England coach Eddie Jones plays down confrontation with South Africa fans

Ben Spencer

Supporters leaned over the railings and verbally insulted Jones as he walked down the tunnel at the end of the first Test in Johannesburg.

England scored five tries but were beaten 42-39 by South Africa in a thrilling Test match at Ellis Park.

"We knew they were based in Durban and coming from the United Kingdom the altitude was going to be a factor", said De Klerk, who plays in the Premiership for Sale. "We obviously would have wanted to start better, but the character the guys showed was awesome".

"But the second is that we now know that we have the capability to come back from tough situations and that does a lot for our confidence".

"Honesty is a big part of it and players need to take responsibility at the same time", he added. "England made a few errors they don't usually make and that played into our hands".

England had amassed a scarcely-believable 24-3 lead by the 18th minute. "After 20 to 30 minutes it definitely hit us quite hard", George said.

"I guess we could look at what happened in two ways".

The second Test takes place next Saturday in Bloemfontein at the same time of 17:05 (local time, 16:05 BST).

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"We don't think the benefits of staying at altitude are massive enough".

"There were a lot of individual errors that led to the ill-discipline, so first up we've got to be honest with ourselves, brutally honest at times, and hopefully that will lead to coaches not having to say too much". We've got players coming off the back of the club season so to some degree we've been restricted in training.

Johnny May did manage a bombastic run over with three minutes left, starting on the right from halfway and working his way inside - the conversion made it a three point game, but with England boxed into their own half, they couldn't make up the yards. That first 20 minutes was like a blueprint for how he wants his team to play. We did the exact opposite. "It was a momentum game based on possession".

"They (South Africa fans) have always got plenty to say. I was thinking: 'We have to keep the hammer down here'".

England suffered a fourth straight test loss and fifth overall. "There is no reason we can't turn it round, no reason at all". If we had lost, it would've created doubt, but it will be a bit easier now to get consistency in selection. "This series was always going to be hard".

England had the scope to accommodate both of those time frames in their schedule and De Klerk has revealed their choice of training venue was noted with interest by the Springboks. The main thing for us is belief.

"I wouldn't worry about that because it was such a great game of rugby".



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