Jones: Skills let us down
July 29, 2001

Debut Wallaby coach Eddie Jones bemoaned Australia's lack of rhythm in Sunday's 20-15 Tri-Nations loss to South Africa at Pretoria.

It was Jones' first game as coach since replacing Rod Macqueen and there was to be no dream start with the Wallabies' maintaining their poor record at Pretoria.

The Wallabies failed to secure quick ball from the breakdown and looked disjointed at times against the impressive South African defence. The lineout was also disappointing.

"We struggled to get to the breakdown and let ourselves down with basic mistakes," Jones said. "The whole game was stop-start and it was very difficult to find our rhythm in our game.

"We let ourselves down by the same token during various stages of the game by the average execution of our skills, which we need to work on,"

The Wallabies won a bonus for losing within than seven points and captain John Eales said the Wallabies would bounce back. He did praise the South African game saying the biggest surprise was the amount of pressure the South African public put their players under to perform.

Eales showed great frustration throughout the match at the interpretations referee David McHugh and continued to remonstrate with the Irishman after the final whistle.

"Certainly from our point of view it's not the end of the world and at least we got a bonus point out of it," Eales said.

"I think South Africa played very well and the biggest surprise is how much crap is being put on the South African team. If they lose a couple of games everybody turns on them.

"We didn't start well but our preparation was very good so we've got no complaints from that regard. Eddie didn't have anything to do with that loss. We let ourselves down on the field and that's a problem that we can fix."

Springbok coach Harry Viljoen praised the the amount of pressure his side put on the world champions.

"The forwards were very competitive in the tight phases," Viljoen said. "They stood very closely together and Bobby has shown superb leadership.

"We put them under pressure starting from Gregan, and especially in the lineouts and scrums."

Viljoen also sang the praises of his team's defence, which for the second match in a row have not conceded a try, against New Zealand and Australia respectively.

"Les Kiss has been superb. We studied their phase play and did a lot of counter-defensive work."

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