O'Shea's gutsy Italy push title door ajar for Ireland

O'Shea's gutsy Italy push title door ajar for Ireland

O'Shea's gutsy Italy push title door ajar for Ireland

Eddie Jones, who insisted it was "not rugby" and said the crowd should get a refund, watched his side struggle to adapt to the Azzurri gameplan as they refused to commit men to the breakdown, meaning there was no offside and blue shirts were then free to step out of the line and cut down the space available to England.

But two tries from Jack Nowell and one from Ben Te'o ensured England maintained their unbeaten record under Eddie Jones and have three wins from three in the 2017 RBS 6 Nations.

Reporting on the match, New Zealand's Prime put together a hilarious compilation of Jones" grievances highlighting the fact that although Italy's tactics were entirely within the rules, England's head coach repeatedly stated that it "wasn't rugby'. England fly-half George Ford warned it would "kill the game quickly" if other sides followed Italy's example as "there's no rugby going to be played". "He answered the first time that he wasn't my coach and I said no that isn't what I am saying I want to know what you want to see and he shrugged his shoulders and carried on".

"It was one of those rare moments in test rugby that, as a former coach and player, make you sit bolt upright in your seat and think, "Wow, this is different, this is new".

England required a long time to get to grips with the situation, with French referee Romain Poite at one stage telling them: "I'm the referee, not the coach, you have to find a solution", after flanker James Haskell asked for clarification. "We'd have taken that at the start of the game".

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The source said: "We are constantly reviewing the laws of the game". Poite was naturally obliged to point out that he is a referee and not a coach.

"I'm not happy with what happened today". However, the play never reset and Italian defenders were able to camp out behind English lines.

It's another thing this (England) team has experienced.

England's eventual bonus-point win over the Azzurri edges them ever closer to a title-decider against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, March 18. If the (number) 10 can't see the ball, how do you play rugby? "But I'd be very surprised if players don't know this". "It's certainly something that we're going to have to learn from".

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

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Italy went on to lose the match 36-15 but, on the flip side, there was also admiration for their intent to try something different to combat Jones' England. "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". We have to be awful to play against.

Jones believes that by manipulating the laws in this way, it had "ceased to become rugby".

Red Rose players past and present all queued to congratulate Italy on their cunning plan - as did All Blacks World Cup-winning coach Wayne Smith, who used the ploy in Super Rugby.

"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.

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