Eddie Jones has taken full responsibility for a disjointed England display in the victory over France in their Six Nations opener. Worcester's Ben Teo'o scored his maiden international try with nine minutes left to claim a record 15th straight win for the Red Rose - a result that for long periods looked to be beyond them.
Camille Lopez kicked three penalties in the first half for an enterprising Les Blues and when replacement Rabah Slimani went over for the game's first try the visitors looked set to break a run which had seen them fail to register a Championship win at Twickenham since 2005. But a string of England changes led to a grand stand finale and the pressure finally told when Te'o went over in the closing stages.
Jones had identified some complacency within his unbeaten England squad in the lead up to the game and that spilled over into a poor 80 minutes which threatened to end the Australian's winning run as coach. And ahead of next weekend's clash with Wales in Cardiff, he has work to do to discover the root of England's problems.
"We didn't play well and I take full responsibility for the performance," he told reporters after the 19-16 win. "I didn't prepare the team well, enough. We got some thing wrong and we've got a lot to do for next weekend I'll make sure the team plays lot better against Wales. We're happy but we know can play better.
"If I knew [what I got wrong] I would have fixed it. I don't know. I'll go back and have a look. Maybe I've been too nice to them, smiling too much. Maybe I've got to be harder, I don't know. We were just off the pace. It was quite strange. At half time we weren't even panting, it was like we haven't played a game.
"I don't think we were complacent I just think we were so far away from playing how we play. Whether players fell back into club habits I'm not sure. I thought we were awful but I thought we were always going to win the game."
James Haskell's first international appearance since last July from the bench, and the introduction of Danny Care and Te'o eventually inspired the late win for an England team without a string of important players due to injury. Mako and Billy Vunipola, who were hugely influential during their 13-match winning run in 2016, were among the absentees yet England's strength in depth came to the rescue.
"We've got a very strong bench," he added. "We've got four top quality forwards out and the fact we can bring on a quality of bench is testament to the depth of the squad. The bench definitely made the difference. Haskell I thought, for a guy who has played 35 minutes and 35 seconds, was brilliant. Ben Te'o did really well for us."