England management look totally bloody stupid over Steve Walsh IRB referral
Given how much the RFU spends on marketing and PR, you would hope they have a team of people who presumably have more than one brain cell to share between them. Obviously not, judging by the fact that England's referral of Steve Walsh's performance in Cardiff at the weekend to the IRB is all over the media this morning. This news getting out in the first place is bad enough, but when you consider the comments made about Walsh by Rowntree and Lancaster it sounds like the largest case ever made filled with grapes so sour it's like they've been mixed with the stuff that they put on the top of Wham bars.
There were some issues with the reffing on Saturday, particularly at scrum time. There were a number of occasions when Adam Jones bound early and on the arm only for England to be penalised, for example, and Walsh telling England to not sit quite as low in the crouch seemed to undermine their tactic of hitting low and straight, which is surely not for the ref to meddle with. Also, some breakdown decisions did raise the eyebrows. So the England management team are entitled to seek clarification or ask questions, as anyone would with genuine concerns.
But the idea that "A lot of those decisions were big, game momentum-changing decisions." as Rowntree has said is complete nonsense. England had no momentum, they were too busy getting mullered.
Lancaster is no better “Their first try comes from a turnover,” he said. “We’ve got the ball and it’s ‘released’ from a ruck. Mike Brown is [then] defending a three-on-one. There was a turnover at that breakdown which we still need clarification on. That was the tipping point in the game.” No, Stu, the tipping point of the game was when the kick-off whistle went and England started losing battles all over the park.
Why anyone at the RFU thought that releasing these quotes to the press was going to be of any value to England rugby at this time is a complete bloody mystery. Nearly as much of a mystery as to why the England coaches believe the entire game turned on a turnover or scrum decision.Tweet
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