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England's 6N post-mortem

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

First topic message reminder :

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 bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:09 am

My two cents:

England were outclassed in every facet of the game. I was so disappointed with England lack of aggression or ferocity. The entire week leading up to the game, Wales were talking themselves up to the media,mentioning 'bloodbaths' and the such, really getting themselves amped for the game. England did no such thing. I thought possibly that England were taking the high ground, and were going to make a statement with the way they played. No such thing. All this rubbish about defence being feared and using it as a weapon amounted to nothing.

Goode is a class act and an intelligent footballer, but he's not the player England need. Brown has impressed me on the wing with his attacking, but his defence has been poor. He simply has to play fullback. Goode out.
Ashton. God knows. His defence is atrocious. I mean, truly truly awful. It's almost like he needs to go away to a Championship club and learn his trade again. He's go to be out now for sure. He has had too many chances. A shame, because I tink he's been given a hard time recently, and I actually really like him as a person off the field. He loses his head often too (the raking on Saturday?!)

I've been saying for a few months that Tom Wood and Croft cannot play in the same backrow, and we learned the hard way at the weekend. They are both too lightweight to be played together. For the love of God, Wood is not an 8. He is an exceptional 6, and combined brilliantly with Robshaw on the flanks, so why alter it? Get a ball-carrying 8 in. Rugby is about balance, not playing the best individuals out of position.

What's happened to England's scrummaging? Wales are a brilliant pack, no doubt, but even I expected more of a battle up front. I honestly think the front row were suffering from a lightweight second row pairing and Wood at 8. There's very little shove. I love Parling and Launchbury, but can't help but feel we need a bruiser. There is no menace in our pack anywhere.

This is the second time in 2 years that England have gone into the final week with the chance of a Grand Slam and been completely man-shamed. How disappointing. We need chances in this squad, and very soon.

I do however, feel Lancaster is the man to take us forward. I have supported him all the way and will continue to do so, I think he is excellent. He just needs to stop being so obstinate in his selections, and actually pick players in their positions.


Last edited by bluestonevedder on Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Geordie Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:11 am

I think its important to comment that Wales simply wanted it more. They were aggressive, confrontational and in Englands face all game...we were like rabbits in the headlights, and timid.

Who ever did the England team talk didnt get us fired up...obviously Shaun Edwards team talk had the welsh punching walls and pulling doors off...


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Post by Big Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:15 am

beshocked wrote:

Spot on timhen. The game was lost in the forwards yet it's the backs (mostly from one club) that get all the flack. Strange that there seems to be absolutely no criticism of Cole and Marler in particular.

Very few calls to drop any forwards when the blame rests largely on their shoulders. No criticism of the forwards coach either. I wonder why. Whistle

Why don't more sides commit more numbers at the breakdown?


Oh and Geordiefalcon I thought Ashton had a very poor 6 nations but why must all the attention rest on him? He deserves to be dropped but he's the scapegoat whereas the forwards seem to get very little blame - no calls to drop any of them is there?

Do you honestly think there is some kind of anti-Sarries thing going on? The reason the forwards have had less stick than the backs is that they may have had been outmuscled at times, but they've done a lot of good stuff as well - conceeding very few penalties prior to the Wales game, plenty of turnovers in open play and from lineouts. Scrum has wobbled and breakdown tactics have been off, but it's hardly been a disaster.

Cole is probably being forgiven a few bad games because he has been consistently excellent for a couple of years prior to this (and actually I agree with bluestonevedder about problems with a lightweight second/back row). Even out of form though he is certainly a darn site better than Jones and Jenkins were at a similar age, and Marler is leaps and bounds ahead. I general I think that most people recognise that our tight 5 hasn't reached physical maturity yet, and is going to get a lot better over the next few years.

The reason the backs have had more stick is that they have been worse. Even when the opportunities have been there for the backs, and they've had plenty of good scoring opportunities, they have been butchering them. All of them in the last few games. The forwards have at least had moments. That most of the criticism goes Sarries way is probably because most of the backs are from Sarries. Of the non-Sarries contingent Flood, Care and Tuilagi have all taken some flak as well.

The reason that Ashton gets so much flak is that he has contributed pretty much diddly squat and has been so badly out of form for so long. All players have the odd bad game or run of a few poor games and should be forgiven for it - Ashton is not in that camp though. He has been out of form for nearly a couple of years now, and there are plenty out there in much better form that are being ignored.

Despite all the above I actually think the biggest problem remains the lost generation from the Robinson and Ashton days. There is not one senior player in the squad that is world class with bags of experience etc. Nobody was really brought through and developed in that period, and as a result we lack the really experienced leaders that are sometimes needed. No point complaining about it though as we can't change it. We have a few older players, but even they aren't that old and are mostly solid players filling a gap - rather than spectacular seasoned internationals. I actually think our best shot at a world cup will be 2019 rather than 2015, when injury/coaching allowing some of the current crop will fill that void.

Lancaster has always said it is about the world cup, but we are halfway to RWC 2015 and from what I can see we don't exactly look to be on target. Fingers crossed between us and the Welsh we can knock Aus out in the group stage, but I'll save that debate for nearer the time.

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Post by damage_13 Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:20 am

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

Well put, if they can do it then, they can bloody well do it again if they set their minds to it. the last 20mins was an embarrassment, too few players sticking their hands up and taking responsibility binding their team-mates together.

Manu, Ashton, Farrell, Barritt, Goode need to go to Rugby Brain School with a side syllabus in effective passing

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Post by beshocked Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:22 am

Geordiefalcon it's quick ball that England need. Good ball retention. Strong set piece. Sort that out then we can work on the bells and whistles in the backs.

I wouldn't say the backs are to blame. The forwards should take the large portion of the blame as they should take more credit when England do well.

The stats don't make happy reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/21778425

sickofwendy is the front five balanced? Too lightweight perhaps?

The set piece overall has been poor in my opinion.

HKC would you say England's set piece and breakdown work has been good in the 6 nations then? I wouldn't.

Do you think the pack have set a particularly good platform for the backs aside from the Scotland and New Zealand game? I don't.

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Post by Guest Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:24 am

Reading through this thread, the most disappointing thing about all of the issues raised is that they're the exact same issues which were raised during Martin Johnson's tenure.

Players are still being selected on reputation, or for their intangibles, rather than the on field product, the second row and back row are still out of whack, there's still not enough pace or killer instinct in the back three, England are still selecting big lumps to defend in the centres and the game plan is still far too conservative.

Lancaster has made England younger, and more hard working, but they need to get smarter as well.

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Post by beshocked Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:33 am

Big wrote:
beshocked wrote:

Spot on timhen. The game was lost in the forwards yet it's the backs (mostly from one club) that get all the flack. Strange that there seems to be absolutely no criticism of Cole and Marler in particular.

Very few calls to drop any forwards when the blame rests largely on their shoulders. No criticism of the forwards coach either. I wonder why. Whistle

Why don't more sides commit more numbers at the breakdown?


Oh and Geordiefalcon I thought Ashton had a very poor 6 nations but why must all the attention rest on him? He deserves to be dropped but he's the scapegoat whereas the forwards seem to get very little blame - no calls to drop any of them is there?

Do you honestly think there is some kind of anti-Sarries thing going on? The reason the forwards have had less stick than the backs is that they may have had been outmuscled at times, but they've done a lot of good stuff as well - conceeding very few penalties prior to the Wales game, plenty of turnovers in open play and from lineouts. Scrum has wobbled and breakdown tactics have been off, but it's hardly been a disaster.

Cole is probably being forgiven a few bad games because he has been consistently excellent for a couple of years prior to this (and actually I agree with bluestonevedder about problems with a lightweight second/back row). Even out of form though he is certainly a darn site better than Jones and Jenkins were at a similar age, and Marler is leaps and bounds ahead. I general I think that most people recognise that our tight 5 hasn't reached physical maturity yet, and is going to get a lot better over the next few years.

The reason the backs have had more stick is that they have been worse. Even when the opportunities have been there for the backs, and they've had plenty of good scoring opportunities, they have been butchering them. All of them in the last few games. The forwards have at least had moments. That most of the criticism goes Sarries way is probably because most of the backs are from Sarries. Of the non-Sarries contingent Flood, Care and Tuilagi have all taken some flak as well.

The reason that Ashton gets so much flak is that he has contributed pretty much diddly squat and has been so badly out of form for so long. All players have the odd bad game or run of a few poor games and should be forgiven for it - Ashton is not in that camp though. He has been out of form for nearly a couple of years now, and there are plenty out there in much better form that are being ignored.

Despite all the above I actually think the biggest problem remains the lost generation from the Robinson and Ashton days. There is not one senior player in the squad that is world class with bags of experience etc. Nobody was really brought through and developed in that period, and as a result we lack the really experienced leaders that are sometimes needed. No point complaining about it though as we can't change it. We have a few older players, but even they aren't that old and are mostly solid players filling a gap - rather than spectacular seasoned internationals. I actually think our best shot at a world cup will be 2019 rather than 2015, when injury/coaching allowing some of the current crop will fill that void.

Lancaster has always said it is about the world cup, but we are halfway to RWC 2015 and from what I can see we don't exactly look to be on target. Fingers crossed between us and the Welsh we can knock Aus out in the group stage, but I'll save that debate for nearer the time.

I feel like England have got worse and worse throughout the tournament.

Strong vs Scotland. Good overall performance. Backs who have been pilloried did well in this game too. Even Ashton got a try. This was down to the forwards in my opinion.

Good away win vs Ireland. Scrappy but the pack got England in enough positions - just about. Not great ball retention and lineout was poor but the forwards did enough. Intelligent kicking game from the backs put England in good positions.

Scrappy/lucky win vs France. England's forwards struggled to cope with France particularly in the first half. With his forwards under pressure Farrell was a bit flustered. Just about squeaked over the line with a fortunate try.

Lethargic win vs Italy. Forwards started pretty well but the backs did butcher quite a few opportunities. Forwards struggled in the last 20 and England managed to squeak home. Flood didn't get an easy ride from his forwards.

Absolutey smashed by Wales. Forwards completely outplayed.Scrum was woeful. With very slow ball and poor field position England's backs unsurprisingly struggled.

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Post by Scrumpy Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:34 am

I was just thinking the same thing mawhis
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Post by damage_13 Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:37 am

mid_gen wrote:Drop Goode, move Brown to 15.

Drop Ashton, Goode. Goode because he's not international standard, Ashton because he needs a kick up the arse. Give a couple of form AP wingers a go.

Give 36/Tuilagi combination a few matches.

Morgan/Haskell at 8. Wood 6, Robshaw 7.

Rest is ok, except get Corbs back in, and Vunipola ahead of Marler.

wot this person said although Corbs is a liability given reports from the medical assessment on his knee.

I've said this pretty much from the start, Brown is a FB and is one of our best attacking threats. The most important change SL can make is enforcing Morgan/Haskell at 8, Wood in his best posit at 6 and Robshaw at 7.

Marler and Cole need to start using their brains in the scrum, too often they fail to deal with changes in technique.

I think Manu needs to grow a brain stem and be made aware just how much of a better player he would be if he worked the options better and learnt how to pass, dummy run and generally stay involved throughout the 80 mins.

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Post by Scrumpy Mon 18 Mar 2013, 11:50 am

Foden needs to be in the squad too.
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Post by HongKongCherry Mon 18 Mar 2013, 12:26 pm

beshocked wrote:Geordiefalcon it's quick ball that England need. Good ball retention. Strong set piece. Sort that out then we can work on the bells and whistles in the backs.

I wouldn't say the backs are to blame. The forwards should take the large portion of the blame as they should take more credit when England do well.

The stats don't make happy reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/21778425

sickofwendy is the front five balanced? Too lightweight perhaps?

The set piece overall has been poor in my opinion.

HKC would you say England's set piece and breakdown work has been good in the 6 nations then? I wouldn't.

Do you think the pack have set a particularly good platform for the backs aside from the Scotland and New Zealand game? I don't.

In general, yes. I don't think we'd have gone into the weekend unbeaten if it hadn't, although it had got progressively worse throughout the course of the tournament. I thought against Scotland and Ireland we were pretty strong. The bigger French pack caused us a few issues, but again nothing to suggest we were woefully underpowered. Italy was the first warning sign as we failed to impose our game at all, but there was no point during the 6N to suggest we were going to be completely outclassed and outfought by the Welsh pack.
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Post by Bathman_in_London Mon 18 Mar 2013, 12:33 pm

I cam on here to have a rant but I see that most people are saying the same things as me anyway.

Players aside, during both the NZ and Scotland games England looked good with our athletic forwards working hard, clearing rucks and getting us quick ball. Since then that hasn't happened. The Ireland game I will excuse as it was practically underwater but since then why haven't we tried to go back to what was clearly working and bascially what has worked for NZ teams for 100 years?

Selection wise, I hope for the summer tour SL really picks on form rather than his favourites who have been through the rfu approved development pathway.
I have seen no basis for bringing back Lawes or Croft so soon, especially when the likes of Slater and Attwood are playing well.

I wont bother having a go at the other players who didnt perform, but am I the only person who though Cole has really under performed recently? If he was anybody else he would have been dropped/substituted sooner for Wilson I'm sure.

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Post by Big Mon 18 Mar 2013, 12:37 pm

beshocked wrote:
I feel like England have got worse and worse throughout the tournament.

Strong vs Scotland. Good overall performance. Backs who have been pilloried did well in this game too. Even Ashton got a try. This was down to the forwards in my opinion.

Good away win vs Ireland. Scrappy but the pack got England in enough positions - just about. Not great ball retention and lineout was poor but the forwards did enough. Intelligent kicking game from the backs put England in good positions.

Scrappy/lucky win vs France. England's forwards struggled to cope with France particularly in the first half. With his forwards under pressure Farrell was a bit flustered. Just about squeaked over the line with a fortunate try.

Lethargic win vs Italy. Forwards started pretty well but the backs did butcher quite a few opportunities. Forwards struggled in the last 20 and England managed to squeak home. Flood didn't get an easy ride from his forwards.

Absolutey smashed by Wales. Forwards completely outplayed.Scrum was woeful. With very slow ball and poor field position England's backs unsurprisingly struggled.

Completely agree with you there. I agree that the backs were good against Scotland (though back 3 were still not great), but then we had Twelvetrees at 12 for that one which made a big difference.

Aside from Ashton who is very badly out of form, I don't really have too much against the backs individually. I just don't think you can mix Farrell, Barritt and Tuilagi together and expect it to work. Equally you there ought to be at least one in form finisher in the back 3, running the supporting lines and beating the cover defence.

Farrell to his credit is young and is working on his game. He's not there yet but at least appears to be playing flatter and passing better. Keep at it and I think the 10 shirt is his for a while, well worth persisting and accepting the odd blip along the way. But I don't think we can persist with Barritt and Tuilagi, we need at least one centre that can play heads up rugby and distribute the ball better. Whether you keep Barritt for his defensive organisation or Tuilagi for his strength/fact that he is young and likely to get better is up for debate and I'm not too fussed which way it goes.

I do wonder about the dropping off of performances across the tournament and how this may tie in with the appointment of Matt Parker on the fitness side. I remember listening to an interview with Ben Youngs (I think) in the first or second week. He was talking about how they had changed what they were doing and doing shorter but higher intensity training sessions. Thing is though, you can't do it week in week out or your overall fitness levels drop off - so I was wondering whether we might pay for that. I hoped they'd have a hard week of long sessions after the Ireland game and in the two weeks leading up to Italy to balance it out a bit - I hoped that was why the team looked lethargic against Italy. But whatever was done maybe they just didn't get it right. It was always going to be hard for Parker jumping from cycling where you have very different fitness targets and he may have been wide of the mark. On the plus side he's a good guy and if he didn't get stuff right I have more confidence in him changing and improving for next time than I do in some of the other coaches.

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Post by dragonbreath Mon 18 Mar 2013, 12:42 pm

Before the match I congratulated England on being 4 from 4 considering they had a lightweight second row, an unbalanced back row, an offensively inert 10, a blunt midfield and a shockingly poor back 3. I was considered a WUM.

Doesn't seem like a WUM now does it, nor was it meant to be at the time, the truth is just sometimes unpalatable.

Post Mortem report reads "patient dead on arrival start all over again". Or they could just actually pick their best players and then play them in position. Not that I care really

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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 12:42 pm

Bathman_in_London wrote:I cam on here to have a rant but I see that most people are saying the same things as me anyway.

Players aside, during both the NZ and Scotland games England looked good with our athletic forwards working hard, clearing rucks and getting us quick ball. Since then that hasn't happened. The Ireland game I will excuse as it was practically underwater but since then why haven't we tried to go back to what was clearly working and bascially what has worked for NZ teams for 100 years?

Selection wise, I hope for the summer tour SL really picks on form rather than his favourites who have been through the rfu approved development pathway.
I have seen no basis for bringing back Lawes or Croft so soon, especially when the likes of Slater and Attwood are playing well.

I wont bother having a go at the other players who didnt perform, but am I the only person who though Cole has really under performed recently? If he was anybody else he would have been dropped/substituted sooner for Wilson I'm sure.

Cole certainly has not been at his best. Also, it may have been more due to the Welsh changes, but I thought the scrum held up very well with Wilson on.

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Post by EnglishReign Mon 18 Mar 2013, 12:45 pm

I know he's fallen off the radar somewhat, mainly due to injury, but Trinder has been excellent since his return. Maybe a chance for him in Argentina?

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Post by Big Mon 18 Mar 2013, 12:48 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
Cole certainly has not been at his best. Also, it may have been more due to the Welsh changes, but I thought the scrum held up very well with Wilson on.

I do wonder what's going on between him and Castro at Leicester and the impact it's having on both. At the end of the England Italy game when the players were being clapped through the tunnel all the Leicester players had a friendly shove/pat/hug for Castro (and Twelvetrees for that matter) but when Cole went through the two didn't even make eye contact. Add that to the fact that Castro has already made complaints about treatment at the club, and wanting to go to Toulon - and it's clear that not all is well.

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Post by HongKongCherry Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:15 pm

EnglishReign wrote:I know he's fallen off the radar somewhat, mainly due to injury, but Trinder has been excellent since his return. Maybe a chance for him in Argentina?

ER, he's only just got back from injury. Don't send him back to England, they'll just injure him like everyone else!! Wink

It'll be too soon for him I feel. I also feel he will really benefit from having a full pre-season, along with more sprint training.
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:19 pm

dragonbreath wrote:Before the match I congratulated England on being 4 from 4 considering they had a lightweight second row, an unbalanced back row, an offensively inert 10, a blunt midfield and a shockingly poor back 3. I was considered a WUM.

Doesn't seem like a WUM now does it, nor was it meant to be at the time, the truth is just sometimes unpalatable.

Post Mortem report reads "patient dead on arrival start all over again". Or they could just actually pick their best players and then play them in position. Not that I care really

to paraphrase what you said:

"I had said you had done well to win 4 matches when you are crap. That was not a WUM. I am coming back now to say you are really crap. But I don't care about you"


Hmm and you wonder why people take against you?

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Post by Geordie Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:29 pm

We just need a few tweaks....not a major overhaul.

Things have worked well...things we know need improving.

We caught wales on a really good day...they'd have given the top 3 a beating on that form.

As long as Lancs recognises the tweaks that are needed...ie Brown to FB, a playmaking 10 or 12 (probably focus on 12) a proper 8.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:30 pm

I'm reading lots about current weaknesses in the England team, and suggestions for improvements. And in the longer term this is the most important thing.

But I'm still at a loss on how we could lose to Wales by 27 points, after only scoring 3 ourselves. If this game had been the Eng/ABs game I'd have been gutted. Now no disrespect to Wales but they're no ABs. Over the last year they've had 7 or 8 straight losses, and even in the 6N (and by their own admission) they've played pretty averagely. The same is true of England of course, but we went into this game with a championship and GS at stake. And only the Italy win wasn't creditable at least to some point. Wales played very well and deserved their win, but WTF - 3 points?! I can't remember the last time we've been so humbled. What happened to the team on the day, who's to blame, and what is SL going to do to erase this memory?

At least I can hope that his BR and back 3 experiments (or d1cking about to use the technical term) end now.
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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:35 pm

Big wrote:
bluestonevedder wrote:
Cole certainly has not been at his best. Also, it may have been more due to the Welsh changes, but I thought the scrum held up very well with Wilson on.

I do wonder what's going on between him and Castro at Leicester and the impact it's having on both. At the end of the England Italy game when the players were being clapped through the tunnel all the Leicester players had a friendly shove/pat/hug for Castro (and Twelvetrees for that matter) but when Cole went through the two didn't even make eye contact. Add that to the fact that Castro has already made complaints about treatment at the club, and wanting to go to Toulon - and it's clear that not all is well.

Wow, I didn't even notice that Big. Wouldn't surprise me if there is some friction there between the two. They've been in competition for a long long time, and this rotaional structure is probably doing their heads in.

If i'm honest, I don't think Castro is the player he once was. I thought the Italian scrum looked much stronger once he went off injured.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:37 pm

A simple 2 step plan:

1) Stop picking players out of position.
2) We have a defensive plan. How about devising an attacking plan.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:40 pm

Big wrote:
bluestonevedder wrote:
Cole certainly has not been at his best. Also, it may have been more due to the Welsh changes, but I thought the scrum held up very well with Wilson on.

I do wonder what's going on between him and Castro at Leicester and the impact it's having on both. At the end of the England Italy game when the players were being clapped through the tunnel all the Leicester players had a friendly shove/pat/hug for Castro (and Twelvetrees for that matter) but when Cole went through the two didn't even make eye contact. Add that to the fact that Castro has already made complaints about treatment at the club, and wanting to go to Toulon - and it's clear that not all is well.

Well whatever is going on, he has not been as good as usual during this tournament. Certainly back up to Jones for the Lions as it stands.
I would hope that this will allow Wilson and others to get some good game time in the summer and emerge as viable contenders. It can't be good to have no real competition.

Speaking of competition, I wonder if the Argie tour will start off a Farrell/Burns rivalry. Both very different players and could provide a nice set of options for England.

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Post by mbernz Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:45 pm

Bathman_in_London wrote:
Players aside, during both the NZ and Scotland games England looked good with our athletic forwards working hard, clearing rucks and getting us quick ball. Since then that hasn't happened. The Ireland game I will excuse as it was practically underwater but since then why haven't we tried to go back to what was clearly working and bascially what has worked for NZ teams for 100 years?

Agree with this. Apart from the obvious need to play a proper no.8 I think a change in personnel in the forwards is far less important than the need to revert the gameplan. I can only think there was an attempt to try and develop play with more carrying options from the forwards after each phase, well it clearly wasn't working for the couple of games leading up to the Wales one and got blown out of the water at the weekend. The faster heavier numbers at the breakdown approach played to the players strengths and was highly effective, it needs to be readopted quick smart.

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Post by gregortree Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:50 pm

Ok, a Glaws perspective on the England Argie tour squad (unforseen injuries and Lions bolters allowing):

Morgan - (Oz tour likely though ?)
Burns - a certainty
12x3 - a certainty
May - a strong possibility
Trinder - a possibilty

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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:50 pm

I mentioned somewhere else that one of my major concerns was England attacking compsure.

Taking Cuthbert's second try as an example, Tipuric straightened up and drew Brown twice with a dummy, before subtly offloading to Cuthbert to waltz over. I seriously can't imagine the England's players doing that at the moment. We appear to be completely incapable of straightening the run and sucking in defenders. That 7 on 2 or whatever it was against Italy that Goode and Flood blew is a perfect example.

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Post by gregortree Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:55 pm

mbernz wrote:
Bathman_in_London wrote:
Players aside, during both the NZ and Scotland games England looked good with our athletic forwards working hard, clearing rucks and getting us quick ball. Since then that hasn't happened. The Ireland game I will excuse as it was practically underwater but since then why haven't we tried to go back to what was clearly working and bascially what has worked for NZ teams for 100 years?

Agree with this. Apart from the obvious need to play a proper no.8 I think a change in personnel in the forwards is far less important than the need to revert the gameplan. I can only think there was an attempt to try and develop play with more carrying options from the forwards after each phase, well it clearly wasn't working for the couple of games leading up to the Wales one and got blown out of the water at the weekend. The faster heavier numbers at the breakdown approach played to the players strengths and was highly effective, it needs to be readopted quick smart.

This reminds me of the RSA 2nd test, first half, where the speed / mass aggression of thr Bokke back row blew England off the ball. To our credit we fought back a little in the 2nd half once they were knackered. Back row 'energy' (= MxC 2) a major factor against England in both matches.

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Post by RubyGuby Mon 18 Mar 2013, 1:56 pm

thumbsup Very Happy

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 18 Mar 2013, 2:00 pm

We got beat in a similar fashion in dublin 2011.

However this team is better . Much better.

Wales are the best they have been for decades in my mind. Forget there losing streak. They have squad issues and a brian issue against Aus..

Englands problems started after the scotland game.

V Ireland we were pretty shocking in the creativity department. Since that game we got worse(bar the second half v france)

Wales were up for it and KO'd us.

We are not 27 points worse than wales. But we might as well have been 100 worse on saturday.

We are still improving we just got stuck in a rut of winning games rather than producing performances.. It happens to the best teams .

No doom and gloom from me.

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Post by gregortree Mon 18 Mar 2013, 2:13 pm

got stuck in a rut of winning games rather than producing performances
yes, good point. Need to get in a better mind shape for Argentina and find those performances or young individuals who can

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Post by mbernz Mon 18 Mar 2013, 2:32 pm

gregortree wrote:
mbernz wrote:
Bathman_in_London wrote:
Players aside, during both the NZ and Scotland games England looked good with our athletic forwards working hard, clearing rucks and getting us quick ball. Since then that hasn't happened. The Ireland game I will excuse as it was practically underwater but since then why haven't we tried to go back to what was clearly working and bascially what has worked for NZ teams for 100 years?

Agree with this. Apart from the obvious need to play a proper no.8 I think a change in personnel in the forwards is far less important than the need to revert the gameplan. I can only think there was an attempt to try and develop play with more carrying options from the forwards after each phase, well it clearly wasn't working for the couple of games leading up to the Wales one and got blown out of the water at the weekend. The faster heavier numbers at the breakdown approach played to the players strengths and was highly effective, it needs to be readopted quick smart.

This reminds me of the RSA 2nd test, first half, where the speed / mass aggression of thr Bokke back row blew England off the ball. To our credit we fought back a little in the 2nd half once they were knackered. Back row 'energy' (= MxC 2) a major factor against England in both matches.

I'm not sure if you've misunderstood my use of the word heavier there gregotree, I meant it in terms of more numbers. When we've had quick ball from the breakdown it has been our athletic but powerful forwards like Launchbury, Wood, Youngs and Robshaw keeping up with play on mass and using their pace in support to blast the breakdown almost as soon as the ball goes to ground. I'm not adverse to weightier players, but that's no use if they can't carry that round the park quick enough, getting to the breakdown once the opposition already has a toehold.

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Post by HongKongCherry Mon 18 Mar 2013, 3:19 pm

gregortree wrote:Ok, a Glaws perspective on the England Argie tour squad (unforseen injuries and Lions bolters allowing):

Morgan - (Oz tour likely though ?)
Burns - a certainty
12x3 - a certainty
May - a strong possibility
Trinder - a possibilty

Don't forget Sharples. However, after making one defensive error playing out of position he was dropped entirely from the EPS. I'm sure Brown will receive the same treatment... Whistle

I'd love the wings to be May, Biggs, Sharples & Wade going on tour, but that is never going to happen.
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Post by gregortree Mon 18 Mar 2013, 3:28 pm

HKC
yes Sharples was a bit roughhandled. Be good to see him back for tour to Argentina.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Mon 18 Mar 2013, 3:34 pm

HongKongCherry wrote:
gregortree wrote:Ok, a Glaws perspective on the England Argie tour squad (unforseen injuries and Lions bolters allowing):

Morgan - (Oz tour likely though ?)
Burns - a certainty
12x3 - a certainty
May - a strong possibility
Trinder - a possibilty

Don't forget Sharples. However, after making one defensive error playing out of position he was dropped entirely from the EPS. I'm sure Brown will receive the same treatment... Whistle

I'd love the wings to be May, Biggs, Sharples & Wade going on tour, but that is never going to happen.

Don't worry HKC, this is the new look England and Lancaster doesn't have favourites. I mean look at the way Lawes was dropped after the worst flankers display since Bergamasco played SH that one time. Oh no, wait...

That would be an exciting set of wings to choose from, bags of pace. Sadly Orrell will be back in the premiership before that happens.

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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 3:34 pm

Yep, I hope Sharples is back too. He has a lot to offer. Could be quite a few Gloucester boys having extended seasons!

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Post by gregortree Mon 18 Mar 2013, 3:35 pm

OK

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Post by glamorganalun Mon 18 Mar 2013, 3:43 pm

This result could be what England needed if they are to have any chance to win the 2015 RWC. As stated by a number of posters (hind sight) the writing was on the wall starting with the Scotland match, two of England's try's had forward passes and the try against France was offside also, nearly all try's scored against England came down both wings. Surely Lancaster should have spotted these problems after the Scotland match or was he believing the press hype after the games?

The England scrum was suffering against France and Italy but did nothing to counteract the Welsh power shown in their games, Italy and Scotland were blown away. Lancaster may have have though Wales would be weaker without their big 6 (R Jones) and stronger scrummager P James but it did not work. With these guys it could have been worse for England!

Interesting articles in the Daily Mail today which is not often but worth a read. One article says England must get one over Wales before the RWC or they will find having Wales and Aust in their group very difficult to qualify.

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Post by Big Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:01 pm

glamorganalun wrote:This result could be what England needed if they are to have any chance to win the 2015 RWC.

Problem for me is that we shouldn't need to lose to identify issues and address them. I remember when Sir Clive was in charge and everyone would say they hated losing to England - not just because they'd lost, but they'd lose and then Sir Clive would frequently belittle the performance saying this could be better, that could be better, etc. It's not fun for the opposition first being man-handled then being told that they really could have done better, but if you want to keep winning it's what you need to do.

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Post by Geordie Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:11 pm

Who is selected at wing might be irrelevant if we dont sort out the creativity at 10,12,13.

Also what about Marlon Yarde, or Thompstone. Someone with a bit of physical presence in the squad...just gives a few different options.

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:12 pm

"This result could be what England needed if they are to have any chance to win the 2015 RWC."

come on dude..

We will either be good enough and win it
Good enough and lose it.
Not good enough and win it
Or not be good enough and not win it.

This game has just happened- its real. The future is still up for grabs having won or having lost


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Post by HongKongCherry Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:22 pm

Big wrote:
glamorganalun wrote:This result could be what England needed if they are to have any chance to win the 2015 RWC.

Problem for me is that we shouldn't need to lose to identify issues and address them. I remember when Sir Clive was in charge and everyone would say they hated losing to England - not just because they'd lost, but they'd lose and then Sir Clive would frequently belittle the performance saying this could be better, that could be better, etc. It's not fun for the opposition first being man-handled then being told that they really could have done better, but if you want to keep winning it's what you need to do.

But think how many times we lost a Grand Slam decider under SCW. There is no doubt this feulled the team to the WC win. It would be very nice not to have to go through that, but sometimes a loss is the best lesson. A humiliating one can be hard to take, but as a Glaws fan I'm now used to being humiliated at the final hurdle, so England's loss on Saturday was just par for the course... Wink
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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:28 pm

Yarde and Thompstone are players I'm just waiting to see that little bit more from. I know Thompstone has scored a lot this season, but I don't get the feeling he creates too much. He's very much a finisher in my eyes at the moment. With the 10, 12, 13 axis not looking like they're creating much at the moment, I think we could do with wingers that have that x factor.

I'm thoroughly looking forward to the return of Miles Benjamin. I think he could be a serious wing threat.

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Post by screamingaddabs Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:41 pm

I've had long enough to calm down now after the game and I've decided that, although that performance was unacceptably awful, things aren't that bad. We have not become a bad team over night (as Howley said about the Welsh during their losing streak!).

Things we all know:

- Play an 8 at 8.
- Play wingers on the wing (maybe Foden on the wing as an exception) and a full back at full back (probably Brown)
- Ashton can't tackle

Other things:

- The scrum wasn't good enough, but I think Rowntree will fix that. Young guys in all the front 5 positions (save Parling) so they will improve. Not overly concerned.

- Tactics were completely wrong for the breakdown. We should have been flooding it in attack with our quick mobile players to get quick ball. In defence we either flood it and have a go or we leave it alone. Don't leave it except one guy who then gets pinged.

- With Farrell at 10 we need 12T at 12 or Goode to actually play as a second receiver.

- Mike Catt needs to coach Tuilagi in game management. Half of Catty's skill in that area and Tuilagi would be phenomenal. (As an aside, how different would that game have been if Tuilagi had caught the ball?! An early try for England would have completely changed the game! (We would still have lost if the Welsh kept their heads though))

The summer tour will hopefully give some experience to some squad members and allow the in form players to play in each game. I didn't advocate large changes before this game as it was a six day turn around. For the next game(s) there is significantly longer and so more substantial changes can be made.

I am very unhappy with the loss, but it is not the end of the world.

Edit: Almost forgot... BALL CARRIERS TO GET SOME HARD YARDS! We really missed Morgan!


Last edited by screamingaddabs on Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : BALL CARRIERS!!!!!!!)
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Post by Poorfour Mon 18 Mar 2013, 4:52 pm

I think a young coaching team and a young playing squad got given a few lessons. As long as they learn from them, it will be OK.

1) Sooner or later a pack with a lightweight front row, lightweight locks and a lightweight back row will come up against a pack that can seriously pressurise them. England were unlucky with injuries here - if either Morgan or B Vunipola had been fit they might have held it together, but Launchbury, Parling and Wood did not give the front row enough heft in comparison to Wales.

England need to develop some strength in depth at No 8 (tricky, as there aren't many obvious contenders beyond BM and BV), and ideally need a big lock to give them options in the engine room (the long term answer could well be Charlie Matthews, who ran Quins' lineout on Sunday but used to play alongside Launchbury at U20 and regularly fills in for Olly Kohn. Not sure who's putting their hand up right now)

2) You have to learn to play Steve Walsh. Apparently one of the Welsh props told Launchbury afterwards that they'd deliberately collapsed the scrum about 6 times - and England were still getting penalised. Neither Marler nor Vunipola was experienced enough to cheat back. Cole had a little of the Vickerys about him too (PV was a great technical scrummager but always looked vulnerable to someone more streetwise). Didn't help that even when Wales were blatantly at fault (when Hibbard popped up, when Jones bound to the outside of Marler's sleeve) they weren't getting pinged.

3) Balance in the back row is everything. Ironically, Warburton gave the lie to the idea that a "natural" on one flank can't play on the other, but as with (1) England suffered from the lack of a more powerful player so that Wood and Robshaw could focus on getting to the breakdown. Robshaw and Wood went well with Morgan and Ok with Haskell. Robshaw and Croft went well with Morgan last year. Doesn't work with all three of them on the pitch.

4) The backline needs tweaking. Not outright change, but just as England in 2001 learned to play Catt instead of Tindall when they didn't have forward dominance, this England probably needs to play 36 and Barritt instead of Manu when they are going to be short of space and time on the ball. I've never been quite as big a fan of Manu as most, mainly because I have seen how a good defence can contain him. Clearly Shaun Edwards has, too.

I'd agree with what most people are saying around the backline. Brown to 15, change of wingers, more game time for Burns and Twelvetrees, send Manu to passing school.

5) Offloading is the way to go. But England aren't ready to do that yet. It was noticeable to me that Brown was trying to throw offloads in attack that at Quins would automatically have had someone on the end of them - but England were never there. However, this takes practice and I would think they'll need most of the time from now to 2015 to make it stick.

6) Sometimes you just have one of those days. Remember that Wales started the 6N with Warbs, Philips and Roberts badly out of form, a partially fit front row and so few fit locks that they had to borrow one from Quins. By the end of the tournament, they'd lost Ryan Jones but gained fitter props, locks and Warburton had found form.

England lost Morgan for a week that became the whole tournament, Corbisiero for an extended period, and Ashton into some kind of personal hell. Ok, it's only 3 players, but 3 players in an area where they have limited strength in depth. In an inexperienced squad, it was a big blow.

Wales turned up with everything to play for and put it all together on the pitch. In that context, I am not that bothered by the margin of victory. Wales won deservedly and put up a great performance, and they won because they were ahead in most areas even after you discounted the Walsh effect. But rugby's a game of very fine margins and if one or two things had gone England's way it could have been much closer.
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Post by lostinwales Mon 18 Mar 2013, 5:00 pm

manu is there for the long run but he cant do it all himself. He fluffed the one decent pass he had when he had some space but he hardly got any other chances. One of the reasons is of course that he always seems to get stuck in at rucks and that drives me nuts.

I do now think that it has to be 36 and manu with barritt on the bench

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Post by welshboii15 Mon 18 Mar 2013, 5:15 pm

There was more to England losing so badly than the back row and the English back three, the scrum was going back everytime, which meant youngs had nothing to work with, Farrell clearly can't handle the pressure of such a high game as he was poor, no creativity in the back line at all apart from youngs, manu had next to no ground all championship way over rated and they came up against a team from 1-22 that wanted it more. The England coaches need stay away from the media saying England don't fear Wales, which couldn't have looked more wrong English players filled their shorts when they heard the roar of the stadium. Manu is like Ashton IMO he be lucky to make the England squad in future

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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 5:19 pm

Welshboii, there are 23 players in a match day squad.

The rest of your arguement is a little devalued now. Not that it had much value to begin with.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 18 Mar 2013, 5:20 pm

Eddie, trolls are like gremlins, don't feed them after schooltime.

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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 18 Mar 2013, 5:24 pm

You're right LT, but when they shoot themselves in the foot like that, it's hard to resist commenting back. Complete lack of basic rugby understanding. Oh dear.

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