Eddie Jones: 'New Zealand will always expect to win. It's in their blood'
Autumn internationals Eddie Jones: âNew Zealand will always expect to win. Itâs in their bloodâ
Englandâs coach has said there is no âmagic formulaâ to overcome the All Blacks but can call upon plenty of experience from his time in charge of Australia
As Eddie Jones was keen to stress, there is a big difference between knowing how to beat New Zea land and actually doing it. âItâs not like Pythagorasâs theorem,â he said on Monday. âI donât think thereâs any magic formula.â
True, but never before have England had so much inside information on the All Blacks at their fingertips. In addition to the vastly experienced Jones and the English representatives on last yearâs Lions tour, the home side can also call on the former All Blacks coach John Mitchell and Brad Shields, until recently the Hurricanes captain in Super Rugby.
England have no need to install a bugging device at New Zealandâs hotel in Teddington to infiltrate Kiwi minds. Jones has pitted his wits against the All Blacks often enough as the Australia coach to understand precisely how best to unsettle them. âYouâve got to play a certain way against them, thereâs no doubt about that,â he said. âThere are parts of the game they enjoy and you want to take them away from them.New Zealandâs Twickenham scouting mission goe s under Eddie Jonesâs radar Read more
âThe attitude with which you start the game, the ferocity you play with â¦ youâve got to be in the game. Then, when you get the opportunity to score points, youâve got to be good enough to take them.â
If it sounds simple, New Zealandâs winning percentage of 91 since the 2015 World Cup suggests otherwise. âTheyâre not a tricky team, theyâre a good team,â added Jones. âNinety one per cent is amazing. Thereâs no other sporting team in the world that does that. I have never coached against a New Zealand side that doesnât expect to win. It is in their blood.
âYou go to a sandwich shop and they tell you how theyâre going to beat you. You go to fill your car up and they tell you how theyâre going to beat you. It is in the psyche of the country. The challenge is to make them feel as though they are not confident, that there is something at the back of their heads they have got to scratch. And thatâs the challenge for us.â
The result is important but the big thing is what you learn ... what you need to do to be the best in the worldEddie Jones
As Jones has found to his cost over the years, seeking to beat the All Blacks at their own game â" âIf itâs a game of sevens theyâre going to win every timeâ â" usually ends badly. The Wallabies had occasional golden moments under Jones, often by targeting the lineout and scrum, but even that narrow avenue has become tougher to exploit in recent years.
âWhen we were successful with Australia we could beat them because we could get to their set-piece, particularly their lineout. Since 2011 their lineout has gone from good to being outstanding. So has their scrum and the depth of their players. Now theyâre able to play that tighter game when itâs required and thatâs why itâs so difficult to beat them.â
The competition for places within th e New Zealand set-up is a further factor, ensuring complacency never sets in. âYou only had to watch their B/C team playing against Japan on Saturday,â Jones said. âThey put 70 points on the 11th-ranked team in the world and played within themselves. No player can afford to sit still. If you are sitting at the Lensbury [New Zealandâs base this week] having a cup of tea and a scone watching that game, youâre thinking you have to play well this week.âEddie Jones leans on Englandâs Lions to build dossier on defeating New Zealand Read more
On the rare occasions they are outsmarted, Jones can also testify that New Zealanders learn quickly.
âSteve [Hansen] gave me a lesson in 2000 in the final of Super Rugby. Never show all your cards. The Brumbies had already beaten the Crusaders at home, scrummed them to death, before we played them in the final. We were the best team and they scrummed us in the final by doing a couple of different things. S teve is a very good astute coach. Youâve only got to look at his track record.â
That experience, among others, also taught Jones to think one step ahead in big weeks like this.
âThe result is obviously important, but the big thing is what you learn. That is why it is so important â¦ because then youâll have an idea of what you need to do to be the best team in the world.â Regardless of Englandâs fortunes on Saturday, he is already eyeing an even more stunning ambush of the All Blacks in Japan next year.Topics
- Autumn internationals
- England rugby union team
- New Zealand rugby union team
- Eddie Jones
- Steve Hansen
- Rugby union
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