- Australia’s scrappy win over Georgia will have been noted by Eddie Jones
- The Wallabies are leaking too many penalties and have had three yellow cards
- Isi Naisarani was fortunate to escape a red card for a very poor challenge
- England’s cancelled game won’t have done Eddie Jones’ side any harm
Australia’s scrappy win over Georgia will have been noted by England boss Eddie Jones
Wallabies number eight Isi Naisarani was extremely fortunate to receive only a yellow card
Australia have a poor discipline record since the sin bin was introduced in 19 years ago
But Eddie Jones and his men must be wary of the threat of Australia during big tournaments
Their thrashing of New Zealand in August will come as a strong warning against the English
Jones has been meticulous so far and well prepared for the conditions of Japan this autumn
They can now train in the sunny climates of their Mikayazi base ahead of the quarter final
England will have noted Australia’s poor discipline in Friday’s scrappy win over Georgia.
The Aussies are leaking too many penalties; they have had three yellow cards for foul play and could easily have copped some more.
Michael Hooper was very fortunate against Wales, and Reece Hodge received a three-match ban for his high tackle in their first game against Fiji.
Australia are going in too high and without discipline, they are not thinking, and it could cost them.
Friday’s yellow for Isi Naisarani could easily have been a red card. You could see that team-mate David Pocock was relieved when the referee just went for yellow.
Eddie Jones’s England side will strike ruthlessly if Australia continue to lose the plot and show such ill-discipline.
They will make any numerical advantage count and Owen Farrell will not endure another middling kicking afternoon like he did against Argentina. Penalties will be costly.
But this quarter-final is going to be tough. Australia are doughty World Cup fighters and when they bring their A game — like they did two months ago when they thrashed New Zealand — they are formidable.
They have a much improved scrummage which got the better of the Georgian pack yesterday and their lineout is solid. The basics are in place, they just haven’t finessed their attacking game plan. Yet.
It almost sounds ridiculous because we are talking about Australia, but England must not underestimate them from their form in Japan so far.
Watch the tape of that Rugby Championship game with New Zealand in Perth from August to see the real Australia.
Even though Australia were not wildly impressive yesterday I can guarantee you Michael Chieka will be happy they got through the game safely.
BLOWN OFF COURSE? FAR FROM IT
England have been well and truly away from the eye of the storm — geographically and metaphorically — at their luxury camp in Miyazaki which Eddie earmarked some years ago as their base.
The forecast there for the weekend is 32 degrees and sunny, and their quarter-final in Oita next week is set to be similarly hot. Eddie has done his homework well.
I’m a little uneasy at England having a two-week lay-off now they’re in tournament mode, as players and teams are creatures of habit and finding tournament rhythm is important.
But England haven’t burnt up any nervous energy over these last few contentious days.
The World Cup officials made an early call to cancel the game against France. England lost no time in heading for the airport and flying to their favourite retreat before the weather closed in. They have been low-key, under the radar and they have not involved themselves in the politics.
England also have a chance to rest a few with bruises and strains, and if Billy Vunipola recovers from his ankle knock they will have all 31 players to select from next week, which is all a coach can ask.
Jack Nowell is back looking fit and eager, Henry Slade as well. Everybody is raring to go.
You suddenly become a very good coach indeed when you have a full squad to pick from!
England’s form is really good, they have gone along very nicely, upped it a little bit against the Pumas last week and have the potential to move up two or three gears. They have avoided major injuries, cards, controversy, and nobody has been posting silly stuff on social media.