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Mouths from the south - the best/worst of Eddie Jones and Michael Cheika

By RugbyPass

The highlight of this weekend’s test schedule is undoubtedly the clash between England and the Wallabies at Twickenham.


While the Australians have a chance for revenge after their humiliating 3-0 series defeat to the English last year, all eyes will be on the coaches boxes. Michael Cheika and Eddie Jones have carved separate but similar reputations for being somewhat colourful characters – and that’s being kind.

Here’s some of their best/worst moments:

  • Super Rugby triumph at last for the Tahs. Cheika’s greatest achievement would arguably have to be at domestic level, when he took the perennially under-achieving NSW Waratahs to Super Rugby glory in 2014. He was appointed coach of the Wallabies shortly after.
  • Japan’s greatest day. Being part Japanese himself, Jones’ handling of the greatest upset in the history of the game would’ve felt extra special. The Brave Blossoms famously beat the Springboks 34-32 in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and then bowed out of the tournament with Jones’ somewhat chequered coaching history replenished.
  • Michael needs a new pair of glasses. During this year’s Rugby Championship match against the Springboks, Israel Folau pulled Dillyn Leyds’ hair. He saw it, the ref saw it, the crowd saw it, hell even Stevie Wonder saw it. But Cheika didn’t, launching into a ridiculous tirade post match that made everyone wonder whether they were watching professional wrestling.
  • Eddie has to reach for his wallet. While coach of the Queensland Reds, Jones had a rough time in 2007. He managed to guide them to the bottom of the Super Rugby table, and even a record 96-7 defeat to the Bulls. However, it was a 6-3 loss to local rivals the Brumbies that saw him label ref Matt Goddard’s handling of the scrums in the match as “ludicrous” and “disgraceful”. He was fined $10,000.
  • All the way to the big one. The Wallabies managed to impress a lot of people at the 2015 RWC, playing their part in sending England reeling out of the tournament. They also held their nerve to get over an upstart Scottish side in the quarter-final and mount a decent comeback against the unstoppable All Blacks in the final. It culminated in Cheika being named World Rugby coach of the year.
  • 18 in a row. Jones successfully managed to regenerate the ashes of England’s abortive RWC 2015 campaign in spectacular fashion, stringing together 18 test victories in a row including a perfect 2017 season. Amongst all of that was the 3-0 test series victory on Australian soil, which will most definitely be at the back of Cheika’s mind when the teams stride out onto the Twickenham turf this weekend.

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William 2 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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