Eddie Jones: Darcy Swain red card influenced refereeing decisions to ‘even’ the game up

Dylan Coetzee

Eddie Jones claims that referee James Doleman was inclined to level the playing field after handing a red card to Wallaby Darcy Swain.

England lost their first game against Australia since Jones took over as a 14-man Wallabies secured a 30-28 victory in Perth.

The Red Rose failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and Jones is adamant that the officials tend to favour teams that have copped a red card in an effort to “even” up the game.

Lopsided officiating

“You look at the history of the game, whenever you get a red card the referee evens it up. He helps the team with the red card,” Jones said.

“It’s social reciprocity, it happens, that’s normal and we’ve got to be good enough to handle it.

“That happens in every game of rugby I’ve seen. The team gets a red card and the opposition gets evened up. Because they’re nice blokes, referees.

“I’m not criticising the referees, I’m not using it as an excuse, that’s the reality of rugby.

“I’ll say it again. I think when you play against 14 men the referee has a significant impact on the game and you’ve got to be good enough to understand what that is.

“We weren’t good enough to understand what that is and therefore we paid the price.”

There are positives for Jones, notably the electric debut from the bench of young star Henry Arundell. However, the England coach admits his side was not good enough on the day.

“I’m disappointed that we’ve lost. The results aren’t good enough. I accept that and that’s my responsibility,” Jones said. “We’ll work hard to turn it around. We’ve got a committed group of players, a committed coaching group.

“We started the game well. We put ourselves in a position to win the game but we just weren’t quite good enough on the day to do that.”

Gearing up for appeal

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says they will be appealing Swain’s red card to seek more clarity on the incident but is delighted to have produced an unlikely win considering the circumstances.

“I’m not sure if it was a team plan, but there was certainly provocation there. Not just in that situation but also earlier in the game,” Rennie said.

“We’ll have a decent look at the footage and work out how we’re going to appeal that. We’ll have decent look at the card. We’ll be seeking clarity around it.

“We train with the scenario of playing with 14 or 13 players all the time. What we know is that we just have to work harder. We found a way. We’re absolutely rapped with the character.”

READ MORE: July internationals: Five takeaways from Australia v England as Wallabies dig deep to clinch victory