England coach Eddie Jones hopes England “get some love from the game” in the future after Sam Underhill’s potential match-winning try was ruled out late on in a 16-15 defeat by New Zealand.
Underhill raced over in the corner in the 75th minute, only to see Courtney Lawes ruled offside in the build-up.
“Sometimes the game loves you and sometimes it doesn’t,” said Jones.
“It always balances out. We’ll get some love from the game further down the track.”
England benefited from a similarly tight decision in last weekend’s 12-11 win over South Africa, when Owen Farrell’s last-minute tackle on Andre Esterhuizen was ruled legitimate.
New Zealand coach Steven Hansen believes referee Jerome Garces, who sent off Sonny Bill Williams in the All Blacks’ second Test defeat by the British and Irish Lions in 2017, showed courage to make the correct call.
“There was no doubt he’s offside,” he said of Lawes. “He’s just about in the scrum-half’s back pocket.
“What was going through my mind was are they going to be brave enough to make the right decision? And they were.
“England got a lucky break last week probably, so they couldn’t get two in a row.”
Bath flanker Underhill said: “I wasn’t watching the screen. When it got brought back it was what it was but it’s those small margins.”
Former England hooker Brian Moore said during commentary: “That was marginal, these are things that do go against you. It’s the referee’s interpretation and England have to live with it.”
Jones takes heart from performance
Despite defeat, Jones believes the result bodes well for England’s chances at the World Cup in 2019 where his team would meet the All Blacks in the semi-finals should both win their respective pools and last-eight encounters.
“We had a team of 400 caps and they had a team of 800 caps. That is a hell of a difference, and your ability to handle those difficult situations comes down a lot to experience,” said Jones.
“The next time we play them it might be a different story. Whenever we play them we will feel like we have a game to take to them.
“We needed a slump to reignite ourselves and we’ve done that.
“We’ve got Mako and Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes all to come back into contention so it’s a good situation for us to be in.”
|England v the All Blacks|
|England have lost the last six meetings since their 38-21 win over New Zealand in December 2012|
|England have only won seven of the 41 meetings overall, drawing one and losing 33|
‘A proper open-side flanker’?
Before he took on the England job, Jones picked out the team’s lack of a “proper open-side flanker” as a key reason behind their failure at the 2015 World Cup.
He says that the performance of Underhill, who made the joint-most tackles in the match (20) and more metres than any other forward (24), means he is well stocked in the position.
“I thought he was absolutely outstanding today,” said Jones.
“From being very empty at seven we have him and Tom Curry [who will miss the rest of the autumn internationals with an ankle injury] competing at seven, which is fantastic for us.”
|England’s autumn internationals|
|3 November||Beat South Africa 12-11|
|10 November||Lost to New Zealand 16-15|