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'I fell to my arse... and I'm too ashamed to watch it back'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

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Luke Cowan-Dickie has spoken for the first time since his high profile Guinness Six Nations error versus Scotland resulted in his sin-binning and the penalty try which played a massive role in the 17-20 Murrayfield defeat suffered by England. Illegally flapping the ball into touch resulted in referee Ben O’Keeffe yellow-carding the hooker and awarding the Scots the score that pulled them level in the match at 17-all and they were then soon ahead by three points. 

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In the aftermath of the defeat, Cowan-Dickie took to social media to tweet an apology to England fans who were upset at losing the Calcutta Cup encounter in Edinburgh. Last week, his Exeter club coach suggested it might be useful to seek out his player’s perspective about what had actually happened when the ball dropped from the sky from a Finn Russell crosskick.

“I bet if you asked him, there is a couple of split seconds in his head there where he doesn’t probably quite know what he has done,” said Baxter last Wednesday. “He has probably just been a bit reactive in a difficult situation that obviously won’t be commonplace for him, competing for a high ball out wide and it has just been one of those things.”

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Luke Cowan-Dickie, Six Nations Review and Sinckler’s Sauna | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 21
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Luke Cowan-Dickie, Six Nations Review and Sinckler’s Sauna | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 21

Since tweeting the post-game apology, Cowan-Dickie has kept his thoughts private on the Murrayfield incident where the bruising fall he sustained left him short on training time last week and relinquishing his hold on the England No2 jersey to Jamie George, who started last Sunday’s match in Rome against Italy. 

Cowan-Dickie has since made an appearance on the latest RugbyPass Offload show in the company of Ryan Wilson and Max Lahiff and he reflected on the Murrayfield moment that left him in the firing line of fans with England losing that Six Nations opener.  

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“It was quite painful but I sort of knew it was coming,” said Cowan-Dickie about his awkward landing after he had climbed higher to get a touch on the ball ahead of Scotland’s Darcy Graham. “I don’t really know what happened. It was obviously the wrong decision at the time. I don’t understand and still thinking about it now, I can’t actually remember what went through my head at that moment and I fell to my arse and I actually struggled to sit down for a couple of days.

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“I haven’t watched it back. I’m too ashamed to watch it back… I managed to get up (in the air). I think it was because I didn’t think I would get up high enough to catch it, you know what I mean? And when I was there it was a shambles. 

“Obviously, I was pretty depressed at the time. I saw a lot of abuse on social media. He [England boss Eddie Jones] put an arm around me and said, ‘Look, mate, you did what you had to do at the time’.  He never had a go so he was pretty decent after the game. So were all the boys and the coaches to be fair. I’d probably have been pissed off if it was someone else.”

Reflecting on the round two England win over Italy, Cowan-Dickie added: “We won a Test match, that is the main thing. There was a lot of stuff on-field that went well and a lot of work ons which is perfect now this week when there is no game, we can have a look back at that sort of stuff. As you have seen there were a lot of good bits, a lot of bits we need to work on. We had a beer after and yeah, ready to get into it again this week.” 

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