Eddie Jones' bombshell claim after Wallabies red card controversy
We're not sure who was having the biggest laugh as the coaches pored over the Darcy Swain send-off in the aftermath to the Wallabies' dramatic 30-28 win over England in the first Test.
Swain left Perth's Optus Stadium in disgrace after being red-carded for head-butting second-row rival Jonny Hill after the Englishman has attempted to give him a short back and sides without scissors.
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Hill copped a yellow card for his hair pull while Swain was gone from the game, leaving the Aussies down a man for the last 46 minutes.
It was petulant, it was dumb, it was selfish and potentially fatal for a Wallabies side reeling from the loss of veteran playmaker Quade Cooper in the warm-up and injuries to key personnel throughout the game.
That the men in gold fought so bravely to claim a memorable two-point win a man down deserves the highest of praise but does not excuse Swain's behaviour.
But instead of giving him a hefty kick up the backside, Australia coach Dave Rennie suggested it wasn't a head-butt after all.
"We'll have a look at the footage and work out how we are going to appeal that," he said.
“If it’s a head-butt it’s a clear red card but I don’t think his intent was to head-butt him.
“We’ll look at the footage and get clarity about whether there is an opportunity to challenge."
We will save Dave the time. It was a head-butt – admittedly at the lower range on the Liverpool Kiss meter - and the referee gave him what he deserved.
Eddie Jones claims referee helped Wallabies
Which brings us to Jones.
While giving Australia due praise for a gutsy win - their first in nine matches against the Poms - Jones hinted the send-off actually benefited the host side because referee James Doleman then looked to "even up" the contest.
"When you look at the history of the game, whenever you get a red card, the referee looks to even it up," Jones said.
"It happens in every game I’ve seen. A team gets a red card and he tries to even it up because they’re nice blokes.
"I'm not using that as an excuse but that’s the reality of rugby."
The comments smacked of an under-pressure coach feeling increased heat following three straight defeats on top of an underwhelming Six Nations campaign.
Leading 14-9, England crumbled midway through the second half as undermanned Australia raced out to an unassailable 30-14 advantage on the back of three unanswered tries.
The tourists landed two late tries to put some make-up on the scoreline, but this loss is a massive body blow to their hopes of taking the series and a terrific shot in the arm for the Wallabies.
Mistake-riddled and a little uncertain in the first half, the Wallabies ripped off their suits to produce a superhero performance.
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