... Jones hits out at everyone
Alan Jones has produced one of the alltime post-match sprays after two of his players were shown controversial late yellow cards in the Barbarians’ 31-28 loss to the Wallabies.
Having not sat in the coach’s box for 30 years, Jones couldn’t hold back his anger after a game where Taqele Naiyaravoro and Quade Cooper were show yellow cards, one for a deliberate knock-on and the other for a high shot.
‘‘Thank god I’m out of the game,’’ Jones, 76, said. ‘‘If Michael Cheika has got to deal with this stuff all the time, it’s a wonder he’s not at The Gap.
‘‘If that’s the way you grow the game, then it’s probably a good thing I’m not in it. I just found the whole thing astonishing. The guy kept blowing the whistle. There was 16 penalties to four. The bloke was clearly out of his depth.
‘‘You can brand me as a whinger or whatever you like. I’m doing all this for nothing, I’m doing this because I believe in the game.
‘‘Why is the referee asking at the 55th minute mark how many penalties have there been? What’s that about? Michael says it goes on all the time. Someone’s got to grab this game by the throat and say there’s got to be other ways of doing it.’’
Jones’ rant went on different tangents as he criticised Rugby Australia’s (formerly the Australian Rugby Union) administration for the umpteenth time this year. He was still upset that matchday programmes were not organised earlier in the week by the home union.
‘‘Rugby has a problem,’’ Jones said. ‘‘We’re in a terrible state administratively, not player-wise. Are those people going to come back?’’
Asked whether he would consider coaching again in some capacity down the track, Jones replied: ‘‘How do you spell never? With all the capital letters. That’s the end of the section for me I can assure you. It’s been [an] absolute privilege and pleasure.’’
Cooper shed some light on his sending off with 10 minutes to go, saying he did not see Israel Folau and that his high shot was purely accidental.
‘‘I didn’t see Izzy because one of their players Duncan [Paia’aia] ran in front of me and at the last minute I seen Izzy pop up. The ball bounced up and I tried to jump out of the way so he wouldn’t have a big collision. Things like that where no one is hurt, it was an accident … a little bit of common sense [was needed].’’
Overall though, Cooper was happy with his side, which scored four tries to Australia’s five in a performance it can be proud of.
‘‘We definitely had fun,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘We prepared on and off the field to have a good time, to go out there and play the rugby we hoped the fans and people who paid their money to come and watch would enjoy.’’
"You can brand me as a whinger or whatever you like. I'm doing all this for nothing, I'm doing this because I believe in the game." Alan Jones, above