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Jones Says Murrayfield Crowd ‘Without Manners’

  • 3 min read

Eddie Jones accused spectators at Murrayfield of lacking “manners” after England captain Owen Farrell was booed during a hard-fought 13-6 win over Scotland on Saturday and a member of his coaching staff was hit by a bottle before kick-off.

Farrell was repeatedly jeered by home supporters when taking his time over goal-kicks at the rainswept Edinburgh ground.

Rugby crowds traditionally remain silent during goal-kicks and an announcement over the Murrayfield public address system urged spectators to respect the goal-kicker.

“It was an old-fashioned Calcutta Cup game, swirling wind and an aggressive crowd without manners,” England coach Jones told the BBC.

Before the match, England’s high-performance manager Neil Craig was hit on the head by a plastic beer bottle thrown from a gantry shortly after the team arrived at Murrayfield.

– ‘Not good behavior’ –

“We weren’t expecting bottles to be thrown at us — that’s a new trick,” Jones told reporters. “You’ve got to be pretty brave to throw a beer bottle,” the Australian added sarcastically. “It’s not good behavior, is it?”

As for the boos directed towards Farrell, Jones said: “Rugby has had or did have a culture of being respectful and respect counted to the kicker, having silence when the kicker kicks.

“So if we don’t want to have that, if there’s a new level of respect in Scotland, we’ve got to put up with it, which obviously they think there is.

“If that’s how the Scottish fans are going to be respectful, we have to acknowledge it and just get on with it.”

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend, asked about Farrell’s treatment by the crowd, said: “A lot of venues around the world, the crowd will make noise.

“We certainly stress that respecting the kicker is something we believe in but it’s no different I imagine then what happened at the Stade de France last week (when England lost to France).”

Two years ago, Jones found himself on the receiving end of verbal and physical abuse from a handful of Scotland supporters the day after England’s stunning 25-13 loss at Murrayfield.

He encountered trouble at a Manchester railway station and then on the train to London, having broken his journey to watch Manchester United beat Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Saturday’s victory saw World Cup finalists England return to winning ways after a 24-17 defeat by France in Paris in their Six Nations opener.

AFP / Paul ELLIS Ellis Genge’s late try helped England return to winning ways as they regained the Calcutta Cup with a hard-fought 13-6 win over Scotland at a rainswept Murrayfield

The match was all square at 3-3 until England replacement prop Ellis Genge was driven over off for a the only try of the game 10 minutes from time.

“We played well and luckily I was the one that picked it up,” said Genge following England’s first win over Scotland in three years.

“We had a bump in the road last week and people were saying we were not good enough,” he added.

“What are they on about? We go away and win in Scotland in the rain and they are full of praise again. I hope we have shut them up.”