England 6 Nations Thread

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 10:04 am

First topic message reminder :

Sunday 2nd February 15:00 - France (a)
BBC Sport

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant 1: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant 2: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)


Saturday 8th February 16:45 - Scotland (a)
BBC Sport

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 1: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant 2: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)


Sunday 23rd February 15:00 - Ireland (h)
ITV Sport

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant 1: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant 2: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)


Saturday 7th March 16:45 - Wales (h)
ITV Sport, S4C

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant 1: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant 2: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)


Saturday 14th March 16:45 - Italy (a)
ITV Sport

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 1: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant 2: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)




Squad

Forwards
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 21 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 19 caps)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Ben Earl (Saracens, uncapped)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 14 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 45 caps)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 34 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 41 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 62 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 81 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 68 caps)
Alex Moon (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 31 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 58 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)

Backs
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 39 caps)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 79 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 65 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 9 caps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 47 caps)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 40 caps)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 95 caps)

Apprentice players
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 7:59 am

And yet alternately they could only beat England by a few,points.

An England side who looked disinterested,  with a disjonited back row, too many questions marks still over the 9 -13 positions etc.

France will be a genuine force but lets not write England off just yet.

Need to pick a balanced side. We havw the players

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:10 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:And yet alternately they could only beat England by a few,points.

An England side who looked disinterested,  with a disjonited back row, too many questions marks still over the 9 -13 positions etc.

France will be a genuine force but lets not write England off just yet.

Need to pick a balanced side. We havw the players

7 actually, and if it hadn't been for two great efforts by Jonny May, it would have been a drubbing - and it was anyway in all but name.

I am not writing England off, but they will struggle if they don't pull their socks up. England are too inconsistent, there is a fundamental problem with the coaching.

The point i'm making is that before the competition, I said France were the team to watch, that they were genuine contenders. Quite a few poured scorn on that considered opinion, especially when I said that S Edwards would have an immediate and galvanizing effect on the French defence.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:12 am

I think Edwards influence was there to see khan. I'm simply saying any defeat is met by an almost hysterical reaction and woe is me. If that's france clicking....well they'll be worried.
And yes GF a balanced side is key. I thought on paper the back row looked alright. On the field curry lost control and didn't have the decision making ability at the base of the scrum which cost us a couple of times. The shift around seemed to affect them knowing who was supposed to be supporting the clear outs and we saw a problem we havent seen in a while with one up unsupported runners.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:13 am

Khouli Khan wrote:...Quite a few poured scorn on that considered opinion...
I don't remember scorn being poured on the idea that France might be a team to watch.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:19 am

Given the next sets of fixtures it's pretty likely France will sit at the top after 3 rounds.

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Post by RDW on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:36 am


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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:40 am

In fairness England made it easy for France to defend, we so narrow in attack and it was only a matter of time before me made a mistake, the two times we got the ball wide we scored and we should have scored more.

The back row was not good enough, Curry isn't an 8 and it showed, losing control of the ball twice at the base of the scrum is criminal and cost us two cast iron penalties, Lawes did ok but didn't provide the point of difference the aforementioned Curry does when at 6. The scrum was a pleasant positive but the line out was terrible and quite why Ewels was playing is anyones guess, he simply is not good enough to be starting ahead of Kruis.

Farrell capitulated again when the going got tough, it happens so often that he's becoming a liability and apparently Tuilagi went into the game injured and I'm not entirely sure that JJ was fully fit either. A tough debut for Furlong but an alternative to Daly is worth persisting with.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:41 am

Khouli Khan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:And yet alternately they could only beat England by a few,points.

An England side who looked disinterested,  with a disjonited back row, too many questions marks still over the 9 -13 positions etc.

France will be a genuine force but lets not write England off just yet.

Need to pick a balanced side. We havw the players

7 actually, and if it hadn't been for two great efforts by Jonny May, it would have been a drubbing - and it was anyway in all but name.

I am not writing England off, but they will struggle if they don't pull their socks up. England are too inconsistent, there is a fundamental problem with the coaching.

The point i'm making is that before the competition, I said France were the team to watch, that they were genuine contenders. Quite a few poured scorn on that considered opinion, especially when I said that S Edwards would have an immediate and galvanizing effect on the French defence.

Bravo you predicted the result of a rugby match, given the two options that takes some doing.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:41 am

Tuilagi didn't go into the game injured. It was just a guess by the lass on the sidelines

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:43 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I think Edwards influence was there to see khan. I'm simply saying any defeat is met by an almost hysterical reaction and woe is me. If that's france clicking....well they'll be worried.
And yes GF a balanced side is key. I thought on paper the back row looked alright. On the field curry lost control and didn't have the decision making ability at the base of the scrum which cost us a couple of times. The shift around seemed to affect them knowing who was supposed to be supporting the clear outs and we saw a problem we havent seen in a while with one up unsupported runners.

I wasn't hysterical before the tournament and i'm not being hysterical now. Just saying.

Did France 'click'?

There's a belief about them, a raw energy and more importantly a cohesion that we haven't seen for a while. I doubt France are worried by their own performance, I think they'll get better, and better.

They'll be top of the table at the end of round three - its theirs to lose.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:44 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:And yet alternately they could only beat England by a few,points.

An England side who looked disinterested,  with a disjonited back row, too many questions marks still over the 9 -13 positions etc.

France will be a genuine force but lets not write England off just yet.

Need to pick a balanced side. We havw the players

7 actually, and if it hadn't been for two great efforts by Jonny May, it would have been a drubbing - and it was anyway in all but name.

I am not writing England off, but they will struggle if they don't pull their socks up. England are too inconsistent, there is a fundamental problem with the coaching.

The point i'm making is that before the competition, I said France were the team to watch, that they were genuine contenders. Quite a few poured scorn on that considered opinion, especially when I said that S Edwards would have an immediate and galvanizing effect on the French defence.

Bravo you predicted the result of a rugby match, given the two options that takes some doing.

I didn't predict the outcome of the match, get it right before you get it wrong.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 8:54 am

We saw those performances in the world cup. A brain fade by their lock gave wales a chance to progress. That performance was probably a shade lower than the wc tbh. So a continuation of recent performance and a touch of luck they havent had recently.
I think dupont kicking the ball out has possibly lost them the title.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:15 am

Honestly England were awful in that first 40. My Gran could have scored a brace against them.

If they do that again next weekend in Murrayfield they will be playing for 5th place and can forget a title challenge.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:18 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:We saw those performances in the world cup. A brain fade by their lock gave wales a chance to progress. That performance was probably a shade lower than the wc tbh. So a continuation of recent performance and a touch of luck they havent had recently.
I think dupont kicking the ball out has possibly lost them the title.

I think that was a shock to pretty much everyone, even Brian Moore was momentarily speechless.

Do you think France would have got a bonus point win if he hadn't kicked it out? England were camped on their line at the time. Not sure.

Based on the weekend's performance, England have a long way to go if they want to be in contention. Another banana skin coming up in Murrayfield and I definitely would not be surprised to see England lose there either.


Last edited by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:21 am

No I don't think they would have got a bonus point. I think he kicked it out a minute early thinking 80 mins had gone and gave england the chance to reduce the deficit to 7.
I would be surprised if england were to lose or draw again this tournament. A lot depends on bonus points for the title now.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:23 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:No I don't think they would have got a bonus point. I think he kicked it out a minute early thinking 80 mins had gone and gave england the chance to reduce the deficit to 7.
I would be surprised if england were to lose or draw again this tournament. A lot depends on bonus points for the title now.

Ah, I see. Yes

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:31 am

And I think you're right in that without Dombrandt or Simmonds and someone at 9 we are giving ourselves unnecessary risks vs scotland. We dominated the French scrum and hence should have the upper hand across all games. Need to take advantage of that.

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Post by carpet baboon on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:32 am

Grayson,Dawson and Chris Jones on the BBC podcast made some interesting points after the game.
They all pointed out that if England can't out muscle a team, the on field leaders struggle to out think opponent's.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:38 am

carpet baboon wrote:Grayson,Dawson and Chris Jones on the BBC podcast made some interesting points after the game.
They all pointed out that if England can't out muscle a team, the on field leaders struggle to out think opponent's.

I thought England could beat France but trip up to Scotland at Murrayfield. Now I fear two straight losses. No doubt, i'll be vilified for that.

English players like Farrell are starting to regurgitate the same old mealy-mouthed platitudes that we used to get from the likes of Borthwick after yet another completely average performance.

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:46 am

For those wishing to discuss how Scotland are the perfect foil for England to get their campaign back on track, us Scots are all being pessimistic over on this thread https://www.606v2.com/t69423-scotland-v-england-the-calcutta-cup

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Post by BamBam on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 9:52 am

Obviously a very disappointing result, but one that sadly isn't that surprising. Edwards has done a number on us yet again, I really don't understand how we've let arguably the best defensive coach of his generation work for our rivals for the bulk of his career - the difference in mentality was immediate

If not for May, I couldn't see where our points were coming from. The French discipline within kicking range was very good, and we kept coughing the ball up at the crucial moment. Weirdly, I thought we should have had a chance to win the game at the end when Kruis went over (he really should have got that down!), but it would have been very undeserved

Agree with the changes proposed re Dombrandt, the locks etc. I don't know what to think about Youngs, I would be happy to see him dropped but Heinz wasn't really much better and Eddie doesn't seem to like Spencer etc. The Manu injury is obviously a blow, I'm not a fan of the Ford-Farrell-Joseph midfield as it lacks a bit of punch to me, even if we have succeeded with it in the past. Anyone know if Tompkins is still available Whistle

Lastly, I was reading through the match thread in the evening yesterday, and think I have to make this comment.

I'm not a fan of any particular club side, so perhaps I notice this more than those who have more affiliation to any club, but there seems to be far too much one eyed commentary when posters are talking about players of their club, or talking down players who are competing with their own clubs players. This isn't aimed at any one poster or any one club, we're not quite at beshocked levels but it was definitely creeping in. We're better than that, its a trait associated with one particular nation - we all just want the best for the England team, and all posts should be viewed with that lens rather than a club tinted view. Just my two cents

Hopefully we get back on track against the Scots

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 10:27 am

Tramptastic wrote:For those wishing to discuss how Scotland are the perfect foil for England to get their campaign back on track, us Scots are all being pessimistic over on this thread https://www.606v2.com/t69423-scotland-v-england-the-calcutta-cup

I thought Scotland were the better team v Ireland. A draw would have been a fair result. At home v this shambles, they've got a great chance.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 10:40 am

Khouli Khan wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:For those wishing to discuss how Scotland are the perfect foil for England to get their campaign back on track, us Scots are all being pessimistic over on this thread https://www.606v2.com/t69423-scotland-v-england-the-calcutta-cup

I thought Scotland were the better team v Ireland.  A draw would have been a fair result. At home v this shambles, they've got a great chance.

Shambles? Wow...over reaction....

Jones Clearly wanted to try a few rhings...experiment. hes done it...but i coincided with a rather lethagic emgland side and a riled up france.

It happens.

England will be different this weekend.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 10:51 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:For those wishing to discuss how Scotland are the perfect foil for England to get their campaign back on track, us Scots are all being pessimistic over on this thread https://www.606v2.com/t69423-scotland-v-england-the-calcutta-cup

I thought Scotland were the better team v Ireland.  A draw would have been a fair result. At home v this shambles, they've got a great chance.

Shambles? Wow...over reaction....

 

Actually, based on that performance, no it isn't.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 11:00 am

Sorry to say it but England from a neutral perspective England were dire....if they repeat that again they will get beaten by Scotland. Clearly slow out of the blocks.

That said I dont think they will be as bad as that again.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 11:11 am

Welshmushroom wrote:Sorry to say it but England from a neutral perspective England were dire 

Headscratch

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 11:29 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:Sorry to say it but England from a neutral perspective England were dire 

Headscratch

To be fair to him, for at least 60 minutes of the match, they completely were....

Hope they sort it out for next week.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 11:41 am

carpet baboon wrote:Grayson,Dawson and Chris Jones on the BBC podcast made some interesting points after the game.
They all pointed out that if England can't out muscle a team, the on field leaders struggle to out think opponent's.

Jones tends to pick a team to do quite a specific set of tasks on the pitch. When it works, we get moments like a run of matches when we score in the opening minutes. The momentum goes our way, and everything falls into place. We don't worry about square pegs in round holes, because no-one is exposed.

However, when it doesn't come off, we have two problems on our hands. Firstly, is deciding whether our plan isn't working because it's the wrong plan, or if it's because we've started making mistakes. Sometimes, the very fact you've started making mistakes might be a sign you need to switch tactics.

The second problem might be that oddball selections can limit the team's ability to do something different. A player out of position might be happy to do what was originally asked of him, but have no clue how to change it up.

It's not so much a "Plan B". Richard Wigglesworth said that no team really has a Plan B because there's simply no time to train for it. It's more about working out what the opposition is doing to stop you being effective, and then countering it, so you can get back to business as usual.

Certainly, the coach can change the mix with substitutions, as Woodward famously did, when he put Mike Catt on against Wales in the 2003 World Cup. However, I'd like to see more signs players are thinking on the pitch. For instance, Sinckler was having a poor game, and seemed be straying from the game plan. His captain and teamates needed to control that, either by having a word, or giving him different jobs to do, not just wait for Jones to sub him.

I don't buy the idea that we were garbage, with our embarassment saved only by some magic from May. That's what May is for. Whenever Habana, Savea or Ioane scored from nothing, it was just taken as a given they could do that, if you gave them an opening. May has done it enough over his career that we know it's not a fluke he gets into those positions.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 11:45 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Grayson,Dawson and Chris Jones on the BBC podcast made some interesting points after the game.
They all pointed out that if England can't out muscle a team, the on field leaders struggle to out think opponent's.


I don't buy the idea that we were garbage, with our embarassment saved only by some magic from May. That's what May is for. Whenever Habana, Savea or Ioane scored from nothing, it was just taken as a given they could do that, if you gave them an opening. May has done it enough over his career that we know it's not a fluke he gets into those positions.

I agree with everything else - but, demonstrably, England were garbage and May saved the embarrassment (with genuine talent or otherwise).

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Post by Heaf on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 11:46 am

I have to admit I have a bad feeling about the trip to Scotland ...

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 12:01 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Grayson,Dawson and Chris Jones on the BBC podcast made some interesting points after the game.
They all pointed out that if England can't out muscle a team, the on field leaders struggle to out think opponent's.


I don't buy the idea that we were garbage, with our embarassment saved only by some magic from May. That's what May is for. Whenever Habana, Savea or Ioane scored from nothing, it was just taken as a given they could do that, if you gave them an opening. May has done it enough over his career that we know it's not a fluke he gets into those positions.

I agree with everything else - but, demonstrably, England were garbage and May saved the embarrassment (with genuine talent or otherwise).
And yet still had chances to score tries. And were the better side in many areas in the aecond half.


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Post by lostinwales on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 12:11 pm

In retrospect we did OK in lots of areas. We got into positions to score but just didn't convert

When England have been at their best they seem to have a lot more time and patience in the opposition 22. This time we didn't make the breaks when we needed to - and that may well be down to better organisation from France, but we also felt very rushed. Maybe thats the biggest difference a Billy or Mako would have made. Making time and space for the rest of the team to do their thing. Coupled with lack of leadership and we ended up with a lot of crap

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 12:33 pm

I guess we have to wait and see with Tuilagi but can't help wondering if its a bad injury that he'll be done.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 12:46 pm

Well, having risen from my mood of gloom and despondency, I am going to say what I think before returning.

Dire Dire Dire.

England play a lot of kick chase, but also play Youngs who can put the ball in the right area once in ten, always too long giving the excellent French backs space to run the ball back at us. Kicking improved once Heinz came on.

However passing didn't, still slow, to static players who got smashed before recycling the ball for the next player to get smashed. Is it that hard to have a player running flat out and to pass to him so that he has a chance of catching the ball.

Curry is not an 8, end of. No control at the back of the scrum.

Ewels was on the field I understand, I just didn't see him.

George had probably his worst match for England in all respects.

Sinkler, scrummaging apart, see George.

Farrell showed that he is not a decision maker, apart from the dropped balls,he was ineffectual. The French defense was rushing up, where was the inside ball going back against the rush? Where was the chip through? We tried nothing but to go wide quicker, when we did make space for May, or chip a decent ball though, we saw the result.

May is probably our best fielder of the highball, why then did we constantly kick off to Daly's side knowing how useless he is at gathering it.

The loss of Manu was critical, JJ just does not do it anymore. With him and OF at 12 and 13, we lack any penetration or sheer bulk.

Furbank had a tough start, but improved as the game went on, but where was the protective screen of blockers that every other side seems to have to hinder the approaching runners, France certainly used it well. Furbank was left exposed.

Daly did nothing, he just didn't come looking for the ball, 4 runs in 80 minutes, May had 10.

Right, rant over. Back to desperation and despondency.

Oh, well played France, if we had managed to squeeze a win, it would not have been deserved




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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 12:54 pm

The biggest thing is having players in their actual positions.

Lawes at 6 has never worked and never will, Daly isn't strong enough under the high ball to play in the back three and having Curry at 8 is a complete waste of time. We're not short of back row options so shoving a second row there no longer makes any sense and there must be wingers available.

I remember the lack of blockers coming up after the WC final where again Daly was exposed, every other team does it except for us.

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Post by Rinsure on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:16 pm

It really is frustrating to see our best flanker played out of position at 8 when there are so many in-form options available in the Prem, not just Dombrandt, but Hughes, Simmonds, Morgan and Harrison. Is Zach Mercer fit?

Odds on Eddie adding an 8 to the squad? Bugger all, I reckon.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:19 pm

Rinsure wrote:It really is frustrating to see our best flanker played out of position at 8 when there are so many in-form options available in the Prem, not just Dombrandt, but Hughes, Simmonds, Morgan and Harrison. Is Zach Mercer fit?

Odds on Eddie adding an 8 to the squad? Bugger all, I reckon.

He is frustratingly stubborn with certain selections, Hughes hasn't torn up trees for England but should have gone to the WC and should be in consideration now. To play Simmonds you'd need a powerhouse 6 like Dombrandt or Hill.

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:29 pm

Not read the whole thread so someone may have mentioned this -
Our attack seems to be poorly structured - too many times it looked like players didn't know what or where they were supposed to be.
Is this a result of Scot Weismantle not being there anymore? Not sure who the new attack coach is?
But there were no sweeping moves, very few back passes and using the wrap that was so effective prior to and during the WC.

New things were perhaps being tried and didn't work - I understand that.

Preparation time seemed to be limited, squad was named and then in a few days they were in Portugal for 1wk before the opening game. Seems like a short turn around for 6N prep when there were a lot of new names in the squad and a lot of positional changes....
(Perhaps an arrangement with the Prem after having extended WC prep time?)

Biggest concern to me is the lack of a pattern in play.
There are others that have been well listed - B.Youngs form! Curry at no.8 and Lawes@no.6. Daly still bad under high ball.
And not impressed with Furbanks debut!

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:31 pm

Only 3 positives for me -
Underhill looked good and got through loads of work and carried well
Jonny May - Obv. form
Scrum - much improved from the WC

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:32 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Rinsure wrote: Is Zach Mercer fit?

He is frustratingly stubborn with certain selections, Hughes hasn't torn up trees for England but should have gone to the WC and should be in consideration now. To play Simmonds you'd need a powerhouse 6 like Dombrandt or Hill.
Mercer is injured I believe

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:36 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Rinsure wrote:It really is frustrating to see our best flanker played out of position at 8 when there are so many in-form options available in the Prem, not just Dombrandt, but Hughes, Simmonds, Morgan and Harrison. Is Zach Mercer fit?

Odds on Eddie adding an 8 to the squad? Bugger all, I reckon.

He is frustratingly stubborn with certain selections, Hughes hasn't torn up trees for England but should have gone to the WC and should be in consideration now. To play Simmonds you'd need a powerhouse 6 like Dombrandt or Hill.

Was he desperate? Where did he go?

Hughes would of added nothing to the RWC but might have been a useful replacement had Billy got broken. I don't recall him showing much form at the time anyway.

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 1:41 pm

Huges recent form for Bristol has been very good.
Agree that for the WC it is unlikely that he would have added anything.

For this 6N, especially now with Manu and previously with Billy V out that we need that ball carrying ability.
B.Curry and Lawes couldn't make up for that, Underhill did well individually. Sinkler looked out of sorts and didn't distribute in the way he was during the WC.

It was only when Kruis and Genge came on that we started seeing a bit of contact area supremacy.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 2:00 pm

Earl is a strong carrier with a knack for scoring tries. I expect he will come into the back row against Scotland.

Lawes and Kruis were our best locks against France so I hope Itoje drops to the bench with those two starting.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 2:21 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Rinsure wrote:It really is frustrating to see our best flanker played out of position at 8 when there are so many in-form options available in the Prem, not just Dombrandt, but Hughes, Simmonds, Morgan and Harrison. Is Zach Mercer fit?

Odds on Eddie adding an 8 to the squad? Bugger all, I reckon.

He is frustratingly stubborn with certain selections, Hughes hasn't torn up trees for England but should have gone to the WC and should be in consideration now. To play Simmonds you'd need a powerhouse 6 like Dombrandt or Hill.

I was about to say the exact same thing. EJ is one obstinate old git and I wouldn't put it beyond him to name an unchanged side for Scotland to try and drive home his point. 

I too have a really bad feeling about the Scotland game. 

England reverted to passing to static players who were hit behind the gainline, no attacking structure whatsoever. With a rush defence as aggressive as France's, why not chip behind the line and use our pace? Especially with JJ on for Manu. Equally, why not attack around the fringes of the rucks? Kruis did that a few times when he came on and gained decent ground because it avoided their rush defence.

Brainless all round from England. 

Don't even get me started on Youngs!

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 2:27 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
I was about to say the exact same thing. EJ is one obstinate old git and I wouldn't put it beyond him to name an unchanged side for Scotland to try and drive home his point. 

As you imply sometimes it feels like he is trying to make a point to someone else by making a dumb selection and seeing the team lose.

I suppose the kindest thing you can say is that it was an 'Australian' style selection, but then they usually have the passing game plus a coupe of heavyweight backs. No Tuilagi no heavyweight backs, no passing game with Farrell and Youngs so out of sorts.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 5:01 pm

Is it the Sarries problems have taken the players minds off what they should be concentrating on. Farrell, George, Itoje, Daly all had shockers. The only other player I can think of who was a s bad was Sinkler

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 5:07 pm

Sinckler moving clubs too

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 5:14 pm

Mays admitted he shouldve played to the whistle, so its not Saracens fault they lost.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 5:15 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Only 3 positives for me -
Underhill looked good and got through loads of work and carried well
Jonny May - Obv. form
Scrum - much improved from the WC

Scrum wasn't bad at the world cup. Was pretty good for all bar the final. South Africa simply had a better scrum which is unsurprising when you consider the depth of quality on offer to them plus the massive pack they selected behind the front row to push.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 5:17 pm

Farrell should be dropped, was easily the worst performance I've ever seen from him. Couldn't catch for periods of the game and when he did he kick long and aimlessly. It would have been better if he'd been subbed as a precaution early on when he got his stinger. Completely baffling that he remained on the field and it was Ford that got subbed.

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