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Eddie not so steady as he takes aim at reporter after defeat to Boks

Liam Del Carme Sports reporter
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones called a reporter a "smart a*se" after Saturday's Test at Loftus. Here he is casting an eye during the pre-match warm-up.
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones called a reporter a "smart a*se" after Saturday's Test at Loftus. Here he is casting an eye during the pre-match warm-up.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi (Gallo Images)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones yielded to his irascible side after his team's chastening 43-12 defeat at the hands of the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The defeat continues Jones and the Wallabies' winless streak at Loftus Versfeld and the latest performance left the acerbic coach most displeased referring to it as “not good enough” on more than one occasion.

It was when a local reporter posed a question that referenced his comments earlier in the week about the selection of the Springbok team, however, that sent Jones over the edge.

The Springboks had opted to send an advance party of 13 players including 2019 World Cup winners Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe, Malcolm Marx, Makazole Mapimpi, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel to New Zealand in midweek to prepare for next Saturday's Test against the All Blacks.

The Boks followed a similar procedure in 2019 when they beat the Wallabies at Ellis Park before drawing with the All Blacks in Wellington en route to the Rugby Championship title.

With some of the 2019 RWC winners unavailable for the Test against the Wallabies some Australian media outlets labelled it a “spare parts” Bok team.

In Saturday's post-match press conference a reporter asked Jones: “Eddie, you expressed your disappointment during the week that you were not playing the first choice Springboks. Do you feel a bit of relief now?”

Jones smiled initially in his reply but soon his mood darkened. “South Africans are good at winning. So you don't have to be a smart a*se mate.”

A different reporter then asked if he was looking for a similar performance next week when they play Argentina in Sydney to the one the Wallabies delivered after Jones made his Wallabies coaching debut at Loftus in 2001. Two weeks after that defeat Jones' Wallabies did the near impossible by toppling the All Blacks at Carisbrook, Dunedin, a venue they had never won at before.

“Yes, sure, 100%. I have no doubt that we'll bounce back. We were well and truly beaten today, that our mate here,” Jones said pointing at the reporter that had earlier raised his ire, “is calling the B-team. So I never knew there was a Springbok side that was called the B-team. But now we have a new term. So now we have to front up because we weren't good enough.”

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The Wallabies media manager called an abrupt end to proceedings but as he headed for the exit Jones again confronted the reporter suggesting he never called the Bok selection a B-team.

He perhaps had reason to be frustrated. His team was well short of prematch expectations and both sets of players were unable to clean up after the match as Loftus' taps had run dry.

Jones though promised better days ahead. “There’s a game next week and we’ll be better next week, I can guarantee you that,” said the coach.

I don’t want to make any excuses. We’ve got to front up and play better than that. I’ve got no doubt we’ll bounce back.” he said about their clash next weekend against Argentina in Parramatta, in western Sydney.

It is likely to be a combustible encounter with Jones and fiery former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, now in charge of Los Pumas, likely to add significantly to the prematch hype.

Argentina who suffered an equally humbling defeat (41-12) at the hands of the All Blacks in Mendoza on Saturday evening, will want to atone for that performance next weekend.

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