Eng­land coach wants to black out All Blacks aura

New Straits Times - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Ed­die Jones knows that one of the keys to beat­ing New Zealand is to men­tally get past their “aura” and, hav­ing done an im­pres­sive job of that with Aus­tralia, he has spent the last week drum­ming it into his Eng­land play­ers.

When Jones was in charge of the Wal­la­bies in the early 2000s he led them to five wins in 11 games against New Zealand, in­clud­ing the 2003 World Cup semi-fi­nal.

The Eng­land team he takes into bat­tle at Twick­en­ham have man­aged seven wins in 40 games against the All Blacks and have won only one of their last 15, at Twick­en­ham in 2012.

It will be the teams’ first meet­ing in four years and first un­der Jones. Com­ing off the back of two suc­ces­sive wins over South Africa, who beat the All Blacks in Septem­ber and were des­per­ately close to a sec­ond vic­tory last month, he is do­ing all he can to show that the world cham­pi­ons are nor­mal.

“You can ei­ther make the movie or be in the movie, and we want to make the movie,” Jones said when asked if teams suf­fer by putting the All Blacks on a pedestal.

“Be­cause that’s what hap­pens when you play New Zealand some­times — you sit there and you watch and you think ‘they’re the best team in the world, we can’t com­pete against them’.

“They sit there, they eat pop­corn, have a can of Pepsi and watch the movie. But then they re­alise ‘we can be in this’ but it’s too late. So we want to be sure we’re in the movie.”

Jones is buoyed by the fact that many of his play­ers have tasted vic­tory against the All Blacks, ei­ther in that memorable 2012 suc­cess or as part of the 2017 Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions, who came from a Test down to square the three­match se­ries with a win and a draw. “We un­der­stand that, like any team, they’ve got weak­nesses and we’ve got an op­por­tu­nity to get at them,” he said.

“We have 33 per­cent who have beaten them and the other 67 per­cent want to beat them. And we’re happy to go out there and get stuck into them.”

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