The northern-hemisphere giants lost convincingly in Perth last weekend but looked a lot closer to their best in the second salvo. Jones—who coached Australia when they lost to England in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final—rightly took credit for the turnaround in Brisbane and described his delight after levelling the series.
“I loved that game at Suncorp,” he said after Saturday’s win in Brisbane. “That is a good experience. You have got 48,000 people all full of drink and all they want to see is their team win. When you turn them away, it is a great experience. A great feeling.
“I was coming out from the coaches’ box and they all have their scarves on. When did Australians start wearing scarves? It is all the rage isn’t it? They are not so smart now. Before the game they are coming up saying to me: ‘You are going to get belted tonight.’ Now they are a little bit more quiet. So that’s good. I enjoy that.”
Billy Vunipola crossed the whitewash after just five minutes in Brisbane, which ended up being their only try as Owen Farrell provided 20 points off the tee. Taniela Tupou and Samu Kerevi scored either side of half-time for the hosts, who ultimately suffered from a lack of opportunities in the enemy third.
The series is set to come to a head at Sydney Cricket Ground next Saturday, where Dave Rennie’s side will be desperate to reproduce their best. They’ll likely have to do so without Jordan Petaia, Caderyn Neville, Izaia Perese or Scott Sio, each of whom suffered varying injuries in the second showdown.
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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Jones was also asked how he feels about the frequent speculation regarding his job and potential moves after next year’s World Cup. The veteran came in for scrutiny when he revealed in May he had held talks with French giants Racing 92 despite more than a year remaining on his England contract.
“I like it,” he replied when asked about questions regarding his future. “I think it is fantastic. I love my mother ringing me up in the morning saying ‘are you going to get sacked? When do you have to move? Are you going to come back to Australia? Come back and live in Randwick.’
“I love that. My poor mother. But I don’t mind it because I have made the choice to take the job and that’s always going to happen because there’s infatuation with sacking coaches now, isn’t there?”