Eddie Jones enjoyed watching England toil against Samoa before wiping the slate clean ahead of a bid for a record-breaking 2018.
A much-changed England scored seven tries in a 48-14 victory at Twickenham, following up the autumn successes over Argentina and Australia.
But there were 31 minutes between points for England either side of half-time before a late flurry put a gloss on the scoreline.
“I probably would’ve been disappointed if they didn’t struggle,” said head coach Jones. “When you’re playing against a side you’re supposed to beat by a big score… the mindset you need for that sort of game is something you only get by experience”.
England finished 2017 with nine wins from 10 games. March’s loss in Ireland is Jones’ only defeat in his 23 games in charge. The squad will reconvene in the new year ahead of the Six Nations, when England will be seeking to become the first side to win the championship on three successive occasions.
Jones relishes the competition from the Six Nations, which begins for England in Italy on February 4.
England led 22-7 at half-time through tries from Mike Brown, Alex Lozowski and Charlie Ewels, with Piula Faasalele responding for Samoa, who also scored through Chris Vui. Elliot Daly scored the hosts’ fourth and sixth tries, Henry Slade added a fifth and Semesa Rokoduguni a seventh. George Ford finished with 13 points.
British and Irish Lions hooker Jamie George made his first England start after 19 substitute appearances, with England captain Dylan Hartley among the replacements. That scenario demonstrates the level of competition Jones wants.
Eddie Jones is an Australian professional rugby union coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the England national rugby union team. He has previously coached the Australian national team during the 2003 Rugby World Cup and also coached the Japanese national team for three years leading up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.