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Jones unhappy at World Rugby admitting TMO ‘mistake’

Wales's Gareth Anscombe (right) raises his arm to claim a try that the TMO eventually ruled out during their Six Nations match with England Twickenham on February 10. AFP
Wales's Gareth Anscombe (right) raises his arm to claim a try that the TMO eventually ruled out during their Six Nations match with England Twickenham on February 10. AFP

Jones unhappy at World Rugby admitting TMO ‘mistake’

Eddie Jones accused World Rugby of indulging in “retrospective refereeing” after the governing body said a mistake had been made in failing to award Wales a try during England’s 12-6 Six Nations win at Twickenham.

World Rugby announced on Tuesday that television match official Glenn Newman had erred in denying Wales’s Gareth Anscombe a try with England 12-0 up in the second quarter on Saturday.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said Newman, a fellow New Zealander, had made a “terrible mistake” and that view was backed by World Rugby who said the visitors should have had a try on “as the Wales player grounded the ball”.

However, one of rugby’s oldest traditions is that the referee’s decision should be upheld at all costs.

Governing bodies used to go out of their way to avoid direct public criticism of match officials.

But many felt a line was crossed when World Rugby upbraided South African referee Craig Joubert for incorrectly awarding Australia a late penalty that went on to cost Scotland a place in the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup.

“[World Rugby] have a record of doing it. They’ve done it before,” England coach Jones said Tuesday.

“I’m on a good behaviour bond so I’ve got to be careful what I say, but I just think that once the game’s done and dusted that’s the game,” the Australian added.

“You can’t have retrospective refereeing of decisions being done. The game’s done and dusted, so we’ve got to trust the referees and respect their integrity.”

Former Australia coach Jones, recalling his time in charge of Japan, said: “In Japan they have a great saying: ‘At full-time there’s no side’. That’s one of the traditions of rugby, you get on with it, you respect the decision.

“If you haven’t got the rub of the green then you know you probably get it in the next couple of games. The TMOs do an excellent job. They make a decision.”

Victory against Wales made it two wins out of two this Six Nations for England and left the champions on course in their bid to become the first team to win three successive outright Championships in the tournament’s long history.

That quest continues away to Scotland at Murrayfield on February 24. Although Sam Simmonds is set to miss the next two matches after going off with a shoulder injury against Wales, his loss is set to be offset by the return of fellow No8 Nathan Hughes from a knee problem.

England’s pack were put through their pack against Georgia in London on Tuesday, part of a two-day training session against some of the most formidable scrummagers in world rugby.

“Georgia were just the sort of scrum we needed to scrum against – strong, scrummaged in a different way,” Jones said. “The boys learnt a number of different things. They had the superiority early on and we came back well. It was an excellent session for us.

“Georgia use their head and shoulders in different ways. There are different ways of exerting pressure in scrums – some of it’s old-fashioned, some of it’s new.”

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