6N 2017: England v France, 4 February

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Post by George Carlin on Thu 19 Jan 2017, 11:14 am

First topic message reminder :

6N 2017: England v France, 4 February - Page 8 Englan11  6N 2017: England v France, 4 February - Page 8 France11
ENGLAND v FRANCE
4 February 2017
KO: 16:50
Twickenham, London 

Live on ITV, FR2, RTE, DMAX, BBC (H)

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Touch judges: Glen Jackson (New Zealand) & Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

A. Head to Head

102 Played 102
56 Won 39
7 Drawn 7
39 Lost 56
1623 Points 1290

B. Recent Form 

19 March 2016
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
21 – 31 to England

22 August 2015
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
25 – 20 to France

15 August 2015
Twickenham, London
19 – 14 to England

21 March 2015
Twickenham, London
55 – 35 to England

1 February 2014
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
26 – 24 to France

C. Teams

ENGLAND 
6N 2017: England v France, 4 February - Page 8 Mary-b10
15-Mike Brown; 14-Jonny May, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-Elliot Daly; 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Joe Marler, 2-Dylan Hartley (captain), 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Courtney Lawes, 6-Maro Itoje, 7-Tom Wood, 8-Nathan Hughes

Replacements: 16-Jamie George, 17-Matt Mullan, 18-Kyle Sinckler 19-Teimana Harrison, 20-James Haskell, 21-Danny Care, 22-Ben Te'o, 23-Jack Nowell

FRANCE
6N 2017: England v France, 4 February - Page 8 Raymon10
15-Scott Spedding; 14-Noa Nakaitaci, 13-Remi Lamerat, 12-Gael Fickou, 11-Virimi Vakatawa; 10-Camille Lopez, 9-Baptiste Serin; 1-Cyril Baille, 2-Guilhem Guirado (captain), 3-Uini Atonio, 4-Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5-Yoann Maestri, 6-Damien Chouly, 7-Kevin Gourdon, 8-Louis Picamoles

Replacements: 16-Clement Maynadier, 17-Rabah Slimani, 18-Xavier Chiocci, 19-Arthur Iturria, 20-Loann Goujon, 21-Maxime Machenaud, 22-Jean Marc Doussain, 23-Yoann Huget


Last edited by George Carlin on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 5:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by ChequeredJersey on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 7:45 pm

I still don't get why France took off Serin, he was perfectly utilising the good ball they had early on.

Youngs was slow with both good and bad ball, though his ball was more mixed than Care or Serin had. It was an off game, but it was an off game for everyone tbh
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Post by whocares on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 7:49 pm

Bad decision making and a poor bench translate into yet another close defeat. Shame because that England team looked ordinary and overhyped and I was relieved they didn't dominate the line-outs as everyone and his dog was expecting. Not going to have opportunities like this for some time to win there.

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Post by Poorfour on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:06 pm

Can we now agree that England were missing Robshaw and Itoje is not (for now at least) an international 6?
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Post by king_carlos on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:16 pm

I thought Itoje was solid. He got a good turnover, carried solidly and tackled hard as always. His line-out work was good throughout and excellent once George came on. The side definitely missed Robshaw but Itoje is probably still the best replacement.

Haskell really improved the physicality and aggression at the breakdown when he came on.

I thought Mullan proved a few people who thought he'd lack impact from the bench wrong.

Jamie George once again looked our better hooker when he came on.

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Post by Gwlad on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:20 pm

TightHEAD wrote:He was slow all game from the first minute to his last

Youngs is not the only slow one round here! Rolling Eyes

Says the guy who uses SCW as a point of reference.

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Post by eirebilly on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:21 pm

king_carlos wrote:I thought Itoje was solid. He got a good turnover, carried solidly and tackled hard as always. His line-out work was good throughout and excellent once George came on. The side definitely missed Robshaw but Itoje is probably still the best replacement.

Haskell really improved the physicality and aggression at the breakdown when he came on.

I thought Mullan proved a few people who thought he'd lack impact from the bench wrong.

Jamie George once again looked our better hooker when he came on.

Would Hartley be the starting hooker for England if he wasn't the captain?

The more I see of George, the more I think he is the better hooker and better suited to the England team.
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Post by nathan on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:25 pm

TightHEAD wrote:He was slow all game from the first minute to his last

Youngs is not the only slow one round here! Rolling Eyes

Stop being an idiot....

Give some reasoning behind your thoughts, discuss it. Don't insult others.

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Post by Gwlad on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:34 pm

eirebilly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I thought Itoje was solid. He got a good turnover, carried solidly and tackled hard as always. His line-out work was good throughout and excellent once George came on. The side definitely missed Robshaw but Itoje is probably still the best replacement.

Haskell really improved the physicality and aggression at the breakdown when he came on.

I thought Mullan proved a few people who thought he'd lack impact from the bench wrong.

Jamie George once again looked our better hooker when he came on.

Would Hartley be the starting hooker for England if he wasn't the captain?

The more I see of George, the more I think he is the better hooker and better suited to the England team.

No and like Wales i think you'll see Harltey get shorter shifts until there is a loss…fact is that George is a better player and if England perform this way again or lose, it may signal the loss of his captaincy. Other things we learned, Haskell is a must at 6 or 7, Nowell should start. Itoje ponderous in the back row and English line out a shambles at times. Ford simply cannot function behind a poor pack and Farrell should be starting at 10 until the likes of Billy and Kruis are back in the side.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:35 pm

eirebilly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I thought Itoje was solid. He got a good turnover, carried solidly and tackled hard as always. His line-out work was good throughout and excellent once George came on. The side definitely missed Robshaw but Itoje is probably still the best replacement.

Haskell really improved the physicality and aggression at the breakdown when he came on.

I thought Mullan proved a few people who thought he'd lack impact from the bench wrong.

Jamie George once again looked our better hooker when he came on.

Would Hartley be the starting hooker for England if he wasn't the captain?

The more I see of George, the more I think he is the better hooker and better suited to the England team.
Very debatable. Especially when Hartley has missed so much rugby.

George is the better ball carrier, as solid at the line-out (he was better today) and seems to be stronger scrummager judging by our scrum regularly improving when he comes on.

Hartley is better in defensive rucks though I think. He hits them with real aggression, something that England are often poor at.

If he makes the Lions tour I wouldn't be surprised for him to overtake Hartley and other more established hookers.

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Post by TightHEAD on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:37 pm

nathan wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:He was slow all game from the first minute to his last

Youngs is not the only slow one round here! Rolling Eyes

Stop being an idiot....

Give some reasoning behind your thoughts, discuss it. Don't insult others.

Attack the post not the poster.

Reasoning has already been given, England look slow and off the pace all game, Youngs goes off Care comes on ,England start looking threatning due to quicker ball and then score a try.
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Post by eirebilly on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:37 pm

I really like George king_carlos, think he suits the way England play far better than Hartley. This is not to say that Hartley is a bad player, he is not at all, more that I think the England approach suits George better than him.
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Post by Gooseberry on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 8:54 pm

The youngs care thing has gone on for years. Whichever is the starter gets slagged for being slow or crabbing ...the bench option comes on with the specific remit of playing fast and loose as the game breaks open and everyone thinks they are amazing.

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Post by Cumbrian on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 9:01 pm

Christ, that was awful. All I can say is at least we won and we can't possibly be that bad again.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 9:12 pm

I have a new name for EJ, pinched from another object of derision on this board. Eddie "Squeaky" Jones. That is the third or forth time England have won a game they should have lost in the last 10 minutes.

What the game showed is that Hughes is no replacement for Billy in the carrying department, Itoje is not an international 6, lots of industry, did nothing really wrong, just lacked that half a yard of pace to get to the breakdown early enough to influence it a great deal, spent too much time getting there after the French backrow and couldn't move them away.

Wood tackled and tackled but was not there to make the hard yards, tried to do the Robshaw role of clearing up the sh!t, and there was a lot of that, I cannot remember so much ball being kicked around the edges of the breakdown by forwards joining the ruck without looking to see where the ball was.

Had to agree that George looked better than Harley when he came on, but this was against a tired France and also when the other replacements came on and gave England the "go forward". I wouldn't mind seeing him start and see if h can do the same from the start. His defensive game is not in the same league as Hartley's however.

Haskell has to start with Wood at 6 or possibly Harrison, he will give more go forward than Wood but at the expense of tackling. Haskells impact was immediate, the French could not wrap him up and we had front foot ball straight away and the backs exploited it well.

Youngs I thought was ponderous, with both the slow ball and what little quick ball he had, the only time he attempted a break is after a penalty had been awarded. Not the player of the AIs.

As has been shown with Bath, Ford cannot play behind a retreating pack, he his a front foot player and just disappears when he hasn't got that extra half second.

Marler looked very strong for someone just recovering from a broken leg, kept that monster (some 7 stone heavier) nicely contained in the scrum, I doubt Mako could have done that.

Difficult to really say much about the backs, they defended well, but with Ford missing nothing was happening. Why was Farrell taking the kick offs?

Best three players on the pitch were French and we still won so hey hey roll on Wales. We will have to improve for them we do not usually win games they dominate.

Not sure about Daly or Nowell, Daly has more pace, a left footer and the long range boot. Nowell has more of everything else.

For next week, Itoje back to lock, Haskell to start, Care to start and E(S)J to be ready to eject Ford quickly if he disappears again.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 9:18 pm

Gooseberry wrote:The youngs care thing has gone on for years. Whichever is the starter gets slagged for being slow or crabbing ...the bench option comes on with the specific remit of playing fast and loose as the game breaks open and everyone thinks they are amazing.
Well put, Gooseberry.

Youngs has routinely come out on top of their battle for the 9 shirt (50 England starts to Care's 30) for one main reason. Youngs kicking is the much better of the two.

Care plays best when the attack runs off him more than 10. With Ford playing poorly and Farrell throwing a few passes behind runners the game was set for Care to take some more control from 9. He played well and put good pressure on the tiring French forwards.

Youngs had a much poorer game than his autumn performances, as did Ford. The French pack were starving England of any quick ball with their more aggressive ruck work.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 9:50 pm

There wasn't much between the sides overall. The french ran the ball a lot more and looked better for it, but didn't actually get a lot out of the England defense in the end. The French try was a mess. For all the confusion and chaos in the England ranks they were more dangerous on the very rare attacks they had.

It was a messy scrappy game very high on tension - very typical 6N fare for this time of year.

The ref was - interesting. But to be fair he was difficult for both teams. I do think the treatment of 'high' tackles is going to take some getting used to (and that is something that very definitely affected both teams) - and the Wood penalty after the ball was out of the ruck was just bizarre.

For England we do miss Billy. Hughes is a very decent player although he did seem to drift in and out of the game, but he isn't Billy, not by a long shot. Itoje was OK when we are used to him being brilliant. Wood was very busy but the combination of the two was less than what Robshaw offers. I'd also argue there was a lack of leadership or cohesion in the forwards also. That will improve but suspect that is also something that Robshaw contributes a great deal to.

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Post by nathan on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 9:58 pm

TightHEAD wrote:
nathan wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:He was slow all game from the first minute to his last

Youngs is not the only slow one round here! Rolling Eyes

Stop being an idiot....

Give some reasoning behind your thoughts, discuss it. Don't insult others.

Attack the post not the poster.

Reasoning has already been given, England look slow and off the pace all game, Youngs goes off Care comes on ,England start looking threatning due to quicker ball and then score a try.

Take your own advice, you've just called me slow.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 10:17 pm

Pretty bad performance all around. We got away with it again as we've done throughout jones tenure so fair play. Well need to seriously up our game next week or we'll be pummeled.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 10:23 pm

That kick from Daly was a thing of beauty though. Not that its normal to think well of kicks

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 10:53 pm

I said all along that this first game for Englamnd against France was going to be a tough game. But i never thought it would be this tough.

England was well off the pace for most of the game. How the hell did England win that Game? That is a big question, The subs that came on made a big, big, difference to the England game plan.

There is hell a lot of work to do, IF England are going to( Win the 6ns ) Grand Slam at this moment i would not think so.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 10:57 pm

lostinwales wrote:That kick from Daly was a thing of beauty though. Not that its normal to think well of kicks

Daly looked to be the one player who had the X factor, and should be now nailed on.

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Post by TightHEAD on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 11:28 pm

nathan wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
nathan wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:He was slow all game from the first minute to his last

Youngs is not the only slow one round here! Rolling Eyes

Stop being an idiot....

Give some reasoning behind your thoughts, discuss it. Don't insult others.

Attack the post not the poster.

Reasoning has already been given, England look slow and off the pace all game, Youngs goes off Care comes on ,England start looking threatning due to quicker ball and then score a try.

Take your own advice, you've just called me slow.


No I didn't, where did I say that?

You called me an idiot, despite the fact that three very well respected pundits in BOD, Wilko and SCW saying the same thing on itv 10 mins after I said it. Care is the better player imho, Youngs is off the pace and looked awful but then that isn't a surprise seeing the dreadful season he is having.
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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 11:32 pm

I think we might just be a Robshaw, Billy (and possibly Kruis) short of a GS this year. Still, the win is everything I guess.
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Post by dummy_half on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:19 am

Well, it's said that the sign of a great team is that they win when playing badly, and that certainly sums the match up.

A couple of moments of fantastic goal line defence (Lawes planting the scrum half being the most prominent, but also lots of good cover tackling from Brown and the wingers), and generally pretty good discipline kept us in it and the replacements made the difference.

As others have said, Itoje at 6 was no better than ordinary. I thought he looked happier and certainly was more involved in the last 15 once he'd moved back to the 2nd row.

Hughes was a disappointment - looked like we had Nick Easter back at 8: power from static positions but not dynamic in the way of Billy V or Picamoles (who was rightly the ITV motm).

Can certainly see Haskell being brought back for the next game, with Itoje back into the 2nd row. Otherwise,, Nowell probably should get the nod for one wing, but perhaps at the expense of May rather than Daly?

The scrum half debate will go on - as others have said, for about the last 5 years things have followed the same pattern with the starter looking slow and stodgy compared with the replacement.

Oh, and anyone want to suggest Robshaw isn't a very useful player?

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 1:21 am

majesticimperialman wrote:I said all along that this first game for  Englamnd against France was going to be a tough game. But i never thought it would be this tough.

England was well off the pace for most of the game. How the hell did England win that Game? That is a  big question, The subs that came on made a big, big, difference to the England game plan.

There is hell a lot of work to do, IF England are going to( Win the 6ns ) Grand Slam at this moment i would not think so.

You don't have to be the best - just better than the other guy.

France made chances and could not score apart from the one which was a mess. We made fewer chances but did get the Te'o score. (And Daly was very close too). Our defense was better than the French attack, but things were so close that we were only one stupidly good ridiculously long penalty kick better.

We will be better in the next game.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 9:16 am

It'd be funny if Jones is thinking of dropping Ford to the bench in favour of a Farrell/Teo midfield. That's pretty much what Lancaster did against Wales in the World Cup when he used Burgess.

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Post by George Carlin on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 9:43 am

I didn't manage to watch this one yet.

Were England really that bad or were the French strong and much improved? Or both?

Perhaps based on the matches in the final year of last year's tournament, I think that both England and Ireland fans were expecting healthy victories.

Isn't this a chance to find out more about your squads?

Can I also ask how Daly played because I really rate him.
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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 9:49 am

Yeah it's noticeable how we all used to blame Farell for slowing England down and used to call for him to be dropped.

But there's no question he's won Jones over now, not just for his play but his attitude too. I'd not be against the change although it has it potential dangers...if nothing else in taking a kicking option out. And he's offering a way to get George as the starter if Hartley continues to be the second best hooker.

In defence of Ford it was the pair of them that struggled in defence and they notably missed the protection they get from Robshaw.

Id go back to some of the analysis that was done ahead of the game in relation to the way England defend and the new tackle rules as a well. Some of Frances ability to run through them came from this; England spreading wider than they would have done previously and finding it difficult to tackle the big French guys legally.

Getting slowed down in attack by a pack that physical as well. .is it any great shock?

The May card was pretty unfortunate and a rough if technically correct call...to be fair they got away with one later in the game which was much more like the sort of tackle that the law is intended to stop. But you have to forgive England for having the stuffing knocked out of them by that.

When in think back to some of the God awful performances England have put in first game of the six nations over recent years and still won ( Lancaster first game ...) this doesn't stack up there as remarkable victories or poor games in my mind. France are a good side, sure they could and should have won and yes England need to improve but I'm not losing faith in a side that's won 15 straight games just yet...albeit some by the skin of their teeth.



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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 9:54 am

George Carlin wrote:I didn't manage to watch this one yet.

Were England really that bad or were the French strong and much improved? Or both?

Perhaps based on the matches in the final year of last year's tournament, I think that both England and Ireland fans were expecting healthy victories.

Isn't this a chance to find out more about your squads?

Can I also ask how Daly played because I really rate him.

England were poor and France have certainly improved, I guess we kind of met in middle somewhere. We dropped the ball and knocked on way too much, stopping us getting any momentum early on. Set piece went quite well but we slipped off tackles for fun.

Daly was ok, nothing amazing. Had a good chance for a try but put his feet in touch when I'd have expected a good winger to have finished it off.

France looked very solid and will do well this year. They were extremely physical in the contact, I can see them roughing a few teams up.

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Post by eirebilly on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:04 am

England looked rusty in the game but I also feel they did not have the correct balance in the backline, they looked much better when Farrell went to 10.

Picamoles and Spedding were simply outstanding and I would love to see their stats for meters gained and defenders beaten, they seemed to break the gain line with ease.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:11 am

eirebilly wrote:
Picamoles and Spedding were simply outstanding and I would love to see their stats for meters gained and defenders beaten, they seemed to break the gain line with ease.

Picamoles - 131m made, 7 defenders beaten, 2 clean breaks

Spedding - 116m, 5 db, 2 cb

For England......

Hughes - 46m, 0 db, 3 cb

Brown - 104m, 3 db, 1 cb

Hughes had the most metres made in the England pack, next up was Launchbury with 15m.

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Post by eirebilly on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:15 am

Cheers Pooly, they are some stats for Picamoles and even more impressive since he was injured after 20mins and just played on.
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Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:38 am

It will be interesting to see what Jones does with the back row next week. Haskell will be back but where. All three of the back row were very poor with Itoje at least having the excuse of playing out of his best position. Wood played like Jones criticised for playing before bringing him back. Hughes as usual lacked energy.

Is Clifford fit yet?


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Post by eirebilly on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:42 am

I actually thought Hughes played quite well Exiled... Sure he is not as dynamic as Vunipola but he was not bad. He received a lot of static ball yet still managed to cross the gain line on a regular basis which gave England forward momentum. I think he was simply overshadowed by the brilliance of his opposite number Picamoles.
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Post by Recwatcher16 on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:43 am

Hughes tried hard but his running style is far too upright in contact. France played with three no.8s who were heavy enough to stop Hughes around the gainline. Vunipola used to do the same initially for England but changed to a lower running posture, Hughes needs to do the same.

Clearly missing Robshaw's cleanup operation around rucks but Wood is perfectly capable in that role, leaving Haskell to do the glamour stuff.

Fully expect next season to see, fitness allowing, Carl Fearns and Callum Clark come into the equation for consideration as potential successors to the smash the rucks role currently played by Haskell.
Mullan and George should be brought on much earlier for the Welsh game as they could really squeeze the opposition front row in the scrums.

Surprised Care didn't start, given his success last year against France with the simple pace on the pass and bring Youngs on later to exert control.
Ford simply needs to move to Tigers, to lighten his mood and current mindset and get back some of the form he had 18 months ago, as he is currently operating at about 60% of his talent.

Expect an improvement next Saturday but should be fascinating.

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Post by eirebilly on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:46 am

I would be very tempted to start George against the Welsh, England may well need his extra mobility. I actually think he is the better hooker than Hartley right now (maybe due to Hartley's time out).
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Post by lostinwales on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:50 am

I actually thought Wood was OK- the only real criticisms being that he was penalized too much (sometimes bizarrely) and physically he was on balance outmuscled by the French. However he did as much as any player to keep us in the game in defense.

The thing about Itoje is had it been any other (new) player at 6 it would all have felt a bit 'meh'. He was 'average'. We are used to him being something special and the ratings he seems to get are more related to where we expect him to be than his actual performance.

Hughes was willing to carry the ball but there were few opportunities. He did knock one French defender flying with a run late on but outside of that seemed invisible.

As for the wings Daly was fine. Yes he did put his foot in touch for the non try but he should get some credit for being there in the first place. May was industrious and cleared up a lot of bad ball, but sometimes coughed up ball too, so mixed. Both of them broadly kept their fijan opposition quiet. And Daly did kick the penalty that was the difference.

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Post by eirebilly on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:54 am

I know that May has speed but I think Nowell is the more complete wing.

I would drop May to the bench and start Nowell for the next game
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Post by George Carlin on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:59 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I didn't manage to watch this one yet.

Were England really that bad or were the French strong and much improved? Or both?

Perhaps based on the matches in the final year of last year's tournament, I think that both England and Ireland fans were expecting healthy victories.

Isn't this a chance to find out more about your squads?

Can I also ask how Daly played because I really rate him.

England were poor and France have certainly improved, I guess we kind of met in middle somewhere. We dropped the ball and knocked on way too much, stopping us getting any momentum early on. Set piece went quite well but we slipped off tackles for fun.

Daly was ok, nothing amazing. Had a good chance for a try but put his feet in touch when I'd have expected a good winger to have finished it off.

France looked very solid and will do well this year. They were extremely physical in the contact, I can see them roughing a few teams up.
OK
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Post by lostinwales on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 11:00 am

I am increasingly thinking that we do have to adjust how we play. Its like we are expecting to play the same way as when Robshaw (to anticipate and clean everything up) and Billy (to always give go forward) are playing, and they are not.

If playing Robshaw is the thing that allows us to play Ford/ Farrell and he's not there then we need to just play Farrell.

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Post by TightHEAD on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 11:02 am

The tackling was awful yesterday from England, I appreciate the French/Fijian XV were big blokes but still.

I think Eddie will beast them this coming week.
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Post by lostinwales on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 11:09 am

TightHEAD wrote:The tackling was awful yesterday from England, I appreciate the French/Fijian XV were big blokes but still.

I think Eddie will beast them this coming week.

Considering we lost Kruis and the black eye/ bandage that May was wearing I think Jones already has been beasting them. It may be another contributing reason for the performance too

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Post by doctor_grey on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 11:27 am

Happy Sunday boys.
This was exactly the game I was concerned about.  In a very strange way I agree with Eddie Jones in that as the game went on it seemed England were always in it, just looking for that one opportunity or bounce of the ball to go our way.  France couldn't put England away despite their play in the first half and it came back to bite them.  This England group may really be developing as a group where these kinds of matches don't throw them the way it might have in the past.

I was never the biggest fan of Daly, but he is really coming into his own.  Especially if Ford is off the pitch, having Daly as another kicking option is a huge benefit.  Plus his overall play has been terrific.  He has the added advantage of being able to cover a number of positions which helps when looking at match ups against other teams.  

About the replacements coming on, overall I think it gave a better personnel match up against the French team.  But it does open eyes a bit:  
Clearly a 12 minute cameo from Te'o (from the olde English Te'o clan) is not enough to drop Ford to the bench and start Farrell and Te'o together as some of my mates are already suggesting.  But it does show the limits of a Ford-Farrell pairing and is something I bet we see in future games, especially with Te'o coming from the bench earlier and other possible pairings in the mid-field.
The Haskell-Itoje-Launchbury move was huge and gave more strength and expertise at the breakdown.  For all we laugh at Haskell a bit, he is really a very good player.  I think it also shows Jones regards Lawes' style of play more than Launchbury from the second row.  
I think George coming on for Hartley showed what a younger and match fit player can do.  Jones always talks about leadership and wanting more leaders in the team, and more leaders playing at the same time.  So, unless Hartley cannot improve, it will probably be a while until George gets his starts regularly.   And Jones seems happy to let Hartley play himself back into shape.  I think Jones should get George a start sometime soon to see what he can do.  Interesting Jones usually pulls Hartley at the 55-60 minute point, so yesterday's match was no different.

Glad we have this out of the way. It really looks like a tighter and better Six Nations this year. This has a long way to go.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 11:40 am

Given the approximate parity of possession & position, these stats tell a large part of England's problems yesterday:

England                                France
50%         Possession                50%
57%         Territory                        43%
99 (24) Tackles made (missed) 85 (13)
383        Metres made                591


Too little carrying and almost pub team level tackling. Against a side that can finish better than France we could be in trouble unless we sort this.
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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 11:45 am

It amazes me how disorganised France can be. Speddings kick in the last minute was unbelievably bad.They have some very good players but seem to be a real hit and hope team.

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Post by Hoonercat on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:04 pm

I had England down to lose as soon as the team was announced, there wasn't enough beef in the pack IMHO and it really doesn't function anywhere near as well without Robshaw. Wood, Itoje and Lawes doesn't strike me as a good attacking option, especially when Hughes has nowhere near Billy V's workrate or intensity.
I was surprised that Nowell wasn't brought on earlier, his ability to get involved in the game away from the sidelines and his wriggling would have been far more effective around that huge French pack than May's straight running. Likewise with Teo, we needed a big impact player who could run straight lines down the centre to make up for the lack of go forward from the pack.
Part of me wanted France to win, just to give the team, media and fans a reality check. England have played some excellent rugby under Jones but also some woeful performances which tend to be forgotten in victory. Though I doubt this performance will be forgotten. Shocked
Haskell needs to start next week but it does leave us without a big impact player on the bench.

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Post by doctor_grey on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:06 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:Given the approximate parity of possession & position, these stats tell a large part of England's problems yesterday:

England                                France
50%         Possession                50%
57%         Territory                        43%
99 (24) Tackles made (missed) 85 (13)
383        Metres made                591


Too little carrying and almost pub team level tackling. Against a side that can finish better than France we could be in trouble unless we sort this.
Great point. The tackling was poor indeed, and actually worse than the stats. If England made more tackles, likely England would have had more opportunity to have the ball and gain ground. But more than any player's performance, you hit on the key. No one on the team except Harrison (who didn't play) is exempt from criticism.

By the way, in the big scheme of things I blame the metric system. We would have gained more 'hard yards', than wimpy metres. We need a revolution: Put the metric system back in the hands of the technical and medical where it belongs, and return the proper Imperial system for Rugby and the rest of humanity, as intended from the beginning...................

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:08 pm

Was at the game yesterday, England were hugely disappointing. The only positive is the result - with trips to Cardiff and Dublin we can't afford to be losing any of our home games if we want to be in with a shot of the tournament, so in that respect it's job done.

You'd think players like Hartley, Youngs and Ford would have enough credit in the bank to get another start, and especially Hartley would have benefited from the minutes he played. If Haskell is fit to start, it allows us to reshuffle our pack slightly and move Itoje back into the second row. Clifford could also come in to contention on the bench, as he is a different type of carrier to Hughes and gives us a slightly different option.

Jones said Nowell being picked on the bench was horses for courses, and I think that's because he wanted May on the kickchase. I think he may swap Nowell into the starting line-up, however I think he'll be reluctant to remove Daly and his boot.

This was the worst England performance since the World Cup game against Australia. I can't see England playing this badly again next week, but if they do the dream of back-to-back Slams will almost definitely be up in smoke.

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Post by Hoonercat on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:14 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:Given the approximate parity of possession & position, these stats tell a large part of England's problems yesterday:

England                                France
50%         Possession                50%
57%         Territory                        43%
99 (24) Tackles made (missed) 85 (13)
383        Metres made                591


Too little carrying and almost pub team level tackling. Against a side that can finish better than France we could be in trouble unless we sort this.

We appear to have done away with low, hard tackling in favour of standing up straight and hugging the opposition to the ground. Any French player coming into the game with a knock would have left the field feeling much better after 80 minutes of being massaged gently. Wink
Worrying, given how strict refs are now on high tackles and head contact.

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Post by doctor_grey on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:18 pm

robbo277 wrote:This was the worst England performance since the World Cup game against Australia. I can't see England playing this badly again next week, but if they do the dream of back-to-back Slams will almost definitely be up in smoke.
I can't imagine training this week will be a joyous affair............

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