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England - Work to be done

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Post by jamesandimac Sun 13 Mar 2016, 1:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

Thought I would start a topic away from the usual my dad is bigger than your dad "banter" which goes on, and discuss what people think England need to improve on moving forward. Conscious that the 6Ns is still not finished but what would people like to see England focus on improving prior to travelling down under in the summer? Not one for criticising a winning side but its much better to tweak a winning side than it is to overhaul a losing one.

If people could look for 3 areas, if you think its that many, and also back up you statement with reasons for.

For me the biggest areas are:

Discipline

England have conceded 12 + penalties in every game so far and it is costing England valuable territory and possession at times when they are looking dangerous. Whilst they are getting away with this now, against the tier 1 nations it will become a problem and may even be amplified more.

Now the question is, is it a technical issue, one which can be coached out, such as going in off the feet or in from the side at the breakdown? Is it a mind set issue as a result of the change of thought from Saints to Sinners which Jones has adopted? Or is it a personality issue with the same individuals getting penalised?

I think its a little of all three if I'm honest, and in a way they are all linked. England have and still struggle at the breakdown with our technique and there is no denying that having someone of the technical ability of a Kvesic would improve the issue, and negate the need for every man and his dog to attempt turnovers when they don't have the technique for it, however we would potentially lose elsewhere, i.e. physicality. Also there is has been a fair few penalties given away for over zealous behaviour in the tackle area, Haskell is a case in point here. I like the attitude shift but there is a difference between hitting some hard legally and just taking them out. Finally, it does seem as though it is the same individuals giving away these penalties and getting receiving cards as a result. Against arguably the better two teams in the tournament we've had to play 30 minutes with a player less and that is unacceptable. Will the likes of Haskell and Cole (6 penalties conceded against Wales) ever learn? You could argue after the caps they have no, but then you have to replace them with someone of equal or better ability. Thoughts?

The Second Half

Against both Ireland and Wales, England dominated both territory and possession in the first half, however due to the above discipline issues failed to capitalise to good affect and should have been a lot further ahead come the break in both games. Come the second half however, Ireland and Wales' purple patch, England failed to get the ascendancy they had in the first half and because of the lack of a points buffer let the pressure build. Mistakes crept in and the opposition caught up. This is a big concern for me. Was there an element of complacency? Did the players switch off? Games are won in the final quarter and of those 40 mins in the last 2 games England have played 30 mins of it with 14 players.

They need to develop a ruthless composure to just keep the board ticking over and keep the opposition deep in their half, building pressure on them rather than just throwing the ball around from anywhere. Keeping to the same script and same mind set is key throughout. Take Fords charge down as an example. In the first half Youngs would've had no hesitation but to box kick it down the 15 m channel, but instead he throws a poor pass to a rather flat Ford, surely if he was shaping to kick he would've been deeper? Is this a conscious change it tactics from the management or the players being over confident?

Lack of penetration in the backline

A key one for me as it affects the whole attacking shape. Yes England managed to subdue the Welsh midfield in the first half with clever use of the forwards in tying up the likes of Roberts and Davies, but this didn't come off in the second half. The backs attacks are very lateral and can be read all too easily, leaving very little room or the outside backs to work. I like the idea of having the 2 play makers and think it generates a lot of width in the attacking line when it works, but the do need to have the physical foil in there for it to work. Now whether that means having Tuilagi in there to hold the midfield or having a more powerful winger such as Roko to bring into the line I'm not sure. People have pointed to playing both Tuilagi and Joseph together, I'm not sure this would give the speed of ball to the wings we require and I think that Ford and Farrell work better with the additional play maker in there next to them.

Also I'm a big fan of a fullback who hits the line at pace, at an angle, something the Cullens and Muliana's were good at. As goo as Brown is, he does limit our attacking options in this regard for me. Personally I would like to see Nowell developed here as he has the pace and power to come into the line very well for a full back and does run clever lines. It would also give him the license to come into the game more than he does now. Finally, this would allow us to bring another winger in with more pace as I don't think Nowells top speed is quite there for a winger. I would look at having Watson and May/Yarde/Roko on the wings for Australia with Nowell at Fulback, for at least one of the games anyway.

Summary

Not trying to WUM, merely trying to spark a thoughtful debate. Everyone will have there own opinions so if you disagree with mine that's fine, please just back up the debate rather than saying you're wrong.


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Post by robbo277 Mon 14 Mar 2016, 8:16 pm

There is quite a bit of work to be done.

Backs:

The two 9s offer very different games. Care has looked lively in attack when he's come on, but we lose a bit of control in terms of the kicking game and his defence for the Faletau try was powder puff at best.

I think the 10/12 is failing at the moment because of Ford, which is surprising considering Farrell is the one out of position. However, I think long term Ford will be the guy at 10, so I'd be loathed to drop him now incase it hurts his confidence and sets him back.

As has been mentioned, JJ has been a little quite in attack but very strong in defence. I agree with the sentiments earlier that he's missing a running threat inside him to fix the inside defence, as Burrell did last year.

Finally, the wings look sharp when they get the ball and Mike Brown had a fantastic game against Wales doing what Mike Brown does.

However, I'm wondering if Mike Brown, at 30, is a better option than say Alex Goode or even Danny Cipriani who will look to bring the wingers into the game more. Playing a second playmaker here would also facilitate a return of Manu or Burrell into the centres. I'd definitely be looking at it in training and possibly bringing someone different in at 15 for the Australia tour to see if it takes our game to the next level.

My backs for Australia tour:
Youngs, Care, Simpson, Ford, Farrell, Cipriani, Slade, Tuilagi, Joseph, Daly, Watson, Nowell, May, Brown, Goode. (15).

Forwards:

The front row have been steady but no more. Cole's penalty count has already been mentioned. Looking at the backups, we have 3 strong options in Mako, George and Brookes. Convention is normally to leave your ballers on the bench and wait for the game to break up, but against Australia I'd like to see England start those 3 and use Marler's defensive work, Hartley's leadership and Cole's breakdown work coming off the bench to close games out. Even if it doesn't work as I'd like, it would help to build the depth in those positions, and the increased scrum proficiency may help us win penalties late on.

Second row, I'd say Itoje and Kruis were outstanding together and obviously have that great club link, but long term I would question whether Launchbury and Itoje would be our outstanding partnership. Which would mean Itoje calling the lineout, which I'm not sure if he's ready for.

Like with Brown, you might say in the back row the incumbents have the shirts to lose, but to take our game on a level we may have to be ruthless with the flankers. Robshaw grafts hard and Haskell is basically the Hulk - strong and just smashes into things, but a bit more nuance may be required against the top teams.

My forwards for Australia tour:
Marler, Mako Vunipola, Mullan, Hartley, George, Cowan-Dickie, Cole, Brookes, Hill, Itoje, Kruis, Launchbury, Lawes, Slater, Robshaw, Haskell, Ewers, Clifford, Kvesic, Billy Vunipola. (20).

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Mon 14 Mar 2016, 8:42 pm

Nathan Hughes will undoubtably be in the squad for the Australia tour i'd have thought, Goode instead of Brown is a massive no no.

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Post by kingelderfield Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:12 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Cipriani back at Wasps as well. Team on the up not at forgotten Sale, or is he deemed the past?

Sadly, I don't think Cipriani will get another cap. For me he has been the form 10 - place kicking aside that is - but that qualification just goes to show how differently most people judge form.

Farrell also looks at the top of his game, however I think it should be noted that his comfort appears to have been derived from playing 12 and not 10 where of course the pressure is greater, and we should always recognize what a contrast/different 10 option he provides.

Has anyone else also noted how Burns has been quietly going about his business, producing a good level of performance?

Finally a couple of other thoughts in the world of 10's merry go round, both relating to Cipriani's move to Wasps;

firstly it appears to have been the catalyst in the move of Alex Lozowski to Sarasens which is a real shame(ironically he reminds me of a young Cipriani). I think he could be a future international, a real talent and funnily enough, as long as he gets a fair crack, will challenge Farrell for the shirt at both club and country.

secondly, and this is completely off piste, with Cipriani gone will Diamond have a quiet word with Brush regards offering Kevin Sinfield a go at the big time? Why not I say.


Last edited by kingelderfield on Tue 15 Mar 2016, 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by thomh Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:23 pm

dummy_half wrote:

4 - Still some selection / balance issues to get right. Flankers and 10/12 are still the biggest issues. If we are playing Robshaw and Haskell, they are the wrong way round, but I'd rather have a more athletic young player in there - Clifford may be the answer but he hasn't yet grabbed his chance in the way Itoje has.

In fairness, he hasn't yet had his chance in the way Itoje has. He was strong off the bench against Italy and Ireland but hasn't really had more than 15 minutes in any game - probably a testament to the fact that Haskell and Robshaw's work rate, rather than explosiveness, is their main attribute, so taking them off earlier negates a lot of their value.

I'm not sure why Jones sees Clifford as a 7/8 but not a 6 though. He's got the tackling, carrying and lineout ability to play 6 to a very high standard, and his wide skillset would give you a bit of flexibility in selection at 7/8 that you don't get from picking, for example, Croft, who plays a very specific role.

I've been happy with how Ford/Farrell has gone, but I'm still not sure it's the long term solution. Im not opposed to the second playmaker idea in principle, but I'd be happier if it was someone like Slade who has a strong enough running game to play as a centre as a stand-alone attribute. Ford as Farrell are both very much 10s, and I'm not sure a midfield like that will have the guile to make it through the ABs or Springboks.

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Post by thomh Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:24 pm

dummy_half wrote:

4 - Still some selection / balance issues to get right. Flankers and 10/12 are still the biggest issues. If we are playing Robshaw and Haskell, they are the wrong way round, but I'd rather have a more athletic young player in there - Clifford may be the answer but he hasn't yet grabbed his chance in the way Itoje has.

In fairness, he hasn't yet had his chance in the way Itoje has. He was strong off the bench against Italy and Ireland but hasn't really had more than 15 minutes in any game - probably a testament to the fact that Haskell and Robshaw's work rate, rather than explosiveness, is their main attribute, so taking them off earlier negates a lot of their value.

I'm not sure why Jones sees Clifford as a 7/8 but not a 6 though. He's got the tackling, carrying and lineout ability to play 6 to a very high standard, and his wide skillset would give you a bit of flexibility in selection at 7/8 that you don't get from picking, for example, Croft, who plays a very specific role.

I've been happy with how Ford/Farrell has gone, but I'm still not sure it's the long term solution. Im not opposed to the second playmaker idea in principle, but I'd be happier if it was someone like Slade who has a strong enough running game to play as a centre as a stand-alone attribute. Ford as Farrell are both very much 10s, and I'm not sure a midfield like that will have the guile to make it through the ABs or Springboks.

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Post by kingelderfield Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:24 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Nathan Hughes will undoubtably be in the squad for the Australia tour i'd have thought, Goode instead of Brown is a massive no no.

I think Hughes becomes available (assuming he he chooses to play for us) 27th June which is probably a little late in the day for the tour.

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Post by robbo277 Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:27 pm

Hughes may get a go, but I'd rather Ewers, Clifford and Kvesic got a look in over a sustained period rather than chopping and changing the selection. All three were looked at this tournament and I'd like to think all three deserve another look before anyone is ruled out. Having known, experienced hands in Robshaw and Haskell will also be necessary in the short term, so there just isn't room for Hughes for my squad barring injury (which is likely).

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:32 pm

I don't watch many Aviva games but from what i've seen Hughes is a significant step up from both Ewers and Kvesic, the latter being a player I don't particularly rate.

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Post by kingelderfield Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:33 pm

With regards to the Oz tour;

Its a very long way away time wise and given how much rugby has already been played this season and is yet to be played for the clubs, league and europe, then surely there will be many changes to the 6n selection. There will be injuries and players needing to be rested plus those coming back from injury and maybe into form?

And of course we play Wales again at twickenham before we travel.

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Post by robbo277 Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:39 pm

The season and burnout is an issue, but I wouldn't want to see a shadow squad go and get stuffed. If players are injured that's one thing, but I'd like to see us take the strongest side we can.

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Post by kingelderfield Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:42 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't watch many Aviva games but from what i've seen Hughes is a significant step up from both Ewers and Kvesic, the latter being a player I don't particularly rate.

Agreed. He's not only a step up but realistically he's on a different floor!

However he is an 8 and with Morgan surely to find form at some point then we're rather spoilt for choice. Honestly I think Hughes is as good as Vunipola.

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:49 pm

I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?




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Post by kingelderfield Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:57 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?




I'd love to see Ford, Wade, Tuilagi, Joseph, Watson, Slade. Now that backline will give Oz a game.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 14 Mar 2016, 11:59 pm

kingelderfield wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?




I'd love to see Ford, Wade, Tuilagi, Joseph, Watson, Slade.   Now that backline will give Oz a game.

Well, it'd certainly give them a lot of tries down Wade's wing. And Slade is wasted at fullback. He needs to play 12 or 13, either on the bench to replace Tuilagi or starting with Manu on the bench.
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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 12:36 am

dummy_half wrote:

3 - linking between the forwards and backs. Obviously neither Haskell nor Robshaw have genuine pace, and neither are great ball handlers (Robshaw OK, Haskell woeful), and the rest of our forwards are not noted in that regard. Had a couple of nice moments on Saturday (an early wrap-around move off Hartley and Itoje's pass in the lead-up to the try), but too often we look like a team where the forwards train on one pitch and the backs on another

Can I just disagree and say that I think Robshaw is a very good ball handling flanker? Certainly not quick nor an amazing carrier (though he does a specific job in that respect) but his handling, passing and awareness in the backs is exceptional, I'm not sure who you think we have available better at that aspect of play
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Post by doctor_grey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 1:16 am

majesticimperialman wrote:I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?
I agree our centres are still in flux. But I would add the Ford problem. The presumption is he will improve. However, based upon his body of work this whole season, both for Bath and England, he may be on the bubble. If another 10 can give Eddie a choice Ford could have a bit of a hiatus from the England squad to get his game right. Frankly, I think England have been carrying Ford in the Six nations. The blocked kick leading to Wales first try was very poor.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 1:22 am

doctor_grey wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?
I agree our centres are still in flux.  But I would add the Ford problem.  The presumption is he will improve.  However, based upon his body of work this whole season, both for Bath and England, he may be on the bubble.  If another 10 can give Eddie a choice Ford could have a bit of a hiatus from the England squad to get his game right.  Frankly, I think England have been carrying Ford in the Six nations.  The blocked kick leading to Wales first try was very poor.    

If Farrell plays 12, Cipriani works. Less so if he doesn't.
Burns finding some form.
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Post by yappysnap Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:28 am

nathan wrote:I think youngs offers a better kicking game, but care offers a better passing game.

I agree with this.

Both have their strengths and weakness. It's a shame really that pro players can't be better at all the basics of their positions. You can forgive a prop not being able to pass off both hands. But a scrum half should have a good accurate left or right pass and a good box kick. Those aren't debatable. Just highlights the skill levels at club level though I guess.

For what it's worth I think the England team at the moment works best with Youngs starting, I really don't think Care would help Ford or vice versa. If Ford finds some great form, or Faz starts at 10 then maybe Care. I would like to see Care come on at the 50min mark though, that's when England seem to hit a slump, and early subs could help stop that rather then drop in to the middle of it.

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Post by yappysnap Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:30 am

kingelderfield wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?




I'd love to see Ford, Wade, Tuilagi, Joseph, Watson, Slade.   Now that backline will give Oz a game.

That is a terrible backline for anything other then a barbarians game, and they'd probs lose that.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:41 am

GunsGerms wrote:Discipline does seem to be an issue. I'd say Brown or Farrell are one tantrum away from getting a red card.

Good side though with their best backs since 2003 by a long way.

Complete bollix

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:43 am

I suspect you would see Hughes packing down at 6. And him and Ewers would be after that shirt.

But its Robshaws at the moment and I don't think he'll give it up with out a fight. Plus, he's obviously impressing EJ.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:43 am

robbo277 wrote:Hughes may get a go, but I'd rather Ewers, Clifford and Kvesic got a look in over a sustained period rather than chopping and changing the selection. All three were looked at this tournament and I'd like to think all three deserve another look before anyone is ruled out. Having known, experienced hands in Robshaw and Haskell will also be necessary in the short term, so there just isn't room for Hughes for my squad barring injury (which is likely).

Hughes knocks all three into a cocked hat, particularly Kvesic. The only reason Clifford may have the edge over Hughes, is that he's already in the squad.

If Hughes becomes eligible (and he will) you pick him. No question.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:43 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't watch many Aviva games but from what i've seen Hughes is a significant step up from both Ewers and Kvesic, the latter being a player I don't particularly rate.

What is it you don't like about Kvesic?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:45 am

Jimpy wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Discipline does seem to be an issue. I'd say Brown or Farrell are one tantrum away from getting a red card.

Good side though with their best backs since 2003 by a long way.

Complete bollix

Germs, how do you come to that conclusion? Im not sure I agree with it either.

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Post by screamingaddabs Tue 15 Mar 2016, 12:03 pm

yappysnap wrote:
nathan wrote:I think youngs offers a better kicking game, but care offers a better passing game.

I agree with this.

Both have their strengths and weakness. It's a shame really that pro players can't be better at all the basics of their positions. You can forgive a prop not being able to pass off both hands. But a scrum half should have a good accurate left or right pass and a good box kick. Those aren't debatable. Just highlights the skill levels at club level though I guess.

For what it's worth I think the England team at the moment works best with Youngs starting, I really don't think Care would help Ford or vice versa. If Ford finds some great form, or Faz starts at 10 then maybe Care. I would like to see Care come on at the 50min mark though, that's when England seem to hit a slump, and early subs could help stop that rather then drop in to the middle of it.

Nope. All pro players should be able to give passes that are both fast and accurate in both directions at pace and over a distance of at least 10m. It's a skill that can be easily taught and I don't see why props shouldn't be able to do it.

I don't expect them to zing a 15 to 20m pass off their bad hand, but basic mid distance passing should be good by all players.

In the same way a scrum half or fly half should be competent at clearing out rucks and taking part in mauls (technique wise that is, they will usually lack power I guess)
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Post by bluestonevedder Tue 15 Mar 2016, 12:21 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:I don't watch many Aviva games but from what i've seen Hughes is a significant step up from both Ewers and Kvesic, the latter being a player I don't particularly rate.

What is it you don't like about Kvesic?

Struggling to see this myself too. He's made the most turnovers of any player in the premiership and tackles hard, all day long. His carrying has improved too. For me, he definitely deserves a spot on the tour. I'd actually have loved to see him this Six Nations at one point, partnership with Haskell or Robshaw at 6.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 12:54 pm

Hughes is very good, but I don't think he knocks Clifford, Ewers or Kvesic into a hat, whatever that means. They all have different strengths, I mean they all cover positions differently for a start! Any of them could start for England depending on the balance of pack
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Post by sad_gimp Tue 15 Mar 2016, 1:07 pm

It's the ability to smart, heads-up skillful rugby that is going to make the difference against the best in the world. Itoje epitomises that kind of player. Sure Kvesic has great jackaling technique but it's not enough. Clifford has just as good skills in that area, plus a good head and a blistering turn of pace for a back-row.

Robshaw may not have the pace but his ball skills, work rate and decision-making are second to none in England set up. I'd be amazed if anyone took the six shirt off him this year.

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Post by bluestonevedder Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:00 pm

So true regarding Robshaw.

It's staggering just how often he is in the right place at the right time, cleaning up loose ball and snagging opposition players. It was so noticeable on Saturday when he went off.

Faletau's try was woeful defending on England's part. Cowan-Dickie was a revolving door.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:07 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Jimpy wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Discipline does seem to be an issue. I'd say Brown or Farrell are one tantrum away from getting a red card.

Good side though with their best backs since 2003 by a long way.

Complete bollix

Germs, how do you come to that conclusion? Im not sure I agree with it either.

Haha. They are both hot heads and both can be quite emotional and petulant. Can you not see it?


Last edited by GunsGerms on Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:08 pm

When was the last time a team had wrapped the 6 nations championship up with a game to go? Has it happened before?

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:09 pm

I've seen C Dickie play twice for England now - the 1st he couldn't do the basics of hooker (throw), the 2nd he couldn't do the basics of a test rugby player (tackle). If he's the future of England rugby we're in trouble.
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Post by Jimpy Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:32 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
Jimpy wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Discipline does seem to be an issue. I'd say Brown or Farrell are one tantrum away from getting a red card.

Good side though with their best backs since 2003 by a long way.

Complete bollix

Germs, how do you come to that conclusion? Im not sure I agree with it either.

Haha. They are both hot heads and both can be quite emotional and petulant. Can you not see it?

No. Because its complete bollix.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:34 pm

Jimpy you are coming across a bit like Mike Brown and Owen Farrell. Are you a hot head too?

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:35 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?
I agree our centres are still in flux.  But I would add the Ford problem.  The presumption is he will improve.  However, based upon his body of work this whole season, both for Bath and England, he may be on the bubble.  If another 10 can give Eddie a choice Ford could have a bit of a hiatus from the England squad to get his game right.  Frankly, I think England have been carrying Ford in the Six nations.  The blocked kick leading to Wales first try was very poor.    

If Farrell plays 12, Cipriani works. Less so if he doesn't.
Burns finding some form.
I suppose we shouldn't ignore Slade. Only problem is he can't play at the moment. I would guess he is in the mix for 10 eventually?

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Post by Jimpy Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:42 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Jimpy you are coming across a bit like Mike Brown and Owen Farrell. Are you a hot head too?

No, but suggesting that certain players are just one 'tantrum' away from a red card doesn't half make you look like a dick head.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:45 pm

You're being a delight today Jimpy!

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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:55 pm

Didn't know you could get a red card for being emotional or petulant. Oh well, learn a new rule every day
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Post by Poorfour Tue 15 Mar 2016, 3:57 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
ChequeredJersey wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I think England have started well under Eddie Jones, but their is still work to do. The biggest thing for England is ( disapline) givimng away too many penalties.

Centre partnership is till the crux of the team. Farrell, Joseph seems to be ok for now, but long term?
I agree our centres are still in flux.  But I would add the Ford problem.  The presumption is he will improve.  However, based upon his body of work this whole season, both for Bath and England, he may be on the bubble.  If another 10 can give Eddie a choice Ford could have a bit of a hiatus from the England squad to get his game right.  Frankly, I think England have been carrying Ford in the Six nations.  The blocked kick leading to Wales first try was very poor.    

If Farrell plays 12, Cipriani works. Less so if he doesn't.
Burns finding some form.
I suppose we shouldn't ignore Slade.  Only problem is he can't play at the moment.  I would guess he is in the mix for 10 eventually?

I thought Slade (remarkably) played his first comeback game for Exeter last weekend. Could play 10, 12, 13 or at a pinch 15. Suspect he will be best in the "2nd playmaker" role, though, or Catt-like as a supersub to take the pressure off Ford or Farrell alongside Tuilagi.

He looks like a test match player - the challenge will be to bring him through well.
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Post by GunsGerms Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:10 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:Didn't know you could get a red card for being emotional or petulant. Oh well, learn a new rule every day

I think it is clear at this stage that England have to worst discipline of all teams in the 6 nations this year. Brown and Farrell seem to me to have the hottest tempers now that Hartley has reformed and become a beacon of calm. Why wouldn't they be odds on to get the next red?

They both seem to spend a lot of each game motoring around with steam coming out of their ears anyway.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:19 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
ChequeredJersey wrote:Didn't know you could get a red card for being emotional or petulant. Oh well, learn a new rule every day

I think it is clear at this stage that England have to worst discipline of all teams in the 6 nations this year. Brown and Farrell seem to me to have the hottest tempers now that Hartley has reformed and become a beacon of calm. Why wouldn't they be odds on to get the next red?

They both seem to spend a lot of each game motoring around with steam coming out of their ears anyway.

And how often exactly do they get yellow cards let alone red?

Haskell gets yellow cards on a regular basis, few others do. Brown doesn't. Farrell probably should do more than he does but its still not a regular phenomenon.

Brown in particular has a lot of edge and plays up to the limit but he doesn't cross it. And the funny thing about Farrell is that he's a very good marksman - something that requires a degree of calm- for a 'hothead'

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:22 pm

I think their luck will run out soon enough to be honest.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:23 pm

Haven't heard much chatter about the quality of England's two wingers. I think Nowell and Watson are up there with England's best ever in the six nations. Nowell really is class now.

Lions back three: Hogg, Watson and Nowell/North? How good would that be?

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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:28 pm

GunsGerms wrote:I think their luck will run out soon enough to be honest.

"luck" Wink
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:36 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Haven't heard much chatter about the quality of England's two wingers. I think Nowell and Watson are up there with England's best ever in the six nations. Nowell really is class now.

Lions back three: Hogg, Watson and Nowell/North? How good would that be?

I'd go with Hogg, Watson and North at present.

For England I think Watson is the long term successor to Mike Brown. Hard to dislodge Brown at the moment, he's one of England's most consistent players, but the idea of Watson moving to 15 is pretty exciting, and it allows someone like May or Wade to come onto the wing and add real pace. You really would have to think twice about kicking the ball away to Watson and Wade, and your chase would have to be absolutely on the money.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:37 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:I think their luck will run out soon enough to be honest.

"luck" Wink

Luck of the English. Very Happy

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 4:58 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Haven't heard much chatter about the quality of England's two wingers. I think Nowell and Watson are up there with England's best ever in the six nations. Nowell really is class now.

Lions back three: Hogg, Watson and Nowell/North? How good would that be?
Hogg, Watson, and North sounds like a legal firm. Or a bunch of petrol station workers. But I do think that would be a real difficult back three to play against. Hogg simply keeps getting better and better.

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Post by thomh Tue 15 Mar 2016, 8:18 pm

I used to think Hogg was one of those flashy players whose deficiencies are masked by playing in a team that doesn't win much anyway, but he's been legitimately fantastic this year.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:18 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:I've seen C Dickie play twice for England now - the 1st he couldn't do the basics of hooker (throw), the 2nd he couldn't do the basics of a test rugby player (tackle). If he's the future of England rugby we're in trouble.

Well Hartley sat out of training, might be a doubt for Saturday, meaning LCD would start in France for a grand slam decider!!

Tommy taylor has been kept with the squad.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 15 Mar 2016, 10:58 pm

Hogg has been great this year, I agree that I didn't rate him as an all round player before but definitely the 15 of the tournament so far and in tough company


LCD worried me regarding lineouts to be honest, with Itoje and Kruis we might be as likely to win their ball as our own!
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