Dwyer accuses Lions of cheating
June 15, 2013
Bob Dwyer has lashed out at the Lions © PA Photos
Ex-Australia coach Bob Dwyer has lit the fuse on the British & Irish Lions' first Test clash with the Wallabies next weekend by accusing the tourists of cheating.
Dwyer, who steered Australia to the 1991 Rugby World Cup crown, has slammed the Lions' approach to scrums and rucks and questioned their use of decoy runners while also pointing the finger at Kiwi coach Warren Gatland.
"One comment I'd like to make after having seen the Lions in action on tour is that it doesn't come as any surprise they're coached by a New Zealander because they play outside the laws of the game as every New Zealand side does," Dwyer told The Australian.
"We have a great game and there is massive scope for playing attractive rugby. It's not supposed to be a contest to see who can cheat the best. It's who can play the best. You don't have to be smart to cheat. You just have to be a cheat."
Dwyer specifically targeted what he saw as props binding illegally and kick-offs being screened to protect the catcher. He said of prop Mako Vunipola: "How Vunipola escaped punishment is one of the mysteries of the tour".
He added: "When they put the delayed shove on, they scrummage upwards so there is nowhere for the opposing hooker to go but up."
And lock Richie Gray also comes in for criticism. "It's good play, right up to the point where they go straight to ground to seal off the ball," Dwyer added. "They power past the ball by a metre and a half and then they hold on to defenders' jerseys. Gray, who is about 11 foot tall and has a mop of blond hair, is pretty hard to miss. But the officials missed him anyway, even when he joined the ruck from in front of the ball."
Dwyer also found fault with the Lions' decoy runners. He said: "When they run decoy plays, the decoy runner invariably makes contact with the defender. He doesn't smash him out of the way or anything so blatant, but it has the effect of impeding the defence."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column