.
If England don’t ramp up their intensity, especially at the breakdown, then Australia have a backline who will absolutely shred England. If they don’t slow that quick ball down then it could be reminiscent of the World Cup defeat.
However, England’s defence in Australia, when they whitewashed them, was very good. It’s going to be very close… but I think England will win.
Ireland emulate the All Blacks style
Ireland would be my team of the autumn internationals. Joe Schmidt has got them playing a very controlled, tactical game which requires precision and accuracy and execution.
They play with such intensity and make very few mistakes. It’s very quick and very accurate. Watching that ball go down the line, through the Irish hands, is All Black-like. It’s great to see.
To score three tries against Australia in their 27-24 win, and to beat New Zealand and South Africa, they really are on fire.
For a side to make an impression, you have to have ball-carriers and there’s this kid, Tadhg Furlong, who seems to be all over the pitch.
Normally your tight-head prop is big and not very mobile and you don’t want him touching the ball. But this kid seems a bit different. He’s handy with the ball and very quick. I thought he was sensational.
Wales need to find their mojo
It’s the end of their autumn series and to get three out of four wins, Wales will be very pleased. In a decade’s time that’s what the history books will say. It won’t be about how they played.
Under Rob Howley, they look like a side that’s been training on something new and have taken their eye off what they were doing before. They look like they’re struggling to link the two together. They’ve gone too far one way and it’s made them forget how to integrate the other parts of what they’ve been doing.
It was good to see Justin Tipuric, who’s now had a run of games, put in a good performance in their 27-13 win over South Africa . Many people were saying he was the man of the match.
Outside of that, we haven’t seen any outstanding performances. When a side’s top players don’t play well, you can’t hope to play well as a team. Some of these guys have got to find their mojo, their love for the game.
The good thing for Wales is they’ve won. I don’t think they should be too despondent.
Scotland are ready to buzz, hum and sing
I’m pleased Scotland smashed Georgia. Clearly they were favourites going in to the game and they blew them away, winning 43-16.
The chat of Georgia forcing their way into the Six Nations has been put to bed a bit, even though Italy did lose to Tonga.
Scotland have a team that, when it clicks, is going to buzz and hum and sing in a beautiful way. They’ve just had a couple of setbacks against tier one sides that have pushed them into their shell.
You need to win the games you look like winning, otherwise you’re seen as a team you can’t get across the line. That’s what Scotland are.
I would say lock Jonny Gray has been the top performing forward in the whole series, while Finn Russell is growing in confidence, and Stuart Hogg was sensational on Saturday. It’s good to see these guys showing what they can do.
But there’s no singing and dancing to be done just because they beat Georgia. It will feel good for the players but what would Ireland, England and Wales have beaten them by?
Jeremy Guscott was speaking to BBC Sport’s Caroline Chapman
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