Neil Jenkins does not think Wales’s defeat at Twickenham was a dirty game despite England having Manu Tuilagi sent off and two forwards cited, but he said there was “no place in the game” for the action of Joe Marler on Alun Wyn Jones when he grabbed the Wales captain’s genitals.
Marler will face a disciplinary committee in Dublin on Thursday to explain his action, along with Courtney Lawes, who was cited for a high tackle on Jones, and Tuilagi, who was sent off four minutes from the end for a no-arms tackle that made contact with George North’s head.
“It is up to the authorities to deal with the three cases,” said Jenkins, Wales’s kicking coach. “As a game it was no different to any other game between England and Wales, tough and physical. It was also a good Test match. At this level you have to keep your discipline: France had a player sent off at Scotland on Sunday as they did against us in the World Cup.
“It is difficult to play with 14 men for 10 minutes let alone a long period. I do not think there has been a decline in standards [of player behaviour]. There are 30 players on edge in a Test match: rugby is incredibly tense, physical and unforgiving and Saturday was the same.”
Asked specifically about Marler, he said: “The independent citing commissioner is dealing with that. It is not what we want in the game, but it is what it is. They will deal with it in the right manner. I have no doubt about that.”
Wales, the champions last year, find themselves in the unusual position of being one off the bottom of the table but having a better points difference than the other five nations. They have lost their past three matches but picked up two losing bonus points and would have had a third in Dublin but for Hadleigh Parkes failing to ground the ball.
“We need to be more clinical and stop giving away soft scores,” Jenkins added. “We are making silly errors and there has been poor decision-making at key points in the last three matches. That has to be cleared up, because at this level you cannot afford to give teams 14 points.”
Wales finish with Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday, a fixture they have not lost since 2002. “They will fancy their chances after a good win and the fact we have lost three in a row,” Jenkins said. “If we perform the way we can, we will win.”