Australia v British & Irish Lions, Melbourne, June 29
Jones: Late-night antics reflect lack of standards
June 28, 2013
Kurtley Beale was again making headlines this week for the wrong reasons © PA Photos
Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones believes the British & Irish Lions will prevail in the tight second Test in Melbourne and that the result could mean the end for current mentor Robbie Deans.
Discussing the lead-up to the Melbourne clash in his regular Saturday column in The Courier Mail, Jones criticised Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor for their late-night antics in what he says should have been a focused week of preparation for all the Wallabies players.
"Players in Test week are never not preparing," he wrote. "If they are not training they are recovering, sleeping, eating and relaxing in an appropriate manner.
"For the Wallabies to lose tonight against the British and Irish Lions may mean the final curtain for Deans at the helm. Beale and O'Connor have not helped their coach's situation but they have a history of food fights and alcohol-induced absences going back years.
"A new coach in Ewen McKenzie or Jake White can quickly change this around and make the Wallabies a team with zealous internal standards, although I'm heartened that the senior players have stepped up to say they will deal with the pair after the series is over."
Jones says scrum-half Will Genia will again be key to the home side's chances and that Australia must look to develop rucks further infield to ensure the Lions are forced to cover both sides in defence.
"In the first Test, on slow ball, we continually went down the short side which left a ruck near the touchline. This allowed the Lions defence to rush on the next phase because the Lions only had to defend one side. The Aussies need to play more around 15 metres infield so the Lions have to defend two sides, making it much harder to have fast line speed."
"Half-back Will Genia is crucial again. He must work to keep the Lions on the back foot and decide the right time for attack, kick, run or pass. Make no mistake, the Lions have picked big defender Dan Lydiate at flanker for one reason . . . to look after Genia.
"Tonight will be a spectacle but I'm tipping the Lions by 4."
George Gregan and Gavin Hastings preview the second Test in Melbourne
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand