Owen Farrell

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 9:39 am

First topic message reminder :

Where are we with Owen?

Some see him as a must start, key player and mental driving force.

Others see him as limited ability, and petulant, and restricting the team?

How do you see him. Is he an essential cog, or now that we have the centres sorted should he be put aside for the more talented ford.

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Post by Eejit on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 4:31 pm

TJ wrote:82%  mediocre for a international kicker.  Needs to be 90% plus like top kickers.  Better than last year where he was at 75% I suppose

Aye that Kiwi chap Barrett or whatever his name is. His kicking percentage isn't great but he's just an average club player eh? Laugh

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Post by TJ on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 4:40 pm

You were claiming Farrell was a world class kicker.  His stats show he is not.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 4:43 pm

TJ wrote:82%  mediocre for a international kicker.  Needs to be 90% plus like top kickers.  Better than last year where he was at 75% I suppose

Which international kicker is consistently kicking at 90%+? As of Feb-18, Sexton is the best in the NH with a lifetime rate of 88.4%. If he has kicked 140 consecutive goals since then (he hasn't), then he'd be up to 90%.

Farrell isn't the best kicker in the world or anything, but he's up there with anyone else in the NH right now. He's a victim of his own success at the moment though, putting his wingers in for too many tries in the corner.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 4:45 pm

TJ wrote:You were claiming Farrell was a world class kicker.  His stats show he is not.

If someone did, it wasn't me.

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Post by TJ on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 4:46 pm

Fair enough.

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Post by Eejit on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 4:49 pm

TJ I wasn't having a go at you mate I was only messing about. I see what your saying, Farrell does have his limitations like anyone does but fairs fair he's a bloody good fly half and I think he's still ahead of Ford for the England starting job. Put it this way, if we were talking Lions I would start Farrell to build that lead and bring on Russell to cause absolute mayhem in the last half hour.

On kicking I might be talking balls here but I'm sure not even Mossy kicked 90% in his career and that guy was a freak of nature.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 6:01 pm

A lack of experience in the back line was telling during the Six Nations for England.

Brown, Joseph and Watson is a lot of big game experience to lose. Add in Daly being out of position at full back. It's a very attacking back line that lacked composure under pressure.

As captain Farrell shoulders some of the blame for the lack of leadership but it's on the team as a whole as well.

In particular I'd flag up Ben Youngs. When England played well he was excellent but in the second half's against Scotland and Wales he went missing. When England were under big pressure from Scotland but still a converted try up they needed their half backs to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drive Scotland back into their half. Instead Youngs and Farrell kicked poorly and played loose rugby. From half backs with a combined 155 England caps and 6 Lions test appearances that is poor.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 11:03 pm

Youngs is also older and more experienced I think as well? He must be nearly 30 and have a heap of England caps now, he should be able to manage games by now.

Farrell is a brilliant player who divides opinion based on perception. The stats and coaches back up that he is a top quality 10. He is picked as first choice by every coach he plays for. They probably know a bit more then us.


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Post by TJ on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 11:08 pm

His stats back up he is a quality 10?  Really?  Try comparing his stats to a real 10.  Jones didn't even pick him at 10 for ages.

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Post by Scottrf on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 11:24 pm

If you need 90%+ kicking then no players have good stats. Wilko was a poor kicker.
I think the reality is than Farrell is world class but with off moments, did you see Sexton this weekend? Some absolute dirge on this thread.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 12:11 am

TJ wrote:His stats back up he is a quality 10?  Really?  Try comparing his stats to a real 10.  Jones didn't even pick him at 10 for ages.

I'm not really sure what you're on about TJ. It's obvious we're not going to change your mind on him no matter what stats, or info we use.

He's been the 10 for England for a while now and generally we've performed well, win or lose he's often kicked well and helped score some good tries.

Yes he didn't start at 10, but I think it's pretty telling Jones felt he had to find a place for him and put him at 12, and as time went on he took the 10 shirt off Ford.

He needs to captain Saracens week in week out if he's to be Englands captain, as that's his biggest weakness

And i'll leave it at that I think.

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Post by Pie on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 6:42 am

Farrell is no Captain, he sounds ridiculous and just looks like sulky prepubescent teen when the pressure comes on

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Post by dummy_half on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 7:07 am

Farrell is a good modern day all round fly half, as you can also say about Sexton and Biggar. He had a bad half against Scotland, and made a couple of uncharacteristic big errors.

He's not as exciting a player as Russell, Ford or Cipriani, but all of those are players who will win you games through brilliance and lose you games through taking too many risks - not something that OF is usually guilty of.

Fair to say though that his captaincy has been poor - can you imagine Johnno allowing the loss of control of the games against Wales and Scotland? He'd have been ripping heads off to get his team going again.

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Post by Pie on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 7:23 am

he should stop trying to be Jonny

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Post by TJ on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 7:39 am

He's not as exciting a player as Russell, Ford or Cipriani, but all of those are players who will win you games through brilliance and lose you games through taking too many risks - not something that OF is usually guilty of.

This is the key point to me.  Farrell is the "safe" option and the low risk one.    However nothing venture nothing gained.  He is a perfectly competent 10.  He doesn't have that extra bit of something special that the real top 10s have

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 7:42 am

Who are the top 5 fly half out there at the moment?
And how would England benefit from having one of them in the team TJ?

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Post by TJ on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 7:53 am

7.5 - do you think if Farrell and Russell swapped sides on Saturday the result would be the same?

What do I think they would gain?  Scoring more tries!  Could have had a slam this year

Top 5 is very subjective as a part of it depends on whether you prefer a high risk high reward apprach or not.

Who is better?  Russell, Ford, Anscombe, Sexton, Biggar from the NH.

Its very much a matter of opinion ad about what you consider more important

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 7:58 am

Hard to tell TJ. If we're looking on a specific day where Russeell was great and Farrell was poor it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the result could have been different. Personally think England switching off would have led to a similar 2nd half showing anyway. On another day say last week England would probably have lost.
We consistently look the most dangerous side going forward anyway but I suppose it could be true. Could also lead us to be a bit too loose.
I mean for me sexton is the best in the world. But if I only focused on Saturdays game I think even then I'd prefer to have Farrell!
Fair dos though I don't think you'll change your mind.

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Post by eirebilly on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 8:01 am

I think that Farrell, like Wilkinson, is primarily seen as a kicking 10.

This to me is incorrect, Wilkinson used to be one of the most attacking 10's in world rugby, it was just that his kicking was so good that is all what people saw him as.

Farrell too, is an attacking 10. His passing to set up line breaks and tries is excellent.

I think people get confused and think that an attacking 10 is always one that stands very flat, chips ahead and attacks defensive lines continuously. An attacking 10 can also stand deep and direct good running lines from their backline.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 8:27 am

Leave Farrell alone, he's perfectly 'armless Run

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 8:29 am

TJ, are you arguing that Farrell is not world class?

It's just that it's hard to think of any other player who has been in wins against every major rugby nation; played on two Lions tours; and been nominated for World Player of the Year, who isn't world class. If you can think of one for comparison, then it would be a good discussion point.

If you agree he is world class, then what do you think he world class at doing?

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 9:12 am

eirebilly wrote:I think that Farrell, like Wilkinson, is primarily seen as a kicking 10.

This to me is incorrect, Wilkinson used to be one of the most attacking 10's in world rugby, it was just that his kicking was so good that is all what people saw him as.

Farrell too, is an attacking 10. His passing to set up line breaks and tries is excellent.

I think people get confused and think that an attacking 10 is always one that stands very flat, chips ahead and attacks defensive lines continuously. An attacking 10 can also stand deep and direct good running lines from their backline.

The injuries and way England were asked to play also took their toll on Wilko, but he did end up playing on the wing briefly in one test (albeit due to a ridiculous series of injuries). Early career Wilko certainly did show some good running play and he could always pass, but the difference a guy like Cipriana bought not just in his eye for a gap but also risk taking was notable (if not always good!). Its also the goal kicking that really made Wilko a household name by providing the game winning moments (2003 has to be mentioned in any discussion around Sir Jonny)
I dont have stats to back it up but Ive always felt that Farrells goal kicking has been a bit overated and that hes not always had that magic under pressure, nor does he have the extreme range of someone like Daly. Its not like hes bad, but it feels like hes had more bad days and missed more pressure kicks than the legend and the way commentators talk about him would suggest. Also there was a period where England were heavily reliant on his goal kicking for points, as per later career Wilkinson. Thats not the case now, England are scoring more tries than they ever have done.

Farrell has shown theres more to him than percentage kicking and playing deep, and is the key playmaker in arguably Englands best ever attacking team. He has played a fair bit as a center through his career and even at outside for an extended period with his club. But really he isnt and wont ever be much of a running threat, and Englands attacking play is currently kick heavy. And maybe thats partly why hes been so successful, the style plays to his strengths. Hes both a kicking fly half and in this system/team an attacking one.
It does show that Jones has been willing to adapt his thinking over time. Farrell was initially left out exactly because he was seen as limited and holding Englands attacking potential back. Ford had long been his golden boy and showed the attributes thats suited his Australian mentality, a good all round skilled footballer who play off the cuff and at pace. It was only Ford displaying the sort of flakieness and meltdown that we've recently seen from Farrell that led to the two being paired, primarily with Farrell to give stability and reliable goal kicking and allow Ford to concentrate on being a flash git. Now even Farrell himself is openly admitting hes having problems with reliability.

Maybe also worth noting though that Farrell isnt the only FH this happens to, its probably quite nice for Sexton that the focus has shifted off his horrendous performance.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 9:25 am

Focus hasn't changed off Sexton. It's just that people have little else to say. He's in the sewer form-wise and needs time to get out of it.
BUT... he ain't alone or unique in that squad right now. He has plenty of company. He isn't exactly being given an armchair ride by the big boys in front of him, or by Murray.
PLUS - Farrell's issues right now are small in comparison.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 9:27 am

TJ wrote:7.5 - do you think if Farrell and Russell swapped sides on Saturday the result would be the same?

What do I think they would gain?  Scoring more tries!  Could have had a slam this year

Top 5 is very subjective as a part of it depends on whether you prefer a high risk high reward apprach or not.

Who is better?  Russell, Ford, Anscombe, Sexton, Biggar from the NH.

Its very much a matter of opinion ad about what you consider more important

If England had Russell on a bad day then the chances are the scores wouldve been even worse.

England are not a good side defensively and have consistently leaked tries even against poor opposition under Jones. To suggest that they have an issue scoring tries when they just piled more on Scotland than anyone else is the championship is a bit odd. A Scotland attack lead by Russell hasnt won a game against a good team since England last year, and hasnt scored a large number of tries in a game for a year and half before this. England have score 4 or more tries in all but one game of this tournament, attack simply isnt an issue for them....switching off and their defence is.

Is Farrell recent success leading a brilliant England attack over recent months, showing an improvement on what Ford delivered, entirely down to Mike Brown being dropped? Im struggling with that. He does have better players around him than Russel does but to deny that hes highly capable of leading an attacking team seems to be wilfully ignoring actual events. Englands attack has improved with him at 10, and is extremely potent (albeit Wales did manage to control and neuter them).

Most people would rate Sexton as an excellent attacking fly half, but he was woeful on Saturday. Ireland might have done better if theyd had Russell or even Dan Parks on that day, that doesn't mean Sexton isnt still a quality player.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 9:34 am

yappysnap wrote:Youngs is also older and more experienced I think as well? He must be nearly 30 and have a heap of England caps now, he should be able to manage games by now.

Farrell is a brilliant player who divides opinion based on perception. The stats and coaches back up that he is a top quality 10. He is picked as first choice by every coach he plays for. They probably know a bit more then us.


It was the day he became England's most capped scrum half, lest we forget.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 9:35 am

king_carlos wrote:A lack of experience in the back line was telling during the Six Nations for England.

Brown, Joseph and Watson is a lot of big game experience to lose. Add in Daly being out of position at full back. It's a very attacking back line that lacked composure under pressure.

As captain Farrell shoulders some of the blame for the lack of leadership but it's on the team as a whole as well.

In particular I'd flag up Ben Youngs. When England played well he was excellent but in the second half's against Scotland and Wales he went missing. When England were under big pressure from Scotland but still a converted try up they needed their half backs to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drive Scotland back into their half. Instead Youngs and Farrell kicked poorly and played loose rugby. From half backs with a combined 155 England caps and 6 Lions test appearances that is poor.

Freudian slip?
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 9:38 am

eirebilly wrote:I think that Farrell, like Wilkinson, is primarily seen as a kicking 10.

This to me is incorrect, Wilkinson used to be one of the most attacking 10's in world rugby, it was just that his kicking was so good that is all what people saw him as.

Farrell too, is an attacking 10. His passing to set up line breaks and tries is excellent.

I think people get confused and think that an attacking 10 is always one that stands very flat, chips ahead and attacks defensive lines continuously. An attacking 10 can also stand deep and direct good running lines from their backline.

I mentioned it early in this thread, but the pass he fizzed to Daly for May's try against Ireland would have been gif'ed and pumped out on social media if it had been Danny Cipriani in a Premiership game.

One thing noticeable about England this year is that we haven't been afraid to go very deep to get the ball wide past where the defence is the strongest. That could be with Farrell pulling a deep pass behind a set of forwards to Daly, or a forward standing at first receiver and pulling a deep pass to Farrell, with the second receiver looking to move the ball wide quickly.

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Post by Scottrf on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 9:47 am

Rugby Fan wrote:TJ, are you arguing that Farrell is not world class?

It's just that it's hard to think of any other player who has been in wins against every major rugby nation; played on two Lions tours; and been nominated for World Player of the Year, who isn't world class. If you can think of one for comparison, then it would be a good discussion point.

If you agree he is world class, then what do you think he world class at doing?

Honestly, he's said Farrell can't pass and can't kick, I'd ignore.

You can look at the first 2 minutes of the 6 Nations to see how well he can pass. And there are many examples of his kicking.

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Post by TJ on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 12:14 pm

or even Dan Parks

No no - don't mention that name!  the nightmares will return.


If you agree he is world class, then what do you think he world class at doing?
"World class" is such a subjective thing.  What Farrell is is "mr pretty damn good" at all parts of the 10s game but there are others around who have attributes he does not have and / or are significantly better at parts of the game


Honestly, he's said Farrell can't pass and can't kick, I'd ignore.

Not what I have said at all.  He is not exceptional at any facet of the game but more than competent for all facets.  His goal kicking % is lower than many other goalkickers but not horrific.   His kicking from hand is usually immaculate  His tackling can be poor poor.  His ability to unlock defences is not up to the best.
Guys - he is a very good player and I understand why you / Jones want him in the team but its simply my opinion that Cipriani or Ford are better options and that in the NH he is not the best 10 around.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 12:49 pm

Farrell is considered to be lucky in that as the way he tackles is considered to be dangerous by a lot of people (all non-English), however the refs and the siting commissioners do not seem to agree as they consistently fail to card him or cite him despite this reputation. I wonder who know the most about what constitutes a cardable tackle?

I do agree that Farrell lacks leadership when things are not going well. he doesn't seem to be able to galvanise the team and by strength of will force them to step up. I cannot believe that the other senior players would not speak out in situations like Saturday, so why didn't they. Are there rules that state that only the Captain speaks out, talk with one voice or what? Players like Launchbury, George, Kruis, BV have all been touted as possible captains, where were they on Saturday, they were on the pitch but I didn't see them castigating the poor play. The only one that seemed to be saying anything was Wilson and he was taken off early in the second half.


We at least we can take a good guess at Farrells probable replacement in a few years, young James Grayson was outstanding at the Gardens both with ball in hand and the boot. Made Mallins look ordinary. If you think Farrell of Ford have a good "fizz" pass, watch Grayson, his is quicker and flatter than either.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 1:35 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Farrell is considered to be lucky in that as the way he tackles is considered to be dangerous by a lot of people (all non-English), however the refs and the siting commissioners do not seem to agree as they consistently fail to card him or cite him despite this reputation. I wonder who know the most about what constitutes a cardable tackle?

I do agree that Farrell lacks leadership when things are not going well. he doesn't seem to be able to galvanise the team and by strength of will force them to step up. I cannot believe that the other senior players would not speak out in situations like Saturday, so why didn't they. Are there rules that state that only the Captain speaks out, talk with one voice or what? Players like Launchbury, George, Kruis, BV have all been touted as possible captains, where were they on Saturday, they were on the pitch but I didn't see them castigating the poor play. The only one that seemed to be saying anything was Wilson and he was taken off early in the second half.


We at least we can take a good guess at Farrells probable replacement in a few years, young James Grayson was outstanding at the Gardens both with ball in hand and the boot. Made Mallins look ordinary. If you think Farrell of Ford have a good "fizz" pass, watch Grayson, his is quicker and flatter than either.

There are 3 incidents for Farrell in the past few months. The tackle on the South African replacement in the last minute that the referee and TMO had a long look at and decided there was no penalty, the tackle on Rodda which the referee inexplicably missed and should have been a penalty (and therefore given the place on the pitch a penalty try and yellow card) and the tackle on the Scot (I think it was Graham) this weekend that the referee and TMO had a long look at and decided that it was a penalty and no yellow.

This reputation he's getting is based on 2 infringements (1 of which was punished appropriately at the time) and 1 non-infringement (which was judged appropriately). However it's now folklore that Farrell got away with two incidents in the autumn that should have been cards and a third this tournament - despite two teams of officials and three citing officials scrutinising these events and all deciding that no card or citing commissioner warning was necessary.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 1:56 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Farrell is considered to be lucky in that as the way he tackles is considered to be dangerous by a lot of people (all non-English), however the refs and the siting commissioners do not seem to agree as they consistently fail to card him or cite him despite this reputation. I wonder who know the most about what constitutes a cardable tackle?

I do agree that Farrell lacks leadership when things are not going well. he doesn't seem to be able to galvanise the team and by strength of will force them to step up. I cannot believe that the other senior players would not speak out in situations like Saturday, so why didn't they. Are there rules that state that only the Captain speaks out, talk with one voice or what? Players like Launchbury, George, Kruis, BV have all been touted as possible captains, where were they on Saturday, they were on the pitch but I didn't see them castigating the poor play. The only one that seemed to be saying anything was Wilson and he was taken off early in the second half.


We at least we can take a good guess at Farrells probable replacement in a few years, young James Grayson was outstanding at the Gardens both with ball in hand and the boot. Made Mallins look ordinary. If you think Farrell of Ford have a good "fizz" pass, watch Grayson, his is quicker and flatter than either.

There are two problems with Farrell's 'tackling', one is that some day he will seriously injure an opponent - maybe it could be in the first minute of a World Cup final and the Ref. won't hesitate to issue a red card. The second is that he will injure himself - his whole-hearted selflessness is reminiscent of Wilkinson and that could be career threatening.

With regards his leadership, he is great at executing a game plan and leading those around him to that end. However if that game plan stops working as it did last Saturday, he didn't know how to respond and was visibly shocked at the end of the match. He reminded me of the losing coach in "The Waterboy" who kept searching his (stolen) playbook for an answer that wasn't there. Owen maybe has most of Wilkinson's dedication and range of skills, but he doesn't have his top two inches.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 1:58 pm

I think OF might be a more consistent player if he wasn't burdened by the captaincy. However, the only other candidate at present is Hartley, and his return is questionable on form and health considerations. I'm pretty sure it's too late before the RWC to start considering anyone else. And there's no question on dropping such a valuable player as OF. So there you have it. He definitely needs the help of a more vocal pack leader, and a few more senior players' input on the field.

As for his 'reputation' - he isn't lucky, he just doesn't do enough to overly trouble the officials.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 2:22 pm

If Farrell had not turned his shoulder to mitigate the effects of the tackle on Saturday, which incidentally hit the Scots shoulder / front and only clipped the head, it would have been a face to face collision, not something anybody would want to see. That is why the official gave a penalty, which if it was for a late tackle was poor reffing as Farrell hadn't got a hope in hell of avoiding him in that split second between the kick and the collision.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 2:26 pm

All the more reason that you'd assume he'd have been unable to stop the natural tackling action of hitting and wrapping. If the moment was so fleeting why would Farrell be caught out in that position?

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 2:40 pm

I would wager, that if it was the other way around, the people defending Farrell on here would be up in arms.

The truth is, I have seen cards given for a lot less, for me the officials bottled a straight forward, reckless challenge.

Farrell is not on his own in this regard though, the officials bottled the same situation between Wales and Australia in the Autumn, the outcome of which left Leigh Halfpenny out of the game with concussion for three months.

This is an area of our game that is broken, and it needs repairing before it gets worse.

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Post by Scottrf on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 2:42 pm

They did start officiating dangerous tackles with more seriousness a couple of years back, and lowered the tackle height last year, but officials have definitely stepped back how seriously they take high tackles. Not sure why.

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Post by NonReturnableBottle2 on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 4:02 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Owen is not Captain material.

Doesn't look like the same player he once was, would have to question whether he has taken a knock to the head.

This caught my eye. Had a conversation earlier today saying just that. He seemed to fade out of the game on Saturday after his "heavy" tackle (or late depending on your view) so I wonder if he should have had an HIA at half time!! Maybe the combination of all those questionable tackles has taken its toll.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 5:21 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:If Farrell had not turned his shoulder to mitigate the effects of the tackle on Saturday, which incidentally hit the Scots shoulder / front and only clipped the head, it would have been a face to face collision, not something anybody would want to see. That is why the official gave a penalty, which if it was for a late tackle was poor reffing as Farrell hadn't got a hope in hell of avoiding him in that split second between the kick and the collision.

Can 'mitigation' be deciding to lead with a shoulder rather than arms? Surely if Farrell has enough time to make any adjustment then he had enough time to fend using his arms rather than turn his shoulder into a collision? The referees seem to base their sanction on outcome rather than level of risk. If the outcome is bad then yellow or red card depending on how bad, and if the injured party walks away penalty or play-on - so anything from play-on to a red card for exactly the same behaviour. LD is right that this part of the game is broken and the ambiguity in the Laws does nothing to discourage reckless behaviour.

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