RBS Six Nations

It's not rugby - England coach Jones unamused by Italy tactics

Eddie Jones was left distinctly unimpressed by Italy's tactical approach to Sunday's Six Nations clash at Twickenham, which saw England run out 36-15 winners.

Conor O'Shea's visitors were 50-1 underdogs to end England's 16-match winning run, but an unusual ploy had their hosts baffled during the first half.

Italy opted not to commit men to the ruck, meaning there was no offside line and the Azzurri forwards were free to step across and cut down the space available to England.

It worked almost to perfection in the opening period as Jones' side were left confused and trailed 10-5 at the break, before an assured second-half display saw them run in five more tries to move three points clear of Ireland and make it three wins from three in their quest for a second consecutive Grand Slam.

Jones compared Italy's ploy to an incident in a 1981 one-day international between Australia and New Zealand, when Aussie captain Greg Chappell instructed bowler Trevor Chappell to underarm the final delivery along the ground with the Kiwis requiring six to tie.

"Congratulations to Italy, but it's not rugby today [Sunday]," Jones told ITV Sport.

"I'm not happy with what happened. I've played the game, I'm not angry with what Italy did, but I'm not happy. Strategically they were smart but it's not rugby so let's be serious about it.

"We're exactly where we want to be in the competition and of course we're going to get better. 

"Scotland have got belief. They're confident of coming here and beating us but they've got to carry the burden of that expectation around Scotland for the next two weeks."

Italy coach O'Shea, meanwhile, defended his side's gameplan after hammerings in their opening two fixtures against Wales and Ireland had led some to question the Azzurri's place in the competition.

"We are playing absolutely legally. We played to the laws and I thought we were fantastic. I'm very proud of the players," he said.

"We have to think differently as a country and play our own game. We have to be horrible to play against. We're here to win and not make up the numbers.

"We have a massive job to do but we will do it. We have to think differently like we did today. Hopefully we've earned a bit of respect here."