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ENGLAND v WALES - Match Thread / Build up - 7/3/2020

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 4:29 pm

First topic message reminder :

England  rose  v Wales  Wales  - 07/03/2020 - 16:45pm - the HOME of Rugby.

England XV

Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Wilson, Curry

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Stuart, Launchbury, Ewels, Earl, Heinz, Slade


Wales XV

Halfpenny; North, Tompkins, Parkes, Williams; Biggar, T Williams; R Evans, Owens, D Lewis, Ball, AW Jones (capt), Moriarty, Navidi, Tipuric.

Replacements: Elias, Carre, L Brown, Shingler, Faletau, Webb, J Evans, McNicholl.



Overall - Played 134 - Eng 63 - Wales 59 - Drawn 12


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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 10:53 am

Underhill injured I presume?

Still do not see the point in Ewels being on the bench.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:00 am

Oh jesus LT. Half flicking through and not noticed that. It looks a bit of a plodding back row either way.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:01 am

Mark Wilson isn't exactly slow, I don't think there's many back rows who could have got across to make that turnover against New Zealand.

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:03 am

Wales are going to win the backrow battle. Again!
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:04 am

Yeah not that optimistic about it. The front 5 may well make it moot and dominate but it's not a fantasy back row that for me. Roll on willis curry and dombrandt in the ais.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:06 am

Is quite a lumpy pack for sure but I guess thats a recognition of the way the six nations is played and what Wales with their injury crisis in the backs are likely to resort to in this game. The last two times England have come unstuck its been down to being bullied in the forwards, not failing having 2 utility backs on the bench. 
Questions on Ewels for me are more down to is he really good enough than does it make sense to have a 6 2 split. 
Id expected to see JJ over Slade as the back cover as he can fill in at wing and they dont really need more cover at 12. 
Think the continuation with Curry was pretty much always a given once the wider squad had been announced. 

No great shocks in that selection even if people may question some of it.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:11 am

Backrow balance seems off and its one area where Wales may end up with an advantage.

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Post by Guest on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:15 am

Very strong England team. Looks like they will try to arm wrestle and kick Wales off the pitch as expected. Similar game to 2018. Hopefully Liam Williams and Biggar are fit to play. A back 3 of Liam, Halpenny, and McNicholl can deal better with the attacking grubber kicks than a new cap. Forwards on the bench could prove decisive as well. Hope it doesn't rain.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:25 am

That BR will strike fear into no side - God forbid that Ewels joins it later. Guess Eddie is trying to even things up given Wales' injuries - very fair minded. Plus a few dropped balls at FB & a dodgy groin at centre - should at least make a game of it. At least no coronavirus in the FR - that's a plus.
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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:28 am

To be fair to Daly he was good at FB vs Ireland and certainly looked more the part than Furbank has done to date.

I would assume Furbank will have more of a chance to stake a claim in the summer, if the tours happen.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:36 am

Think it's a situation that furbank needed to hit the ground running to cement his place early. Hes had so so performances (notes bad as made out for me) but malins mallinder watson will offer immediate alternatives.

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Post by hugehandoff on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:44 am

Underhill is apparently injured, which is the only obvious answer

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 11:50 am

Underhill is injured, relax people.

Its not like Eddies dog (a Scott Williams fan, apparently) chased him down and bite him!
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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:01 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Underhill is injured, relax people.

Its not like Eddies dog (a Scott Williams fan, apparently) chased him down and bite him!

All I have seen is 'unspecified injury' - could be dog bite!

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Post by Cumbrian on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:03 pm

As others have noted, team is not unexpected, but the back-row just doesn't look right.  Added to the fact that Wilson is just coming back from a long injury lay off, I see trouble...  Good thing back-row isn't a position of strength for Wales. Shocked

I'm only surprised he didn't go with

01. Marler
02. George
03. Sinkler
04. Kruis
05. Itoje
06. Lawes
07. Ewels
08. Curry

and Elliott Stooke called up to the bench.


How long is he going to persist with this 6-2 split?  I mean is this it now?  Are we always going to have 100 locks in every match day squad?  If you have to have another forward, why not make it an actual back-rower?  As a layman, it is getting frustrating.


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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:03 pm

Wales team is out

Williams on the wing, Navidi at 8 and Biggar is picked

North also makes it

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:04 pm

Biggar may heal fast but can't help thinking his kicking will be affected. OK for place kicks as 1/2p is there but you have to wonder about tactical kicking.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:07 pm

Cumbrian wrote:As others have noted, team is not unexpected, but the back-row just doesn't look right.  Added to the fact that Wilson is just coming back from a long injury lay off, I see trouble...  Good thing back-row isn't a position of strength for Wales. Shocked

I'm only surprised he didn't go with

01. Marler
02. George
03. Sinkler
04. Kruis
05. Itoje
06. Lawes
07. Ewels
08. Curry

and Elliott Stooke called up to the bench.


How long is he going to persist with this 6-2 split?  I mean is this it now?  Are we always going to have 100 locks in every match day squad?  If you have to have another forward, why not make it an actual back-rower?  As a layman, it is getting frustrating.

It is. I think its most likely a 6N wet weather pick. Either that or Jones is letting the new hobbit drive forwards and bench selections.

It is easy to focus on the negatives but that England side is a good team

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:10 pm

15. Leigh Halfpenny (88 Caps)
14. George North (94 Caps)
13. Nick Tompkins (3 Caps)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (28 Caps)
11. Liam Williams (62 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (82 Caps)
9. Tomos Williams (19 Caps)
1. Rob Evans (38 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (65 Caps)
3. Dillon Lewis (25 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (45 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (137 Caps)
6. Ross Moriarty (44 Caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (75 Caps)
8. Josh Navidi (23 Caps)

Replacements:

16. Ryan Elias (12 Caps)
17. Rhys Carre (7 Caps)
18. Leon Brown (9 Caps)
19. Aaron Shingler (26 Caps)
20. Taulupe Faletau (75 Caps)
21. Rhys Webb (32 Caps)
22. Jarrod Evans (6 Caps)
23. Johnny McNicholl (3 Caps)
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Post by Cumbrian on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:11 pm

Agree, it is a good side on the whole. The front five looks like it could get through a brutal amount of work and not actually lose that much when replaced. The back-line is also very exciting, I just can't help but thing the back-row is a self-imposed weak link in the team.
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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:12 pm

So is Shingler covering lock or do you expect Ball to last the full 80?

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Post by chris_501 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:12 pm

The Oracle wrote:5. Leigh Halfpenny (88 Caps)
14. George North (94 Caps)
13. Nick Tompkins (3 Caps)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (28 Caps)
11. Liam Williams (62 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (82 Caps)
9. Tomos Williams (19 Caps)
1. Rob Evans (38 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (65 Caps)
3. Dillon Lewis (25 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (45 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (137 Caps)
6. Ross Moriarty (44 Caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (75 Caps)
8. Josh Navidi (23 Caps)

Replacements:

16. Ryan Elias (12 Caps)
17. Rhys Carre (7 Caps)
18. Leon Brown (9 Caps)
19. Aaron Shingler (26 Caps)
20. Taulupe Faletau (75 Caps)
21. Rhys Webb (32 Caps)
22. Jarrod Evans (6 Caps)
23. Johnny McNicholl (3 Caps)

Wyn Jones and Gareth Davies injured?

Also, I would always start Faletau with Navidi on the bench. Worried that no specialist 2nd row cover. England pick 5 locks, we pick 2.....

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:12 pm

Hope they're not rushing players back too early.  I don't mean North as I'm sure they'll follow the correct protocols as it is such a hot topic.  But Navidi, Biggar and Liam W - are they fully recovered?
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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:14 pm

Yeah, seems odd not to have any locks on the bench? Really odd. Headscratch
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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:14 pm

Is this the first time Faletau has been dropped?

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:19 pm

Pack battle could eb very interesting late in the game.

England have maxed out on that second row and bug back row whereas Pivac seems to be chucking all his eggs into running Englands backrow off the park.

England should have scrum dominance late in the game (something something ref)

Biggar fit after all, so it's only really the centres that are a point of weakness for Wales.

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Post by chris_501 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:21 pm

Looks very much like a Welsh team to run, run, run. Feel that if England can manage the ball well enough, they will squeeze our pack and exploit the possession and space.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:31 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Pack battle could eb very interesting late in the game.

England have maxed out on that second row and bug back row whereas Pivac seems to be chucking all his eggs into running Englands backrow off the park.

England should have scrum dominance late in the game (something something ref)

Biggar fit after all, so it's only really the centres that are a point of weakness for Wales.

All the way through I would have thought.

The England pack also has a lot of jumpers so should do well in the lineouts.

EJ did joke about picking 6 locks - Wilson has played there a few times so I guess he's been as good as his word.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:38 pm

7 8 9 and 11 worry me. Class players and the potential to get the upper hand against us. Pretty please moriarty is in and faletau out though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:56 pm

Overall I like the team and our bench. So glad Williams and Navidi are back in, but questions marks over their match sharpness, we'll see. What does North have to do to get dropped I wonder? Because his form and "getting concussed" clearly won't do that. I hope he remains injury free and has a big game, still he would need to be more consistent from that point onwards because he's been quite the opposite so far.

Not sure why Rob Evans is starting, he's a bit better at scrum-cheating? Dillon Lewis, meh. Their replacements are pretty good though. I would have also had Rowlands on the bench in place of Faletau.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:03 pm

Also, just noticed England have 5 locks and we have 2 Headscratch. If you want to try and at least compete with that then you'd definitely need a big lock (Rowlands) on the bench and have Shingler at 6. Looks like we're set up to do a lot of tackling. Hope Thompkins can tackle this week!

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:04 pm

I'm hoping (but not really expecting) an improvement in our accuracy this game.  That's one of the main areas that we've regressed under the new management.  Accuracy, not making mistakes, etc. were a key feature of the Gatland tenure.  He brought in a basic gameplan that relied on the mistakes of others and not our own.  But so far this campaign we've been overthrowing lineouts, passes behind, knock-ons, kicking straight out, etc.  Possibly/probably to do with learning new moves and plays, especially as the patterns and plays are likely to be more complex than the basic Gatland-era ones.  So I'm hopeful that further in to the tournament and more weeks together will see an improvement in this area, but I think it's probably too soon to expect a slick operation just yet.  And the last thing we want is England feeding off mistakes.  Could be a long afternoon if we struggle to 'click' and end up handing England lots of turnover possession.
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:08 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Also, just noticed England have 5 locks and we have 2 Headscratch. If you want to try and at least compete with that then you'd definitely need a big lock (Rowlands) on the bench and have Shingler at 6. Looks like we're set up to do a lot of tackling. Hope Thompkins can tackle this week!

England do tend to let the opposition have the ball a lot and do the bulk of defending ( albeit rarely in their own 22) , which partly explains why theve picked a 6 2 bench.
I guess Wales will need to nail their tackles when they have to make them, but dont be shocked if Englands tackle count is higher overall.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:11 pm

The last time Farrell used his arms:

ENGLAND v WALES - Match Thread / Build up - 7/3/2020 - Page 5 Farrel10

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:15 pm

drumroll

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:21 pm

Imagine playing a backrow consisting of Navidi, Tips and Curry.

You wouldn't have the ball very long.
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Post by Guest on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:26 pm

Interesting Welsh team. It seems like Pivac is playing the long game and with the championship now gone you can accept that. He's rotated again, he's looking at his players and 'giving everyone a fair crack' as they say. He's not picking favourites, he's not picking a team that is necessarily suited to winning (Gareth Davies would be better than Tomos Williams for a game like this you'd think as he plays well against England and can do the ugly exit kicking better and is more experienced).

It might look dramatic but I think it's just a case of rotating to then have another crack in New Zealand, and then from there Pivac will know who is up to playing his style of play, who isn't, and who can do it really well. Good to see Navidi back but along with Liam Williams that's quite a few 'ring rusty' players. Hope it doesn't show.

I like the look of the Welsh team though. Nice and experienced with enough dynamic excitement in a few key positions. The back row is probably the best Welsh back row until Faletau gets back to form as Shingler looks like he is a player who Pivac won't be giving game time to which is a shame but he at least played his part in Japan after an awful injury.

Again, I hope it doesn't rain, as England's sheer bulk and power would be enough to win the game if that's the case. This is a Welsh team built to run the ball and score after plenty of phases. England's team looks gruelling and powerful and one that can score from first phase either up the middle or kicking in behind and causing chaos. Navidi or Curry might be the deciding factor. Two flankers at number 8 for both teams.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:29 pm

Dont worry Miaow we can always shut the roof.

Forecast is dry for Saturday in twickers.

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Post by Guest on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:29 pm

My mistake Shingler covers second row. So yes this is fully Pivac giving everyone a go in this first tournament isn't it.

Well I like it from a rugby perspective and hopefully the media will understand as well. If we end up with 3 (or even 4) defeats, including England, from this having been Grand Slam champions the media won't be so forgiving and I worry that even 'proper' rugby fans can turn on Pivac on the back of negative headlines.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:33 pm

I've already seen some on Twitter calling for Pivac's head! picard

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:40 pm

If (and it is an 'If') England turn up like they did vs Ireland I can only see an England win. But as we know England can be inconsistent and to be honest that Welsh team worries me.

'if' they (Agent Tompkins) sort their defence out and Biggar hangs in there then Wales could do it, it will be tough but not impossible.
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Post by Guest on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:43 pm

The Oracle wrote:I've already seen some on Twitter calling for Pivac's head! picard


Of course. I even remember a thread on the old 606 saying the same about Gatland after we lost down in South Africa. 'He's done his part with the Grand Slam and got the confidence back but that's as far as he can take us'. It stuck out to me as one that shows how fickle fandom really is (and how you should ignore most of it!).

We might still see some changes before kick off though. Question marks must still hang over North and Biggar.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:46 pm

TightHEAD wrote:If (and it is an 'If') England turn up like they did vs Ireland I can only see an England win. But as we know England can be inconsistent and to be honest that Welsh team worries me.

'if' they (Agent Tompkins) sort their defence out and Biggar hangs in there then Wales could do it, it will be tough but not impossible.


Maybe if Wales were home, but I just can't see it at Twickers.  Away from home, new coaching team and new patterns of play to get used to, injuries and rusty players returning - yes I'm getting my excuses in early, but really I think we've got little to no chance on sat.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:46 pm

It was always going to be a hard tournament for wales given the different style of play likely to be employed along with a whole set of new coaches. Simply have to give players and coaches time to bed however.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:56 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:It was always going to be a hard tournament for wales given the different style of play likely to be employed along with a whole set of new coaches. Simply have to give players and coaches time to bed however.

The ring rusty players will have had less exposure to the new regime too - which won't help.

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Post by Sharkey06 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 2:09 pm

If England’s backrow was 6 Lawes, 7 Curry and 8 Wilson would people be happier?  Wilson put a few decent games in at 8 pre-world cup and it looks a more balanced selection than 6 Lawes, 7 Wilson and 8 Curry - perhaps a bit more of the famous Jones kidology.  Either way England are going to need to play a very controlled games against that Welsh backrow, if they are not going to get burnt at the breakdown.

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Post by Guest on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 2:13 pm

I'm not sure about that lostinwales. Liam Williams has been training with Wales for the whole duration for instance. He also knows Pivac's tactics well. I'd assume the same training situation happened with Navidi.

I'm glad Moriarty is in the team anyway. We need a bit of dog in the team and Moriarty is that dog. He's probably been one of the best Welsh players in the last 2-3 years but injury on the Lions tour and the fact he does tend to get injured quite a bit counts against him. He did really well out in Japan when he played and he's done well so far under Pivac. I think he can add to Wales what Curry adds to England with tackling and carrying. Then we have Tipuric and Navidi to do the more technical stuff. Wilson is a great player but I suppose the question marks will be on how effective Lawes can be?

I don't know too much about Earl. How do England fans rate him?




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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 2:21 pm

The Oracle wrote:I've already seen some on Twitter calling for Pivac's head! picard


Hayward for me. He shouldn't have been in the Scarlets defence role, let alone the Wales one.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 2:25 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote: ...
I don't know too much about Earl. How do England fans rate him?


From what I have seen hes a bit like Sam Simmonds. Not the biggest but powerful, very quick and aggressive. He hasn't spent much time on the pitch for England yet but hasn't looked out of place at all.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 2:30 pm

Earl from Saracens? Very good player. I used to think England were a bit weak at open-side but now you have Curry and the two from Sarries.

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