It is absolute rubbish – Eddie Jones furious with referee over Manu Tuilagi red
Eddie Jones raged against referee Ben O’Keeffe after Manu Tuilagi was sent off for a dangerous tackle in England’s 33-30 Guinness Six Nations victory over Wales.
Tuilagi was dismissed with six minutes left of a logic-defying Twickenham showdown when it was decided his flying shoulder-led challenge to the head of George North warranted a red card.
In recent times, Jones has made a virtue of not criticising refereeing decisions but he was compelled to voice his anger after seeing Tuilagi fall foul of World Rugby’s crackdown on dangerous play.
“I just find it bizarre. I usually don’t comment, but I don’t see how you can tackle a guy,” Jones said.
“You might as well just say you let him go, because how else are you supposed to tackle him? This bit about where your arms are – what a load of rubbish.
“Manu was trying to kill the tackle. That’s the only thing he was trying to do. It’s absolute rubbish. I’m sorry, I’ve broken my rule.
“It just seems there’s no common sense applied in that situation. Clearly the guy is falling, there’s a good chop tackle and Manu is coming over the top to kill the tackle.
“He’s doing everything that he’s supposed to be doing and he gets red carded. Like, come on.”
England were reduced to 13 players once Tuilagi had departed because shortly before Ellis Genge had been sent to the sin-bin for straying offside.
A fraught final few minutes saw Wales run in tries through Dan Biggar and Justin Tipuric as their opponents reeled from the late thinning of their ranks having already seen off one fightback.
“At the end we were 13 against 16 and that’s hard,” said Jones in a reference to O’Keeffe’s decision making.
“When you have got a three-man advantage, you are going to do some damage. That’s what happened. We had a numerical disadvantage, so it was tough.”
When asked who Wales’ 16th man was, Jones replied: “You work that out.”
The win keeps England in title contention but their final match against Italy in Rome on Saturday has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We can want for what we want. We don’t control it so I’m not going to waste any energy on it,” Jones said.