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England 6 Nations Thread

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England 6 Nations Thread - Page 10 Empty England 6 Nations Thread

Post by LondonTiger 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 king_carlos Wed 19 Feb 2020, 1:08 pm

Jones throughout his coaching career has always emphasised back rows getting back to their feet and into the defensive line ridiculously quickly. Curry, Underhill, Ludlam and Earl all do that. Dombrandt doesn't to the same extent.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 19 Feb 2020, 1:27 pm

king_carlos wrote:Jones throughout his coaching career has always emphasised back rows getting back to their feet and into the defensive line ridiculously quickly. Curry, Underhill, Ludlam and Earl all do that. Dombrandt doesn't to the same extent.

I was quite dismissive of Ludlum when he was first selected and didn't expect to see him post world cup but he is incredibly quick at getting back into the defensive line. He along with Curry and Underhill make numerous double hits which really highlights it.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 19 Feb 2020, 1:58 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Jones throughout his coaching career has always emphasised back rows getting back to their feet and into the defensive line ridiculously quickly. Curry, Underhill, Ludlam and Earl all do that. Dombrandt doesn't to the same extent.

I was quite dismissive of Ludlum when he was first selected and didn't expect to see him post world cup but he is incredibly quick at getting back into the defensive line. He along with Curry and Underhill make numerous double hits which really highlights it.

Ludlam is an excellent openside. He's just unfortunate to be behind Underhill and Curry who are both younger than him!

Ludlam is quick which makes him dangerous on kick chase as well. It's noticeable in the last 2 years that England have looked for Curry or Underhill to be their main chaser on box kicks as often as their wingers. With how much of a lottery competing in the air can be it's an effective tactic. The hit Underhill put in on Jordie Barrett in the semi-final is a very good example there. Landing high balls just outside the 22 and driving the defender back into the 22 on the chase can lead to big net gains in territory and attacking line-outs.

Earl has similar attributes to those 3 in that regard. I think he's more dominant in contact, particularly carrying than Ludlam though probably doesn't offer quite the same threat over the ball. I've been pretty forthright in how highly I rate Earl though. His physicality makes him standout as a player who I think can settle long term at international level.

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 19 Feb 2020, 3:01 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:The problem some of us have is that EJ has built quite a bit of our go-forward strategy on the big carrying of Billy...

I reckon Jones believes players like Hughes, Morgan & Dombrandt might approach Billy Vunipola's peak contribution but their lows are much lower than his. Vunipola hasn't really looked imperious for England in some time but he has played in some of our best recent performances. He seems willing to play Vunipola in almost any circumstance, on the basis that a below-par Billy is still an asset, Except, he wasn't against South Africa in the World Cup final.

I wonder whether Jones has decided that an in-form Billy Vunipola is an automatic selection, because he is an exceptional rugby player. However, if he's not in-form, then it's wasteful in a World Cup squad to try and cover him with someone who might do what Billy does but, if just off the pace, will fall significantly short. Lancaster went through a long period of playing both Morgan and Vunipola in match day squads but that always limited his bench, as neither properly covered lock, or other back row positions (except at a pinch). To bring one on, he had to take the other off.

Perhaps, then, what Jones is doing, trying to decide what game plans suit us when Billy Vunipola is unavailable, or not making a difference. One reason he might not want to try Dombrandt or Hughes is that he already knows what that game plan looks like. If he has no plans to ever include two players like that in a World Cup squad, then there's no point in trying a Billy look-alike. Now is the time to try his other idea about nunber 8 play.

I think Simmons and Mercer could potentialy offer the workrate which Jones seems to want from his back row ibut t's unclear whether Jones disagrees, or is biding his time.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 19 Feb 2020, 3:23 pm

The point about Morgan and Billy in matchday squads made me think of a point a friend made about our bench split.

With the versatility of many players in the England backline there is the capacity to go for a 6-2 split regularly as South Africa do. Given Jones very physical game plan it could be an effective option.

1.Marler 2.George 3.Sinckler 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.Curry 7.Underhill 8.Earl
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.Daly 12.Farrell 13.Tuilagi 14.May 15.Furbank

16.Cowan-Dickie 17.Genge 18.Stuart 19.Launchbury 20.Lawes 21.Ludlam 22.Heinz 23.Joseph

The entire back line is still covered in the event of injury there to the same extent as having both Joseph and Devoto on the bench.

9.Youngs 10.Farrell 11.Daly 12.Tuilagi 13.Slade 14.May 15.Watson

22.Heinz 23.Ford

In that event it's a different argument with Slade at 15 in an emergency arguably riskier than Joseph at wing.

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Post by BamBam Wed 19 Feb 2020, 3:27 pm

I just don't like the risk of it KC. 2 injuries in a game and you're up sh!t creek

SA centres are basically the same size as back row forwards anyway so that was their emergency, and they had Frans Steyn to cover 6-15!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 19 Feb 2020, 3:40 pm

Most of our backrowers are roughly the same size...we dont have a lot of BIG backrowers these days.

Curry x 2
Simmonds
Underhill
Willis
Earl
Ludlum
Mercer

Only Billy (with his weight) Dombrandt and Ted HIll stand out in that regards...and Dombrandt is only 6'3 i believe.

Ted Hill is quite unique at 6'5 and well up there in weight.

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Post by BamBam Wed 19 Feb 2020, 3:46 pm

Hill was a lock through the age groups, hopefully he's been moved to back row early enough in his career for no one to be shouting about how he's a square peg at 6!

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Post by king_carlos Wed 19 Feb 2020, 4:16 pm

BamBam wrote:I just don't like the risk of it KC. 2 injuries in a game and you're up sh!t creek

SA centres are basically the same size as back row forwards anyway so that was their emergency, and they had Frans Steyn to cover 6-15!  

2 misplaced injuries with almost any bench and you're up the creek though surely?

Steyn the younger years covered 10-15 but if we're honest 2019 Steyn covered wing to the same standard as Man can. I.e. crudely to be polite. Steyn just doesn't have the pace for it anymore.

If two wingers get injured with the backs (5-3 split) against France we are looking at:

9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.Joseph 12.Farrell 13.Devoto 14.Manu 15.Furbank

And the same scenario with the backs (6-2 split) against Scotland:

9.Heinz 10.Ford 11.Joseph 12.Farrell 13.Devoto 14.Youngs 15.Furbank

Either way we are well and truly fluffed unless their key decision makers put 5 kicks in a row out on the full... Whistle

Personally I'd really like it as a tactic. Similarly to SA it would give us the option of firing on an entirely fresh tight 5 in the second half. The versatility of Lawes and Itoje also gives the option of changing tactics in the back row with an extra jumper and strength in the tight.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 19 Feb 2020, 4:29 pm

Aside from against South Africa or in extreme weather conditions I don't think 6 forwards on the bench is the way to go personally. To be brutally honest SA do it because their second rows can't last a full match at that intensity whereas the same can't be said of Itoje so somewhat negates it's necessity.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 19 Feb 2020, 4:57 pm

Yeah. Too much of a risk for me to go with 6 forwards outside of horrendous conditions even with the versatility of out backs.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:15 pm

BamBam wrote:Hill was a lock through the age groups, hopefully he's been moved to back row early enough in his career for no one to be shouting about how he's a square peg at 6!

Aah i didnt know that Bam...thought he was just a big 6.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 22 Feb 2020, 10:12 pm

Pretty much out title chance s gone today then.

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Post by TightHEAD Sun 23 Feb 2020, 9:56 am

They went when we didn't turn up for 40mins in Paris.
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Post by Duty281 Sun 23 Feb 2020, 4:55 pm

Guessing the game in Rome (about three weeks away) is in doubt due to the Corona virus?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 23 Feb 2020, 5:37 pm

Curry was excellent. Is Jones right playing him at 8?

Or is it still not right.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 23 Feb 2020, 5:56 pm

Play him at 7 it's his best position. Play willis at 6. Play Dombrandt at 8. I think the latter 2 will be there to try and make a mark in the summer.

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Post by Rinsure Sun 23 Feb 2020, 5:58 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Curry was excellent. Is Jones right playing him at 8?

Or is it still not right.

I guess the more he plays there, the better it gets? He's a talented lad, and learning as he goes. I still think he's a better flanker than 8, but I'm not the decision maker. I did think it was odd when he shifted to the flank and Ewels packed down at 8 though!

Oh, and yes, he was indeed excellent!

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Post by Rinsure Sun 23 Feb 2020, 5:59 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Play him at 7 it's his best position. Play willis at 6. Play Dombrandt at 8. I think the latter 2 will be there to try and make a mark in the summer.

I'll admit to a Wasps bias, but Willis is an absolute beast. He must be in the conversation, for sure.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 23 Feb 2020, 6:11 pm

Rinsure wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Play him at 7 it's his best position. Play willis at 6. Play Dombrandt at 8. I think the latter 2 will be there to try and make a mark in the summer.

I'll admit to a Wasps bias, but Willis is an absolute beast. He must be in the conversation, for sure.

Rightly or wrongly it seems that Jones has Ted Hill and Zach Mercer ahead of Willis and Dombrandt. Willis is a beast but does float in and our of games more than Hill in my opinion. I rate Mercer very highly and hope he comes into the equation at 8.

1.Genge 2.Dunn 3.Stuart 4.Launchbury (c) 5.Ewels 6.Ludlam 7.Earl 8.Mercer

16.Singleton 17.Obano 18.Williams 19.Kpoku 20.Hill

That'd be an exciting pack to go away to Japan with given how many players will be rested.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 23 Feb 2020, 6:42 pm

It was a much improved England performance but a negative I'd take from today is that we scored two tries from forcing errors with kicks through and one from set-piece. None through phase play. It has been argued before that England under Jones haven't consistently threatened through phase play and keeping ball in hand.

I think that Watson is a big loss for England in that regard. His support lines as well as broken field running are outstanding.

The obvious counter argument is that our win percentage under Jones tactics are very good. I'd argue however that when sides with strong back threes cover those probing kicks well we have sometimes lacked bite in attack.

I hope that over the next couple of years that is a major point of development for this side. Centres such as Marchant and Ollie Lawrence could be exceptional ball in hand. Likewise we have forwards who really play now. Established tight 5 players like Genge, Mako, George and Sinckler all have very good ball skills. Curry and Underhill are improving all the time. I'm also impressed by Earl, Mercer, Hill and Dombrandt ball in hand.

Today we saw what a difference Manu can make in attack though. A run of the mill off the top line-out from a front jumper (i.e. now great attack ball) can become quick front foot ball against a retreating defence from one phase with Manu. His game isn't perfect but he offers things many can't.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 23 Feb 2020, 6:47 pm

What I would argue is that we mixed up the attack very well. Switching between going wide and the kicking game helped to make space for the kicks. And of course the kicking was mostly very good.

It is easy to put the tries down to Irish mistakes, and they won't always come off. But they were very much manufactured opportunities.

Agree about Tuilagi. He was wonderful and a real handful. I thought the tackle on Stander was also a defining moment. Nobody likes seeing their heavyweight carriers flattened.

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Post by Cyril Sun 23 Feb 2020, 6:53 pm

king_carlos, yes, we now have front five forwards (starters and finishers) who are both good at their core work and can play with ball in hand. It’s not just one or the other. That’s without Mako too.

This is something that NZ have always had.

The cutting edge wasn’t quite there today, but I thought Youngs, Ford and Farrell were good and played intelligently for the most part. Joseph was a plus point and Daly also a cut above his recent performances. May just does everything right even if not given many chances and Tuilagi important to everything in the midfield.

We were good under the high ball today, even if the Irish kicking was generally poor.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 23 Feb 2020, 7:02 pm

I agree that the kicks were well manufactured positions but but both were relying on Irish mistakes. It's good tactical play targeting Sexton turning and retreating, similar to targeting Henshaw at 15 for instance, but still an attack that could be snubbed out if the kick takes a better bounce for the defender.

I like England's tactic of using kicks as a major attacking option rather than a clearing option. Our outside backs are quick and good defenders, Curry and Underhill are outstanding kick chasers. It's not that tactic that concerns me it's more that when plan A gets snubbed out we sometimes haven't had plan B.

On an individual perspective JJ proved me wrong today. I thought he lacked the footwork he used to have since injury but he looked very good ball in hand today. He perhaps doesn't have the same explosive acceleration that cut Scotland to bits a few years back but he is still a dangerous runner at this level.

I still hope to see Thorley gets a game during this tournament. He has the lightning pace to be a good finisher but also the size to make yards in contact against settled defences. The later is something our backs have lacked at times.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 23 Feb 2020, 7:05 pm

Luke Cowan-Dickie was also excellent. He has to be pushing Jamie George very hard for that starting shirt now. His set-piece has improved but his carrying and breakdown work remain very impressive. His scramble defence is very strong for front row. He can really shift for a bloke that weighs 18 stone.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 23 Feb 2020, 8:26 pm

Agreed on Joseph. He did have the freedom to get involved as and when and showed up very well. Also comfortable under the high ball, at least the one time I remember him taking one.

I think the crucial thing about Tuilagi is the amount of time and space he makes for everyone else helps to make them look good.

It will be interesting to see what Wales do to counter him. Tompkins hasn't been the best defender so far (although he can put in a decent hit at times)

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Post by lostinwales Sun 23 Feb 2020, 9:06 pm

Would it be too contentious to say that although Mako is a better player than both Genge and Marler, that England look better with the latter two playing.

They give the kind of scrum dominance that sometimes we lack with Mako.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 24 Feb 2020, 7:37 am

No
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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 24 Feb 2020, 8:04 am

lostinwales wrote:Would it be too contentious to say that although Mako is a better player than both Genge and Marler, that England look better with the latter two playing.

They give the kind of scrum dominance that sometimes we lack with Mako.

I've always wanted Marler starting for England, far superior scrummager and a more dominant tackler. On the latter point Mako makes more tackles but he doesn't have the ability of Joe to knock the opposition back and that is more important in todays game. Since the emergence of Sinckler there's very little need for both he and Mako to be starting, then it's obvious that Genge is the man you want coming on later; strong carrier and increasingly strong at scrum time.

Was pleasantly surprised by Lawes yesterday, made the tackles he always does and was watertight at the line out but that's the best I've ever seen him in a ball carrier role.

JJ looked somewhat back to his best and again surprised me with his ability under the high ball, who knew?

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Post by BamBam Mon 24 Feb 2020, 8:48 am

I watched bits of the game again, and I'm not quite in agreement on JJ. He was lucky that the Ireland kicks were generally just a bit too long, and the chase wasn't able to get there.

He caught everything safely, but I noticed he wasn't really jumping off the ground which is what true back 3 players do to give themselves time and stop people clattering them.

In attack, he wanted to cut inside far too often and the attack momentum was slowed. It's obviously his natural instinct, so I don't blame him at all but I don't think the selection worked on the wing

Him being on the wing is one of those that I definitely don't want Eddie feeling vindicated by and repeating if possible, think Wales will do a far better job chasing and putting the pressure on him.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 24 Feb 2020, 9:02 am

Lawes was excellent, but I still feel he is a lock and not a back rower. The front five dominated Ireland so his job was made much easier.

JJ was never exposed in the way that had been anticipated, helped again by Murray and Sexton always being on the back foot. I do not feel that he thrived as a winger and would rather see a proper winger in the side. Looks like Thorley is a long way from getting a game as this weekend (despite apparently not being right) Furbank was the "travelling reserve" and would have wormn the 23 shirt if anyone in th ebacks dropped out prior to kick-off.

Eddie will feel vindicated by his decisions but for me the strength of the performances from the "non-controversial" choices largely made the controversial ones look better.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 24 Feb 2020, 10:06 am

England were very good.  Variety, power, accuracy, controlled the tempo of the game throughout, didn't give Ireland a sniff of a comeback, very well drilled yet enough emotion to keep things growling when needed.

But I don't think England should use that game as a sign they are back fully on track in a decisive way.  For me it wasn't close to England at their best and better teams than Ireland would have made England work harder - as I think Wales might.

Ireland were repulsed yet again by a big physical side showing some variety and high tempo.  But Ireland too, in and of themselves, were just weak in collisions and toothless in attack.  
Yet this poor Ireland side, with our now habitually impotent 9 and 10, scored 12 points (2 tries) and Sexton left how many points behind him?  Was it Five?  So dreadful Ireland with no answers to England's defensive physicality up the middle still might have had 17 points from that game where England scored 24.
That's not an attempt to faintly praise Ireland.  They were useless.  But England will need another heavier test of their current form to decide where they truly are with Eddie's mismatching experimentation.  

Still, it worked against Ireland and he got his victory.  For now, that's plenty good enough.  OK

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Post by dummy_half Mon 24 Feb 2020, 10:31 am

One thing I noticed, especially in the first 20 minutes, was how quickly Youngs was getting the ball away - none of this taking a step back, just pinging it straight to the next runner. Obviously easier when you are dominating the breakdown, but looked like an intentional change of style. Also, far fewer box kicks.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 24 Feb 2020, 10:36 am

dummy_half wrote:One thing I noticed, especially in the first 20 minutes, was how quickly Youngs was getting the ball away - none of this taking a step back, just pinging it straight to the next runner. Obviously easier when you are dominating the breakdown, but looked like an intentional change of style. Also, far fewer box kicks.

And when he did shuffle it was in a positive manner - trying to find gaps or put someone else through a hole. Lenny will hit 100 England caps against Italy (injuries allowing - also noting that with his two lions caps he has 100 overall). For someone who is still 30 that i spretty good going. He has been a really good player for England - perhaps with a few too many peaks and troughs - and is nowhere near as bad as the detractors claim. Perhaps not lived up to the early expectation, but he has been very good.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 24 Feb 2020, 10:37 am

SecretFly wrote:
But I don't think England should use that game as a sign they are back fully on track in a decisive way.  For me it wasn't close to England at their best and better teams than Ireland would have made England work harder - as I think Wales might.


The same Wales that handed the ball 2 france and stood back and watched them stroll the length of the pitch to score?

As for the positional experimentation...its largely injury driven, certainly the outside backs. The only real development project position is curry at 8, and even then that's as a back up to BVP.

The use of heavy forwards and a stacked bench is very much a six nations specific thing. In the last interview Jones was quite explicit about the style of rugby required in this weather and against teams looking to knock lumps out of them. He picked a heavy brawling bench for good reason, not experiment.

It may mean that England arent playing the same level of flair and adventure they did against Aus and NZ but that's because they arent playing those teams on fast pitches. An element of the stodginess is by design.

Expect to see a very different approach in the summer.

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Post by Cumbrian Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:00 am

I think England were the best team on the day, but I also think that things went our way that might not have on another day (the vagaries of the bouncing ball and all that).  England never seem to be able to play a fully 80 minutes either.  When the third try went over they had about 15 minutes to get another try for a (potentially important) bonus point, but took their foot off the gas.

You can argue about referee and TMO interpretations until the cows come home, but you can't argue against the fact that England's intensity dropped. It was this which cost England the BP, not the referee in my opinion.

I know Eddie will use it as vindication, but I honestly still think England won despite his selections, rather than because of them.  When I saw Ewels packing down at no.8 the top of my head nearly blew off. I am resigned to seeing more batshit selections for the game against Wales.

When I read back, all of this seems rather negative in response to a game where England effectively stuffed Ireland off the pitch for large sections of play doesn't it?
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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:03 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Play him at 7 it's his best position. Play willis at 6. Play Dombrandt at 8. I think the latter 2 will be there to try and make a mark in the summer.

The problem is that Underhill is an absolute beast aswell.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:06 am

Cumbrian wrote:
When I read back, all of this seems rather negative in response to a game where England effectively stuffed Ireland off the pitch for large sections of play doesn't it?

Yes, but not unfair. Farrell Sr is correct that the scoreline flattered Ireland - yet for the 3rd match in a row we butchered far too many opportunities to score. It is easy to balme rustiness (Paris), weather (Edinburgh) & officials (Twickenham) but the common factor is us. We need to get much more ruthless in taking the opportunities we create. I am not sure we will do this by continuing to pick players (albeit excellent) out of position.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:07 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Play him at 7 it's his best position. Play willis at 6. Play Dombrandt at 8. I think the latter 2 will be there to try and make a mark in the summer.

The problem is that Underhill is an absolute beast aswell.

Underhill is, imo, better than Willis by a clear margin.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:10 am

LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Play him at 7 it's his best position. Play willis at 6. Play Dombrandt at 8. I think the latter 2 will be there to try and make a mark in the summer.

The problem is that Underhill is an absolute beast aswell.

Underhill is, imo, better than Willis by a clear margin.

Underhill is not getting dropped any time soon, he can do something no other back row player can and that's knock the opposition back over and over and over again.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:13 am

Last I checked Underhill had 21 tackles (+3 missed) on Sunday.

He's also carrying, if only occasionally

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Post by lostinwales Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:16 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:
When I read back, all of this seems rather negative in response to a game where England effectively stuffed Ireland off the pitch for large sections of play doesn't it?

Yes, but not unfair. Farrell Sr is correct that the scoreline flattered Ireland - yet for the 3rd match in a row we butchered far too many opportunities to score. It is easy to balme rustiness (Paris), weather (Edinburgh) & officials (Twickenham) but the common factor is us. We need to get much more ruthless in taking the opportunities we create. I am not sure we will do this by continuing to pick players (albeit excellent) out of position.

I suppose if you take out the go forward that Manu gave us, have the bounce of the ball go against us and come up against an opponent with more nous and more attacking invention its very easy to go from yesterday's performance to the performance vs France

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Post by Cumbrian Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:19 am

What is Willis' link play like? That would be the thing he would have over Baggins, assuming that it is good. If you are bringing him in the team to be a destructive breakdown monkey, then Underhill wins at them moment. If however, he can link play in attack too the conversation may change in the future.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:35 am

lostinwales wrote:Last I checked Underhill had 21 tackles (+3 missed) on Sunday.

He's also carrying, if only occasionally

Yes his carrying is powerful when he does it.

The guy is just physically immense...ie he just be one of the most powerful guys in the squad.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:36 am

LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Play him at 7 it's his best position. Play willis at 6. Play Dombrandt at 8. I think the latter 2 will be there to try and make a mark in the summer.

The problem is that Underhill is an absolute beast aswell.

Underhill is, imo, better than Willis by a clear margin.

Having watched Willis Vs Tigers the other weekend the thing jumped out to me was "penalty machine", he was lucky not to have a 10 minute sit down. All the physical attributes are there but he needs a bit more experience to develop that backrow nous you need at the top level. Touring in the summer should help that.

For me what has hampered England is the lack of supporting runners. There were multiple half breaks where there was no passing option. England got turned over because of being isolated from a half break more than they did because Ireland had dominated the collision. Very rarely is anyone working hard on the inside of the attacking move running a cheat line in case there's a break, instead they are resetting ready for the next phase.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 24 Feb 2020, 11:48 am

Underhill and Curry seemed to be developing a great understanding at 6 and 7...and they were supporting each other as they carried also.

I'd like to see that continued on with a big mobile, skilled 8.

Maybe Ted HIll can be moved to 8. Our very own Duane Vermuelen!

Otherwise time to give Mercer a run out. Or See how Dombrandts work rate is?

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Post by lostinwales Mon 24 Feb 2020, 12:14 pm

Well I noticed EJ make a pointed comment about including 6 locks next game so who knows

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 24 Feb 2020, 12:39 pm

Well, EJ believes in the hybrid player, not only does he think that Nowell, would make a good flanker but also that Earl would make a good 13 or "blind side winger" not heard of that one. I assume it works the same as flanker.

Hybrids.

May has already proved that he makes a decent flanker..............

Lancaster did it first though, Burgess. I personally didn't think he played badly, indeed England came to pieces once he had been replaced against Wales.

As a walloping great big 17.5 stone backrower, (20 years ago that was big) I moved out to 12 once I got too old to do the hard work, the opposition 10/12 were not too happy about it usually, so i know from experience that it can work.

The other thing we used to do was on our ball, I would normally pack down at 6 or 8, but on the opposition ball, I would pack down on our tight head, amazing how disruptive that can be if you have a really big flanker shoving over the ball as it comes in. Never seen it done elsewhere.


Last edited by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by SecretFly Mon 24 Feb 2020, 12:40 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
But I don't think England should use that game as a sign they are back fully on track in a decisive way.  For me it wasn't close to England at their best and better teams than Ireland would have made England work harder - as I think Wales might.


The same Wales that handed the ball 2 france and stood back and watched them stroll the length of the pitch to score?

Yep - that Wales.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Mon 24 Feb 2020, 12:45 pm

I personally don’t believe Eddie is vindicated. No-one has ever said that Lawes & JJ aren’t excellent rugby players. And no surprise, they both played well – JJ played like an excellent… centre, Lawes did play well on the flank, but his selection forced a better flanker to play a slightly less impressive no 8 role. Fortunately Ireland didn’t test our wingers in defence too much, and JJ wasn’t required to finish off a very tight score in the corner to win the game. But this isn’t RL, players learn their more specific roles over years of experience - this approach is too Lancastrian for comfort particularly in a really tight game away from home.

Also if EJ won’t be with us for the next RWC I’d like to see RFU movement to find a new coach sooner rather than later. Not because EJ isn’t a good coach, but any new guy will need time to bed in.
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