Eddie Jones takes 'full responsibility' for England defeat by Scotland

England coach Eddie Jones and captain Dylan Hartley discuss their team's defeat by Scotland at Murrayfield. Michael Steele/Getty Images

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Eddie Jones cut a contrite figure as he dissected England's performance in a surprise 25-13 defeat against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Having just witnessed his side slip to only the second defeat of his tenure, one that ends their hopes of a second Grand Slam under his guidance, Jones took full responsibility for an insipid first-half display.

England seemed out of sorts from the off as Scotland quickly gained the upper hand at the breakdown and attacked with a more varied -- and at times more direct -- game plan than their visitors might have been expecting.

Gregor Townsend's side won 10 turnovers to England's four, while Jones will be well aware that his team finished the match with another heavy penalty count against them.

"They beat us at the breakdown, we didn't get our defence spacing right in the first half and they were able to cut holes in us. That's disappointing," Jones said.

"But I've got to take responsibility for the performance, because we weren't there. And I take full responsibility, so I've got to work out what I did wrong and how to fix it."

Although England were dominated at the breakdown, Jones refused to lay the blame on the balance in his back row.

"If you look at the way Scotland contest the breakdown, it's not just their back row," he said. "They're very good at contesting across the field, and the breakdown is not one or two persons' responsibility, that was rugby 15 years ago.

"It's everyone's responsibility. Everyone's got to be able to clean out accurately, everyone's got to be able to contest and we just weren't good enough in that area."

England had travelled to Edinburgh well aware of the tricks that would be thrown at them as kick-off approached.

Jones was quick to brush off the notion that his side had been affected by the reported scuffle inside the tunnel ahead of kick-off, but he acknowledged that they had not been able to deal with the occasion.

"We knew the significance of the game, we knew what would get thrown at us," he said. "You've got to be good enough to handle it and we weren't today, so I apologise for our performance."

The England coach insisted that it was Scotland who "deserve all the credit" following a fantastic performance but he will now spend the next fortnight searching for solutions as he looks to fix his side's shortcomings in defence and at the breakdown.

There is a risk that he will be forced to watch England's quest for a third successive title falter even further against France in Paris in a fortnight and Ireland at Twickenham on the final Saturday of the championship on March 17.

"These are lessons you don't want to have but they're the best lessons in the world," Jones added. "We'll learn a lot from this. Unfortunately, the lesson isn't sometimes nice to take, but it's a great lesson for us.

"We just weren't there in the first half and I take responsibility for it. I didn't prepare the team as well as I should have and that's my fault."

On the other side of the coin in the bowels of Murrayfield on Saturday night was Finn Russell, the man who had done most to put England to the sword.

"It's a feeling I've never had [beating England]," he said, having been named man of the match. "It was great to go out there and beat England, but not just to beat them, [but also] the way we played."