Goodbye Nick Easter?!

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Post by Hood83 on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 2:14 pm

Anyone who's seen my posting history knows i have never been a fan of the cumbersome, lumbering pie-merchant that is Nick Easter. Great at club level, anonymous at international level.

Clearly, one swallow does not make a summer, but Ben Morgan's performance yesterday was streets ahead of anything i'm seen from Easter in an England shirt. A number of people bemoaned his exclusion from the EPS, saying people failed to appreciate the physical step up to international level, and that despite his limitations he was the best England had at number 8.

Does anyone still believe this? Morgan clearly has a way to go (he's probably no less of a chubber than Easter). But surely we can now see what we have missed with Easter at 8 - dynamism. A lot of people questioned Morgan's fitness, myself included, but he was rucking, counter rucking, carrying and generally contributing all round the park yesterday. Easter has never done this. Easter may still be the best at making 2 yards from a standing start, but the problem is that his top speed is almost the exact same as his momentum from 2 yards.

With Easter, we had a passenger who arrived at rucks 10 seconds after we'd been turned over. With Morgan, we may, MAY have found someone who can compete with people like Heaslip and Parisse on a more even keel.

In short, this was more me taking a moment to rant at a player i have always loved to hate, so no offence to Quins fans. But what do other people feel, have we found a player who can take our back-row play to another level?

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 2:41 pm

There were many Welsh fans previously amazed at England ignoring Morgan's excellent form for the Scarlets over the last two seasons.

Glad that he has finally grabbed his chance and proved those doubters wrong. A good talented lump of a player, most decent teams need one somewhere.

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Post by Guest on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 2:49 pm

Easter's strength was in mauling, but that is a dying art, mainly because the SH have tried to ban it and refs have allowed it to turn into a complete mess.

As parts of the game is turning into a poor mans multi-phase RL, a ball carrier like Morgan is absolutely the right way to go. He made quite a few mistakes yesterday but the potential is there to only get better at international level.

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Post by gowales on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 3:47 pm

Agree with everything you said there Recwatcher. Especially about the dying maul, bloody Aussies!

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Post by Cumbrian on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 3:58 pm

I think Morgan has pretty much nailed his place in the starting line up, what worries me is depth. No.8 is a tough, physical position and now that Morgan has become imporant to us, I'd give even odds on him getting injured at some point. You wouldn't even consider Easter a little a bit, in extreme circumstances? Very Happy

I was one of the Dowson advocates and I believe he should be given a bit more time, but he hasn't set the world alight so far. It's a position where we need to identify a few potental rivals IMO. Step forward Carl Fearns!
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 4:18 pm

Harsh on Easter who has had some cracking games for England....

Morgan has proved to be the player we are looking for...and his fitness is improving. Add Fearns and Haskell for some competiton...but Morgan looks seriouysly good.

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Post by niwatts on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 4:24 pm

maestegmafia wrote:There were many Welsh fans previously amazed at England ignoring Morgan's excellent form for the Scarlets over the last two seasons.

I don't think that is justified. He got the call up to the EPS at the first opportunity in his second season. Last season was his first of significant level rugby and he was 2nd choice behind Lyons for Scarlets, playing in their lesser games. Nonetheless, England tried to get him involved in the Saxons and see what he was about. There was no way he had done enough to warrant being called up to the EPS in a WC year.

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Post by hawalsh on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 4:32 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I think Morgan has pretty much nailed his place in the starting line up, what worries me is depth. No.8 is a tough, physical position and now that Morgan has become imporant to us, I'd give even odds on him getting injured at some point. You wouldn't even consider Easter a little a bit, in extreme circumstances? Very Happy

I was one of the Dowson advocates and I believe he should be given a bit more time, but he hasn't set the world alight so far. It's a position where we need to identify a few potental rivals IMO. Step forward Carl Fearns!

Don't see depth as a problem at all, we've just had a really bad year with injuries and absentees.

Like you say, there is the very promising Fearns (was injured until recently), then Crane who is almost an identical player to Morgan (slightly better IMHO, but out for the season), plus Guest (injured until recently), the returning Haskell, and then Grey & Sisi on the horizon.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:33 pm

I did think that when the EPS was announced after the RCW and with Stuart Lancaster in charge, that England had made a mistake in not picking Easter. However Morgan as proved he is more than good enough to take his place.


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Post by gowales on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:52 pm

hawalsh wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:I think Morgan has pretty much nailed his place in the starting line up, what worries me is depth. No.8 is a tough, physical position and now that Morgan has become imporant to us, I'd give even odds on him getting injured at some point. You wouldn't even consider Easter a little a bit, in extreme circumstances? Very Happy

I was one of the Dowson advocates and I believe he should be given a bit more time, but he hasn't set the world alight so far. It's a position where we need to identify a few potental rivals IMO. Step forward Carl Fearns!

Don't see depth as a problem at all, we've just had a really bad year with injuries and absentees.

Like you say, there is the very promising Fearns (was injured until recently), then Crane who is almost an identical player to Morgan (slightly better IMHO, but out for the season), plus Guest (injured until recently), the returning Haskell, and then Grey & Sisi on the horizon.

Don't know about that. Maybe just as powerful but Crane is probably slower than Easter... and thats saying something

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 6:18 pm

maestegmafia wrote:There were many Welsh fans previously amazed at England ignoring Morgan's excellent form for the Scarlets over the last two seasons.

Glad that he has finally grabbed his chance and proved those doubters wrong. A good talented lump of a player, most decent teams need one somewhere.

They did try to pick him for the Saxons last year, but Gatland put his oar in to stop it.
Had he been part of the elite set up longer they may have got him fit enough to play like that for 80 minutes in time for this 6 nations

Lancaster had already decided to dump Easter, and has favoured more mobile options in the back row, as well as youth and drive. He wasnt even Johnsons first choice to begin with.

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Post by Hood83 on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 6:49 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I think Morgan has pretty much nailed his place in the starting line up, what worries me is depth. No.8 is a tough, physical position and now that Morgan has become imporant to us, I'd give even odds on him getting injured at some point. You wouldn't even consider Easter a little a bit, in extreme circumstances? Very Happy

I was one of the Dowson advocates and I believe he should be given a bit more time, but he hasn't set the world alight so far. It's a position where we need to identify a few potental rivals IMO. Step forward Carl Fearns!

...nope Very Happy I've also been miffed with his approach to training, which by even his own account seemed to be fairly Corinthian. Fair enough, if you want to enjoy your career and have a few pints, good on you, but don't be surprised when someone with a Wilkinson-esque OCD approach to preparedness takes your position. Dowson i think lacks power, so fair point to those who called this. But i'd still take him ahead of Easter for the simple fact he contributes elsewhere. Unlike the fatty. (Does it come across how much i dislike Easter?)

And yes, i think Fearns looks pretty handy too!

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Post by Hood83 on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 6:51 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Harsh on Easter who has had some cracking games for England....

Morgan has proved to be the player we are looking for...and his fitness is improving. Add Fearns and Haskell for some competiton...but Morgan looks seriouysly good.

I honestly can't think of a game for England where he's been good. But that could be my own bias clouding this. He's always been bested by his opposite number in the games i can remember.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 6:53 pm

That is your bias.

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Post by Hood83 on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 7:01 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:That is your bias.

That's me told...

Although if you can point out his highlights i'd be happy to be educated (that is genuinely not a sarcy comment)

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Post by Guest on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 7:02 pm

i do rate easter quite highly, however morgan has come in and been very impressive, hopefully he will get a long run in the side.

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Post by gowales on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 7:05 pm

One has to wonder what could have been with Tom Guest. What the hell was he thinking in staying with Quins all these years. He's 27 now (28 in June), rarely in the Saxons squad and unlikely to capped in the near future. Silly bugger...

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Post by hawalsh on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 7:42 pm

gowales wrote:
hawalsh wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:I think Morgan has pretty much nailed his place in the starting line up, what worries me is depth. No.8 is a tough, physical position and now that Morgan has become imporant to us, I'd give even odds on him getting injured at some point. You wouldn't even consider Easter a little a bit, in extreme circumstances? Very Happy

I was one of the Dowson advocates and I believe he should be given a bit more time, but he hasn't set the world alight so far. It's a position where we need to identify a few potental rivals IMO. Step forward Carl Fearns!

Don't see depth as a problem at all, we've just had a really bad year with injuries and absentees.

Like you say, there is the very promising Fearns (was injured until recently), then Crane who is almost an identical player to Morgan (slightly better IMHO, but out for the season), plus Guest (injured until recently), the returning Haskell, and then Grey & Sisi on the horizon.

Don't know about that. Maybe just as powerful but Crane is probably slower than Easter... and thats saying something

Yes, an incorrect something. Crane is not slower than Easter and probably more powerful than Morgan, with better control at the base and stronger at the breakdown. I used to be uncertain of him, but over his last two seasons he very much put paid to that. He was superb for Tigers last season.

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Post by yappysnap on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 8:32 pm

How can you say that?

I honestly can't remember the last time Crane played and we have no idea what he'll be like when he's back, i'd rather hope for Fearns, Guest, York, Vunipola or Haskell coming good.

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Post by Cumbrian on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 8:39 pm

hawalsh wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:I think Morgan has pretty much nailed his place in the starting line up, what worries me is depth. No.8 is a tough, physical position and now that Morgan has become imporant to us, I'd give even odds on him getting injured at some point. You wouldn't even consider Easter a little a bit, in extreme circumstances? Very Happy

I was one of the Dowson advocates and I believe he should be given a bit more time, but he hasn't set the world alight so far. It's a position where we need to identify a few potental rivals IMO. Step forward Carl Fearns!

Don't see depth as a problem at all, we've just had a really bad year with injuries and absentees.
Like you say, there is the very promising Fearns (was injured until recently), then Crane who is almost an identical player to Morgan (slightly better IMHO, but out for the season), plus Guest (injured until recently), the returning Haskell, and then Grey & Sisi on the horizon.

I always go with the idea 'What if X player got injured tomorrow, how would we look?' When I run the current situation through my mind (thinking towards the tour to SA), I begin to worry: Haskell- unavailable, Crane- (Who I too rate) injured, Guest- never played international rugby, Fearns- just recovering from a long injury layoff and never played international rugby, Gray- not a fixture for his club, Sisi- ditto.

In a years time, yeah we could be fine with Morgan, Crane, Fearns and Haskell all fighting it out. At the moment we are a bit exposed.
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Post by johnpartle on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 10:15 pm

I want to see Morgan & Fearns go on tour to SA. I'd be happy to see Guest go along as well if need be, though I wonder if Haskell might be brought in, Super Rugby takes a break whilst the summer tours are on.

I'm another that feels Jordan Crane will definitely be a strong contender for an England spot next season. He was excellent for Tigers last season, a rock at the back of the scrum and in the tight, an exceptionally strong carrier and go to man. One of if not their best players in their run to the AP final, as well as captaining the Saxons superbly to win the Churchill Cup in the summer, all whilst carrying that continuing knee injury that he eventually needed surgery on and knocked him out for the year.

Regarding Alex Gray, he's definitley one for the future, and started the majority of games for Irish at the beginning of the season until his injury. He came back from injury after Christmas and got starts in the AP and 2nd HC leg of games, but then got injured again at the beginning of Feb.

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