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England's 6N post-mortem

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:48 pm

Firstly, well done Wales, fantastic final result and worthy winners. I don't want you to think this post is about simply saying England lost rather than Wales won, it isn't intended to. However, i do want to ask people's opinions on England's 6Ns.

Has it been an improvement on last year? How would you rate the coaches' performance in terms of selection, tactics etc. Where have we improved or gone backwards?

For me, our results have flattered us. Much has been made of the improved attitude/culture within the squad, but I don't see it translated into performances particularly. Yes, the players seem less cocky, and?...

The scrum and lineout have gone backwards, the rucking after the Scotland game has been poor, and the attack non-existent. Our defence has been better generally, but was finally exposed by a team powerful enough to suck in players through close drives.

The selections ultimately didn't pay off either, and I think SL deserves criticism for the Croft, Wood, Robshaw back-row...it was easily outclassed, out-thought and out muscled. Some of this you can say is misfortune - having Morgan and Corbisiero out has clearly not helped, but it doesn't explain the selection of a collection of willowy lineout forwards.

I'm obviously frustrated at the result, and possibly i'll see some of this differently after a little more reflection, but I doubt it. What do the rest of you think?

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Post by Biltong Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:51 pm

I am rather disappointed when I think back to England's win over NZ in the Autumn tours and comparing today (in fact the whole six nations).

They used space, support runners and width to win, today it was individual strike runners with no variation, no support running, noone even looking to feed a support runner in space and utter predictability.

They hit the rucks as individuals, not collective effort and not enough commitment.

I fear england has gone backwards
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Post by Shifty Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:56 pm

England won the World Cup, and a grand slam in the same year, what you dont remember is England lost 3 or so grand slam matches on the last game in the years before.

These types of losses will build character in their squad.

I just think Wales have the core of a triple grand slam winning squad there, so experienced and so successful.

Though apart from the All Blacks I don;t really see what England have to be excited about. You hammered a poor Scotland on the day but you have dogged out the last 3 games, more than smashed the opposition.

the margins between Ireland, Wales, France and England are tiny, but France are commiting suicide, and England are just failing at the last moment in recent years.
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Post by ALPanorak Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:58 pm

(First off, let me say I'm a neutral who just likes to see good rugby). I like Stuart Lancaster a lot. The way he's decided to go down the 'youth' route with this England side is admirable and I believe the right thing to do. However, like you say Hood, there are some selection issues which should have been sorted two games ago - the backrow and the back three - Goode, Brown and Ashton.

Wood is no no.8 and I don't know that Croft is international class despite his athletic qualities. As for the back three - Goode, whilst a solid boot and good defensively has no attacking prowess. Brown has actually impressed me - people have criticised his lack of pace but he has made good breaks throughout the tourny and has appeared to have improved his speed (although Cuthbert beat him today). I believe he should be the full back if not a return for Foden. Meanwhile, Ashton...I don't know what to say...just pick Christian Wade please...

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Post by Shifty Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Manu Tuilagi seems to lack a lot of game awareness, it was highlighted several times where there was over laps and he chose to charge into contact. He's not a smart rugby player.

He needs to be taught how to draw and pass, not pin his ears back and smash into a fragmented defense.
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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Biltong wrote:I am rather disappointed when I think back to England's win over NZ in the Autumn tours and comparing today (in fact the whole six nations).

They used space, support runners and width to win, today it was individual strike runners with no variation, no support running, noone even looking to feed a support runner in space and utter predictability.

They hit the rucks as individuals, not collective effort and not enough commitment.

I fear england has gone backwards

Couldn't agree more Biltong. It didn't help that our 'strike runners' were all the same light-weight players. I can't remember us having a pack with less power. It's not everything as we showed in the Scotland game, but looking at Scotland shows that was a lot to do with how bad they rucked. Even out set-piece was a shambles.

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Post by nathan Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:01 pm

ALPanorak wrote:(First off, let me say I'm a neutral who just likes to see good rugby). I like Stuart Lancaster a lot. The way he's decided to go down the 'youth' route with this England side is admirable and I believe the right thing to do. However, like you say Hood, there are some selection issues which should have been sorted two games ago - the backrow and the back three - Goode, Brown and Ashton.

Wood is no no.8 and I don't know that Croft is international class despite his athletic qualities. As for the back three - Goode, whilst a solid boot and good defensively has no attacking prowess. Brown has actually impressed me - people have criticised his lack of pace but he has made good breaks throughout the tourny and has appeared to have improved his speed (although Cuthbert beat him today). I believe he should be the full back if not a return for Foden. Meanwhile, Ashton...I don't know what to say...just pick Christian Wade please...

Please please get rid of ashton.

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Post by Biltong Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:01 pm

Absolutely agree with that Shifty, the man doesn't know how to pass or look for a support runner.
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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:03 pm

Shifty wrote:Manu Tuilagi seems to lack a lot of game awareness, it was highlighted several times where there was over laps and he chose to charge into contact. He's not a smart rugby player.

He needs to be taught how to draw and pass, not pin his ears back and smash into a fragmented defense.

And possibly to catch judging by today's game. He could be fantastic but he's got a lot to work on. People compare him to Nonu at a similar age. The difference for me is - the NZ coaches seemed to recognise his shortcomings very early and start to work on them. There's little evidence of that happening with Manu, but who knows.

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Post by OzT Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:04 pm

You can live and win with a non powerful pack if you have the flankers and backs to split the defense. I think if England had a more attacking number 10, and maybe do away with the crash centres, they will win more. The pack lost today for sure, but will play much better 9 times out of 10.

Vunipola looked a handful when he came on, good defense, and hard to shift him off a ruck


Last edited by OzT on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Shifty Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:04 pm

Biltong wrote:Absolutely agree with that Shifty, the man doesn't know how to pass or look for a support runner.

Although I will add is either of the wingers or full back had, had half a brain theyd of been on Manu's shoulder running an angle to try and hit a gap.
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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:05 pm

nathan wrote:
ALPanorak wrote:(First off, let me say I'm a neutral who just likes to see good rugby). I like Stuart Lancaster a lot. The way he's decided to go down the 'youth' route with this England side is admirable and I believe the right thing to do. However, like you say Hood, there are some selection issues which should have been sorted two games ago - the backrow and the back three - Goode, Brown and Ashton.

Wood is no no.8 and I don't know that Croft is international class despite his athletic qualities. As for the back three - Goode, whilst a solid boot and good defensively has no attacking prowess. Brown has actually impressed me - people have criticised his lack of pace but he has made good breaks throughout the tourny and has appeared to have improved his speed (although Cuthbert beat him today). I believe he should be the full back if not a return for Foden. Meanwhile, Ashton...I don't know what to say...just pick Christian Wade please...

Please please get rid of ashton.

His fall from grace is a shame I think. He's been poorly used, but his tackling has now become a serious problem for this team. Along with Brown's lack of pace on the wing, we're very vulnerable out wide. Brown should have been at 15 with a winger in place of Goode IMO.

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Post by Biltong Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:06 pm

Shifty wrote:
Biltong wrote:Absolutely agree with that Shifty, the man doesn't know how to pass or look for a support runner.

Although I will add is either of the wingers or full back had, had half a brain theyd of been on Manu's shoulder running an angle to try and hit a gap.
I doubt it would have made a difference, I said the same thing about him last year, nothing has changed.
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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:07 pm

OzT wrote:You can live and win with a non powerful pack if you have the flankers and backs to split the defense. I think if England had a more attacking number 10, and maybe do away with the crash centres, they will win more. The pack lost today for sure, but will play much better 9 times out of 10.

Vunipola looked a handful when he came on, good defense, and hard to shift him off a ruck

I'm not sure they can with that backrow. Still not convinced by Vunipola at scum time, and he must have benefited from some tired Welsh players, but he did look better than Marler. They're both behind Corbs I think.

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Post by Biltong Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:07 pm

Hood83 wrote:
nathan wrote:
ALPanorak wrote:(First off, let me say I'm a neutral who just likes to see good rugby). I like Stuart Lancaster a lot. The way he's decided to go down the 'youth' route with this England side is admirable and I believe the right thing to do. However, like you say Hood, there are some selection issues which should have been sorted two games ago - the backrow and the back three - Goode, Brown and Ashton.

Wood is no no.8 and I don't know that Croft is international class despite his athletic qualities. As for the back three - Goode, whilst a solid boot and good defensively has no attacking prowess. Brown has actually impressed me - people have criticised his lack of pace but he has made good breaks throughout the tourny and has appeared to have improved his speed (although Cuthbert beat him today). I believe he should be the full back if not a return for Foden. Meanwhile, Ashton...I don't know what to say...just pick Christian Wade please...

Please please get rid of ashton.

His fall from grace is a shame I think. He's been poorly used, but his tackling has now become a serious problem for this team. Along with Brown's lack of pace on the wing, we're very vulnerable out wide. Brown should have been at 15 with a winger in place of Goode IMO.
Not just his tackling, his brain explosion antics are simply looking for a card. Did you see him stamping his feet at the one ruck?

What the hell was that all about?

Plus his running is not good enough, he drops his head and plows into the next defender.
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Post by Taylorman Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:08 pm

Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:10 pm

Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

Again, i'd agree 100%. Does anyone think England have improved under Lancaster, or over the last year?

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Post by Biltong Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:10 pm

Hood83 wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

Again, i'd agree 100%. Does anyone think England have improved under Lancaster, or over the last year?
No
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Post by nathan Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:11 pm

Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

typical kiwi, anything to justify the NZ lost. Silly silly post.

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Post by nathan Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:13 pm

Hood83 wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

Again, i'd agree 100%. Does anyone think England have improved under Lancaster, or over the last year?

yes, people seem to think the only progression you can make in a team is winning more often. You learn a awful lot in losing situations too.

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Post by OzT Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:13 pm

I thought, until today, England have been getting better. they won a few ugly games, not overwhelmingly but still won, usually a sign of a side coming together and doing good enough.

Today's loss will probably be very good for England, pull then down a bit and shows there's more homework to do. I think defo get away from the format that won them a RWC, that side took quite a few years to build up, with a very set out plan, and had the players to implement it.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:14 pm

I think England started well in the 6ns fought hard to win all the games. but Questions on picking Brown on the wing, Ashton, when he is not playing his best rugby should of been replaced.

I thought England had stopped the picking players on house hold names rather than on form. SL as changed the England team since he came in to the set up.

But his selection for me is the main problem. No player should be garunteed to be selected but selected on Form. I do agree with Biltong, since Englands win the Ais they seem to have gone backwards.

It is now back to the drawing board for the summer tour and the Lions tour.
After to days performance not many English players will go on the lions IMHO.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:15 pm

Biltong wrote:
Hood83 wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

Again, i'd agree 100%. Does anyone think England have improved under Lancaster, or over the last year?
No

Haha, pretty much says it all right? Slightly depressing as I imagine we'll have him all the way through to the WC. Anyone have any thoughts on which personnel might at least help us? I'd say a return for Corbs and either Morgan or B Vunipola at 8 should help. I feel a little sorry for Haskell. OK, he didn't stand out in the S15 and he isn't perhaps in the top few flankers in world rugby - but I do think he helps with our balance and would have in this game. His carrying isn't great but it's better than the three back-rowers today. Plus, he may not get to as many rucks, but he DOES at least have the power to clear out quickly.

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Post by nathan Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:17 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I think England started well in the 6ns fought hard to win all the games. but Questions on picking Brown on the wing, Ashton, when he is not playing his best rugby should of been replaced.

I thought England had stopped the picking players on house hold names rather than on form. SL as changed the England team since he came in to the set up.

But his selection for me is the main problem. No player should be garunteed to be selected but selected on Form. I do agree with Biltong, since Englands win the Ais they seem to have gone backwards.

It is now back to the drawing board for the summer tour and the Lions tour.
After to days performance not many English players will go on the lions IMHO.

i would disagree, we played well against Scotland too. The difference is that Morgan went off injured, when he's back and we revert to the line up we had then, i think we'll be alot better.

I honestly dont think we're that far off from having a pretty handy side. We need to blood some more 8s, i mean proper 8s who can carry

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:17 pm

nathan wrote:
Hood83 wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

Again, i'd agree 100%. Does anyone think England have improved under Lancaster, or over the last year?

yes, people seem to think the only progression you can make in a team is winning more often. You learn a awful lot in losing situations too.

But what did we learn from losing to Wales last year...how to lose by a lot more?!

Breaking down the areas of our game, in which do you think we've improved?

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:19 pm

nathan wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I think England started well in the 6ns fought hard to win all the games. but Questions on picking Brown on the wing, Ashton, when he is not playing his best rugby should of been replaced.

I thought England had stopped the picking players on house hold names rather than on form. SL as changed the England team since he came in to the set up.

But his selection for me is the main problem. No player should be garunteed to be selected but selected on Form. I do agree with Biltong, since Englands win the Ais they seem to have gone backwards.

It is now back to the drawing board for the summer tour and the Lions tour.
After to days performance not many English players will go on the lions IMHO.

i would disagree, we played well against Scotland too. The difference is that Morgan went off injured, when he's back and we revert to the line up we had then, i think we'll be alot better.

I honestly dont think we're that far off from having a pretty handy side. We need to blood some more 8s, i mean proper 8s who can carry

That would require SL to recognise his mistake. We'll see if he does but I'm not optimistic. Wood, Croft and Robshaw should not be picked together again, that is for certain.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:19 pm

yes I think England have certainly improved. The problem is that in the last three weeks they've gone backwards, and today was probably their worst performance since SA in the 07 WC. One awful game doesn't mean total regression, progression will never be linear.

What worries me is that Lancaster is showing the same level of stubbornness as Johnson did before him, mainly an inability to see certain obvious failings (back three lack of pace and inbalance of backrow). It's bizarre because he's been quite quick to move elsewhere (the average workhorses have gone for instance, and he was right to get Vunipola on early here, he got his subs right in the French game etc.).

As I see it, England have three main problems:

1) lack of pace in the back three. Aside from leaving them exposed in defense, it's also making them ineffective on the counter, where Goode (who I like as a footballer) just isn't doing anything.

2) Inbalance of the backrow. The lack of a proper ball carrier is hurting us there, and for some reason we just haven't been hitting the breakdown with the intensity we seemed to have found over the last couple of games (though Walsh really didn't help us there, leaving it a free-for-all).

3) Lack of creativity/rugby brain in the centres. Tuilagi needs to remember that he is allowed to pass the ball, while Baritt doesn't really do enough in attack. Twelvetrees needs to replace one of them.

I'm not too fussed about the scrum, thought that Walsh had a massive influence there, as although Jones was getting the nudge on so was Cole but Walsh ignored that for most of the game.

Lack of tries is a worry, but I suggest that England aren't the only team with problems there: throughout the 6N there's been a ridiculously low amount of tries. England do have problems with composure when they get close though, last week they butchered a couple and today they could easily have scored two or three with a bit more composure.

So not all doom-and-gloom for me, but there are some areas which need a lot of improvement.

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Post by Taylorman Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:20 pm

nathan wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

typical kiwi, anything to justify the NZ lost. Silly silly post.

If you say so. Just not seeing the heavenly results sooooo many were predicting after that 'emphatic' victory over the no. 1 side.

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Post by RDSguru Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:23 pm

I do believe England have improved, but there is still a long way to go. Lots of talented players who still have to gain experience at the top level, and that includes defeats like today, they will be better for it. And fair play to Lancaster, I hope you let him continue the good work, he's been very brave in starting from scratch, and his humility speaks volumes.

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Post by Shifty Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:24 pm

Hood83 wrote:Breaking down the areas of our game, in which do you think we've improved?

I'm not sure you have, in all honesty.
I think your back to square one after this loss. We know how well England can play against New Zealand, and we've seen your worst against Wales.

England seem to be lacking power in for forwards and a good scrum, which is the 2 things England should always have.
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Post by nathan Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:25 pm

Taylorman wrote:
nathan wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Well for me it came down to Englands inability to get across the line. In 4 tests and 320 minutes of rugby theyve scored 1 try. That is not the mark of a championship winning side. With 25 mins to go they needed tries and didnt look within cooey of getting one, as expected.

For me it goes as far as suggesting that the NZ side were more under par than England were brilliant.

Lancaster spoke of preparing in the same way as they did against NZ. Fatal mistake to use that match as motivation.

typical kiwi, anything to justify the NZ lost. Silly silly post.

If you say so. Just not seeing the heavenly results sooooo many were predicting after that 'emphatic' victory over the no. 1 side.

Who were these so many huh? wums by any chance......

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Post by TJ1 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:27 pm

I think when you look back you will see a decent performance all round. Some good individuals have had good series, Lancaster doesn't seem to have made too many mistakes, Second in the table is not a total failure.

Today Wales played the right tactics, put England under pressure and when a glimmer of a crack appeared Wales pounced.

So no need to panic. Back and regroup and learn from this. There is a good young team in England. We haven't seen the best of them yet.

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Post by Geordie Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:28 pm

Brown to full,back
Ashton out the squad
Billy or Morgan at 8
Croft back to tigers
Wade on the wing
Twelvetrees at 12
AND MATT GARVEY IN THW FECKIN SQUAD

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Post by EnglishReign Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:31 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Brown to full,back
Ashton out the squad
Billy or Morgan at 8
Croft back to tigers
Wade on the wing
Twelvetrees at 12
AND MATT GARVEY IN THW FECKIN SQUAD

Corbs
Youngs
Cole
Parling
Launchbury
Wood
Robshaw
Morgan

Youngs
Farrell
May
Twelvetrees
Tuilagi
Wade
Brown

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:31 pm

They say you learn more from your losses than from your wins. I'm not so sure about that as there are things to learn from every match. Sometimes a stinging loss like this though can serve as a giant kick up the backside. I'm looking forward to the NZ reaction against their loss to England in their last game last year. We have France who have looked ordinary in this 6N but that just means for me both sides will be looking to make amends in the series for their recent games.

England should not get too carried away by this loss. It hurts to end your season this way but sometimes that sting can motivate you in your work off-season and centre your minds on the task in hand for the coming international season. England are still a work in progress and have minor adjustments to make. The balance of the backrow needs sorting out, their attack needs to be looked at and other minor things. But the core group of players is there and they have shown improvement from previous years. Just as Wales have been consistent in their 6Ns from last year and this year so too have England. They just need to improve on those little percentages because the core team is there. Don't expect massive improvements. Refining your game takes a lot of hard work and injuries can prove disruptive.

No need to be gloomy. Take the loss on the chin and look to find ways of improving for the next game be it with selections, tactics or execution.

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Post by OzT Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:32 pm

kia, you've got the head coach job!!! Smile

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Post by Geordie Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:35 pm

Iin his absence i think we saw what corbs brings to the team today mind...and I also think we miss a couple of serious monsters on the pack. Mobile and athletic is good but you need some serious bulk and passion...

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:36 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:yes I think England have certainly improved. The problem is that in the last three weeks they've gone backwards, and today was probably their worst performance since SA in the 07 WC. One awful game doesn't mean total regression, progression will never be linear.

What worries me is that Lancaster is showing the same level of stubbornness as Johnson did before him, mainly an inability to see certain obvious failings (back three lack of pace and inbalance of backrow). It's bizarre because he's been quite quick to move elsewhere (the average workhorses have gone for instance, and he was right to get Vunipola on early here, he got his subs right in the French game etc.).

As I see it, England have three main problems:

1) lack of pace in the back three. Aside from leaving them exposed in defense, it's also making them ineffective on the counter, where Goode (who I like as a footballer) just isn't doing anything.

2) Inbalance of the backrow. The lack of a proper ball carrier is hurting us there, and for some reason we just haven't been hitting the breakdown with the intensity we seemed to have found over the last couple of games (though Walsh really didn't help us there, leaving it a free-for-all).

3) Lack of creativity/rugby brain in the centres. Tuilagi needs to remember that he is allowed to pass the ball, while Baritt doesn't really do enough in attack. Twelvetrees needs to replace one of them.

I'm not too fussed about the scrum, thought that Walsh had a massive influence there, as although Jones was getting the nudge on so was Cole but Walsh ignored that for most of the game.

Lack of tries is a worry, but I suggest that England aren't the only team with problems there: throughout the 6N there's been a ridiculously low amount of tries. England do have problems with composure when they get close though, last week they butchered a couple and today they could easily have scored two or three with a bit more composure.

So not all doom-and-gloom for me, but there are some areas which need a lot of improvement.

so that's break-down, attack and defence out wide. That's quite a big group of failings. I'd add our scrum, as I don't think you can say its improved since last year, as well as our lineout, which has certainly gone backwards. We were very good at the breakdown against NZ and Scotland. But Scotland were also abject at the breakdown, so what we can gleam from that I don't know. I think the areas for improvement are just about everything.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:37 pm

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:They say you learn more from your losses than from your wins. I'm not so sure about that as there are things to learn from every match. Sometimes a stinging loss like this though can serve as a giant kick up the backside. I'm looking forward to the NZ reaction against their loss to England in their last game last year. We have France who have looked ordinary in this 6N but that just means for me both sides will be looking to make amends in the series for their recent games.

England should not get too carried away by this loss. It hurts to end your season this way but sometimes that sting can motivate you in your work off-season and centre your minds on the task in hand for the coming international season. England are still a work in progress and have minor adjustments to make. The balance of the backrow needs sorting out, their attack needs to be looked at and other minor things. But the core group of players is there and they have shown improvement from previous years. Just as Wales have been consistent in their 6Ns from last year and this year so too have England. They just need to improve on those little percentages because the core team is there. Don't expect massive improvements. Refining your game takes a lot of hard work and injuries can prove disruptive.

No need to be gloomy. Take the loss on the chin and look to find ways of improving for the next game be it with selections, tactics or execution.

It will need to be all three Kia! But thanks for the pep talk thumbsup

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:38 pm

yeah we missed Corbs and Morgan badly today. Say what you like about Corbs but I don't think he's ever badly lost a scrum battle. I wondered about Jones's angles today at times, Walsh seemed to speak to him once and then forget about it, but Corbs wouldn't have let him get away with it so easily.

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Post by Big Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:45 pm

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:They say you learn more from your losses than from your wins. I'm not so sure about that as there are things to learn from every match. Sometimes a stinging loss like this though can serve as a giant kick up the backside.

I very much agree. We could easily have learnt enough from the last 3 wins to realise there were problems and correct them before the Wales game (or at least make a start at addressing them). I was sort of glad that Wales ran away with it though. Partly I respect the way they have fought back from the first defeat, and partly because Lancaster can't hide the short falls with his PR machine any more. If England had lost by 10 or so points then we'd have had some spiel about lack of experience, and I think the focus would have been on doing the same thing but maybe doing it a bit better. The points that need addressing (and will hopefully now be sorted starting in Argentina) are:

  • Lack of passing ability from 10 to 13
    lack of pace/form in back 3
    Lack of balance in back row - you can't just have your 3 favourite players, we need best combination of proper 6, 7 and 8.


All will hopefully be on the agenda now and cracks not papered over any longer. Good thing as well, as there are the makings of a good side there still.

edit - I've just noticed that Mad for Chelsea wrote pretty much the same thing. Apologies for repetition, but glad I'm not the only one.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:48 pm

The Welsh scrum has been the best of the 6N sides. It's no disgrace to be outscrummed by them after they came back from that display against Ireland. Nothing much wrong with the English scrum either. You just have to accept sometimes the opposition was better and work hard at rectifying that.

SL seems pretty clued on. He might look at the preparation the team had and the selections he made notably in the back row. It'll be interesting to see the inevitable media backlash and how he handles that. The pressure will come on now and it's a shame there are no matches left as I'm sure he'd welcome an opportunity to ease that pressure. But he needs to regroup the players and sit them down and analyse this moment. Not so much in what went wrong but saying what could be better.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:07 pm

EnglishReign wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Brown to full,back
Ashton out the squad
Billy or Morgan at 8
Croft back to tigers
Wade on the wing
Twelvetrees at 12
AND MATT GARVEY IN THW FECKIN SQUAD

Corbs
Youngs
Cole
Parling
Launchbury
Wood
Robshaw
Morgan

Youngs
Farrell
May
Twelvetrees
Tuilagi
Wade
Brown

I do like the look of that team, lets hope the next time the England team play that or something similar will be the team that runs out on the field.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:11 pm

TJ wrote:I think when you look back you will see a decent performance all round. Some good individuals have had good series, Lancaster doesn't seem to have made too many mistakes, Second in the table is not a total failure.

Today Wales played the right tactics, put England under pressure and when a glimmer of a crack appeared Wales pounced.

So no need to panic. Back and regroup and learn from this. There is a good young team in England. We haven't seen the best of them yet.

There are some good young players, but I think it's a good team at the moment. My annoyance is that I can't see how we've improved, no-one has explained to me how we've improved over the past year.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:12 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
EnglishReign wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Brown to full,back
Ashton out the squad
Billy or Morgan at 8
Croft back to tigers
Wade on the wing
Twelvetrees at 12
AND MATT GARVEY IN THW FECKIN SQUAD

Corbs
Youngs
Cole
Parling
Launchbury
Wood
Robshaw
Morgan

Youngs
Farrell
May
Twelvetrees
Tuilagi
Wade
Brown

I do like the look of that team, lets hope the next time the England team play that or something similar will be the team that runs out on the field.

Croft back to Tigers and Tuilagi kept away from them. He needs a coach who can persuade to look up once in a while!

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:16 pm

What I'd have liked to have seen from SL is see him introducing some more players into the squad. Wade seems to a name banded about. Hopefully in the autumn some of these fringe players will find their way into the squad. Players should know that if they don't perform their places are not secure. 2 years out from the RWC and now is the time to find out some of these fringe players. Twelvetrees performed well so why not find about some more players if your incumbents are not scoring tries or setting them up.

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Post by BamBam Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:48 pm

Just watching France vs Scotland, and seen Hogg and Max Evans each make a couple of great counter attacking runs once they caught the high ball within about 3 mins, god I wish we had that in our side today

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Post by ALPanorak Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:22 pm

BamBam wrote:Just watching France vs Scotland, and seen Hogg and Max Evans each make a couple of great counter attacking runs once they caught the high ball within about 3 mins, god I wish we had that in our side today

It is unbelievable the amount of times (pretty much every time he receives it) Goode kicks when under no pressure. Counter attacks are so valuable to positive play.

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Post by blackcanelion Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:43 pm

I am with some the previous posts. I don't think it's bad thing for England.
They lost one game. They get a chance to go back and look at themselves. They get a chance to develop some fringe players over summer. Probably as important is that the English media will stop the hype. It will be interesting to see if Fleet street put the boot in as often do following a loss.

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Post by LondonTiger Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:58 pm

Reading this i am obviously in a minority - but I thought croft had a decent game. He made his tackles, he won turnovers, he won his lineouts and disrupted the welsh - he did everything that Lancaster had asked of him.

For next seasons 6Ns I would like to see:

Corbs
Webber
Cole
Launchbury
Parling
Croft/Wood
Robshaw
Morgan/Vunipola
Youngs
Farrell
May
36
Manu
Wade
Foden/Brown

Where options provided I feel those players are interchangeable and whichever is in form should play.

What have I learnt?

Joe Marler is some way short of being an international prop, Mako is not fit enough yet and sadly Corbs is an injury always waiting to happen.
For now Tom Youngs is best used as an impact sub, Hartley is not the answer though.
We need more carriers in the pack.
Goode is good, not great.
Brown is not a winger.
We need more pace in the back 3.


I think we are heading the right way, but it is sad that we seemed to get worse the more the match went on.

Oh and we need a more coherent attacking plan.

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