Eddie Jones let rip after England had Manu Tuilagi sent off and gave up the chance to go top of the Six Nations.
Tuilagi saw red for a no-arms head hit on George North as England edged a Twickenham thriller but for the second straight game failed to convert first half dominance into maximum points.
Jones’ team ended the game with 13 men and the Aussie boss raged: “We were expecting a tough Test right to the end and we got it – but when you get 13 against 16, it's pretty hard.”
His inference that Kiwi ref Ben O’Keefe was favouring Wales could well land him in hot water – and leaves England sweating on THREE potential disciplinary issues.
It was a tale of two tackles, with Tuilagi’s hit following an incident, caught on television, which appeared to show prop Joe Marler ‘bag snatching’ Alun Wyn Jones.
Testicle grabbing, twisting or squeezing carries a lower end bag of 12 weeks and the unimpressed Wales captain said: “Hopefully World Rugby have a look at it.”
England had promised to raise the spirits of a nation bogged down by the twin-pronged misery of flooding and coronavirus.
They provided the thrills alright for a sell-out crowd as they powered to a 33-16 lead an hour into a brutally physical contest en route to only their third Triple Crown since winning the World Cup 17 years ago.
But they then got carried away with themselves and after Ellis Genge was sent to the sin bin Tuilagi ploughed into North and was given his marching orders.
Wales boss Wayne Pivac said: "I thought it was the correct decision."
But England counterpart Jones fumed: “Manu was trying to kill the tackle. That’s the only thing he was trying to do.
“It just seems there’s no common sense applied in that situation. This bit about where your arms are, what a load of rubbish.
“I usually don’t comment, but I don’t see how you can tackle a guy. Clearly the guy is falling, there’s a good chop tackle and Manu is coming over the top to kill the tackle.
“He’s doing everything that he’s supposed to be doing and he gets red carded.”
Wales could not believe their good fortune and Dan Biggar and Justin Tipuric snatched late tries to rescue a losing point and leave England short of the four-try bonus they needed to leapfrog France.
Tuilagi is the sixth England player to be sent off, the first since Elliot Daly against Argentina in 2016 – and the first EVER in a Five/Six Nations match.
How it changed the mood of a stadium which had revelled in England’s customary barnstorming start, with Anthony Watson crossing after just four minutes following a beautifully worked move.
Maro Itoje won a line-out in the Welsh 22, Tom Curry fed the ball out to Ben Youngs who flicked it straight back inside for Watson to power through two tackles to the line.
Soon after Marler squeezed Jones’ lunchbox but escaped on-field punishment as the officials missed it. When Youngs, Owen Farrell and George Ford then put Elliot Daly over in the corner it seemed England could do no wrong.
Wales – wearing black armbands in memory of former team mate Matthew J Watkins – hit back with the try of the game, a length-of-the-field effort finished by Tipuric on the first play of the second half.
However, Tuilagi responded with England’s third try – before forfeiting hero status and leaving his team hanging on at the death.
ENGLAND – Tries: Watson, Daly, Tuilagi. Cons: Farrell 3. Pens: Farrell 3, Ford.
WALES – Tries: Tipuric 2, Biggar. Cons: Biggar 3. Pen: Halfpenny 2, Biggar.
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