Jones blames Cooper’s ‘advisors’

Reds coach Eddie Jones, almost as famous for his pre- and post-match public outbursts as he is for his numerous successes on the rugby field, has taken a swipe at player agents as his team plummeted to new depths at the weekend.

Jones’s latest public salvo was fired after the Reds, firmly rooted at the bottom of the Super 14 standings since Week Five and with seven straight defeats to their credit, lost 21-19 to the Chiefs at the weekend.

The seven successive defeats is the worst losing streak for a Queensland outfit – both on the domestic and international stage – in 20 years.

The last team to lose this badly was the Bob Templeton-coached Queensland side that lost seven in a row back in 1988.

According to the Australian Associated Press (AAP) Jones fired a post-match salvo at young fly-half Quade Cooper’s manager, after the rookie misfired during the heart-breaking defeat to the Chiefs.

Cooper dropped the ball almost as many times as he caught it at Suncorp Stadium.

The 18-year-old appeared desperate to produce the match-winning play every time he had the ball against the province of his birth, but made four errors in the first 18 minutes, among them six dropped balls in what was a scrappy match.

A downcast Jones took aim at teenage whiz-kid Cooper’s unnamed agent for “bad advice” in pumping him up as a star-in-the-making.

“His manager is pushing him here there and everywhere,” he said.

“At school he was the biggest kid on the block. Now he’s the smallest kid on the block and it’s hard.

“He’s an outstanding young player and he doesn’t need to be spoken about in a World Cup squad, he shouldn’t be talking to the Wallaby [Australia] coach, he shouldn’t be having extra kicking lessons with a punting coach.”

The self-destructing Reds let yet another second-half lead slip – the fourth time they have done so this season.

Jones praised the performance of 33-year-old fullback Walker, who gave the Reds the spark and cool head they needed on several occasions times.

But he was ultimately left to admit it would take longer to solve inherent problems in the team.

“We’ve got guys out there [in the dressing room] bawling their eyes out now,” Walker said.

“Sometimes as an organisation you have to hit rock bottom … to see how deep-seated your problems are.

“That’s five out of eight games now that we’ve been ahead at the 70-minute mark and I think we’ve won one.”

 

365 Digital

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