Jnews is about news!
Free Guest post from High DA(56) Site - A high authrority guest post -DA 56- absolutely free | Product Hunt

Eddie’s reaction to Boks disaster insults England fans, cynical Wallabies-Wales cash grab a sign of distress

English rugby was in the dock during the week. A leading Member of Parliament described it as having ‘failed on an epic scale,’ that it was ‘shambolic’ and that its guvnors were ‘asleep on the job.’

The Parliamentary select committee was referring to the RFU and their hapless handling of the financial meltdown that saw two clubs, Wasps and Worcester Warriors, go bust. The MP might well have been referencing Eddie Jones and his misfiring England team.

Like some mad professor in a laboratory, Jones keeps meddling and fiddling, shaking test tubes, changing formulas in selection, then seeing it all go up in smoke before muttering that ‘don’t worry, it will be all right on the night.’

Try telling that to the deflated punters who began trudging out of Twickenham before the final whistle, boos echoing round the vast stadium as England turned in yet another woefully inadequate performance.

They are not the first side to be beaten-up by a Springbok opposition. But, hey, this is HQ. Hey, this is England, pumped-up, stiff upper-lip England, famed down the years for its beefy bruisers, one-dimensional ‘white orcs on steroids,’ with a blinkered kicking machine at fly-half, playing the percentages and booting the leather off the ball. ‘Is That All You’ve Got?’ asked the Sydney Morning Herald in 2003. Yes, it was and it will do very nicely, thank you.

England have shed that armour. Jones keeps droning on about wanting to restore an England identity, for the team to be true to its DNA. On this evidence, he looks to be as far away as ever. This was every bit as comprehensive a dismantling as the Boks’ 32-12 World Cup final victory in Yokohama in 2019. At least that was South Africa’s first team. And at least it was on neutral soil.

Eddie Jones, the England head coach looks on during the Autumn International match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on November 26, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones, the England head coach looks on during the Autumn International match between England and South Africa at Twickenham. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Here the Boks were short of half a dozen front-line players, as this match was played outside the international window. And still they dominated up front, emasculating the English scrum.

There was particular delight for them also in scoring one of the great tries seen at Twickenham when the new star of the wing, Kurt-Lee Arendse rounded off a length of the field move with a swerve and a step that a David Campese or Gerald Davies would have been proud of. So much for the one-trick pony Springboks. Boring, boring Boks? I don’t think so.

How did Jones react to this shellacking? By insisting that England “are moving in the right direction” and that “I don’t care what other people think.”

Well, he damn well should. The media is only a mouthpiece for the fans. And they are the ones forking out between £100-150 for such lumpen rubbish. Once again, Jones trotted out the meaningless platitude that it was”‘entirely my fault,” about as sincere a mea culpa as a playground larrikin attempting to wriggle out of trouble with a teacher. The England head coach has used that line several times in the last few years. Every time it has been without consequence in the corridors of power.

Now we all know that England has as deep a pool of players as any in the world, up there with France and on this evidence, South Africa. Things can turn around pretty quickly. And they will have to. England effectively only now have the five games in the Six Nations championship to sort it out. (There are some other warm-up matches pre the World Cup but those fixtures are intended for fine-turning selection).

This was England’s sixth loss of the year. There have been five wins and a get-out-of-jail 25-25 draw with the All Blacks to make this their worst return since 2008. That is not cheering news as they head into the New Year.

There is now a growing disconnect with Jones’ team and its support-base which is not a healthy state of affairs, all the more so during a growing cost-of-living crisis in the UK. A winter of discontent has already hit Twickenham.

Last Man Standing in Cardiff Wins The Day

Superficially, it was an entertaining watch at the Principality Stadium as Wales contrived to lose a game they ought to have won comfortably, coughing up a 34-13 lead to allow the patched-up Wallabies to enjoy their long flight home and ease the pressure on Dave Rennie.

That is more than can be said for his opposite number, Wayne Pivac. It was a surprise that broadcasting producers did not post a before-the-watershed warning on TV screen as Wales fell apart for Pivac’s face as the self-inflicted catastrophe unfolded was a horror show to rank with anything that Hitchcock might have come up with.

It was also striking just how parlous a state rugby union is in. This was a fixture purely to fill the empty coffers of both countries. If the Wallabies actually were animals there would have been hordes of protesters outside the ground shouting about cruelty issues as anyone with two legs was forced into action after five weeks of hard labour round Europe.

(Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

Fair enough. Pandemic and all that. Unions with not a pot to piss in. Professional sport having to pay its way. Even so, it was a sobering reflection of the times.

Rugby in Australia has always had its difficulties as it competes with the much more popular codes of football. In Wales, though, it is the national sport, deeply embedded in the psyche of its people. Yet it is in grave danger of imploding, on the verge of being unfit for purpose. The manner of this defeat was an apt illustration of that.

Doddie Weir – a giant of a man. RIP.

Doddie, we all knew him as Doddie, an affectionate sense of connection with a man imbued throughout his life with a great sense of mischief and perspective.

Let us not forget either that he was a bloody good player, winning 61 caps across a decade. Even the torment of the Motor Neurone Disease that was to eventually claim him at the terriblly young age of 52 did not manage to reduce him. He did more to raise awareness, as well as funds, of MND than anyone.

Doddie died with a twinkle in his eye and a determination to pass on the knowledge that life is for the living no matter the burden of the moment.

Former Scotland rugby international Doddie Weir during the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation fundraising event 'The Gathering of 10,000 Headbands' at Edinburgh's Mercat Cross. The foundation is raising funds to aid research into the causes of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and investigate potential cures, and to make grants to individuals suffering from MND, to enable them to live as fulfilled a life as possible. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)

 (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)

His fellow Scot and 1997 Lion, prop Tom Smith, passed earlier this year, another with stoicism in his veins. While they both, as do we, love to indulge in the ephemera of this sporting life, the wins, the losses, the joy, the heartache, it is easy to think that a premature death such as Doddie’s “puts it all into perspective,” as the cliché would have it. Actually, it’s the opposite. The “magnificent triviality” of sport ( as a former colleague, Hugh McIlvanney, once put it), really is what matters. Jones and England. Wales and Pivac.

Live the moment for there are others who no longer can.

Help shape the future of The Roar – take our quick survey with a chance to WIN!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *