Nigel Owens Expresses Surprise That England Players Don't Know The Laws

England won the game 36-15 but the issue that dominated the match and its aftermath was Italy's innovative tactic of not forming a ruck at the tackle, allowing their players to obstruct the hosts' attempts to move the ball without being offside.

England lock Joe Launchbury was named man of the match but Jones said Italy scrum half Edoardo Govi should have got the honours for his role in Italy's obstructing tactics.

Despite being troubled by Italy, England were still able to run in six tries and claim their first winning bonus point of their campaign as they returned to the top of the Six Nations table with their 17th straight win.

"Italy came with a tactic of doing what they did around the breakdown which basically meant there was no rugby being played", he said.

"We lost the ruck from the game and when you lose a
primary contest from the game it changes the game considerably and it ceases to become rugby". I don't know what they had, but it was bigger than a bus.If that's rugby, I'm going to retire.

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"I think Eddie has said everything that needs to be said about it".

"They created opportunities, so I think Eddie was frustrated because he gets to coach the team for 10 games a year as an global coach, and one of those games he hasn't really seen his team play because he came across something that stopped them playing". Yet it doesn't take a great deal of reading between the lines to take the opposite from some of O'Shea's other post-game remarks.

"Scotland were comfortable winners of that second half against Wales and blew them away when they got opportunities", said Care.

Trailing 5-0, Italy twice chose to kick to the corner when awarded penalties by referee Romain Poite and the second time they were inches from the line with a driving maul only to fumble the ball. "I'm not happy what happened today, I don't think that's rugby". We never tried to do that.

All Black assistant coach Wayne Smith felt that England could have exploited Italy's tactic, turning it back on them, and does not believe there is any need to alter the laws.

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"What do people want us to do?"

"We want to try to instil in our players a mind-set that's not fixed, and that is a mind-set of growth because we have a hard, hard, hard job ahead to change perception and also to change Italian rugby. They're confident of coming here and beating us but they've got to carry the burden of that expectation around Scotland for the next two weeks". That's not rugby. You're looking to pass and all you can see is one of their players. "You saw it today - we've had enough, we are going to fight".

It is understood World Rugby are now considering whether to review the laws governing the breakdown to ensure similar scenes do not occur again.

"We don't have any injuries, we don't have any bumps or bruises because we didn't make any tackles".

"We're in a flawless position to go on and win the Six Nations".

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"We probably got flustered a bit by their tactics, which is normal", added Jones, who got very agitated when it was suggested his team should have been quicker in reacting to the tactic.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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