England vs Tonga match thread

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 11:23 am

First topic message reminder :

England

V

Tonga


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Post by ebop on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 2:08 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:ebop, nothing to say about the Stokes family, you seem the type to read the sun if you could get it.
Stokes is a fantastic cricketer and wish him the best of luck
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Post by Cumbrian on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 2:21 pm

I get that it was humid and the ball was greasy, but England really need to have better hands than they had today.  These are the conditions that are going to exist throughout the tournament.    

England looked a little disjointed and forced at times, but I find England tend to make hard work out of games like this, they will be better against Argentina/ France.

Tonga were committed but limited, they looked like a team trying to keep the score down.  I can't see them causing France or Argentina too many serious problems.

Though the referee was pretty good, apart from penalising England at the end when he was (should) have been playing advantage for a Tongan knock-on. Thought the hit on Billy was hard but fair, but the citing panel might see it differently.  Was glad they reached the conclusion they did on the Watson hit, if that was a penalty we might as well call the whole thing off.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 2:46 pm

Cumbrian wrote:...These are the conditions that are going to exist throughout the tournament.
Not necessarily. Tokyo alone has seen swings of ten degrees in top temperatures over the last three weeks, so conditions could vary a good deal across venues. That's especially true for teams going deeper into the tournament, because humidity usually drops off as we head towards October/November.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 3:48 pm

Not the most exiting game from England but they did enough to keep Tonga  try less.

Let see if they ( England) can keep that up through the pool game's.

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Post by miaow on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 4:21 pm

Best refereeing performance to date. Some issues around ignoring the lineout throws, but properly reffed the breakdown, which was nice to see, and was in control at scrum time, while also got the tackle on Watson spot on. It was a marginal call, but the head whip was due to force, not where it hit him. Good reading of the game - put most other refs to shame. No wonder Glen Jackson didn't make it, good performance.

Kudos to Tonga. Their 9 was one of the best players on the park. Also good to see Sam Lousi in action. Never really threatened a score until the final play, but they were excellent at the basics. Can see them giving France and Argentina a really testing game and I hope they nick a win against one of them. Fitness seems to be an issue, though, but having conceded 70-odd v Wales and 90-odd v NZ recently, they kept the scoreline down well.

Not much to read in to England. Had they wanted to, they could have scored 50+, but the need wasn't there to up the tempo. This felt more like putting procedures and systems in to place in a competitive test match, try and minimise the threat Tonga posed, and get through the game with minimal fuss. Some major issues still plague them - namely discipline. The Itoje penalty with the ref 1 yard away telling him he's offside 2 seconds before he concedes the penalty was 'dull', as Brian Moore would say. There are 'acceptable penalties' that EJ seems happy to give away that comes with the territory of aggressive competition. They differ from Ire and Wales in that regard. But they still lack the nous at times. 3 stupid penalties from Itoje as well - at the ruck when the ref is telling him not to compete; from the restart when waiting from contact; kicking a knock on backwards from an offside position because England had knock on advantage. For all his talents he does some really inane things at times, like AWJ in his early years. Cut that out and you have a world class player, but he's sums up some key issues for England at the moment. Discipline could kill them if they face a good breakdown team, as it proved against Wales in the warm ups. It's strange we've only really had one ref give any sort of parity to the defending team so far, and that was a Kiwi - often, you expect them to favour the attack.

The Daly-Slade mishap was poor as well. But England barely looked like they got out of third gear here. Just did enough for the bonus point, but we saw today how England struggle if/when they don't have physical dominance. Tonga take huge credit for actually managing the game as well, dictating tempo, and the best box kicking we've seen all tournament. But France in particular will match England for large parts of the game in the physicality stakes. England will need the kicking game to be on point if they can't get the go forward, as I don't think they can rely on French errors as they give too many penalties away, and France clearly pose a threat with their offloading game.

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Post by miaow on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 4:31 pm

Flicking through some of the comments and everyone seems annoyed - with both teams.

I get why English fans perhaps wanted more, but it is what it is. They won't really have done much work on Tonga, it's all about the last 2 groups games.

For Tonga, I don't understand the criticism. What's the benefit of playing fast and loose and getting blown away for the last 50 minutes and conceding 80 points? They played the game not too differently to how Ireland played earlier, yet we'd praise one and not the other. There was some excellent game management, slowing it down, and kicking to compete - a few were too long, but by and large the kicking game worked well, for both teams. Tonga take huge credit for their general accuracy and dealing with the basics - they regularly made or passed the gainline, they turned ball over, they were good in the scrums, and they didn't overplay. That will put them in good stead for one of the two opponents they want to beat. The fact they quite clearly have fitness issues should be justification enough to play it this way. They're not here to entertain, and Tongans have been going to Rugby League at a far higher rate than Samoans and Fijis. They don't have the backs of the Fijians to play that fast, explosive game anyway. Strange to criticise them, I thought they should take big credit, and their half backs looked good, with the 9 looking very good.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 5:10 pm

I think that the trouble with this game was the 92-7 defeat to the ABs was the Tongans' previous match. Given our demolition of Ireland, everyone (probably the England Team included) was expecting England to run tries in from all over the park. Many of the lesser teams seem to play better at the World Cup, so I am not that surprised by the final outcome. Tonga defended well but offered not much in attack.

England will need to tighten up on a lot of things though:

1. Handling errors. Today was one of the worst I have seen for England handling errors in a long time. You would expect players such as Curry, Watson and Underhill to be picking those passes up 98% of the time. They must do better and they know it.

2. Scrum penalties. Genge in particular was poor today. Any international Prop should not be getting themselves folded down the way Genge was. He can scrummage better that. He also made no attempts to change his positioning and binding. I played Loosehead 30 years ago at school (badly), and even I know that if you get pinged once, the ref will be looking at you constantly after that, so you make changes.

3. Silly penalties. Step forward Maro Itoje. As stated above, he is a brilliant player, but he is a penalty liability, mostly for REALLY stupid things. He needs to cut this out.

After all that, we did very well in the lineouts (stealing a few as well) and the tactical kicking wasn't too bad. Nobody was forced off with a nasty injury and we did get the full 5 points. All in all I just think it was a bit of a poor day at the office.

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 6:01 pm

The 92 was cut short as well, ABs not bothering to replace the player coming off with Tonga a man in the bin, finishing with 14 as well. So hopefully Tonga were more up for this, looked that way. England looked good first half, didn’t watch the second.

With no one seemingly owning these so called ‘match threads’ you’d have no idea what the actual scores are. ‘Good try’ hardly cuts it. Whistle

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 6:29 pm

I was wondering about England's approach to the bonus point during the match. Early in the second half, when we were more than two scores clear at 18-3, Farrell elected to kick another penalty rather than go for a third try. This seemed a cautious approach, and, as the game wore on, it began to look like we weren't giving much priority to securing the bonus point.

Around the 3:00 minute mark, Farrell is asked what he said to his players about this. He replies "Nothing much", which I don't think is the right answer. He talks about just getting the players to do the right things but I wonder whether he actually has something in his captaincy armoury to get everyone to focus on the task. I'm reminded of how Johnson got everyone on the same page for Wilkinson's drop goal. You don't just say "do the right thing"; you have to inspire your players to believe they can do it too.



It's noticeable that Jones immediately chimes in too, as if he recognizes that Farrell's answer isn't quite right. I hope it's just a matter of how Farrell dealt with that question in the press conference, rather than a failure on his part to understand what his role was as captain, when time was being eaten up, and we didn't have the fourth try.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 6:39 pm

Hmm. We were creating chances at that time. Which were being butchered. I'm not sure what youd want your captain to be doing differently than reinforcing the just keep at in line.

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Post by miaow on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 6:47 pm

I think with Farrell you're never going to get the full/'real' man in front of the media. He keeps his cards close to his chest. That said, I maintain it's a stupid decision to make him captain, and could be a major issue in the tournament when it matters, like 2015.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 6:54 pm

Good captains make a difference. Bad captains make a difference. For everyone else things like the leadershop through the team and management makes a difference.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 6:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Hmm. We were creating chances at that time. Which were being butchered. I'm not sure what youd want your captain to be doing differently than reinforcing the just keep at in line.

There are times in matches when you have to achieve a specific goal, especially when the clock is running down (almost a rugby style two-minute drill). It might be defending a scrum in your own 22 with a man down, or trying to work a seven-pointer to win the match. We had our 3rd try by the 56th minute but then seemed to lose our way. After a few minutes of nothing going much right, I'd have wanted the captain to kick a few backsides, and lay out a plan of how he wanted the next passage of play to go (keeping it in hand, kicking to push them back or whatever). Jones said he was happy England stayed patient, rather than pressing the panic button. Perhaps that's the right attitude. Still, I'd rather we had tested our ability to press for a score, instead of assuming it would come if we kept at it.

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 6:59 pm

lostinwales wrote:Good captains make a difference. Bad captains make a difference. For everyone else things like the leadershop through the team and management makes a difference.

Well that wraps up that debate.  Everyone to bed lads.  Lights out Laugh

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 7:15 pm

Fair point rugby fan.

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Post by hugehandoff on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 7:55 pm

I missed the match today....dropping son off at Uni of Leeds from London.....overall I am taking from the general comments that this is not panic time, but we expect an improvement against USA? A 6/10 performance?

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Post by stub on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 8:06 pm

I too have been on Uni dropping off duty this weekend HHO.

I am pleased with that, a bit scrappy sure, but a bonus point win whilst looking a bit rusty is great I reckon. Don’t see too many issues based on that; harder matches to come undeniably but England will learn I think. That said I reckon USA, Argentina and France will all be tough, as they should be.

Fun times 😁

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 8:14 pm

hugehandoff wrote:I missed the match today....dropping son off at Uni of Leeds from London.....overall I am taking from the general comments that this is not panic time, but we expect an improvement against USA? A 6/10 performance?

That about sums it up. We got a bonus point, came through largely uninjured, and didn't collect any cards.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 8:44 pm

England should be ok once they've remembered what their hands are for.
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Post by yappysnap on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 9:10 pm

Theres always rustyness in the first game, plus we'll want to keep things held back for later games and we always seem to drop a gear in the easier games.

Only saw highlights as the match was on at about 10pm at night on a Sunday, but great to see Manu playing with confidence at least.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 9:37 pm

Very little to take out of that - as England were not very engaged and Tonga were toothless. Still Tuilagi's ability to blast through and around so many defenders close to the line for his first try should make everybody take notice, if they had not been concerned about him before

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 9:40 pm

Manu is the one and probably only NH back capable of ripping this tournament open. Fear not, he’ll be catered for. Looks like we’ll see him semi final time based on the weekends results.

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Post by hugehandoff on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 10:06 pm

stub wrote:I too have been on Uni dropping off duty this weekend HHO.

I am pleased with that, a bit scrappy sure, but a bonus point win whilst looking a bit rusty is great I reckon. Don’t see too many issues based on that; harder matches to come undeniably but England will learn I think. That said I reckon USA, Argentina and France will all be tough, as they should be.

Fun times 😁

Wife and son were unamused that I insisted on a 0645 departure on Sat so I could have brunch in Leeds watching SA V NZ, which was well worth it. But today was too busy and 5 hours to get home as well. I will watch the highlights later.

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Post by miaow on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 11:32 pm

Taylorman wrote:Manu is the one and probably only NH back capable of ripping this tournament open. Fear not, he’ll be catered for. Looks like we’ll see him semi final time based on the weekends results.

Don't pretend NZ have a back better than him at what he does. The NH has plenty of backs who are top drawer and will contribute to the WC. Looking forward to seeing what North and Liam Williams have to offer against Australia, for instance, but if not, Hogg will throw all his attacking prowess v NZ if they make the QFs, Stockdale is a lethal finisher, as NZ know, and you could pick a host of English backs who are more than decent who, ultimately, combine to be better than the sum of their parts. Tuilagi is just special, and can do what Lomu did 20 years ago even though the game's gone pro. It's a rare ability. Don't pretend Tuilagi wouldn't walk in to all 3 SANZAR squads and, likely, starting 15s as well. Laumape is a (very) poor man's Tuilagi.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 1:16 am

Taylorman wrote:Manu is the one and probably only NH back capable of ripping this tournament open. Fear not, he’ll be catered for. Looks like we’ll see him semi final time based on the weekends results.

As long as you don't try the Australian catering technique

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 6:38 am

England looked to me a lot like Wales and Ireland did in their first warm-up games - a bit lethargic and not quite in sync with one another.

It suggests to me that Eddie has upped the physicality in training. England have to peak two weeks later than most teams; we don’t have a pool game against top tier opposition until Argentina - but we then have up to five tough games in a row. I don’t think he’ll taper the training schedule until after the USA game (so I expect a similar performance on Thursday), and I don’t think we’ll see England at their sharpest until Argentina.

That said, it was a bonus point win with no injuries and no tries conceded, played without giving much away tactically. That’s a good enough result at this stage.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 8:09 am

It's so good to see Tuilagi back in form and fit for England, he is the one undeniably world class player we have and most probably the most destructive player we've ever produced.

I also think the likes of Dawson are going overboard with their criticism of the performance yesterday, in reality we don't need to peak until the quarter finals where the tournament will properly begin. Famous last words but I don't think England need to be in peak form to get past Argentina or France.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 8:33 am

Soul Requiem wrote:...most probably the most destructive player we've ever produced...
You are probably right, however, I listened to Mike Tindall the other day saying he's amazed people don't seem to remember how poweful Ben Cohen was for England, before he lost interest in rugby. I remember thinking how much we missed him when he just drifted out of the game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 8:44 am

I am surprised at the criticism. A really easy win. Yes we should have won by more the daly over run the most obvious but we will not be peaking for Tonga and usa


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Post by yappysnap on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9:08 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I am surprised at the criticism.  A really easy win. Yes we should have win by more the daly over run the most obvious but we will not be speaking for Tonga and usa

Yea in the past we've made hard work of easy games, this seems like a pretty standard win but some press are going ott with criticism. It is very difficult these days to know if they believe it though or uts just attention seeking.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9:23 am

It's attention seeking.  The needed dose of Drawma that seems to come with everyone's morning cuppa these days.
But it's not just the press.  No, no, no.  Can't simply always blame the press for making mountains out of molehills.  Social media is the bigger paranoid schizophrenic now.
RTÉ for a brief period had some difficulty with their sound feed for one of the games and chose to use ITV commentary for 5 or 10 minutes.  Yeah, of course you noticed it but...... after the game you go to check out what the internet have been saying about the game and you find it's OTT bullschidt meltdown about the technical glitch.

Nutters.  Crazy Millennial World.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9:40 am

Not got a lot of sympathy – England ticked a number of boxes: a win, a WBP, no injuries (I hope), a run-out for most of the 1st choice, and some good scores. But the handling was not test quality, and passing & catching is something of a basic in rugby. Not too happy at the high pen count (particularly of the kn0bhead variety, I’m still laughing at the Itoje pen for running into an Eng player from a KO). I can see that we’ve yet to peak but let’s at least get the basics at a higher level.
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Post by rodders on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9:50 am

maestegmafia wrote:Vunipola knocked flat on his back by the Tongan openside.

Has to be the highlight of the weekend. Don't think I've ever seen Billy V lose ground in a tackle, not one on one anyway.

Didn't see the second half, it seemed like Tonga were solid up front but offered very little in a attack.

Tuilagi looks unstoppable right now.
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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9:56 am

What was Daly doing?????
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Post by eirebilly on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 10:04 am

Seems to be a bit of negativity surrounding the England victory. I thought it was a very good win against a very solid Tongan side. Tonga are not the traditional PI side who throw caution to the wind at all times, they are a very well drilled side with players plying their trade in top clubs in Europe and are coached by an excellent player coach.

I thought it was a very good and composed win for England myself, a lot of other teams may have/will come unstuck against this Tongan side.
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Post by Rinsure on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 10:26 am

So we're up and running, then.

Daly - poor, I thought. Obviously he overran Slade, but thought he was largely ineffective throughout. Watson was good under the high ball, and looked quick and incisive. Still think he would be better at 15 than Daly. May, on the other wing, was underused, but looked dangerous when we did manage to put him in space.

Manu was virtually unplayable; I am so glad he's on our side! Farrell, Ford and Youngs were all sub-par though, and the distribution wasn't working as a rule. That needs a step up moving forwards - and I'm sure it'll come.

The pack were pretty good against a massive Tongan eight. Some silly mistakes, notably from Itoje, but not bad all round. Lineout functioned well, scrums were mostly steady and clean (until they weren't). Poor hands on a couple of occasions, but again, it'll come.

Replacements mostly went well too, despite a touch of rustiness. Good for Slade and JJ to get some metres in competitive rugby.

What sort of side are we expecting against the US?

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 10:32 am

If England needed 7 tries against Tonga to get out of their pool, they would have scored them. Different gear. Job done. Nuff said. QED

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 10:37 am

eirebilly wrote:Seems to be a bit of negativity surrounding the England victory. I thought it was a very good win against a very solid Tongan side. Tonga are not the traditional PI side who throw caution to the wind at all times, they are a very well drilled side with players plying their trade in top clubs in Europe and are coached by an excellent player coach.

I thought it was a very good and composed win for England myself, a lot of other teams may have/will come unstuck against this Tongan side.

I think there are 3 reasons for the negativity:

1) There was quite a bit of sloppy play 
2) The size of the win over Ireland
3) The size of Tonga's defeat to NZ.

Explanations can be found for all of these:

1) Some rustiness - (especially Slade missing a try chance when he died with the ball rather than using Ford or Manu)
2) England had tapered for that game, they then went back into heavy training and are only tapering for Argentina
3) That was a warm up fixture with Tonga no way as aggressive in defence as at the weekend.


However expectations were higher than the reality delivered, so even if expectations were unreasonable it still leads to negative feelings.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 10:43 am

Rinsure wrote:
What sort of side are we expecting against the US?

Genge, LCD, Cole, Launchbury, Kruis, Wilson, Curry, Billy, Heinz, Farrell, Cokanasiga, Manu, Slade, Watson, Daly

Reps: George, Marler, Sinckler, Itoje, Lawes, Youngs, Ford, Joseph.

Meaning Singleton, Francis & McConnochie would not have had gametime. Perhaps they may be on the bench (or McConnochie starting) but Eddie needs to balance giving time to his main guys and the differing combos. Hence why I feel we may see lawes coming on for Billy with Wilson moving to 8 after 50 minutes.

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Post by Rinsure on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:21 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Rinsure wrote:
What sort of side are we expecting against the US?

Genge, LCD, Cole, Launchbury, Kruis, Wilson, Curry, Billy, Heinz, Farrell, Cokanasiga, Manu, Slade, Watson, Daly

Reps: George, Marler, Sinckler, Itoje, Lawes, Youngs, Ford, Joseph.

Meaning Singleton, Francis & McConnochie would not have had gametime. Perhaps they may be on the bench (or McConnochie starting) but Eddie needs to balance giving time to his main guys and the differing combos. Hence why I feel we may see lawes coming on for Billy with Wilson moving to 8 after 50 minutes.

I'd probably rest Curry and give Ludlam the start. Probably do the same for Watson with McConnochie too.

I was thinking Manu would probably get the game off too, which would mean putting Francis in at 12.

Mind you, trying to predict Eddie...

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Post by BamBam on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:23 pm

Am I right in thinking Nowell and Mako are both unfit for this game? Would be ideal to get them a run out off the bench if possible

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Post by dummy_half on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:26 pm

I'd call the performance v Tonga as 'adequate'. Some things (set pieces) and some players went well (Manu particularly), others a bit meh. We made a few try chances that should have been taken, and made a few silly mistakes for penalties (Itoje's from the kick off reception in particular).

However, Tonga are not a bad side, and we largely kept them at arms length for the game, so the defensive side of things was pretty good.

Pity Watson's run couldn't have been finished off - would have been a RWC legendary try like Kirwan's in 87.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:40 pm

Watsons run reminded me of Robinson in 03 where poacher extraordinaire Greenwood was on hand to finish in the corner.

Genge
LCD
Cole
Itoje
Kruis
Wilson
Ludlum
Billy

Heinz
Ford
Cokanasiga
Francis
Slade
Mcconnochie
Watson

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:42 pm

I just feel that Eddie will want to see the Farrell, Manu, Slade combo in this game.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:46 pm

rodders wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:Vunipola knocked flat on his back by the Tongan openside.

Has to be the highlight of the weekend. Don't think I've ever seen Billy V lose ground in a tackle, not one on one anyway.

Didn't see the second half, it seemed like Tonga were solid up front but offered very little in a attack.

Tuilagi looks unstoppable right now.

The tackle was terrific, although you could easily argue that the Tongan Tongan came off worse given that he needed treatment afterwards

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:48 pm

lostinwales wrote:
rodders wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:Vunipola knocked flat on his back by the Tongan openside.

Has to be the highlight of the weekend. Don't think I've ever seen Billy V lose ground in a tackle, not one on one anyway.

Didn't see the second half, it seemed like Tonga were solid up front but offered very little in a attack.

Tuilagi looks unstoppable right now.

The tackle was terrific, although you could easily argue that the Tongan Tongan came off worse given that he needed treatment afterwards

It was also illegal as he led with the shoulder with the arm nowhere near attempting a wrap. It fired Tonga up, and put a dent in vunipola's confidence to carry.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 1:02 pm

Yeah led to a one for them as well. Bit of an odd one as as with the Aussie it's an obvious incident for the tmo to look at.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 1:23 pm

So whose result was better England 35-3 Tonga or Wales 43-14 Georgia?

Both BP wins with no injuries; both similar margins of victory between similarly ranked teams. Would you rather 4 tries to nil or 6 to 2?
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Post by BamBam on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 1:26 pm

Am I back...

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 1:28 pm

Poorfour wrote:So whose result was better England 35-3 Tonga or Wales 43-14 Georgia?

Both BP wins with no injuries; both similar margins of victory between similarly ranked teams. Would you rather 4 tries to nil or 6 to 2?
 
Probably 4-0. Wales were very good for the first 20 minutes, then completely switched off. As with us nothing much to gain from the game as they were always going to win pretty comfortably and will have their eye on games ahead.

So far it is hard to say any team has really shone. Some marked disappointments (mainly Scotland and SA) but teh winning teams have all perhaps struggled to get out of 3rd gear.

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