Jones critical of Reds' fitness, lack of variety
April 19, 2014
Will Genia is under too much pressure in attack, according to Eddie Jones © Getty Images
Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones believes The Queensland Reds' struggles are down to a lack of fitness and an over-reliance on their halves in attack.
"They lack running fitness and look like a team conditioned for northern hemisphere rugby," he wrote in his News Limited column. "At the moment, the forwards are playing off Genia and the backs, wide and deep, off Cooper. The Reds can't beat the Aussie teams who prepare well for this. The Western Force did an excellent job of closing down Genia. To give the attack more variety, inside centre Anthony Fainga'a needs to find his short-passing game, which he had two years ago, to give the attack another option."
"Cooper is lacking for attacking options around him. He needs backrowers Ed Quirk, Jake Schatz and Beau Robinson to present him with options and have the tight five forwards play off Genia. The Reds' kicking is predictable with Genia handling duties inside the 22 and Cooper outside the 22."
Jones considers, though, that the current Queensland set-up is more suited to New Zealand opponents.
"I fancy the Reds can reignite their season when they fly to New Zealand next week to play the Hurricanes and Blues," he wrote. "The Kiwi teams are not so tactically savvy. That contributed to the Reds' excellent effort in winning all four matches when pitted against Kiwi athleticism last year. The fitness area will not be fixed this season so he will need to have thoughtful discussions with his strength and conditioning staff on what went wrong."
After a bye in round 10, the Reds travel to Wellington to take on the Hurricanes on April 26.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton