Rugby World Cup: Preview of the home nations' fixtures this weekend
Eddie Jones was left red-faced at the Rugby World Cup after Australia were thumped 40-6 by Wales in Pool D. Former England coach Jones had spoken out ahead of the showdown and insisted he had “no doubt” his team would come away with victory.
“I’ve got no doubt we’ll win, got no doubt,” Jones told reporters ahead of the match. “The way the team’s prepared, the way they’ve come together, I’ve got no doubt we’ll win.”
And when quizzed over why he was so confident his side would be victorious after he had lost six of his seven matches since returning to the helm for a second stint as coach in January, the 63-year-old explained: “Because we’ve had a really good preparation and the way the players rebounded after the Fiji game.
“You’ve got a choice whether you want to get stuck in and go again and keep working hard and improving – that’s what I’ve seen from the players.”
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Jones had even gone as far as asserting that Australia could win the tournament, despite the fact they suffered a shock defeat to Fiji last weekend. “Yeah, 100 per cent,” he added. “But we’ve got to beat Wales on Sunday.”
Australia were second best against Wales from start to finish at the OL Stadium in Lyon, with Warren Gatland’s side needing just three minutes to score the first try of the night as scrum-half Gareth Davies crossed the whitewash, with Dan Biggar converting. Australia No 10 Ben Donaldson then hit back with a pair of penalties to reduce his side’s deficit to 7-6, but replacement Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe added three penalties to give his side a 16-6 lead at half time.
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Wales refused to yield after the interval as Anscombe kept the points ticking over with the boot. And the Ospreys half back played a key role in the second try of the night as his chip forward was picked-up by Nick Tompkins, who dotted down. Anscombe converted and added another three penalties before Jac Morgan scored a third try of the evening as the European side enjoyed a night to remember across the channel.
The result means Wales are now eight points clear of Fiji at the top of the Pool C table ahead of their final match against Georgia on Saturday, October 7. And Gatland’s men should now reach the quarter-finals as Pool C winners to set-up a showdown with the runners-up of Pool D. Samoa, Japan and Argentina are all chasing second spot in Pool D after England stormed clear at the top courtesy of their 71-0 victory over Chile on Saturday night.
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