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Robshaw named as Captain, picked on form ?

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The Saint
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Robshaw named as Captain, picked on form ? Empty Robshaw named as Captain, picked on form ?

Post by munkian Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:55 am

Over to you Hug 
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Post by GunsGerms Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:57 am

He is a good captain so fair enough. Not sure how his form has been. Im sure he is a bit deflated after being snubbed by the Lions.

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Post by Tiger/Chief Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:58 am

I'm more worried about Wood being under powered as a 6 than I am about Robshaw being captain or playing 7.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:09 am

I can't remember a match where Wood was underpowered. He may not be the SA style 6, but he rarely has a bad game and is in superb form at the moment.

People look at him and think he looks a little lightweight, but he is 17.5 stone, just athletic and unlike the Billy V style 6/8, carries no lard.
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Post by yappysnap Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:39 am

You have to realise that Robshaw is always in form. His style of play is not like a flashy wannabe back, it's just head down and give 100% and he does that every.single.game.

It's more a question of will the commentators bother to pick up on it.

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Post by Poorfour Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:42 am

Robshaw's had a reasonable start to the season - he played well in the opening games and it showed that he had been working on his pace (he's been regularly breaking off the scrum to get in the FH's face). Had a muted game against the Scarlets (but then the whole Quins team failed to turn up that day) but was good enough against Clermont that even Dewi Morris noticed. From what I have seen, Robshaw has done significantly better behind his struggling tight 5 than Kvesic has behind his, and with Croft out the only other option for Lancaster would have been Vunipola, Wood, Morgan - which lacks both balance and experience.

Sky's guest pundit (I can't for the life of me remember who it was) made a very interesting point that Vunipola, Wood and Robshaw is a very balanced back row and Billy V's own work rate (in contrast to Morgan or to Wood out of position) would "free up Robshaw to do more of a traditional 7 role, while still playing his own game."

I personally think that Wood and Robshaw are a very well-balanced pair, just not a conventional one. They both play 6 and 7, get through a huge work rate and are smart players who make good choices about where to be and what to do. Wood is slightly better in the air, Robshaw does more dirty work. It irks me that the press see Wood's position as unassailable and Robshaw's as vulnerable when I think they bring very similar abilities. The incessant media sniping between Cardiff and now would make anyone question themselves.

Anyway, CR will get a big lift from this and I expect him to up his game going into the AIs.
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Post by Hood83 Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:49 am

Poorfour wrote:Robshaw's had a reasonable start to the season - he played well in the opening games and it showed that he had been working on his pace (he's been regularly breaking off the scrum to get in the FH's face). Had a muted game against the Scarlets (but then the whole Quins team failed to turn up that day) but was good enough against Clermont that even Dewi Morris noticed. From what I have seen, Robshaw has done significantly better behind his struggling tight 5 than Kvesic has behind his, and with Croft out the only other option for Lancaster would have been Vunipola, Wood, Morgan - which lacks both balance and experience.

Sky's guest pundit (I can't for the life of me remember who it was) made a very interesting point that Vunipola, Wood and Robshaw is a very balanced back row and Billy V's own work rate (in contrast to Morgan or to Wood out of position) would "free up Robshaw to do more of a traditional 7 role, while still playing his own game."

I personally think that Wood and Robshaw are a very well-balanced pair, just not a conventional one. They both play 6 and 7, get through a huge work rate and are smart players who make good choices about where to be and what to do. Wood is slightly better in the air, Robshaw does more dirty work. It irks me that the press see Wood's position as unassailable and Robshaw's as vulnerable when I think they bring very similar abilities. The incessant media sniping between Cardiff and now would make anyone question themselves.

Good points, my concern at the moment is that against the ABs and SA we're going to struggle to find the right balance that is competitive. Against SA I could see Wood and Robshaw being battered, especially if our locks are say Parling/Lawes or Parling/Launchbury. All fine players but a step down in terms of power from the SA locks. In which case the Morgan/Vunipola combo at 6 and 8 may work better. But it's untried and means we're trying to beat them at their own game - the ABs didn't seem to need to do this. Basically, I'm still having nightmares about Alberts.

Against the ABs the problem is work-rate mainly surely. So maybe Wood and Robshaw would work better. The difficult thing for us is that Read is like another flanker. BV and Morgan might get the better of him for a 10/15 stretch, but his accuracy and work-rate give him the rest of the match. He's probably not as powerful but he's technically brilliant and his fitness must mean he's closer to his maximum for a much longer stretch. What do we do about that? They're not the right shape to compete with him for fitness, could Ewers end up being the right balance of power and fitness?

One thing is certain, and v disappointing - Morgan has looked very very unfit, and not up to international rugby at this point. It's a shame because he's got bags of talent.





Anyway, CR will get a big lift from this and I expect him to up his game going into the AIs.

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Post by quinsforever Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:11 am

A captain of a team should be two things. nailed-on starter by merit. a natural leader.

i just dont think we have one yet. so i'm not going to be too bothered by who is appointed captain while this is being figured out.

mccaw, john eales, martin johnson. they were/are giants among men. we need one...

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:49 am

How good someone is as a leader is pretty difficult to ascertain if you haven't been on their team...
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Post by quinsforever Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:12 am

we dont even really have any nailed on starters in any positions as far as i can see. and that credibility is what, imho, when added to natural leadership ability, helps weld a team into something far greater than the sum of its parts.

much as i have lots of admiration for robshaw Smile the england team is a different kettle

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Post by The Saint Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:22 am

I haven't noticed any English 7's playing better 'in England' so far. I thought Robshaw did a good enough job last year and I think he can make a good combo with Wood at 6. I'm not sure who should play 8 though.

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Post by quinsforever Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:39 am

i agree armitage is the hands down strongest in position. have no idea why french based players arent considered.

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Post by Poorfour Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:33 am

quinsforever wrote:i agree armitage is the hands down strongest in position. have no idea why french based players arent considered.
Availability. It's very unlikely that Armitage's Toulon contract lets him go off and train with England outside the IWs themselves. Also, how good would Armitage actually be without the superstar-packed Toulon pack around him? They can probably field two complete packs that are the equal of most international packs.
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Post by quinsforever Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:41 am

Poorfour wrote:
quinsforever wrote:i agree armitage is the hands down strongest in position. have no idea why french based players arent considered.
Availability. It's very unlikely that Armitage's Toulon contract lets him go off and train with England outside the IWs themselves. Also, how good would Armitage actually be without the superstar-packed Toulon pack around him? They can probably field two complete packs that are the equal of most international packs.
at 5'7" or whatever he is, he sometimes plays 8 for toulouse! not too shabby. his speed and low centre of gravity differentiate him for me.

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Post by sirtidychris Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:31 am

Manu is the only nailed on starter when fit and he ain't no captain !!! There is no 7 in England that has played well enough this season to userp robshaw, therefore robshaw starts...tbh in last years six nations robshaw was motm in most the games he played in !!! He is awesome just not a fetcher 7, when Fraser is firing on all cylinders that's where I expect the real challenge to come from, for the captaincy time is running out before the world cup if robshaw is to be ousted and another chap get experience, I guess the other contenders are Hartley, wood, flood...but those guys as said before are not guaranteed anything !!

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Post by quinsforever Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:45 am

sirtidychris wrote:Manu is the only nailed on starter when fit and he ain't no captain !!! There is no 7 in England that has played well enough this season to userp robshaw, therefore robshaw starts...tbh in last years six nations robshaw was motm in most the games he played in !!! He is awesome just not a fetcher 7, when Fraser is firing on all cylinders that's where I expect the real challenge to come from, for the captaincy time is running out before the world cup if robshaw is to be ousted and another chap get experience, I guess the other contenders are Hartley, wood, flood...but those guys as said before are not guaranteed anything !!
i agree with all of that. just wish we had someone a bit more like a dallaglio or johnson to call on. lets hope robshaw, given a proper run at it, can grow into the captaincy role/mantle.

will carling is another example of a long standing captain who led his team to great success (3x 5N grand slams, 1RWC runner-up). not particularly likeable, but annointed aged 22 i think it was and was certainly a strong leader. didnt quite get the rwc win (almost). its definitely harder in the professional era, it feels like the scrutiny is much more intense that when only 57 old farts made the decisions.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:01 am

Chris at 6 Steggon 8 another valid option. Sorry, I am a bit drunk
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Post by Geordie Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:33 pm

Tiger/Chief wrote:I'm more worried about Wood being under powered as a 6 than I am about Robshaw being captain or playing 7.
Really? You just need to look back to the Ireland game when we were royally humped all over the park...bar one person who never took a backward step...Mr Wood. He doesnt have a bulky physique...but have no fears the guy is not weak, or underpowered.

I suspect itll be 6 Wood 7 Robshaw 8 Billy and i think that has a great deal of balance, work rate, tackling, ruck ability, lineout, carrying etc. maybe only a little bit of pace is lacking but im sure we can make up for that.

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Post by fa0019 Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:49 pm

England now have made their bed. Robshaw will be their 7 for the world cup as injury aside he will be the captain for this season and there is no obvious experienced choice for openside and no obvious captain who could smoothly take over with such little time between the end of the season and the RWC.

That means they will need to play a game like SA... they need a dominant pack, a real dominant pack to put all teams on the backfoot... if not they will struggle for possession & susbequently to win games.

It can work, SA won the world cup in 07 like that, England beat NZ last year in a similar fashion.

But its about building a side and most importantly a squad to fit their game plan.

Its no point what so ever going into a match against a big physical side like SA, NZ or Wales and playing a front five of Marler, Youngs, Cole, Lawes and Parling for instance.

Not only would you get smashed.... you're backrow which are not the most mobile on the game will be 2 steps backwards even before they try and compete with their more mobile backrow opposition.

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Post by Geordie Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:07 pm

and there is no obvious experienced choice for openside
FA , experience isnt necesarily the problem. People keep saying we need a real deal 7...but not one of the pretenders to the crown is playing anything like international standard rugby. The only one who was (Will Fraser) has joined Corbs, JSD, Lawes etc as having his own permanent spot in the physio room.

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Post by beshocked Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:09 pm

sirtidychris wrote:Manu is the only nailed on starter when fit and he ain't no captain !!! There is no 7 in England that has played well enough this season to userp robshaw, therefore robshaw starts...tbh in last years six nations robshaw was motm in most the games he played in !!! He is awesome just not a fetcher 7, when Fraser is firing on all cylinders that's where I expect the real challenge to come from, for the captaincy time is running out before the world cup if robshaw is to be ousted and another chap get experience, I guess the other contenders are Hartley, wood, flood...but those guys as said before are not guaranteed anything !!
Very true. It's Robshaw's lack of competition that helps him retain the captaincy.

Fraser can't compete for the 7 jersey at the moment as he's getting injured at the wrong time.

What has happened to Ksevic?

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Post by yappysnap Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:15 pm

Fraser is the one to watch, and now Wallace too as he's getting some proper match time.

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Post by Geordie Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Is Wallace playing regularly Yappy. Thats what all these lads need...week in week out games...Fraser, Wallace, Kvesic, Welch, Saull...whoever it is, they need games.

Wallace certainly has promise.

Do you think ultimately Lancs wants "7's specialist" ?

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Post by fa0019 Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:21 pm

The problem with choosing a player with no obvious replacement is the Gary Teichmann dilemma.

In 99 Teichmann was the captain of the boks. He played well but a young Bobby Skinstad was coming up fast and form on form was starting to dominate. Mallett took the decision to throw him into the side and sack Teichmann.

What Mallett now acknowledges is the leadership gulf Teichmann left was huge and it had a massive impact on his side, one that neither he nor Skinstad could replace.

If it was a case of their being another natural leader in the side proven at test level then it could be worth the gamble. I just don't see that with England.

I don't think its necessarily a bad thing. Robshaw for me is a world class player... he similar to Schalk Burger requires a different strategy and it relies on a big dominant front five. SA never get dominated, England also were able to play this game until they lost chaps like Sheridan, Vickery, Shaw etc.... but at the moment they haven't developed multiple likewise players in each position to cope with injuries to guys like Corbisiero, Cole etc and not have it impact their game.

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