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Why Eddie Jones has taken ‘full responsibility’ for Wallabies’ ‘terrible’ loss

By Finn Morton
Eddie Jones, Head Coach of the Wallabies before the The Rugby Championship & Bledisloe Cup match between the Australia Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Head coach Eddie Jones has taken “full responsibility” for the Wallabies’ disastrous 38-7 loss to the All Blacks at the MCG, which saw the New Zealanders retain the Bledisloe Cup.

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With more than 83,000 rugby fans in the stands, the Wallabies were met with a deafening cheer from the crowd as they made their way out onto the sacred turf at 7.50 pm on Saturday.

Following the national anthems, the All Blacks laid down their challenge with a passionate Kapo o Pango haka. But the Wallabies, at least by looking at them, appeared to be up for the task.

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The Wallabies, who had started their year with back-to-back defeats, refused to throw in the towel after conceding an early try. Australia ended up being the better team during the opening 20 minutes.

But the All Blacks showed their class when it counted. Tries to Codie Taylor and Will Jordan saw the visitors take a 12-point lead into the half-time break.

Following an intense start to the second term, New Zealand put on an attacking clinic during the final quarter of the contest.

Backs Caleb Clarke, Rieko Ioane and Mark Telea all added to the All Blacks’ score, and Richie Mo’unga had a try disallowed as well.

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The Wallabies had shown glimpses of promise during periods of the Test, but their efforts were ultimately in vain. History may suggest that this was a one-sided contest, but it was anything but.

As coach Eddie Jones said after the match, Australia just “ran of gas” towards the end of the match – players were “struggling” to keep up with the All Blacks.

But Jones wasn’t pinning the blame on his Wallabies.

“In my experience with teams is that sometimes when you’re trying to play a different way, you can do it for periods at a time and then you can’t do it anymore,” Jones told reporters.

“We want to play freer and we want to attack the opposition, and when we did that in the first 20 we were really good, and then we got into some bad habits again.

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“It’s a terrible result, I take full responsibility for it, but I’m pleased with the way players applied them in the full 20 – and the first little bit of the second half.

“We had them under a fair bit of pressure for a long period in the second half but again, we got no points out of it.”

Following the Wallabies’ loss to Argentina earlier this month, coach Jones made seven changes to his starting side ahead of Bledisloe I at the MCG.

Rising star Carter Gordon was named for his first start in Wallaby gold, and joined Queensland Reds co-captain Tate McDermott in a new-look halves duo.

The pair showed glimpses of brilliance early on, but things took a turn as the All Blacks found their groove.

Gordon made some costly errors, and McDermott never had no opportunities to run the ball or snipe around the breakdown.

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But, when asked about why he was taking responsibility for the loss, Jones insisted that his selection decisions were still the “right” calls.

“Someone’s got to take responsibility for the loss,” he added. “It’s the head coach that takes responsibility for it.

“I thought the players are working hard, trying really hard, trying to play a different way and I’m really appreciative of their efforts.”

Earlier in the week, blindside flanker Jed Holloway said that coach Jones was trying to “break” some of the Wallabies’ poor habits.

Poor discipline cost the Wallabies in thrilling Tests under former coach Dave Rennie, and the same issue has continued to persist under Jones.

“Obviously very disappointed about the result, the scoreline. That’s a real negative for us.

“Big crowd, we wanted to show that this was a new team, but, and there’s always a but, our first 20 (minutes) I thought we showed what we are capable of.

“At the moment when we put pressure on we can’t convert that pressure to points and we release pressure. We still seem to get disappointed on the field when we don’t get the rewards that we think we deserve which is an area we’re continuing to work on.

“All in all disappointing but I really liked the way we came out in the first 20 in the first half, and the first 15 or 20 of the second half as well. But we couldn’t convert that to points.

“They scored four of their six tries when we had yellow cards, and they made us pay for that.”

The Wallabies have started their new era under legendary coach Jones with three losses from as many starts. Australia finished last in this year’s shortened Rugby Championship campaign.

It doesn’t get any easier for them, either. Australia will look to avenge the defeat against the All Blacks in Dunedin next weekend.

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Comments

34 Comments
G
Gary 358 days ago

The result was to be expected, IMO I thought McDermot played quite well at least Carter got the ball, which is more than what White does for Cooper. Carter was a bit overwhelmed and it showed in his stuff up of basic skills, like up and unders that went 5 metres and not getting the ten when kicking off. I thought also that Cooper played quite well when he came on. there were times that he was in the ruck compensating for the lack of forwards doing the job and then having to tackle (this he did quite well) when he should not have been required to do. Hooper is not a 7 he is a 6 and it showed. Our forward pack tried hard and were not disgraced. but they were outplayed by the ABs. We again looked clunky and not together, there was times that we didn't trust the man beside you to do the job and this resulted in gaps appearing for the ABs to score. The wallabies looked good when initially they ran the ball but after a while they started to go back to kicking away possession indiscriminately and the rot set in

B
Bob Marler 358 days ago

I wonder why EJ can’t learn a bit and take a more humble approach more often?

He’s been making a noise like he’s Muhammad Ali going into these matches. A bit unnecessary. It makes you want him to lose cause he’s Princes Naseem Ahmed.

P
Pecos 359 days ago

Hopefully he gives Carter Gordon the full 80 in Dunedin & perserveres with McDermott. Bringing on Cooper is backward thinking. Actually, dump Cooper, he's no more than a space saver. Surely there's other options.

Important also to acknowledge that while the ABs dominated the scoreboard, we didn't dominate the game. Ardie felt the breakdowns were even. The key imo was the ABs defence in the 1st 15mins post HT. Also, the Tupou injury process was madness. He should've been hooked, instead stayed, got crushed in the scrum, got a yellow as unable to tackle wrap his arms, then got subbed. How dumb.

N
Neale 359 days ago

Same old shit from Jones: "Blame me, I coached poorly etc..." That's all England fans and media heard over the last three years. It doesn't wash anymore, mate. Knuckles was right, the guy's a charlatan.

L
Les 359 days ago

Discipline, has cost many a good team a match at some or other time. Eddie Jones is a rock solid coach he needs to address this & he should have a good team for the World Cup.

W
Willie 359 days ago

" We're a team that needs to change, that's why I'm here in the job".
Who said that?

P
Peter 359 days ago

Discipline again ....3 yellow cards 3 tries to ABs game over, fix that might be closer scoreline in Dunedin

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