Eddie Jones claims he saw straight through Michael Cheika’s lecture about off-the-ball niggle tactics ahead of England’s second Test win over Australia.
In his latest missive aimed at the Wallabies, Jones says the Australians failed to rouse England into a scragging contest at AAMI Park.
Jones, who has secured arguably his biggest achievement of his coaching career by steering England to a maiden series win in Australia, singled out Kepu as one of the biggest culprits.
Kepu often tussled with England prodigy Maro Itoje but the youngster had his measure, drawing a penalty from him in the opening minutes.
“Kepu went at Itoje the whole game and he thought he was going to be the Mr Hardman,” Jones said.
“What they tried to do was put us off the game and try to get us involved in a scragging contest and we didn’t allow ourselves to get involved in that.
“As soon as Cheik talked about niggle this week, we knew that was going to be on.
“Our discipline in maintaining a commitment to play the ball rather than the man, a lot of it’s due to the captaincy.”
Jones said knowing Cheika and his assistant Stephen Larkham, he suspected the Wallabies would come out with an “even more outrageous” attacking plan in Sunday’s third Test in Sydney.
But as much as he appears to have enjoyed tormenting his former Randwick teammate, Jones expects Cheika will emerge from the series a better coach.
“He’s a young guy, he’s only two years an international coach. He’ll fight through it,” Jones said.
“He’s got some good people around him, he’s got Nathan Grey, he’s got (Mario) Ledesma, Stevie Larkham. They’ll work it out.
“I want to see him do well. I like the bloke, but I don’t want to see him do well against us. I want to go see them go out and win the Rugby Championship, I’ll be cheering for them.
“As soon as we beat them 3-0 they can win every Test.”
England will begin training at Jones’ old home ground, Coogee Oval, from Monday, and the former Wallaby mentor joked he had “local knowledge” that would help make their stay as comfortable as possible.