Eddie Jones is seeing red. And yellow. They’re referee’s penalty cards, and the outspoken England coach says he’s seeing far too many of them in rugby.
Jones took time after England’s series-equaling 25-17 win over the Wallabies to criticise the game’s laws, stating it’s « out of control ».
Australia winger Izaia Perese and England five-eighth Marcus Smith were yellow carded for what were deemed deliberate knockdowns.
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But Jones said neither player deserved to be sinbinned because they were attempting to make a clean catch and the law to determine a deliberate knockdown « doesn’t make any sense. »
Jones also mentioned the New Zealand-Ireland Test on Saturday in Dunedin, where the All Blacks received two yellow cards and a contentious red in their 23-12 loss which also evened that series.
« At one stage, commentators couldn’t count how many players were on the field, you had three backs packing a scrum, » Jones said of the match in Dunedin.
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« We’ve gone the full hog where everything’s a red card, yellow card, and there needs to be some common sense. »
And then Jones being Jones, he added: « I picked the referee’s pocket (before the game), he had plenty of cards in it. »
« The game’s gone out of control, » Jones said.
« The All Blacks prop (Angus Ta’avao), he got more injured than the ball carrier (Garry Ringrose), there was nothing intentional about him, it was a complete accident.
« He’s 135kg and he got beaten by a change of direction and his head hit their head.
« To lose a player for that sort of incident I don’t think is in the spirit of the game. »
All Blacks coach Ian Foster was singing from the same song sheet as Jones on Sunday.
« I think it’s too far, » Foster said.
« I think we’re in danger of turning the game into a card festival. There were clearly strong messages sent out last week (by World Rugby).
« There was a feeling that we should have had four yellow cards last week, so that seemed to be the mindset that that went into this game. I think if you look at our cards, you’ve just got to look at them singularly.
« We get the Leicester (Fainga’anuku) one. I think that’s incredibly unfortunate, but they are the rules, so I don’t think there’s anything in that one. Ofa (Tuungafasi) we accept, and Angus we kind of accept.
« I think most people could see a change in the direction and a big prop reacting and a collision. That’s pretty unfortunate, but it is what it is. »
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