"Steve is the coach" - Maro Itoje calls out teammates, slams their behaviour against Scotland - Ruck

“Steve is the coach” – Maro Itoje calls out teammates, slams their behaviour against Scotland

Maro Itoje criticised England teammate’s adoption of a “hot potato” style of play at Murrayfield, while coach Steve Borthwick pledged to conduct a thorough and candid review of the error-laden loss to Scotland.

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Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe made history by becoming the first Scottish player to score a hat-trick in a Calcutta Cup match, contributing to their impressive 30-21 victory over England at Murrayfield, marking their fourth consecutive Six Nations win against their rivals.

“I guess, from our point of view, we probably didn’t stick to the game plan,” Itoje said.

“We started playing tip-tap rugby. We want to be a team that plays direct and is confrontational. Particularly the second half of the first half, we didn’t do that. We started playing hot potato and that is not what we want to do.

“I don’t necessarily have the answers right now. That is the next stage of our growth. We need to stay disciplined to what we want to do, stay disciplined to the plan we want to impose. In every game you have a plan and then the game throws challenges at you.

“The challenge is to impose your will even when those challenges are thrown at you. When the challenges were thrown at us, we deviated from the plan.

“Steve is a stern coach. He demands high standards and he is a stern coach. He is hot on detail. He is hot to correct when we deviate from the plan, especially when we deviate from the plan like we did today. We will have an honest and thorough review and take a step forward next week.”

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Five players Steve Borthwick should drop – and who should start against Ireland

#1. Ollie Lawrence

Telegraph 4/10: “Perhaps unsurprisingly was not on the same page as Ford and Slade in both attack and defence in their first game together. Badly fell off a tackle on Redpath that led to Scotland’s third try.”

Planet Rugby 4/10: “Barely saw him in an attacking sense. A few carries, one bad pass, one dropped ball – although that was George Ford’s fault – but not the form we’ve seen in the Premiership.”

RUCK 5/10: “Not what the Bath centre would have wanted upon his return from injury. The powerhouse came alive with some clattering hits, yet threw a wayward pass into touch at 76 minutes that summed up his afternoon. So much more was wanted from England fans, who were excited to see him comeback.”

Replacement: Manu Tuilagi