Dylan Hartley Reveals Who Was Responsible For England’s Slow Reaction To Italy Tactics

England captain Dylan Hartley has accepted responsibility for England’s slow reaction to Italy’s breakdown tactics at Twickenham on Sunday.

Eddie Jones has called for World Rugby to change the breakdown laws, saying “If that’s rugby, I’m going to retire”, but the Australian’s fury has masked his side’s inability to react to the situation.

Hartley however as accepted full responsibility and When asked if he would study the law book in the wake of Sunday’s events at Twickenham, said:

“Of course I will. I have. I think we all know that law now. We’re all pretty clear on that.
“I looked in my room [at the squad’s Surrey training base] and there’s a Bible next to the bed. I should probably replace that. For me it’s a good lesson to brush up on the laws and know my stuff.
“I’ll brush up by reading the book and talking to coaches. I don’t actually possess a book — maybe I should get one? I’m brushed up.”

Hartley admits he was to blame for the time it took England to adjust to tactics that have been used before at club and international level, but never in such wholesale fashion.

“That was a Test match and it was a test that we passed. But we have looked at scenarios where if it happens again we can react more quickly. That is my biggest learning,” he said.
“Hindsight is wonderful and if I could go back I would have seen what was happening earlier and dealt with it earlier. But it’s a learning, it won’t happen again.
“It took too long in the first half and that’s my fault. I was trying to figure out what was happening. I was confused.
“Sometimes I saw one or two blue shirts in a ruck, thought it was a ruck but it wasn’t until I saw [scrum-half] Edoardo Gori standing in our passing channel [that I realised what was happening].”

The Northampton hooker continued:

“I was in just about every breakdown. I was in the thick of it, basically. I could see… It was a surprise tactic and it had full effect.
“I was confused as to what was going on, so I questioned the ref. The ref wasn’t going to change his mind.
“I couldn’t change his mind. So I just rolled with it and we found way to play around it.
“It’s been addressed. The scenario is covered. We have learned from it. And if it happens again we will be well tooled-up to deal with it.

Fair play.

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Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]

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