Jones Engages in Scrum Debate

Posted: March 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Eddie Jones seemed pretty unhappy with questions raised about Joe Marler’s scrummaging in an interview with BBC. Here’s what he had to say on the matter:

Are Wales a one dimensional side?

What Wales do, they play the laws very well. I’m quite upset about the way they scrummage. They scrummage illegally. They pre-engage all the time which is against the laws of the game.

What happens in a game of rugby is that they pre-engage because they don’t want the contest at the start of the scrum.

They get penalised one or two times at the start of the scrum, but then they get sick of penalising them because if the referee keeps penalising them, then the referee gets criticised.

We really want to have a scrum contest on Saturday as that’s an important part of the game, so we’re really hopeful the referee enforces the law in that area.

So you think they’ve been scrummaging illegally all Six Nations?

Absolutely 100%. Terribly illegally. You’re not allowed to pre-engage, that’s part of the law. But they do it and they consistently do it, but they only get penalised at the start of the game because if you’re Wayne Barnes or Craig Joubert and you keep penalising Wales for pre-engaging, then what will all the smart guys in the commentators box say?

They’ll say the referee is ruining the game, but the referee isn’t ruining the game, it’s the team that is scrummaging illegally that’s ruining the game.

We want the referee to be really hard and if he wants to ruin the game, then he has to ruin the game.

Do they take out the contest of the scrum?

They try to take out part of the contest of the scrum, which is the very small engagement but is so important.

World Rugby has spoken about being ear to ear the whole time and that’s why we don’t want teams to pre-engage.

Wales don’t want that contest for the engagement.

What do you want Craig Joubert to do if Wales are up to their tricks?

Keep penalising them.

Could the scrum turn into a lottery at the weekend?

We’ve got the strongest scrum, so we want proper scrum laws. We want the laws enforced and if they are enforced we’ll get an advantage in that area.

Has Jones, a man who said he wouldn’t speak to the media before the Welsh game, planted some seeds in the referee’s mind already?

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