"Not what champions do" - Sir Clive Woodward takes aim at Ben Earl behaviour after Ireland win - Ruck

“Not what champions do” – Sir Clive Woodward takes aim at Ben Earl behaviour after Ireland win

In the aftermath of England’s exhilarating victory over Ireland, former England coach Sir Clive Woodward expressed his delight at the outcome but voiced dissatisfaction with several players’ post-match interviews.

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In a nail-biting Six Nations showdown at Twickenham, Marcus Smith’s clutch drop-goal secured a stunning win for England, dashing Ireland’s hopes of consecutive Grand Slam victories.

Despite trailing by two points following James Lowe’s late try, Smith’s precision kick sealed the triumph, igniting jubilation among the home crowd.

Woodward emphasised the importance for coach Steve Borthwick to ensure that England’s young talents capitalise on this momentum, unlike the aftermath of their historic victory over the All Blacks in 2019.

However, he raised objections to Earl’s comments in the aftermath of the match.

He wrote in his column for the Mail Online: England’s players did their talking on the pitch and well done to them. But I didn’t like seeing a number of them hit back at the media in post-match interviews.

“Ben Earl was one to criticise the coverage England received after their Scotland defeat. That’s not what champion teams or champion individuals do.

“They should ignore the media or just see criticism as positive feedback like I did! Earl’s comments that ‘apparently we are the worst England team ever’ and ‘we have done pretty well for that accolade’ were not needed and detracted from the team’s performance and his own, which was outstanding.

“I don’t think anyone in the press called England’s current crop the worst in the country’s history! England’s players have to accept that if they play poorly — as they did in Edinburgh — they will be criticised. It’s part of playing at the highest level.

“I also think England shouldn’t just take aim at the media as a collective. If a player or coach has a grievance with what a journalist has written, then name them directly! If that is me, then I’m absolutely fine with that!”

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“Bottled it” – 5 players who flopped in the fourth round of the 2024 Six Nations

We examine five players who struggled to deliver during the fourth round of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations, while England, Ireland, and France secured wins.

#1. Finn Russell (Scotland)

Scotland Rugby News: “The captain didn’t really get involved as much as he would have liked to during a second half when Scotland struggled. Had a part to play in the first half and did brilliantly before the third try but more needed from him as a leader.”

Rugby Pass 5.5/10: “One of those frustrating days for the fly-half maestro, with several passes and offloads going to ground. His superb 50:22 kick created the position for Scotland’s third try but missed his first place-kick of the Championship when he nudged his conversion of Schoeman’s try wide, after 18 out of 18 up to that point. Kept trying to conjur something, but couldn’t regain control once Italy got in front.”

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