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Eddie Jones implies referee tried to 'even it up' after red card

By AAP
Referee James Doleman talks with Jonny Hill and Courtney Lawes of England during game one of the international test match series between the Australian Wallabies and England at Optus Stadium on July 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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England coach Eddie Jones has sensationally claimed referees “help” teams who have received a red card after watching his side crash to a 30-28 loss to the 14-man Wallabies.

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The Wallabies went down a man in the 34th minute when lock Darcy Swain was red carded for headbutting England’s Jonny Hill.

England led 6-3 at the time, but the Wallabies bucked the odds to score three second-half tries and secure a famous victory.

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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell after defeat to the All Blacks in the first test | Ireland post-match press conference
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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell after defeat to the All Blacks in the first test | Ireland post-match press conference

It was the second match in a row England had lost against 14 men, following on from the 52-21 defeat to the Barbarians.

In that match, Australian Will Skelton was red carded in the first half. England not only failed to take advantage, they crumbled in a heap.

Jones was in a testy mood after Saturday night’s loss to the Wallabies, and his comments about the referee are sure to raise eyebrows.

James Doleman refereed Saturday’s match, but Jones claimed all referees do the same thing.

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“That always happens mate. I f you look at the history of the game, whenever you get a red card, the referee evens it up,” Jones said.

“Social reciprocity. That happens mate. That’s normal. We’ve got to be good enough to handle it.

“That happens in every game of rugby I’ve seen where a team gets a red card … because they’re nice blokes, referees.

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“I’m not criticising the referee at all, I’m not using it as an excuse, that’s just the reality of rugby.”

When pushed about his team’s struggles when playing against 14 men, Jones became even testier.

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“I think I just spoke about that mate. You didn’t hear me? It’s alright, I’ll say it again,” he said.

“I think when you play against 14 men, the referee has a significant impact on the game, and you’ve got to be good enough to understand what that is.

“And we weren’t good enough to understand what that is, and therefore we paid the price. He evens it up mate.

“He helps the team with the red card. That’s j ust normal nature.

“Let’s be sure about one th ing, we’re not using the referee as an excuse. But the referee changes, and we’ve got to be good enough to adapt.”

Saturday’s result marked Jones’ first loss to the Wallabies while coach of England.

Before that, he held a perfect 8-0 record.

England must beat the Wallabies at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium next Saturday in order to keep the series alive.

Jones said his team’s new methods in attack would take time to become ingrained, but he hopes to see a cleaner display in Brisbane.

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