England v Scotland 6N Round 5 Saturday 16th March

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

First topic message reminder :

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 Rugby Fan on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:34 am

For some reason, I thought Nowell was still injured.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:38 am

Eddie Jones wrote:“Scotland is a difficult side, they are always at you, they play with a lot of enthusiasm and effort and have got a lot of attacking strings to their bow. Finn Russell is an exceptional player at 10 and they have got some pace on the outside so we are going to have to defend really well against them.”

Is this why Cokanasiga is out?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:39 am

From a purely entertainment value I'm disappointed not to see Cokanasiga.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:41 am

LondonTiger wrote:England starting XV (523 caps)
15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 29 caps), 14 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 32 caps), 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 21 caps), 12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps), 11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 44 caps), 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 69 caps) (captain), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 84 caps), 1 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps), 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 36 caps), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 21 caps), 4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 57 caps), 5 George Kruis (Saracens, 31 caps), 6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 12 caps), 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 9 caps), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 40 caps)

Finishers (203 caps)
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 10 caps), 17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps), 18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 84 caps), 19 Brad Shields (Wasps, 7 caps), 20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 21 caps), 21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 2 caps), 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 54 caps), 23 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 17 caps).

Very similar in make-up to his team in the opening rounds then. If you look at the team that played Ireland, Mako and Maro are injured but its otherwise an unchanged starting line-up to that opening game. In fact, the only differences between the squads are Moon, Launchbury, Hughes, Spencer and Te'o in for Mako (injured), Itoje (injured), Lawes (injured), Robson (ill) and Ashton (injured).

With the very strongest team picked (at least in Jones' eyes) there can be absolutely no excuses this weekend.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:42 am

miaow wrote:Eddie Butler used to be entertaining but 1. It's an old act now and the sensationalism in sport is well overdone already and 2. He's going a bit senile/losing his sharpness so there are huge 'pauses' as he thinks about what to say. The latter is more approporiate during commentary than voiceovers, but it's not much good when a try is being scored and there's a good 3 second silence beforehand because he's trying to be profound.

Best rugby commentator is Andrew Cotter for me. Nice posh Scottish voice, calls it 'in time', not overly biased, and knows how to have a laugh as well - pretty sure he still calls Tomasso Allen 'Tommy', for instance.

Cotter's an excellent commentator on the athletics as well.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:43 am

BBC wrote:None of the current Scotland side were alive when the national team last beat England at Twickenham in 1983. Head coach Gregor Townsend was a month shy of his 10th birthday.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:44 am

Ricardo74 wrote:Well you got Moon right, Robbo!

I was wrong, and Te'o is on the bench despite Slade and Manu starting.

Nowell gets the nod over... hang on, where the hell is Cokanasiga?????


I was more saying what I'd do than what I thought Eddie would do. Every time I think I know what he's thinking, he does something like drop Cokanasiga from the 23 entirely!

Still plenty of time for Cokanasiga to get back into the team. I'm guessing we'll see much more experimenting in the 4 warm-up games this summer (it's usually 3 isn't it?) But now he just wants his strongest team out there.

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Post by Ricardo74 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:44 am

This on twitter from @rugbyinsideline made me chuckle:

"Cokanasiga gets man of the match.
Eddie Jones: “You’re dropped mate.”"

Yeah, I can see the perception around his defence, but he brings so much in attach that I'm surprised EJ didn't think he merited a bench spot. I'd have had him on the bench ahead of Te'o all day long.

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Post by Ricardo74 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 10:56 am

Continuing on the Te'o on the bench thing: who goes where if we get a back three injury? He's not going to cover that, so it'll be a reshuffle of existing personnel. Presumably Manu to the wing if required, and Nowell to FB? Slade in the equation too? You'd think with Ford on the bench we'd have Faz covering 12, so no need for Te'o?

(note, I quite like Te'o as a player, but wouldn't have him on the bench)

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:01 am

It might seem a little thing but this is where rugby always gets interesting with England. Eddie will probably have said to Cokanaskiga that he shouldn't fret, he's done enough already to be on the plane to Japan. But these players, and many of their supporters and journalists, want gametime. Eddie has to try to balance out player expectation now to keep the whole squad content enough to feel part of the adventure. Part of it will be good as Nowell will want to chew up the ground now...but England always have the pressure of having an abundance of players who think they merit their place but only 23 places on game day.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:13 am

Ricardo74 wrote:Continuing on the Te'o on the bench thing: who goes where if we get a back three injury? He's not going to cover that, so it'll be a reshuffle of existing personnel. Presumably Manu to the wing if required, and Nowell to FB? Slade in the equation too? You'd think with Ford on the bench we'd have Faz covering 12, so no need for Te'o?

(note, I quite like Te'o as a player, but wouldn't have him on the bench)

If it's an early injury, Slade will probably move into the back 3 (probably 15 with Daly able to switch to wing) with Te'o coming into the centres. I don't think he'd move Manu to the wing and keep Slade in the centres.

Assuming Youngs and Farrell will probably go quite deep into the game and Eddie switches Te'o in for Slade, if we get a back 3 injury then Spencer could get 10 minutes on the wing or Ford could get 10 minutes at 15 if all other subs have been used.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:34 am

robbo277 wrote:
Ricardo74 wrote:Continuing on the Te'o on the bench thing: who goes where if we get a back three injury? He's not going to cover that, so it'll be a reshuffle of existing personnel. Presumably Manu to the wing if required, and Nowell to FB? Slade in the equation too? You'd think with Ford on the bench we'd have Faz covering 12, so no need for Te'o?

(note, I quite like Te'o as a player, but wouldn't have him on the bench)

If it's an early injury, Slade will probably move into the back 3 (probably 15 with Daly able to switch to wing) with Te'o coming into the centres. I don't think he'd move Manu to the wing and keep Slade in the centres.

Assuming Youngs and Farrell will probably go quite deep into the game and Eddie switches Te'o in for Slade, if we get a back 3 injury then Spencer could get 10 minutes on the wing or Ford could get 10 minutes at 15 if all other subs have been used.

Wouldnt he put on Ford at 10, move Farrell to 12 and then slide one of the centres to wing/fullback?
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Post by Ricardo74 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:34 am

England v Scotland
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant 1: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant 2: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

I'm sure bloody Garcès will find a way to roger us...

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Post by Ricardo74 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:35 am

tigertattie wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
Ricardo74 wrote:Continuing on the Te'o on the bench thing: who goes where if we get a back three injury? He's not going to cover that, so it'll be a reshuffle of existing personnel. Presumably Manu to the wing if required, and Nowell to FB? Slade in the equation too? You'd think with Ford on the bench we'd have Faz covering 12, so no need for Te'o?

(note, I quite like Te'o as a player, but wouldn't have him on the bench)

If it's an early injury, Slade will probably move into the back 3 (probably 15 with Daly able to switch to wing) with Te'o coming into the centres. I don't think he'd move Manu to the wing and keep Slade in the centres.

Assuming Youngs and Farrell will probably go quite deep into the game and Eddie switches Te'o in for Slade, if we get a back 3 injury then Spencer could get 10 minutes on the wing or Ford could get 10 minutes at 15 if all other subs have been used.

Wouldnt he put on Ford at 10, move Farrell to 12 and then slide one of the centres to wing/fullback?

Effectively my point, Tiger. Te'o covers nothing that's not already covered / coverable.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:43 am

Ricardo74 wrote:This on twitter from @rugbyinsideline made me chuckle:

"Cokanasiga gets man of the match.
Eddie Jones: “You’re dropped mate.”"

Yeah, I can see the perception around his defence, but he brings so much in attach that I'm surprised EJ didn't think he merited a bench spot. I'd have had him on the bench ahead of Te'o all day long.

Eddie seems to favour the defensive side over what a winger can bring to an attack. It's apparently the same reason why he doesn't fancy Roko as an international much.

Eddie also likes to try to put pressure on Wales too I see, by stating Wales look tired as they've made the most tackles this tournament (when England have). Good old Uncle Eddie laughing

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Post by majesticimperialman on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:46 am

Would of like to have seen cocasigna keep his place for the Scotland game, or at least be on the bench. apart from that happy with the team selected.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 12:20 pm

As a Scotland fan, I am more than happy not to see JC lining up against Darcy Graham, he would be giving away 6 stone!

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Post by RDW on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 12:25 pm

As much as I'm relieved as well, from an attacking sense DG may not get as much change from Nowell - Darcys's caused big wingers real problems all season with ball in hand and Nowell is a much more atheletic player to cope in defence.

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Post by Poorfour on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 12:31 pm

Ricardo74 wrote:This on twitter from @rugbyinsideline made me chuckle:

"Cokanasiga gets man of the match.
Eddie Jones: “You’re dropped mate.”"

Yeah, I can see the perception around his defence, but he brings so much in attach that I'm surprised EJ didn't think he merited a bench spot. I'd have had him on the bench ahead of Te'o all day long.

That's the difference between coaches and pundits, innit? Pundits know that the flash stuff makes good viewing, coaches know that defences win championships.
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Post by robbo277 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 12:56 pm

tigertattie wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
Ricardo74 wrote:Continuing on the Te'o on the bench thing: who goes where if we get a back three injury? He's not going to cover that, so it'll be a reshuffle of existing personnel. Presumably Manu to the wing if required, and Nowell to FB? Slade in the equation too? You'd think with Ford on the bench we'd have Faz covering 12, so no need for Te'o?

(note, I quite like Te'o as a player, but wouldn't have him on the bench)

If it's an early injury, Slade will probably move into the back 3 (probably 15 with Daly able to switch to wing) with Te'o coming into the centres. I don't think he'd move Manu to the wing and keep Slade in the centres.

Assuming Youngs and Farrell will probably go quite deep into the game and Eddie switches Te'o in for Slade, if we get a back 3 injury then Spencer could get 10 minutes on the wing or Ford could get 10 minutes at 15 if all other subs have been used.

Wouldnt he put on Ford at 10, move Farrell to 12 and then slide one of the centres to wing/fullback?

If Slade is still on I think you can bring Te'o on and shift Slade to the back 3 and you still look pretty strong. We have last week's midfield and a passable back 3. However I feel that if you've already subbed Slade and you've got Farrell, Te'o and Tuilagi in your midfield, what you're proposing would make us weaker in 4 positions, 10, 12, 13 and the wing replaced. Would Manu be that much better a winger than Spencer or Ford? Not to wreck the whole midfield I don't think.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:02 pm

Ford to full back, Daly to wing or straight swap if Daly hurt.

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Post by Ricardo74 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:19 pm

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


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Post by BigGee on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:19 pm


Head Coach Gregor Townsend has made six changes to the starting Scotland team to face England in this Saturday’s final Guinness Six Nations Test at Twickenham Stadium (16 March) – live on ITV.




The Scots travel south in defence of the Calcutta Cup trophy they lifted for the first time in ten years at BT Murrayfield last year, with a victory in west London escaping the Scots in each of the biennial times of asking since 1983.

Looking ahead to the challenge that awaits, Townsend said: “First of all we have to build on the positive aspects of our performance from last weekend against Wales, when we were able to generate quick ball and build a lot of pressure on the opposition.

“The character and fitness the players displayed showed, in the second-half, what the team is capable of against one of the best sides in the world. The next step is making that pressure count on the scoreboard, more regularly.

“Winning away from home tends to be achieved through an outstanding defensive performance and we are determined to deliver that this Saturday. At times against Wales we weren’t aggressive or accurate enough so that has been a focus for us this week in training.”









He continued: “England are a quality side and have been playing really well throughout the championship.

“They have shown a different game plan this season, which is built on power, both through direct ball carrying and also getting off the line in defence.

“They’ve kicked the ball more than any other team in the Guinness Six Nations, which has worked well for them, and produced tries, and it also shows that they are more than comfortable defending for several phases.”

Scotland’s team changes are split evenly between the backs and forwards and see English Premiership pair Sean Maitland (Saracens) and Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) start in place of back-three counterparts Blair Kinghorn and Tommy Seymour – both injured in last weekend’s loss to Wales – alongside try-scorer Darcy Graham.

The alterations to the back division are completed by Glasgow Warriors inside-centre Sam Johnson, who starts his fourth Test of the tournament in place of clubmate Pete Horne.

Johnson partners fellow Warrior Nick Grigg in midfield, with half-backs Finn Russell and Ali Price starting once again.














The starting back-row features two of the three pack changes where Edinburgh openside Hamish Watson will earn his 25th cap in place of Jamie Ritchie, who has not recovered sufficiently from the head / neck injury sustained against Wales to feature this weekend.

Exeter Chiefs forward Sam Skinner – injured in the opening round win over Italy – returns to blindside flank in place of Sale Sharks’ Josh Strauss – who moves to the bench – with Edinburgh’s Magnus Bradbury moving to the national number 8 position for the first time.

The last change sees Edinburgh lock Ben Toolis start in place of Jonny Gray – who moves to the bench – alongside clubmate Grant Gilchrist to form an all-Edinburgh tight five with returning front-row forwards Allan Dell, captain Stuart McInally and Willem Nel, meaning all but one of the starting pack hails from the capital club.














Newcastle Falcons back Chris Harris marks his return from the calf injury he sustained representing his club in the fallow week of the tournament with a place on the most experienced bench to be named by Townsend this campaign.


Head Coach comments on selection...

“Both Sam Skinner and Ben Toolis started for us against Italy and deserve another opportunity to show what they can do in a blue jersey.

“While it’s tough on Jamie to miss this game through injury, we’re delighted to bring back Hamish Watson into the starting line-up. He made a real impact on Saturday and we have no doubt that he’s ready to take the game to the opposition in attack and defence.

“Sam [Skinner] brings a lot of set-piece nous and gives us good balance in the back-row and we are keen to give Magnus [Bradbury] an opportunity to start at number eight.

“His match fitness has grown over the last two games and he did a number of good things last weekend. There is more to come from him and, as a pack, we know we have to deliver a massive performance of work-rate and physicality this weekend.

“Sam Johnson gets an opportunity to build on his strong performances against Italy and Ireland, while it’s good to have Sean Maitland back in the back-three alongside Darcy and Byron, who both played well last weekend.

“These three players and the team as a whole, will have to put in a lot of work off the ball to counter this threat on Saturday."

Scotland team to play England at Twickenham Stadium
Guinness Six Nations, Saturday 16 March (kick-off 5pm) – live on ITV

15. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 39 caps

14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 3 caps
13. Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 8 caps
12. Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
11. Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 7 caps

10. Finn Russell VICE CAPTAIN (Racing 92) – 43 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 23 caps

1. Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 21 caps
2. Stuart McInally CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 26 caps
3. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 28 caps
4. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 17 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 32 caps
6. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 4 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 24 caps
8. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 6 caps

Substitutes
16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps
17. Gordon Reid (London Irish) – 33 caps
18. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
19. Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps
20. Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 21 caps
21. Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) – 70 caps
22. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 10 caps
23. Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 7 caps




Tags

Scotland Teams

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Post by BigGee on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:20 pm

Jamie Ritchie injured apparently. He has put in a very good shift this championship, so having a week off before a very hard run in with Edinburgh won't do him any harm over the rest of the season.

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Post by George Carlin on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:29 pm

It's not bad at all really, given injuries.

- Price starting with Frodo benching is indeed the game we have to play if we hope to get anything at all out of this game.
- Edinburgh tight five is the way ahead - no continuity issues here.
- Maitland at 15 is fine - he has played there quite a bit.
- 'Barry' has earned his chance on the wing - one of the busiest players last week and his kick chase is strong.
- Really want Graham to shine at Twickers, whether we win or lose.
- Delighted to see Skinner back - what a chance for him.
- Bradbury could make the 8 shirt his for the next 10 years. Time to start now.
- I would rather Chris Harris than Peter Horne. Then again, I would rather receive an enema with a beach umbrella than see either in a Scotland shirt.
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Post by cakeordeath on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:37 pm

George Carlin wrote:It's not bad at all really, given injuries.

I would rather Chris Harris than Peter Horne. Then again, I would rather receive an enema with a beach umbrella than see either in a Scotland shirt.

Just to be clear, would this umbrella be opened at any point?

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Post by RDW on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:49 pm

Pretty happy with that team. Edinburgh front 5 will work together (albeit more lightweight than the England one) and that's a hugely physical back row. As GC says this is Bradbury's chance to lay down a marker for the 8 shirt which could be his for years to come.

Jamie Ritchie will be gutted to miss the game but he's put in a huge shift this tournament so it's probably no bad thing he gets a rest.

Backs are a bit meh but it's been that way all tournament - there's not a lot we can do about that. Johnson starting will give a bit more direction and solidity, and I can't wait to see Darcy Graham let loose again.

Still think we'll lose badly in the end, but if we can keep in the fight for a while and score some tries I'll be happy.

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Post by EST on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:57 pm

I would agree on the comments about Bradbury - I thought he has played well in the last two games, without standing out - now is the time for him to put a marker down for that 8 shirt for the WC, he has all the physical attributes.

It's not a bad team, all things considered - I like the BR and can see Brown coming on there if Watson tires - backs are OK, with Grigg the one selection making me slightly queasy...but Toonie didn't really have a choice there.


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Post by bsando on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:09 pm

Interesting side, I wasn't expecting to see Skinner back in the starting XV but he's most welcome. Strange occasion for him perhaps going up against his Exeter team mates Nowell, Slade and Moon.

Big opportunity for Bradbury who was a bit pants against France but pretty decent last week with some good stats as some have mentioned on here. Glad he got picked ahead of Strauss for this one, he's got a good engine.

Maitland, McGuigan and Darcy is a very interesting back 3. One we may never see again actually. So lets see how they get on!

My overall feeling though is that Scotland will get sliced apart on more than one occasion on Saturday but that they will play well and hopefully make it a decent contest. The continuity of the England squad is superior and I think Jones made a good call in his selection of Slade, he has been very good for England this 6N. Shame we won't see JC go up against Darcy as that would have been a very interesting contest.

Expecting an England win but not an easy win like 2017 which went to hell after Brown got yellow carded and all the weird injuries transpired.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:13 pm

Yup, probably about ad good as we could get out for this one.

Still a very big ask, but hopefully they will put in a performance. As others have said, WC places are up for grabs here and some of these guys could put their hands up for them.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:25 pm

It is interesting that Toonie views Skinner as a BS rather than as a lock like Exeter. The inverse of how Ireland have gone about using Henderson. At least Toolis has finally been given a start and should be able to stabilise the line-out.

Disappointing that neither of G Graham and M Fagerson are given an opportunity.

I would like to think it will be close, but I doubt it. We don't have the backs to make up the difference in the forwards and our defensive system got gashed by Wales in the close quarters. The good news is that B Vunipola is still trying to round into form and the England back row is still as unsettled as ours. One definite starter (Watson/Vunipola), one who is trying to establish themselves (Skinner/Wilson) and one young prospect who could be a long term option (Bradbury/Curry).

Got to hope that England are still wound up from last year and someone like Sinckler, Farrell or Nowell try too hard and do something stupid early on. I don't think we have the guys to contain England's carriers (assuming they decide to support them by clearing out the jacklers this year)

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:26 pm

Despite the injuries and all the apocalyptic talk earlier in the week, it isn't a bad Scotland side at all.

Ritchie will be a miss. He's been very impressive this tournament. Him and Watson in tandem would keep Wilson and Curry very busy.

England's line speed looked a little slower against Italy, especially when they were getting through phases in our 22. If we can get that back up and use our defence as a weapon, we can pressurise Russell and hopefully force him into over-playing. He's got all the talent, but hopefully he'll feel the pressure of playing away from home as the leader in a very inexperienced midfield.

On that note, I think our defence was quite poor against Italy. Lucky it was only Italy really. They were going through phase after phase in our 22 and we weren't competing - which is fine - but we weren't then flying off the line to get in their faces and, despite not competing so having 15 men to spread across the field, we got caught with a 3 man overlap for their second try.

They also managed to generate an overlap from a midfield scrum where we just seemed to number up wrong.

It's long been a bit of a concern for England. Your wide defence doesn't matter when you're smashing the 12 man-and-ball 10m behind the gainline, but if the passes are quick or your defence is slow, you can get caught out there.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:40 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:It is interesting that Toonie views Skinner as a BS rather than as a lock like Exeter. The inverse of how Ireland have gone about using Henderson. At least Toolis has finally been given a start and should be able to stabilise the line-out.

Disappointing that neither of G Graham and M Fagerson are given an opportunity.

I would like to think it will be close, but I doubt it. We don't have the backs to make up the difference in the forwards and our defensive system got gashed by Wales in the close quarters. The good news is that B Vunipola is still trying to round into form and the England back row is still as unsettled as ours. One definite starter (Watson/Vunipola), one who is trying to establish themselves (Skinner/Wilson) and one young prospect who could be a long term option (Bradbury/Curry).

Got to hope that England are still wound up from last year and someone like Sinckler, Farrell or Nowell try too hard and do something stupid early on. I don't think we have the guys to contain England's carriers (assuming they decide to support them by clearing out the jacklers this year)

Interesting for me. He's definitely been below his best this tournament, but he's still been effective. Possibly suffering from having such a high bar?

He's made 57 carries for 185 metres (3.2m per carry) with 19 gainline successes (33%). 9 defenders beaten, 1 clean break and 4 offloads. The disappointing thing has actually been his tackling, which is a touch under 80%, and a few handling errors he's made.

His % gainline successes are slightly under those of Strauss, Stander and Picamoles (none above 40%) but higher than Moriarty and Parisse. He's also the 8 who has thrown the most offloads and beaten the most defenders. His metres per carry stat is essentially equal to Picamoles (Billy is higher on the 2nd decimal place) and both are higher than the other 4. Stander and Strauss are much lower, however they don't field as many kicks.

So while he's not at his rampaging best, he's still a solid Championship number 8. On current form I'd only swap him for Picamoles, on top form I wouldn't swap him for anyone.

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Post by Ricardo74 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:42 pm

robbo277 wrote:
On that note, I think our defence was quite poor against Italy. Lucky it was only Italy really. They were going through phase after phase in our 22 and we weren't competing - which is fine - but we weren't then flying off the line to get in their faces and, despite not competing so having 15 men to spread across the field, we got caught with a 3 man overlap for their second try.

They also managed to generate an overlap from a midfield scrum where we just seemed to number up wrong.

It's long been a bit of a concern for England. Your wide defence doesn't matter when you're smashing the 12 man-and-ball 10m behind the gainline, but if the passes are quick or your defence is slow, you can get caught out there.

Do you think this is a function of the T'eo / Manu midfield?

I know Joseph was widely seen as the defensive leader when he occupied the 13 berth, and I assumed that Slade was also fulfilling that role in the matches he's started there. With the move of Manu to OC, is this possibly an area which has surfaced as cause for concern? Will we see a more resilient, organised defense now that Slade has been restored?

That might prove to me more influential in terms of personnel than the more evident attributes.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:46 pm

Ricardo74 wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
On that note, I think our defence was quite poor against Italy. Lucky it was only Italy really. They were going through phase after phase in our 22 and we weren't competing - which is fine - but we weren't then flying off the line to get in their faces and, despite not competing so having 15 men to spread across the field, we got caught with a 3 man overlap for their second try.

They also managed to generate an overlap from a midfield scrum where we just seemed to number up wrong.

It's long been a bit of a concern for England. Your wide defence doesn't matter when you're smashing the 12 man-and-ball 10m behind the gainline, but if the passes are quick or your defence is slow, you can get caught out there.

Do you think this is a function of the T'eo / Manu midfield?

I know Joseph was widely seen as the defensive leader when he occupied the 13 berth, and I assumed that Slade was also fulfilling that role in the matches he's started there. With the move of Manu to OC, is this possibly an area which has surfaced as cause for concern? Will we see a more resilient, organised defense now that Slade has been restored?

That might prove to me more influential in terms of personnel than the more evident attributes.

The good thing about JJ was he was comfortable leaving a lot of space on the outside and covering the ground. Manu might not be as comfortable with so much space.

However the two incidents I've picked up weren't really caused by someone leaving a gap, it was just that we numbered up wrong. Maybe we were lacking an on-field defensive coordinator, and maybe Slade or Joseph would have picked up on this. But I don't think it was a pace issue.

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Post by miaow on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:47 pm

BigGee wrote:Jamie Ritchie injured apparently. He has put in a very good shift this championship, so having a week off before a very hard run in with Edinburgh won't do him any harm over the rest of the season.

My player of the tournament so far

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Post by BamBam on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:54 pm

cakeordeath wrote:
George Carlin wrote:It's not bad at all really, given injuries.

I would rather Chris Harris than Peter Horne. Then again, I would rather receive an enema with a beach umbrella than see either in a Scotland shirt.

Just to be clear, would this umbrella be opened at any point?

Don't want this to get missed by GC, so flagging the question again

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 3:09 pm

Well I am surprised the Big fella is dropped completely...however lets not forget, Jack Nowell is a quality player on the wing (Flanker), and maybe he wants more niggle in there, which Jack will certainly offer.

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Post by miaow on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 4:16 pm

I like what Eddie Jones said re: young players burning out too soon. Very good point and Cokanasiga no doubt has the raw attributes to be a test player for a long time. No need to throw him into the deep end too soon - like Itoje in 2015, it's the right decision to take your time with him.

There is a symbolic scrapheap of English talent, particularly in the 3/4s, that's been discarded after a series or a season because they failed to live up to the 'hype' (a dreadful way of selecting someone). No need to add to that.

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Post by dummy_half on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 4:18 pm

Surprised to see Cokanasiga dropped entirely - as others point out, Te'o on the bench seems to cover a position we have adequate cover for, while a back 3 player would add something (especially if he also covers no 8 Wink ).

As for the concerns over big Joe's defensive capabilities, I don't recall Lomu being the greatest defender, but you'd always pick him for the damage he'd do (mostly to Mike Catt) rather than be concerned about the opposition exploiting his relatively large turning circle.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 4:42 pm

Echo the thoughts of most and also gutted that Ritchie is injured as he's really coome on again just as he did in the summer and AIs

The only perplexing call for me is Strauss on the bench. If Skinner or Watson get injured then we'd probably have to put Bradbury on the flank with Stauss then going to No 8. Of course there is Brown but he's there for hooker cover!!!

I'd have gone with Graham (macro) as he can cover the back row options in any event. He'd also be able to noise up the English to a great extent I feel. I really do worry if he and Wilson ever start a game together as they'd be like two naughty school bairns egging each other on!
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 4:45 pm

Not sure where a lot of the talk of Cokanasiga can't defend is coming from tbh. Yes he'll get better as he gets more experienced it he's hardly doing badly. 2 tries seem to be pointed at him last week whole most teams wingers will have trouble when a lock is caught out on the wing or the team simply doesn't number up.

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Post by George Carlin on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 5:15 pm

BamBam wrote:
cakeordeath wrote:
George Carlin wrote:It's not bad at all really, given injuries.

I would rather Chris Harris than Peter Horne. Then again, I would rather receive an enema with a beach umbrella than see either in a Scotland shirt.

Just to be clear, would this umbrella be opened at any point?

Don't want this to get missed by GC, so flagging the question again
chin
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Post by No9 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 5:18 pm

well looking at the sides, I reckon Scotland may take this by 10 pts.. I may have to adjust my predictions.. OK Laugh

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 6:16 pm

George Carlin wrote:
BamBam wrote:
cakeordeath wrote:
George Carlin wrote:It's not bad at all really, given injuries.

I would rather Chris Harris than Peter Horne. Then again, I would rather receive an enema with a beach umbrella than see either in a Scotland shirt.

Just to be clear, would this umbrella be opened at any point?

Don't want this to get missed by GC, so flagging the question again
chin
Well of course the umbrella would be opened. Scottish Lawyer living in a dry country, almost the textbook definition of a masochistic.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 7:06 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
BamBam wrote:
cakeordeath wrote:
George Carlin wrote:It's not bad at all really, given injuries.

I would rather Chris Harris than Peter Horne. Then again, I would rather receive an enema with a beach umbrella than see either in a Scotland shirt.

Just to be clear, would this umbrella be opened at any point?

Don't want this to get missed by GC, so flagging the question again
chin
Well of course the umbrella would be opened. Scottish Lawyer living in a dry country, almost the textbook definition of a masochistic.

It's not so much the insertion that I would be worried about, had cameras and the like after a scare, but the withdrawal...………………….Ouch x 10

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 8:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not sure where a lot of the talk of Cokanasiga can't defend is coming from tbh.  Yes he'll get better as he gets more experienced  it he's hardly doing badly. 2 tries seem to be pointed at him last week whole most teams wingers will have trouble when a lock is caught out on the wing or the team simply doesn't number up.

Yea the second try is a team/organisation issue for sure, nearly all the England players are either being lazy, or go the wrong way. Probably most at fault is Daly who is on the wrong side of the pitch marking no one.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 9:02 pm

tigertattie wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
bsando wrote:Has Hamish Watson ever had a ball ripped from him? That I would be interested to know

Follow him into the toilets and take a look.
Don't mess with the Mish


In all seriousness, has Hamish shown the way to beat the blitz defence (without kicking)?

All coaches shout at you to run hard and run low. Now being a member of the big lump brigade, I always found this bloomin difficult as to run hinged at the waist compeltely ruined my ability to run (and it was already a low ability).

It seems that when you run low like this, your objective is to make your opponent tackle you low and if they get it wrong, you can pump the legs and keep on going. Watson runs upright and uses his arm and leg strength to fend of tacklers but also his pace is used to get to the tackler alomst as if to get there before they are ready to tackle.  

Have we all been coached wrong all these years? Should we be running upright (like normal people run)? You clearly need to have a strong grip on the ball if you're going to do this

When at his best Mike Brown did this as well and it does seem to be pretty unstoppable until you're jumped on by about 5 defenders, which is job done at that point!

It's a very Islander style of running, you see a lot of Fijians and Samoans take contact like it looking to counter smash, I guess it's just not taught to the rest of us!

NB the Quins defence early on in that clip is just so depressing. Watching Robshaw, a high quality defender and smart player look baffled by where this small angry Scottish guy with the ball is running, and why won't he fall down, is so bizarre it never normally happens. Then he tries to tackle him too and you can almost feel his resignation as yep, he's just slapped to the floor too by this lunatic with the ball.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 8:32 am

Given the dreadful state of the news this morning lets just hope for 3 great games and remember rugby is for fun.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 8:45 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Given the dreadful state of the news this morning lets just hope for 3 great games and remember rugby is for fun.

Sport is a huge part of our lives, but despite what people sometimes say it is not life or death (or more important than that). So yes, I hope we have 3 games played and supported in the right spirit.

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