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Sir Clive Woodward says 'England glass still half full' after Japan performance

 during the Quilter International match between England and Japan at Twickenham Stadium on November 17, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.
Image: England recovered in the second half to overcome Japan after a poor first-half showing

World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward told Sky Sports England's 'glass is still half full' after their edgy 35-15 victory over Japan.

Ahead of hosting Jamie Joseph's Tier 2 nation at Twickenham on Saturday, England head coach Eddie Jones - who worked for Japan between 2012 and 2015 - told the Japanese players to "go to the temple and pray" and warned his team "would smash them".

Yet the first half saw Japan dominate the game after falling 7-0 behind, with the visitors going in at the break with a surprise 15-10 advantage.

England recovered in the second half to pull away to victory, and Woodward believes there are still more positives than negatives to take from the Test.

"I think overall, they'll be pleased," Woodward said in the Sky Sports studio after the game.

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England battled to a 35-15 win over an impressive Japan at Twickenham

"There are more pluses than minuses from the whole game. The second half they nilled a very good Japan team, and they were fantastic Japan, but England did nil them.

"Owen Farrell just added that real edge to every single one of the players, and it was a different team. They played very well second half, so I think they'll be very pleased and, fortunately, the second half sets them up well for the Australia game next week.

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"So overall, the glass is still half full, definitely."

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Eddie Jones gives his reaction to England's win over Japan

Former England international Maggie Alphonsi was also working with Sky Sports for the Test with Japan, but had a slightly different take to Woodward post-match.

"It was more of a learning day today I think," she said. "Sir Clive mentioned it previously about setting up scenarios and I definitely think towards the end, England really wanted to play, they wanted to go for that try rather than kicking the ball out.

"And England have to set it up like it is a World Cup because when it comes to tournament knockout stages you need to pull it out of the bag when it's required. England learned a lot today from that pressure Japan really did put on them.

"We started to see them grow into the game a bit more. I have to disagree with Sir Clive a little bit as I think England might be a little bit frustrated with that because actually they've got more in their bag to perform and the first half let them down a little bit."

Next week England host Australia at Twickenham in their final Quilter International of the month.

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Having defeated South Africa by a point in their first game, lost to New Zealand by the same margin in their second and then overcome Japan in the second half, Woodward reiterated how the common theme of success is Farrell.

"I think they can all be very happy with their performance," he added. "I thought the back-row went well, but as I said it was Farrell [who stood out most], and that just says to me that without him England are really quite behind.

"George Ford spoke very well afterwards, didn't hide, said they were off the pace and there was no intensity, and it is a worry [they rely on Farrell so much].

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George Ford praises England's finishers who turned the game in the second half

"But I think they'll look at it and say, it was very difficult when you've spent all year looking forward to playing against the All Blacks and then suddenly that's over and you're playing Japan. And, with all due respect to Japan, it's hard to get up for and that showed in the first half.

"Overall, I think they'll be okay. If this was the last game of the autumn internationals, I'd agree with Maggie but because they've got Australia next week, they can really get up for that.

"And the guys who came in, I think they've really added to it. I was disappointed [Alex] Lozowski went off, because I didn't think he deserved to go off unless he was injured.

"But I think England are in good shape and it will be fascinating to see which team he [Jones] picks next week if everyone's fit, as there are some real choices now which is good.

"Overall, I think he'll be pleased."

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