LONDON – England co-captain Owen Farrell insists that he attempted to wrap the arms in his controversial tackle on Andre Esterhuizen late in the game against the Springboks on Saturday.
The Test at Twickenham was largely overshadowed by the decision from Aussie referee Angus Gardner to take no action against Farrell despite what clearly looked to be a dangerous shoulder charge on Esterhuizen.
Despite briefly reviewing the footage on the Twickenham big screens, Gardner ultimately ruled that there had been some attempt from Farrell to 'wrap' his arm around the Bok centre.
At the post-match press conference, Farrell sought to defend the tackle.
“He (Esterhuizen) was running pretty hard and I tried to wrap my arms around him. I did not know how the review was going to go – anything can happen. The important thing is the fight the boys showed after all they threw at us in the first half."
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus didn't want to be drawn into commenting on the controversial incident but hinted at some frustration over the decision.
"We will just have to learn to tackle like that,” he said. “We played really well for long periods of the game but when you lose by a point it usually comes down to discipline.”
Reflecting on England's win despite the fact that a host of players are unavailable due to injury, Jones commended the fortitude of his side.
“There was a lot of toughness from us. We stayed in the arm wrestle and turned the game around. We were not quite good enough to take advantage of a couple of opportunities we had but we scored the winning points.
“We played some of the big moments really well and I could not be prouder of the players."
"The young players did exceptionally well and we can look forward to playing New Zealand next. We are going to prepare well and I cannot wait to play them. New Zealand are different from South Africa, wanting an athletic contest.
“We will not be wearing singlets and running shorts. It will be a proper game of rugby. You want to face the best in the world and the Kiwis are that. Bring it on."
African News Agency (ANA)