The ink had hardly dried on recent media reports of Saracens boss Eddie Jones launching a withering attack on the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) and now the Australian has declared himself a ‘fan’ of these laws.
Rugby 365 reports that the World Cup-winning Springbok assistant coach, Jones, recently said saying he fears the ELVs are leading rugby down the path of Twenty20 cricket.
However, on Sunday Jones was delighted with the way his English side, Saracens, adapted to the new ELVs as they crushed Newcastle Falcons 44-14 to collect their first Guinness Premiership victory of the season.
Flyhalf Glen Jackson kicked 17 points with left wing Kameli Ratuvou, Kevin Sorrell, Hugh Vyvyan, Rod Penney and Gordon Ross, who also converted the last one, running in second-half tries.
Saracens had lost both their opening matches, against Harlequins and Sale, by three points and their Australian Director of Rugby was pleased with the manner of the performance which enabled them to collect a bonus point.
Jones said: “It’s a very tight competition but we took our opportunities and got a few points.
“We had some control today [Sunday] and, with the way the game’s being played at the moment and the interpretation of the laws, you need that control. You’ve then got to be good enough to take advantage of your opportunities and we did that.
“We want to be a side that can play at the highest level and to do that you have to be robust in a certain number of areas.
“One’s the set piece and the other is defence and in both of those areas for 70 minutes we can give ourselves a pass mark.”
Jones continued playing All Blacks lock Chris Jack in his new role as a flank but said: “To me he is just playing his natural game and that’s how he played as a lock. He’s a good skilful player, he’s not a grinding lock so playing number six, in these conditions I think he’ll do it pretty well. He’s a nice thoughtful player.”
Jones was though slightly disappointed his side let Newcastle come back with two tries long after the outcome was beyond doubt.
He added: “There’s a lot of timidness at the moment so the good thing about us today was that we played with a lot of conviction, knew what we wanted to do and went and did it.
“There is a great deal of worry about is it the wrong way to play the game but I think after five or six or seven weeks we’ll see a sorting out and then everyone will understand the laws we are going to play under and how they are going to interpret it.”
Newcastle certainly fell foul of referee Dean Richards as they struggled to come to terms with the experimental rules introduced this season.
Falcons head coach Steve Bates, who saw skipper Phil Dowson and flank Ed Williamson receive yellow cards within a minute of each other, said: “I was disappointed with the set piece in the first half and the second half was a mess.
“We had two men sin-binned and that meant we were always going to be under pressure.”Tweet