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Stuart Lancaster & the England Job

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Stuart Lancaster & the England Job - Page 2 Empty Stuart Lancaster & the England Job

Post by George Carlin Sun 27 Sep 2015, 11:31 am

First topic message reminder :

Stuart Lancaster & the England Job - Page 2 Stuart10 Stuart Lancaster & the England Job - Page 2 Englan12
I think that this aspect of the fallout from last night's titanic match deserves a thread of its own.

As a neutral, I am probably the person to start it as I have no truck with England's current head coach either way.

Some numbers first. The figures for Lancaster are only correct to the end of the 6N this year, so that's worth bearing in mind:

Geoff Cooke
Tenure: 16 January 1988 – 19 March 1994
Tests: 50
Won: 36
Drawn: 1
Lost: 13
Win Percentage: 72

Jack Rowell
Tenure: 4 June 1994 – 12 July 1997
Tests: 29
Won: 21
Drawn: 0
Lost: 8
Win Percentage: 72

Sir Clive Woodward
Tenure: 15 November 1997 – 2 September 2004
Tests: 83
Won: 59
Drawn: 2
Lost: 22
Win Percentage: 71

Andy Robinson
Tenure: 15 October 2004 – 29 November 2006
Tests: 22
Won: 9
Drawn: 0
Lost: 13
Win Percentage: 41

Brian Ashton
Tenure: 20 December 2006 – 1 June 2008
Tests: 22
Won: 12
Drawn: 0
Lost: 10
Win Percentage: 55

Rob Andrew
Tenure: 1 June 2008 – 30 June 2008
Tests: 2
Won: 0
Drawn: 0
Lost: 2
Win Percentage: 0

Martin Johnson
Tenure: 1 July 2008 – 16 November 2011
Tests: 38
Won: 21
Drawn: 1
Lost: 16
Win Percentage: 55

Stuart Lancaster
Tenure: 8 December 2011 – present
Tests: 42
Won: 26
Drawn: 1
Lost: 15
Win Percentage: 62

SL was in charge of his first game in March 2012.

Many regard England's failure to beat Wales as attributable directly to the head coach's tactical decisions in selection and to the apparent lack of a clear and consistent game plan which England is playing to.

My questions for the group:

1. What results are needed in this Rugby World Cup for Lancaster to keep his job? Would he still have to go if England exit in the quarters?

2. With reference to his peers above, what win ratio is expected from an England coach and is this reasonable?

3. What are the key areas in which Lancaster can be validly criticised?

4. The RFU is the most profitable union in the sport. Apart from perhaps the NZ head coach's job, there is a fair argument that being England's head coach is the most prestigious coaching appointment in rugby union football. But is it in fact something of a poisoned chalice given the overwhelming expectation to constantly be successful?


Last edited by George Carlin on Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:59 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 4:35 pm

yappysnap wrote:What's even more baffling is that SL knows that.

In the first warm up we played three play makers and the backline was out standing, Farrell suddenly looked a threat ball in hand and our wings got ball in space and made dents.

Since then Lancaster has ignored that totally, which is baffling as we've now looked clueless, beatable and lost.

Yes. I'd like to see Farrell, Burgess Slade against Australia. I think it's got a lovely balance to it and can look after itself. Why did he only play one playmaker? Because he's panicked as he's run out of time to bed-in a centre partnership (certainly not all his fault btw) and hasn't had the courage to give Slade a go at this late stage - instead he's trying to hide behind size.

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Post by Hood83 Sun 27 Sep 2015, 4:52 pm

Shifty wrote:
Hood83 wrote:
Shifty wrote:I don't think Lancaster is doing that badly, truth is in the 6 Nations Ireland, Wales, England and France are all very close to each other.  People think England have a god given right to be successful but they don't.  England have lost 4 times in 12 games thats pretty impressive.  Lancaster has also beaten New Zealand and Australia during his tenure, while Gatland can't match that.  
In fact the only bad loss England have suffered in his tenure is the 30-3 loss to Wales.  If England had won a marginal game yesterday this topic wouldn't even be discussed.  Lancaster is a good coach.  

Perhaps. But given the opprobrium heaped on Johnson, at what point do we start to point out Lancaster's record may not actually be all that much better

The England squad was behaving like animals under Johnson and were embarrassing.  Lancaster is at least prepared to say to idiots like Tugilani and Hartley that he doesn't want people like them in his squads.    

That's fine, but perhaps he could be prepared to try and work out how to manage these players to get the best out of them whilst knocking that stuff on the head. Maybe it's impossible. All we know is, he hasn't been able to improve their discipline so he's got rid of them. I respect the opinion that is principled, and it may be better to lose with some dignity if it's the alternative to a team of awful blokes doing OK. He made a decision, fair enough, I'm just not sure if it was the best one.

I would like a coach who creates a culture whereby all players entering it act like grown ups, rather than one that expels them when they don't. Maybe as I say that's not realistic and this is the only way.

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Post by Hood83 Sun 27 Sep 2015, 4:57 pm

DaveM wrote:First up, it was a poor selection and a terrible bench. How can you have a specialist FH and a specialist FB on the bench when your centres are one dimensional players and your wingers can't play in the centre? The Goode selection was so pointless I'm not even sure he got onto the pitch.

Does this make SL a terrible coach? I don't think so. I think England have progressed a lot. To say culture doesn't matter in a team game strikes me as bizarre. I doubt any coach would ever trust Hartley enough to select him again now, and I'm not sure Tuilagi (for various reasons) will play that much more for England, whoever the coach is.

If we did change coach the only differences I could imagine are:

- Changes at 6 and 7. Arguably SL made a mistake making Robshaw his captain, as it has really limited our options on the flank. I could imagine another coach going for Burgess (or perhaps Robshaw) at 6 and one of Clark, Kvesic or even Clifford at 7.
- Itoje will replace Parling in the matchday 23 (which will happen under SL anyway)
- A long-term answer at 12, which I think will almost certainly be Slade (again this will probably happen under SL too).
- SCW (perhaps the most likely replacement) would pick Cipriani at 10.

I think that's it. That suggests to me that the players SL has in and around the side are fundamentally the right ones and that he's done a decent job. I think Farrell and Catt have created an effective defence and the most incisive England attack for a decade.

I expect that as long as England get out of the group SL will be given another 4 years, like SCW was in 1999. There may be a case for replacing Rowntree - he's a highly respected coach, but maybe it's time for the forwards to hear a different voice.

Yes, but to say 'i like the culture he's created' without any sort of definition of what that culture is seems equally bizarre. Perhaps SL has created a 'zero tolerance' culture whereby indiscretions are not tolerated. Great. But is that really the extent of it? As I say, I'd rather an approach focused on developing a culture of making decent decisions under pressure.

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Post by Shifty Sun 27 Sep 2015, 4:58 pm

Hood83 wrote:That's fine, but perhaps he could be prepared to try and work out how to manage these players to get the best out of them whilst knocking that stuff on the head. Maybe it's impossible. All we know is, he hasn't been able to improve their discipline so he's got rid of them. I respect the opinion that is principled, and it may be better to lose with some dignity if it's the alternative to a team of awful blokes doing OK. He made a decision, fair enough, I'm just not sure if it was the best one.

I would like a coach who creates a culture whereby all players entering it act like grown ups, rather than one that expels them when they don't. Maybe as I say that's not realistic and this is the only way.

I think you create the very culture you want by clamping down on bad behavior in the first place. Then when the players learn to behave you let them back in. Lots of players have discipline problems at the start but eventually after being punished learn to behave. Some players never learn though and it's just best to give up on them.
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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 5:06 pm

Hug
Hood83 wrote:

Yes, but to say 'i like the culture he's created' without any sort of definition of what that culture is seems equally bizarre. Perhaps SL has created a 'zero tolerance' culture whereby indiscretions are not tolerated. Great. But is that really the extent of it? As I say, I'd rather an approach focused on developing a culture of making decent decisions under pressure.

It is a culture of not tolerating poor behaviour. In my mind this is necessary but not sufficient to create a winning team. So a good start, but clearly more work to be done. On the other hand it is not clear how much decision-making under pressure can be taught. I suspect the way to get better at making decisions under pressure is to accumulate experience of being under pressure. This is still an inexperienced English side.

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Post by rozakthegoon Sun 27 Sep 2015, 5:12 pm

DaveM wrote: Hug
Hood83 wrote:

Yes, but to say 'i like the culture he's created' without any sort of definition of what that culture is seems equally bizarre. Perhaps SL has created a 'zero tolerance' culture whereby indiscretions are not tolerated. Great. But is that really the extent of it? As I say, I'd rather an approach focused on developing a culture of making decent decisions under pressure.

It is a culture of not tolerating poor behaviour. In my mind this is necessary but not sufficient to create a winning team. So a good start, but clearly more work to be done. On the other hand it is not clear how much decision-making under pressure can be taught. I suspect the way to get better at making decisions under pressure is to accumulate experience of being under pressure. This is still an inexperienced English side.

also, some people just arent great at it. and thats ok. Im not, i work in an area where i need to be, but i make sure i have others around who are good at it, or i find space to step back and sort stuff out. Of course in an 80min match where every second counts you cant pause and step back.

If some of the team know they arent good under pressure (such as Robshaw) i dont think its a crime to internally admit it and hand responsibilty to someone else. As someone else pointed out, clearly robshaw and wood focus on their own game. Great. but then someone else needs to be galvanising the team as a whole.

Also i think Farrell needs to channel his temper into something more positive to help him make better decisions, rather than just going off all Hulk. I think Brown is past the point of no return in this matter sadly.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 27 Sep 2015, 5:19 pm

rozakthegoon wrote:
DaveM wrote: Hug
Hood83 wrote:

Yes, but to say 'i like the culture he's created' without any sort of definition of what that culture is seems equally bizarre. Perhaps SL has created a 'zero tolerance' culture whereby indiscretions are not tolerated. Great. But is that really the extent of it? As I say, I'd rather an approach focused on developing a culture of making decent decisions under pressure.

It is a culture of not tolerating poor behaviour. In my mind this is necessary but not sufficient to create a winning team. So a good start, but clearly more work to be done. On the other hand it is not clear how much decision-making under pressure can be taught. I suspect the way to get better at making decisions under pressure is to accumulate experience of being under pressure. This is still an inexperienced English side.

also, some people just arent great at it. and thats ok. Im not, i work in an area where i need to be, but i make sure i have others around who are good at it, or i find space to step back and sort stuff out. Of course in an 80min match where every second counts you cant pause and step back.

If some of the team know they arent good under pressure (such as Robshaw) i dont think its a crime to internally admit it and hand responsibilty to someone else. As someone else pointed out, clearly robshaw and wood focus on their own game. Great. but then someone else needs to be galvanising the team as a whole.

Also i think Farrell needs to channel his temper into something more positive to help him make better decisions, rather than just going off all Hulk. I think Brown is past the point of no return in this matter sadly.
??? Brown is aggressive and feisty. I love that.

In fact I wish we had one or two more players like him to really get at the opposition. The team is too "nice" at times...

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 27 Sep 2015, 5:24 pm

rozakthegoon wrote:
DaveM wrote: Hug
Hood83 wrote:

Yes, but to say 'i like the culture he's created' without any sort of definition of what that culture is seems equally bizarre. Perhaps SL has created a 'zero tolerance' culture whereby indiscretions are not tolerated. Great. But is that really the extent of it? As I say, I'd rather an approach focused on developing a culture of making decent decisions under pressure.

It is a culture of not tolerating poor behaviour. In my mind this is necessary but not sufficient to create a winning team. So a good start, but clearly more work to be done. On the other hand it is not clear how much decision-making under pressure can be taught. I suspect the way to get better at making decisions under pressure is to accumulate experience of being under pressure. This is still an inexperienced English side.

also, some people just arent great at it. and thats ok. Im not, i work in an area where i need to be, but i make sure i have others around who are good at it, or i find space to step back and sort stuff out. Of course in an 80min match where every second counts you cant pause and step back.

If some of the team know they arent good under pressure (such as Robshaw) i dont think its a crime to internally admit it and hand responsibilty to someone else. As someone else pointed out, clearly robshaw and wood focus on their own game. Great. but then someone else needs to be galvanising the team as a whole.

Also i think Farrell needs to channel his temper into something more positive to help him make better decisions, rather than just going off all Hulk. I think Brown is past the point of no return in this matter sadly.
Good comments.  Robshaw has been the regular captain for 4 years now.  If he is not going to be able to make calm sober decisions under high pressure by now, then he never will be.  As you said, it doesn't make him a bad player or person, just not captain material.  If you remember, Wood was in the reckoning to be Lancaster's first captain along with Robshaw then got injured and it fell to Robshaw by default.  Wood doesn't captain Saints so that was a bit of a surprise at that time.  Unfortunately, there are a precious few, if any, in the England squad who, from my outside perspective, appear to have a captain's mettle.  Only Hartley, and he screwed himself out of the opportunity with no one to blame but himself (and is no longer in the squad).  The Saints players have always followed Hartley and consider him a very good captain.  

For the remainder of the RWC Robshaw will neither be dropped nor relieved of his captain's responsibilities.  The rest of the squad don't appear to have that leadership edge.  I truly wonder what will happen after the World Cup.  If England lose to Australia, ending their hopes of advancing, then Lancaster should be shown the door.  What happens after that is anyone's guess.  If England beat Australia, and they certainly can, I wonder at the squad selections.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Sun 27 Sep 2015, 5:35 pm

To support SL on the back of his selections is missing the point somewhat. Saturday’s selection was a mixture of good and bad but what I see as the problem with him is his coaching (and that of his team). Are we a mobile attacking side, are we a damage-limitation side, is Burgess a flanker or a centre, why is he not concerned with the breakdown, why are the set-pieces relegated to unimportant, why don’t we try out a breakdown specialist 7, why do we struggle at restarts, why do we give away so many penalties? What exactly is SL’s vision for the game on the pitch (not some PR sound-bite tosh)? Why does he bring Slade along when he doesn’t trust him? If he loved 12T so much, what is his infatuation with Farrel at IC? Does he want a playmaker 12 or a bosh one? The list is endless. He seems unsure of what he wants from his players. England’s personnel are not technically good enough to play an ABs type of game – why does he seem to want to force this on them. When does he coach his team to do ANYTHING that takes the opposition by surprise?
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Post by rozakthegoon Sun 27 Sep 2015, 5:58 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
rozakthegoon wrote:
DaveM wrote: Hug
Hood83 wrote:

Yes, but to say 'i like the culture he's created' without any sort of definition of what that culture is seems equally bizarre. Perhaps SL has created a 'zero tolerance' culture whereby indiscretions are not tolerated. Great. But is that really the extent of it? As I say, I'd rather an approach focused on developing a culture of making decent decisions under pressure.

It is a culture of not tolerating poor behaviour. In my mind this is necessary but not sufficient to create a winning team. So a good start, but clearly more work to be done. On the other hand it is not clear how much decision-making under pressure can be taught. I suspect the way to get better at making decisions under pressure is to accumulate experience of being under pressure. This is still an inexperienced English side.

also, some people just arent great at it. and thats ok. Im not, i work in an area where i need to be, but i make sure i have others around who are good at it, or i find space to step back and sort stuff out. Of course in an 80min match where every second counts you cant pause and step back.

If some of the team know they arent good under pressure (such as Robshaw) i dont think its a crime to internally admit it and hand responsibilty to someone else. As someone else pointed out, clearly robshaw and wood focus on their own game. Great. but then someone else needs to be galvanising the team as a whole.

Also i think Farrell needs to channel his temper into something more positive to help him make better decisions, rather than just going off all Hulk. I think Brown is past the point of no return in this matter sadly.
??? Brown is aggressive and feisty. I love that.

In fact I wish we had one or two more players like him to really get at the opposition. The team is too "nice" at times...

ah sorry, yeh i agree, i wasnt very clear. but it means he isnt really a decision making leader on the pitch, he burns hot and smashes through. love him, he inspires with his play, but i meant Farrell "could" potentially learn to focus his anger better, make better and smarter decisions.

As it seems everyone is pointing out everywhere, we dont have anyone who is able to have 1)a clear head and 2) the nous to make smart decisions.

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Post by Hood83 Sun 27 Sep 2015, 5:59 pm

DaveM wrote: Hug
Hood83 wrote:

Yes, but to say 'i like the culture he's created' without any sort of definition of what that culture is seems equally bizarre. Perhaps SL has created a 'zero tolerance' culture whereby indiscretions are not tolerated. Great. But is that really the extent of it? As I say, I'd rather an approach focused on developing a culture of making decent decisions under pressure.

It is a culture of not tolerating poor behaviour. In my mind this is necessary but not sufficient to create a winning team. So a good start, but clearly more work to be done. On the other hand it is not clear how much decision-making under pressure can be taught. I suspect the way to get better at making decisions under pressure is to accumulate experience of being under pressure. This is still an inexperienced English side.

Yeah, fair enough, and same with Jimpy's comments. I think that's my feeling, a good start perhaps but really after 4yrs, shouldn't we be far further along the line. I see the point on decision making. But then that also brings me to SL's point on number of caps. He hasn't got a team anywhere near the number of caps he suggested was necessary for a WC. I think that's fair enough as he's brought in some decent ones and got rid of others not up to it. But it's not clear whether he thinks the lack of experience is now not a problem, or just something he has to deal with.

I think that's where barney's comments come in. What are we as a team? We just seem to have developed a very limited concept of what culture we need. What about the type of rugby we want to play. I dunno, just feels like he's had plenty of time to work this out and we're here none the wiser/ Sad

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 27 Sep 2015, 6:08 pm

I think that's where barney's comments come in. What are we as a team? We just seem to have developed a very limited concept of what culture we need. What about the type of rugby we want to play. I dunno, just feels like he's had plenty of time to work this out and we're here none the wiser/ Sad

Very true.

I admire his love of the New Zealand idea...but I'm just not sure we should be copying it. We should have our own style based on the strengths of our players / club teams.

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Post by rozakthegoon Sun 27 Sep 2015, 6:23 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
I think that's where barney's comments come in. What are we as a team? We just seem to have developed a very limited concept of what culture we need. What about the type of rugby we want to play. I dunno, just feels like he's had plenty of time to work this out and we're here none the wiser/ Sad

Very true.

I admire his love of the New Zealand idea...but I'm just not sure we should be copying it. We should have our own style based on the strengths of our players / club teams.

watching new zealand, even when they play badly, its all so crisp. the passis fizz and go to the right place, to hands, or chest, or in front of the man to run on to, basically where they need to be. The only time we seem to have done that in long passages of play of late was the game with Slade and Burgess on, im not saying it was specifically down to them, i am saying we normally dont seem good at it. So if we want to play a running, lung busting, all action game, we simply need crisp passing. seems obvious, but its clearly not that simple in high pressure games.

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Post by fa0019 Sun 27 Sep 2015, 6:31 pm

You can't better NZ by playing like NZ.

All nations with kiwi coaches should take note... I think the only one who has ever beaten NZ in test rugby is Robbie Deans.. although his record was quite poor still.

Plumtree wants the job in SA after Meyer... with all due respect SARU should steer well clear. The new bok coach should be a bokke, it should be Rassie Erasmus if Meyer is relieved of his job.

Back to Lancaster and England. Vision, that's what his teams lack. The reason is to be honest like PDV and SA, he wasn't a top proven coach and didn't know what it takes to win at the highest level. You don't want someone learning on the job, you want someone who has clear plans.

SCW was given time yes but he had a vision, you could see it when England played. At the moment England don't seem to know where they're going half the time.

The clear choice for me to replace him would be Nick Mallett... yes he's a saffa but he's also English. Born in England, English parents but emigrated to SA as a kid, educated in both nations.

I'll tell you what though.... IMO, England wouldn't be where they are today if they had Mallett as coach. They would be as serious a contender as NZ to the trophy.

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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 6:32 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:To support SL on the back of his selections is missing the point somewhat. Saturday’s selection was a mixture of good and bad but what I see as the problem with him is his coaching (and that of his team). Are we a mobile attacking side, are we a damage-limitation side, is Burgess a flanker or a centre, why is he not concerned with the breakdown, why are the set-pieces relegated to unimportant, why don’t we try out a breakdown specialist 7, why do we struggle at restarts, why do we give away so many penalties? What exactly is SL’s vision for the game on the pitch (not some PR sound-bite tosh)? Why does he bring Slade along when he doesn’t trust him? If he loved 12T so much, what is his infatuation with Farrel at IC? Does he want a playmaker 12 or a bosh one? The list is endless. He seems unsure of what he wants from his players. England’s personnel are not technically good enough to play an ABs type of game – why does he seem to want to force this on them. When does he coach his team to do ANYTHING that takes the opposition by surprise?

Lots of questions:

- We had been a mobile attacking side, but SL reverted to the comfort blanket of Farrell and, in particular, Barritt. This loss of self-confidence is very disappointing.
- The England coaches think he is currently a centre. Tbh he's played pretty well in the centres so I don't think that was a bad call. He'll end up a flanker once he's got the lineout role sorted.
- He obviously is concerned with the breakdown, but for whatever reason England are struggling.
- The set-piece was good against Wales and hasn't been relegated in importance.
- We haven't tried a breakdown 7 because Robshaw is his chosen Captain. You may disagree with the call but it is hardly inexplicable.
- Restarts were badly shown up in NZ and haven't improved much. Apparently there was intensive work on them, so I'm no sure why we haven't improved.
- Why so many penalties? See the breakdown point.
- What is the gameplan? See question 1.
- I think Slade is there mainly for experience. This is a waste.
- He gave up on 36 because of his ongoing mediocre form. He obviously see Farrell as his replacement as a distributing IC, instead of Slade, which is a mistake.
- He wants a playmaker 12, but obviously doesn't think a good enough one is available. He also flagged before the final squad was announced that he was worried about big opposition centres. This is why Twelvetrees really is his ideal centre, form permitting. I think he should focus on what we do well rather than worrying about Jamie Roberts and his ilk.
- England are technically very good ball-players, if they secure quick ball and have a second playmaker available. He's not forcing anything on the players - look at how England have compared with the All Blacks at age group level in the last few years, English rugby's style has evolved.

Pretty much everything you query comes down to one of two issues:

- how plays in the centres, and what does this say about England's style.
- how do England get more effective at the breakdown.

He may lose his job after the WC, but there aren't as many issues with the England side as is sometimes suggested.

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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 6:44 pm



Yeah, fair enough, and same with Jimpy's comments. I think that's my feeling, a good start perhaps but really after 4yrs, shouldn't we be far further along the line. I see the point on decision making. But then that also brings me to SL's point on number of caps. He hasn't got a team anywhere near the number of caps he suggested was necessary for a WC. I think that's fair enough as he's brought in some decent ones and got rid of others not up to it. But it's not clear whether he thinks the lack of experience is now not a problem, or just something he has to deal with.

I think that's where barney's comments come in. What are we as a team? We just seem to have developed a very limited concept of what culture we need. What about the type of rugby we want to play. I dunno, just feels like he's had plenty of time to work this out and we're here none the wiser/ Sad

I don't know if there was a way to get the number of caps needed by this WC. 2019 has always looked the more plausible target and maybe that's all we are seeing here.

History will also show SL as having been extremely unlucky to end up in this group. There are a lot of boringly one-sided games going on at the moment allowing sides and coaches to get up to speed, but not for SL's inexperienced side.

We'll see what happens I guess. Whoever is coaching England in the spring will be in a strong position. The only real concern I have about the future is where we will find the players and coaching to improve the breakdown, but to be honest even that will probably be sorted out one way or another. I hope Robshaw doesn't block Clifford's chances of playing regularly at 7 for Quins.

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Post by Heaf Sun 27 Sep 2015, 7:06 pm

Unlucky with the group certainly - a system that ends up with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 9th ranked teams (as at 21/9/15) in the same pool needs looking at for next time around

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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 7:09 pm

Heaf wrote:Unlucky with the group certainly - a system that ends up with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 9th ranked teams (as at 21/9/15) in the same pool needs looking at for next time around

I think it's already been changed for 2019.

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Post by Heaf Sun 27 Sep 2015, 7:12 pm

TFFT .. any idea how it will be done?

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 27 Sep 2015, 8:05 pm

DaveM wrote:He may lose his job after the WC, but there aren't as many issues with the England side as is sometimes suggested.
I am not quite sure everyone thinks this team has so many problems. Just the opposite, I think. This team has enough talent to with the World Cup but is underperforming compared to its potential. This is why, I believe, Lancaster and his coaching team are receiving a lot of criticism. Martin Johnson had the team playing pretty well, including those two wins v. Australia. Then he bottled it in the World Cup, becoming too conservative and making poor player choices. Lancaster has had England playing pretty well, unfortunately just good enough to come in second in the 6 Nations. Now, here we are in the World Cup and we are still talknig about poor selection and game day decisions...........

We still have a match against Australia coming up. There is absolutely no reason why England cannot win that match. None.
So let's hope for better decision making by the coaches, Robshaw and the rest of the team. Then we can start talking about bringing the Webb Ellis trophy home........

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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 8:42 pm

Heaf wrote:TFFT .. any idea how it will be done?

No sorry, I can't remember if I read or heard it. You can see why the IRB would want change - whoever goes out will be a loss to the tournament.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 27 Sep 2015, 9:17 pm

The issues with Lancaster are that his on field tactics are confusing, with an emphasis on playing heads up rugby but selecting only one or two players who are capable of doing this. His insistence on selecting athletic physical specimens over players with specific specialist skills inhibits our onfield options. He has little faith in creative players particularly off the bench preferring instead for options that are more steady.

Something needs to change. I don't feel the balance of coaches is working. Particularly Farrell and Rowntree. Our forwards play is traditional with line out drives and destructive scrums key targets and powerful one out carries often resorted to. The defence is a league style blitz which demands a certain level of fitness. As such we get a clash of demands on player ability with Farrell wanting high work rate athletic players (e.g. Kruis and Launchbury) and Rowntree looking at players who offer set piece opportunities even if embodying a less than perfect physique (e.g. Parling and Cole).

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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 9:24 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
DaveM wrote:He may lose his job after the WC, but there aren't as many issues with the England side as is sometimes suggested.
I am not quite sure everyone thinks this team has so many problems.  Just the opposite, I think.  This team has enough talent to with the World Cup but is underperforming compared to its potential.  This is why, I believe, Lancaster and his coaching team are receiving a lot of criticism.  Martin Johnson had the team playing pretty well, including those two wins v. Australia.  Then he bottled it in the World Cup, becoming too conservative and making poor player choices.  Lancaster has had England playing pretty well, unfortunately just good enough to come in second in the 6 Nations.  Now, here we are in the World Cup and we are still talknig about poor selection and game day decisions...........

We still have a match against Australia coming up.  There is absolutely no reason why England cannot win that match.  None.  
So let's hope for better decision making by the coaches, Robshaw and the rest of the team.  Then we can start talking about bringing the Webb Ellis trophy home........

Yeah, ok let me rephrase. There aren't as many issues with Stuart Lancaster's England side as is sometimes suggested.

And I agree England can beat Australia.

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Post by Heaf Sun 27 Sep 2015, 9:28 pm

DaveM wrote:
Heaf wrote:TFFT .. any idea how it will be done?

No sorry, I can't remember if I read or heard it. You can see why the IRB would want change - whoever goes out will be a loss to the tournament.

Agreed I said from the start that I honestly believe whoever goes out will be better than the 2nd placed qualifiers in the other groups.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 27 Sep 2015, 9:28 pm

Also worth noting that Johnno had a big overhaul of the squad to oversee and a year less to do it than Lancaster who got the full four year window.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 27 Sep 2015, 9:29 pm

DaveM wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
DaveM wrote:He may lose his job after the WC, but there aren't as many issues with the England side as is sometimes suggested.
I am not quite sure everyone thinks this team has so many problems.  Just the opposite, I think.  This team has enough talent to with the World Cup but is underperforming compared to its potential.  This is why, I believe, Lancaster and his coaching team are receiving a lot of criticism.  Martin Johnson had the team playing pretty well, including those two wins v. Australia.  Then he bottled it in the World Cup, becoming too conservative and making poor player choices.  Lancaster has had England playing pretty well, unfortunately just good enough to come in second in the 6 Nations.  Now, here we are in the World Cup and we are still talknig about poor selection and game day decisions...........

We still have a match against Australia coming up.  There is absolutely no reason why England cannot win that match.  None.  
So let's hope for better decision making by the coaches, Robshaw and the rest of the team.  Then we can start talking about bringing the Webb Ellis trophy home........

Yeah, ok let me rephrase. There aren't as many issues with Stuart Lancaster's England side as is sometimes suggested.

And I agree England can beat Australia.
OK, we do agree.
Now let's go beat Australia.........

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Post by DaveM Sun 27 Sep 2015, 9:35 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:The issues with Lancaster are that his on field tactics are confusing, with an emphasis on playing heads up rugby but selecting only one or two players who are capable of doing this. His insistence on selecting athletic physical specimens over players with specific specialist skills inhibits our onfield options. He has little faith in creative players particularly off the bench preferring instead for options that are more steady.

Something needs to change. I don't feel the balance of coaches is working. Particularly Farrell and Rowntree. Our forwards play is traditional with line out drives and destructive scrums key targets and powerful one out carries often resorted to. The defence is a league style blitz which demands a certain level of fitness. As such we get a clash of demands on player ability with Farrell wanting high work rate athletic players (e.g. Kruis and Launchbury) and Rowntree looking at players who offer set piece opportunities even if embodying a less than perfect physique  (e.g. Parling and Cole).

Sam, Rowntree was quoted only a couple of weeks back saying he wanted mobile fit forwards who could hit rucks for 80 minutes, so I'm not sure there is an inconsistency. I think Rowntree might be under the most pressure if the breakdown work doesn't improve.

I agree he doesn't play enough decision-makers, although this is mainly a recent development. England are lucky they have at least 4 proper options at IC to pick from after the WC (Slade, Devoto, Stephenson, Hill), all of whom would improve the side, but can SL change his approach in time to save this tournament?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 27 Sep 2015, 9:43 pm

DaveM wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:The issues with Lancaster are that his on field tactics are confusing, with an emphasis on playing heads up rugby but selecting only one or two players who are capable of doing this. His insistence on selecting athletic physical specimens over players with specific specialist skills inhibits our onfield options. He has little faith in creative players particularly off the bench preferring instead for options that are more steady.

Something needs to change. I don't feel the balance of coaches is working. Particularly Farrell and Rowntree. Our forwards play is traditional with line out drives and destructive scrums key targets and powerful one out carries often resorted to. The defence is a league style blitz which demands a certain level of fitness. As such we get a clash of demands on player ability with Farrell wanting high work rate athletic players (e.g. Kruis and Launchbury) and Rowntree looking at players who offer set piece opportunities even if embodying a less than perfect physique  (e.g. Parling and Cole).

Sam, Rowntree was quoted only a couple of weeks back saying he wanted mobile fit forwards who could hit rucks for 80 minutes, so I'm not sure there is an inconsistency. I think Rowntree might be under the most pressure if the breakdown work doesn't improve.

I agree he doesn't play enough decision-makers, although this is mainly a recent development. England are lucky they have at least 4 proper options at IC to pick from after the WC (Slade, Devoto, Stephenson, Hill), all of whom would improve the side, but can SL change his approach in time to save this tournament?  

Yeah I saw that from Rowntree. Smacked of toeing the party line though. I agree that he is under pressure and although he is a quality coach if he doesn't fit with the mindset of Farrell and Lancaster then maybe England should reevaluate their options. Before Farrell was given the job I said I'd want Gustard in charge of the defence, lineout and forwards with Rowntree maul and scrum. Gustard would still be the top of my wanted list now.

Agree massively on the abundance of centre talent. How Slades wasn't on the bench or even starting vs Wales is completely beyond me. He made Farrell look good in the warm ups and links well with Burgess.

Devoto I don't think is international quality yet and Stephenson needs to cement a starting berth at Saints first but there's potential there. Hill looks like he'll be a fixture post RWC.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 27 Sep 2015, 11:31 pm

Rowntree will likely be the one under increasing pressure.

Our line-out has been very poor, our scrum mixed and our breakdown work very disappointing given the players being picked to play a high tempo game relying on quick ruck ball.

Take contact, get to ground, clear quickly, move the point of attack.

That is the simple, and frankly limiting, game plan our forwards utilise and yet they are performing it extremely poorly at current.

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Post by sportform Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:02 am

Stuart Lancaster has done pretty well for England as coach all bar the second half against Wales on Saturday. Can't argue with the changes he made going into the game. What will go against him though is the fact that it is a home World Cup and England expects. Could be a case of Australia or bust for Lancaster.
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Post by DaveM Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:02 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Agree massively on the abundance of centre talent. How Slades wasn't on the bench or even starting vs Wales is completely beyond me. He made Farrell look good in the warm ups and links well with Burgess.

Devoto I don't think is international quality yet and Stephenson needs to cement a starting berth at Saints first but there's potential there. Hill looks like he'll be a fixture post RWC.

Gustard would be a good call if England want and can get him.

I like Hill - works hard, really solid basics, and carries the ball well and understands space better than Barritt, whilst still being a big defensive lump. To play for England I think he needs to ether develop a kicking game, or partner Slade (quite an attractive option, but would mean no Joseph).

Devoto needs game time ahead of Eastmond, but he's a big physical presence, and can run, kick and pass. Stephenson probably does need another season of first team rugby. For Slade it is simply a case of whether he nails the 10, 12 or 13 position. I think he's the most complete English back of his generation.

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Post by nth Mon 28 Sep 2015, 2:55 am

Any top tier coach that doesn't get their team out of the group stages should lose their job (irrespective of pool strength).  For a home WC Lancaster needs to make the SFs to stay in position.

'Promote' Lancaster to a managerial or director role that deals with something like coaching support systems, culture and development.  Rob Baxter comes in as head coach, Alex Sanderson assists in coaching the forwards, Paul Gustard in charge of defence, Alex King directs the backs, maybe bring Borthwick in for the lineout.

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 28 Sep 2015, 3:06 am

nth wrote:Any top tier coach that doesn't get their team out of the group stages should lose their job (irrespective of pool strength).  For a home WC Lancaster needs to make the SFs to stay in position.

'Promote' Lancaster to a managerial or director role that deals with something like coaching support systems, culture and development.  Rob Baxter comes in as head coach, Alex Sanderson assists in coaching the forwards, Paul Gustard in charge of defence, Alex King directs the backs, maybe bring Borthwick in for the lineout.


I do like the sound of that coaching team. But i do think that SL will survive this RWC, and given a second chance to put right the wrongs of This RWC.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:19 am

I have no confidence whatsoever in this side beating Australia at the moment.

Their handling and backplay is going to cause us major headaches...and their pack is functioning very well.....

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Post by TightHEAD Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:24 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I have no confidence whatsoever in this side beating Australia at the moment.

Their handling and backplay is going to cause us major headaches...and their pack is functioning very well.....

I agree Geordie, Aus will have too much for us all over the park.

We might as well get Slade on the field and go all out attack early on.
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Post by doctor_grey Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:33 am

king_carlos wrote:Rowntree will likely be the one under increasing pressure.

Our line-out has been very poor, our scrum mixed and our breakdown work very disappointing given the players being picked to play a high tempo game relying on quick ruck ball.

Take contact, get to ground, clear quickly, move the point of attack.

That is the simple, and frankly limiting, game plan our forwards utilise and yet they are performing it extremely poorly at current.
Here is what I don't understand: Our pack, including the scrum and lineout were not bad in the Six Nations.
What has happened in the past few months to take a relative strength and turn it into a virtual liability?

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:34 am

I couldn't agree more with this comment from Woodward

England’s decision to kick for the corner rather than ask Farrell to shoot at goal to draw the match was the wrong call but it wasn’t Chris Robshaw’s fault. That one is down to the management.

It should have been discussed and coached at the very start of Lancaster’s regime. ‘What if’ coaching sessions might not be among the most glamorous, but like any aspects of international rugby, if you get these basics right the results will follow.

Decision-making is done through coaching and is just as important, if not more important, than any other aspect.

In the calm light of day you sit down and discuss likely scenarios. It might be how to play with 14 men, or what tactics to adopt if the game descends to uncontested scrums.

It would certainly include every conceivable ‘what if’ you might face either defending or chasing a narrow lead in the final two minutes of a huge World Cup pool game.

It is not possible, surely, that England have not sat down and asked themselves what the call is if they are faced with a very late penalty to draw as opposed to win.

Ever since the draw was made in 2012 this was on the cards against Wales and Australia. There is every chance of it happening again on Saturday.

So you kick it around in your team room on a quiet Monday afternoon when everybody is recovering from their club games the previous day.

And then the coach and team decide the policy so that you make the correct, logical call when you can’t hear yourself think in front of 80,000 fans, your brain is scrambling and the pressure is really on.

For England to say it was the captain’s call, and for Robshaw to accept the blame, is not right. It was a collective error that may haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Awareness and decision-making at the death has been an issue before but England got away with it.

In the first warm-up against France, stand-in skipper Tom Wood opted to kick into the corner thinking they were four points up and needed a try to seal the game when in fact they were five up and just needed the simple pot at goal.

Then, after the Fiji game, Billy Vunipola — who plays in the try-scoring position of No 8 — tells us he didn’t know that the bonus-points system was operating in the World Cup.

Here England have been burnt for not excelling in this important area. Simply put, it separates the good teams from the world class ones.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-3251247/England-looked-like-amateurs-against-Wales-pros-Stuart-Lancaster-s-coaching-staff-blame.html

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:54 am

doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Rowntree will likely be the one under increasing pressure.

Our line-out has been very poor, our scrum mixed and our breakdown work very disappointing given the players being picked to play a high tempo game relying on quick ruck ball.

Take contact, get to ground, clear quickly, move the point of attack.

That is the simple, and frankly limiting, game plan our forwards utilise and yet they are performing it extremely poorly at current.
Here is what I don't understand:  Our pack, including the scrum and lineout were not bad in the Six Nations.  
What has happened in the past few months to take a relative strength and turn it into a virtual liability?

not a liability at the weekend though.

We were much better in scrum and lineout. Sadly the team blew that game. Marvellous fightback that it was - Wales shoudl not have been given a sniff. after about 50 minutes we stopped trying to win the game, we stopped charging into contact situations and started trying to defend a win. We lost all tempo and frankly we were pathetic.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 28 Sep 2015, 10:58 am

LondonTiger wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Rowntree will likely be the one under increasing pressure.

Our line-out has been very poor, our scrum mixed and our breakdown work very disappointing given the players being picked to play a high tempo game relying on quick ruck ball.

Take contact, get to ground, clear quickly, move the point of attack.

That is the simple, and frankly limiting, game plan our forwards utilise and yet they are performing it extremely poorly at current.
Here is what I don't understand:  Our pack, including the scrum and lineout were not bad in the Six Nations.  
What has happened in the past few months to take a relative strength and turn it into a virtual liability?

not a liability at the weekend though.

We were much better in scrum and lineout. Sadly the team blew that game. Marvellous fightback that it was - Wales shoudl not have been given a sniff. after about 50 minutes we stopped trying to win the game, we stopped charging into contact situations and started trying to defend a win. We lost all tempo and frankly we were pathetic.

clap

The way the England pack played 1st half was a joy. They are more than capable of doing the same to Australia, and making life hard for any other pack. The bodies are OK but who knows where our heads are at.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 28 Sep 2015, 11:04 am

nth wrote:Any top tier coach that doesn't get their team out of the group stages should lose their job (irrespective of pool strength).  For a home WC Lancaster needs to make the SFs to stay in position.

'Promote' Lancaster to a managerial or director role that deals with something like coaching support systems, culture and development.  Rob Baxter comes in as head coach, Alex Sanderson assists in coaching the forwards, Paul Gustard in charge of defence, Alex King directs the backs, maybe bring Borthwick in for the lineout.

So bassicaly go back to the set the kind of set up that got blamed for the last world cup not being a success?

Lancasters already started picking Martin Johnson back divisions.

All we need then is to get some dwarves in and we can have an old school debacle again.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Mon 28 Sep 2015, 11:47 am

Well, it should be fairly straightforward:

Do England really aspire to be the best?
Can English rugby afford the best?
Are SL, Farrell, Rowntree, Catt the best?

Money can’t buy you love, but for everything else there’s MasterCard. Normally you go out and buy the best you can afford, but I’m constantly being told we’re the richest RU so what exactly are we saving all that money for? If we can identify someone better than SL (and by better I’m talking CV – it’s the only way), then by throwing enough money at them we’ll get them. This current set up simply look out of their depth.

A team that wants to be the best has to have the full set: players, coaches and set-up. It’s something we’ve already learnt – remember 2003 anyone?
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 28 Sep 2015, 11:50 am

not saying we keep the current set of coaches - and I woudl get SL to spend more time on the development side of his job and appoint a new Head Coach.

However I do not want that person to be a foreign coach. This is our national team and our best coaches should be able to aspire to the job rather than watching a New Zealander deemed not good enough for their set-up to get it.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 28 Sep 2015, 11:52 am

Barney McGrew did it wrote:Well, it should be fairly straightforward:

Do England really aspire to be the best?
Can English rugby afford the best?
Are SL, Farrell, Rowntree, Catt the best?

Money can’t buy you love, but for everything else there’s MasterCard. Normally you go out and buy the best you can afford, but I’m constantly being told we’re the richest RU so what exactly are we saving all that money for? If we can identify someone better than SL (and by better I’m talking CV – it’s the only way), then by throwing enough money at them we’ll get them. This current set up simply look out of their depth.

A team that wants to be the best has to have the full set: players, coaches and set-up. It’s something we’ve already learnt – remember 2003 anyone?

No....I don't believe they are...however they are ok. The problem is I think they are caught in the middle of styles they want to play and its causing confusion.

Compare us to say Ireland and their progress in two years or so under Schmidt. Its frightening.


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Mon 28 Sep 2015, 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by TightHEAD Mon 28 Sep 2015, 11:52 am

If SL hadn't made his pre-meditated subs England would have won, so on reflection he made the right call to go with Farrell and Burgess

His in game tactics and management is where SL falls down time and time again, SCW made the call and said England looked like they were in trouble before they were in trouble on the score board.
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Post by fa0019 Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:07 pm

First off you need a coach that understands test rugby.

Yes SCW was only an AM bath but those were the early days of professional rugby. Huge strides could be made by adding up all the 1%s.

Today with professionalism well established in most tier 1 nations and world take note... with Argentina into SR, believe they will eventually become a top 4 team.

Therefore a proven coach is not just advantageous its necessary. You can't have people learn on the job, that is what England with Lancaster have been doing. Lots of lessons to be learnt... Henry on the other hand learnt most of his with Wales and specifically the Lions in 2001.. it was perfect for the ABs.

Take the last lineout for instance. A top coach, an experienced coach would have covered this. He would have said. Backrow throw minimum. In reality he would have said, take the 3 but you don't go front man for such a crucial lineout.

Take Rowntree.. will he be a top coach one day? If not, bin him. Keep him as scrum coach but forwards need someone who understand backrow rugby. Dean Ryan and Dean Richards are respected coaches no? If England want English coaches for the top job they need to bring them up to be ready for test rugby... with AM national positions in test environments.

But the most important man is the head coach, the top boy. Does he have a vision to win the world cup, not simply hope that if he develops a side who are difficult to breakdown that at home they will get close to the title.

With no indigenous coach with real high profile results, The only man who fills the criteria is Nick Mallett.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:11 pm

fa0019 wrote:First off you need a coach that understands test rugby.

Yes SCW was only an AM bath but those were the early days of professional rugby. Huge strides could be made by adding up all the 1%s.

Today with professionalism well established in most tier 1 nations and world take note... with Argentina into SR, believe they will eventually become a top 4 team.

Therefore a proven coach is not just advantageous its necessary. You can't have people learn on the job, that is what England with Lancaster have been doing. Lots of lessons to be learnt... Henry on the other hand learnt most of his with Wales and specifically the Lions in 2001.. it was perfect for the ABs.

Take the last lineout for instance. A top coach, an experienced coach would have covered this. He would have said. Backrow throw minimum. In reality he would have said, take the 3 but you don't go front man for such a crucial lineout.

Take Rowntree.. will he be a top coach one day? If not, bin him. Keep him as scrum coach but forwards need someone who understand backrow rugby. Dean Ryan and Dean Richards are respected coaches no? If England want English coaches for the top job they need to bring them up to be ready for test rugby... with AM national positions in test environments.

But the most important man is the head coach, the top boy. Does he have a vision to win the world cup, not simply hope that if he develops a side who are difficult to breakdown that at home they will get close to the title.

With no indigenous coach with real high profile results, The only man who fills the criteria is Nick Mallett.

Really?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:12 pm

fa0019 wrote: The only man who fills the criteria is Nick Mallett.

I wondered how long it would be before you pushed that button again.

No

No

NO!


Mallett showed in his last stint as an International Coach that he is was most definitely past his sell by date. Even accounting for the fact that I want an English Head Coach, I would want Mallett nowhere near the team.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:15 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
fa0019 wrote:First off you need a coach that understands test rugby.

Yes SCW was only an AM bath but those were the early days of professional rugby. Huge strides could be made by adding up all the 1%s.

Today with professionalism well established in most tier 1 nations and world take note... with Argentina into SR, believe they will eventually become a top 4 team.

Therefore a proven coach is not just advantageous its necessary. You can't have people learn on the job, that is what England with Lancaster have been doing. Lots of lessons to be learnt... Henry on the other hand learnt most of his with Wales and specifically the Lions in 2001.. it was perfect for the ABs.

Take the last lineout for instance. A top coach, an experienced coach would have covered this. He would have said. Backrow throw minimum. In reality he would have said, take the 3 but you don't go front man for such a crucial lineout.

Take Rowntree.. will he be a top coach one day? If not, bin him. Keep him as scrum coach but forwards need someone who understand backrow rugby. Dean Ryan and Dean Richards are respected coaches no? If England want English coaches for the top job they need to bring them up to be ready for test rugby... with AM national positions in test environments.

But the most important man is the head coach, the top boy. Does he have a vision to win the world cup, not simply hope that if he develops a side who are difficult to breakdown that at home they will get close to the title.

With no indigenous coach with real high profile results, The only man who fills the criteria is Nick Mallett.

Really?


Dean Ryan is a bit of a joke, and Dean Richards has never been a coach - he always leaves that to his coaching team. He could have been a good man for the top job, if allowed free reign in his coaching staff (though he woudl probably have kept his mucker Wells) but that chance has gone. Bloodgate means he will never, ever be considered.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:23 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Rowntree will likely be the one under increasing pressure.

Our line-out has been very poor, our scrum mixed and our breakdown work very disappointing given the players being picked to play a high tempo game relying on quick ruck ball.

Take contact, get to ground, clear quickly, move the point of attack.

That is the simple, and frankly limiting, game plan our forwards utilise and yet they are performing it extremely poorly at current.
Here is what I don't understand:  Our pack, including the scrum and lineout were not bad in the Six Nations.  
What has happened in the past few months to take a relative strength and turn it into a virtual liability?
Personally I'd argue that the line-out wasn't too strong in the 6 Nations either doc.

The line-out wasn't as poor as at current then but even Hartley, percieved by many as the missing link, was hit and miss during the 6 Nations. Prior to that he had been excellent in that regard for England but through that tournament he was pretty average.

The other issue with our line-out is how conservative we often have been with our options from it. Most sides plant a jumper at the front to give them the easy option if needed but I can't think of many Int sides who throw to that option as often as England do. If we want our line-out ball to be a real threat, whether off the top or in the maul, then we need to have the confidence to go to the tail and middle of the line-out more often than not.

This could be due to a poor game plan or a lack of confidence but either way it's an issue which should have been dealt with by now.

Victor Matfield has often spoken of trusting 'action to beat reaction' as one of the most important parts of a line-out. When you throw to the middle often you will be under pressure from a defending jumper but because he is reacting to the movements of the attacking jumper he should be just behind 9/10. It will be close most of the time but if the jumper, lifters and thrower all perform their roles well they should be securing good ball.

For some reason I feel England no longer trust this 'action vs reaction'.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:26 pm

Did I hear Mallet????

Before White????

Dear God, the shock of it all Wink

Those two boyos must get a lot of mail in any given year from the thousands of sides that always have their names on record as possibles to take over.

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