Why Jones fears Wallabies’ chameleons

THERE are myths aplenty swirling around the Wallabies yet take this as fact... Eddie Jones wants his Englishmen to brutally bully them out of the Rugby World Cup.

When England's finest were bundled out of the World Cup by the Wallabies four years ago, Jones was scathing about their confused thinking at Twickenham.

He torpedoed England's poor strategy, called rugby league import Sam Burgess a non-event and shook his head at no openside flanker to duel with David Pocock and Michael Hooper.

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He was coach of Japan at the time but a clear game style was the first thing he brought to the English when he took over in 2016.

Swamping the improved Wallabies' lineout where most tries are being ignited, smashing gold jerseys in defence and slowing down the pace of play will all be part of it inside Oita's domed stadium on Saturday.

Make no mistake, Jones fears the fast ball-in-hand attacks of the Wallabies and how Kurtley Beale, Jordan Petaia and Marika Koroibete can sting with quick ball in this quarter-final.

Jones will be trying to strangle them with defensive pressure and forcing an error.

Kurtley Beale’s ball playing will be a factor for the Wallabies. Picture: Getty
Kurtley Beale’s ball playing will be a factor for the Wallabies. Picture: Getty

The Wallabies think Samu Kerevi is big at 106kg. He's undernourished compared to rival English inside centre Manu Tuilagi, who powers ahead in the same style at 112kg.

Australians always talk of fancy backs like Tim Horan, David Campese, Michael Lynagh, George Gregan and Ben Tune when recounting the deeds of winning World Cups.

Saturday in Oita will be all about whether the Wallabies' forwards stand tall.

Can lock Izack Rodda add to his five lineout steals, can a strong scrum keep earning penalties and does Pocock have a superhuman performance in him to rule the breakdown?

Aussies often pillory the "Pooper" ploy of Pocock beside Michael Hooper yet Jones has his own version with smaller backrow hustlers in Tom Curry and tackling menace Sam Underhill.

Don't anyone say they have a good read on the Wallabies' form line. They can't. It's all over the place, game-to-game and in different periods of the same game

No team at this World Cup has made more tackle busts (124) or coughed up more turnovers (69).

That's our gold chameleons in a nutshell. Gold, dangerous, flaky and right in this quarter-final.

The selection of rookie Jordan Petaia at outside centre is a great pick, bold but reasoned.

He will make Kerevi a better player against England because defenders will always be thinking of fading off the senior Wallaby to cover Petaia's size, step and timing as well.

This will be a soaring victory for coach Michael Cheika or he will go down all guns blazing.

He always had Christian Lealiifano as his frontrunner for No.10 but had to manage his minutes to get him to the kick-off in optimum shape.

Super subs? Taniela Tupou, Nic White, Matt Toomua and co all have that potential.

The English (three times) have ended Australian hopes at the World Cup more often than the All Blacks (twice) so these riveting clashes between old foes have a rich history.

The four times the teams have met in cutthroat finals games have all been decided by six points or less.

Just don't head to the fridge for a fresh beer with two minutes to play. Game on for 80 minutes.

* Wallabies by 7 (with a fast start, please).

News Corp Australia


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