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Do England have an attack coach?

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Do England have an attack coach? Empty Do England have an attack coach?

Post by dammit_chris Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:21 am

When England first appointed Brian Smith as attack coach I was full of optimism, if he could get the England backline running the same angles he got his London Irish team to play then we were in for some exciting running rugby. What on earth has happened? Does Brian Smith actually do anything, a few great attacking games against Australia and a game against France show that we can attack, so what is going on?

Watching the England versus Wales game last weekend it was shocking to see how many schoolboy errors the England backs were making, standing flat, no depth and when moves were executed there was no one in support. The forwards block options for the playmakers in the backline, I lost count of the number of times Louis Deacon got in the way of a backmove.

It's all simple, basic play that we are getting wrong - its absolutely bizarre that players like Hape and Banahan have excelled for their clubs, play great attacking rugby and wonderful offloading and support running - but they come to England and its as if they are being told not to play their natural games. Banahan just seems to stay on his wing and is told to run straight at defenders to use his size etc, he doesnt do that for Bath, he comes off his wing, finds angles through the midfield and causes a lot of damage.

There seems to be absolutely no creativity in the England coaching structure for our backline, we pick big players to smash the ball up the middle, take the ball into contact where we fail to generate quick ball and then the whole process starts over again. We are way too reliant on Ashton's support running and for whatever reason we never use Ben Foden to come through the midfield in backs moves.

Hopefully against Ireland there will be a few changes to how we play the game - if we can get our backline to click then we have a really strong pack to get us in positions to worry any team, espc with Wilkinson at 10.

Who would you have in the backline to change things - can Hape and Banahan justify a starting spot, was failing to give Simpson-Daniel a run out in the warm ups a mistake, as he is another like Ashton and Foden who can unlock a defence (not like Cueto can!).


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Post by robbo277 Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:37 am

It's unreal, the team has had so much time together and they look like they've never even met each other. There was no cohesion in that backline.

I'm sure the England team want to get back out their as quickly as possible to show it is the exception and not the rule, but I haven't been overly impressed with Brian Smith in this set-up.

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Post by dammit_chris Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:02 pm

Robbo - I cant see what the game plan is with the backline at all. It seems to be smash it up through the centres and get quick ball to play our danger runners.

BUT, we dont commit enough men to the breakdown, our forwards drift into the backline causing our fly half to have no options but to feed it back inside, and Ashton s seemingly the only guy who runs support lines.

Watch Foden for Saints and he punishes teams when he enters the backline, England dont use him. Watch Banahan for Bath and he comes off his wing and goes through the middle and gets over the gainline time and time again.

Its almost as if England are content to let Hape and Tindall crash it up the middle and recycle slow ball...its odd.

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Post by dammit_chris Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:06 pm

also think Wilko, Hape and Tindall would work if every one of our back three was a threat e.g. Ashton, JSD and Foden.

Cant see how they can bring Tuilagi in unless they drop Hape and Tindall, as persoanlly feel you need Fluety to play alongside Tuilagi.

Think Flood will be dropped now for Wilko.

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Post by sirtidychris Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:26 pm

If the backline/ toby flood is misfiring then we have to play wilko as he is worth 15 points every time he steps on the pitch....when youngs and flood are firing we can play the expansive game that beat australia however otherwise we use our large pack, play territorial rugby and let wilkinson do the rest...it aint pretty but it's effective.

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