Jones slams referee over Tuilagi red as England clinch Triple Crown - GulfToday

Jones slams referee over Tuilagi red as England clinch Triple Crown


England players celebrate with the Triple Crown trophy after beating Wales on Saturday. Reuters

England coach Eddie Jones slammed referee Ben O’Keeffe for the “bizarre” sending off Manu Tuilagi late in a 33-30 win over Wales in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday that clinched the Triple Crown.

The outspoken Australian boss, risking disciplinary action, even suggested the match had ended as a contest of “13 against 16”, implying New Zealand official O’Keeffe was biased in Wales’ favour, with England two men down after replacement Ellis Genge was sin-binned and Tuilagi shown a red card.

World Cup finalists England were 33-16 ahead on the hour mark when Tuilagi scored their third try, but he saw red with five minutes remaining when he was deemed to have committed an illegal “no arms” tackle that stopped Wales wing George North scoring a try in the corner.

“I find it bizarre, I usually don’t comment but I don’t see how you can tackle a guy, how else are you supposed to tackle him?,” Jones told reporters when asked about the powerhouse centre’s challenge on North.

“It’s absolute rubbish. I’m sorry, I’ve broken my rule. This bit about where your arms are -- what a load of rubbish. I think there’s no common sense applied in that situation.”

“When you have a three-man advantage, it’s going to do some damage so I thought we were exceptional,” said Jones.

Returning wing Anthony Watson scored England’s opening try as early as the fourth minute and full-back Elliot Daly crossed before half-time, with captain Owen Farrell landing all six of his goal-kicks in a match haul of 15 points.

Grand Slam-chasing France are in pole position to be crowned Six Nations champions but this win kept England in title contention. However, England’s scheduled tournament finale against Italy in Rome on March 14 has been postponed due to the deadly coronavirus and no new date has been set for the Stadio Olimpico fixture.

Meanwhile, Sean Maitland scored twice as Scotland ended France’s Six Nations Grand Slam hopes with a shock 28-17 victory on Sunday after French prop Mohamed Haouas was sent off for punching.

Adam Hastings scored either side of Haouas’ 37th minute moment of madness when he hit the hosts’ Nick Haining.

The defeat leaves France alongside England on 13 points at the top of the table but they will not be able to clinch the title next Saturday against Ireland in Paris.

Ireland’s match against Italy, scheduled for Saturday, and England’s trip to Rome next weekend have been postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Sunday’s game at Murrayfield went ahead despite the women’s Six Nations match between the two countries on Saturday in Glasgow being called off after a member of Scotland’s squad tested positive for the virus.


Related articles