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Australia coach Jones hails ‘perfect’ World Cup start

Australia head coach Eddie Jones said Saturday’s 35-15 victory over Georgia was the “perfect” start to the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup campaign.

The win ended Jones’ streak of five defeats since returning to the job in January.

“World Cups are about taking each step,” the 63-year old told reporters.

“If we were to plan a perfect World Cup preparation, we said at the end of the round one we want to sit there on five points and that’s what we’ve got,” he added as he began a fifth World Cup as a coach.

The Wallabies led 12-3 after just 10 minutes in Paris, as Jordan Petaia and Mark Nawaqanitawase crossed in impressive fashion.

Jones denied morale had been low in his squad after the recent poor results.

“We’ve always been confident about where we’re going,” Jones said. 

“You don’t come out and start games like that if you’re lacking confidence.”

Full-back Ben Donaldson was awarded the man of the match award after scoring 25 points, which included two tries.

The 24-year-old was making just his fourth Test appearance.

“I think he makes good decisions. He’s got a pretty sound game at 10 and 15 in terms of his kicking,” Jones said.

Jones was jeered by a majority of the 75,000 crowd in the Stade de France everytime he was seen on the big screen, having built a reputation due to his spikey character in recent years.

“Obviously I’m not popular, at least it’s consistent,” he said.

“You either want to be popular or unpopular. I’m consistently unpopular, I can deal with that.”

Scrum-half Tate McDermott left the field just before the break with concussion.

“Tate’s up walking around, he’ll do all the medical protocols,” Jones said.

Centre Samu Kerevi, who featured for the first time since last month’s loss at New Zealand, left the field at the interval with Jones’ mind turning to next Sunday’s potentially crucial Pool C game with Fiji.

“Samu, we always planned he would play the 40. He hadn’t played since Dunedin, we had to give him time,” explained Jones. 

“The plan was to get him ready for Fiji next week. For him and for us it’s an important game. 

“For him to play against his mother country is pretty special,” he added.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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