"If that's rugby then...

Sport

"If that's rugby then I'm going to retire" - Jones hits out at Italy

TodayFM
TodayFM

6:31 PM - 26 Feb 2017



The flies on the wall must have had the time on their lives at half time during England's win against Italy.

After dogged wins against France and Wales, Eddie Jones had called for his men to give the Italians a "good hiding" at Twickenham, but after the first 40 minutes they found themselves 10-5 behind.

A touch of good fortune and opportunism saw Giovanbattista Venditti touch down for the Italians on the stroke of half time, Tommaso Allan's penalty striking the post, before the winger collected the rebound and dotted down.

But it was the Italian rucking - or specifically the lack of - that frustrated England the most. Conor O'Shea's side refused to engage after tackling, which removed the offside line, allowing them to roam wherever they wanted in defence.

They steadied the ship in the second half with instant tries for Danny Care and Elliot Daly, and despite Michele Campagnaro's stunning individual score bringing Italy back into it, England blitzed them with three late tries to pick up their first bonus point.

Afterwards, Eddie Jones was seething, but not with his side's struggle to break Italy down.

He compared the Italian's defensive tactics to cricketer Trevor Chappell's underarm bowling tactic in 1981, and slammed Italy for what many neutrals considered a genius piece of coaching from Conor O'Shea.

It makes you wonder if Jones remembers where he came from. Had he used the tactic in his spell with Japan, the likelihood is that he'd have been lauded as a tactical innovator, and a man the European nations should take heed of. Had he used it in a game against New Zealand for England, he'd probably be knighted.

It may not have been pretty to watch, but it was an effective leg-up for a team that needed it. Don't blame Italy to be for playing within the rules, or for not allowing themselves to be taken to the cleaners, to use Jones's own words.

In reality, it's a deflection tactic. Nobody will talk about how England fell off tackles as Campagnaro ate up the yards for his try, or how Owen Farrell missed four of his seven kicks, or how for the third game in a row they struggled in large parts.

Instead they'll turn the focus onto Italy, and debate the limits of gamesmanship.

Vern Cotter and Scotland won't take notice though. There's a Triple Crown on the line at Twickenham on Saturday week.

It's a long time since the Calcutta Cup had such a significant meaning. 



Read more about

Sport

You might like

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Paul Mcloone Show

The Paul Mcloone Show

10 PM-12 AM

Share

Up next

Overnight

Overnight

12 AM-5 AM

Share

Early Breakfast with Paula Mac...

Early Breakfast with Paula MacSweeney

5 AM-7 AM

Share

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

7 AM-9 AM

Share

Dermot & Dave

Dermot & Dave

9 AM-12 PM

Share

Mairead Ronan

Mairead Ronan

12 PM-2 PM

Share

Fergal D'Arcy

Fergal D'Arcy

2 PM-4:30 PM

Share

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

4:30 PM-7 PM

Share

Ed's National Anthems

Ed's National Anthems

7 PM-10 PM

Share

The Paul McLoone Show

The Paul McLoone Show

10 PM-12 AM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on