October 26, 2019 / 11:58 AM / 22 days ago

RPT-Rugby-We beat the best but job's not done yet, says England's Itoje

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    By Nick Mulvenney
    TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Maro Itoje said England might have
beaten the best team in the world for more than a decade to get
to the World Cup final on Saturday but they are still building
as they look to finish the job next weekend.  
     The 24-year-old lock forward was named man of the match
after playing a leading role in England's magnificent defensive
and setpiece effort to build the platform for the 19-7 victory
over defending champions New Zealand.
    "Fair play to the All Blacks, they were the best team in the
world for a reason, we really had to play for 80 minutes. It was
a good day at the office for us," Itoje said. 
    "I think we're just building, game by game, week by week,
we're just building. We haven't done the job yet but we're one
step closer."
    England coach Eddie Jones paid credit to the All Blacks, who
had won the last two World Cups, before concurring with Itoje on
the need to improve again before next week's final against Wales
or South Africa back at Yokohama International Stadium.  
    "We're playing against a great team today, Steve Hansen is a
 great coach, Kieran Read is a great captain," the Australian
said. 
    "I'm really excited for the boys. We've got another week in
the comp, pleased about that so we can see how we can get
better. 
    "We played our game and our discipline was outstanding. Our
forwards are well-drilled and tactically aware, but we can get
better by taking more opportunities."  
    All Blacks coach Hansen, who will stand down at the end of
the tournament, said his team had been well beaten but he was
still proud of their effort. 
    "Firstly I'd just like to congratulate England, they played
a brilliant game of footy and deserved to win," he said. 
    "You can't give them half a step because they will take it.
At the end of the day, you have to say well done to them.  
    "I'm really proud of our team, they've done a tremendous job
for their country and tonight they weren't good enough. We have
to take that on the chin and so do the people back home.
    "You saw the boys at the end, they were still trying their
guts out and that's all you can ask. Really proud of them."   

 (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Tony Lawrence)
  
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