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Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

of course EJ didn't actually say that - don't put it in quotation marks then!!

Agree wholeheartedly with everything else.

4 Weeks, 21 Hours ago

Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

Tim, as an England fan I completely agree with you - I love your middle paragraph - absolutely spot on.

I am deeply embarrassed by some of my compatriots' reactions. In most cases you can just shrug your shoulders and say "oh well, they're just mis-informed morons", but then you have people who should know better like Matt Dawson, going on and on about it and it's just embarrassing. Thankfully the hero that is Andy Goode was on hand to put him back in his box. Whatever happened to Dawson anyway? How does someone go from world cup hero to perennial bell-end...

4 Weeks, 21 Hours ago

Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

Well, I must say I'm delighted that Hartley did *not* say that, or anything along those lines.

4 Weeks, 21 Hours ago

Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnYGLoBOGnw&t=190s
Eddie Jones's press conference, for anyone who may be interested and hasn't seen it. Quite entertaining if you ask me. Love the way he banters with the journalists, always with that massive grin on his face. Great bit around 3:30:
- Do you think you could have prepared better?
- Prepared to not play rugby? Yeah, it's my fault mate, you're 100% right. Should've just taken them ten-pin bowling or something.

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4 Weeks, 22 Hours ago

Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

Quite right Jimmy. England are a much better side when they're cocky and arrogant. The great thing here is that Australians generally seem to be allowed to be cocky and arrogant, so Eddie can personify the cocky arrogance on behalf of the whole team.

He is also a master of misdirection and deflection. Case in point, his post-match press conference yesterday. I disagree with what he said about the Italian tactics; I thought the non-compete was a smart move, while it lasted. But, do you know what? I reckon Jones would actually agree with that. I think he’s just using the Trevor Chappell line to deflect attention from the fact his players were shit for a large part of the game. Classic misdirection and you have to say it's been pretty effective. Example:
Journo - Eddie, was some of the kicking disappointing?
EJ - Can't answer, because we didn't get to play any rugby. [Accompanied, by the way, by a very impressive #trollface]

Yes it's petty and silly, but it shut down any awkward discussion of the England performance, which - although it was vastly improved in the second half, I think could have been subject to a lot of criticism.

4 Weeks, 22 Hours ago

Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

Well yes, I thought about making that point in my comment but thought it would be a bit churlish...

I did think they played some nice rugby generally for the first half. Unfortunately, once Plan A regarding the rucks was found out, they didn't seem to have a Plan B, which was disappointing. So when England realised (and let's be honest, they bloody should have cottoned on a lot earlier) that they could simply execute 3-4 pick-n-drives to create space and generate quick ball, Italy then left themselves more exposed than ever to the power and speed of England's attack.

4 Weeks, 23 Hours ago

Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

Sorry to do this Mr 1, but I have to pick up a few things here.

"[Jones] placed no blame on Italy for doing it". He compared it, several times, to the Trevor Chappell underarm bowling incident, described at the time by Richie Benaud as "a disgraceful performance, [which] should never be permitted to happen again" and "one of the worst things I have ever seen on a cricket field - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2hiy-hDKnA. And let's not forget Benaud said this about his own team. To cast the Italian ruck tactic in the same mould as that is pretty damning criticism.

"Perhaps [Poite] could have said that he will be very definitive on calling tackle, then ruck if applicable." I thought he did exactly this. I believe he got 2 or 3 of them wrong, notably where Italy had initially committed to a ruck and then pulled out, but he announced his calls very clearly.

If you've played rugby for 20 years, you ought to know the laws well enough to not be caught out so spectacularly. And you ought to be able to adapt quickly, especially when the solution is as obvious as just smash it up the middle.

"that [clarification] is what Hartley should have asked for (nicely) - He did ask, very nicely, for clarification. Well, in fact, as captain, he accompanied Hask while he asked for clarification. It was pretty clear to me that Hartley did know the law perfectly well, in that the clarification he asked for was the distance from the tackle that is still considered "the tackle area". Here's why that is important: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYSXdoNc-Xs.

4 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Italy ruck tactics bemuse England and agitate coach Eddie Jones

Very impressed by O'Shea. OK Italy didn't really show up too well in their first two games, but they really delivered in this one. And I'm not just talking about the non-compete at the rucks, I thought they out-played in most areas during the first 20-30 minutes especially.

Judging from his post-match press conference, his Italian is coming along very nicely too - almost didn't need his translator there. In that press conference, he said the non-compete thing was Brendan Venter's idea.

4 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Scotland end 10 year drought with famous win over Wales

Brilliant DrG, I'd definitely support that scoring system - points deducted for acts of twattery, excellent idea. I particularly like the arbitrary way you've calculated the number of points to take off. Especially Biggar's additional two for prior offences...

4 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Rieko Ioane gets hat-trick in Blues Super Rugby opener win over Rebels

Yeah but Rene Ranger's piss-take the following week was even better!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtJJCvnI3N0

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1 Month, 20 Hours ago