England 2nd best team in the world?

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Post by wrfc1980 on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:10 pm

First topic message reminder :

England are on the verge of going to 2nd in the world rankings. What do people think is their true current standing in the world? I would say that England are now clear of Wales/Ireland in the NH and are on their own as the best NH team. For the last few years there's been nothing separating Ireland/Wales and England but I feel momentum has shifted and England have inched ahead. They are probably vying for the 2nd spot in the world alongside the Aussies and SA but are a fair bit behind NZ. Is this a fair assessment?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 1:16 pm

That SA are currently better than England.

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Post by Seagultaf on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 1:16 pm

It's the year after the World Cup and all the major Rugby Nations are rebuilding their teams for 2019. England are certainly up there with the best at present, as they were up there with the best between the last two World Cups but Lancasters team will be only remembered for getting knocked out in the pool stages of their own World Cup!

It's 3 years until the next tournament and there are young players who will get better but others who will probably not be in the side. Gatland won the Grand Slam with Wales in his first season, working with a much smaller player pool, the challenge for Jones is to maintain the improvement now that the other sides know how England will play

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 1:31 pm

No bragging rights with SA until we have beaten them. The stats say we are no.2 but we have had plenty of problems with SA over the last few years. I wouldn't mind facing them sooner rather than later with this squad though

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Post by Alex_Germany on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 1:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:That SA are currently better than England.

No, points on the board this Monday are:
NZ 96.1
Eng 88.5
SA 86.03
Aus 85.43

I'd expected Ireland to win but I think they weren't used to the altitude.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 1:44 pm

lostinwales wrote:No bragging rights with SA until we have beaten them. The stats say we are no.2 but we have had plenty of problems with SA over the last few years. I wouldn't mind facing them sooner rather than later with this squad though

Saturday 12th November 2016

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:05 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
lostinwales wrote:No bragging rights with SA until we have beaten them. The stats say we are no.2 but we have had plenty of problems with SA over the last few years. I wouldn't mind facing them sooner rather than later with this squad though

Saturday 12th November 2016

At sea level as well, SA always have a big advantage on the high veldt what is it 8000ft above sea level; I can't think of a UK ground that is more than 500ft, half are probably between 100ft and zero.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:08 pm

Seagultaf wrote:It's the year after the World Cup and all the major Rugby Nations are rebuilding their teams for 2019. England are certainly up there with the best at present, as they were up there with the best between the last two World Cups but Lancasters team will be only remembered for getting knocked out in the pool stages of their own World Cup!

It's 3 years until the next tournament and there are young players who will get better but others who will probably not be in the side. Gatland won the Grand Slam with Wales in his first season, working with a much smaller player pool, the challenge for Jones is to maintain the improvement now that the other sides know how England will play

Good news for us England fans is that it seems as if there is more than one plan and there is enough intelligence to adapt the plan too

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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:09 pm

Alex_Germany wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That SA are currently better than England.

No, points on the board this Monday are:
NZ 96.1
Eng 88.5
SA 86.03
Aus 85.43

I'd expected Ireland to win but I think they weren't used to the altitude.

The world ranking points mean nothing in relation to head to head, england haven't beaten SA in more than 10 years.
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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:11 pm

lostinwales wrote:No bragging rights with SA until we have beaten them. The stats say we are no.2 but we have had plenty of problems with SA over the last few years. I wouldn't mind facing them sooner rather than later with this squad though

No need to rush, we are only going to perform worse the longer you wait. By 2019 we'll be lucky to make the RWC qf
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:20 pm

Biltong wrote:
Alex_Germany wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That SA are currently better than England.

No, points on the board this Monday are:
NZ 96.1
Eng 88.5
SA 86.03
Aus 85.43

I'd expected Ireland to win but I think they weren't used to the altitude.

The world ranking points mean nothing in relation to head to head, england haven't beaten SA in more than 10 years.

So if we played tomorrow how much would that help, like you said you're not the team you were. Neither are we. h2h is a silly way to judge.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:23 pm

All the teams are in their post-RWC rebuilding phase, but there are different degrees of rebuilding to be done.

The All Blacks are having to replace a raft of quality players, including two who have a reasonable claim to be the best ever in their positions. That would cripple any other nation but they have adapted with their usual aplomb. It remains to be seen whether they can maintain the dominance of the last 4 years, though.

South Africa seem, from the evidence of the last two games, to have much more to do. There's plenty of talent, grit and physicality there, but they have looked tactically fragile and Ireland have showed what can happen if you match them physically. It's also worth noting that the Saxons won 2-0 against SAA. It's early days with a new coach and new selections, and they will improve but so will other teams.

Australia have begun this cycle on a relative high with an established coaching team and relatively fewer players to replace than most. But England have unsettled that and unsettled it badly. They've shown how a committed defence can contain the Aussie backline, and Cheika will need to add a Plan B to his squad's game plan; no easy task.

Ireland were unlucky to lose the second test and have a hugely physical team where players are now slotting in to position. To do what they've done without Sexton and having replaced the likes of POC is impressive. They remain a bit vulnerable to injuries and it's still not clear if they have a varied enough game plan, but I am looking forward to England's visit to Dublin next year with some trepidation.

Wales may have less rebuilding to do in terms of squad, but the most in terms of tactics. They were a young squad in 2011 and a good proportion of the players will be able to carry on to 2019,  but everyone knows the plan, and everyone knows how to counter it. Need some new ideas, Gats.

Scotland, like Australia, began rebuilding before the RWC. Their problem is simply whether they will ever have the player pool to mix it with the top tier over an extended period. The deal with London Scottish might be the answer, but I would expect that to take at least an RWC cycle to mature fully.

France? [gallic shrug, which SwiftKey turned to 'garlic']. In disarray, as always, less than the sum of their parts, as always, big concerns about what the Top 14 are doing to their player pipeline. But will they upset some big sides out of nowhere? Mais oui.

Italy? I hope for their sake COS is in for the long haul, but once he has the pipeline working I think they will put their game a notch. At least enough to spring the odd surprise.

Argentina we don't know much about but given what they have done with limited access to top tier games and zero professional clubs, they can only improve with a full cycle of Top 15 and RC games to sink their teeth into. It will be interesting to see if they can claim some scalps once the RC starts.

Which leaves England. The thing is, England's rebuilding began with Lancaster. People forget that Lancaster presided over one of the least experienced squads in world rugby and said himself that it probably wouldn't be until 2019 that it was fully mature. Eddie has rightly given due credit for that, but he's added positional clarity, tactical nous and a bench to win games rather than close them out.

England are very clearly still a work in progress, but they are already claiming big victories. I think they would have beaten SA this weekend, even allowing for altitude, and I think they would have pushed the All Blacks very close.
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Post by eirebilly on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
Alex_Germany wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That SA are currently better than England.

No, points on the board this Monday are:
NZ 96.1
Eng 88.5
SA 86.03
Aus 85.43

I'd expected Ireland to win but I think they weren't used to the altitude.

The world ranking points mean nothing in relation to head to head, england haven't beaten SA in more than 10 years.

So if we played tomorrow how much would that help, like you said you're not the team you were. Neither are we. h2h is a silly way to judge.

If it were then Ireland would be ahead of SA as their recent H2H has Ireland in front...

England clearly are a team on the up and I would honestly say that they are the 2nd best team right now.
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Post by Alex_Germany on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:28 pm

Head to head means nothing in relation to who is better. England haven't played South Africa for 18 months and both have changed a lot since then.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:31 pm

eirebilly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
Alex_Germany wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That SA are currently better than England.

No, points on the board this Monday are:
NZ 96.1
Eng 88.5
SA 86.03
Aus 85.43

I'd expected Ireland to win but I think they weren't used to the altitude.

The world ranking points mean nothing in relation to head to head, england haven't beaten SA in more than 10 years.

So if we played tomorrow how much would that help, like you said you're not the team you were. Neither are we. h2h is a silly way to judge.

If it were then Ireland would be ahead of SA as their recent H2H has Ireland in front...

England clearly are a team on the up and I would honestly say that they are the 2nd best team right now.

I think its quite close at the top including nz but an argument of we were better than you these last 10 years has jot to do with who is better now.

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Post by Alex_Germany on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:36 pm

Poorfour wrote:
France? [gallic shrug, which SwiftKey turned to 'garlic']. In disarray, as always, less than the sum of their parts, as always, big concerns about what the Top 14 are doing to their player pipeline. But will they upset some big sides out of nowhere? Mais oui.

It looks like France can't be bothered with international rugby:

Planetrugby wrote:France head coach Guy Novès heads into this clash on the back-foot as several of his first-choice players will not be in action. This is because the Top 14 semi-finals – involving Clermont and Racing 92 on Friday, and Toulon and Montpellier on Saturday – takes place this weekend.

The final is scheduled to take place next weekend which means Novès will be able to call up players from the losing semi-finalists but he will still be without players involved in the final.

I mean - seriously? You can't play serious opposition with such a handicap.

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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:37 pm

Poorfour wrote:All the teams are in their post-RWC rebuilding phase, but there are different degrees of rebuilding to be done.

The All Blacks are having to replace a raft of quality players, including two who have a reasonable claim to be the best ever in their positions. That would cripple any other nation but they have adapted with their usual aplomb. It remains to be seen whether they can maintain the dominance of the last 4 years, though.

South Africa seem, from the evidence of the last two games, to have much more to do. There's plenty of talent, grit and physicality there, but they have looked tactically fragile and Ireland have showed what can happen if you match them physically. It's also worth noting that the Saxons won 2-0 against SAA. It's early days with a new coach and new selections, and they will improve but so will other teams.

Australia have begun this cycle on a relative high with an established coaching team and relatively fewer players to replace than most. But England have unsettled that and unsettled it badly. They've shown how a committed defence can contain the Aussie backline, and Cheika will need to add a Plan B to his squad's game plan; no easy task.

Ireland were unlucky to lose the second test and have a hugely physical team where players are now slotting in to position. To do what they've done without Sexton and having replaced the likes of POC is impressive. They remain a bit vulnerable to injuries and it's still not clear if they have a varied enough game plan, but I am looking forward to England's visit to Dublin next year with some trepidation.

Wales may have less rebuilding to do in terms of squad, but the most in terms of tactics. They were a young squad in 2011 and a good proportion of the players will be able to carry on to 2019,  but everyone knows the plan, and everyone knows how to counter it. Need some new ideas, Gats.

Scotland, like Australia, began rebuilding before the RWC. Their problem is simply whether they will ever have the player pool to mix it with the top tier over an extended period. The deal with London Scottish might be the answer, but I would expect that to take at least an RWC cycle to mature fully.

France? [gallic shrug, which SwiftKey turned to 'garlic']. In disarray, as always, less than the sum of their parts, as always, big concerns about what the Top 14 are doing to their player pipeline. But will they upset some big sides out of nowhere? Mais oui.

Italy? I hope for their sake COS is in for the long haul, but once he has the pipeline working I think they will put their game a notch. At least enough to spring the odd surprise.

Argentina we don't know much about but given what they have done with limited access to top tier games and zero professional clubs,  they can only improve with a full cycle of Top 15 and RC games to sink their teeth into. It will be interesting to see if they can claim some scalps once the RC starts.

Which leaves England. The thing is, England's rebuilding began with Lancaster. People forget that Lancaster presided over one of the least experienced squads in world rugby and said himself that it probably wouldn't be until 2019 that it was fully mature. Eddie has rightly given due credit for that, but he's added positional clarity, tactical nous and a bench to win games rather than close them out.

England are very clearly still a work in progress, but they are already claiming big victories. I think they would have beaten SA this weekend, even allowing for altitude, and I think they would have pushed the All Blacks very close.

South Africa has a totally different rebuilding setup compared to anyone else.

The "unofficial quota" system is alive and in play with selecting any professional team.

You will not compete against any team currently in SA where "the best available" is selected.

Slection is now based on first filling "the best" mandtory non white compliment of players. Then a compromise on the best "white" players in the positions vacant.

Call it transformation through participation at every level. It is not transformation through excellence.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 2:51 pm

There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:05 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

Yes , but you are missing the point about world rankings being the indicator of who is the best, second best or whatever.

It is merely a point system based on a flawed calculation that ignores the fact teams don't play same opponents, same conditions etc.

It is therefor a flawed indication with little real world value other than to be used at a specifi point in time to assist with pools in RWC.
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Post by lostinwales on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:22 pm

Flawed but the best we currently have

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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:30 pm

It is only the best we have because world rugby is a blasé about their ranking system's accuracy as with so many other current issues we have in Rugby Union
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Post by doctor_grey on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:33 pm

Alex_Germany wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
France? [gallic shrug, which SwiftKey turned to 'garlic']. In disarray, as always, less than the sum of their parts, as always, big concerns about what the Top 14 are doing to their player pipeline. But will they upset some big sides out of nowhere? Mais oui.

It looks like France can't be bothered with international rugby:

Planetrugby wrote:France head coach Guy Novès heads into this clash on the back-foot as several of his first-choice players will not be in action. This is because the Top 14 semi-finals – involving Clermont and Racing 92 on Friday, and Toulon and Montpellier on Saturday – takes place this weekend.

The final is scheduled to take place next weekend which means Novès will be able to call up players from the losing semi-finalists but he will still be without players involved in the final.

I mean - seriously? You can't play serious opposition with such a handicap.
France really do seem as if an implosion is in the offing. It is hard to imagine how anything gets done. But France as a country has always needed a strong personality at the helm to function: Louis XIV, Napoleon Bonaparre, Charles DeGaulle, Jonny Wilkinson. They need someone strong to pull this together.

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:35 pm

They'll buy Jones out of his contract with England?

Wink

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Post by doctor_grey on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:50 pm

Knowing the French it will be Mr. Bean.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:56 pm

Biltong wrote:It is only the best we have because world rugby is a blasé about their ranking system's accuracy as with so many other current issues we have in Rugby Union

What do you think is wrong with the ranking system and how would you like to see it improved?

For what it's worth, it seems pretty good to me. If I remember correctly, it was developed by analysing a ton of historical games to identify a scoring system that was a good predictor of outcomes, which it generally does.
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Post by eirebilly on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:25 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Biltong wrote:It is only the best we have because world rugby is a blasé about their ranking system's accuracy as with so many other current issues we have in Rugby Union

What do you think is wrong with the ranking system and how would you like to see it improved?

For what it's worth, it seems pretty good to me. If I remember correctly, it was developed by analysing a ton of historical games to identify a scoring system that was a good predictor of outcomes, which it generally does.

I am also not a great believer in rankings but the system in place is a very good indicator. I mainly look at form of teams and currently I would have the rankings as follows. This is a personal opinion before people jump at me, no calculations.

1 : New Zealand
2 : England
3 : Australia
4 : South Africa
5 : Argentina
6 : Wales
7 : Ireland
8 : Scotland
9 : France
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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:29 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Biltong wrote:It is only the best we have because world rugby is a blasé about their ranking system's accuracy as with so many other current issues we have in Rugby Union

What do you think is wrong with the ranking system and how would you like to see it improved?

For what it's worth, it seems pretty good to me. If I remember correctly, it was developed by analysing a ton of historical games to identify a scoring system that was a good predictor of outcomes, which it generally does.

Well firstly teams need to play the same opposition.

Weather conditions play a big part in scorelines, which isn't factored in.

You don't have a global season, so most SH vs NH testsare compromised due to availability of players and end of season vs beginning of season squads.

That's just for a start
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:35 pm

Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

Yes , but you are missing the point about world rankings being the indicator of who is the best, second best or whatever.

It is merely a point system based on a flawed calculation that ignores the fact teams don't play same opponents, same conditions etc.

It is therefor a flawed indication with little real world value other than to be used at a specifi point in time to assist with pools in RWC.

Not missing any point. I've not said where I currently think England stand other than closely to others. Your reasoning of h2h is fatally flawed though. Why do you think sa are better now?

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:45 pm

If weather was an issue I think most NH sides could expect a few notches put on their ranking points - then put stadium altitude down as a factor for some of us too......

A ranking system can never encompass all factors - it would be crazy.  Maybe a player stayed up too late, unable to sleep the night before a game for some reason - factor those little things in?  Maybe some players don't like sunlight in their faces as their eyes can't acclimatise to the contrasts between light and shadow darkness as well as other players?

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Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:45 pm

If a statistical system is used that is a good predictor of outcomes then by definition it is accurate.
Biltong wrote:Well firstly teams need to play the same opposition.
Clearly they don't. Systems such are the World Rugby rankings have shown themselves in rugby and other sports to be accurate even when competitors are not playing on the same circuits as long as there is some crossover.
Biltong wrote:You don't have a global season, so most SH vs NH tests are compromised due to availability of players and end of season vs beginning of season squads.
This is a fallacious argument. If things balance out between summer tours and autumns tours then it is irrelevant. If things do not balance out and say SH are weakened in both summer tours and autumn internationals then SH teams would be ranked lower because they are generally play weakened teams. Trying to rank based on some mythical team that a country could put out if it did not have injuries or tiredness to cope with is nonsense.

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Post by stub on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:47 pm

I think the rankings are pretty accurate and have reflected the relative stronger and weaker times for England quite fairly. Inaccuracies in the calculations will, I think, even out over time. Whilst not perfect they are certainly more accurate than historical head to head encounters IMO.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:54 pm

But that's a wider issue than just the ranking system, and the first ask - that teams need to play the same opposition - just isn't possible.

Even with a global season (which I would support), for each team to play the same teams every year you'd have to have some kind of divisional system. It would limit the opportunity for lower division teams to play top tier teams - which are limited enough as they are, and which we should be improving.

Meanwhile, we need some way to seed tournaments, and the system we have is pretty good bar the fact that the pools are drawn so far out.
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Post by SecretFly on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:55 pm

The rankings can't be inaccurate. It uses its own scientific criteria - and going on those declared criteria that everyone can research, it can't be inaccurate when using them to create the ranking list.

What it can do is run in opposition to people's general 'feelings and 'attitude'
It's thos people that are inaccurate though. Opinion isn't a very scientific basis for declaring a ranking system's 1st to Last - thus numbers take over.

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Post by englandglory4ever on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:20 pm

Isn't it true that the 1st ranked team generally wins the RWC? Or, gets very close to winning it. Can't be such a bad system can it?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:28 pm

It gives a rough indication of form.

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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:32 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

Yes , but you are missing the point about world rankings being the indicator of who is the best, second best or whatever.

It is merely a point system based on a flawed calculation that ignores the fact teams don't play same opponents, same conditions etc.

It is therefor a flawed indication with little real world value other than to be used at a specifi point in time to assist with pools in RWC.

Not missing any point. I've not said where I currently think England stand other than closely to others. Your reasoning of h2h is fatally flawed though. Why do you think sa are better now?

Well until we actually start losing a few against England nothing tells me they are better than us yet. Because they have beaten Australia doesn't say they are better than the Springboks
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Post by lostinwales on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:36 pm

Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

Yes , but you are missing the point about world rankings being the indicator of who is the best, second best or whatever.

It is merely a point system based on a flawed calculation that ignores the fact teams don't play same opponents, same conditions etc.

It is therefor a flawed indication with little real world value other than to be used at a specifi point in time to assist with pools in RWC.

Not missing any point. I've not said where I currently think England stand other than closely to others. Your reasoning of h2h is fatally flawed though. Why do you think sa are better now?

Well until we actually start losing a few against England nothing tells me they are better than us yet. Because they have beaten Australia doesn't say they are better than the Springboks

Problem is there is an element of 'rock paper scissors' with all of this as well. We have not been able to get past SA but often beat Ireland who seem to do OK vs SA.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:47 pm

Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

Yes , but you are missing the point about world rankings being the indicator of who is the best, second best or whatever.

It is merely a point system based on a flawed calculation that ignores the fact teams don't play same opponents, same conditions etc.

It is therefor a flawed indication with little real world value other than to be used at a specifi point in time to assist with pools in RWC.

Not missing any point. I've not said where I currently think England stand other than closely to others. Your reasoning of h2h is fatally flawed though. Why do you think sa are better now?

Well until we actually start losing a few against England nothing tells me they are better than us yet. Because they have beaten Australia doesn't say they are better than the Springboks

Riiight. So England are better than Ireland. Ireland are better than SA. SAare better than England. I'm willing to say its all up for debate but that argument has now been proved false. Why and how are SA better? Results from 10 years ago doesn't tell me.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:02 pm

All the evidence shows the rankings are incredibly accurate, for the top 5 positions or so anyway. For years it's been an AB, SA & Aus top 3 - and surprise surprise they have been the top 3 sides almost always in that order. With England, Ireland, Wales (& rarely Fra) fighting it out for 4th (and below). Now that England are improving (with both results & subsequent rankings) and SA struggling a bit, you can't just discount the rankings with any credibility. I'd say they're a fair reflection of the current position, albeit that from 2-5 upsets wouldn't be out of the question.

Still need to actually beat SA for the bragging rights though.
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Post by stub on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:08 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:All the evidence shows the rankings are incredibly accurate, for the top 5 positions or so anyway. For years it's been an AB, SA & Aus top 3 - and surprise surprise they have been the top 3 sides almost always in that order. With England, Ireland, Wales (& rarely Fra) fighting it out for 4th (and below). Now that England are improving (with both results & subsequent rankings) and SA struggling a bit, you can't just discount the rankings with any credibility. I'd say they're a fair reflection of the current position, albeit that from 2-5 upsets wouldn't be out of the question.

Still need to actually beat SA for the bragging rights though.

Agree with all of that and, yes, need that last bit. It's been a while since we beat the Boks.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:33 pm

lostinwales wrote:No bragging rights with SA until we have beaten them. The stats say we are no.2 but we have had plenty of problems with SA over the last few years. I wouldn't mind facing them sooner rather than later with this squad though

I'm intrigued to see how Jones adapts the team to play the Boks. We've got a hard hitting backrow and the lineout isn't rock solid they are areas the Bok swill relish taking on. In Australia we've been far more niggly and confrontational. I think against SA we'll see a different shift in tactics once again. Jones seems to have a lot of tricks up his sleeve and England's squad has options to offer him.

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Post by doctor_grey on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:23 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

Yes , but you are missing the point about world rankings being the indicator of who is the best, second best or whatever.

It is merely a point system based on a flawed calculation that ignores the fact teams don't play same opponents, same conditions etc.

It is therefor a flawed indication with little real world value other than to be used at a specifi point in time to assist with pools in RWC.

Not missing any point. I've not said where I currently think England stand other than closely to others. Your reasoning of h2h is fatally flawed though. Why do you think sa are better now?

Well until we actually start losing a few against England nothing tells me they are better than us yet. Because they have beaten Australia doesn't say they are better than the Springboks

Riiight. So England are better than Ireland. Ireland are better than SA. SAare better than England. I'm willing to say its all up for debate but that argument has now been proved false. Why and how are SA better? Results from 10 years ago doesn't tell me.
But, in reality the ranking set-up simply ranks theams for the next RWC seeding. I am not a fan of rankings. Some of the reasons are the structural reasons Biltong mentioned. The other reasons are that I really don't want to argue whether England are 4th or 5th best. That is kind of embarassing I think. It should be obvious where a team is. If not, then it probably doesn't matter.


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Post by George Carlin on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:24 pm

I was fairly sure that Chuck Norris was both the first and the second best team in the world.
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Post by king_carlos on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:30 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
lostinwales wrote:No bragging rights with SA until we have beaten them. The stats say we are no.2 but we have had plenty of problems with SA over the last few years. I wouldn't mind facing them sooner rather than later with this squad though

I'm intrigued to see how Jones adapts the team to play the Boks. We've got a hard hitting backrow and the lineout isn't rock solid they are areas the Bok swill relish taking on. In Australia we've been far more niggly and confrontational. I think against SA we'll see a different shift in tactics once again. Jones seems to have a lot of tricks up his sleeve and England's squad has options to offer him.

The line-out has looked strong until the 2nd test when Australia started putting pressure on with Arnold, Carter and Fardy all getting up quickly. If Borthwick wants a 3rd jumper to remove some of that pressure then Itoje at 6 is the most likely answer. I expect Borthwick will just tell his players they need to nail their basics more throwing to the middle though.

The movement in the middle of the line-out was messy on Saturday which allowed Aus to put pressure on. Sorting their movement and timing on the ground is more vital than a 3rd jumper IMO. Matfield doesn't repeatedly say that 9/10 line-outs are won on the ground for nothing.

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Post by Biltong on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 8:34 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There you go then Bilt ready made get of jail free card. Even you don't think that SA are any good.

Yes , but you are missing the point about world rankings being the indicator of who is the best, second best or whatever.

It is merely a point system based on a flawed calculation that ignores the fact teams don't play same opponents, same conditions etc.

It is therefor a flawed indication with little real world value other than to be used at a specifi point in time to assist with pools in RWC.

Not missing any point. I've not said where I currently think England stand other than closely to others. Your reasoning of h2h is fatally flawed though. Why do you think sa are better now?

Well until we actually start losing a few against England nothing tells me they are better than us yet. Because they have beaten Australia doesn't say they are better than the Springboks

Riiight. So England are better than Ireland. Ireland are better than SA. SAare better than England. I'm willing to say its all up for debate but that argument has now been proved false. Why and how are SA better? Results from 10 years ago doesn't tell me.
But, in reality the ranking set-up simply ranks theams for the next RWC seeding.  I am not a fan of rankings.  Some of the reasons are the structural reasons Biltong mentioned.  The other reasons are that I really don't want to argue whether England are 4th or 5th best.  That is kind of embarassing I think.  It should be obvious where a team is.  If not, then it probably doesn't matter.


Quite correct. The only team that has any right to call a place in the ranking is New Zealand.

And 7 and1/2, it really doesn't matter that you disagree with me, but if England has not beaten us since 2006 based on what are you calling them better?

Because the world rankings tells you so? Or because we lost a test against Ireland?
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 8:38 pm

Its ok biltong if you can't answer thats fine.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 6:55 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
Alex_Germany wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That SA are currently better than England.

No, points on the board this Monday are:
NZ 96.1
Eng 88.5
SA 86.03
Aus 85.43

I'd expected Ireland to win but I think they weren't used to the altitude.

The world ranking points mean nothing in relation to head to head, england haven't beaten SA in more than 10 years.

So if we played tomorrow how much would that help, like you said you're not the team you were. Neither are we. h2h is a silly way to judge.

..or at least when they haven't played for nearly 2 years and the question is "currently"

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Post by Biltong on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 7:02 am

Gooseberry wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Biltong wrote:
Alex_Germany wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That SA are currently better than England.

No, points on the board this Monday are:
NZ 96.1
Eng 88.5
SA 86.03
Aus 85.43

I'd expected Ireland to win but I think they weren't used to the altitude.

The world ranking points mean nothing in relation to head to head, england haven't beaten SA in more than 10 years.

So if we played tomorrow how much would that help, like you said you're not the team you were. Neither are we. h2h is a silly way to judge.

..or at least when they haven't played for nearly 2 years and the question is "currently"

Answer me this, based on what do you deem them number two in the world and better than SA "currnetly"?

Just that.
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Post by Alex_Germany on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 7:32 am

Biltong wrote:

Well until we actually start losing a few against England nothing tells me they are better than us yet. Because they have beaten Australia doesn't say they are better than the Springboks

Well until you actually start winning a few against Japan nothing tells [you] you are better than them yet. Because they lost to Scotland doesn't say they are worse than the Springboks.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 7:36 am

There's also the fact that England have just beaten Australia in two consecutive tests on Australian soil, something South Africa haven't done since 2005.
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Post by TJ on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 7:50 am

England may be second in the rankings but to be able to claim " 2nd best team in the world" I would want to see more consistency and more defeats of SH teams

Its less than a year since England failed badly in the WC

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