... Jones hits out at ev­ery­one

The Dominion Post - - Sport -

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

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