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Why Eddie Jones is confident that young Wallabies are ‘becoming a good team’

By Finn Morton
Eddie Jones, the Australia head coach looks on during the 2023 Summer International match between France and Australia at Stade de France on August 27, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Australia coach Eddie Jones is confident that the Wallabies are still on their way to “becoming a good team” despite falling to their fifth defeat from as many starts this year.

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With a Rugby World Cup on French soil just a couple of weeks away, the Wallabies looked to rain on Les Bleus’ parade at Stade de France on Sunday.

Playing in front of a simply incredible crowd in northern Paris, the Wallabies controlled the territory battle during an exciting opening 40 – but couldn’t convert their attack pressure into points.

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Young playmaker Carter Gordon missed a series of penalty attempts at goal, and Les Bleus made the Wallabies pay on the scoreboard. France put on a show and ran away with an emphatic 41-17 victory.

“Sometimes in games like this, the scoreboard’s always important don’t get me wrong but we’ve got a greater aim than this game,” Jones told reporters after the Test.

“In terms of what we want to do for the World Cup and particularly our first game, we probably did a lot of good things but we’ve gotta get better at converting territory into points.

“We had 63 per cent of the territory in the first half and were behind 16-5 at half-time, so a good team that doesn’t happen to.

Points Flow Chart

France win +24
Time in lead
75
Mins in lead
0
93%
% Of Game In Lead
0%
40%
Possession Last 10 min
60%
10
Points Last 10 min
5

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“We’re not a bad team but we’re not a good team yet. We’re going through the process of becoming a good team. We’ve just got to keep believing, keep working hard and it’ll come.

“It might be in two weeks’ time against Georgia, it might be three weeks against Fiji, might be four weeks against Wales, might be five weeks against Portugal, we don’t know when it’s going to come.”

The Wallabies started their new dawn under coach Jones with a heavy defeat to world champions South Africa in Pretoria to open their Rugby Championship campaign.

Losses on Australian soil to Argentina and New Zealand followed, and finally a heartbreaking defeat to arch-rivals the All Blacks in Dunedin at the start of this month.

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With an 0-4 record under Jones, the coach made some bold changes ahead of the Test with France and the World Cup. There was no room for Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper in Australia’s 33-man squad.

The Wallabies went in a new direction by picking 25 players who have never played at a World Cup.

This young squad showed plenty of promise against Les Bleus, sure, but will still go into rugby’s showpiece event with a record of zero wins and five losses.

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“Within the camp we’ve got a fair of confidence,” Jones added. “Obviously we’d like to have a better win-loss record.

“We’ve taken away all the leadership that was there previously, we’ve got a new leadership team in place, we’re trying to play a different way and the results haven’t been good.

“I’m not hiding away from that but we do have a longer-term plan in terms of the World Cup and that’s what we’re here for.”

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finn 4 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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S
Simon 6 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

24 Go to comments
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