Six Nations

Jones slams Wales' 'illegal' scrummage

2016-03-10 22:16
Eddie Jones (AP)

London - England coach Eddie Jones ended his "self-imposed media ban" in typical fashion on Thursday by saying Wales were guilty of scrummaging "illegally".

After England's 21-10 win over Ireland last time out, Jones said he would not talk to the media again until he announced his team for Saturday's potential Six Nations title showdown with Wales at Twickenham.

The Australian kept his word but, having complimented Wales, Jones -- renowned for pre-match mind games -- questioned the legality of Welsh play at the scrum.

Teams are not supposed to push until the ball has been fed in but Jones is convinced Wales shove early safe in the knowledge that referees will stop awarding penalties rather than face criticism for slowing down the game.

But England's scrum play was also called into question on Thursday, with Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde insisting England prop Joe Marler "definitely needs to scrummage legally, otherwise we will be pointing the finger".

Jones did not single out a particular player but instead told BBC Radio Five: "They (Wales) scrummage illegally. They pre-engage all the time, which is against the laws of the game."

The comments from both camps added to the pressure already on referee Craig Joubert.

Saturday's match will be the South African's first Test in charge since he sprinted from the field after awarding a late penalty that Australia kicked to snatch a dramatic World Cup quarter-final win over Scotland at Twickenham -- a decision World Rugby chiefs later said had been a mistake.

Referees have been criticised this Six Nations over the sheer length of time taken by scrums, which rarely get completed at the first attempt.

But Jones said Wales played on a referee's insecurities.

"You're not allowed to pre-engage, that's part of the law," he said. "But they (Wales) do it and they consistently do it.

"But they only get penalised at the start of the game because if you're (English referee) Wayne Barnes or Craig Joubert and you keep penalising Wales for pre-engaging, then what will all the smart guys in the commentators' box say?

"They'll say the referee is ruining the game, but the referee isn't ruining the game, it's the team that is scrummaging illegally that's ruining the game."

While Jones was speaking at England's Bagshot training base, McBryde revisited the issue of Marler's scrummaging at Wales's camp.

Prior to the 33-13 defeat by Australia that condemned hosts England to a group stage exit at the World Cup after they had lost to Wales the week before, former Wallaby coach Bob Dwyer singled out Marler for illegally scrummaging at an angle.

"Marler got found out against Australia," said McBryde. "There was a big focus on the loosehead's angle going into the World Cup."

For McBryde this was justice of a sort following Marler's display against Wales.

"It's very hard for me as a coach when the players are saying, 'Listen, they are doing it, they are getting away with it, why have we changed?' The tables did turn somewhat in the game against Australia."

Read more on:    england  |  wales  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will win the 2016 Six Nations title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 103rd Tour de France is all systems GO! Follow the pain, struggles and ultimate joy as the world's best riders put their talents to the test over 21 stages.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.