Rugby Championship News

Eddie Jones offers to step down while Umaga disobeys orders





Eddie Jones said he would step aside as Australia coach if asked, after the Wallabies’ Tri-Nations loss to New Zealand – their third straight defeat.

“All I am concerned about is coaching the side,” Jones said. “If people want to make the decision that I am not the right person then I will step aside.

“If someone tells me I’m not in the job I’m not going to sit there and not move,” he added.

Adding to their woes Australia will now be without some of their key players for the upcoming tri-nations match in Perth.

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Hooker Jeremy Paul and fly-half Matt Giteau both departed before half-time, with centre Morgan Turinui and Giteau’s replacement Elton Flatley forced off in the second half.

All Black coach Henry praised his team but was critical of his captain Umaga.

Umaga was told to go for a try when Australia collapsed a scrum five metres from their line early in the second half when the score was tied at 13-13.

But he ignored the order and threw the ball to fly-half Daniel Carter who kicked a penalty instead.

It meant the All Blacks missed out on the four-try bonus point, which may prove costly in the race for the title.

“I just wanted to win the game at that point,” Umaga said.

“When you’ve got Dan Carter the way he’s kicking it’s definite points.

“The forwards said they wanted another crack and the message came down that the coaches wanted another crack but I just wanted to get the points and move on.

There was a huge amount of character and heart shown by the team after being down 13-0,” Henry said.

“The Australians played very well in the first 20 minutes, but the guys climbed out of that and got better and better and probably should have won by more if they had taken their opportunities.

“A fourth try would have given us a bonus point, but the guys deserve a huge amount of credit for the way they handled the situation. Maybe they wouldn’t have handled it some other times.”

“In hindsight maybe we could have got the fourth try. I believed if we kept getting points on board we could get back down there.” Umaga added.

New Zealand won the match 30-13 but missed out on the bonus point for the fourth try. South Africa still lead the tri nations.

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