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Goode: Criticism of referee by Eddie Jones went too far

Andy Goode

Former England fly-half Andy Goode says Eddie Jones should be punished for his criticism of referee Ben O’Keeffe.

The England head coach accused the referee of showing “no common sense” and making a “bizarre and ridiculous” decision in dismissing Manu Tuilagi for a no-arm tackle on Wales’ George North during last Saturday’s 33-30 win at Twickenham.

With Tuilagi sent off and Ellis Genge already in the sin-bin, Wales ran in two late tries, and Jones also felt his side were playing against an extra man due to O’Keeffe’s performance.

The comments have received a backlash, with the consensus in the game that Tuilagi deserved his red card due to his poor technique and the fact he made contact with North’s head.

Goode, who won 17 caps for the Red Rose, believes the 60-year-old crossed a line with his outburst.

“Coaches shouldn’t be able to get away with casting aspersions on referees and Eddie Jones should face sanctions for his comments about Ben O’Keeffe,” Goode wrote in his blog for RugbyPass.

“Criticising a decision is one thing, but suggesting it was “16 against 13″, as he did in the aftermath of England’s 33-30 victory over Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, is stepping over the line and it shouldn’t be tolerated.”

He added: “To be fair to Jones, he doesn’t normally comment on individual refereeing decisions, but he’s gone from one extreme to the other with this comment and I think it sets a bad precedent if the powers-that-be just turn a blind eye.”

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