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‘I’d look out’: Eddie Jones’ warning for All Blacks ahead of Bledisloe I

By Finn Morton
Head coach Eddie Jones during the Australian Wallabies training session at Sanctuary Cove on June 29, 2023 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The Wallabies may have fallen to their second consecutive loss in as many starts on Saturday night, but it didn’t stop coach Eddie Jones from firing a shot at the All Blacks.

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Following months of hype and new-found belief, Australia ushered in their new era under coach Jones with a disastrous defeat to South Africa in Pretoria last weekend.

Other than an early try to world-class winger Marika Koroibete, the men in gold were never in the fight. If this was boxing, the coaching staff would’ve had no choice but to throw in the towel.

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But a week is a long time in Test rugby. Once the dust had settled on that staggering 31-point defeat, the Wallabies shifted their focus to their first test on Australian soil this year.

The Wallabies were better without being great against Argentina in Sydney, and looked to have won the Test after a late try to rising star Mark Nawaqanitawase.

But Pumas backrower Juan Martin Gonzalez broke Australian hearts with a try at the death, which handed the visitors a 21-24 victory.

Earlier, the All Blacks sent another statement to the rugby world – backing up their big win over Argentina in Mendoza – with a 35-20 demolition of world champions South Africa in Auckland.

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The Wallabies and All Blacks appear to be tracking in two very different direction, but it didn’t stop coach Jones from throwing a quick jab ahead of Bledisloe One later this month.

“In the first two games we scored two super tries early in the game and we move the ball with fluency and quickly, which is how we want to play,” Jones told reporters after the three-point defeat.

“But we’re not able to sustain that at the moment. I could give you a fantastic, plausible reason but you’re not going to believe it so I’m not going to give it to you.

“Whilst it seems like it’s doom and goom at the moment, it’s not.

“(There’s) a fair bit of optimism that we’ll be able to change fairly quickly in the next couple of weeks. If I was the All Blacks I’d look out.”

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This was Australia’s first home Test of the year, but it didn’t feel like it at times.

There were plenty of fans at CommBank Stadium, with a sea of gold stretching as far as the eye could see – but a small pocket of Argentine fans made their voices heard.

The passionate Los Pumas supporters were chanting, cheering and singing throughout the contest. It was quite different to the stunned crowd in Mendoza last weekend, who were actually quite quiet.

Australian centre Len Ikitau managed to silence those fans though, if only for a moment, with the opening try of the contest inside the opening 10 minutes.

The Wallabies looked to take some control of the clash, but the visitors were hungry.

Ikitau went off injured which forced an unexpected backline reshuffled – Melbourne Rebels flyhalf Carter Gordon came on at inside centre – and a yellow card to Richie Arnold was another turning point.

Fast forward to the end of the Test, and with just a few minutes left on the clock, it was a four-point game.

But Australia’s poor discipline cost them once again as Los Pumas marching down the field.

The winning score in the 79th minute sent the passionate crowd of Argentine fans into a frenzy. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any louder, they did.

Argentina celebrated as the Wallabies questioned where it all went wrong. Australia were now 0-2 to start their 2023 season, with just three more Test matches to go until the World Cup.

“We’re all really disappointed mate, we put a lot into that but we just couldn’t put enough pressure on the opposition,” Jones said.

“Every time we got into a position to put pressure (on), we either gave the ball back or didn’t defend hard enough so there’s a couple of things we need to fix, which we can fix with a lot of hard work.

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“If we’re prepared to do the hard work we’ll get the fix and I’m sure the players will.”

On paper, the Wallabies face an uphill battle to even win a Test before the World Cup in France.

Australia has two Bledisloe Cup Tests coming up, and they’ll then head to Europe to take on the World Cup hosts in Paris.

But coach Jones isn’t worried – it’s not time to panic. The 63-year-old is “100 per cent confident” that the Wallabies can turn it around.

“At the moment it seems like we’re miles away from where we need to be but all of this is going to make us harder and more hungry to get it right.

“We’re a team that needs to change, we know that, and that’s the reason I’m here in the job.

“We’re not seeing the change in terms of results at the moment but we’ll see that.”

The Wallabies take on fierce rivals New Zealand in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne later this month. Following that clash, the men in gold will travel to Dunedin for the reverse fixture.

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Comments

13 Comments
C
ColinK 365 days ago

Yeh we will look out Eddie, for 50 points that what we look for 😁 😁 but hopefully the ozzies will step up we need them stronger.

I
Ian 365 days ago

Jones is hot air. His frequent nonsensical selection decisions with England still leave many of angry. I thought he might be a good short term motivator but he's been found out.

G
Graggle5 365 days ago

As much as I respect the Australian rugby side and this is not me being arrogant here, but I am kind of expecting NZ to beat Australia x2 before the RWC. Not saying Australia cannot turn NZ, just saying on current form, who would you put your money on?.

Again, not saying Australia cannot beat NZ, just not expecting it. This NZ side is coming together and the biggest improvements from 2022 is that forward pack of NZ. It has been bosing sides about since Ireland, it bossed SA about in all honesty and to me, this is where it is at for NZ and what they needed. It is Ireland I want anyway, I find them obnoxious beyond belief and that the smerks on their faces is going to be wiped off those faces soon, hopefully by NZ. After that I dont care what happens.

P
Pecos 365 days ago

Blah blah blah, just do your talking on the paddock man. And of course the ABs will be well prepared & ready to go (watching out). Too much hot air, totally unnecessary.

B
Bruiser 365 days ago

A braggard, bore and a bully. Please be Australian coach for next 10 years

J
Jen 366 days ago

Look out for what exactly?

W
Willie 366 days ago

Agree Eddie, the ABs do need to be alert. They will appreciate your heads up.
However, in the meantime, why don't you cork it and start coaching until you have something sensible to talk about.

D
Damian 366 days ago

As a coach, I think Jones has one of the best (if not the best) strike rate against the ABs. So he's probably earned the right to say what he likes. Only a fool wouldn't
listen. But mmm bit of work to do.

Why listen? You might want to cast your tiny little mind back to the last 20 minutes of Eng v NZ before Mr Jones got the chop. The ABs had no answer to that offence it was like a flick of a switch. Lucky to come away with a draw. Jones is the real deal and Aus has talent to burn.

U
Utiku Old Boy 366 days ago

I know Eddie is trying to keep the faith with his Australian support base but he is more of a big talker than deliverer. Additionally, he demands "respect" from journalists who quote his pre-match statements and follow up on those statements but deserves little (respect) by being a windbag with an ego who is offended when those statements are brought up. Much better to be a little more humble and show his impact by results on the field.

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William 3 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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