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England 2nd best team in the world?

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Post by wrfc1980 Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:10 pm

First topic message reminder :

England are on the verge of going to 2nd in the world rankings. What do people think is their true current standing in the world? I would say that England are now clear of Wales/Ireland in the NH and are on their own as the best NH team. For the last few years there's been nothing separating Ireland/Wales and England but I feel momentum has shifted and England have inched ahead. They are probably vying for the 2nd spot in the world alongside the Aussies and SA but are a fair bit behind NZ. Is this a fair assessment?

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Post by rodders Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:27 am

Biltong wrote:
rodders wrote:
Biltong wrote:
rodders wrote:I do think you have to consider how much South African (and Kiwi, Ozzie and Argentian) talent has been on show in the top 14 over the past 2 weekends.

If they had a full deck to pick from they would be in much stronger position you'd have to presume.

Rodders, that is just one more nail in our coffin, but this is the professional era and that will only get worse.

We have to play with the hand we are dealt, we do not have the currency or economy to kerp our players and it there for stands to reason we will continue to lose top players to club and country.

I think in a few seasons we won't have an International game in the sense we do now - it will certainly be secondary to the club game in Europe, if it isn't already, and some countries will suffer more than others.

C'est la vie.

Jip, we might then just see the six nations, rugby championship and world cup. No more tours

Not might - certainly it's hard to see the international calendar being maintained as it is now.

The implications for nations which rely on the Unions to support the domestic professional game will have to cut their cloth - unfortunately that is most nations, including the SH big 3.

There were probably more caps on show in the Top 14 SHs than all the tests last weekend put together.

So in that regard the debate is a mute one - as soon the top sides in the world will all be club sides - not international ones.
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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:49 am

kingraf wrote:...Australia are famously dodgy after a World cup...
How do you make that out?

They followed up the 1991 win with a Bledisloe 2-1 victory and an away win against the Boks

After they won in 1999, they defended the Bledisloe again, and won a Lions series.


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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:54 am

Are the French clamping down on the number of imports their teams can have given the decline of their national team? I thought I read that somewhere.
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Post by nganboy Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:57 am

At the start of this series of internationals my thinking was England would win 1 or 2 in Aus. Ireland wouldn't win in SA but do well and Wales wouldn't win in NZ and get a bit of a hiding. In the end all three SH teams have been a little worse than I expected and the NH teams a little better than I expected.

SA are a mess and I feel they will continue their lack of improvement that they have experienced over the last 3/4 years.
Aus are stuggling with a poor backline with minimal imagination. They'll be up and down for the next couple of years until they can find some more exciting players.
NZ is struggling in the midfield to replace 2 very important players but the forwards are mostly okay.
Out of the 3 SH teams I think NZ will come right first then Aus and hopefully then SA (if the politics doesn't throw a new curve ball in)
They will all remain competitive but not be at their best this year. All will continue to lose players.
England will get better over the next 2/3 years but Wales and Ireland will hover at about where they are now not get much worse or better. Personally I think Gatland should move on from Wales. He's done his time.
England are definitely on the up and probably have a bit more improvement in them.
NZ will struggle to dominate the Lions next year but I hope still come out on top 2-1 with all games being close.
It seems to me that its pretty clear England are no2 in the world
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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 12:19 pm

Wish I was paid £2 every time I read Eddie Jones saying "We want to be the best team in the world" or mentioning the "All Blacks" in interviews for no apparent reason other than to try and associate England with the All Blacks. He's trying to subliminally weasel England into the mindset. Can't fault the guy for aiming big but it's early days. With all this bluster and confidence he's got to produce consistently year after year. I'm looking forward to his rhetoric after a loss or losses on the bounce. At the moment it's sh*ts and giggles and everyone is lapping him up. Good on him, good coach, but he can go a bit loco under pressure.
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Post by kingraf Mon 20 Jun 2016, 12:35 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
kingraf wrote:...Australia are famously dodgy after a World cup...
How do you make that out?

They followed up the 1991 win with a Bledisloe 2-1 victory and an away win against the Boks

After they won in 1999, they defended the Bledisloe again, and won a Lions series.


It was a gut call, tbh... but the stats somewhat bare out recently. 2007-current, they've got a 29-9 record in a world cup year, with two 3N/RC wins and a world cup final and semi final. 2008-current they've got 18-12 with one draw in the year immidiately proceding a world cup, so there's that
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Post by lostinwales Mon 20 Jun 2016, 12:46 pm

ebop wrote:Wish I was paid £2 every time I read Eddie Jones saying "We want to be the best team in the world" or mentioning the "All Blacks" in interviews for no apparent reason other than to try and associate England with the All Blacks. He's trying to subliminally weasel England into the mindset. Can't fault the guy for aiming big but it's early days. With all this bluster and confidence he's got to produce consistently year after year. I'm looking forward to his rhetoric after a loss or losses on the bounce. At the moment it's sh*ts and giggles and everyone is lapping him up. Good on him, good coach, but he can go a bit loco under pressure.

Well WTF should he be saying exactly?

'If we are really lucky on a good day we can run the AB's close for 60 minutes' - Shame about the other 20. Been there, done that. (And we aren't the only ones either).

Beating NZ over 80 is very very hard but we are heading in the right direction at the moment.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 20 Jun 2016, 12:52 pm

ebop wrote:Wish I was paid £2 every time I read Eddie Jones saying "We want to be the best team in the world" or mentioning the "All Blacks" in interviews for no apparent reason other than to try and associate England with the All Blacks. He's trying to subliminally weasel England into the mindset. Can't fault the guy for aiming big but it's early days. With all this bluster and confidence he's got to produce consistently year after year. I'm looking forward to his rhetoric after a loss or losses on the bounce. At the moment it's sh*ts and giggles and everyone is lapping him up. Good on him, good coach, but he can go a bit loco under pressure.

I don't think that's what he's doing at all. Have you actually watched any of his interviews? He's not under pressure. He's like a kid with the keys to the toyshop. But he's also incredibly competitive, and he's absolutely right in wanting to match the All Blacks. If they hadn't been clearly the best team in the world for the last 8 years, it might ring hollow, but they have. It's not at all unreasonable to point at them and say "we won't be happy until we're better than them."

The hard truth for all of us is that there's no-one else worth pointing at if you want to be the best team in the world.

I'd agree that he can go loco under pressure, but we won't see that unless he suffers a string of losses.
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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 8:26 pm

Yeah Poorfour I agree he's like a kid in a candy shop. For good reason. He has everything he needs so who could blame him. I didn't mean he's under pressure 'now' but there'll surely be a time when he is and there's a growing list of countries lining up to put the boot in. Australia have been humiliated on and off the field and they'll be seething. Eddie is subtlely poking the ABs and we'll want to wipe the smile off his mug.

You very rarely if ever hear coaches make bold claims about wanting to be the best in the world over and over. It's a big call. He's laid down the challenge. It's risky. He'll be reminded of it and I want to see how he reacts if it goes south because it's sure to be an interesting watch. If he succeeds, well, I'd be seriously impressed.

England look solid under Eddie and are probably good for their ranking but they haven't played everyone yet and won't for a while. Don't get me wrong it's great having England strong again and with EJ in charge it adds spice and it will create some fierce rivalries. EJ has dragged England back into the spotlight with a combination of results and a lot of lip. What's even better, is that the English media have jumped on board the bandwagon and are already making wild claims. England are back. Be prepared to be hated again (that's tongue in cheek so no need to over react Wink)
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Post by Poorfour Mon 20 Jun 2016, 8:52 pm

Ebop, I disagree. I absolutely want a coach to say repeatedly that he wants his team to be the best in the world. Especially if he does it with the aplomb that Eddie brings to it. There's nothing wrong with wanting. It's claiming that you're going to be that can backfire.

Eddie's style is to be very up front about what he wants to achieve, and that's fine, because there's ample evidence that he can back it up. And when the team does lose a game, he's got more options than most to shake things up.

It only gets difficult if there's a long run of bad form, but I am increasingly confident that that won't happen. England have already shown an unusual degree of tactical flexibility.
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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 9:11 pm

Guess it's a difference in cultures. I prefer my sports teams to be humble in public. Yup, Eddie is up front and talkative when the going is good. I sincerely hope he doesn't go into his shell if things go south as this will be the true measure of the man. A couple of his teams have gone south, spectacularly so. Was this tactical flexibility on display against Australia?
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Post by Poorfour Mon 20 Jun 2016, 9:37 pm

Ebop, if you think that the tactics between the first and second test weren't a display of tactical flexibility, then you and I may have been watching different games.

And I think you might be confusing humility and ambition. Eddie hasn't bragged about what he's achieved - if anything he's (rightly) played down the significance of everything England have done so far.

All Eddie has actually said is that he wants England to be the most dominant NH team and that he wants to perform the way the All Blacks do. It's actually pretty refreshing. Everyone knows the ABs are the team to beat, and everyone knows that to beat them over a sustained period you will almost certainly have to match them for skills and fitness. The All Blacks are the yardstick; everyone from 2-7 wants to match or beat them. There's no lack of humility in acknowledging that.
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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:12 pm

I'm no technical analyst of the game I can admit that. I recall both games involved pretty solid defence, feeding off mistakes, kicking penalties and not much in the way of expansive play or skill excellence. That's the general vibe of both games I thought. There was varying degrees of each of those in each game but I lump them all into a typically English game plan. Australia had England on the ropes but couldn't finish them off. As much as England defended well I think it's more an indictment on Australia as they literally could not figure it out and also crazily did not take points on offer. They blew it as equally as England deserving the win.

Nah, I'm not confusing humility with ambition. If it was 'quiet' ambition then ok. But screaming from the rooftops 'loud' ambition is not the behaviour of a humble person imo and to me it is the behaviour of someone trying a little bit too hard. If EJ and England want to be tall poppies, good, it comes with some baggage though. Just saying.
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Post by Heaf Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:34 pm

Having the ambition to be the best in the world when everyone knows only the ABs have that right - sacrilege Shocked

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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:39 pm

I find it incomprehensible that someone is criticising Jones for saying that England want to be the best team in the world. What is even an iota wrong with that?
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Post by lostinwales Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:50 pm

ebop wrote:I'm no technical analyst of the game I can admit that. I recall both games involved pretty solid defence, feeding off mistakes, kicking penalties and not much in the way of expansive play or skill excellence. That's the general vibe of both games I thought. There was varying degrees of each of those in each game but I lump them all into a typically English game plan. Australia had England on the ropes but couldn't finish them off. As much as England defended well I think it's more an indictment on Australia as they literally could not figure it out and also crazily did not take points on offer. They blew it as equally as England deserving the win.

Nah, I'm not confusing humility with ambition.  If it was 'quiet' ambition then ok. But screaming from the rooftops 'loud' ambition is not the behaviour of a humble person imo and to me it is the behaviour of someone trying a little bit too hard.  If EJ and England want to be tall poppies, good, it comes with some baggage though. Just saying.

Look at it another way. 1st game England scored points most of the time they got into Australia's half. The fact that most of the scores were measured in 3's was down to Australia committing offenses under pressure from England. And the scores came quickly. In contrast England gave away relatively few penalties under pressure from Australia, who in turn spent a lot of time running from side to side and not getting anywhere.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:51 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:I find it incomprehensible that someone is criticising Jones for saying that England want to be the best team in the world. What is even an iota wrong with that?

They are not New Zealand

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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:01 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:I find it incomprehensible that someone is criticising Jones for saying that England want to be the best team in the world. What is even an iota wrong with that?

Oh but how you guys scoffed and smirked when an English media person snuck into the ABs 'private' meeting room and broadcast to the world that the ABs had written how their aim was to be the most successful team ever. I'm not criticising EJ, I'm saying bring it on. Good luck. If he fails, we can scoff and smirk then.
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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:02 pm

Heaf wrote:Having the ambition to be the best in the world when everyone knows only the ABs have that right - sacrilege Shocked

Never heard SA and Australia mince it up and they've had more right to make such claims.
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Post by TJ Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:16 pm

I hate an arrogant english rugby man as much as anyone - but I have heard nothing from Jones to make me think he is arrogant or over egging it.

Saying you are too good for the 6N as happened a few years ago - arrogant and wrong.  Saying you want to be the best in the world - fine by me.  All sports teams want to be the best in the world surely - its just that for most this is very unlikely.  England could become the bet in the world and its surely a fine aspiration to have.

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Post by ebop Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:21 pm

Yeah it is A-ok to strive to be the best, who wouldn't? But my original point was that in every second interview he is mentioning how they want to be the best. It's fine, seriously it is. EJ and England have thrown it out there repeatedly and I just want to watch how it unfolds. Do people think just because SA, Aus or Ireland or whoever don't mention it repeatedly they also are not striving to be the best? Mentioning it over and over and over is making a fine rod for his back and now it's time to sit back with popcorn.
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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:39 pm

ebop wrote:
ChequeredJersey wrote:I find it incomprehensible that someone is criticising Jones for saying that England want to be the best team in the world. What is even an iota wrong with that?

Oh but how you guys scoffed and smirked when an English media person snuck into the ABs 'private' meeting room and broadcast to the world that the ABs had written how their aim was to be the most successful team ever. I'm not criticising EJ, I'm saying bring it on. Good luck. If he fails, we can scoff and smirk then.

I did?
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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:41 pm

Saying you want to be the world's best is inherently a non-arrogant statement. It's an open admission that you aren't and that there is a lot of work to be done.
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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 21 Jun 2016, 12:53 am

TJ wrote:I hate an arrogant english rugby man as much as anyone - but I have heard nothing from Jones to make me think he is arrogant or over egging it.

Saying you are too good for the 6N as happened a few years ago - arrogant and wrong.  Saying you want to be the best in the world - fine by me.  All sports teams want to be the best in the world surely - its just that for most this is very unlikely.  England could become the bet in the world and its surely a fine aspiration to have.

Except when you're English, then it's an arrogant aspiration to have. Arrogant bar stewards Wink.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 21 Jun 2016, 4:59 am

ebop wrote:...Oh but how you guys scoffed and smirked when an English media person snuck into the ABs 'private' meeting room and broadcast to the world that the ABs had written how their aim was to be the most successful team ever..
The phrase was 'We are the most dominant team in the history of the world" and players were urged to “reach new levels mentally as a group”.

No-one scoffed at the sentiment. If New Zealand got bagged at all, it's because they kept publicly playing down the importance of the upcoming match, when the whiteboard revealed the coaches were actually sending a very ramped up message.

Incicentally, Ebop, you've left me a bit confused. are you now saying that kind of thinking is OK because New Zealand do it?


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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 5:16 am

Yeah they did. People called the All Blacks arrogant. Difference between that All Blacks incident where a snooping journalist broadcast their 'private' motivational mantras and what Jones is doing is the All Blacks don't spout this stuff to the media. I haven't called Jones or England arrogant but I have said they now have a lot to live up to and I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.
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Post by Not grey and not a ghost Tue 21 Jun 2016, 6:01 am

It's been an interesting discussion. I think the key thing is the English media. It's looking to either build the team up or tear it down. I'm impressed with Jones and the current team. They could go on, and good luck to them. I think the issue for the neutral is how quickly the British media jump on the bandwagon. The British media (ironically like the Australian media) tend to look for superlatives, they look for angles where their team isn't good enough, or how the opposition are bogeymen, or when they start to win how they are great. All media do it, it's just seems to me so more pronounced. It must be hard to be a sportsman in a major English team.

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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 6:06 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
ebop wrote:...Oh but how you guys scoffed and smirked when an English media person snuck into the ABs 'private' meeting room and broadcast to the world that the ABs had written how their aim was to be the most successful team ever..

Incicentally, Ebop, you've left me a bit confused. are you now saying that kind of thinking is OK because New Zealand do it?


Nah, I was responding to ChequeredJersey

ChequeredJersey wrote:I find it incomprehensible that someone is criticising Jones for saying that England want to be the best team in the world. What is even an iota wrong with that?

I'm not saying he personally called the ABs arrogant but I am saying 'people' did after the leak that the ABs thought in such grandiose ways to motivate themselves 'in private'. I wouldn't like it if the ABs went around telling the public through the media how great they are.

It wouldn't sit right
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Post by Exiledinborders Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:16 am

TJ wrote:I hate an arrogant english rugby man as much as anyone - but I have heard nothing from Jones to make me think he is arrogant or over egging it.

Saying you are too good for the 6N as happened a few years ago - arrogant and wrong.  Saying you want to be the best in the world - fine by me.  All sports teams want to be the best in the world surely - its just that for most this is very unlikely.  England could become the bet in the world and its surely a fine aspiration to have.
Agree. Every team should want to be better than they are. If you are Georgia say then your aim should be to get to the level of the Six nations. As England are ranked second and are clearly one of the better teams in the world their aim should be to be the best. The same applies to others such as Australia.

As for arrogance. You see this in every country when they get a bit of success. I well remember the Welsh in the seventies. They even set arrogance to music* with Max Boyce.  Very Happy

*Clearly I am using the word "music" pretty loosely here.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:17 am

ebop wrote:Yeah they did. People called the All Blacks arrogant.
But do you believe that kind of thinking was arrogant, ebop? Personally, I don't but it sounds a bit like you do.

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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:48 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
ebop wrote:Yeah they did. People called the All Blacks arrogant.
But do you believe that kind of thinking was arrogant, ebop? Personally, I don't but it sounds a bit like you do.
No Rugby Fan, I don't believe 'thinking' that way is arrogant but I do believe 'telling the world' that you think that way is brave. If England become the 'best' then I will doff my hat
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Post by Hood83 Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:50 am

ebop wrote:
ChequeredJersey wrote:I find it incomprehensible that someone is criticising Jones for saying that England want to be the best team in the world. What is even an iota wrong with that?

Oh but how you guys scoffed and smirked when an English media person snuck into the ABs 'private' meeting room and broadcast to the world that the ABs had written how their aim was to be the most successful team ever. I'm not criticising EJ, I'm saying bring it on. Good luck. If he fails, we can scoff and smirk then.

But scoffing and smirking wouldn't sit right with the humble ABs, right? Christ if we've had anything rammed down our throats it's how 'humble' the All Blacks are, and if that behind scenes stuff was anything to go by perhaps it's something of an affectation. I'm sure McCaw, Carter and plenty of others are top blokes but do we really need all the 'oh you say we're the best in the world? well I couldn't possibly comment' coquettish rubbish.

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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:55 am

Haha, ok mate

You don't get it, no problem

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Post by lostinwales Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:56 am

Its also worth looking at what Jones has been doing with the media since he started this gig. He doesn't always say a lot but what he does say always tends to draw attention on to himself and away from the players. Of course the AB's are a target in terms of what he wants to achieve and he has every right to say so, but a couple of short phrases along the lines of the of the ones that seem to be bothering ebop are a great way to draw the media

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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:00 am

I made an observation, read my first post. Now you'll be looking out for these things that he says and then think how rich I'd be at £2 a pop.

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Post by Cyril Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:01 am

The definition of arrogance is expecting your opponents to stand around 'respectfully' while you do a silly dance.

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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:03 am

Whoa

England's number 2 fan back on form

Aim for the top spot cyril, to be the best you can be
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:11 am

Why is arrogant to say you want to be the best in the world?

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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:13 am

Who is saying he's arrogant?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:24 am

Ha, sorry why is it not humble (or arrogant) to want to be the best in the world.

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:32 am

ebop wrote:Wish I was paid £2 every time I read Eddie Jones saying "We want to be the best team in the world" or mentioning the "All Blacks" in interviews for no apparent reason other than to try and associate England with the All Blacks. He's trying to subliminally weasel England into the mindset. Can't fault the guy for aiming big but it's early days. With all this bluster and confidence he's got to produce consistently year after year. I'm looking forward to his rhetoric after a loss or losses on the bounce. At the moment it's sh*ts and giggles and everyone is lapping him up. Good on him, good coach, but he can go a bit loco under pressure.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/18650528

Just leaving this here for a reminder of what shootingf or the moon/arrogance/unrelastic expectation really is.


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Post by Poorfour Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:38 am

Ebop, what do you think the All Blacks would say if England overtook them in the rankings? Do you honestly think they wouldn't publicly say they want to get that #1 ranking back?

Journo: "So, Steve, England are now ahead of you in the rankings. What do you plan to do about that?"
Hansen: "Ah, well done to them. Look, we're not about the rankings. We're just going to concentrate on being the best we can be."

Or is he going to say, "we always want to be the best in the world. England have raised the bar, and well done to them, but we're going to do all we can to raise it further."

Is that latter statement arrogant? Absolutely not. Bring it on.

There is no arrogance in honest aspiration, only in crowing about achievement or assuming mantles you haven't earned. All Eddie has said - repeatedly and very consistently - is that England aren't yet as good as they want to be. Which is a very fair statement. I don't get why you have a problem with it.

Or are you a bit rattled by a sudden rise with obvious areas for further improvement? As Corporal Jones has it, "They don't like it up 'em"
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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:38 am

7.5, don't worry. It must be a cultural difference we have. It's ok everyone. No need to get overexcited.
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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:42 am

I don't have a problem poorfour

Why do you and others a) think I'm bothered or b) am calling Jones arrogant?

I just want £2 a pop so I can retire early
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:49 am

Ah, they have a different meaning of arrogance down there

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:51 am

ebop wrote:I just want £2 a pop so I can retire early
Then again, if you also lose £2 every time Steve Hansen mentions Eddie Jones or England, then that retirement date will push out quite a bit.

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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:54 am

Poorfour wrote:Or are you a bit rattled by a sudden rise with obvious areas for further improvement? As Corporal Jones has it, "They don't like it up 'em"

No

But it's quite revealing that you think that
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Post by ebop Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:59 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
ebop wrote:I just want £2 a pop so I can retire early
Then again, if you also lose £2 every time Steve Hansen mentions Eddie Jones or England, then that retirement date will push out quite a bit.

Really?

I've only seen him mention Jones once but I don't read every article. Maybe he was letting Jones know he won't be taking any crap from him like Cheika has.
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Post by Gooseberry Tue 21 Jun 2016, 10:10 am

Poorfour wrote:Ebop, what do you think the All Blacks would say if England overtook them in the rankings?

I'd imagine theyd take a leaf out of the South Africans book and cite results form two years previously to justify ignoring the rankings.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 21 Jun 2016, 10:11 am

ebop wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
ebop wrote:I just want £2 a pop so I can retire early
Then again, if you also lose £2 every time Steve Hansen mentions Eddie Jones or England, then that retirement date will push out quite a bit.

Really?

I've only seen him mention Jones once but I don't read every article. Maybe he was letting Jones know he won't be taking any crap from him like Cheika has.
There's currently no match scheduled between England and New Zealand, so he's got no reason to talk about Jones or England at all. The earliest a fixture could take place is November 2017.

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