Jones, Ford call for World Rugby intervention after Italy 'no-ruck' tactics

Mar 01, 2017, 00:14
Jones, Ford call for World Rugby intervention after Italy 'no-ruck' tactics

A 36-15 victory over Italy kept England's Grand Slam defence intact, but Jones was left seething by the Azzurri's refusal to engage in rucks, enabling them to swarm around the white shirts from every direction.

In the space of three minutes they had powered 17-10 ahead through Care's opportunist try that exploited a lack of concentration from Italy and Elliott Daly's sharp finish after strong approach play from Haskell and Ben Te'o.

Jones was unhappy with Italy's decision to not commit to the ruck, allowing them to step into the England line without drifting offside, and says that he will consider his position in the game if that is how teams plan to stop his side from winning.

Ireland's scrum coach Greg Feek said: "We've seen it before in Super Rugby and I know South African teams have used it before, it's not a new tactic. They are going to come hard at the breakdown, it's going to be a hard game of rugby", Jones said.

"I thought they were brilliant in the execution, but if that's rugby, I am going..."

England required a long time to get to grips with the situation, with French referee Romain Poite at one stage telling them: "I'm the referee, not the coach, you have to find a solution", after flanker James Haskell asked for clarification.

"All the bad stuff happened at once and it rattled us and put us off our game a bit and that is the nature of where we are at".

"Privately, Eddie would be the first to say, "Thanks for giving us a challenge". We still haven't played a game.

England didn't have a clue what to do to counteract things in the first half.

England's eventual bonus-point win over the Azzurri edges them ever closer to a title-decider against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, March 18.

ENGLAND rugby bosses are backing Eddie Jones' campaign to change the offside law. "It obviously frustrated us and it worked for that first 40, but thankfully we managed to turn it around in the second 40".

Owens himself has been to see the Welsh team a few times this year, while Wayne Barnes would have spoken to the England players.

"We must now make sure this is a one-off".

"I'd be surprised if players didn't know this (Italy's tactic)". I am surprised at players not knowing this because worldwide referees tend to go in with their respective national squads and discuss stuff like this.

" We wanted to give them [the players] hope that they weren't just going to fill a pitch and be here like the old gladiators with the crowd wanting the hundred".

There was no sign of such a response yesterday from World Rugby with the prevailing view being that England, despite running out comfortable winners, should have been able to solve the problem themselves on the field without help from the law-makers.

"We've looked at other games and we looked at what had been done in the past, and we decided we were going to go for broke to get the ball back and win". "Our job is to go on the pitch, perform our best and hopefully earn a bit of respect because it is not something - respect - that Italian rugby has had a huge amount of in recent weeks", O'Shea said.

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