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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

First topic message reminder :

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 Collapse2005 Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:47 am

Best in the world is hard to measure but on reflecting on the best way to measure it I think every team has a range from how poor they can be to their ceiling of how good they can be across all competitions they perform in. I saw this on another forum (the Roar maybe) As such for example NZ probably never drop below an 8 but often are a 10 where as some teams like SA are as good as a 9.5 but can also drop as low as a 5 or a 6 when they lose to teams like Japan and Italy or go on a long run of losses between world cups. Some teams like SA have a wide range others like England have a narrower range but might not quite have as high a potential peak as SA. Here's how I see the top teams stacking up at the moment based on "science":

NZ 8-10
SA 6-9.5
Eng 7-9
Fra 5-9
Ire 6-8.5
Aus 6-8.5
Arg 4.5-8.5
Wal 5-8
Sco 4-7

You need to at least match your opponents bottom range to stand a chance of beating them but your lower score determines how often or how likely you will beat the higher ranked teams.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:52 am

Have you watched New Zealand recently?

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:56 am

Soul Requiem wrote:Have you watched New Zealand recently?

Yes I have watched all their games this year. Every team has highs and lows, they are at a low point which in a four year world cup cycle is probably not a bad time to experience one. It probably wont last a long time and they still won the rugby championship.

How would you rate them? Bear in mind that while they have lost games to Argentina and Australia they have also thrashed them this year too.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 08 Dec 2020, 10:17 am

I'm not sure how I would rate the ABs at the moment. Going into their Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations matches, they should have had the best preparation of any country simply because they actually beat Covid (or at least exiled it) and life had returned to a semblance or normality. They were able to have their Super Rugby season and train normally. And in general, live their lives normally. Compared to other countries, I would have expected them to be that much better.

I say that to say this: This is still 2020 and nothing is normal. Let's see where we stand next year at this time. In the meantime I am glad we have sport to watch to help keep us entertained, even if we can't lace up the boots ourselves.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 08 Dec 2020, 11:25 am

At the moment, it's hard to tell exactly where the top teams stand. The ANC has made it clear that England and France are a bit ahead of the other NH teams at the moment. France can beat anyone on their day, but are also harder to break down than France teams of old. England are getting to that point where they can play well below their best against a good team and still win; they have loads of areas to improve on but are going to be tough for anyone to face.

SA should be at or near the top but we won't know for sure until they play someone.

NZ are in a position a bit like Ireland's at the start of 2019: England worked out how to beat them, and the game plan to beat them is actually pretty clear: relentless pressure so that they don't have time to think or reset. Executing it is another matter, executing it twice in succession is a whole order of magnitude harder. But until they develop a way to nullify that pressure, they will be vulnerable.
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Post by lostinwales Tue 08 Dec 2020, 11:49 am

It is interesting with England that we seem to have worked out a way of beating Ireland (who had us under the cosh for a couple of years) then we just try the same tactics against everyone else.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 08 Dec 2020, 12:12 pm

Are we not just trying new tactics, but building them up slowly

Start with defence, or a new defensive system which worked very well.
Then over the next year you look at perfecting the attacking side aswell. Find the players who can play that system.

i think in the 6n...there will be one or two changes. But not loads. There will be more focus on getting the execution right..ie taking 2 on 1's (Daly missed several for example)

The questionable areas.

None in the forwards

Backs
9 Youngs - Who replaces him
10 - Ford v Marcus Smith v Joe Simmonds
12 - Is Farrells leadership enough to cover the lack of actual ability at top level 12. Every top level coach loves him...
But who else is there at 12?? Do we move Lawrence there?
13 - Bench Slade...Joseph or Lawrence for me...unless he is at 12 then Joseph/ Marchant
15 - If Daly is the man...then stick with him and back him. If not find the right one...Hodge (Exeter) and Steward (Leicester) are a little bit away yet.

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Post by Old Man Tue 08 Dec 2020, 12:27 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Best in the world is hard to measure but on reflecting on the best way to measure it I think every team has a range from how poor they can be to their ceiling of how good they can be across all competitions they perform in. I saw this on another forum (the Roar maybe) As such for example NZ probably never drop below an 8 but often are a 10 where as some teams like SA are as good as a 9.5 but can also drop as low as a 5 or a 6 when they lose to teams like Japan and Italy or go on a long run of losses between world cups. Some teams like SA have a wide range others like England have a narrower range but might not quite have as high a potential peak as SA. Here's how I see the top teams stacking up at the moment based on "science":

NZ 8-10
SA 6-9.5
Eng 7-9
Fra 5-9
Ire 6-8.5
Aus 6-8.5
Arg 4.5-8.5
Wal 5-8
Sco 4-7

You need to at least match your opponents bottom range to stand a chance of beating them but your lower score determines how often or how likely you will beat the higher ranked teams.

That theory was actually my post Wink

I think I called it the CVVGV or something like that. You are a bit unkind on that 6 for us though, that was a once in a century match. boxing

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 08 Dec 2020, 12:32 pm

Some element of that true Geordie. Its been a gradual process. A few years back England were leaking an alarming number of tries whilst still having essentially the same general approach of kicking for pressure that they do currently. Thats been worked on, but theres been a drop off in the quality of attacking play and general execution with ball in hand. They also dont look to be contesting kicks as well as they used to.

The idea that they changed their game for Ireland is a bit off, they've beaten everyone except SA recently (I guess you can put the full strength new France in that bucket too).

9 not convinced Robson the man, next in line was Mitchell who was in the 36. But worth noting both were behind Heinz when he was fit which suggests Jones saw them both as lacking in something and it remains a problem area even if its just to find a second choice.
10 ...Umaga was the one Jones was cooing over earlier in the autumn and in the wider squad, Smith and Simmonds werent. Id argue Farrell is in the mix for thats pot too if he isnt the answer at 12 and/or Fords done given he was picked there when Ford was injured. Might not be the choices people on here agree with but if you look at whos actually getting picked.
12. Not sure its just his leadership, its pretty clear rugby professionals see a lot more in what he does than armchair fans do. Do wonder if missing that last kick might've tipped the balance and pushed Jones to make a difficult decision to really shake things up. Most likely he will remain somewhere in the starting 15 for the 6 nations. Slade would be the obvious candidate to take that spot if England arent changing the footballer at 12 approach, but Im not convinced hes really any better.
13. One of the spare flankers still a possibility, heck could even see Barberry there for all I know. Jones was really talking up Lawrence pre injury. Certainly dont think its the right place for Slade if they want someone to run straight and commit defenders there.
15- Surely Malins would be the next in line, given he was the guy on the bench?

To my mind May is the only back whos position is 100% secure when everyones available. But at the same time I wouldn't expect to see the team overhauled too radically at one time. And its not like the side is fundamentally broken, its a gradual evolution from the team that came second best in the WC and has lost once since. This isnt the position France were in that led them to bin almost their entire squad for a more professional generation.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 08 Dec 2020, 12:36 pm

Old Man wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Best in the world is hard to measure but on reflecting on the best way to measure it I think every team has a range from how poor they can be to their ceiling of how good they can be across all competitions they perform in. I saw this on another forum (the Roar maybe) As such for example NZ probably never drop below an 8 but often are a 10 where as some teams like SA are as good as a 9.5 but can also drop as low as a 5 or a 6 when they lose to teams like Japan and Italy or go on a long run of losses between world cups. Some teams like SA have a wide range others like England have a narrower range but might not quite have as high a potential peak as SA. Here's how I see the top teams stacking up at the moment based on "science":

NZ 8-10
SA 6-9.5
Eng 7-9
Fra 5-9
Ire 6-8.5
Aus 6-8.5
Arg 4.5-8.5
Wal 5-8
Sco 4-7

You need to at least match your opponents bottom range to stand a chance of beating them but your lower score determines how often or how likely you will beat the higher ranked teams.

That theory was actually my post Wink

I think I called it the CVVGV or something like that. You are a bit unkind on that 6 for us though, that was a once in a century match. boxing

Its a good way to asess teams.

Im not trying to be unkind. The 6 for SA is more based on losses to Italy, Argentina and Wales in the lead up to the last RWC than the loss to Japan. I think SA lost to Scotland in the last 10 years too at least once.

NZ and England just wouldnt lose to teams like this to the same extent so its fair to reflect this in the scoring.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 08 Dec 2020, 1:00 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Some element of that true Geordie. Its been a gradual process. A few years back England were leaking an alarming number of tries whilst still having essentially the same general approach of kicking for pressure that they do currently.  Thats been worked on, but theres been a drop off in the quality of attacking play and general execution with ball in hand. They also dont look to be contesting kicks as well as they used to.

The idea that they changed their game for Ireland is a bit off, they've beaten everyone except SA recently (I guess you can put the full strength new France in that bucket too).

9 not convinced Robson the man, next in line was Mitchell who was in the 36. But worth noting both were behind Heinz when he was fit which suggests Jones saw them both as lacking in something and it remains a problem area even if its just to find a second choice.
10 ...Umaga was the one Jones was cooing over earlier in the autumn and in the wider squad, Smith and Simmonds werent. Id argue Farrell is in the mix for thats pot too if he isnt the answer at 12 and/or Fords done given he was picked there when Ford was injured. Might not be the choices people on here agree with but if you look at whos actually getting picked.
12. Not sure its just his leadership, its pretty clear rugby professionals see a lot more in what he does than armchair fans do. Do wonder if missing that last kick might've tipped the balance and pushed Jones to make a difficult decision to really shake things up. Most likely he will remain somewhere in the starting 15 for the 6 nations. Slade would be the obvious candidate to take that spot if England arent changing the footballer at 12 approach, but Im not convinced hes really any better.
13. One of the spare flankers still a possibility, heck could even see Barberry there for all I know. Jones was really talking up Lawrence pre injury. Certainly dont think its the right place for Slade if they want someone to run straight and commit defenders there.
15- Surely Malins would be the next in line, given he was the guy on the bench?

To my mind May is the only back whos position is 100% secure when everyones available. But at the same time I wouldn't expect to see the team overhauled too radically at one time. And its not like the side is fundamentally broken, its a gradual evolution from the team that came second best in the WC and has lost once since. This isnt the position France were in that led them to bin almost their entire squad for a more professional generation.

One big difference having Slade in for Farrell is that he offers a genuine threat ball in hand (and is a better defender). Any team facing England with Farrell at 12 know that the ball is going to be shifted down the line, and if by chance he does find a gap he won't get far before being caught.

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Post by Old Man Tue 08 Dec 2020, 1:02 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Best in the world is hard to measure but on reflecting on the best way to measure it I think every team has a range from how poor they can be to their ceiling of how good they can be across all competitions they perform in. I saw this on another forum (the Roar maybe) As such for example NZ probably never drop below an 8 but often are a 10 where as some teams like SA are as good as a 9.5 but can also drop as low as a 5 or a 6 when they lose to teams like Japan and Italy or go on a long run of losses between world cups. Some teams like SA have a wide range others like England have a narrower range but might not quite have as high a potential peak as SA. Here's how I see the top teams stacking up at the moment based on "science":

NZ 8-10
SA 6-9.5
Eng 7-9
Fra 5-9
Ire 6-8.5
Aus 6-8.5
Arg 4.5-8.5
Wal 5-8
Sco 4-7

You need to at least match your opponents bottom range to stand a chance of beating them but your lower score determines how often or how likely you will beat the higher ranked teams.

That theory was actually my post Wink

I think I called it the CVVGV or something like that. You are a bit unkind on that 6 for us though, that was a once in a century match. boxing

Its a good way to asess teams.

Im not trying to be unkind. The 6 for SA is more based on losses to Italy, Argentina and Wales in the lead up to the last RWC than the loss to Japan. I think SA lost to Scotland in the last 10 years too at least once.

NZ and England just wouldnt lose to teams like this to the same extent so its fair to reflect this in the scoring.

You need to consider the factors that influence our national team, not excuses but realities. Allister Coetzee, player availability due to so many playing overseas. Selection policies over the years hurt us.

Rassie was the first coach that actively embrced transformation the correct way, it also didn’t hurt to have the squad together for 20 weeks last year, helped to build a new Bok culture, one of transparency, honesty, team above the individual etc.

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Post by Old Man Tue 08 Dec 2020, 1:02 pm

What is this nonsense every post I make I have to verify I am not a robot?

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 08 Dec 2020, 2:32 pm

Aside from goal kicking which was uncharacteristically awful on Sunday I don't see any areas where Farrell has the edge on Slade?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 08 Dec 2020, 3:04 pm

Regardless...Farrell wont be dropped

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Post by king_carlos Tue 08 Dec 2020, 3:38 pm

Farrell's just out of form in my opinion. At his best his passing game has been excellent for England. The flat ball across the front of Earls against Ireland last year that created May's try in the second minute for instance. The perfectly weighted ball to Daly that allowed him to round Cuthbert for the winning try against Wales. His ball across the front of Billy and Itoje that allowed Sinckler to score against Australia. His passing game at his best is strong.

He simply looks knackered and out of form.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 08 Dec 2020, 3:40 pm

Farrell hasn't been sparkling these past couple of games but hes out of Slades league.

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 08 Dec 2020, 5:00 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Farrell hasn't been sparkling these past couple of games but hes out of Slades league.

Literally, ones a premiership champion the other relegated Whistle

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 08 Dec 2020, 5:06 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:Some element of that true Geordie. Its been a gradual process. A few years back England were leaking an alarming number of tries whilst still having essentially the same general approach of kicking for pressure that they do currently.  Thats been worked on, but theres been a drop off in the quality of attacking play and general execution with ball in hand. They also dont look to be contesting kicks as well as they used to.

The idea that they changed their game for Ireland is a bit off, they've beaten everyone except SA recently (I guess you can put the full strength new France in that bucket too).

9 not convinced Robson the man, next in line was Mitchell who was in the 36. But worth noting both were behind Heinz when he was fit which suggests Jones saw them both as lacking in something and it remains a problem area even if its just to find a second choice.
10 ...Umaga was the one Jones was cooing over earlier in the autumn and in the wider squad, Smith and Simmonds werent. Id argue Farrell is in the mix for thats pot too if he isnt the answer at 12 and/or Fords done given he was picked there when Ford was injured. Might not be the choices people on here agree with but if you look at whos actually getting picked.
12. Not sure its just his leadership, its pretty clear rugby professionals see a lot more in what he does than armchair fans do. Do wonder if missing that last kick might've tipped the balance and pushed Jones to make a difficult decision to really shake things up. Most likely he will remain somewhere in the starting 15 for the 6 nations. Slade would be the obvious candidate to take that spot if England arent changing the footballer at 12 approach, but Im not convinced hes really any better.
13. One of the spare flankers still a possibility, heck could even see Barberry there for all I know. Jones was really talking up Lawrence pre injury. Certainly dont think its the right place for Slade if they want someone to run straight and commit defenders there.
15- Surely Malins would be the next in line, given he was the guy on the bench?

To my mind May is the only back whos position is 100% secure when everyones available. But at the same time I wouldn't expect to see the team overhauled too radically at one time. And its not like the side is fundamentally broken, its a gradual evolution from the team that came second best in the WC and has lost once since. This isnt the position France were in that led them to bin almost their entire squad for a more professional generation.

One big difference having Slade in for Farrell is that he offers a genuine threat ball in hand (and is a better defender). Any team facing England with Farrell at 12 know that the ball is going to be shifted down the line, and if by chance he does find a gap he won't get far before being caught.

Yeah that would be my thinking if Farrell shifted to 10 Slade is the obvious guy to take the 12 shirt and not fundamentally change Englands play. Its also what they did when Ford was injured.

The flip side of that is that it just shifts the issue to 10, everyone knows he wont run. And when they did line up this way in the autumn England were no more sparkling for 80 minutes than when Farrell was at 12.

So if Farrell is whats holding England back then he has to go altogether. But I do suspect thats pretty unlikely given hes been a central part of Jones; England, is the captain, and Jamie George isnt sat on the bench outplaying him for 10 minutes of 18 consecutive games.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 08 Dec 2020, 5:25 pm

I'd be interested in Daly at 13 with Lawrence at 12. Daly is a much better running threat than Farrell or Slade but offers a kicker and distributor in the wide channels. I know Daly was terrible in the latter regard against France but overall at 15 he has been very good at bringing wingers into play and helping England improve their finishing.

When Jones was talking about playmakers playing instinctively rather than to set-plays whilst discussing Umaga I found his point about there being far less space to work with very interesting. By the time the ball gets to a 'second playmaker' the space has usually be completely shut down against good defences. I honestly think we'd look more dangerous with two running threats in midfield. Lawrence offers power then Daly or Joseph have pace and great footwork. Daly however can offer another kicking option which Joseph doesn't as much.

I'm still not convinced that Malins is the long term answer at fullback. Against a high quality kicker and kick chase (Faf/Pollard, Dupont/Ntamack, Davies/Biggar/Williams, etc) I think his high ball work wouldn't be any more dominant than Daly. He did enough in his cameos to deserve some starts though in my opinion. If it isn't working Jones will usually make a swift decision anyway as seen with Furbank.

I expect the role and personnel on the wings will remain much the same. Cokanasgia, Nowell and Thorley are options as the powerful carrier that Jones wants in the backs but whilst May and Watson are fit, standout performers I think it's more likely Jones will try to get that ball carrier into the faltering midfield rather than changing either very good winger. I'm pretty happy about that as well as May and Watson are excellent first choices with Nowell offering a very able backup to Watson's all round game and Thorley a rapid alternative if May were to get injured before the Six Nations.

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Post by TightHEAD Tue 08 Dec 2020, 6:45 pm

Cokanasgia shouldn't be anywhere near the England team, he is awful at the moment.
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Post by king_carlos Tue 08 Dec 2020, 6:52 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Cokanasgia shouldn't be anywhere near the England team, he is awful at the moment.
He appears to have been overtaken by Thorley as well as the established May, Watson and Nowell whilst JJ was picked ahead of any the young wingers in the ANC. Daly was also used on the wing in the Six Nations when Furbank got starts.

In short I think Cokanasiga is a fair way off making a matchday 23 even if Jones has kept him around the training squads.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 08 Dec 2020, 11:11 pm

It seems to me that either Watson or Nowell, or both, are frequently injured. They are both very good players, but not sure they can be counted on for the long haul. I agree with many of the sentiments above that Farrell at 12 seems to limit the attack. Either play him at 10 or think about other alternatives.

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Post by Guest Wed 09 Dec 2020, 12:01 am

Don't rule out the effect of no fans on kicking stats. It's definitely impacting psychology when it comes to intensity, accuracy etc in a number of sports. Wouldn't be surprised than an empty stadium and lack of noise etc, added to the still very real pressure of being a game as opposed to a captain's run/training, is upsetting kickers and their 'normal' way of doing things. I feel like it's not just Farrell who was missing easy kicks over this tournament. Also, wasn't he injured? Leg injury/muscle injury? Farrell has more than enough credit in the bank to consider this a blip and nothing more, anyway. England have again shown they can rock up with almost zero tactical intent to play attacking rugby bar the odd strike move and still win. There's basically nothing to complain about from an English perspective at the moment. I also believe that, apart from maybe a game like the one on Sunday, England have greater internal competition in training than they face in test matches. It might be better to not play for England at the moment and instead be in the squad. More room to impress.

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Le Winner Tales It All - England vs France - Page 8 Empty Re: Le Winner Tales It All - England vs France

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