Six Nations

Venter hits back after Eddie moans

2017-02-27 14:32
Brendan Venter (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Italy defence coach Brendan Venter has defended his team’s tactics in their Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham on Sunday.

The Italians threatened an upset after leading 10-5 at half-time, before England rebounded to win 36-15.

But England coach Eddie Jones was furious with Italy’s tactics, calling it "Trevor Chappell" rugby.

Italy frustrated England by standing off the ruck and defending in numbers.

England were convinced that the delivery of scrumhalf Danny Care's pass was being repeatedly interfered with by Italy players who were in an offside position, but French referee Romain Poite allowed the tactic.

Jones compared Italy's approach to the infamous 'underarm' climax of an Australia-New Zealand cricket ODI in 1981.

"Remember Trevor Chappell?," Jones told AFP.

"Bowled underarm along the ground. Couldn't hit the ball for six. We saw a Trevor Chappell game of rugby today."

The Australian added: "Congratulations to Italy. I thought they were brilliant in the execution, but if that's rugby, I'm going to retire. That's not rugby.

"If your halfback (scrumhalf) can't pass the ball, then there's something wrong with the game.

"If you paid for your ticket, ask for your money back. I'll have to give my money back to Ian Ritchie (the chief executive of England's Rugby Football Union), because no-one's had rugby yet."

Venter reacted to Jones’ comments via his official Twitter page:

Meanwhile, Italy coach Conor O'Shea said he was "very proud" of the way his side bounced back from a 63-10 thrashing by Ireland last time out that led many to question their place in the Six Nations.

The former Ireland fullback, who guided the Azzurri to their first-ever win over South Africa in November, added he was fed up with different standards being applied to Italy.

"We beat South Africa and it is a terrible South Africa side; we do something different, you can't do that," he said.

"We have to change in Italy and I am sick and tired of people having a pop and having a go," said O'Shea, previously in charge of Twickenham-based Harlequins.

"We came here to win," insisted O'Shea after a defeat that meant Italy have lost all 23 of their Tests against England.

"Today we were legal and we played to the law. We are not going to roll over and we are going to fight.

"Just because we took people by surprise, what do they want us to do? Be normal? We can't be normal. We have to be Italy."

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