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England vs Australia player ratings and changes for Argentina game

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Post by king_carlos Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:22 pm

So a scrappy game all round thinking back on it with the two full backs on show both being given plenty of work and probably the two players coming out of the game with enhanced reputations as a result. Below are my take on the individual performances during the game with the all round low scores indicative of what I felt wasn't a particularly fluid game at any stage.

England

1.M Vunipola - 6.5 - Carried and scrummaged well throughout
2.T Youngs - 5.5 - Struggled at the line-out but lively as ever in the loose
3.Cole - 6
4.Launchberry - 6
5.Lawes - 6
6.Wood - 7
7.Robshaw - 7
8.B Vunipola - 7.5 - Strong carrying throughout and a much needed source of gain line running

9.Dickson - 5 - EDIT - Lowered from 6 to 5 having viewed the game again this morning, poor distribution and decision making given what he was brought into the side to do
10.Farrell - 5.5 - Struggled to get the backline running for much of the game and struggled from the tee but took his try well and organised the in field defence well for the majority

11.Yarde - 6 - Fiesty if underused in attack
12.Twelvetrees - 4.5 - A poor game from the young man but he is extremely talented and will grow into the role if given time
13.Tomkins - 5 - Struggled to impose himself on the game but wasn't helped by the backs around him
14.Ashton - 4 - Offered little in attack and caught out of position frequently in defence
15.Brown - 8 - Marshaled the game from the back extremely well and offered rare attacking sparks for England

16.Hartley 17.Marler 18.Wilson 19.Attwood - 6.5 - All three offered solidity at set piece and showed good energy in loose
20.Morgan - 6 - Looked to do a lot with little of it working for him, no real errors though
21.B Youngs - 7 - Looked lively and injected some much needed pace into the game
22.Flood - 6 - Came on out of position and got little chance to show what he can offer

Australia

1.Slipper - 5 - Really struggled in the scrum at times and failed to impose himself in the loose
2.Moore - 6 - Good in the line-out and solid in the loose put part of a front row that struggled at scrum time
3.Alexander - 5.5 - Dealt with the scrum better than his counterpart but still struggled at times
4.Timani - 6
5.Horwill - 7.5 - Ran the line-out extremely well and solid in the loose
6.Fardy - 6
7.Hooper - 6.5
8.Mowen - 6 - Part of a back row that made few errors but didn't shine as we've come to expect the Australian loose forwards to do

9.Genia - 5 - A poor game from the SH with some basic handling and kicking errors throughout
10.Cooper - 6.5 - A mixture of good and bad as you so often get from Quade but offered an attacking spark that England sorely missed

11.Cummins - 6 - Some good work but also a few basic errors
12.Toomua - 7 - Offered a controlling influence in a backline that had poor ball to work with for much of the match
13.Kuridrani - 7.5 - Looked dangerous throughout but needed to be given more opportunity to shine
14.Ashley-Cooper - 6.5 - Solid in defence but got little ball in attack
15.Folau - 8 - Looked dangerous whenever he got the ball throughout

Other than Douglas who I thought added some more aggression the Aus forwards in the loose and White who added some much needed structure to their play I felt the bench made little impact on the game.


Last edited by king_carlos on Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Lowered Dickson's rating having viewed the game again)

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Post by TJ Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:31 pm

England half backs - i think they need to decide what sort of game to play and then pick the players to match but Youngs / flood seems to be the pairing for me.  I find Farrell just too slow between the ears and too risk averse.

Yarde looked very fast and wanted to get stuck in and made a few mistakes - perseve with him.  I don't thinI would change anyone bar the halfbacks. Aston showed signs of coming good. tompkins got a lesson in intenational rugby but select once - give him a run of games

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:20 pm

NIce ratings, and we agree is most spots.  My offerings......

1.M Vunipola - 7 - Carried and scrummaged well, good at breakdown
2.T Youngs - 4  - Throws lost = gift turnovers, I dislike easy turnovers, OK otherwise
3.Cole - 6
4.Launchbury - 6 - Rather anonymous, did nothing terribly good or terribly bad
5.Lawes - 7 - I think the lineout problems were on Youngs, good around the park, made his tackles
6.Wood - 7 -did the work
7.Robshaw - 7 - also did the work, seemed Aus ran at Robshaw
8.B Vunipola - 7.5 - Strong carrying throughout and a much needed source of gain line running

9.Dickson - 6 - pretty good, butnot in sync with Farrell
10.Farrell - 5 - Hardest to rate, on the plus side, credit for the score, and made his tackles (Aus ran at him a lot).  On the other hand, didn't get the backs going at all, made bad decisions with his kicks (both grubbers in the try zone were bad decisions), missed too many easy kicks.  

11.Yarde - 4 - Made too many errors
12.Twelvetrees - 5 - Didn't do much, right or wrong
13.Tomkins - 4 - Anonymous, did nothing particularly well
14.Ashton - 4 - did nothing particularly well, missed a key tackle leading to the Aussie try
15.Brown - 8 - Played well, strong attacking, only back actually going forwards with attitude

16.Hartley  - Improvement over Youngs, helped energise the attack
17.Marler 18.Wilson - good jobs, maintained edge in the scrum
19.Attwood - Don't remember him doing much, but the team functioned better
20.Morgan - Don't remember him doing much, but the team functioned better
21.B Youngs - 7 - Looked lively and injected some much needed pace into the game
22.Flood - Was a key replacement along with Hartley, added critical energy to the attack

I was disappointed England kicked away so much, Farrell's grubbers were bad mistakes.  England seemingly can't field a kick.  That was shocking.  The lineouts were poor and shaky until Hartley came on.  And the backs offered nothing at all, except Mike Brown.  I think England were pretty fortunate to come out better, but England made the better of the opportunities.  I have concerns about Farrell, Tompkins, Yarde, Ashton.

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Post by king_carlos Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:25 pm

TJ wrote:England half backs - i think they need to decide what sort of game to play and then pick the players to match but Youngs / flood seems to be the pairing for me.  I find Farrell just too slow between the ears and too risk averse.

Yarde looked very fast and wanted to get stuck in and made a few mistakes - perseve with him.  I don't thinI would change anyone bar the halfbacks.  Aston showed signs of coming good.  tompkins got a lesson in intenational rugby but select once - give him a run of games
Looking at changes for next week my big ones would come in the backs and they'd simply be the changes I'd have made to the line-up for today prior to the match:

9.Youngs - Offered bit more tempo and pace than Dickson
10.Farrell
11.Yarde
12.Twelvetrees
13.Trinder - Harsh on Tomkins but I feel that Trinder has the ability to get us attacking in the wider channels more which we desperately need. Tomkins is talented no doubt but just doesn't have the experience for the Int game yet
14.Wade - Offers that spark of magic in the backline we're sorely missing plus he's better in defence and positioning than Ashton who was poor today once again IMO
15.Brown

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:33 pm

Dickson 6 & Farrell 5.5!

Dickson would be lucky to get a 2 for me, he was dreadful.

Farrell went ok, certainly picked up in the 2nd.

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Post by Biltong Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:35 pm

I disagree with the ball carrying of the Vunipola brothers, the did carry, yes. But they got the ball from standing starts and never really looked like gaining much ground apart from once when B Vunipola managed to break two tackles.

Youngs was poor with his execution at the line outs and possibly the communication between Lawes and his jumpers didn't work too well.

Far too many overthrows.

Apart from one good run down the sideline Yarde was disappointing and his discipline wasn't good either.

Twelvetrees will be hiding his head in the sand over the fact that Lealiifano of all people ran over him.

At least Farrel spotted the opening created for him by Hartley, and I liked what I saw from Brown.

The Aussie scrum managed smartly to get their own scrum ball out quickly, but Genia was poor.

I am beginning to think Hooper is too small, he may have pace, but he isn't very strong in contact.

Cooper looked good for the most part and Folau was brilliant in the air, but twice he made space for his outside support runners and didn't offload.

Overall a disappointing game for me. Poor execution and poor passing ruined most attacking plays.
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Post by Geordie Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:37 pm

Agree Farrell picked up second half when youngs was on...

With the exception of youngs starting I'd give the same team a start in the next game...even tomkins

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Post by Geordie Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:40 pm

Why is yarde getting criticized?
He was fine. Poor discipline...if it was a top winger it would be called intelligent infringing...stopping players chance?

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Post by GloriousEmpire Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:42 pm

Phew. Looks like reasonable adult opinions going on here. What a relief.

I thought England's breakdown flooding approach is interesting. It's not so dissimilar to the way Argentina approached the breakdown at the start of their first rugby championship last year.

I guess the idea is that if you disrupt ball enough then it doesn't matter how narrow your defense is or how many gaps out wide.

To get away with it against Australia is creditable but I also feel it's highly sensitive to the referees interpretation. There was a lot of mess on the floor and a lot of it would be penalisable.

Genia was unusually ponderous in his clearance - maybe England affected him. But if only he had launched two or three of those failed passes effectively England could have been seriously cut up.

I guess its a gamble and England are putting a lot of eggs in the disrupting ball at source basket. I fancy Aaron smith to zip the ball out more quickly. Should be interesting.

Australia lost a lot when their hard man lock and enforcer left on a stretcher - that was your turning point right there.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:45 pm

"Twelvetrees will be hiding his head in the sand over the fact that Lealiifano of all people ran over him."

Lealifano didn't play today

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Post by Biltong Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Toomua, sorry. steam 
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:49 pm

I knew what you meant Wink

It was embarrassing for a 16st lump to be bumped off like that. He was so so bad today.

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Post by Biltong Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:51 pm

Yeah, I was very surprised at that, but overall the defences weren't really pushed hard today.
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Post by doctor_grey Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:51 pm

Do you know if Sky is showing this match again? I couldn't record it and want to see it again. Especially since some people saw players in a different light than I did.

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Post by Cyril Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:55 pm

doc,

Extended highlights tomorrow at 09:00, 13:00 and 15.30 on Sky Sports 2 (1 hour shows).

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Post by yappysnap Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:58 pm

Agree with most if those picks although I'm stunned that Farrell got a lower score then Dickson. Dickson would get a 4 from me fir his ponderous clearances, wayward passing and kicks and his total lack if threat ball in hand.

Only changes next week should be Hartley in for Youngs and Youngs in for Dickson.

I think 36, Tomkins, Yarde and Ashton all had poor games but expect them to come good now they've had a run out together.

Mike Brown is just utter class, cool headed under pressure, rock steady under the high ball and brave enough to create chances for his team mates regularly.

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Post by Biltong Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:59 pm

Well , hopefully Lancaster will now give Brown an extended run, he really impressed me, looked angerous and didn't make mistakes.
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Post by butterfingers Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:00 pm

I'd probably agree with the ratings, and like to view them as positive reading...

We were pretty poor all over the field, despite the comentators insisting that all errors were individual and not system most were down to the systems, the fragile gameplan up front, the lack of time to gel and the inexperience of certain combos, but despite that we still managed to beat the 4th best team in the world, and with plenty to spare and work on.

An ugly game but a good game to win, and move on to a better performance, half of those errors can be put down to the fact the boys have only been together a week or so, we will get stronger as we go on.

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Post by yappysnap Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I knew what you meant Wink

It was embarrassing for a 16st lump to be bumped off like that. He was so so bad today.
I really can't believe he's 16 stone.

In his defense the Oz players body position was inch perfect, most forward wouldn't have stopped him from there because of that angle and leg drive. I have a mate who's under 6 foot and about 13 stone wet, he scores a fair few like that though because it's just so hard to stop!

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Post by Cyril Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Agree with your changes there yappy.

We don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Will Corbs be back? Thought Mako had a decent game and the scrum was pretty good. Argentina will be a test there.

Brown was immense. I love watching him play. So difficult to take down, spinning out of tackles and a real cool customer. I like the fact he takes a risk or two sometimes but doesn't dither too much like Goode has done for England in the same situation.

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Post by Biltong Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:08 pm

Look, pne thing showed clearly, the offloads didn't work because the combinations haven't played together for some time, and those offloads aren't going to stick if the defence is in your face because your forwards aren't giving you momentum.
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Post by yappysnap Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:10 pm

Pne??

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Post by Biltong Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:20 pm

ONE. Wink
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Post by butterfingers Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:38 pm

The offloading idea I think is flawed at international level anyway, as teams rush up, and are confident to wrap tackle players up I'm not sure any offloading is conducive to a good performance. It's only in the wider chanells when the ball must stay alive and there is more space, and evd the defence is drifting as opposed to rushing that you can get away with it.

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Post by markb Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:46 pm

Plenty to work on, but an OK first up performance in general.  I would agree with the sentiments of some of the posters that although a number of the newer/debut caps weren't great we persist with them for the Argentina match, chalking a bit up to first serious appearance and a freshly combined squad as a whole.

Agree with others again in that one Youngs in and one Youngs out would be my definite changes, with Twelvetrees particularly a bit disappointing compared to his club level and needing to show something more substantial.  If perfomances don't step up against Argentina I would be looking to bring specific elements of the bench on early.

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Post by butterfingers Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:53 pm

I think we all forget how inexperienced 36 is at this level, he may have a number of caps, be a certain age, and have a lions tour under his belt but he's far from battle hardened on the international stage, he wasn't great but will improve as he learns.

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Post by hugehandoff Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:02 pm

I think we are all agreed that it was a very poor match and Wales will be pretty confident at this stage about their chances of winning their RWC group. It is often harsh to throw players out after just 1 match as we all know that experience and continuity in selection reap benefits. But I was staggered yet again at how rubbish England were. I might have predicted this, but it still hurts.

Post by hugehandoff on Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:26 pm
Pessimism
Aussies to win this for me. They have some quality backs and appear to have rediscovered some of their scoring touches. England still do not have any idea as to who should be in their side. 2nd row is open to much debate and we have Billy to start at 8 for the first time. Midfield will be a new combo and Yarde's first crack against the big boys. So many changes and cannot see this England side producing a quality performance. Horwill and co will be too smart and will take more of their chances than England will.

Optimism
England to put a weak Australia away. Our new second row will have a blinder with Lawes and Attwood to the fore. The back row will match the Aussies and secure some quick turn over ball, which the new, flatter and improved Farrell will use to attack the gainline and bring in the strike runners. Both wingers to score.

Realism
Poor quality error strewn game decided by whoever finally pulls themselves together. Will not scare any other teams.


Realism won the day and thank goodness Australia were worse than England who were indeed fortunate on many counts. But at least they did raise their intensity during the 2nd half.

Negatives:
Ashton - defence weak again, but to be fair he was not used in attack at all. Would we lose anything by giving Wade a go?
Yarde - one break was good but defence and temperament looked shaky. Worth sticking with.
36 - terrible alround. I even started missing Barritt Shocked  I would try Burrell.
Tomkins - does not look international class.
Farrell - a shocker but Flood is not the option and Burns is not in form. A problem area.
Dickinson - nothing great there and I also thought Young's passing when he came on was high, behind and poor.
Overall back play - shockingly bad
Lineout - a disaster in the 1st half, which probably should have cost England the game

Positives
A win - always nice over the Aussies
The improved performance in the 2nd half
Mike Brown
Dave Wilson - great physique

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Post by butterfingers Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:07 pm

With regards to your backline negatives huge...

A new 9, a young 10, new centre combo, including debutant, debut on the wing, and a FB messed about with for so long finally returned to his strongest position. The only real mainstays in that backline were the very young Farell, and Ashton who saw no ball at all, and got isolated by the defencive system once or twice.

Not bad going considering they were playing a team including Genia, Folau, AAC, who are all regarded as top class. The attacking threat is still very evident in the Aus backline.

Remember we are building toward 2015.

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Post by hugehandoff Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:14 pm

I fully agree that there are good reasons why England did not have much fluency in the backs, but it was still pretty shocking. You have to give players some time, but we still appear to be miles from knowing who are best players are. Injuries have played a part, but the lack of basic skills was worrying. But if the replacements are not noticeably better than we might have to stick with what we have and hope that a significant improvement follows.

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Post by butterfingers Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:19 pm

What we have is Youngs and Care, Toby Flood, 2 more experienced and dependable centres, FB options, not to mention a number of players performaing well at club level.

Your right though, we need to start nailing our colours to the flag and trusting in a 30 man squad give or take for the next 2 years.

Is colours to the flag correct? Colours to the mast? Flag to the mast?

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Post by lostinwales Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:35 pm

hugehandoff wrote:I think we are all agreed that it was a very poor match and Wales will be pretty confident at this stage about their chances of winning their RWC group. It is often harsh to throw players out after just 1 match as we all know that experience and continuity in selection reap benefits. But I was staggered yet again at how rubbish England were. I might have predicted this, but it still hurts.
...
Maybe - but we have played one and they havent yet. Their last 'proper' game they did play very well and of course by those standards I'd agree, but last autumn they were beaten by everyone and we all know how their reserves did in the summer.

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Post by hugehandoff Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:36 pm

By Sir Ian McGeechan

7:47PM GMT 02 Nov 2013

Comments2 Comments

It is a rare thing for a side to start a Test series with a flawless performance, but Stuart Lancaster will be very pleased with what he saw at Twickenham.

Yes, England looked rusty, edgy even, but their early errors gave way to a very assured display. The dealt with their problems and overcame them well. These are the areas that I thought were critical.

1. Selection

I still think of Mike Brown as a newcomer, just establishing himself in the full-back position, and he was outstanding.

We know what he can do at club level with Harlequins and he was a real threat whenever there was any loose kicking by Australia.
I thought the choice of Joel Tomkins at outside centre was also a success. He is a very clever defensive player, and apart from one lapse his reading of the game was superb.

It is important to have a player who is very strong in terms of knowledge and awareness at 13, and those qualities were much in evidence in the way Tomkins played.

I was very impressed by him, and by his physicality.

In the pack, Courtney Lawes showed the difference he can make in terms of the possibilities open to England.

When they built momentum in the second half he really came into his own, with some good defensive hits and a number of effective carries.

Billy Twelvetrees will be a bit disappointed with his performance at inside centre. I expected that he would bring fluency to the midfield, but it was not there.

Inside centre is a position that England have to nail down and that is something that Stuart Lancaster has to work on.

I think he should let Twelvetrees settle a bit because he has been in and out of the side, and is undoubtedly a good player.

It will be interesting to see him again having got this game under his belt.

2. The Set-Piece

I had highlighted before the match how critical the scrum would be, and we saw that in the number of penalties Australia conceded there.

England had a strong scrum platform, but I think they want to look at releasing their No8 to run off the back of that.

Billy Vunipola did that on one occasion in the first half, but they did not get Australians off their feet at the first breakdown.

The line-outs were a bit hit and miss. England could not get any momentum there because they simply were not accurate enough.

In the second half, especially when Dylan Hartley came on, they improved significantly.

Their kick-off receptions were weak, though, and getting that right is the difference between spending the next few minutes on your own 22 or the opposition’s.

3. The Defence

England more than managed to cope with the individual threats that Australia posed.

Their first penalty came out of their speed and physicality in defence.

They were doing that right to the end and there was a real edge about their defensive work.

I think both wingers made mistakes, but again that just shows how well Tomkins played inside them to recover potentially dangerous situations.

Australia’s try was the only time they got an opportunity.

When you think of how Australia scored three tries against New Zealand a couple of weeks ago, it shows how well England did.

And Australia have been working together for three months.

As regards the defensive system, it is only as good as its individuals.

In the build-up to the Australia try, Chris Ashton got ahead of Tomkins which meant that England did not have the line shape they needed.

Against outside backs of the quality Australia have you are going to have a problem if you are not square and your line is not intact.

But apart from a couple of individual errors, it was a strong defensive performance.

England built cumulative defensive pressure through the one-on-one tackle, the ensuing breakdown and then line speed.

Australia never spent significant time inside the England 22.

All things considered – especially the time Australia have had together and the fact that England were having a first hit out with new players – then Lancaster can be delighted with what they did when they did not have the ball.

4. The Continuity Game

To begin with, England were playing safety-first in the way they went to ground early when going into contact, which then meant that Australia were not pressured in defence as they still had 14 men on their feet.

As a result, England got no momentum in the first half.

They were cautious and the ball was slower than it needed to be. So the first 40 minutes was fractured, very stop-start.

In the second half they stayed on their feet longer.

They presented ball while they were still going forward; suddenly they had runners coming in and they were on the front foot.

Ironically, they did not start the second half well, but because Australia missed penalties it did not hurt them on the scoreboard.

Tom Wood was outstanding, my man of the match. He put a huge amount of work in around the breakdown, which put Australia under pressure and kept England on the front foot.

That is where Robshaw and Wood work well together, and with Brown kick-starting things from the back, suddenly there was a physicality and momentum about England.

A measure of this was the number of errors made by Will Genia and the lack of time Quade Cooper had on the ball.

I think they learned the lesson of Cardiff last season, where they got bullied at the breakdown.

There was a hardness about England’s performance against the Wallabies and that allowed momentum to build throughout the second half.

Suddenly, the outside backs had the extra half-yard they needed.

People may talk of things Owen Farrell does not have and what he cannot do, but his attitude was tremendous.

Since the Lions tour I am sure he is now more willing to take on the line, as his try demonstrated.

He epitomised everything about England as the edge came into their performance in the second half.

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Post by Bristolian Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:45 pm

Tomkins certainly suffered for his inside centre being pants today, so is it right to drop him? My feeling is yes, because you can always give a player you know to be good a few games (i.e. Joe Root in Cricket), whereas Tomkins just didn't look like an international class player to me (i.e. Ravi Bopara).

Thought Lawes did some good things, for next week I'd bring Attwood in for Launchbury to 'beef up' the second row. Dickson looked like a player who'd been picked on form, but wasn't up to the step up in level (Nick Compton).

I guess you have to take Tom Youngs not being 100% in the set piece, but his loose play makes up for it. Not today. Hartley in for Argentina.

On the whole, I'd rate the England players around the 6 mark (just above average, enough to win a game) apart from Brown who was an 8 (would've been 9 but for a couple of ill-judged runs when the ball wanted kicking instead) and the aforementioned Tomkins, Twelevetrees, Tom Youngs and Dickson who were around the 3-4 mark.

Sorry for the cricket analogies for those who don't follow it but there is another Anglo-Oz contest coming up....

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:09 pm

Tom Youngs just can’t be trusted at test level to start – he’s an impact player, back to the bench for him; 4/10.

Billy V has shown he has what Morgan has, plus a bit more stamina; 7/10. Morgan as impact off the bench.

We have 4 props who can all do a job; 6/10 – but we’d be better with Corbs back.

4 decent SRs (when Parling's fit); 7/10.

Wood & Robshaw are shoo-ins; 8/10.

Dickson’s not test quality; 4/10 – so Care & Youngs will do.

Farrell is fine when his kicking game is on song (5/10 today) – Flood when it isn’t.

Centres are the same old same old for England – Barritt & Manu are shoo ins when fit. 12T & Tomkins are very distant 2nds; 1/10 & 5/10 resp.

Yarde was a bit average today but showed enough for a new boy to suggest he may grow into the position; 5/10. The Splash tried hard but didn’t get much good ball, and his D was a bit suspect (as usual); 5/10 – might have been interesting to see Foden get a try out there. We must try Wade out at some stage.

Mike B was the best player on the pitch; 8.5/10.

Basic handling skills were average (4/10) and intensity only good in the 2nd half; 6/10.

Despite the mediocrity we still beat a decent SH side; 10/10 – not something the NH do often enough.
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Post by niwatts Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:22 pm

Far from a great England performance, but even considering any suggested adjudication benefits (there were enough the other way throughout) they were still the better side, if not significantly.

What I did like was a return to a more physical approach at the breakdown.  Numbers in hard and fast.  I think the flankers and more 'athletic' locks particularly worked well here.  Support was quick and positive.

Apart from Ashton's mistake I also thought the defensive organisation was good, with line speed, aggression and commitment notable.  The majority of promissing Australian attacks were well held and snuffed out.

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Post by Bristolian Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:25 pm

I was a bit worried about Billy V before the game, wasn't sure he was ready (tests against Arg in the summer not withstanding). I guess the AB match will really show it one way or t'other, but thought he did go pretty well today.

Barney, agree with most of what you've written except for the intensity only being good in the second half. I thought we were pretty fierce at the breakdown in the first half, in fact that was pretty much the only memorable thing about it.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:20 pm

So here's my 'I told you so'.

Tomkins, Dickson, Farrell and Twelvetrees is an utterly useless selection of backs when placed in the same team. They are completely terrified of running with the ball.

To beshocked and other sarries fans - your guy Tomkins isn't good enough and never will be, and Farrell is still hopelessly limited.

Twelvetrees could be a very good 12, but he'll need players inside and outside of him with basic skills. To be honest, we just need some proper footballers. At the moment, who are the English backs who look like they are quick of thought and deed AND with good distribution and basic skills. I'd say:

Daly
Eastmond
Trinder
JJ
Yarde (generally)
Burns

The rest are plodding, lumpen, quasi-forwards who offer absolutely nothing but a brick wall defence. If we want to be a team capable of beating SA and NZ, we should look at these guys, not players like Tomkins.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:25 pm

GloriousEmpire wrote:Phew. Looks like reasonable adult opinions going on here. What a relief.

I thought England's breakdown flooding approach is interesting. It's not so dissimilar to the way Argentina approached the breakdown at the start of their first rugby championship last year.

I guess the idea is that if you disrupt ball enough then it doesn't matter how narrow your defense is or how many gaps out wide.

To get away with it against Australia is creditable but I also feel it's highly sensitive to the referees interpretation. There was a lot of mess on the floor and a lot of it would be penalisable.

Genia was unusually ponderous in his clearance - maybe England affected him. But if only he had launched two or three of those failed passes effectively England could have been seriously cut up.

I guess its a gamble and England are putting a lot of eggs in the disrupting ball at source basket. I fancy Aaron smith to zip the ball out more quickly. Should be interesting.

Australia lost a lot when their hard man lock and enforcer left on a stretcher - that was your turning point right there.
Good post. I think our rucking shows a lack of confidence in securing ball. We were getting some relatively quick ball but not drawing in any defenders. On occasion we made ground but then shipped it out to the backs too early.

Cooper made one flat wide pass and it effectively led to their try. If Genia had got the ball away a little quicker I think this may have been a more regular threat. But then our 'everyman in' rucking perhaps was what caused this ponderous approach. Given we also looked clueless of first phase ball I'd say we have bigger problems when it comes to attack.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:26 pm

Hood83 wrote:So here's my 'I told you so'.

Tomkins, Dickson, Farrell and Twelvetrees is an utterly useless selection of backs when placed in the same team. They are completely terrified of running with the ball.

To beshocked and other sarries fans - your guy Tomkins isn't good enough and never will be, and Farrell is still hopelessly limited.

Twelvetrees could be a very good 12, but he'll need players inside and outside of him with basic skills. To be honest, we just need some proper footballers. At the moment, who are the English backs who look like they are quick of thought and deed AND with good distribution and basic skills. I'd say:

Daly
Eastmond
Trinder
JJ
Yarde (generally)
Burns

The rest are plodding, lumpen, quasi-forwards who offer absolutely nothing but a brick wall defence. If we want to be a team capable of beating SA and NZ, we should look at these guys, not players like Tomkins.
So where does Tuilagi fall under, Hood? Would you consider him in the same bracket as Farrell, Tomkins etc?

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Post by Hood83 Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:51 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Hood83 wrote:So here's my 'I told you so'.

Tomkins, Dickson, Farrell and Twelvetrees is an utterly useless selection of backs when placed in the same team. They are completely terrified of running with the ball.

To beshocked and other sarries fans - your guy Tomkins isn't good enough and never will be, and Farrell is still hopelessly limited.

Twelvetrees could be a very good 12, but he'll need players inside and outside of him with basic skills. To be honest, we just need some proper footballers. At the moment, who are the English backs who look like they are quick of thought and deed AND with good distribution and basic skills. I'd say:

Daly
Eastmond
Trinder
JJ
Yarde (generally)
Burns

The rest are plodding, lumpen, quasi-forwards who offer absolutely nothing but a brick wall defence. If we want to be a team capable of beating SA and NZ, we should look at these guys, not players like Tomkins.
So where does Tuilagi fall under, Hood?  Would you consider him in the same bracket as Farrell, Tomkins etc?
You've spotted my deliberate omission Very Happy 

His basics skills are pretty average, he is below all of those listed in this regard. HOWEVER. Unlike our current plodders he is not simply big, he is also powerful. But honestly, I think he should have been developed as a crash-bang winger. As he is, I dunno, I could see him possibly played outside of Eastmond?

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Post by mbernz Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:08 am

There's a fair bit of nonsense in your post Hood.  An attempt at trying to prove yourself right by misrepresentation.

I'm a big fan of Twelvetrees, but to try and blame his disappointing performance on anyone but himself is just shoddy analysis and devalues your opinion.

He is one of a few players that was underwhelming today, but shouldn't be discarded after one poor/average performance.  Though given it was the more concerning area I would tend to having a 12/13 centre option on the bench like Burrell or Eastmond rather than a FB/wing like Foden, with an eye to bringing them on early if there is similar underperformance against Argentina.

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Post by The Saint Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:50 am

For Argentina I think I'd keep the pack as it is. The backline however needs some experience and leadership. If I was a selector I may be willing to go for something like Youngs, Flood, Wade or Yarde, Farrell, Twelvetrees, Foden, Brown. 12trees didn't play the second play-maker roll well at all, and was bumped off by a smaller guy. He does look pretty good with ball in hand and might be better suited running down a wider channel. Farrell can revert back to his first role with England (when he played his first 6 Nations he was 12 outside Hodgson), he's a good defender and distributor. The Tigers halfbacks offer solidity and experience. Today's midfield was like a rabbit at the headlights and depsite good club form Ashton is still terrible, hence my backline.

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Post by timhen Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:53 am

mbernz wrote:There's a fair bit of nonsense in your post Hood.  An attempt at trying to prove yourself right by misrepresentation.

I'm a big fan of Twelvetrees, but to try and blame his disappointing performance on anyone but himself is just shoddy analysis and devalues your opinion.

He is one of a few players that was underwhelming today, but shouldn't be discarded after one poor/average performance.  Though given it was the more concerning area I would tend to having a 12/13 centre option on the bench like Burrell or Eastmond rather than a FB/wing like Foden, with an eye to bringing them on early if there is similar underperformance against Argentina.
I agree, 36's lacklustre shift was purely down to him, not those around him. He hasn't been in top from this season. I'd stick with him for the next match, but on current from Burrell is pushing him hard. The thing is if he doesn't go well next week it's a bit late to drop someone new in for NZ. Fingers crossed he finds some of his previous seasons' from.

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Post by Jhamer25 Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:55 am

Your Scrums were stronger than I expected I must be honest. Think there were some harsh calls against the aussies somtimes but mako done a job and thats all u want of a prop. However when wilson cam on u went from nudging them at the scrum to completely destroying them. Why isn't he you first choice? Better scrummager than Cole by far in ky eyes.
your pack were brilliant really their pressure at the rucks were immense. The sooner barett and tuilagi are back the better, both centers were aweful and yet again ashton was a waist of space; three missed tackles i counted. Youngs, robshaw, mike and launchbery were all really good though. Some luck may I say but the deserved winners Wink

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Post by hugehandoff Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:06 am

Jhammer.....nicely said sir. I agree re Wilson. He played well against a weakened Argentina in the summer and should start next weekend against a stronger Argentina with a view to starting him against the AB's. Wilson and Corbs could form a useful front row.

It is nice to read some positive comments because during and immediately after the game I was very disappointed.

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Post by johnpartle Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:19 am

niwatts wrote:Far from a great England performance, but even considering any suggested adjudication benefits (there were enough the other way throughout) they were still the better side, if not significantly.

What I did like was a return to a more physical approach at the breakdown.  Numbers in hard and fast.  I think the flankers and more 'athletic' locks particularly worked well here.  Support was quick and positive.

Apart from Ashton's mistake I also thought the defensive organisation was good, with line speed, aggression and commitment notable.  The majority of promissing Australian attacks were well held and snuffed out.
Those were the principal aspects I picked up on as well; as did pundits like Lynagh and Geech.  More similar to how we played against New Zealand and Scotland last season.  One of the benefits of picking 2nd rows with engines like Lawes & Launchbury is that they constantly hit the breakdown with decent pace, which counts more than those coming in slower and less dynamically with just a few lbs more.

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Post by Jhamer25 Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:41 am

And you woukd hugehandoff. I mean corbs and Wilson woukd be an solid scrum. Bath by far have the best scrum in the premiership with paul james amd wilson at the helm. Really under rated play.
If cole is up against ayerza or even worse mako up against figallo, then u will be exposed. Ayerza is one of the best scrummagers in world rugby, both tactically and uses his pure strength. Same as figallo. If Corbs is back then great I think he is capable of stabilising figallo for u. But if dan starts ayerza will go to town on him.


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Post by splenetic Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:36 am

Jhamer25 wrote:And you woukd hugehandoff. I mean corbs and Wilson woukd be an solid scrum. Bath by far have the best scrum in the premiership with paul james amd wilson at the helm. Really under rated play.
If cole is up against ayerza or even worse mako up against figallo, then u will be exposed. Ayerza is one of the best scrummagers in world rugby, both tactically and uses his pure strength. Same as figallo. If Corbs is back then great I think he is capable of stabilising figallo for u. But if dan starts ayerza will go to town on him.

Bath don't have a standout record so far this season, 10 lost scrums to 40 won in 7 matches (Exeter by comparison have lost 4 and won 54 in 7 matches). James was one of the most penalised props in the premiership last season, 27 in 19 matches (Mako by comparison conceded 13 in 17).

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Post by lostinwales Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:45 am

mbernz wrote:There's a fair bit of nonsense in your post Hood.  An attempt at trying to prove yourself right by misrepresentation.

I'm a big fan of Twelvetrees, but to try and blame his disappointing performance on anyone but himself is just shoddy analysis and devalues your opinion.

He is one of a few players that was underwhelming today, but shouldn't be discarded after one poor/average performance.  Though given it was the more concerning area I would tend to having a 12/13 centre option on the bench like Burrell or Eastmond rather than a FB/wing like Foden, with an eye to bringing them on early if there is similar underperformance against Argentina.
Before the game I thought that there would be a lot of strain on the centers in attack because of the zero running threat from the half backs. 36 doesnt seem to be in form (but did apparently outplay Burrell when they met earlier in the season) but may well go better with Youngs or Care providing a different kind of threat.

Its a tough situation when all attacking threat comes from one or two players. The strength of Manu is that he still produced, albeit not consistently, when he was the only threat (which is why, despite some of his 'average' skills I cant help thinking that anyone not choosing him when he is fit is bonkers)

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Post by king_carlos Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:06 am

I would absolutely love to see Daly at 13 outside Twelvetrees but as he's not in the EPS and playing FB at Wasps it's unfortunately not going to happen.

9.Youngs
10.Farrell
11.Yarde
12.Twelvetrees
13.Daly or Trinder
14.Wade
15.Brown

As a whole I think Lancaster's selections have been pretty good but I'd take the above backline over the one fielded vs Aus any day of the week!

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