Eddie Jones suggests that Maro Itoje was harshly penalised during loss to Wales

Itoje

Eddie Jones has suggested that referee Pascal Gauzere was overly harsh on England’s Maro Itoje during their loss to Wales at the Principality Stadium.

Itoje conceded five penalties in total in another underwhelming display from England which all but ended their hopes of retaining the Six Nations title in 2021.

Jones was speaking to The Guardian after the game and defended the England lock for his ill-disciplined performance.

“He is one of the best players in the world and he plays the game on the edge. Sometimes the referees tend to over-referee a player like him,” Jones said.

“At the same time, there are areas of the game he needs to tidy up and he knows that. He’s a good boy. A good player. There are just a few things in his game he needs to tidy up.

“There are some individual issues [with discipline], which will be dealt with on an individual basis. On a team basis, the biggest thing was the roll away in the tackle. We will just have to do more additional work in that area.”

‘We’ve been through these periods before’

The England head coach refused to comment on other aspects of the referee’s performance, namely Wales’ first two tries which have been the subject of much debate over the last couple of days.

Despite the contentious officiating decisions, England again failed to impress but Jones insisted that the side were heading in the right direction.

“We have been through these periods before, every team goes through these and I don’t know of a team that doesn’t,” Jones commented.

“Everyone is going to have an opinion. Some might be right, but we just have to make sure we listen to what is important and the important thing is what goes on in the team.

“We know how hard we are working and we know what direction we are going in and we will get out of this.”

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