England v Scotland 6N Round 5 Saturday 16th March

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England v Scotland 6N Round 5 Saturday 16th March Empty England v Scotland 6N Round 5 Saturday 16th March

Post by BigGee on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 6:43 pm

England v Scotland
6N Round 5
Saturday 16th March
Twickenham Stadium
London

KO 17.00

Well here we are at the final round of matches and three teams can still come out on top following Ireland's demolition of France this afternoon.

England have the advantage of playing last and will know what they have to do, if Wales have not already wrapped it up with a Grand Slam earlier in the afternoon. That actually might be Scotland's best chance of getting anything out of this game if England get distracted about what is going on else where, particularly if they find playing for second spot a distraction, knowing Wales have already wrapped things up.

On paper, this is only going to be an English win, the only question being by how much.

Scotland have had an awful championship, where just about everything that could have gone wrong. They are only playing for pride, but history tells us that sides that are done at this stage in the competition, rarely have anything left in the tank for the final game.

It is not as if Scotland have any form at Twickenham either, we have not won there since 1983 (did I ever mention that I was there!). We had had a crap season and no-one gave us much of a chance that year either if I remember, then the following year we won the GS. Can I see that happening this time though?

Only in my dreams!

So what do both sides hope to get from the game?

England clearly want a BP victory, some revenge for last year and hopefully a championship. They would also like to show the continued emergence of such players as Cockanasiga, who could be pivotal to them doing well in the WC.

Scotland, despite whatever spin they put on the game, might just be happy with a decent performance and continued development of some of our young starlets. We took another pile of injuries this weekend and getting a half decent competitive side onto the pitch is going to be a challenge in itself. Still, this exposure might be the making of young Hastings, Bradbury, Graham, McDowell, Skinner, Ritchie and anyone else who gets to play, down the line.

Test rugby is a hard old place to earn your living and they will likely be finding that out next weekend.



England


Daly, Nowell, Slade, Tuilagi, May; Farrell, Youngs; Moon, George, Sinckler, Launchbury, Kruis, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Cole, Shields, Hughes, Spencer, Ford, Te'o



Scotland:

Maitland; Graham, Grigg, Johnson, McGuigan; Russell, Price; Dell, McInally (capt), Nel; Toolis, Gilchrist; Skinner, Watson, Bradbury.

Replacements: Brown, Reid, Berghan, J Gray, Strauss, Laidlaw, Hastings, Harris


Last edited by BigGee on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by bsando on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 6:58 pm

Scotland can salvage some pride this Saturday by beating England, an almost impossible task yet one that would make this 6N a whole lot better. I really hope we can get Hogg back, Kinghorn has been a liability in my opinion, he still has a lot to learn and is a good guy to have on the bench but he is definitely not ready to be starting games for Scotland. The errors he made against Wales were really significant to the result. I think he is definitely the future but he just looks so raw out there compared to the battle hardened Kearney, Williams, Daly etc, guys who have way more experience. It's great for Scotland that he has had all this game time because this time next year he won't be making the same errors. It's just a shame it probably cost the result yesterday and he hasn't been allowed to be introduced more carefully.

Interestingly, France were awful today and Italy may be able to upset France at home if they play like they did against Ireland and in patches against the other 6N sides. That would mean France salvage a LB or no BP which would mean Scotland would just need a LB or even no BP to remain 4th. A win would obviously be preferable.

I'm really hopeful we can give England a game. Scotland will be up for it and I don't think we'll see a repeat of 2017. Hope we finish with our best game last.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 7:03 pm

Toonie was not in any way optimistic about Hoggy coming back and there is no way we will risk him on a game that is only about pride for us.

I think Hastings will be at FB for this one.

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 7:04 pm

I'd hope England are unchanged - injuries dependent. If Maro is back he comes into the equation, but otherwise I want more of the same against Italy and let's see if those guys can do it against a better team.

England's goal has to be to win the Calcutta cup, get revenge for last year and end the season on a high. If that also brings a Championship, so much the better.

Scotland looked decent against Wales especially in the second half when injuries forced a rearrange and probably took a bit of pressure off. They remain a dangerous prospect but I agree with what Wilkinson said today during the Ireland game. To win away in the Six Nations you need to be at a level for 80 minutes. Drop off for a patch and you'll concede points, and possibly not be able to wrestle the momentum back. I'm sure Scotland can play well enough to hurt England, but can they do it consistently over 80 minutes? I'm less sure.

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 7:44 pm

Would love for Scotland to upset England here. Would also love it to be irrelevant to the tournament by the time they kick off. Can only see this being a hammering for Scotland, as I said in the other thread. 45-55 pointer.

What makes the title chase interesting is, without Wales' final try to kill the game and deny England a losing bonus point, Wales would have a 100% win record but sit second in the table with a much lower points difference than England, who would lead.

If we were still under the old scoring rules in terms of no extra point for Grand Slams, but still playing to a 4 points for a win + bonus points system, an English win against Scotland - likely to be heavy but even if it's not - would almost certainly hand them the title. They would only need to match or better Wales' result. Which would make the Wales v Ireland game all the more nervy beforehand. In that game, under the 'proper' old rules, i.e. 2 for a win, 1 for a draw, no bonus points, a draw would be enough for Wales to win the title on 9 points to England/Ireland's maximum of 8: in reality, if Wales draw against Ireland, they go 3 points ahead of England to 18, making it highly unlikely they would win the title. England are likely to finish on 20, or possibly 19, points. Ireland's best final points tally likely to see them finish on 18, although they can get 19 - with a much poorer points difference to England they are effectively out of the title race barring Scotland upset the odds to win next week.

To make things even more confusing, if Ireland Wales and England Scotland end in draws, there is the potential for two different winners. Wales would win the title if they matched or bettered England's draw against Scotland - i.e. through points and tries scored. England would win if they bettered Wales' draw, i.e. got a 4 try bonus point to both finish on 18, with points difference separating the two teams. Any sort of draw under the old rules would have Wales winning the title irrespective of any other details.

Which raises a few questions:

- Will England's failure to get a LBP against Wales cost them?
- Will England's bonus points (scoring 4 tries; denying Ire a LBP) against Ireland decide the tournament?
- Will Wales' failure to pick up a try scoring bonus points so far cost them the title?
- Is the bonus points system working?


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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 7:50 pm

I am not a fan of bonus points being used in the 6Ns and do not feel they improve the matches. Mind, I would still have shared championships rather than using points difference to settle matters.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 7:59 pm

To be honest I think the BP system is working just fine. It is a better reflection on the tournament positions than points difference used to be. Sides should get some credit for a close defeat and it adds some intrigue into the scores.

It won't cost Wales if they win they GS and yet will penalise them for not getting a BP against Italy if push comes to shove and that is fair, because they did not play at all well in that game and everyone else managed to get one.

Wales destiny is in their own hands in any case. If they win they win.

No-one is really interested in, nor remembers who came second in any case.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 8:07 pm

I'd have to agree with Robbo in that England will just want to go out and beat Scotland. Can't affect the Wales game but they can make sure they finish with a bang. England have been great to watch and it'd be nice to see then rewarded for that. If Ireland win I reckon we pick up the title.

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 8:15 pm

Agree with that BigGee. Wales should have got bonus points against Italy and France. Could have got a bonus point against Scotland - having scored 2 tries they then went scoreless for 50 minutes: from minute 30 to minute 80. That shoul be rewarded and punished accordingly, and why England are still tournament favourites.

They did well to score 4 against Ireland - yes, the 4th is a gimme and as close to an 'own goal' as you can get in rugby, but they scored 2 great tries before then to put them in that position. Likewise, destroying France and Italy is reflected on the table.

As you say, it's basically a one game, winner takes all shoot out: and this game is easier than Wales' game against Ireland, making England front runners.

Still yet to have any controversial winner/loser from bonus points. Arguably, if the (improbable) draw scenario I mentioned above did happen, with England winning the title and Wales coming second, despite not losing a game, there might be some media coverage of the fairness/merits of it. And what is up for discussion is the way the fixtures fall in the tournament - Wales have played 3 away games; Italy and France very different beasts away from home etc. Would it be fair for England to take the title if Wales went unbeaten having played 3 away games to England's 2? Imagine the likes of Wales Online would blydi love-hate it.


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Post by BigGee on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 8:21 pm

miaow wrote:Agree with that BigGee. Wales should have got bonus points against Italy and France. Could have got a bonus point against Scotland - having scored 2 tries they then went scoreless for 50 minutes: from minute 30 to minute 80. That shoul be rewarded and punished accordingly, and why England are still tournament favourites.

They did well to score 4 against Ireland - yes, the 4th is a gimme and as close to an 'own goal' as you can get in rugby, but they scored 2 great tries before then to put them in that position. Likewise, destroying France and Italy is reflected on the table.

As you say, it's basically a one game, winner takes all shoot out: and this game is easier than Wales' game against Ireland, making England front runners.

England favourites?

Not so sure about that, Wales are first up in any case, the England match will have no relevance to them, so they just need to concentrate on their own game. Not easy but they are at home and as Gatland keeps telling us, Wales don't know how to lose!

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 8:26 pm

Yeah, I think England are favourites. Have been since the moment they beat Ireland - although it's ebbed and flowed, and losing to Wales put them almost neck and neck.

Basically, it's a straigh shootout. Beat Ireland or beat Scotland at home. Which is harder? Well, obviously Ireland - making England favourites. At least, they're still the most likely winner of the tournament...until the Wales game kicks off.

Not sure how much bearing the order of games has. If anything, the 'fear' of not knowing the result make Wales more nervous. You can't really quantify that one way or the other - it may be helpful, it may be a hindrance. It's likely to be both for different players...or maybe even the same player, at different times! By the time they kick off, England are likely to either a. be playing for second or b. knowing they only have to win to take the title.

No doubt Gatland will get them in the right frame of mind though. There is an element of 'it's up to us now'. As a spectacle, if the Wales/Ireland fixture was the final game it would make for a better/more dramatic end. But glad it's not, if only because if England do hammer Scotland, there's no back-up possibility Wales might get a reprieve (in the unlikely scenario where Ireland win but Wales still ahead in table due to BPs).

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 8:48 pm

England will concentrate on winning the game first. then think about the championship second unless Ireland come up short against Wales. And Wales will not be and easy game to win at home, what with the crowd behind them.

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 8:57 pm

Tbf, I don't think either team will be worrying about the championship in any tangible, tactical way. Maybe only Ireland might be thinking about that - but the way the points system works now, and the way the table is, as others have said, Wales' destiny is in their hands and they know a win is almost certainly an all or nothing thing. This is only really 'what ifs' as fans etc. because it's close. It's not like 2013 when you're playing to get X number of points ahead. The likelihood of that happening again seems very slim because of the current points system.

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Post by Eejit on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 9:08 pm

Obviously the narrative leading up to the game and throughout Saturday will be on the permutations and who is going to take the championship. As a Scotland fan though I couldn't care less which one of England or Wales win the Six Nations just that we avoid being completely embarrassed.

I think we are going to get absolutely pumped as it goes.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 10:02 pm

I think the England team are going to be really really up for this. I've seen a few interviews with their players about the way Scotland celebrated last year and they really weren't happy about it. I was at the game and it's fair to say the players were quite clearly buzzing when they won. I don't think they held back on their night out from videos I've seen and stories I've heard. By all accounts they thoroughly enjoyed the post match function also.
From my perspective the only things that were a bit too far was the behaviour of the fans to Eddie Jones. One was booing him when he went to speak afterward and the other was when he was attacked by some idiots. The players celebrating I think is reasonable; it was a first win for ten years against their biggest rivals. That being said, if you are going to celebrate like that you have to be prepared to back it up in the performances that follow. I'm not sure Scotland have produced a top quality performance since that game; we fluffed it up in Dublin and struggled home in Rome.
With the players we have missing and their obvious motivation players are going to step up to avoid an embarrassment. To win the game it's going to take one of Scotland's best ever, if not their best ever performance.

On the bonus points system, I always felt that points difference was not the best system because of the external factors in such a short tournament. Put it this way, if Scotland and Wales were going for the tournament and it came down to points difference. If Scotland played Italy in Edinburgh, early February the weather is likely to be diabolical and it's harder to rack up points. If Wales play Italy in Rome in late March then the weather is likely to be much better and attractive free flowing rugby is much easier. Now I understand these things are impossible to predict and even more difficult to cater for. The bonus point system has the same flaws. The other option would be to go on head to heads but that would mean a team would almost automatically win if they won four games and would be rendered useless if Ireland beat Wales on Saturday. Leaving having shared championships the only way forward and the unsatisfactory endings that they give. In short, I'm not sure it really matters to the championship. What it does mean is that our players keep their foot on the gas for longer and produce close to 80 minute performances in search of a bonus point. This helps when it comes to tight games against the big Southern Hemisphere teams. There's no doubt that we've done much better in those games collectively since the bonus point came in.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 10:15 pm

https://theoffsideline.com/calcutta-cup-adam-hastings-15-scotland-england/

Adam Hastings at 15 getting talked up already!

It seems it is his destiny!

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 10:31 pm

BigGee wrote:https://theoffsideline.com/calcutta-cup-adam-hastings-15-scotland-england/

Adam Hastings at 15 getting talked up already!

It seems it is his destiny!

If he plays like his dad played in the 15 shirt he will be a great player. Is he any good at goal kicking?

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 11:09 pm

hope he likes defending kicks

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 12:11 am

BigGee wrote:https://theoffsideline.com/calcutta-cup-adam-hastings-15-scotland-england/

Adam Hastings at 15 getting talked up already!

It seems it is his destiny!

At least the media coverage will be an Adam Hastings love in instead of an exegesis of quite how Poopie we've become.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 1:21 am

I can see Scotland pulling a big game out of the bag here, I still think England will win but it'll be closer then some think.

That may be my natural pessimism though.

Tbh not too fussed about the championship. No one remembers anything other then GS's now. England should just focus on winning, and winning well to finish the season well.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 5:23 am

For bonus points in general, I think they work, because a team like Italy are so variable. As BigGee says, you can beat them by 20 or 40, but how valuable are those last 20 points? The bonus point caps the "bonus" you can get by beating Italy well.

Miaow - I don't think we've ever had a situation where we've had straight bonus points without the 3 Grand Slam points. I have in the past expressed that I'd prefer for the Championship to be decided then the Grand Slam to be awarded if the Championship is won by a team winning all their games as a way to prevent the "one team wins the Championship, the other a Grand Slam" split.

It would be odd if the 3 Grand Slam bonus points decided the Championship. When they came in I never thought we'd see them necessary, now just 3 tournaments in they could become relevant.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 6:39 am

A team doing the grand slam has to pick up the title despite bonus points. I think it more highlights that teams will first and foremost go out to win the game and not even think about bonus points though. I personally don't think it influences how teams play until maybe the last 10 mins of a matching they need that 1 more score.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 6:50 am

Just watching the Italy highlights, Big Joe and Youngs defense for the first try is very poor one of them is too wide and caught between defending wider or coming in, and Youngs slips down the Italian with little effect.

Daly's pace and step for Englands second is brilliant, and a reason why he maybe should be a winger in the big deciding games unless his catching improves.

Tuilangi looked really athletic and powerful, great stepping and hitting the opposition on their outside where they can't rap around him.

Italy's second try comes straight from Daly being on the wrong side of the pitch, he's on the short side defending wide with about 5 other England players against 3 Italian players. The England players have switched off here and EJ will be pissed as a lot of the rest are just milling around the ruck, Farrell calls guys to the other side where there's about a 6 on 3 but the English are too slow, Daly can be seen sprinting to try to get to the far wing but it's pointless at this time. Big Joe then rushes out of defense as he panics, means he's in no mans land and doesn't even touch an Italian in the end, and it's a walk in.

Also I don't know why Manu didn't get MoM? Looked very effective and did more from the highlights at least.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 6:56 am

Launchbury gets caught out wide as well in the first try which is never a good place for a lock to be. The highlights didn't do Cokanasiga justice though he was immense. Another game you could have given motm to about 4 or 5 people though.
Moment of the match for me was the George pass out to Tuilagi.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 7:15 am

Kruis was my MotM.

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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 8:03 am

Selection wise I want toonie to play the tombola for this one. I'm not saying play a bunch of kids, but he's kept much of the same players throughout and they'll be pretty physically and mentally drained after a tough few weeks. I'm not sure we'll gain much from playing the likes of Strauss and Horne again. I'd also like to see bigger Gray called up - there's only 4 games pre world cup after this and we need to get him up to speed.

So my team, with a theme of fresh legs and extra power:

1 Reid
2 Brown (McInally has looked jaded)
3 Fagerson (he should be fully fit now)
4 Gilchrist
5 Skinner
6 Graham
7 Watson
8 Bradbury

9 Laidlaw (big call to immediately drop Price)
10 Russell
11 McGuigan
12 Johnson (should never have been dropped)
13 Grigg (no one else)
14 feck knows - whoever can be taped together in time, hopefully Graham
15 Hastings - it's his destiny!

Subs - Dell, Mcinally, Nel, R Gray, Ritchie, Price, Horne, McDowell (the 2nd coming)

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Post by Eejit on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 8:44 am

I like Flounder's team - a pity Wee George is injured as this would be the perfect game to get him on the park behind a hugely physical pack and tell him to have fun.

No doubts that England will be really up for it and are in world cup warm-up mode whereas we still look off the pace.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 9:57 am

Agree mostly but think its time to try Johnstone at OC (let's be honest, what have we got to lose? I doubt he'll be worse) and persist with price a bit.

Otherwise squad looks good. Is maitland crocked until further notice?
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 9:57 am

Wider squad here. Certainly looks like the group are looking for that next lock to start pushing. Stooke now involved as itoje doesn't look to have made it.
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
 
Backs
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:10 am

Assuming no injury before Saturday, Ben Youngs will overtake Danny Care as England's most capped scrum half (already has most starts). Looking at England's most capped XV - who would be considered the least worthy?

Leonard, Hartley, Cole, Johnson, Lawes, Worsley, Haskell, Dallaglio, Youngs, Wilkinson, Underwood, Catt, Tindall, Cohen, Brown (by caps)

Leonard, Hartley, Cole, Johnson, Dooley, Hill, Robshaw, Dallaglio, Youngs, Wilkinson, Underwood, Carling, Tindall, Cueto, Brown (by starts)

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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:23 am

Hogg, Seymour and Kinghorn ruled out.

Jackson and 2 pro appearance Steyn called up...

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:26 am

You wouldn't exactly pick that as your greatest 15 would you! Least worthy is quite difficult though as.giys like Worsley didn't have a great number of quality players ahead of him while picking up some of his caps. I'd probably say Brown as there were a couple to options other than him.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:28 am

RDW wrote:Hogg, Seymour and Kinghorn ruled out.

Jackson and 2 pro appearance Steyn called up...
 Whodafugizzat?

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Post by Eejit on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:29 am

LondonTiger wrote:
RDW wrote:Hogg, Seymour and Kinghorn ruled out.

Jackson and 2 pro appearance Steyn called up...
 Whodafugizzat?
Kyle Steyn. Scotland Sevens winger recently signed by Glasgow. Used to play for the Griquas in the Currie Cup.

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Post by Ricardo74 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:30 am

So hang on, Marcus Smith is called up? He was only brought on at half time in the Quins hammering by Glos yesterday.

A Quins hammering in which the Glos strings were pulled by... Danny Cipriani.

And Smith gets called up? EJ leaves me at a loss sometimes.


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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:31 am

Eejit wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
RDW wrote:Hogg, Seymour and Kinghorn ruled out.

Jackson and 2 pro appearance Steyn called up...
 Whodafugizzat?
Kyle Steyn. Scotland Sevens winger recently signed by Glasgow. Used to play for the Griquas in the Currie Cup.

Obviously the level of experience you want heading to Twickenham!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:32 am

Why? Clearly a gifted player who is being introduced slowly into the squad. He's not going to be picked and Cipriani wouldn't benefit from it.

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Post by R!skysports on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:32 am

15 Hastiny ?

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Post by Ricardo74 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:33 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wider squad here. Certainly looks like the group are looking for that next lock to start pushing. Stooke now involved as itoje doesn't look to have made it.

So EJ will be leaving out Ewels and Stooke, and picking Hughes / Wilson / Shields as lock cover...

Whistle

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Post by Ricardo74 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:35 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why? Clearly a gifted player who is being introduced slowly into the squad. He's not going to be picked and Cipriani wouldn't benefit from it.

Oh, I agree in terms of Smith being the future and being brought through slowly. That said, I'll make no excuses, I'm a huge fan of Cipriani, and think he's the perfect option off the bench when we need something genuinely game changing, and that he really, really should be going to RWC.

He's clearly not, though.

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Post by Eejit on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:36 am

RDW wrote:
Eejit wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
RDW wrote:Hogg, Seymour and Kinghorn ruled out.

Jackson and 2 pro appearance Steyn called up...
 Whodafugizzat?
Kyle Steyn. Scotland Sevens winger recently signed by Glasgow. Used to play for the Griquas in the Currie Cup.

Obviously the level of experience you want heading to Twickenham!

Could be worse. Could be Dougie Fife!

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:37 am

Ricardo74 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why? Clearly a gifted player who is being introduced slowly into the squad. He's not going to be picked and Cipriani wouldn't benefit from it.

Oh, I agree in terms of Smith being the future and being brought through slowly. That said, I'll make no excuses, I'm a huge fan of Cipriani, and think he's the perfect option off the bench when we need something genuinely game changing, and that he really, really should be going to RWC.

He's clearly not, though.

Cipriani will probably be on standby should there be an injury - assuming he does not trigger his release clause at Glaws at the end of this season.

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Post by Yoda on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:38 am

Is it me or is Billy v just going through the motions and using this championship to slowly get back up to pace. Haven't seen him really gun it yet in attack or defence. Is this a ploy to keep him fit?
Also did we look better when Robson came on? Thought youngs didn't have his best game. Could be wrong. Plus teo and tuilagi wasn't that great a combo in defense.

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:42 am

Ricardo74 wrote:So hang on, Marcus Smith is called up? He was only brought on at half time in the Quins hammering by Glos yesterday.

A Quins hammering in which the Glos strings were pulled by... Danny Cipriani.

And Smith gets called up? EJ leaves me at a loss sometimes.


Face doesn't fit. Picked him to shut the critics up but too much history of problems. Didn't he hit the headlines recently as well, in a negative way? Even if he's unfairly treated having a player the press will hound/try to pin something on him at the RWC is the last thing England want to deal with...after dwarf tossing etc. Think he's tipped over into 'not worth the hassle' - doesn't suit the gameplan but also probably a coach's nightmare.

RDW wrote:
Eejit wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
RDW wrote:Hogg, Seymour and Kinghorn ruled out.

Jackson and 2 pro appearance Steyn called up...
Whodafugizzat?
Kyle Steyn. Scotland Sevens winger recently signed by Glasgow. Used to play for the Griquas in the Currie Cup.

Obviously the level of experience you want heading to Twickenham!

Has a Matthew Tait scenario writter all over it. Also, if little Darcy is up against Coknasiga, or any Scottish centre v Tuilagi...eesh. This game is going to test some Scottish players to the full.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:42 am

This is going to be a tragically funny game. It literally is a rerun of all the injuries we had last time at twickenham, just don't put bennett on the field, we may never get him back!

I'm going to safely say it'll be 40 points at least for England. When we're down to uncontested scrums, shrek at fb, jackson at a new combined role of sh/fh... maybe 70

We only score a consolation hatrick when, whilst watching in the stands, richie v turns to the person sat next to him and says, "hold my beer", taking his jacket off and leapfrogging each row to the pitch.
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Post by Ricardo74 on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:44 am

Yoda wrote:Is it me or is Billy v just going through the motions and using this championship to slowly get back up to pace. Haven't seen him really gun it yet in attack or defence. Is this a ploy to keep him fit?

Was interesting seeing him line up in the 12 slot, with Big Joe packing down at 8....




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Post by majesticimperialman on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:48 am

Ricardo74 wrote:
Yoda wrote:Is it me or is Billy v just going through the motions and using this championship to slowly get back up to pace. Haven't seen him really gun it yet in attack or defence. Is this a ploy to keep him fit?

Was interesting seeing him line up in the 12 slot, with Big Joe packing down at 8....




Yes cannot remember ever seeing that before. in any game. with any other team.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:48 am

I think Billy is still gaining match fitness. However I felt he was very good, and physical at the weekend. He was our most used carrier, made good ground, worked hard in defence with a high tackle count and made the most "dominant" tackles for us.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:50 am

Ricardo74 wrote:
Yoda wrote:Is it me or is Billy v just going through the motions and using this championship to slowly get back up to pace. Haven't seen him really gun it yet in attack or defence. Is this a ploy to keep him fit?

Was interesting seeing him line up in the 12 slot, with Big Joe packing down at 8....




Apparently there were two options at that scrum - alternative, if Italy were deemed to have left the blindside clear, was for big Joe to run it blind with Lenny in support. Instead they took route 1 being Vunipola smashing it up the middle to great affect.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 10:51 am

I do want England to win but I don't want to see a poor performance from Scotland. We do like playing against a makeshift back 3.

There are some upsides. Richie has had a good tournament and Watson looks ready based from his cameo last weekend.

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