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‘We have a young team’: Eddie Jones apologises for Wallabies’ record defeat

By Finn Morton
‘We have a young team’: Eddie Jones apologises for Wallabies’ record defeat

With the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup dream now all but over, coach Eddie Jones has apologised to Australian supporters after Sunday night’s catastrophic 40-6 defeat to Wales in Lyon.


Playing in front of more than 55,000 vibrant fans at OL Stadium, Jones’ Wallabies fell to their seventh loss in eight tests with their worst-ever defeat at a Rugby World Cup.

The Wallabies couldn’t have started the World Cup showdown any worse. Captain David Porecki was penalties after just 14 seconds, and Wales halfback Gareth Davies scored a couple of minutes later.


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Two Ben Donaldson penalty goals saw Australia reduce the deficit to one point, but it was all Wales from there. Cymru booked their place in the quarters while the Wallabies’ campaign is likely over.

Having lost to Fiji and now Wales in pool play, Australia are looking at a once unfathomable pool play exit at a Rugby World Cup.

“Firstly, I would just like to apologise to all the Australian supporters,” Jones said on Sunday.

“Our performance was not up to the standard that was required. I apologise for that. I take full responsibility for it. We are disappointed, we have a young team in there very disappointed.


“They tried their hearts out but unfortunately at the moment, we don’t have consistency in our play to put pressure on teams like Wales. We do some good things and then fall away. It’s very disappointing.”

Points Flow Chart

Wales win +34
Time in lead
Mins in lead
% Of Game In Lead
Possession Last 10 min
Points Last 10 min

Former Wallaby wing Drew Mitchell was seen in the crowd shaking his head as the pain and frustration of the defeat began to sink in.

This was one of the darkest days in the history of Australian rugby. Fans may have feared that this day would come, but for it to actually be here is gut-wrenching for the Wallabies.

The Wallabies’ post-match results graphic on X has received more than 950 comments and 730 reposts at the time of writing, with many supporters expressing their disappointment.


But coach Jones still believes “I have got the ability to run things around” moving forward, although his future is somewhat uncertain following a report of an interview for the Japan head coach job.

“I think I have got the ability to turn things around. I was hoping we would be able to do it by now but we haven’t been able to,” Jones added.

“I take full responsibility, I haven’t done a good enough job and I am bloody disappointed about that.”


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Poorfour 5 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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