Jones accuses All Blacks of cheating - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jones accuses All Blacks of cheating

By Jim Morton 15/07/2004 05:27:01 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has accused the All Blacks of cheating at the breakdown, sparking controversy in the build-up to Saturday's Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Arriving in Wellington for the Tri-Nations series opener, Jones said New Zealand's forwards were deliberately cleaning out opponents well off the ball at rucks to allow defensive holes for sniping ball-runners.

A calculated move which will do little for his popularity across the Tasman, it certainly upped the pressure on Irish referee Alain Rolland.

Jones indicated he would highlight the alleged illegality - used to good effect in the two-Test series clean sweep over England last month - to Rolland before the Bledisloe Cup Test at Westpac Stadium.

He also warned his players would take matters into their own hands if the referee ignored the practice, albeit legally.

Jones alleged the All Blacks had taken the tactic from the Chiefs Super 12 side, pointing the finger at Waikato forwards Jono Gibbes, Keith Robinson and Marty Holah as serial offenders.

"A number of players, particularly Gibbes and Robinson, on the whole are very adept at taking the No.1 defender out of the ruck and then getting (halfback Justin) Marshall to take the ball forward," he said.

"That's something we have to be aware of.

"The law is quite clear that you can clean out a coffee table (area around the tackler), it's not a boardroom table - seems most coffee tables are a bit bigger over here (in New Zealand)."

Jones said Australian referee Stuart Dickinson was alert to the practice in the All Blacks' 41-26 win over the Pacific Islanders last weekend and wanted to ensure Rolland was aware of the tactics.

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