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Eddie Jones says he cannot explain why England came up short after his side failed to achieve their goal of winning the World Cup in Japan.
England were beaten 32-12 by South Africa in the final in Yokohama.
It came a week after England knocked out three-time champions New Zealand in the semi-final in one of the best performances in Jones’ tenure as coach.
“I’m not sure why we came up short today, sometimes you never know,” said the England head coach.
“Sometimes you can investigate but you’ll never know why it happened. We’re going to be kicking stones now for four years, we’re massively disappointed.”
Captain Owen Farrell kicked four penalties for England, but Handre Pollard replied with six for South Africa before tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe put the game beyond Jones’ side.
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The Australian has a contract with England until 2021 but said it was “not the time to discuss” his future after the defeat.
“We are the second best team in the world,” added Jones, who lost the 2003 final to England while coaching the Wallabies but was a consultant to South Africa the last time the Springboks won the trophy in 2007.
“We didn’t meet our goal to be the best team in the world, but we are the second best team in the world, so I think that’s how we should be remembered.
“The players prepared tremendously well for this World Cup. I thought they played with a lot of pride and passion, and we go
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