Jones ignores knockers
August 10, 2001

Wallaby coach Eddie Jones is ignoring New Zealand attempts to place pressure on him or his team on the eve of Saturday's Tri-Nations clash at Dunedin.

Kiwis are coming out thick and fast predicting the Wallabies are at the start of a significant slide and that Rod Macqueen's boots already look too big to fill for Jones.

For many in New Zealand the signs are there - the Wallabies struggled against the Maori, were lucky to get away with a 2-1 Lions victory and never looked liked beating the Springboks.

And when you add the 'House of Pain' factor of Carisbrook, then as far as New Zealanders are concerned, the Wallabies only have one way to go ... down.

As expected, Dunedin is ensuring the Wallabies know they are in enemy territory by decking everything out in black.

The loss to South Africa was Jones' first game as Wallaby coach and there aren't many in the south of New Zealand who think he can improve the Wallabies' 12 Test losing streak in Dunedin.

"My record is not a concern," Jones said. "What's important is that the Australian team has had a winning culture and we don't intend to let that slip - it's as simple as that.

"We're determined to keep that winning culture in the Australian side and we've worked very hard this week to address the problems that we had in South Africa."

Jones feels things have already got off to a good start with an amicable discussion with match referee Steve Lander. The Englishman is under plenty of pressure after many saw Irish referee David McHugh responsible for the scratchy game at Pretoria.

"We had a yarn with Steve and the two touch judges and it was a very amicable discussion," Jones said. "There is a set of laws in rugby and hopefully they're going to be refereed here.

"He's got some clear strategies on how he's going to handle (the breakdown) and we're quite happy with that."

Speculation continues to bubble as to whether Jones will play openside flankers George Smith and Phil Waugh at the same time in a bid to battle the athletic All Blacks pack. There is also anticipation as to how All Blacks coach Wayne Smith will play Jonah Lomu in his 50th Test.

"He's being used much more to the team's benefit than he has been in the past," Jones said. "It started in the Super 12 when Wellington were quite clever with him at stages. They used him in the midfield and out wide and on the opposite wing."

Australia: Matthew Burke, Andrew Walker, Daniel Herbert, Nathan Grey, Joe Roff, Stephen Larkham, George Gregan, Toutai Kefu, George Smith, Owen Finegan, John Eales (capt), Justin Harrison, Rod Moore, Michael Foley, Nick Stiles. Reserves: Brendan Cannon, Ben Darwin, Matt Cockbain, Phil Waugh, Elton Flatley, Chris Latham, Chris Whitaker.

New Zealand: Jeff Wilson, Doug Howlett, Tana Umaga, Pita Alatini, Jonah Lomu, Tony Brown, Justin Marshall, Ron Cribb, Taine Randell, Norm Maxwell, Troy Flavell, Reuben Thorne, Greg Somerville, Anton Oliver (capt), Carl Hoeft. Reserves: Mark Hammett, Carl Hayman, Mark Cooksley, Marty Holah, Leon MacDonald, Andrew Mehrtens, Byron Kelleher.

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