After England struggled to cope with Italy’s inventive tactics during their Six Nations clash on Sunday, Eddie Jones stated on several occasions that what had just taken place ‘wasn’t a game of rugby’.
According to the rules of the game, a ruck is formed when “at least one player makes physical contact with an opponent” on the ground. Once the ruck is formed, an offside line is created which restricts the defending side from pressing the opposition’s scrum half. However, if the defending side elects not to contest after the tackle, they can freely press at the back of the breakdown and challenge for the ball.
It was a tactic that Italy repeatedly deployed causing great confusion for England and, rather than accept the fact that the Italians had approached the contest with a somewhat ingenious game-plan, Eddie Jones dismissed the entire clash after the game, stating on multiple occasions that it ‘wasn’t rugby’.
Jones’ rather sour post-match response received huge criticism online with countless fans tweeting that the England coach simply should have had his players prepared for such an approach.
Piss poor press conference by Eddie Jones. Should be ashamed of that. Italy perfectly entitled to play as they did. IT WAS RUGBY EDDIE
— Wrighty (@neilwrightlegal) February 26, 2017
Well, I thought Conor O'Shea's 'anti-ruck' tactics were awesome
Part of the laws. Part of the game
For once, Eddie Jones was out thought
— Paul Williams (@thepaulwilliams) February 26, 2017
Reporting on the match, New Zealand’s Prime put together a hilarious compilation of Jones’ grievances highlighting the fact that although Italy’s tactics were entirely within the rules, England’s head coach repeatedly stated that it ‘wasn’t rugby’.