England v Italy Match Build Up Thread

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 1:39 am

First topic message reminder :

Date: Sat 9th March
Time: 16.45
Venue: TWICKENHAM Stadium, London
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia) ((Who???))

England starting XV (472 caps)

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 28 caps), 14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), 13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 30 caps), 12 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 16 caps), 11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 43 caps), 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 68 caps) (captain), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 83 caps), 1 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps)  , 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 35 caps), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 20 caps), 4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 56 caps), 5 George Kruis (Saracens, 30 caps), 6 Brad Shields (Wasps, 6 caps), 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 8 caps), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 39 caps)

Finishers (203 caps)

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps), 17 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 6 caps), 18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 83 caps), 19 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 20 caps), 20 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 11 caps), 21 Dan Robson (Wasps, 1 cap), 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps), 23 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 20 caps)




Italy squad for England:




15 Jayden HAYWARD (Benetton Rugby, 15 caps)
14 Edoardo PADOVANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 18 caps)*
13 Luca MORISI (Benetton Rugby, 23 caps)*
12 Michele CAMPAGNARO (Wasps, 41 caps)*
11 Angelo ESPOSITO (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)
10 Tommaso ALLAN (Benetton Rugby, 46 caps)
9  Tito TEBALDI (Benetton Rugby, 30 caps) 
8 Sergio PARISSE (Stade Francais, 136 caps) – capitano
7 Abraham Jurgens STEYN (Benetton Rugby, 28 caps)
6 Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 14 caps)
5 Dean BUDD (Benetton Rugby, 19 caps)
4 Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 10 caps)*
3 Simone FERRARI (Benetton Rugby, 20 caps)
2 Luca BIGI (Benetton Rugby, 17 caps)
1 Andrea LOVOTTI (Zebre Rugby Club, 32 caps)*
 
A disposizione:
16 Leonardo GHIRALDINI (Stade Toulousian, 102 caps)
17 Cherif TRAORE' (Benetton Rugby, 8 caps)*
18 Tiziano PASQUALI (Benetton Rugby, 16 caps)
19 David SISI (Zebre Rugby Club, 3 cap)
20 Jake POLLEDRI (Gloucester Rugby, 6 caps)
21 Guglielmo PALAZZANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 30 caps)
22 Ian MCKINLEY (Benetton Rugby, 7 caps) 
23 Tommaso CASTELLO (Zebre Rugby Club, 17 caps)



So after the come down of losing to Wales in Cardiff, England now have Italy at home as a chance to get the chariot back on track. Bonus points so far mean they are in with a good shout of a tournament win even if the GS and Triple Crown are out the window. They'll want to test out a few fringe players, avoid injuries and get the full 5 points from this fixture.

Italy so far look poor, they've yet to get a win and if history means anything will have to wait another week too. But anything can happen, they often make England work hard for any points and can catch the English off guard sometimes, dragging them into a scrap that suits the Azzurri. Get ready for another long afternoon of certain hosts and pundits gushing over Parisse as he gets in the way of everything good the Italians try, but looks so good doing it.

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:27 pm

Italy are absolutely terrible, no nearer to registering a first win over England than they were 20 years ago.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:28 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I dont think Shields has been that bad however I would start Wilson next week.

I don't think he's bad. I just think he's not that effective. There is such a agressive streak to this team but he's the one player you don't see going for those 'dominating tackles'. He just seems a little underpowered.

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Post by miaow on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:28 pm

robbo277 wrote:Te'o hasn't been brilliant, but Tuilagi has looked much better at 13. Maybe just because it's Italy, I'd like to see him play there again for Scotland. So maybe we stick with Te'o for that one as well?

Do agree that Tuilagi looks better in the wider channels as he's more likely to break and finish, rather than rumble into contact. Not sure the shirt number matters for that. And not sure he should be prioritising/focusing on one or the other. Tuilagi is the difference for England - if doing both he's the star man, the player to build the team around. If the desire is there, Tuilagi can stand at 13 later on in moves depending on who his centre partner is.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I think a Wilson call is fair enough. Too hard to prove against Italy despite it being the best 6 performance thus far. Not sure Cokanasiga has down too much if anything wrong from defensive position though. The one change I really want to see from Wales is genge to start.

See I think Genge showed hes got so much potential but he has some way to go to match Mako. Good position to be in though.


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Post by miaow on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:31 pm

miaow wrote:England 62 Italy 19

Close enough. One try fewer apiece.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:32 pm

Vunipola ain't available next game though.

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Post by EnglishReign on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:33 pm

Now just need to hope Ireland turn up in Cardiff and we avenge last year's Murrayfield defeat against the Scots.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:33 pm

I expect both tbh.

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Post by Cyril on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:34 pm

Good win for England, but the calls for Italy to be removed from this tournament must be deafening now. On a more positive note this England side is looking like the best hope for the NH in the World Cup after today’s showing. Signs of the 2003 side who generally had a one bad game in the lead up to the big one.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:35 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Vunipola ain't available next game though.

Yeah I forgot. I agree then start him v Scotland

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Post by robbo277 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:36 pm

Miaow- he definitely looks more threatening in the wider channels. He could stand outside Slade, but would he hold the defence in the same way Te'o does?

With Youngs and Farrell looking to kick and forcing defenders into backfield, Te'o interesting the inside defence, Daly joining the line to distribute and Tuilagi looking to get into the outside channels we have a decent attacking shape in theory and one that went well against a poor Italy side. I'm not sure we have anyone other than Te'o (well, maybe Billy V...) to run that role. Slade definitely ran more direct lines than I expected in the first 3 weeks, but his threat came elsewhere, mainly intercepting and threading kicks through.

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Post by robbo277 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:40 pm

With the bonus point here, a Wales draw would see England take the Championship with any win against Scotland.

What message would you be giving if you were Eddie? Preparing as if the Championship was lost or preparing as if it's on the line?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:44 pm

You prepare to win it all. You plan to do the job and beat Scotland first though

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:44 pm

He's got to prepare it to win with a bonus. Do whatever it takes ourselves. We'll know when we kick off whatever need to do whether that be a win only or just go out to try to win handsomely and say oh well that's the nature of the 6 nation's. The best team doesn't necessarily win.

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Post by miaow on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:45 pm

Cyril: don't be hasty to write Italy off. They're improving their infrastructure below test level but they're lacking quality - they're lacking a Parisse or Bergamasco figure or two, someone to build a team around and be the poster boy for the public as well. Allen looked good today, but it doesn't help that Italy are relying more and more on heritage players, rather than homegrown through the systems.

That said, think about the comparisons to Scotland. 6-7 years ago they were in a similar situation. They've also had 50+ put on them by England and Wales in recent years as well. A generation is all that's needed to make Italian rugby competitive again - and a generation is, in many ways, 3-4 years in rugby. That's how long cycles seem to occur, and new blood comes through. If Itlay can get 5-6 good players, with maybe 1 or even 2 stars, they'd be fine - with the age grades doing well that's not out of the question. But just as England went through a drought of talent in the 00s, it can happen for Italy too: don't need knee jerk reactions.

In any case, the 6Ns is obviously coming to an end with the global season coming about. But this was a comfortable win for England from the 1st minute, something they managed against France as well. Italy looked decent in stages, and look better in terms of intent and productive/creative tactics than they ever have since 2000. Unfair to write them off even if they are uncompetitive at the end of the day: England's power up front exploits that on the scoreboard better than any other 6Ns team.

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Post by robbo277 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:50 pm

If Wales fail to win any 4 point win will see us win the Championship. Unless Ireland beat then by like 100 points.

But do you talk about the Championship? If you play up the Championship chance and Wales win, then is there a bit of disappointment when they take the field? The psychology of it is interesting imo.

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Post by EnglishReign on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:52 pm

Agree with that, miaow. I actually think Italy's earlier results and performances show it's not all bad. They got battered today but 'only' lost the first few games by 10 points or so.

And I would back Scotland, Wales and Ireland to beat the likes of Aus by a similar margin tbh.

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Post by miaow on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:55 pm

robbo277 wrote:Miaow- he definitely looks more threatening in the wider channels. He could stand outside Slade, but would he hold the defence in the same way Te'o does?

With Youngs and Farrell looking to kick and forcing defenders into backfield, Te'o interesting the inside defence, Daly joining the line to distribute and Tuilagi looking to get into the outside channels we have a decent attacking shape in theory and one that went well against a poor Italy side. I'm not sure we have anyone other than Te'o (well, maybe Billy V...) to run that role. Slade definitely ran more direct lines than I expected in the first 3 weeks, but his threat came elsewhere, mainly intercepting and threading kicks through.

Don't underestimate the threat/use of getting over the gainline from 12. England's gameplan, as expected, is becoming more and more about power in every position. I don't think England will start with a second 5/8th against any 'big' team again: Farrell wasn't good enough in defence/on the crash, and nor would Slade be. Equally, Slade's being used for his footwork and kicking - which I think limits him but I'm sure there will be some great distribution from him in the rest of the year - so using him at 12 might make sense in theory, but not in EJ's system. I atually think Te'o 'works' as a player for England in that he's just solid: nothing remarkable, but decent skillset, physical, good defender. It can be easy to get a bit too 'utopian' about discussing rugby on paper: look at the difference between this game and the Wales game. Sometimes you need someone like Tuilagi to smash it up rather than have him using his full talents, smashing through an outside shoulder and running in from halfway. But either way, Tuilagi is the key man. Cokanasiga looks good but there are better all-round wingers: he's an alternative to Ashton in that he brings great attacking but perhaps a bit rough round the edges.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:57 pm

Not sure what to think about that game. As many predicted before, and branded arrogant for it, the win was never in doubt against a team that is not very good. Pleased that despite having the minority in possession we conceded few penalties. However our intensity in defence was some way below what we have seen so far this season across the AIs and 6Ns.

6/10 performance.

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Post by EnglishReign on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 6:57 pm

robbo277 wrote:If Wales fail to win any 4 point win will see us win the Championship. Unless Ireland beat then by like 100 points.

But do you talk about the Championship? If you play up the Championship chance and Wales win, then is there a bit of disappointment when they take the field? The psychology of it is interesting imo.

I would just say, no matter what happens with Wales v Ireland, it's imperative to right the wrongs of last year with a big, big finish.

I'm sure Eddie will be pumped after the abuse received from some 'fans' last year.

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Post by Cyril on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:00 pm

Miaow, I don’t rate Scotland much higher than Italy right now, to be honest. England should be 20 points better than them. France seem a little better than they were but I expect Ireland to be at least two scores superior to them tomorrow. The blues are propping up the table again.

Hopefully Ireland do us a favour.

Very confident about what this England side can do in Japan!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:00 pm

The joy of England is that we have multiple options across the squad. Because Jones doesn't pick someone in particular place doesn't mean that they aren't a class act. England went on a back of a run with players like Ford at 10 and Farrell at 12 who apparently aren't good enough. Just shows how good the rest are. Apparently!

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Post by miaow on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:01 pm

Still think England are favourites for the title.

Wales took a bit of a beating today. Some might not make it to next week - including a few head knocks and Liam Williams, who's looking excellent, potentially out as well. Add in the fact that Ireland will have surely been preparing for Wales for a while (Italy a gimme, France less so but v beatable at home) and it's hard to see anything other than a 50:50 in Cardiff next week. No chance of England slipping up against Scotland at home.

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Post by robbo277 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:03 pm

ER

I agree i think. I'd almost ban the word Championship. We want to win the Calcutta Cup, we want to finish our season with a big win and individually players need to put their best foot forward ahead of the World Cup.

Should Wales then slip, the motivation may change but the goal wouldn't. Win and win well is all that matters.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:05 pm

I also want to wallow in how good Curry is. He's just excellent. I'm sure Jones and Sale will be working to make him more an option in the lineout but at present wow.

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Post by EnglishReign on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:08 pm

Just on Italy's quality again - let's not forget that NH rugby is in a very good place, generally. Three of Italy's 6N opponents are in positions 2, 3 and 4 in the rankings and still not all of these teams are getting BP wins against them.

I think this current Italy side would be doing okay in the tournament maybe 5 years ago - any of their improvements have been met by more significant improvements with the other 6N teams. Except France obvs.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:16 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I also want to wallow in how good Curry is. He's just excellent. I'm sure Jones and Sale will be working to make him more an option in the lineout but at present wow.

Oh yes. Much more carrying to add to the insane number of tackles and the odd turnover. If he can learn to be an option in the lineout then a frodo/ curry flank combo becomes much more practical.

It felt like Jones was subbing the players he rates highest.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:23 pm

Yup. Know some were worrying about the loss of Underhill bit there is a reason curry was rated around him despite being a few years younger. Back row has gone from a weakness to a major area of strength.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 7:44 pm

Another good win for England. another bonus point win as well. Dissapointed by Italy to be honest. although they did play some good rugby and score 2 cracking tries.

Manu scoreing a couple of tries as well, all in all a good game and a good win for England.

Glad too see Robson get a run out would of liked too see him get a full forty minutes under his belt.
Big head ache next week for Eddie Jones, does he start cockasigna or Jack Nowel?

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Post by Yoda on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 9:05 pm

Easy decision imo, the way the Scots were falling like flies the last thing they want with all of their regular wingers out is a 18 stone harlem globe trotter running at who's left. Although nowell is quality. I hope we go back to manu and slade midfield though and tell curry to mark hamish Watson out of the game. We left some points out there today and our defense was poor at times I thought.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 9:13 pm

Yoda wrote:Easy decision imo, the way the Scots were falling like flies the last thing they want with all of their regular wingers out is a 18 stone harlem globe trotter running at who's left. Although nowell is quality. I hope we go back to manu and slade midfield though and tell curry to mark hamish Watson out of the game. We left some points out there today and our defense was poor at times I thought.

I thought 'Big Joe' had a tendency to drift inside on defense, relying on his pace to get back out if the ball went to the opposition winger. It is going to be exploited, although otherwise he brings a lot to the team.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 9:14 pm

I did love it when he played at 8 with Billy out in the centres.

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Post by RDW on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 9:30 pm

Yoda wrote:Easy decision imo, the way the Scots were falling like flies the last thing they want with all of their regular wingers out is a 18 stone harlem globe trotter running at who's left. Although nowell is quality. I hope we go back to manu and slade midfield though and tell curry to mark hamish Watson out of the game. We left some points out there today and our defense was poor at times I thought.
Sad

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Post by Yoda on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 9:36 pm

I really felt for Scotland they threw everything they could at Wales and on a normal day with the 1st choice players they would have won quite well I think. But them are the breaks of sport I suppose.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 11:06 pm

Yoda wrote:I really felt for Scotland they threw everything they could at Wales and on a normal day with the 1st choice players they would have won quite well I think. But them are the breaks of sport I suppose.

Yep Hogg would have been the difference

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 11:23 pm

It’s how I feel...

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/mar/09/england-italy-six-nations-match-report

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 1:44 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
Yoda wrote:I really felt for Scotland they threw everything they could at Wales and on a normal day with the 1st choice players they would have won quite well I think. But them are the breaks of sport I suppose.

Yep Hogg would have been the difference

Yeah would have been 50 nil to Scotland with Hogg scoring all the points.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 6:36 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I expect both tbh.  
OK

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 9:03 am

I was quite impressed by Hughes cameo. There were a couple of decent carries and a jackal turnover in his 20 minutes. I'm still not sure if he makes my World Cup 31, but would be happy to see him retained against Scotland if Itoje isn't fit.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 9:14 am

The Italy head coach, Conor O’Shea, said after his side’s 21st consecutive defeat in the championship that he regarded England as the best team in it. They are the strongest: only three starters from the side that took the field in Rome last year were in the same positions here and only two of the replacements then were involved.

Wales have taken the Six Nations by stealth rather than storm this year, adding up to more than the sum of their parts, while England have been impressive when a gameplan is working, less so than when it went wrong in the final 30 minutes in Cardiff and they failed to change their tactics as, for once, Jones did not look to his replacement backs for inspiration.
It may all be over when the Scotland match kicks off here with Wales starting a couple of hours before but this has been a season in which the top four in the world rankings have picked each other off when expected to lose. Ireland will be fully armed in Cardiff but England should not be reliant on anyone else to secure a third title in four years in what has been their most impressive championship under Jones, one that should make them Europe’s flag-carrier in the World Cup.‘

O’Shea knows you know thumbsup

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 9:36 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
Yoda wrote:I really felt for Scotland they threw everything they could at Wales and on a normal day with the 1st choice players they would have won quite well I think. But them are the breaks of sport I suppose.

Yep Hogg would have been the difference

Yeah would have been 50 nil to Scotland with Hogg scoring all the points.


Do you think so, I suspect that Laidlaw or whoever is kicking might have got a few of them.

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Post by EnglishReign on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 9:37 am

I don’t think anyone can disagree that England have played the best rugby this 6N - we’ve been as good as I can remember for many years.

Saying that, we still have to win when it matters and we didn’t do that in Cardiff. Wales have laboured to victories somewhat but can’t really argue with it if they get the GS. I still won’t be too concerned about England if that happens, I’m very happy with our performances this campaign and it’s looking good for Japan.

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Post by George Carlin on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 10:00 am

Why has this thread reached 6 pages?

England won by a landslide. I'm staggered by that. I would go so far as to say that some predicted it.

On to the annual arsekicking of my countrymen next week.
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Post by robbo277 on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 10:31 am

If England can beat Scotland, regardless of how the Championship pans out we'll be taking a good points total forward for the World League later this year...

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 11:31 am

How do people think Genge went, and would you start him against Scotland?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 11:34 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:The Italy head coach, Conor O’Shea, said after his side’s 21st consecutive defeat in the championship that he regarded England as the best team in it.

Wasn't it ironic then how Woodward was so disparaging about him personally and Italy as a team after the game?

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 11:36 am

For all the talk of Genge's ball in hand stuff, his scrummaging stood out. He had his opposite number on toast in the scrum. His carrying was effective and he made one notable dominant tackle which he then got back up to his feet to affect s turnover.

All in all a solid full debut (or second start, if he got a run in Argenina). Another I'd like to see back it up, especially in a tougher test to follow.

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Post by BamBam on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 11:38 am

LondonTiger wrote:How do people think Genge went, and would you start him against Scotland?
Thought he showed glimpses of what we want to see from him in the loose, and the scrum went well. What ever happened to the old fearsome Italian props

I'd start him, mainly because I think we know what we're getting from Moon after 6 or so games, solid and won't let anyone down. Genge has the potential to be a game changer in reserve to Mako, and think ed need to see him tested against a Tier 1 scrum asap

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 11:49 am

The only thing players can do again at Italy is not play themselves out of contention and basically earn themselves another shot.

Genge, Shields, Te'o and Cokanasiga all played nicely enough to show they could be useful going forward. But we could probably do with starting them again.

Cowan-Dickie, Hughes and Robson also showed energy when they came on but will possibly have to wait until the warm up games before they get a start. Ford is also in this boat, he tried to force it with one pass picked off by their sub prop but otherwise played nicely. What really struck me was how focussed he seemed to be when he was taking his kicks at goal. This is obviously an important area for him and I'm sure he'll be glad to take 3/3.

The big plus for the subs was that there was no noticeable drop in the scoring rate when they came on. We averaged 1 try every 10 minutes and that was fairly consistent throughout. It's not like we raced to 8 tries in 50 minutes then the subs came on and the game went flat.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 11:53 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:The Italy head coach, Conor O’Shea, said after his side’s 21st consecutive defeat in the championship that he regarded England as the best team in it.

Wasn't it ironic then how Woodward was so disparaging about him personally and Italy as a team after the game?
Not really. Woodward is an irrelevance nowadays, always harking backwards. He has been widely mocked on Twitter for his comments which is fair enough, but his views are as useful as Neil Francis and Jim Telfer.

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