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Next steps for england.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 09 Dec 2020, 7:33 am

First topic message reminder :

Theres a couple of articles on the BBC which to me indicate exactly where england need to step up in the 6 nations. One by Matt Dawson :

'To win a World Cup, you have to be able to adapt under the biggest pressure and on the biggest occasion.

That is what the All Blacks or South Africa would do. That is what England did in 2003.

It is not always going to go your way. Even if you are overwhelming favourites, you will play some games that you know you should win that you will end up losing.

That is why I am even more pleased with England's Autumn Nations Cup sudden-death win in extra time against an inexperienced France side.

England were matched physically up front and if you look at the previous occasions when that has happened they have usually lost the game. This time they dug themselves out of it.

Eddie Jones' side are naturally going to be favourites in most matches for the next two or three years but they are going to play against teams that are not as good on them on paper but can match them if they play out of their skins.

That is what France did. They were missing so many stars who were unable to play because of an agreement with the Top 14 league but there were plenty of good French players with the potential to light it up.

No matter the circumstances, you have got to know how to win games and this was a classic example from England.

England have a chance at the Grand Slam when the Six Nations starts in two months, but they will only win it if they take their opportunities.

They have a good cycle of fixtures, with just two away matches, against Ireland and Wales.

France's performance in Sunday's final showed that the Six Nations is going to come down to them and England.

Les Bleus are the only team in the northern hemisphere that can physically compete with England over 80 minutes.

France's second team were playing at Twickenham, but a full-strength side will travel to south-west London in March for the penultimate round of the Six Nations.

To win that match, England will have to be more accurate than they were on Sunday.

They are only going to get three opportunities against a side like France. They have to score at least two of those chances if they want to win the game.

England scored one try against France, when Luke Cowan-Dickie went over in a maul
In the final, France did not get many chances. You might even argue they had one chance, and they scored one try through Brice Dulin.

That is the standard required. England, on the other hand, should have scored at the end of the first half when they were camped on France's line.

There were two chances when Elliot Daly passed to Anthony Watson on the right wing. The first, Daly passed a bit too early, and the second went to Watson's feet. They should have scored at least one of those.

'England need to recognise prime time to attack'
I want to know what England are doing in training in terms of attack. Time after time there are opportunities that England are not going for.

I do not look at the England side and see a huge threat in the backline even though individually you look at the players and think how good they are. It is all so lateral.

Against France, they went through all their usual kick and chase protocols and there were overlaps they did not want to attack.

On a couple of occasions it could be argued that it paid off because they got three points from the ensuing penalty but other times those decisions could have got them in trouble.

You get into the habit of not being able to complete those processes. If you are in the groove and used to doing it you get ruthless and you finish people off. The attack just does not seem joined up to me.

Rather than keep kicking the ball away, they need to recognise when it is prime time to attack, and England have the skills to be able to do it.

'We've not seen what Farrell has to offer this autumn'
England captain Owen Farrell has so much to offer but we have not seen it this autumn and I do not know why.

He missed four kicks against France, including one that could have ended the game early in sudden death.

All kickers, even at the standard of Owen Farrell, have off days. Most kickers would have either passed the baton on to George Ford or would not have got the ones under pressure.

The fact that he still had the mental capability to kick the penalty that won the game under the most pressure shows the animal that he is.

My concerns around Owen are just that we talk about him being a points machine but he has so much more.

For England he has been a ferocious tackler, distributor, creative player but maybe his role has slightly changed now.' And money and care:

Monye: "If this team are to win the World Cup they have to evolve their game in attack. Do you have the game to chase the game?

"England aren't going to be on top in every game they play from now to 2023. If they are to be the number one team in the world, they need to show more in their attack.

"If their attack could match their defence, this team won't be beaten. At the moment they leave the doors open for teams to get at them. It's not about being the best in the northern hemisphere, it is about beating New Zealand, beating South Africa."

Care: "When you are winning games every week and building momentum, it's because of the nuts and bolts of their game - their set-piece, brutal defence and kicking game - you probably take things like finishing four on threes for granted a little bit.

"They probably train a similar way, exactly how they play - kick chasing, waiting for errors, and they probably haven't spent an awful lot of time developing their attacking game. They are suffering almost from their own success, beating teams without having to do an awful lot."

I mean its blatantly obvious given how good our defence and set piece is (even under pressure by Woki and France) that the attack stick out like a sore thumb. We kicked alot, but kicked poorly. Normally over long and not contesting for the ball a great deal of the time (in the air). 2 things from the articles were that chances were created that should have been finished (France) and how different would we see it had Daly not butchered them. Personally I think we were a little too conservative and slow which led to alot of inaccuracies. We just didnt seem to hit the switch as we've done so well under Jones previously. It was only in the last game where Robson seemed to up the tempo and we started to look a bit more lively.

To me there is a serious question for all the back line bar Jonny May on left wing (watson to me is a question of right wing or full back). That question is there as I'd like a better balance in midfield and a new 9 and 15 but also because I dont see the point in having 2 perceived ball players in midfield playing the current tactics. May as well find our new noon and tindall.

The balance to that is that we've won the lot this year so my complaints are merely about consolidating our place in the pecking order through improvement not standing still. I think the 6 nations is a great chance to pick up a grand slam with the way the fixtures fall this year.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 23 Jan 2021, 7:23 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:7.5
I rate all the young kids and would happily have them in. Ive always said it. But dont underestimate Wilson. I also dont see Mark as a Robshaw MK2. Mark is more physical he has real steel in him that i dont believe Robshaw did. I think thats the difference why at the moment Jones wants him in the squad.  

The kids will over take him very soon (as Curry and underhill clearly did) but they will have to convince Jones they have the physicality, engine and mental strength to take that spot.

At the moment clearly Jones doesnt see that.

I do like Wilson he's a good player at 6, 7 or 8. Massive work rate and not short on physicality a good all rounder. However, will he start? Nope no chance the Curry, Underhill, Vunipola backrow is pretty much set. Will he be on the bench, possibly but probably not as Earl brought good impact off the bench previously. Question then is what does he bring to the squad? At 31 he won't make the next world cup and whilst he may be a leader behind the scenes there's plenty of other leaders. I just think having Willis in a position where you can guide his training and development goals is far more beneficial than having a good player that won't improve and is unlikely to play.

So why has Eddie chosen him over Willis or Simmonds?
Better tackle bag holder?

Ps Lawes is back so that back row is not set in stone...Eddie loves big Courtney at 6.

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Post by Cumbrian Sat 23 Jan 2021, 8:02 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:7.5
I rate all the young kids and would happily have them in. Ive always said it. But dont underestimate Wilson. I also dont see Mark as a Robshaw MK2. Mark is more physical he has real steel in him that i dont believe Robshaw did. I think thats the difference why at the moment Jones wants him in the squad.  

The kids will over take him very soon (as Curry and underhill clearly did) but they will have to convince Jones they have the physicality, engine and mental strength to take that spot.

At the moment clearly Jones doesnt see that.

I do like Wilson he's a good player at 6, 7 or 8. Massive work rate and not short on physicality a good all rounder. However, will he start? Nope no chance the Curry, Underhill, Vunipola backrow is pretty much set. Will he be on the bench, possibly but probably not as Earl brought good impact off the bench previously. Question then is what does he bring to the squad? At 31 he won't make the next world cup and whilst he may be a leader behind the scenes there's plenty of other leaders. I just think having Willis in a position where you can guide his training and development goals is far more beneficial than having a good player that won't improve and is unlikely to play.

Cumbrian, I doubt Sam Simmonds will be annoyed at Martin's inclusion as he's as much a lock as a 6 and we know Eddie has a soft spot for these hybrid style players. Joe Simmonds is no doubt used to being ignored by this point and the irrational love in for Wasps playmakers who aren't good enough for international action is well established by the continued selection of Umaga. Umaga being a player as likely to cost you a try as score one from nothing.

Yeah that was poorly written by me, I was actually only referring to the young flyhalf Atkinson's inclusion in reference to Marcus Smith and Joe Simmonds.

I think you're right about Martin and Eddie's love of the hybrid. It makes me think of Ted Hill actually. Everybody is focusing on Mark Wilson's inclusion at the expense of Willis, but I find Hill's omission from at least the shadow squad a little disappointing too. He offers something different to the other flankers that have been selected, but he is also starting to offer leadership. In a different era I think he would have risen up like Itoje did. Bold claim maybe, but I still think he will be an England captain at some point in his career.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 23 Jan 2021, 8:44 am

Jones has confirmed that sinckler will be considered one available so there must be some leeway in calling up people following suspensions as well as for injuries.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:14 am

Jones places more emphasis on training than he does club form so quite clearly Wilson is doing something right there. He's fit he gets selected and it's been that way for a few years now, I also wouldn't be surprised to see him at the next world cup.

There's also the many intangibles we online won't know; like attitude, perceived ability to handle pressure etc.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:18 am

Cumbrian wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:7.5
I rate all the young kids and would happily have them in. Ive always said it. But dont underestimate Wilson. I also dont see Mark as a Robshaw MK2. Mark is more physical he has real steel in him that i dont believe Robshaw did. I think thats the difference why at the moment Jones wants him in the squad.  

The kids will over take him very soon (as Curry and underhill clearly did) but they will have to convince Jones they have the physicality, engine and mental strength to take that spot.

At the moment clearly Jones doesnt see that.

I do like Wilson he's a good player at 6, 7 or 8. Massive work rate and not short on physicality a good all rounder. However, will he start? Nope no chance the Curry, Underhill, Vunipola backrow is pretty much set. Will he be on the bench, possibly but probably not as Earl brought good impact off the bench previously. Question then is what does he bring to the squad? At 31 he won't make the next world cup and whilst he may be a leader behind the scenes there's plenty of other leaders. I just think having Willis in a position where you can guide his training and development goals is far more beneficial than having a good player that won't improve and is unlikely to play.

Cumbrian, I doubt Sam Simmonds will be annoyed at Martin's inclusion as he's as much a lock as a 6 and we know Eddie has a soft spot for these hybrid style players. Joe Simmonds is no doubt used to being ignored by this point and the irrational love in for Wasps playmakers who aren't good enough for international action is well established by the continued selection of Umaga. Umaga being a player as likely to cost you a try as score one from nothing.

Yeah that was poorly written by me, I was actually only referring to the young flyhalf Atkinson's inclusion in reference to Marcus Smith and Joe Simmonds.

I think you're right about Martin and Eddie's love of the hybrid.  It makes me think of Ted Hill actually.  Everybody is focusing on Mark Wilson's inclusion at the expense of Willis, but I find Hill's omission from at least the shadow squad a little disappointing too.  He offers something different to the other flankers that have been selected, but he is also starting to offer leadership.  In a different era I think he would have risen up like Itoje did.  Bold claim maybe, but I still think he will be an England captain at some point in his career.

Good point on Ted Hill. A player I thought we'd see more of at international level. Particularly if there's concerns over Vunipola's fitness he'd allow Curry to switch to 8 and then there still be a physical option in the backrow. Helps the lineout options as well. I suppose Martin is sort of filling that spot though I fear Lawes at 6 is still considered an option.

I have to say I don't understand Eddie's preoccupation with flakey Wasps flyhalfs. There's better options at a similar age that don't get anywhere near as much England recognition. I presumed he'd cap Umaga to tie him and that would be the end of it until he tightened his game but apparently not.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:21 am

Soul Requiem wrote:Jones places more emphasis on training than he does club form so quite clearly Wilson is doing something right there. He's fit he gets selected and it's been that way for a few years now, I also wouldn't be surprised to see him at the next world cup.

I like Wilson and thought he probably deserved more minutes at the last world cup. However, make the next one at 33/34 with the embarrassment of riches emerging in England who will all be improving over the coming years whilst he will probably be slowing down a little.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 23 Jan 2021, 10:20 am

What's everyone's preferred lineup for scotland then.

I'd go Genge lcd stuart
Itoje Launchbury
Curry underhill
Vunipola
Robson Farrell
May Lawrence Slade watson
Malins

Marler george williams hill earl randall Ford Odogwu

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Post by Cumbrian Sat 23 Jan 2021, 10:42 am

I’m a pretty conservative selector. I prefer to evolve the team slowly to give new players the time to bed in.

01. Joe Marler
02. Jamie George
03. Will Stuart
04. Maro Itoje
05. Jonny Hill
06. Sam Underhill
07. Tom Curry
08. Billy Vunipola

09. Ben Youngs
10. George Ford

11. Jonny May
12. Owen Farrell
13. Paolo Odogwu
14. Anthony Watson
15. Max Malins

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie
17. Ellis Genge
18. Harry Williams
19. Courtney Lawes
20. Mark Wilson
21. Dan Robson
22. Ollie Lawrence
23. Elliott Daly

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 23 Jan 2021, 12:23 pm

Cumbrian, put Genge in at 1, Obano on the bench, and swap Lawrence and Odogwu and your there.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 23 Jan 2021, 1:05 pm

1.Marler
2.Cowan-Dickie
3.Stuart
4.Itoje
5.Lawes
6.Curry
7.Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Ford

11.May
12.Farrell
13.Lawrence
14.Watson
15.Malins

16.George
17.Genge
18.Williams
19.Launchbury
20.Earl
21.Randall
22.Slade
23.Daly

I'd like to see that.

Cumbrian and GF - I really rate Wilson but it would be a brutal call to drop Earl from the bench. His impacts have been consistently excellent. Making a lot of tackles straight from the bench, turnovers and using his pace in attack.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 23 Jan 2021, 5:13 pm

For me Genge is ahead of Marler at loosehead now, it's not even a close call. To be honest Obano has impressed me more than Marler so far this season though there hasn't been many games.

I'd got.

1. Genge
2. George
3. Stuart
4. Hill
5. Itoje
6. Curry
7. Underhill
8. Vunipola
9. Youngs
10. Ford
11. May
12. Farrell
13. Lawrence
14. Odogwu
15. Daly

16. LCD
17. Obano
18. Williams
19. Launchbury
20. Earl
21. Wilson
22. Randall
23. Slade

Watson was awful last time out Vs Tigers and quite frankly we need more direct running options if we're going to make the most of playing two flyhalfs. I'd be open to dropping Farrell given he was completely awful during the Autumn but Jones won't.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 23 Jan 2021, 5:25 pm

Marler's probably an agree to disagree one but I still think he's the better scrummager. The Quins scrum is pish but Marler has been a rock there for years in an England shirt. I thought Genge was poor in his start against France in the ANC final. With Aldegheri making his second start at tighthead and both locks having only played one previous test against Italy it was made for him to dominate but he had an invisibility cloak on. Marler is the better defender and Gengey is yet to really bring his carrying to international level against top sides. Marler made a positive impact in that ANC final when England needed his experience as well. Still the better player in my opinion.

Watson is a brilliant winger and an OK fullback. He struggled at fullback against Tigers but on the wing for England he has been fantastic. He started three Lions test for a reason and if he's fit for the SA tour may well start three more. After Curry, Itoje and May I'd say Watson is next name on the teamsheet for me. Particularly with frailties at fullback having two world class wingers makes a massive difference.

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Post by Cumbrian Sat 23 Jan 2021, 5:45 pm

king_carlos wrote:1.Marler
2.Cowan-Dickie
3.Stuart
4.Itoje
5.Lawes
6.Curry
7.Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Ford

11.May
12.Farrell
13.Lawrence
14.Watson
15.Malins

16.George
17.Genge
18.Williams
19.Launchbury
20.Earl
21.Randall
22.Slade
23.Daly

I'd like to see that.

Cumbrian and GF - I really rate Wilson but it would be a brutal call to drop Earl from the bench. His impacts have been consistently excellent. Making a lot of tackles straight from the bench, turnovers and using his pace in attack.

I was tempted to have Earl ahead of Lawes, with Wilson covering the second row, but it could go badly if one of the starting second rows went down early. There are so many potential back-rows to choose from, it is a good problem to have.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 23 Jan 2021, 6:24 pm

Most people going Malins then.

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Post by Gooseberry Sat 23 Jan 2021, 6:40 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Jones places more emphasis on training than he does club form so quite clearly Wilson is doing something right there. He's fit he gets selected and it's been that way for a few years now, I also wouldn't be surprised to see him at the next world cup.

I like Wilson and thought he probably deserved more minutes at the last world cup. However, make the next one at 33/34 with the embarrassment of riches emerging in England who will all be improving over the coming years whilst he will probably be slowing down a little.

Agree with both of you in parts. I think Wilson represents a pragmatic short term pick who Jones knows can deliver in a range of roles if there's an injury or off the bench. Familiarity with the system and other players as well as his flexibility make him a great squad guy. Also pretty clear that Jones rates him higher than many of us do, there is a tendency to loo at him and just not see "star player" unlike some of the specimens out there. The coaches and analysts have way more to go on than armchair fans. Easy to forget he was player of the series in the 2018 Autumns! But equally always the bridesmaid and rarely (ever?) started when everyone's available which suggests all round he's the "squad guy". Covering 8 is a big deal.

I do find the idea of him as world cup player a stretch though, not as a slight to him but as noted his age and the pressure from others for the back row spots.

There's probably more inexperienced players than might've been expected in what's a smaller than usual squad. So unless you're the sort of person who gets upset if the same player gets more
than one cap or think the England coach should care about your opinion, its not like there's an open policy of ignoring the youngsters. 9 players with less than 10 caps, and 3 uncapped players shows a pretty big turnover.

Fly halves apparently still a problem for the young generation. Going by the Jones/England camps judgement rule it does seem the youngsters given a shot on the autumn didn't do enough. Umaga's at least made the shadow squad and he was the one Jones had been oozing about before.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:12 pm

king_carlos wrote:Marler's probably an agree to disagree one but I still think he's the better scrummager. The Quins scrum is pish but Marler has been a rock there for years in an England shirt. I thought Genge was poor in his start against France in the ANC final. With Aldegheri making his second start at tighthead and both locks having only played one previous test against Italy it was made for him to dominate but he had an invisibility cloak on. Marler is the better defender and Gengey is yet to really bring his carrying to international level against top sides. Marler made a positive impact in that ANC final when England needed his experience as well. Still the better player in my opinion.

Watson is a brilliant winger and an OK fullback. He struggled at fullback against Tigers but on the wing for England he has been fantastic. He started three Lions test for a reason and if he's fit for the SA tour may well start three more. After Curry, Itoje and May I'd say Watson is next name on the teamsheet for me. Particularly with frailties at fullback having two world class wingers makes a massive difference.

I think Watson is a cracking attacking winger when on form. The step and the pace, put him one on one in a hint of space and he's probably going past. Defensively he isn't world class, he's barely Prem quality. His tackling is worse than Daly's and under the high ball he's a liability. If the conditions are poor Vs Scotland I'm sure they'll line up Maitland opposite and send some bombs down on Watson. Daly won't help him out. If you've got he midfield balance right then Watson could be an asset but I think our midfield lacks direct running options and Manu normally covers for that. No Manu and neither Lawrence or Odogwu can carry that on their own. Farrell/Slade as a combination is horrific.

I think the French game isn't a good measure of any England player because none of them really turned up whilst France were at it from the off. Marler is slightly better at scrum time and I see why you might want him in there but with no Sinckler and Mako we need another ball carrier and Marler is anonymous in attack. Our backrow can bring enough defence.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:40 pm

Watson is definitely better under the high ball than Odogwu. It's not long ago that Odogwu was best known for kicking Rohan Janse van Rensburg in the face trying to take a high ball then sarcastically applauding the ref for fairly red carding him. If Watson was that weak under the high ball he'd be targeted there similar to Darcy Graham. Nearly 50 international caps under his belt and I haven't seen it happen that much.

Watson has never been the strongest tackler but few wingers are to be honest. Nowell is exceptional in defence but that's it for the England wingers. Watson also has a kicking game, which is vital for an international winger these days and Odogwu has nothing in that department. I think Odogwu is a huge talent in attack but see it more as a 13 than a winger in England's systems. I just don't see how zero kicking game translates to England's game plan.

Agreed on balance. Ford-Farrell-Slade is pointlessly unbalanced. Lawrence or Odogwu at 13 offers that carrier to straighten the line though. Worth noting that for much of England's unbeaten run when Jones took over the midfield was Ford-Farrell-Joseph. So having a running threat is the key in my opinion rather than just a crash ball option.

As said Genge hasn't translated his carrying onto the international stage against stronger nations yet, even from the bench.  His carrying can be fantastic but he's always be culpable for losing the ball in contact too. I rate Gengey, his scrummaging has become more consistent and his defensive work rate has improved a lot so he's definitely still developing but I just don't quite see the finished article that many do.

For an extra carrier in the forwards I think Cowan-Dickie is the man. George is brilliant but LCD has minutes under his belt, carries harder and attacks the breakdown more. In my opinion he's earned a couple of starts to see if he can make the same impact over 50 minutes rather than 30 minutes. We know from the start of George's career that he can make great impact from the bench as well.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 23 Jan 2021, 10:21 pm

king_carlos wrote:Watson is definitely better under the high ball than Odogwu. It's not long ago that Odogwu was best known for kicking Rohan Janse van Rensburg in the face trying to take a high ball then sarcastically applauding the ref for fairly red carding him. If Watson was that weak under the high ball he'd be targeted there similar to Darcy Graham. Nearly 50 international caps under his belt and I haven't seen it happen that much.

Watson has never been the strongest tackler but few wingers are to be honest. Nowell is exceptional in defence but that's it for the England wingers. Watson also has a kicking game, which is vital for an international winger these days and Odogwu has nothing in that department. I think Odogwu is a huge talent in attack but see it more as a 13 than a winger in England's systems. I just don't see how zero kicking game translates to England's game plan.

Agreed on balance. Ford-Farrell-Slade is pointlessly unbalanced. Lawrence or Odogwu at 13 offers that carrier to straighten the line though. Worth noting that for much of England's unbeaten run when Jones took over the midfield was Ford-Farrell-Joseph. So having a running threat is the key in my opinion rather than just a crash ball option.

Agreed Watson has a much better wing skillset than Odogwu. It's not about crashing either it's just about players that are looking to cut a line and come looking for the ball on something other than a wide arc or as a secondary playmaker. Anything to hold the midfield. If we have the options for Ford to pick out do we need to kick so much or can we make enough phases ball in hand just to build momentum? It does frustrate me that Daly does so little other than stand wide and run an arc he could be used more effectively.

We kick because Eddie doesn't like us to go through phases looking for a breakthrough unless we are in the opposition third. Pull the opposition midfield around and we don't need to kick or when we do kick there's no half the opposition backline sat back their waiting for it. 

Incidentally that's an interesting point on LCD but I think (possibly unfairly) that Eddie sees George as the solid set piece option which is why LCD is limited to the bench.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 24 Jan 2021, 12:19 am

These are great points. I think if we continue with Ford-Farrell-Slade the midfield can't really attack the opposition. And with May and Watson on the wings, the entire backline is not strong defensively. That said, May and Watson are great attacking options. So it goes back to the midfield.

I guess Odogwu will get time in the Italy game if he shows OK in training.

And I agree about LCD, I would like to see him get a few starts under his belt.

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 24 Jan 2021, 8:16 am

Odogwu is really taking the Cokanasiga spot in the squad. I doubt we will see him and Lawrence play in the same side, but Jones has consistently wanted a powerful direct running back to commit defenders and expose wet bags in the opposition. Thats where all the talk of playing flankers at centre came in.

Given the makeup of the squad it seems pretty much given Lawrence is starting in spite of Jones having ditched him quick smart in the 6 nations. Best for Odogwu you'd think is the bench covering wing and 13. If he does get in ahead of Lawrence that's a really incredibly rapid rise with everyone fit.

Im not sure Watson is exactly weak under the high ball and more than Daly is for a winger, just if you compare them to the top class full backs not quite there. Nowell had a few notable howlers in his early caps to the high ball, something I associate with him more than Watson for sure but really Englands established 4 wingers are all pretty solid all round footballers.

Englands kick chase that had been such a big feature of their game in recent times was disappointing in the Autumn so I'd be interested to see what they do there to improve it, Malins isnt exactly the tallest or fastest to be getting up there and Odogwu certainly wouldnt be the answer (unless its just smashing the player when they've caught the ball)

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 24 Jan 2021, 9:14 am

I wouldn't call Watson a liability under the high ball at all, he's not Mike Brown or Leigh Halfpenny but on the wing he's pretty decent in the air. I've never really considered him weak defensively either.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:53 am

Marler
George
Stuart
Itoje
Launchbury
Curry
Underhill
Vunipola

Robson
Ford
May
Farrell
Lawrence
Watson
Daly

Genge
LCD
Williams
Earl
Wilson
Randall
Odogwu
Malins

Real quick finishers to kill the game off after tiring out the Scots with hard attritional dominant set piece & tackling.
Launchbury was one of our best players in the AIs & consistently in form the set piece was good.
I’d look to bring on Wilson early if Billy is blowing a bit.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:26 am

Jones, and George Ford even more so, explained that the gameplan in recent tests was based on not having the ball. I reckon Jones expects World Rugby to tweak the laws again to ensure that strategy - whoever is using it - doesn't win the next World Cup.

Perhaps one of the reasons Jones was unadventurous in his previous selections is that he always envisaged an overhaul, and didn't want to bring too many new players into an old gameplan setup. It's often seemed like he is playing a long game into the 2023, and wants to spring some tactical, and even selection, surprises closer to that date, so the opposition has less time to respond. It will surely have registered how teams eventually worked out Joe Schmidt's Ireland, while South Africa were able to keep more back.

However, Jones probably imagined having the summer to work with a lot of players outside his main squad. If the Lions does not go ahead in any form, then he won't get that. If COVID-19 continues to disrupt rugby schedules for the rest of the year, then we won't really know what kind of run-up to the World Cup we are going to have. Jones may have imagined playing a long game but that may not be an option.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 24 Jan 2021, 1:19 pm

Would love jones to gove people more scope to play. I presume they are under strict orders to not change tactics even if it's not working ie bad box kicking and kicking down the throats of defenders. Wr can maintain those tactics in parts of the game but really should be making full use of the team.

Judging by these quotes in the guardian though...
Jones was asked whether England would be more adventurous after an Autumn Nations Cup campaign when their dominance at forward was an invitation to kick rather than spread the ball wide. He bristled and said: “I am not going to explain any more why the game is as it is. You’re entitled to your opinion and your judgment. That is the great thing about rugby and the more you express that opinion, the more people read about it and the better it is for rugby.”

More box kicking to come from youngs. Let's hope he has found a scrap of form.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 3:22 pm

Gooseberry wrote:

Given the makeup of the squad it seems pretty much given Lawrence is starting in spite of Jones having ditched him quick smart in the 6 nations

I thought Lawrence was injured during the tournament and thus not available for the remaining games?

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Sun 24 Jan 2021, 3:55 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:

Given the makeup of the squad it seems pretty much given Lawrence is starting in spite of Jones having ditched him quick smart in the 6 nations

I thought Lawrence was injured during the tournament and thus not available for the remaining games?

I think he got injured in the Autumn Internationals but he wasn’t in the 2020 6Ns squad at the beginning (when Manu was playing.)

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 24 Jan 2021, 6:50 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Would love jones to gove people more scope to play. I presume they are under strict orders to not change tactics even if it's not working ie bad box kicking and kicking down the throats of defenders. Wr can maintain those tactics in parts of the game but really should be making full use of the team.

Judging by these quotes in the guardian though...
Jones was asked whether England would be more adventurous after an Autumn Nations Cup campaign when their dominance at forward was an invitation to kick rather than spread the ball wide. He bristled and said: “I am not going to explain any more why the game is as it is. You’re entitled to your opinion and your judgment. That is the great thing about rugby and the more you express that opinion, the more people read about it and the better it is for rugby.”

More box kicking to come from youngs. Let's hope he has found a scrap of form.
I hope the team is not under strict orders not to change tactics, but I suspect you may be right. I think it was not so long ago Eddie was saying the team needs to play what is in front of them. Learn to think and react on the fly.

Hopefully Young's leg doesn't fall off...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 24 Jan 2021, 9:40 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:I wouldn't call Watson a liability under the high ball at all, he's not Mike Brown or Leigh Halfpenny but on the wing he's pretty decent in the air. I've never really considered him weak defensively either.

Yes liability was a bit harsh. Average would be fairer. He's not up there with the top end but neither do you panic when the kick goes up for him to contest. Well unless you're a Bath fan and it's Freddie Steward striding forward to contest.

Defensively he just seems to go side on and slip off a bit too easy. He at least puts his body on the line. If we had a more attacking minded centre combination I'd just feel happier with his selection. Whereas at the minute he'd just be one I'd sacrifice in order to get more gain line presence as we aren't creating the space out wide for Watson to do his thing.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:07 am

I have just been watching a YouTube compilation of Paolo Odogwu not having seem much of him, I do not want to put the mockers on him with too much expectation, but the player he reminds me most of is possibly England's greatest winger of all time, Jason Robinson. His acceleration from standing is unbelievable and his power just takes him through any half tackles. He also seems to come into the line a lot and at pace, not the standing still getting man/men and ball we see so much of.

The compilation only shows the exciting bits of course including a great try saving tackle from behind and stripping the ball over the line against Irish I think, but how is he defensively?

He seems to suit EJs policy of playing flankers in the centre etc, the footage shows him with 2,8,13,and 14 on his back.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 10:01 am

Most of it is behind a paywall in the Times but from what I gather Stuart Barnes reckons Ben Spencer hasn't managed to make squads because his game is too similar to Ben Youngs. Dont quite get the logic to that but perhaps its explained in full for those of us not too cheap to look!

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Post by Poorfour Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:11 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Apparently nowadays because wingers generally have the ball and run inshort bursts its metres per second that is more relevant.
Now with GPS its easy to measure & May is the quickest. Not, however, as quick as Christian Wade was

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/the-fastest-rugby-players-on-the-planet-and-the-speeds-theyre-clocking/

But unlike Wade, May can defend and field high balls, and has shown himself to be coachable and able to develop his game over time...
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Post by lostinwales Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:04 pm

Poorfour wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Apparently nowadays because wingers generally have the ball and run inshort bursts its metres per second that is more relevant.
Now with GPS its easy to measure & May is the quickest. Not, however, as quick as Christian Wade was

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/the-fastest-rugby-players-on-the-planet-and-the-speeds-theyre-clocking/

But unlike Wade, May can defend and field high balls, and has shown himself to be coachable and able to develop his game over time...

I wonder if there are available stats on distance run over the course of a game, because May covers a lot of ground, not just in that game vs Argentina

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:08 pm

Poorfour wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Apparently nowadays because wingers generally have the ball and run inshort bursts its metres per second that is more relevant.
Now with GPS its easy to measure & May is the quickest. Not, however, as quick as Christian Wade was

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/the-fastest-rugby-players-on-the-planet-and-the-speeds-theyre-clocking/

But unlike Wade, May can defend and field high balls, and has shown himself to be coachable and able to develop his game over time...

Those of us that watched Wadey week in week out saw a massive difference. Bit of a moot point now but I still believe England missed a trick.

https://rugbyonslaught.com/video-think-christian-wade-cant-tackle-video-will-sicken/



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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:12 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Apparently nowadays because wingers generally have the ball and run inshort bursts its metres per second that is more relevant.
Now with GPS its easy to measure & May is the quickest. Not, however, as quick as Christian Wade was

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/the-fastest-rugby-players-on-the-planet-and-the-speeds-theyre-clocking/

But unlike Wade, May can defend and field high balls, and has shown himself to be coachable and able to develop his game over time...

Those of us that watched Wadey week in week out saw a massive difference. Bit of a moot point now but I still believe England missed a trick.

https://rugbyonslaught.com/video-think-christian-wade-cant-tackle-video-will-sicken/



We talk of injuries giving players a chance to establish them and vice versa I will always look to the lions as taking away Wade's chance to do so. That tour to argentina where he and Morgan combined so brilliantly in the first test. He looked to the manor born and then plucked up by Gatland the next week denying him the 2nd test to put another marker down. All to play in a thrown together team.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:50 pm

Joe Launchbury & Joe Marler withdraw from England squad - there goes my predicted starting 23.

Launch suffers leg injury and Marler for personal reasons.

Charlie Ewels and Tom West called up.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:52 pm

Just read that Trev, hope Marler is ok given his past.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 25 Jan 2021, 2:58 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
He seems to suit EJs policy of playing flankers in the centre etc, the footage shows him with 2,8,13,and 14 on his back.

2 and 8 was from when he was playing 7s I'd assume. He was excellent in several additions of the Prem 7s tournament. Could have easily gone on the 7s circuit if he'd wanted to.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 25 Jan 2021, 3:29 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just read that Trev, hope Marler is ok given his past.

The Guardian and Sky both referenced a tweet from Marler where he's just talked about the separation from home at this difficult time. I suspect (hope) it is more an issue with prevention than having to manage a poor mental state.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 3:49 pm

Good. Just seen his tweet as well, prioritising being with his family. Completely fair and mature decision.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:59 pm

Marler has discussed prioritizing family over international commitments before. So he is consistent and can't be faulted in any way for putting family first. I wonder why, though, this hasn't come up earlier. Or maybe it did but not made public until now?

Launchbury is a shame. I didn't know he had a fracture. Any idea of details (you know I love that).

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Post by Cumbrian Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:14 pm

Don't blame Marler at all, family comes first.

Tom West is a bit of left-field pick though. Mind you, I suppose after Vunipola, Marler, Genge and Obano things start getting a bit stretched. West seems to be part of a group of decent loose-heads who may be able to hold their own at international level.
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Post by lostinwales Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:17 pm

Cumbrian wrote:Don't blame Marler at all, family comes first.  

Tom West is a bit of left-field pick though.  Mind you, I suppose after Vunipola, Marler, Genge and Obano things start getting a bit stretched. West seems to be part of a group of decent loose-heads who may be able to hold their own at international level.

The interesting thing is that it means that Obano will almost certainly, finally, get capped.

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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:18 pm

Looking forward to seeing what Obano can do in an England shirt. Promising player.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:55 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:Don't blame Marler at all, family comes first.  

Tom West is a bit of left-field pick though.  Mind you, I suppose after Vunipola, Marler, Genge and Obano things start getting a bit stretched. West seems to be part of a group of decent loose-heads who may be able to hold their own at international level.

The interesting thing is that it means that Obano will almost certainly, finally, get capped.
No question. I think he has the potential too be as destructive as Andrew Sheridan. You think?

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Post by lostinwales Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:12 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:Don't blame Marler at all, family comes first.  

Tom West is a bit of left-field pick though.  Mind you, I suppose after Vunipola, Marler, Genge and Obano things start getting a bit stretched. West seems to be part of a group of decent loose-heads who may be able to hold their own at international level.

The interesting thing is that it means that Obano will almost certainly, finally, get capped.
No question.  I think he has the potential too be as destructive as Andrew Sheridan.  You think?

I don't actually know enough about him but I think he's more in the same bowling bowl/ ball playing mould as Sinckler and Genge. He's also short for a modern prop although he doesn't lack bulk. Wikipedia has him at 1.73m height and 120kg. (That would give him a BMI of 40..)

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:30 pm

lostinwales wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:Don't blame Marler at all, family comes first.  

Tom West is a bit of left-field pick though.  Mind you, I suppose after Vunipola, Marler, Genge and Obano things start getting a bit stretched. West seems to be part of a group of decent loose-heads who may be able to hold their own at international level.

The interesting thing is that it means that Obano will almost certainly, finally, get capped.
No question.  I think he has the potential too be as destructive as Andrew Sheridan.  You think?

I don't actually know enough about him but I think he's more in the same bowling bowl/ ball playing mould as Sinckler and Genge. He's also short for a modern prop although he doesn't lack bulk. Wikipedia has him at 1.73m height and 120kg. (That would give him a BMI of 40..)
Funny - I never thought of BMI relative to someone like him. I guess, in BMI world, he is clinically obese. I'm not going to tell him....

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Post by king_carlos Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:38 pm

Obano is the same height as Thomas Domingo but a couple of stone heavier. An absolute unit. He has experience scrummaging with Stuart and has been coached by Hatley recently as well. He's a very talented 4th choice loosehead.

It's a big blow to have Sinckler, Mako and Marler all unavailable at the same time. Add in Launchbury and Kruis missing in the second row plus George and Itoje have no rugby under their belt. It's going to be a weaker tight five.

Excited to see what Genge and Stuart can do though.

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Post by BamBam Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:43 pm

Glad Lawes is back, that's a fair amount of experience to lose from the tight five in one go so I'd start Lawes and Itoje with Hill on the bench. Genge and Obano is a very physical loosehead pair to have, hope they can both bring their carrying game as well as being solid in the scrum.

Launchbury being out also reduces the chances of Lawes at flanker I hope

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Post by king_carlos Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:45 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:Don't blame Marler at all, family comes first.  

Tom West is a bit of left-field pick though.  Mind you, I suppose after Vunipola, Marler, Genge and Obano things start getting a bit stretched. West seems to be part of a group of decent loose-heads who may be able to hold their own at international level.

The interesting thing is that it means that Obano will almost certainly, finally, get capped.
No question.  I think he has the potential too be as destructive as Andrew Sheridan.  You think?
Obano is less destructive than Sheri but more consistent at the scrum. I adored Big Ted, but he was a lot less consistent at the scrum than many seem to remember. At 6'5" he wasn't built for scrummaging and technically sound tightheads frequently got the better of him. When he physically dominated a tighthead he could do some serious damage though. As seen in the 2007 RWC.

I sometimes feel that Rowntree in the '09 Lions documentary talking about Sheri having to be on the bench in the 2nd Test for his impact polished many fans views of him a fair bit. He was on the bench largely to target John Smith moving to tighthead to accommodate Bismark du Plessis though.

An explosive player and a key part of the Toulon side when Sheridan and Carl Hayman (one of the all time greats in my opinion) took club sides apart at scrum time.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:53 pm

I've seen Obano hey the wrong side of the ref a few times as they think he should be scrummaging higher as the tight head can't deal with him. Generally very hard to deal with.

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