Eddie Jones is winning the mind-games merry-go-round

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    Michael Cheika is an emotive coach at the best of times, so the weekend’s loss to England was going to draw a response worthy of the highlights reels.

    It did.

    How much of that emotion though is rooted in the Eddie Jones factor?

    Jones, Cheika and Steve Hansen of the All Blacks have spent years circling each other. When it comes time for two to face each other, the gloves come off.

    Cheika’s worst case scenario was the English broadsheets and tabloids showing pictures of a grinning Jones, above game reviews assessing how Jones outsmarted him again.

    Whoever plays the role of onlooker tends to become philosophical about the other two.

    Last year, Hansen wondered about how Jones seemed to have bullied Cheika during the series here, how that may have had something to do with the history of the two playing together at Randwick.

    This year, with no match up against England in the offing, Hansen is waxing lyrical about Eddie’s resurrection of the English team, and Eddie is telling anyone who’ll listen that his team is still 20 per cent behind the All Blacks.

    Next year sees the first meeting between the two.

    Hansen’s thoughts on Eddie’s dossiers and Eddie’s on Steve’s tactics will have a whole different complexion in the lead up to that confrontation.

    That would be the perfect time for Cheika to chip away at anything he can identify as a sore point for either Jones or Hansen.

    So much of Jones’ power is the feeling he is smirking knowingly over your shoulder because he has seen the weaknesses that his team will exploit – that he is ahead of you and you have missed things which are hugely apparent if you just look close enough.

    Cheika needs to forget about the ranting and arm waving and learn the art of making Jones believe that he has missed something.

    Cheika must develop a knowing grin, suggesting he has seen something in the epic that will be England vs All Blacks that the Wallabies will use to beat either of them in the tournament that really matters.

    That would make the year a whole lot less enjoyable for Jones.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • Roar Guru

      November 22nd 2017 @ 5:55am
      taylorman said | November 22nd 2017 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      Oh look Eddies sitting on a gold mine where until he turned up the miners didnt know where to dig. Hes now able to king midas through all this at Cheikas expense.

      The way Cheika sorted the Oz mess up in short time Is have no doubt whatsoever that Cheika would have done exactly the same with England.

      Cheikas problem now is his wells dried up and hes having to rely on players who can only fulfil part of their roles, where Eddie just keeps finding more gold.

      Look at his Super sides. Awful.

      Its similar to a Hansen Gats comparison though Hansens not just stumbled on it like Eddie has, its been careful mined for decades, though lately outside prosperers are taking their share in the middle of the night.

      All SH aides are going to ha e to plan differently for England, think oitside the square, bacause their cutrent levels are going to roll over most sides without even needing to extend themselves, as the ABs tend to do.

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 7:58am
        taylorman said | November 22nd 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        gee love the mobile version, typo land…

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 11:24am
        Charlie Turner said | November 22nd 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        I disagree with the comment that Cheika would’ve had the same success as Jones. That’s like saying anyone could coach the All Blacks such is their talent and we all know how that irritates Kiwis.

        EJ’s had a somewhat controversial history but has learnt from his mistakes. He’s been able to navigate his way through the the quagmire of RFU politics and is pulling a groundswell of support behind him. I remember Jake White, a man not known for effusive commentary describing Jones as one of the finest rugby minds he’d ever seen. The biggest blight on his career is was his indifference to the scrum during his Wallabies coaching tenure.

        Cheikas single achievement as Wallabies coach to date is the second place finish in the 2015 RWC with a team still stamped with the mark of McKenzie. His rebuilding started in 2016 and the results have been less than satisfactory compiling a list of record margins in defeat and losing to England on Scotland on home soil. Cheika by his own admission is not a tactician preferring to leave the details to his assistants. His biggest skill seems to be creating a wonderful environment for a coterie of entitled Wallabies.

        • November 22nd 2017 @ 4:26pm
          Garry said | November 22nd 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

          And then there’s Cheika’s failings.

          His trophy cabinet is full of them. Including losing to the Scots (almost twice). And here come an improved Scotland side, still with the RWC on their mind. Look out Michael, with your indiscernible game plan, and persistence in underperforming Waratahs, it’s time to top that failed trophy cabinet again.

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 2:49pm
        jacko said | November 22nd 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

        Eddie inherited a team which was massively underperforming and had no where to go but up. He has got it to no 2 in the world which is where it should have been with all the talent it had. Thats the biggest difference

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 3:34pm
        Cuw said | November 22nd 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

        @ taylorman

        England have riches only 2 other countries could have rivalled – NZ and South Africa.

        but now with the quotas Saffas are also nowhere , leaving only NZ to be the sole flag bearer for SH.

        in the NH both Ireland and France have the capacity to challenge England – but they need to get their act together and perform more consistently.

        i think even france cannot rival England in money stakes on general terms – coz the French are heavily dependent on rich guys funding a few clubs ( like in footy). whereas England has a lot of money from the TV deals and the income from hosting matches with huge attendance figures.

        at the end of the day Jones cannot fail with all the cards in his hand. but then he has said he will not coach after 2019 – a wise move coz if he loses at world cup , he is walking anyway BUT if he wins , then they will make him stay with better package 🙂

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 6:30am
      Not so super said | November 22nd 2017 @ 6:30am | ! Report

      You place far too much emphasis on coaching rivalries

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 10:12am
        puff said | November 22nd 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        Although I struggle somewhat with the intent of this article and the final synopsis. It is fair to say mainstream senior coaches have enormous belief and pride in their ability. Hence, are normally disorientated and frustrated when the wheels fall off. It is also true to say, Jones & Hansen are much better planners and visionaries than Cheika with the ability to drop one liner’s to defuse awkward questions. Although I’m no big supporter of our gent, he has restraints the other two don’t have to endure. We have a dysfunctional AU who continues to squander precious resources. We have an inadequate junior program and poor super coaching teams at the elite level, compared to most rugby nations. Therefore whatever we may think, at No 3 in the world it is difficult to be critical.

      • November 23rd 2017 @ 10:26am
        Who cares said | November 23rd 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        Ahh thats what make the article. A different perspective.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 23rd 2017 @ 10:56am
        marty beauchamp said | November 23rd 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        I disagree, I think a lot of the difference between the teams comes to mirror the difference in the coaches.

        Cheika ‘wears his heart on his sleeve’ etc, but often looks as if he expected to be beaten even if by ‘bad luck’, ‘bad officials’….
        Hansen and Jones don’t.
        The great Liverpool football teams that were built by Bill Shankly used to talk about how he could convince them of anything, they could be playing Pele and the ref could be a known crook and they still felt they would win.

        I think the fragility that Cheika shows regularly translates into fragility on the field.

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 12:16pm
      Perthstayer said | November 22nd 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report


      You are asking the impossible in the changes Cheika’s needs to make. Like saying Pauline should wear a burqa full time or Abbott look less satanic when smiling…….etc.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 22nd 2017 @ 5:04pm
        marty beauchamp said | November 22nd 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        I like it, but haven’t the ARU been spending a fortune getting him trained in the dark arts of being media savvy?

        • November 22nd 2017 @ 7:07pm
          Perthstayer said | November 22nd 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

          Oh man, who drew the short straw for that gig!

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 4:29pm
      AssumedTooMuch said | November 22nd 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

      I think Eddies biggest battles aren’t going to be against Cheika or Hansen or Coetzee or any of the coaches from Wales, Ireland, Scotland or France. Eddies biggest battles are going to be from within the English camp and their natural tendency to revert to safe dour punch it up style of football. That is the only style many of them, including most of those in coaching roles and in positions of authority in the game, know.

      But we saw a glimpses at the end of the game of what England can do if they decide to play fast attacking football but by that stage the game was over. one of the battles for Eddie will be to get the team to play this type of football consistently when the game is up for grabs. Good luck Eddie you have your work well and truely cut out for you.

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 7:46pm
        adastra32 said | November 22nd 2017 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

        This stereotypical view of dour, 10 man England rugby is SO out-of-date but….it appears again and again from SH commentators. Have you watched any AP rugby? You would see teams who play in many styles – for example, Danny Care’s Harlequins like to play a fast, off-loading game, so small wonder he could be the creator of those opportunities in the last 10 minutes.

        In the wet, England’s game plan suited the conditions better than Australia’s. Tire them out and then hit them with a superior set of finishers. It worked. Again.

        • November 25th 2017 @ 2:49pm
          Moriarty said | November 25th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report


      • November 22nd 2017 @ 10:17pm
        FunBus said | November 22nd 2017 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

        ‘That is the only style many of them, including most of those in coaching roles and in positions of authority in the game, know.’

        I think your user name logic kicked in here a bit. There’s been a big change in the last couple of years in terms of how the clubs in the Aviva play the game. Eddie will not have to ‘de-programme’ the players from a dour style. He’s building a team with the same approach as the 2000-2003 England team, not surprising as that team was a bit of a nemesis for Eddie.
        The philosophy is, play what’s in front of you. In 2003, England played the ABs in the rain in Wellington, went down at one point to 13 men, and slugged out a win. The next week, in perfect conditions in Oz, they threw the ball around and ran the WBs off the park.
        Woodward’s England got unfairly criticised for being penalty focussed. They weren’t. They averaged the same number of tries as the ABs at that period. However, if sides slowed them down illegally at the breakdown etc, they were quite happy to keep kicking the points. That’s why they won all the time. Let them play and they’d score tries – commit penalties to slow them down and they’d kick them. It’s a very similar pattern.

        • November 23rd 2017 @ 4:44am
          David said | November 23rd 2017 @ 4:44am | ! Report

          It’s surprising so many think we still do the “10 man rugby” rubbish. Even under Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster it was rare for us to slug out wins in that manner

          • Roar Rookie

            November 23rd 2017 @ 10:57am
            marty beauchamp said | November 23rd 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

            I think that maybe one last vestige of that sort of thinking remained when England and Lancaster thought Sam Burgess was a centre.
            Jones has ended all of that.

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 4:49pm
      R2D2 said | November 22nd 2017 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

      Eddie is doing well and he can afford to smirk and say what he likes, because he is delivering. Cheika has a way to go and he really needs to play it down, you need to concede if you are outsmarted and move on. Cheika ,however needs to mature as a coach and maybe overtime he will become a great coach. Eddie has been coaching for years and he has produce some real rubbish in his time, maybe Cheika can feed off that , but I would prefer him to to just shut up and keep working out what is best for his team, because his outburst of anger isn’t helping the team or himself. Eddie the mouth is just that, Cheika , you are just to easy to pick off.Eddie can also be easily picked off, but wait your time ,it will come and it will be sweet. RWC 2019 would be perfect , only needs one game.

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 9:22pm
      Tooly said | November 22nd 2017 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

      Larko’s PW attempt to sledge Eddie should be enough for him to can it . They say that Chekko speaks seven different languages it seems to me to be all at the same time .
      Eddie is so far too sharp for Chekko and Co it’s almost discrimination .
      The media love morons mouthing off as we are seeing now about the Poms at cricket . These days the sports writers join in the attacks on visiting teams and individual players . They always bully one particularly player from the opposition ; last time it was the likeable and decent Broad this time it’s Stokes try it to his face ; good luck there .

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