How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

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How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by DaveM on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 12:04 pm

First topic message reminder :

England next play NZ in the autumn of 2018. We can be confident that they will be ranked 2 and 1 in the world, but England will have home advantage. I expect this will be one of the most hyped games in the history of rugby. But how will England change between now and then? Obviously there will be injuries, loss of form, players coming from nowhere, etc, but here are some things I expect:

- England will get a lot better. We are still a young and inexperienced side, and I would have thought we would naturally get about 20% better over this timescale.
- Elliot Daly will be fullback. Mike Brown has been a great servant but is in decline, and Daly is a wonderful footballer. I think this might be Daly's long-term position for England.
- Jamie George will be hooker, Luke Cowan-Dickie will be the 'finisher' on the bench, and Itoje will be Captain. Hartley has been lucky in terms of not missing internationals, when he eventually does I think the case for change will be clear.
- Underhill will be in the matchday squad, and will quite possibly be the starting 7. England have some fantastic backrows at age-group level, but Underhill will come into contention before them and he may be able to push past Haskell. I think Robshaw will still be the starting 6 at this point.

What does everyone else think?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:14 pm

Would have more weight had you admitted to making the comment before having seen him play. Confirmation bias indeed!

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by miaow on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Would have more weight had you admitted to making the comment before having seen him play. Confirmation bias indeed!

No 7&1/2 wrote:Pretty sad to come onto a thread just to wum.

censored censored censored

Case dismissed!

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:35 pm

What case miaow? Where you try and suggest a world class player has suspect defence?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by miaow on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Would have more weight had you admitted to making the comment before having seen him play.

You've been reading too much fake news, 7.5. I'm sure you'd like to believe that the more you repeat something, the truer it gets, but we have words for these things. Alternative facts. Also know as lies. Bullocks. Complete bullschmidt.

2 legs good 4 legs bad.

Bow legs even better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh4HBF-IIl8


Last edited by miaow on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Poorfour on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:49 pm

miaow wrote:(despite being told his defence was better than his attack 2 months ago Erm ), and the debate should very much be whether that's enough to play him over a more defensively sound 13 for the Lions. As I've also said, it's not a debate for England, because England aren't setting themselves up to play the ABs 3 times, and nothing else. The Lions are held to a different standard.

If Joseph were a winger, I think he'd have a much, much better chance of being 'nailed on' already, but he's unfortunate because his position- outside centre- in both the modern game and specifically in Gatland (and therefore also Farrell's) defensive structures has become a quite specific one, and it's not an easy job by any means. Whatever Jon Davies's failing for Wales with ball in hand, he's been a very good defender in this mould, his positioning, reading of the game, and strength making up for his lack of quick burst pace, something Joseph has in bags. Gatland's shown a tendency to pick wingers who are attack-before-defence, i.e. North and Cuthbert- for both the Lions and Wales, but for 15s and 13s, he's often neglected the attacking player for a defensively sound one. This is why I feel Joseph and Hogg may be at risk from Halfpenny and JD2/Henshaw/Scott Williams, i.e. players who are defensively excellent.

13 is generally seen as the most difficult channel to defend because it's the widest channel. That's particularly true of England at the moment because with teams tending to attack down Ford's channel (and no Robshaw to clear up) they can't drift quite as fast. As a result, I think Joseph is covering a particularly wide channel.

Occasionally he gets wrongfooted and misses tackles, and occasionally he mistimes or misjudges a tackle and his opponent can break it or reach through to score. But generally I feel his defensive positioning is strong given the space he has to marshal.

It's easy to pick out a player's mistakes and call them out. They might, say, fail to clear to touch and allow the opposition to run back at an exposed team mate and score. Or make a high speed touchline tackle with their head on the wrong side and dislocate a shoulder. Everyone makes them.

One other point that has been made elsewhere is that once England had a big lead, they dropped off the defensive intensity very slightly. They didn't go for the high risk, ultra-physical tackles to anything like the same degree. The defence didn't have that desperate, back to the wall "you shall not pass" air to it. And why should it when they knew they could easily recoup the points and more?

England have only leaked 2 more points than Wales so far (and both teams have played Italy, so it's a fair comparison); on that basis there's not much wrong with the team's defence as a whole, and Joseph hasn't been raised as a weak link by anyone else.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by miaow on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:57 pm

Poorfour wrote:Occasionally he gets wrongfooted and misses tackles, and occasionally he mistimes or misjudges a tackle and his opponent can break it or reach through to score. But generally I feel his defensive positioning is strong given the space he has to marshal.

You seem to be neatly demonstrating my point, i.e. his defensive abilities? I don't believe that his role at 13 for England is vastly more difficult to the defensive role of any other 13 in the Home Nations. I also don't believe that it's a more difficult role than what will be required for the 13 playing for the Lions, quite the opposite, hence my point.

Liam Williams's try was off first phase. The point about a streteched defence is irrelevant. He should never have drifted too far from Farrell on his inside. It's exactly where I said Wales could get to him before the game.

Likewise, Huw Jones's try was very avoidable. The ruck ball was very slow and very telegraphed. He had a good 5 seconds to prepare himself to make the tackle. He simply slipped off it. I agree that the context of the game matters a bit, but still, for a man who isn't a physically dominant defender, to see himself stepped and brushed off so easily on his own tryline is pretty inexcusable. He should be compensating for his physical weaknesses by chopping him down early. I'm sure Gustard will be unhappy with him there; Farrell would be apoplectic if that happened for the Lions.

Poorfour wrote:Joseph hasn't been raised as a weak link by anyone else.

This is neither the topic nor the time to say anymore than I've said. I'll probably bring this up in a few weeks when another Lions thread crops up. But why should whether or not another poster on 606 has mentioned it matter? Be wary of herd mentality.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 6:02 pm

Because he's not a weak link in defence. As you said yourself he's world class. As you said he's being asked to do something differently than Davies. You can't seem to accept that Gatland cam adapt tactics or a world class player can play to different tactics. Or at least you can't when wumming an England thread about nationality and saying WC players are weak links...

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by miaow on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 6:08 pm

You must be very bored 7.5.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 6:13 pm

Why? You're either wumming so will try to avoid points and change the subject making you look silly and prejudiced. Or you'll talk about it and tell me why you think a world class player can't adapt his game and a coach like Gatland or Farrell only have one set game plan that requires them to ignore a world class player and ill learn something.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by miaow on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 6:19 pm

And lonely.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 6:29 pm

So you're going with wumming then. Ok.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by EnglishReign on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 6:35 pm

Jonny May at flanker and the win is ours.

One stint at flanker, one win.

100%.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Gwlad on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:52 pm

They could play with each other and then it would just be a huge World Class fest of humility.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 4:22 am

I also do not think JJ is great defensively, but he is very good in that department.

I remember having this discussion prior to the 6N and it went along similar lines. JJ was deemed nothing more that a solid 13 prior to last season by most people I seem to think. This last year though, he's really stepped up and has been a bit of a revelation tbh.

Ironically, this seemed to coincided with him going off the boil in an attacking sense somewhat. I recall questioning his position in the starting XV as I didn't think he had the defensive game if he wasn't producing the goods with ball in hand.

I was wrong and he was arguably our best defensive back over the previous 12 month period (perhaps this is where the confusion that some posters think others have stated JJ's defence is better than his attack??).

Since the start 6N's, with more of a focus on JJ from other nations fans due to these discussions, he's disappointed for me. He's slipped off a few tackles and just not been as solid as the last year. He has been good defensively, but not just as good as he can be.

In attack though against Scotland........wow. Has there been a better display from a 13 in world rugby over this last few years?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 8:12 am

England do leak a lot of tries for a dominant team.
I don't look at a record of letting in more points than Wales as good. Especially when they haven't had to face the best attacking team in the tournament.
Given England tend to have the majority of both possession and territory their record in allowing the opposition to score shows that try line defending isn't their strong suit. Even more so when you consider they aren't getting reduced to the sort of desperate high risk plays from deep you see from the like of Finn Russel or the Irish play that led to Wales late try.
For the most part they aren't chasing games and not gifting tries with low percentage play in their own 22. They aren't getting out scrumed or tooled at lineouts.
They are still getting undone in every game, and by a worryingly high percentage of opposition attacking plays. Even Scotland with a powder puff pack and a scratch back line nearly got a bonus point.
Of course it doesn't matter so much if you're scoring with even more ease, but there must be things that could be worked on to improve their defence.
Weak links like Ford maybe don't help. Nor has their ability to attract cards for some pretty innocuous incidents... although they've actually had a pretty solid time defending a man down (Argentina game is the real stand out)

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 2:31 pm

I'd rather be winning 35-20 conceding some soft tries than 24-9 in kick fests. Not just because of the quality of game we get to watch, but also because it's easier to coach a defence.

Tries win games, and we always need to play with the intention of scoring tries.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Poorfour on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 3:13 pm

Gooseberry wrote:England do leak a lot of tries for a dominant team.
I don't look at a record of letting in more points than Wales as good. Especially when they haven't had to face the best attacking team in the tournament.
Given England tend to have the majority of both possession and territory their record in allowing the opposition to score shows that try line defending isn't their strong suit.  Even more so when you consider they aren't getting reduced to the sort of desperate  high risk plays from deep you see from the like of Finn Russel or the Irish play that led to Wales late try.
For the most part they aren't chasing games and not gifting tries with low percentage play in their own 22. They aren't getting out scrumed or tooled at lineouts.
They are still getting undone in every game, and by a worryingly high percentage of opposition attacking plays.  Even Scotland with a powder puff pack and a scratch back line nearly got a bonus point.
Of course it doesn't matter so much if you're scoring with even more ease, but there must be things that could be worked on to improve their defence.
Weak links like Ford maybe don't help. Nor has their ability to attract cards for some pretty innocuous incidents... although they've actually had a pretty solid time defending a man down (Argentina game is the real stand out)

They've leaked two points more than Wales, and since they are the best attacking team in the tournament, in terms of points scored, I'm pretty sure they won't have to face themselves. If you mean Ireland, then the Irish attack looked pretty toothless on Friday.

Of course there are things they can work on to improve their defence; one thing will be getting Robshaw back. It's easy to forget that they've spent most of this 6N without Haskell and all of it without Kruis and Robshaw - all of whom are huge defenders.

They're leaking 17 points per game - (21, or 5 per game, of which are accounted for by the freak off-the-posts effort by Italy - should have done better but not a flaw in the defensive system - and two Scotland tries when the game was already long won). Over Eddie's reign the average is 17.5, so they have actually been slightly better than of late.

By contrast, the ABs conceded an average of 14 per game in their winning streak (including against some lower ranked teams) - one penalty kick per game. Enough to lose a close game, but not an insurmountable gap.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 3:25 pm

You should be targeting to score more than 30 and less than 20. Gives you a margin of error if you make some mistakes.

England started this tournament very well defensively by conceding less than 20 against France and Wales, although they couldn't get their attack going.

Lately they've got their attack going, but were possibly a little passive in defence at times against Scotland.

However, because they're attack and defence haven't failed in the same game, they find themselves 4 from 4.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Poorfour on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 3:39 pm

We also have to remember that several times in this run England rather sportingly gave their opposition a ten point head start before starting to play.

I'm pretty sure it was a deliberate Eddie tactic. "Ehhh, Dylan mate, let's make it interesting. Give 'em a head start and I'll give you good odds on the spread."

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 9:45 am


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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 9:52 am

Not sure the finances will actually stack up, what with the fess to NZRU and the extra payments a 4th international would need to PRL. If t does stack up though, you can be sure the RFU will push for it.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Poorfour on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:08 am

LondonTiger wrote:Not sure the finances will actually stack up, what with the fess to NZRU and the extra payments a 4th international would need to PRL. If t does stack up though, you can be sure the RFU will push for it.

I suspect that the RFU can charge prices for an unexpected NZ "Undisputed Champions vs Challengers" game that will make it financially viable under any circumstances, especially if the Lions perform well. The issue is likely to be much not setting a precedent for NZ taking 50% of the revenue (which is what they're asking for); I don't think the RFU are actually that averse to paying the NZRU a lot of money, but a 50% split overvalues the All Blacks [1] and creates a situation in which other teams will feel they can demand similar shares.

That kind of revenue share basically paves the way for a move to a situation where all gate revenues are equally split. That might actually be desirable from the perspective of developing rugby around the world, but it shouldn't be undertaken without lots of consideration. For example, unions who own their own large stadia would end up subsidising those who don't - which disincentivises investment in stadia, because it increases the payback period for any spend. How do you make sure that doesn't happen? I'd want to see a strategy for revenue sharing rather than the RFU just giving in to the NZRU.

[1] In anticipation of howls of "we deserve it because we're the best", "it's our market value", "you should pay if you want us to play"... it overvalues them because if the RFU can raise more revenue by playing other teams, they have priced themselves out of the market. Sporting excellence does command a premium price - but not one that is so large that it risks damaging the game (see the point about disincentives above).

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by cascough on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:11 am

I think we would be likely to lose that.

First up after the disruption of a Lions tour. Would rather play them 2nd or 3rd.


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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:24 am

Poorfour wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Not sure the finances will actually stack up, what with the fess to NZRU and the extra payments a 4th international would need to PRL. If t does stack up though, you can be sure the RFU will push for it.

I suspect that the RFU can charge prices for an unexpected NZ "Undisputed Champions vs Challengers" game that will make it financially viable under any circumstances, especially if the Lions perform well. The issue is likely to be much not setting a precedent for NZ taking 50% of the revenue (which is what they're asking for); I don't think the RFU are actually that averse to paying the NZRU a lot of money, but a 50% split overvalues the All Blacks [1] and creates a situation in which other teams will feel they can demand similar shares.

That kind of revenue share basically paves the way for a move to a situation where all gate revenues are equally split. That might actually be desirable from the perspective of developing rugby around the world, but it shouldn't be undertaken without lots of consideration. For example,  unions who own their own large stadia would end up subsidising those who don't - which disincentivises investment in stadia, because it increases the payback period for any spend. How do you make sure that doesn't happen? I'd want to see a strategy for revenue sharing rather than the RFU just giving in to the NZRU.

[1] In anticipation of howls of "we deserve it because we're the best", "it's our market value", "you should pay if you want us to play"... it overvalues them because if the RFU can raise more revenue by playing other teams, they have priced themselves out of the market. Sporting excellence does command a premium price - but not one that is so large that it risks damaging the game (see the point about disincentives above).

I agree with the precedent point, and hope Richie doesn't just deal on 50% for a supposed "one-off", because it's what the fans want.

A lot of US sports use revenue sharing models, and I think it works for them because they are all operating in the same market with the same currency. I don't think it would work as well in international sport.

In cricket you hear whenever there is a test in Sri Lanka, for example, stories of tickets being sold for 10p. That's fine, because it would have cost them less to build the stadium, will cost them less to employ staff to run the stadium, will cost them less to market the game and their administrators and offices will be at a lower salary and rent. It's their pricing model.

But if the ECB took 50% of 30,000 tickets over 5 days at 10p a ticket, they're taking home £7,500 - which is 62.5% of Joe Root's match fee. Conversely, England's revenue from their 7 lucrative home tests which helps fund them during the year would be halved immediately.

These is an extreme example because Sri Lanka is an economically poor country, but the theory is still the same when you have countries from different markets playing each other.

It also leaves you exposed in terms of foreign currency fluctuations, as your costs will all be in your home currency and your revenue will be in the currency of the country you play in.

Finally, American sports are also franchised and if your stadium or crowds aren't big enough and you're not producing enough revenue then you will lose your franchise. You can't talk about spreading the international game one day and then take away international status for poor countries the next.

A revenue share agreement in International Rugby would not work in my opinion, and England should not be complicit in setting a precedent for it.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:25 am

cascough wrote:I think we would be likely to lose that.

First up after the disruption of a Lions tour. Would rather play them 2nd or 3rd.


I think the other three tests our set and agreed. We can either tack it on before or after.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by cascough on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 1:19 pm

robbo277 wrote:
cascough wrote:I think we would be likely to lose that.

First up after the disruption of a Lions tour. Would rather play them 2nd or 3rd.


I think the other three tests our set and agreed. We can either tack it on before or after.

Sure, I was coming at it from the point of view of planning for the World Cup though. If it really is about that, then it's far from ideal to have them first up IMO. If the primary driver is revenue then they'll have it anyway, but I think it would be a bit silly to put the hardest game possible first up after that level of disruption. I think we'd get beaten and it would be a setback, rather than a measure of where we are. In a world cup even if you had them first in the group you'd have warm up games.

Being as they are trying to tack it on after, I think we would be better served by having it last if we must.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 2:09 pm

From a fan and team development perspective it makes sense. From a palyer welfare and wanting to win it sense it really doesnt, not coming off the back of a Lions topur shoehorned in outside the window. Same goes for the All Blacks travelling circus too ... 4nations, lions tour and AIs alongside Super Rugby is a lot to ask of the players.
OK its just one drop in the ocean for them, but a test against England would in theory be an intense game for the A team rather than a jolly for the resrves against the Barbarians.

Its likely to be decided by money in the end but thats pretty sad. The pressure wont just be from direct profit but also wanting to keep the team sponsors happy.


In terms of the win streak theres every chance that the Saxons will have blown that in Argentina anyway with the bulk of the senior side having travelled to the Lions or taken the summer off for surgery.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by king_carlos on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 2:20 pm

I'd argue it doesn't make sense from a fan perspective.

When international sides meet I want to see as close as reasonably possible to the best XV and 23 that each nation can field.

If a 4th AI were to be tagged on immediately following a Lions tour it would be less a case of England's best vs New Zealand's best, more a case of last men standing vs last men standing.

Less rugby and a higher quality of it when played is what's needed.

No summer tours the year after a RWC is a good start. Only 3 AIs maximum with one required to be played against a developing nation would be a positive decision as well.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 2:54 pm

king_carlos wrote:

Less rugby and a higher quality of it when played is what's needed.

No summer tours the year after a RWC is a good start. Only 3 AIs maximum with one required to be played against a developing nation would be a positive decision as well.

I do agreew with the general principle (Im certainly not massively fussed about expanding to a 7 nations or two pool NH comeptition) but ....

You'd do away with arguably Englands best summer tour ever? It would mean only one proper summer tour every cycle, and if they retained the rotation new zealand away every 12 years. Which really woudl be ridiculous if England stayed as one of the top 2 or 3 sides for the long term. OK I know the next thing would be "well get rid of the Lions then". Even then Im not sure why doing away with a summer tour the year after a world cup is a good idea, if anything its when its needed most; often following mass retirements and rebuilding of the side.

And have more high quality rugby by playing developing nations?
Although England and most of the 6 Nations do follow that AI model anyway....its how this question regarding the extra fuxture for NZ came up in the first place. England are playing Samoa in the window.


Reducing games would be better served by cutting back to a 5 nations and cutting the Lions. None of those things is happening any time soon.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Brad71090 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 3:00 pm

I would love a 3 test series at home against the ABs

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 3:39 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
king_carlos wrote:

Less rugby and a higher quality of it when played is what's needed.

No summer tours the year after a RWC is a good start. Only 3 AIs maximum with one required to be played against a developing nation would be a positive decision as well.

I do agreew with the general principle (Im certainly not massively fussed about expanding to a 7 nations or two pool NH comeptition) but ....

You'd do away with arguably Englands best summer tour ever? It would mean only one proper summer tour every cycle, and if they retained the rotation new zealand away every 12 years. Which really woudl be ridiculous if England stayed as one of the top 2 or 3 sides for the long term. OK I know the next thing would be "well get rid of the Lions then". Even then Im not sure why doing away with a summer tour the year after a world cup is a good idea, if anything its when its needed most; often following mass retirements and rebuilding of the side.

And have more high quality rugby by playing developing nations?
Although England and most of the 6 Nations do follow that AI model anyway....its how this question regarding the extra fuxture for NZ came up in the first place. England are playing Samoa in the window.


Reducing games would be better served by cutting back to a 5 nations and cutting the Lions. None of those things is happening any time soon.  

As someone with no affiliation to club rugby, my solution is to cut back on club rugby. Or more accurately, take international players out of domestic rugby, and mimic the Southern Hemisphere season. So a super European comp and internationals that coincide with domestic comps. That way players can play max 14 European games and max 12 International games, for example, giving an average of a maximum of 26 games a year. Would mean our best play against the best more and become better as well.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by fa0019 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 7:53 pm

I think the problem England have is that whilst the Ford-Farrell combo reaps dividends in attack it ain't half risky in defence.

Firstly can England win a world cup say with Farrell injured... not a chance. If Ford is their back up then there is no way he can take over the kicking tee from Farrell and be of a like for like vintage.
England aren't NZ, they will never be a side that can win with a 65-70% kicker. They need a 85% kicker at all times.  Ford lacks the range and the composure with the boot... it was heavily debated here years ago that Ford would improve but its pretty settled now, he's simply not test standard with the tee.

England need a contingency plan for Farrell's absence, they need someone to be able to fit straight in and hit 5/6 every game. Jonny had a host of players who were exemplary kickers... Matt Dawson was heavily underrated for instance.

Is that person around the camp? I don't personally know.

Then there is Ford in defence I mean he's one of the weakest links tackle wise in rugby since Peter Wright was given a Lions jersey and told to pack down vs. NZ.He's actually gone backwards in development. Before he was actually getting low and making the tackles albeit smashed 3 metres in the process. For the last year he's not even bothered to tackle and rather is happy to get shoulder barged out the way by even average test strike runners.

Scotland scored off the 1st phase by simply bashing him out the way, Wales scored off the 1st phase in similar fashion. NZ will be licking their lips and there is little England can do about it.

However the Ford-Farrell axis in undeniably good, so good I think Ford should be seriously considered for the Lions (when on his own he's perhaps 6th choice flyhalf). The question is how do England get around his obvious flaws?

If it was a case of him bulking up he would have done it by now. England continue to play him at 1st receiver but its simply madness when defending 1st phase lineouts/scrums in their 22. Put him at 15 in such positions and shift the defending line along. Do something but its a flaw that I can't see England over coming against the very best in a RWC.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 7:58 pm

Ah you've always underrated him.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by fa0019 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 8:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Ah you've always underrated him.

I didn't rate him no... but I do accept that the value he adds to England's attack with Farrell is worth keeping however.

However even you 7.5 must now acknowledge how woeful he is with the tee and also in defence. They need a plan and I'm sure Jones has one... but I don't see any obvious candidates bar if Daly got the tee but sure he has Steyn like range but does he have Farrell like accuracy from within the oppositions half... I don't know.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 8:16 pm

He s actually gone backwards from the tee. More down to meltdowns in one off games rather than a consistent downgrade though. Farrell had one a few games ago though so it happens. Defence fir me his technique is better than Farrell. If Farrell doesn't play Ford would take the kicks. He'll be generally fine, as you say Daly takes the long ones now anyway. Personally I would like to see Slade start with a n other at 13 in the summer while Farrell and Joseph are likely to be in NZ.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by king_carlos on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 12:17 am

If Farrell is unavailable I expect the tactics are:

1. Ford takes the shorter distance kicks and Daly the longer ones. Halfpenny started kicking goals in the same areas that Daly does, if the talent is there it can be worked on.

2. Slade is an excellent goal kicker who has a skill set to perform a similar role to Farrell in attack and defence. Whether he can do so consistently is another question and I wish he was getting more game time to see this.

If Farrell were injured, then Te'o comes in at 12 with Slade on the bench. Both options above would be covered. If goal kicking or play making went to pot without that option in the centre then Slade could be subbed on early - as we've seen that's not something that Jones is adverse to doing.

It's by no means ideal but losing one of your best players will never be.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by rapidsnowman on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 8:42 am

How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Interesting question.

We do know at one time they were Orcs but managed to successfully evolve in to normal human beings.

The next stage for them would be perhaps a tail.
It would make them better balanced as runners (see squirrels and Lemurs for evidence), help binding in the scrum and maybe be useful to make hand-offs whilst still carrying the ball securely in 2 hands.

I don't know how long a tail takes to evolve but I wouldn't place an advance bulk order for new shorts until they see how things are going.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 8:53 am

fa0019 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Ah you've always underrated him.

I didn't rate him no... but I do accept that the value he adds to England's attack with Farrell is worth keeping however.

However even you 7.5 must now acknowledge how woeful he is with the tee and also in defence. They need a plan and I'm sure Jones has one... but I don't see any obvious candidates bar if Daly got the tee but sure he has Steyn like range but does he have Farrell like accuracy from within the oppositions half... I don't know.

Going to struggle with 7.5, he thinks Ford is a good defender despite joint most missed tackles for England alongside Hartley with 8.

He likes to ignore evidence.

Ford isn't in the team for his defence, it's his playmaking and attacking prowess.

Slade is indeed the natural replacement for Farrell Jr.

As for evolving I think that means being more dynamic in the pack and backline which means the slower less skilled ball handlers to be eased out. Need to ease out the backs not passing either... Whistle I think you can guess the players I mean.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:06 am

Just not true beshocked. Why aren't you criticising Farrell for dropping off tackles, going too high like you like to pick Ford out for? Why weren't you jumping up and down at George for knocking on vs Italy in a promising attacking position? Balance your comments.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:18 am

Your normal tactic I see - deflect by changing the topic.

It's true you ignore evidence. Farrell has aspects of his game to work on but he's not as defensively poor as Ford.

Why do I pick on Ford you say? Well because you have fools saying Ford is a good defender when he clearly isn't? Most missed tackles by England and he's supposedly good in that area? Come on....

As long as Ford adds more value to England through his strengths than his weaknesses then he should be retained. He's doing that so I have no issue with him starting at the moment.

It's about looking at what a player must work on.

Someone needs to defend Jamie George. Plus I'd need to look back to see how the knock on came about.

Was it crucial? Can't remember it being that important for you to highlight...


I am balanced. One of my favourite players, Itoje still gives away too many penalties. It's a weakness he must work on. Just would like you to acknowledge that certain players like Joseph and Ford are not infallible.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:22 am

Ford isn't defensively poor though. He's not as powerful as some but his technique is very good.

Why does anyone need to defend George, I've not seen anyone bar a few people argue g for Best on the Lions say he's not class.

And the old argument of ignore mistakes unless they lead directly to points...or cost points. Let's face it youre the guy who jumps up and down on certain playes for mistakes, just pointing out everyone makes them but as people don't have an axe to grind they aren't constantly brought up.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Gooseberry on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:27 am

If ford isn't defensively poor why do England try to hide him and the opposition target him?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by cascough on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:33 am

Gooseberry wrote:If ford isn't defensively poor why do England try to hide him and the opposition target him?

BloodandMud Podcast had a rugby league guy on recently, can't remember his name, but he works for the RFL (is that what it's called?) on the development side of things. He made an interesting point on this. They were initially talking about Ford but he pointed out it applies to any playmaker.

He said in RL its commonplace to shield your main playmakers from the defensive workload for the simple reason that you don't want them tiring themselves out making tackles. Actually you want them to be as fresh as possible so that when they do get their hands on the ball they can execute as well as possible. It was one of the areas he picked out as RU being able to learn from RL as he was puzzled as to why more teams don't adopt this approach.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:34 am

His technique isn't good enough if he's joint top for missed tackles for England. I haven't analysed every single missed tackle by him. Only highlighted the obvious one vs Italy.

Making a tackle but being driven backwards in my opinion isn't necessarily good defence if the opposition gets over the gainline.

Against NZ, they'll brutally exploit this.

Generally I only bring up the most important/eyecatching mistakes.

England must iron out any weaknesses to beat NZ.

I generally criticise those players not performing well enough, whereas you generally jump to their defence.

Who do you think Ford is keeping out who I like? Lozoskwi isn't better than Ford at the moment. He might well be a superior defender but Ford is a superior attacker and game manager, plus more experienced.

The question is how will England evolve?

That means individual players working on aspects of their game and building more understanding.

Ford and Farrell have a good relationship you can see that but other players must build those.


Last edited by beshocked on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:36 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:36 am

They're not doing a good job of hiding him then are they? I think in general you just don't want your ten making loads of tackles. Just done a spot of research on Farrell vs Ford this 6n. Ford made 28 missed 8. Farrell made 22 missed 6. Now Farrell being miles better doesn't really show in those stats.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:37 am

I agree with you in one respect fully there you concentrate on important eye catching moments.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by BamBam on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:37 am

For some reason, since Sir Jonny decided that he was actually an exocet missile masquerading as a fly half, some people think that fly halves should be sending forwards backwards at the rate of knots.


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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:43 am

no 7 & 1/2 I've not actually claimed that Farrell has defended well, neither player has defended well going by those stats. I said Farrell isn't as defensively poor which going by the stats he isn't.

It's an area NZ will target.

Bambam no not really. Just don't expect 10s to be smashed backwards. Wilkinson was the best but Sexton and Carter are more physical than Ford.

The 10 most like Ford is Russell and he's not famed for his tackling.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:48 am

Cool beans then. We don't have a 10 available as good as Wilkinson defensively and the 2 guys around the position at the moment are about the same in stats for tackles. Can probably stop focusing on it as a major factor in picking a fly half. As long as they ain't a revolving door which they aren't.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:49 am

beshocked wrote:no 7 & 1/2 I've not actually claimed that Farrell has defended well, neither player has defended well going by those stats. I said Farrell isn't as defensively poor which going by the stats he isn't.

It's an area NZ will target.

Bambam no not really. Just don't expect 10s to be smashed backwards. Wilkinson was the best but Sexton and Carter are more physical than Ford.

The 10 most like Ford is Russell and he's not famed for his tackling.

From the stats, Farrell has missed 21.4% of the tackles he's attempted, Ford has missed 22.2%. If Farrell is better, the stats suggest it's marginal at best.

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