‘I can deal with that’: Eddie Jones laughs off ‘unpopular’ crowd reaction
The atmosphere at both World Cup matches was simply incredible. Fans were singing and chanting well before the opening whistle, and their vibrancy carried on deep into the night.
But from the moment the tournament began with a Beauden Barrett kick-off at 9.18 pm on Friday, fans were seemingly engulfed by the occasion. They cheered and didn’t boo – well until Eddie arrived.
Well-known rugby guru Eddie Jones was shown on the big screen a few times during the Wallabies’ win, and clearly, the coach holds a “consistently unpopular” reputation amongst fans.
Fans booed and whistled every time Jones was shown on the big screen, but the Australian couldn’t help but laugh it off after the match.
“Obviously I’m not popular, mate, at least it’s consistent,” Jones told reporters on Saturday.
“You either want to be popular or unpopular, so at least I’m consistently unpopular. I can deal with that.”
The Wallabies got off to a perfect start on the sport’s biggest stage with centre Jordan Petaia placing the ball down for the opening try of the Test after just two minutes.
Petaia was a man on a mission during the early exchanges, with the utility setting up wing Mark Nawaqanitawase for a score shortly after with a brilliant one-handed offload.
Georgia showed mere glimpses of brilliance throughout the 80 minutes, but the result was never really in doubt as the Wallabies secured their first win since November.
“When you’ve got a young team, haven’t been doing well and getting criticised, you can go into your shell a little bit,” Jones said on the field.
“I thought they came out in the first half and put a conclusive performance together.”
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