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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 10:28 GMT
Jones lauds resilient England
England look on as Tonga perform their pre-match war dance
England remain favourites for the World Cup despite their scare against Samoa, Australia coach Eddie Jones says.

England have been criticised for their performance on Sunday - they trailed 22-20 with 18 minutes left before scoring two late tries.

"England were outstanding and again confirmed themselves as the number one side in the world," Jones said.

"They didn't play well but they still did enough to win the game, which is an indication of a very good side."

Clive Woodward's side, ranked number one in the world before the tournament, received a barrage of criticism from the media and other team camps despite their 35-22 victory.

But Jones insisted that England, who have qualified for the quarter-finals, had done well to weather two ferocious storms in beating South Africa and Samoa.

England showed enough resolve and resilience and patience to win the game conclusively
Australia coach Eddie Jones
Jones has been a frequent critic of England and Woodward but he said that his opposite number would be delighted with the way his side had ground out difficult wins.

"I imagine Clive Woodward, while he probably had a little bit of sweat around his brow at some stages of the game, would be very happy," said Jones.

"That's the sort of work-out they want, they want those sort of games, they had a side that was probably a bit of a mix of A and B and in the end they showed enough resolve and resilience and patience to win the game conclusively."

Australia and England can only meet in this competition if they both make the final in Sydney on 22 November.

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