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Eddie Jones attacks World Rugby over 'Trygate' - but isn't he forgetting something?

By Ian Cameron

England coach Eddie Jones has criticised World Rugby for ‘undermining referees’ following their statement confirming the TMO made an error in disallowing a Welsh fullback Gareth Anscombe’s try on Saturday.

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Earlier this week the Wales management team requested a clarification from World Rugby on the decision, who then released a statement confirming they believed the decision to be erroneous.

Jones has now hit back, saying World Rugby are undermining referees by issuing clarifications, many of which have ‘confirmed’ that referees or TMOs have made mistakes; most pointedly Craig Joubert’s decision that saw Scotland dumped out of the World Cup in 2015.

“I just think once the game’s done and dusted that’s the game, you can’t have retrospective refereeing of decisions being done. We’ve got to trust the referees, respect their integrity. When I say respect the referee, that’s the TV process as well, and then you leave it at that.

“One side’s won, one side’s lost.

“In Japan they have a great saying: at full-time there’s no side. That’s one of the traditions of rugby, you get on with it, you respect that decision. If you haven’t got the rub of the green, then you know you probably get it in the next couple of games. I think I have made myself very clear. The TMO did an excellent job.”

Jones may be making a valid point, but valid or not his comments are in direct opposition to his behaviour in the wake of last year’s Six Nations game between England and Italy.

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The Italians came close to beating England by using a radical tactic that exploited a loophole – namely, refusing to contest rucks.

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“World Rugby are in charge of the shape of the game and I’m sure (chairman) Bill Beaumont will have watched this match and will take some action,” Jones said at the time.

Jones criticised the refereeing of the game and suggested World Rugby address the issue, which they ultimately did.

“Of course it can be solved. It can be easily solved. I could solve it like that. All you need is a tackle offside line. As soon as you make a tackle there’s an offside line.”

“I’ve never seen a referee lose his perspective of the game. That’s the reality of it,” Jones said. “The whole game became a joke. Our halfback goes to pass the ball and (Edoardo) Gori’s there. The whole time he was standing there.

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“Our players were definitely shocked. You go to pass the ball and all you see is a blue jumper. We teach the players to look to pass the ball and when you can’t pass the ball then it becomes a different game.

“It is a contest game. We have rucks to have a contest, we have scrums to have a contest.nWe have line-outs to have a contest game. When you take contests out of the game it ceases to be rugby.”

Jones both criticised the referee and the very the rules of rugby, after they were used against his team. Jones should be aware that his valid points could themselves be undermined by less than valid ones from his not so distant past.

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finn 6 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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