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Le Winner Tales It All - England vs France

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 6:58 am

The Guardian throws up some interesting points of discussion that have been touched upon already elsewhere. The positives first are that there will be 2000 fans in the stadium at the weekend:plenty of room to spread out but an important step back to normality. It also allows england the chance on some revenge for the 6 nations defeat and to lift some silverware. Despite overall feeling we've missed the chance to create depth in some key areas I think Jones has used these games pretty well. Genge has had some good performances, itoje and Launchbury have to me shown they can work effectively together, Willis and Earl have mins on the pitch, Lawrence looks set for a good career. Hell even if I dont think it's worked Joseph has proved he can cover wing (played there previously for england I know) though hopefully only for emergencies and we know conclusively Furbank isnt good enough.

That leads onto the negative. The balance between club and country has led France to agree to only play players 3 times over the course of these matches. It leave the final now a bit of an imbalance as France for some reason prioritised games over england meaning guys like Dupont and Vakatawa are unavailable. Perhaps they figured may as well let the media hype of 'France are back' reign on rather than risk a massacre at Twickenham. Its shame for the fans (and Amazon the poor multi billion company) but I'm looking forward to it anyway. There will still be fireworks from them I'm sure and in guys like Woki they certainly have quality. That guy could be box office, loads of potential with a slight question on his fitness to perform for 80 mins for me.

I suspect that Jones will go for a very strong team again but while his favourite phrase will be we've picked the strongest 23 it clearly leaves room for tinkering. I have a slight feeling that this may be the match he throws Malins a start.

Expecting a great game tbh. England have stuttered so far but easily been on top throughout their matches. Surely this is the game targeted from the off? Allez les rosbifs.

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Post by BamBam Mon 30 Nov 2020, 9:16 am

Thanks for setting this up, glad we can have some separate chat here rather than wade through a novel of self importance spaffed all over the Wales match thread.

Didn't know about the agreement the French have made, its very unfortunate and will make this game a bit of an anti climax to the tournament for me. If we beat them handily it won't be the first choice side, and if we plod our way to another win then it doesn't seem like we've learnt a great deal throughout these games.

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Post by BigGee Mon 30 Nov 2020, 10:07 am

For various reasons, some of them unavoidable, the whole competition has been a bit of a damp squib and has never really taken off the way it should.

Unfortunately it looks like a anti climatic final coming up. The Ireland v Scotland game looks to be the more interesting match.

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 30 Nov 2020, 10:32 am

It is a shame a team like France cannot play there best players because it falls out side the international window so to speak.

Still looking forward to the game lets hope it is a really top notch game.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 30 Nov 2020, 10:35 am

The quality of the rugby hasnt helped either. For all the focus of pundits on the laws and moans about Englands playing style the simple fact is none of the teams have looked up to much with the ball in hand aside from France. The amount of good possession Ireland have had to the number of tries they've scored is frankly shocking.

I'm worried its going to spill over into the 6 nations as well with fixture fatigue. We are used to the rugby being a bit rubbish in that competition, but the fierce rivalries always made it a great competition regardless. But a third Englands Wales clash in under 12 months (and 6th in 2 years) takes a bit of gloss of it. The France match will be the fourth test in 15 months between the two sides. At least with France theres a rivalry developing with two sides clearly a cut above the NH pack and both with achievable ambitions to be world number one.

The Lions will be a nice sideshow, assuming it happens, but the next really interesting set of tests wont be till this time next year.

Jones unquestionably will name his strongest 23 for the final, he's been very explicit about wanting a stable group of players to develop together over the course of this unusually long set of games. Does seem very short sighted of the French to not take the same opportunity, especially given how raw their group is.

Whether it works out for Jones or not is another question, yet to see much improvement from England. They are showing glimpses of brilliance and consistently shutting teams down, the set piece is fine, but there's been a consistent theme of drifting out of games for long periods and failing to execute when they have made space to play.

There's still a key part of the game they are really struggling with, and even a weakened France could be better placed to make them pay than a sub par Wales and Ireland were. If we don't see that improvement then Jones may finally go back to the drawing board in regard to the half backs.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:24 am

Very much a club v country issue with France, and I have sympathy for their position although you can't avoid the conclusion that it devalues the game (unless, of course, France win).

England are at a funny stage. They have been playing such a suffocating style that they can make opponents look poor. But the attack isn't there yet. They have little moments. The first try against Wales was well constructed. But they don't look fluent and do seem over dependent on moments of individual brilliance in a back line that doesn't contain those kinds of players, May aside. I do buy into the 'transition/ keeping powder dry/ new rules' argument to an extent but it is easy to wonder how much having Manu in the side can paper over the cracks, as he still genuinely has the power to punch holes in defences and therefore attracts enough attention to make space for others.

The forwards are looking better and better all the time. Billy played well on Saturday, and Curry and Underhill just move from strength to strength and are a step ahead of the alternatives, although Willis is knocking on the door even after just over an hour on the pitch.

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Post by BamBam Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:42 am

I'm going to seem like Alex Shaw's PR but I thought this was interesting

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/forget-other-challengers-curry-is-the-biggest-threat-to-billy-vunipola-as-england-no-8/

Saw a few noises about Billy's lack of visible impact recently, but I think he's been good, not outstanding but the back row as a whole have been performing well. Underhill probably the pick of them this autumn for me, but it's great to see them all shining in different ways

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Post by BamBam Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:34 pm

What are we going to do with Itoje lads?

I mean he doesn't even match up to the decrepit Wyn Jones so god knows why we put him in all of our starting line ups. Any ideas on who we could get in the squad instead?

Gosh darnit I wish we hadn't let Wasps 3rd choice lock go off to play for another country

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:36 pm

In terms of the pack its pretty clear people look to him. Personally think he's developed into the player Beshocked thought he was 7 years ago.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:40 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:In terms of the pack its pretty clear people look to him. Personally think he's developed into the player Beshocked thought he was 7 years ago.

To be fair it was only just over 5 years ago Beshocked was pushing him, and no-one was denying his talent just (as was McCall) whether he was ready for WC15.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:42 pm

BamBam wrote:What are we going to do with Itoje lads?

I mean he doesn't even match up to the decrepit Wyn Jones so god knows why we put him in all of our starting line ups. Any ideas on who we could get in the squad instead?

Gosh darnit I wish we hadn't let Wasps 3rd choice lock go off to play for another country

Dear BamBam,

As always tongue firmly in cheek, but not much point getting even slightly wound up by the view of one person that is not held by many others in the rugby community.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:49 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:In terms of the pack its pretty clear people look to him. Personally think he's developed into the player Beshocked thought he was 7 years ago.

To be fair it was only just over 5 years ago Beshocked was pushing him, and no-one was denying his talent just (as was McCall) whether he was ready for WC15.

Does this year not count as 3? You're absolutely right of course. At the time I was preferring ed Slater as I thought he would contribute more to a pack i was worried about but supportive of slade going as I thought he would be unlikely to be used and could do with the experience. If only if slade had improved as much.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:50 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
BamBam wrote:What are we going to do with Itoje lads?

I mean he doesn't even match up to the decrepit Wyn Jones so god knows why we put him in all of our starting line ups. Any ideas on who we could get in the squad instead?

Gosh darnit I wish we hadn't let Wasps 3rd choice lock go off to play for another country

Dear BamBam,

As always tongue firmly in cheek, but not much point getting even slightly wound up by the view of one person that is not held by many others in the rugby community.

This is embarrassing stuff from a moderator, fair play.

You've got short memories when it comes to 'majority opinions', boys...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50246735

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Post by BamBam Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:11 pm

Is Matt Dawson on this forum? Hi Matt!

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Post by lostinwales Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:33 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
BamBam wrote:What are we going to do with Itoje lads?

I mean he doesn't even match up to the decrepit Wyn Jones so god knows why we put him in all of our starting line ups. Any ideas on who we could get in the squad instead?

Gosh darnit I wish we hadn't let Wasps 3rd choice lock go off to play for another country

Dear BamBam,

As always tongue firmly in cheek, but not much point getting even slightly wound up by the view of one person that is not held by many others in the rugby community.

This is embarrassing stuff from a moderator, fair play.

You've got short memories when it comes to 'majority opinions', boys...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50246735

I have no idea what that article has to do with the recent discussion or with the actual thread.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:35 pm

Majority opinions, lost. I'd rather tell the truth, give my opinion as I see it, and be in the minority if that's the cost. Other peoples' response to that are matters for their own conscience. Mods included.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:49 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Majority opinions, lost. I'd rather tell the truth, give my opinion as I see it, and be in the minority if that's the cost. Other peoples' response to that are matters for their own conscience. Mods included.

So - just to get this straight, you are taking an example of an English pundit writing on the BBC of getting it wrong on the day, not long after we stuffed the AB's, to justify your position that Itoje is a bit average?

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:59 pm

That would be a peculiar and very specific, somewhat strange, way of putting it, I suppose. No, instead I'd say it simply refers to an example of a majority opinion - that England already had one hand on the trophy despite facing a clearly good South African side that they beat by a point, a shoulder, and an Antipodean referee 12 months previously - and, hopefully, causes some of those to reflect on the value of a herd mindset when it comes to English rugby.

That's all. I wouldn't quite phrase it the way you have, no. I could, of course, have referred to all the times I have predicted something, received the scorn of this forum, and been proven right: but then the mods have messaged me to say 'stop being a know it all' as apparently that's not allowed, yet WUMming and trolling people is. It's hard to know quite how to respond to the sneering in a more personal way without basically saying 'I told you so' so I referred to a general topic, instead - that of minority opinions v majority opinions, and why telling the truth is always better than just going along with the crowd (or, god forbid, giving in to scorn and 'pressure').

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 6:00 pm

Also, can we please just talk rugby?

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Post by BamBam Mon 30 Nov 2020, 8:39 pm

Barbeary called up to train with the squad, Marchant and Umaga back in the squad and JJ out with a calf injury according to Chris Foy

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 8:41 pm

Got there ahead of me Bam.

Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 46 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 87 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 71 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 3 caps)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 4 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 60 caps)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Dan Robson (Wasps, 6 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 45 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 103 caps)

Forwards 

Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 25 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 27 caps)
Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 7 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 53 caps)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 42 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 68 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 71 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 55 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps)


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Post by TightHEAD Mon 30 Nov 2020, 8:48 pm

Cokanasiga has been dreadful for Bath, can't hold onto the ball.
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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 30 Nov 2020, 9:31 pm

I think Lawrence will be back at 13. Slade has tried a bit too hard to do stuff so I am not entirely convinced he'll stay in the 23.

I don't think there'll be too many changes so we'll likely see this:

1. Vunipola
2. George
3. Sinckler
4. Itoje
5. Launchbury
6. Curry
7. Underhill
8. Vunipola
9. Youngs
10. Ford
11. May
12. Farrell
13. Lawrence
14. Watson
15. Daly

16. Cowan-Dickie
17. Genge
18. Stuart
19. Hill
20. Earl
21. Robson
22. Slade
23. Marchant

OR

21. Willis
22. Robson
23. Slade

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 30 Nov 2020, 10:02 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:I think Lawrence will be back at 13. Slade has tried a bit too hard to do stuff so I am not entirely convinced he'll stay in the 23.

I don't think there'll be too many changes so we'll likely see this:

1.  Vunipola
2.  George
3.  Sinckler
4.  Itoje
5.  Launchbury
6.  Curry
7.  Underhill
8.  Vunipola
9.  Youngs
10. Ford
11. May
12. Farrell
13. Lawrence
14. Watson
15. Daly

16. Cowan-Dickie
17. Genge
18. Stuart
19. Hill
20. Earl
21. Robson
22. Slade
23. Marchant

OR

21. Willis
22. Robson

23. Slade

I do like the look of that squad. Would like to see Jacob Umaga on the bench.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:39 pm

Is Furbank still out with the head injury or just dropped does anyone know?

I reckon Jones will stick with the 6-2 bench split. It's hard to drop either Willis or Earl after their performances and the starting back three will stay the same presumably. I'm not sure the risk of the 6-2 split is worth it without getting two locks on the bench to switch out the whole tight 5 but I really rate both those young flankers so happy for them to get exposure.

I'd say Lawrence against Ireland and JJ against Italy were the best performances from our centres during these games so given JJ is injured hopefully Lawrence can at least start another test.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 01 Dec 2020, 1:17 am

By my count the following wont be available for France due to the three test rule with Ntamack also ruled out by injury:

Baille
Gros
Marchand
Chat
Bamba
Haouas
Taofifenau
le Roux
Willemse
Cretin
Ollivon
Aldritt
Dupont
Serin
Vakatawa
Vincent
Fickou
Rattez
Thomas
Ramos

That's their first and second choices at prop, hooker, lock and scrum-half ruled out. Along with the all the outside backs from their full strength 23 - Galthie seems to like rotating the final 6 players there between the bench and starting XV given their quality and versatility. It's going to be a much weaker side sadly.

I actually have a lot of respect for the FFR taking a strong stand on managing playing time to some extent. This season is going to be ridiculously congested and keeping players fit for the 6 Nations and beyond is more important than this final in my opinion. I'm quite worried about some England players burning out longer term with the Lions coming up.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 01 Dec 2020, 7:58 am

Not a fan of the 6-2 split personally, only makes utilising a whole new tight five but Itoje invariably plays every minute so a waste of time.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 01 Dec 2020, 8:16 am

And we came close to it going pear shaped last match when Daly got the injury.

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 01 Dec 2020, 8:44 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:And we came close to it going pear shaped last match when Daly got the injury.

The worst that would've happened would be the long rumoured forward in the backs or Robson covering the wing for a short period. And that was only a thing because the injury (didn't) happen right after they'd just used the utility back sub for a tactical replacement. What we are talking about here is a concern that something that didn't happens and very rarely happens happening overriding the very real thing that happens every game...the forwards get tired. Its a miracle they didnt ship late tries against Ireland given they couldn't secure any good possession or field position, I'm assuming that second half tipped the balance in thinking over to ensuring we have fresh legs in the second half in the positions that do the most work and are the hardest to cover.

Things could've gone pear shaped if Underhill had got injured after 66 minutes and they didn't have Earl on the bench still is an equally valid argument. They way he plays that was more likely than two of the outside backs getting injured (unless Biggar jumped into them Whistle )

Jones does sometimes take risks with his team selection, like not having a specialist fly half cover if Ford or Farrell are unavailable, but I prefer the positive mindset of picking a bench for what they can add rather than based on worrying about what ifs. Also may depend somewhat on the quality of players available.

The dislike of Daly as a fullback and wanting Mallins to get a chance to prove he's a better option is a separate question. Jones is clearly backing Daly (although I don't think he covered himself in glory contesting high balls again, thats a subjective matter of opinion) and believes he can do a job for 80 minutes.

Will see how things go in this weekends selections. It may have been a one off given his concerns abut the wind in an open ground. England have Lawrence back and Watson has served his game on the bench and could be considered as a starter. Might be the back of Slade inspite of Jospehs withdrawl, or it may be a return to a 5 3 split.

Barberry Im straight assuming is there for exposure and for the coaches to assess him as a bloke with a long terms view. Either that or as an option for the wing.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 01 Dec 2020, 8:51 am

The bench is a risk every match of course as you can't cover every eventuality look back to the famous france match May threw away by breaking his nose. We ended up with a patch work and were done by launchbury finding himself out wide as everything had gone to pot. Personally.i just see the 6 2 as increasing that risk rather than spreading it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 01 Dec 2020, 10:41 am

Stupid question perhaps but is Proudfoot covering the lineout in terms of coaching? I'm.guessing he is?

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 01 Dec 2020, 12:03 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Stupid question perhaps but is Proudfoot covering the lineout in terms of coaching? I'm.guessing he is?

I assume so as he is classed as Forwards Coach. Apparently Itoje is getting more involved with the lineout behind the scenes, especially in reinforcing the Bothwick plans when defending lineouts.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 01 Dec 2020, 4:38 pm

Some bits from the bbc on the French fringe players.

England is a little too far ahead, it is a bit of an impossible task," Kayser told Rugby Union Weekly.

"It is a matter of fronting up and showing they can challenge such a good team like England.

"They won't get a hiding, there won't be 40 points between the two teams, definitely not. But the step is just a little bit too high."

France will not revise clubs agreement
The absence of coach Fabien Galthie's more experienced players for the Autumn Nations Cup final means that several graduates from France's recent highly successful under-20 teams will be promoted at Twickenham.

France under-20 World Cup winner
France have won successive World Under-20 Championships
France won the under-20 World Championships in both 2018 and 2019.

"I can't wait to see them against England," added Kayser. "Some guys in there are mega good, they deserve a shot.

"Killian Geraci, the second row, is like [Wales captain] Alun Wyn Jones. He has a great work rate, he is fantastic in the line-out.

"[Flanker] Sekou Macalou is going to explode at international level. Anthony Jelonch, the number eight, is very good. We haven't seen half of what [wing] Alivereti Raka can do yet.

"[Wing] Gabin Villiere, who scored a really good try against Italy, was playing in the third tier, three years ago. He got picked up by Toulon and he is killing it.

"There are some really cool prospects who are finally coached in a positive internati

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Post by king_carlos Tue 01 Dec 2020, 5:34 pm

Alivereti Raka has a strike rate with Clermont similar to Nalaga before him. Absurd try scoring ability.

The talent France have in the backs is pretty absurd at the minute. Damien Penaud has been injured for this tournament as well.

It'd be great fun to see Jordan Joseph get a cap at 8 for the head to head against Billy.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 01 Dec 2020, 5:43 pm

France will not revise clubs agreement
The absence of coach Fabien Galthie's more experienced players for the Autumn Nations Cup final means that several graduates from France's recent highly successful under-20 teams will be promoted at Twickenham.


That's poor, but France seem to have a golden generation of U20s coming through anyway - it's where they found their current first choice half-backs. It would be interesting to hear what French fans think of this. Do any still post here, or have Dragons fans chased them away too?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 01 Dec 2020, 5:57 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:I could, of course, have referred to all the times I have predicted something, received the scorn of this forum, and been proven right: but then the mods have messaged me to say 'stop being a know it all' as apparently that's not allowed, yet WUMming and trolling people is. It's hard to know quite how to respond to the sneering in a more personal way without basically saying 'I told you so' so I referred to a general topic, instead - that of minority opinions v majority opinions, and why telling the truth is always better than just going along with the crowd (or, god forbid, giving in to scorn and 'pressure').



Last edited by LondonTiger on Wed 02 Dec 2020, 8:41 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Personal Insult removed and warning given)

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 01 Dec 2020, 7:52 pm

Have i just heard that Beabary or whatever hes called has been called up to the senior squad..?

Must be as an apprentice for Jones to have a look at..IF ive heard correctly..

Edit
I see he has been called up so must just be for experience yeah?

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 02 Dec 2020, 8:44 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Have i just heard that Beabary or whatever hes called has been called up to the senior squad..?

Must be as an apprentice for Jones to have a look at..IF ive heard correctly..

Edit
I see he has been called up so must just be for experience yeah?

I assume so, especially as it appears he is the 3rd hooker in the squad (his position at U20s where he was sent off last summer I think) despite seeming to have only appeared as a back row replacement for Wasps. He is much more dynamic than Tom Dunn, but shoudl either George or LCD get hurt in training I woudl expect the Bath man to be called up for the bench.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 02 Dec 2020, 9:06 am

Yeah its very much one of those apprentice spots. England have done this for some time now, inviting promising youngsters to train with them to get an idea of the required standard and also to look at them, get to know the character, and give them points to focus on to improve. Marler came in this way years prior to his actual squad selection, Im sure theres others in this squad thats applied to as well.

With Barberry he's a very exciting runner and good athlete, played in the age grade world cup squad but the question has to be was he just a flanker who got shoved to hooker because of his build and teams not having one or does he genuinely have the core skills at a high level there? If he throws and pushes like the welsh hookers then he has a lot to work on.

I wouldn't even guarantee he'd get the spot unless an injury happened too close to the game for Dunn to be called in. They normally carry a 32 squad without a third choice hooker.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 02 Dec 2020, 9:33 am

I cant see barbeary being picked for France considering hes still being introduced slowly by Wasps. It'll be great if he turns out as good at the set piece as he is in general play as you can tell already hes going to be special. If he doesnt then hes good enough to be a flanker anyway. Time will tell.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 02 Dec 2020, 9:40 am

Tbf hes probably played more rugby than half the France squad have

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Post by Old Man Wed 02 Dec 2020, 11:33 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
BamBam wrote:What are we going to do with Itoje lads?

I mean he doesn't even match up to the decrepit Wyn Jones so god knows why we put him in all of our starting line ups. Any ideas on who we could get in the squad instead?

Gosh darnit I wish we hadn't let Wasps 3rd choice lock go off to play for another country

Dear BamBam,

As always tongue firmly in cheek, but not much point getting even slightly wound up by the view of one person that is not held by many others in the rugby community.

This is embarrassing stuff from a moderator, fair play.

You've got short memories when it comes to 'majority opinions', boys...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50246735

Yep, it was obvious to the clueless that Dawson is an Englishman with an English bias. His predictions were quite off the mark.

But I suspect it is difficult to be completely unbiased.

His comment of not one South African player would make the English squad has put a but of egg on his face.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 02 Dec 2020, 1:06 pm

Old Man wrote:
Yep, it was obvious to the clueless that Dawson is an Englishman with an English bias. His predictions were quite off the mark.

But I suspect it is difficult to be completely unbiased.

His comment of not one South African player would make the English squad has put a but of egg on his face.

Dawson certainly went a bit over the top. But at the time it was very easy to look at the teams' respective progress through the tournament and expect England to have a clear upper hand.

On the day, I still think it could have been a very different match had the first five minutes been different. Eddie clearly tried to copy the All Blacks tactics and sent the team out ready for an SA onslaught in the early part of the match. I was expecting that he'd start with his strongest scrummagers and approach the match like the semi-final and really take the game to the Boks. And I still think that losing Sinckler after 3 minutes materially affected the course of the game in a way that people underestimate. Had he not been KO'd by Itoje's elbow, I think he would have played a key role in the attack as a playmaker (which he's very capable of doing but Eddie had only used very sparingly in the past) and the Boks would not have been able to wear down the pack as much as they did.

It would still have been a closer game than many pundits were predicting, and I would not have been surprised to see it decided either way by a try in the dying minutes.
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Post by Old Man Wed 02 Dec 2020, 1:24 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Yep, it was obvious to the clueless that Dawson is an Englishman with an English bias. His predictions were quite off the mark.

But I suspect it is difficult to be completely unbiased.

His comment of not one South African player would make the English squad has put a but of egg on his face.

Dawson certainly went a bit over the top. But at the time it was very easy to look at the teams' respective progress through the tournament and expect England to have a clear upper hand.

On the day, I still think it could have been a very different match had the first five minutes been different. Eddie clearly tried to copy the All Blacks tactics and sent the team out ready for an SA onslaught in the early part of the match. I was expecting that he'd start with his strongest scrummagers and approach the match like the semi-final and really take the game to the Boks. And I still think that losing Sinckler after 3 minutes materially affected the course of the game in a way that people underestimate. Had he not been KO'd by Itoje's elbow, I think he would have played a key role in the attack as a playmaker (which he's very capable of doing but Eddie had only used very sparingly in the past) and the Boks would not have been able to wear down the pack as much as they did.

It would still have been a closer game than many pundits were predicting, and I would not have been surprised to see it decided either way by a try in the dying minutes.

Yeah, I am going to disagree with you slightly.

Sure Sinckler getting injured made a difference to playmaking, Cole certainly don’t have the skills Sinckler does.

However, it has been mostly ignored that we lost two forwards in the 22nd minute due to hia and shoulder injuries.

Would Sinckler have made such a difference? He is one player with mobility skills, however not a playmaker. Also The first en minutes of the match SA was the aggressor and had most of the play inside the England ten meter and goal line.

Cole is a better scrummager than Sinckler, the issue was the fact that he had to come on and play 73 minutes which is challenging in a final

A very important aspect of that final was that many dismissed the SA performances during the RWC based on the match vs Wales which by all accounts was dire.

But they missed the nuances of our strategy and attack, not only during the RWC, but the previous dozen matches under Rassie.

Our fourth quarter performances and comebacks should have been notciced but for some reason wasn’t. And probably still isn’t.

Our strategy was simple in its thought process, soften the opponent physically and eventually their pack will succumb due to fatigue as we could bring fresh legs on at halftime for 3/4 of our pack.

Also, our backline was ignored as a potential threat (by me as well) due to the inexperienced midfield and wings. Yet they have been scoring 75% of our tries under Rassie.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 02 Dec 2020, 1:27 pm

I think theres still a thread of Englands bottle job kicking around somewhere.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 02 Dec 2020, 2:35 pm

Dan Cole was a better scrummager than Sinckler a couple of years ago but since about 2018 he no longer had the advantage in that regard.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 02 Dec 2020, 4:04 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Yep, it was obvious to the clueless that Dawson is an Englishman with an English bias. His predictions were quite off the mark.

But I suspect it is difficult to be completely unbiased.

His comment of not one South African player would make the English squad has put a but of egg on his face.

Dawson certainly went a bit over the top. But at the time it was very easy to look at the teams' respective progress through the tournament and expect England to have a clear upper hand.

On the day, I still think it could have been a very different match had the first five minutes been different. Eddie clearly tried to copy the All Blacks tactics and sent the team out ready for an SA onslaught in the early part of the match. I was expecting that he'd start with his strongest scrummagers and approach the match like the semi-final and really take the game to the Boks. And I still think that losing Sinckler after 3 minutes materially affected the course of the game in a way that people underestimate. Had he not been KO'd by Itoje's elbow, I think he would have played a key role in the attack as a playmaker (which he's very capable of doing but Eddie had only used very sparingly in the past) and the Boks would not have been able to wear down the pack as much as they did.

It would still have been a closer game than many pundits were predicting, and I would not have been surprised to see it decided either way by a try in the dying minutes.

This was the key factor of the game for me. I made England favourites going into the final - but as soon as Sinckler went off, South Africa were favourites. He was absolutely integral to Jones' and England's plans, and Dan Cole having to come on for practically the entire match was a huge drop off in quality and pack mobility.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 02 Dec 2020, 4:07 pm

Well lets just hope noone gets him off too soon this weekend

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 02 Dec 2020, 7:00 pm

Elliot Daly (Saracens, 46 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 87 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 71 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 3 caps)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 4 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 60 caps)
Dan Robson (Wasps, 6 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 45 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 103 caps)

Forwards

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 25 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 27 caps)
Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 7 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 53 caps)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 42 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 68 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 71 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 55 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps)
Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps)

Revised/reduced squad.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 02 Dec 2020, 7:16 pm

No surprises there.

Expect the 23 will be as last week just with Lawrence at 13, Watson to start, Slade on the bench then a question on whether theres the extra forward or Malins. Having no wide cover at all would be a thing though.

Seen an interview with Jones where he was saying they'd be playing defensive again. Knowing Jones it probably means they'll play like Cipriani in Australia when drunk.

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