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A bit of perspective

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Post by whatahitson Sat 13 Feb 2021, 8:49 pm

All I am seeing on twitter is England fans going mad at Farrell, Youngs, Eddie Jones, Vunipola et cetera.

I have to say I am surprised. England and Jones have huge amounts of credit in the bank and I think English fans need a bit of perspective on where we are as a team.

I know this might sound controversial but England are miles ahead of any other team in Europe eventhough Scotland beat them last week. Jones came in to England with a remit to do what Stuart Lancaster couldn't which was to make England world champions after it went horribly wrong on home soil. Jones started off with back to back six nations wins and then found his side struggled to manage with Lions recovery and the added pressure of teams knowing what was coming and preparing gameplans specifically for England, like Scotland did in 2018. But he turned it around after a losing streak and brought in fresh blood maybe a little fortuitously (although I think everyone suspected Haskell and Robshaw would struggle to stay the course) but nevertheless England showed what they could do in the 18/19 season against South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland and kept enough powder dry for Japan the season after. We all know what happened there and falling at the final hurdle means there is only one thing left to do for Eddie Jones and that is WIN the cup.

So now where are England? Apparently they're in their worst ever position and are a disgrace? What?1?! furious censored

England have won both tournaments available to them after the 2019 world cup and yes they were a little bit fortunate but they could add a third this year considering how results have gone as long as they beat the French. All of that without even trying to change anything dramatic since 2018/19? If you play badly and win that's a sign of a good team. I don't mean to put this the wrong way but if the six nations is the 'bread and butter' of rugby then continuing to worry too much about the bread and butter means they will be too full to deal with off the main course when it arrives in 2023. No other coach has as much credit in the bank as he does.

Jones says England want to be the best team ever but I think its obvious HE wants to be the best England coach ever. He wants to have what Clive Woodward has and to beat his record as well which means he only needs one more title but not if it means sacrificing the world cup. The world cup is what matters. The difference between winning a world cup is huge in terms of prestige and standing and for his legacy. It's the only thing Eddie has left to do with England and he had 4 years to do it after that night in Japan.

So I think some perspective is needed. If the Lions goes ahead this year England will lose maybe 20 players or more to the tour and that means injuries. He already say that two thirds of the Japan squad would not make it to France. Youngs will probably not tour. Look at the way Jamie George, Curry, and Underhill played despite Hartley, Haskell, and Robshaw playing for so long under Eddie.

I just think the abuse needs to stop. England are not trying to win the six nations with everything theyve got if anything Jones is taking a risk that the Lions tour will go ahead this year by just keeping things ticking over. Everyone ELSE needs to try to show what their level is because Wales won it 2 years ago and Ireland 3 years ago but they're different teams with different coaches. No one else has shown their standard so every other team is in a different boat to England who went with the continuity option. Pivac is desperate for wins that's why Lydiate has come back. France are building to a home world cup and do not want to experience what England did in 2015 so they need to show their level and not just potential. Farrell has been backed by Ireland and needs to repay them and that starts with the six nations. Scotland need to finally become competitive after 6 years of showing promising signs. Italy need to just win to get the media off their back.

No one else is in England's position. No one else has 'win the world cup' as their next step. England and Eddie Jones do. Yes they cannot stand still but given what happened with the Lions last time out and how England prepared in house and built a gameplan by playing one 'tactic' at a time in certain matches, like they are now, before putting it altogether against a NZ or SA, I just think a bit of perspective is need. rose


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Post by Brendan Sun 14 Feb 2021, 12:22 am

I think not having AIs and Summer Tours puts more pressure on England.  If in the AIs they had played and beaten SH teams people would have been talking about how England were still one of the best teams.  Because they have only been able to play 6N teams it suddenly means that everyone is saying are they even the best in Europe.

The balance of power has shifted but not in people's heads.  NZ struggled playing against Oz and Argentina  who haven't been great since 2015/16.  No one knows where SA are because their WC win is remembered for their win v England and results v NZ in the RC. They didn't look amazing v Wales or NZ at the WC.  England in the other hand were only poor in one game at the WC.

At the next WC NZ, Fra, SA, Sco, Ire are fighting for two semi final places, that's 5 of the top 8 sides.  Whoever comes out of that will be fairly beat up.  England are going to have an easy group so can settle in which will suit Jones.  They then play a team who aren't what they once were.

I don't think the English players realized the pressure/experience that a WC final was and like many teams that beat NZ it's hard to win the next round.  This next WC they will be close to home playing in stadiums they have been to before in conditions they know (Because of European Cups).

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Post by nlpnlp Sun 14 Feb 2021, 11:05 pm

We managed to throw away a world cup, losing to a very average South African team that was beaten in the group stage and struggled in the quarter and semi finals.

Yes we did win the 2020 6 Nations curtesy of France throwing the Grand Slam away against Scotland.

Yes we did win the 2020 ANC against a third string France team, who were very unlucky to lose.

We got away playing badly for some time, however, this came home to roost against Scotland last week. Dan Coles was the only player to retire from International rugby after the world cup, so England haven’t been rebuilding.  We should have been pushing forward – trying to become the best team in the world not just talking about it.

As regards Eddie.  He seems to have a bad habit of losing coaches; clearly has his favourite players who appear to be undroppable regardless of performance; has his non-favourite players who are simply overlooked or dropped; some of his press interviews overstep the bounds of good taste.

I appreciate that I may sound a little bit negative, but we have a really good crop of players; we also have more resources than any other country.  I don’t think we have any divine right to win matches, but I do think we should be doing better than we have been for the last 18 months.  I hope this is just a blip and we start playing some good rugby, but right now I don’t think New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina are looking at us and worrying about what they see.  I am not seeing anything from Eddie that makes me think things are going to end well.

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Post by Old Man Mon 15 Feb 2021, 6:51 am

We managed to throw away a world cup, losing to a very average South African team that was beaten in the group stage and struggled in the quarter and semi finals.

Okie dokie. Rolling Eyes

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 15 Feb 2021, 6:51 am

I think a turnover of coaches is a good thing personally. If a head coach is in a position for a good length of time new ideas help and you've got to expect the coaches under you to develop and move on to better things for themselves.

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Post by whatahitson Wed 17 Feb 2021, 3:51 pm

Brendan wrote:I think not having AIs and Summer Tours puts more pressure on England.  If in the AIs they had played and beaten SH teams people would have been talking about how England were still one of the best teams.  Because they have only been able to play 6N teams it suddenly means that everyone is saying are they even the best in Europe.

The balance of power has shifted but not in people's heads.  NZ struggled playing against Oz and Argentina  who haven't been great since 2015/16.  No one knows where SA are because their WC win is remembered for their win v England and results v NZ in the RC. They didn't look amazing v Wales or NZ at the WC.  England in the other hand were only poor in one game at the WC.

At the next WC NZ, Fra, SA, Sco, Ire are fighting for two semi final places, that's 5 of the top 8 sides.  Whoever comes out of that will be fairly beat up.  England are going to have an easy group so can settle in which will suit Jones.  They then play a team who aren't what they once were.

I don't think the English players realized the pressure/experience that a WC final was and like many teams that beat NZ it's hard to win the next round.  This next WC they will be close to home playing in stadiums they have been to before in conditions they know (Because of European Cups).

But you don't have to be the best team in the world in between world cups. New zealand win that trophy every year but it's no good peaking 2 years or even 1 year before the tournament if your aim is to win the world cup. England are finally back there are 16 years (lucky in 2007). France could join them but they have a long way to go as it stands there are only 3 teams who have realistic ambitions for the world cup and england are one of them. They don't need to be the best team in the world now they have just won 2 more trophies in 2020 they need to avoid a repeat of 2018 more than anything else.

You can forget Ireland and Scotland winning the world cup that's wishful thinking. Wales did well under Gatland but couldn't manage the injuries and Scotland and Ireland haven't reached a world cup semi final in professional rugby. It is realistically going to be five teams three from down south and england and france. England are miles ahead of France and IMO in the best shape seeing as south africa haven't played since the world cup.

So yes a bit of perspective is needed and for scotland and irish fans as well. You need to win a few six nations like eddie did when he came in to be taken seriously at world cups. France will need to do that as well maybe they will maybe they won't. England have the luxury of being able to slow down over the next 12 months and experiment. Jones has credit in the bank with the way he prepared the team in 2018/19. The fact they're not perfect 2.5 years before the next world cup doesn't matter for the bigger picture.

The only problem is if the lions gets pushed back a year and england have to deal with injuries and fatigue the season before the world cup.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 17 Feb 2021, 4:07 pm

whatahitson wrote:England are miles ahead of France and IMO in the best shape seeing as south africa haven't played since the world cup.

Laugh

No hang on a minute..... sorry, no.... Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by Duty281 Wed 17 Feb 2021, 4:38 pm

Miles ahead of France? On current form, England are light years behind France. At their best, England are probably a little behind the French currently - very exciting times for French rugby at the moment.

I'd say, presently, England are behind France, New Zealand and South Africa. On the current run of form, which isn't showing a sign of coming to an end, you can probably add Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to that list.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 17 Feb 2021, 4:45 pm

Duty281 wrote:Miles ahead of France? On current form, England are light years behind France. At their best, England are probably a little behind the French currently - very exciting times for French rugby at the moment.

I'd say, presently, England are behind France, New Zealand and South Africa. On the current run of form, which isn't showing a sign of coming to an end, you can probably add Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to that list.

England are playing frustrating rugby at the moment but at their best are more than a match for any team in the world. The ability of this French team is being blown out of all proportion, they didn't win either cup last year which doesn't suggest a team that's light years ahead. Ireland with a bit more endeavor could have beaten them on Sunday.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Wed 17 Feb 2021, 5:36 pm

France are still quite callow and made a large number of different types of errors against Ireland, who weren't good enough to capitalise. France have also drawn the hideous side of the RWC draw, usually drawn by England. Lest anyone has forgotten England last time drew Argentina & France (cancelled due to a tornado) in the pools followed by Australia, NZ and finally SA. The odds on winning all that lot must have been tiny.
Suspect France could well be at their peak for 2027. England's draw for 2023 has to be a golden opportunity and most England fans would settle for the usual four wins and one loss at 6N time if the Webb Ellis was obtained 30 odd months time.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu 18 Feb 2021, 8:52 am

If England were performing badly and you could see EJ trying to do something about it, most would agree with you. He is not though, he has gone from kick 95% of the ball away to run 90% in two games, just no middle ground. One of our most promising young players dropped for an out of form favorite after receiving one pass in 60 minutes and then being hauled off.

If Lawrence had been benched and Farrell started but was pulled off after 55-60 minutes if he was not performing , and he most definitely was not performing, most would have seen the sense in it, giving him a chance to play himself into form and still giving Lawrence some game time and seeing what he could do.

But no, dropped from the 23, how is that going to affect his confidence?

George and BV were both pulled off early, Daly having the worst game I can remember him having and their have been a few of those; he is not pulled off, Watson is and he goes to left wing, forcing May to change wings.

I just hope he has a plane behind this haphazard selection and that kids like Lawrence have been told why they are being dropped when his selections have stopped them from showing what they can do. I certainly haven't got a clue what he is up to and I don't think I am the only one.
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Post by lostinwales Thu 18 Feb 2021, 10:28 am

Interesting times. Coaches can get away with a lot as long as they are winning. When things change (and there are a whole heap of alternative players and styles available) attitudes can change very quickly.

Jones is still winning, but there are failings in the team which don't seem to be being addressed. I was a firm believer that in Eddie we trust, but that that trust is going.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:10 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Miles ahead of France? On current form, England are light years behind France. At their best, England are probably a little behind the French currently - very exciting times for French rugby at the moment.

I'd say, presently, England are behind France, New Zealand and South Africa. On the current run of form, which isn't showing a sign of coming to an end, you can probably add Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to that list.

England are playing frustrating rugby at the moment but at their best are more than a match for any team in the world. The ability of this French team is being blown out of all proportion, they didn't win either cup last year which doesn't suggest a team that's light years ahead. Ireland with a bit more endeavor could have beaten them on Sunday.

At their best, yes, I'd agree, but England are a long way from that at this stage. I think the French will end up being the dominant NH team of the 2020s, winning the most Six Nations titles and being the most likely NH team to win the World Cup in either 2023/2027, but admittedly a lot of it is potential at this stage, rather than actual current ability. And France would have won the Autumn Nations Cup last year, if it wasn't for losing 25 or so players for the final.

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Post by whatahitson Thu 18 Feb 2021, 2:01 pm

Duty281 wrote:Miles ahead of France? On current form, England are light years behind France. At their best, England are probably a little behind the French currently - very exciting times for French rugby at the moment.

I'd say, presently, England are behind France, New Zealand and South Africa. On the current run of form, which isn't showing a sign of coming to an end, you can probably add Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to that list.

This is the problem you're judging form but it's not the only way of judging a team. Form matters but it's not everything and for England in particular having won both trophies in 2020 with a Lions tour coming up it definitely isn't everything. You don't win a world cup 2.5 years before it gets played but you can lessen your chance of winning it by peaking too soon or using all your best ideas just to stay in a job like Pivac and Farrell are going to have to do.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 18 Feb 2021, 2:08 pm

Duty281 wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Miles ahead of France? On current form, England are light years behind France. At their best, England are probably a little behind the French currently - very exciting times for French rugby at the moment.

I'd say, presently, England are behind France, New Zealand and South Africa. On the current run of form, which isn't showing a sign of coming to an end, you can probably add Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to that list.

England are playing frustrating rugby at the moment but at their best are more than a match for any team in the world. The ability of this French team is being blown out of all proportion, they didn't win either cup last year which doesn't suggest a team that's light years ahead. Ireland with a bit more endeavor could have beaten them on Sunday.

At their best, yes, I'd agree, but England are a long way from that at this stage. I think the French will end up being the dominant NH team of the 2020s, winning the most Six Nations titles and being the most likely NH team to win the World Cup in either 2023/2027, but admittedly a lot of it is potential at this stage, rather than actual current ability. And France would have won the Autumn Nations Cup last year, if it wasn't for losing 25 or so players for the final.

I can't say I agree with that, France may have won with everyone available but the players they selected had a free shot to just go out and play. Impossible to know if that helped or hindered England, it wasn't a French team lacking in ability anyway. I think you're confusing playing boring rugby with ability, England can and have beaten most teams in the world with their kicking game, it's not expansive but on the whole it's effective.

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Post by whatahitson Thu 18 Feb 2021, 2:11 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:If England were performing badly and you could see EJ trying to do something about it, most would agree with you. He is not though, he has gone from kick 95% of the ball away to run 90% in two games, just no middle ground. One of our most promising young players dropped for an out of form favorite after receiving one pass in 60 minutes and then being hauled off.

Yes that is playing 80 minutes with one set of tactics and then he brings it altogether in targeted games like Ireland and New Zealand in the 18/19 season. He's not going to use his kick off set plays against Italy or Scotland in a six nations is he. Do you really think he'd waste that sort of thing on games that aren't going to help them win a world cup?

Also I see a number of players already being brought in to the team in key positions. Stuart, Hill, Willis, Robson, Lawrence, Malins. Plenty more to come as well and keeps the rough diamonds like Dombrandt hungry to get them to understand the work required at international level. Some players like Chris Ashton had the talent but couldn't do it and they weren't missed in Japan there are always other options.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 18 Feb 2021, 2:18 pm

Duty281 wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Miles ahead of France? On current form, England are light years behind France. At their best, England are probably a little behind the French currently - very exciting times for French rugby at the moment.

I'd say, presently, England are behind France, New Zealand and South Africa. On the current run of form, which isn't showing a sign of coming to an end, you can probably add Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to that list.

England are playing frustrating rugby at the moment but at their best are more than a match for any team in the world. The ability of this French team is being blown out of all proportion, they didn't win either cup last year which doesn't suggest a team that's light years ahead. Ireland with a bit more endeavor could have beaten them on Sunday.

At their best, yes, I'd agree, but England are a long way from that at this stage. I think the French will end up being the dominant NH team of the 2020s, winning the most Six Nations titles and being the most likely NH team to win the World Cup in either 2023/2027, but admittedly a lot of it is potential at this stage, rather than actual current ability. And France would have won the Autumn Nations Cup last year, if it wasn't for losing 25 or so players for the final.

I actually disagree with that. I cant speak for the other teams ( Scotland, Ireland, Wales) but England have some exceptional talent coming through...and some physically huge players as well. (Plus the current squad is still very young if you think about it. )

Lets just hope Eddie brings them through correctly, unlike Marcus Smith, Simmonds, Ollie Lawrence etc...

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Post by lostinwales Thu 18 Feb 2021, 2:59 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Miles ahead of France? On current form, England are light years behind France. At their best, England are probably a little behind the French currently - very exciting times for French rugby at the moment.

I'd say, presently, England are behind France, New Zealand and South Africa. On the current run of form, which isn't showing a sign of coming to an end, you can probably add Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to that list.

England are playing frustrating rugby at the moment but at their best are more than a match for any team in the world. The ability of this French team is being blown out of all proportion, they didn't win either cup last year which doesn't suggest a team that's light years ahead. Ireland with a bit more endeavor could have beaten them on Sunday.

At their best, yes, I'd agree, but England are a long way from that at this stage. I think the French will end up being the dominant NH team of the 2020s, winning the most Six Nations titles and being the most likely NH team to win the World Cup in either 2023/2027, but admittedly a lot of it is potential at this stage, rather than actual current ability. And France would have won the Autumn Nations Cup last year, if it wasn't for losing 25 or so players for the final.

I can't say I agree with that, France may have won with everyone available but the players they selected had a free shot to just go out and play. Impossible to know if that helped or hindered England, it wasn't a French team lacking in ability anyway. I think you're confusing playing boring rugby with ability, England can and have beaten most teams in the world with their kicking game, it's not expansive but on the whole it's effective.

Yes For all the scintillating running and general eye catching display France didn't beat England and were shut out for most of the 2nd half. England were very poor at scoring points but otherwise ground France into the dust over the course of the game. Although I think we'd all be thankful if England played some more rugby, pretty plays don't win games,

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 4:06 pm

I don't think England's problem is the boring kick-it-away approach per se.  I think it's the fact they seem to be regressing further into that shell and don't seem to have any alternative when their plan doesn't seem to work.  We know England were fortunate to beat France in the ANC and lost to France in the Six Nations.  

Yes, the most recent match was against Italy, but the FFS midfield worked better when the middle 'F' was skipped or bypassed, enabling the playmakers to make plays.  I doubt, however, England can defeat the better sides playing 14 man attack Rugby.  And if Billy Cheeseburger doesn't knock the pounds and rust off asap, it will be like attacking with 13 man Rugby.  Seems illogical to me and I would really like to understand the rationale.

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 18 Feb 2021, 5:36 pm

I do feel that there a few players in the England set up who have lost their "shine". Farrell shouldn't be at 10 - he's not playing there for his club (or anywhere else for that matter!) but seems to be a better player when his mate Ford is on the pitch. However he seems to NEED Ford's back up for his own mental well-being. When George is there, Owen is not so affected by the organisation that a 10 does. It's almost as if with him at 10, and as Captain, he can't cope with it all. Maybe he needs to be told that he CAN'T do everything - organise the team at 10, tell everyone what to do, be the team's talisman as well as try to referee the game too. I feel he's a better player at 12 than 10. His captaincy means that he's difficult to drop, so is bringing Ford in a better option than leaving him to struggle at 10?

Jamie George doesn't look 100% to me. Again, it's the Saracens non-playing issue. Although he's not dropped off badly, he seems a little off colour, not so sharp as usual. Luke Cowan-Dickie is on excellent form and was certainly deserving of his start last weekend - will it continue? Competition is always healthy, so I hope that Eddie doesn't do "a Clive" and revert to his old stagers rather than try the better performing and hungrier players.

Billy Cheeseburger has not been at his rampaging best for some time now. I feel that he's unfit compared to what he was, and doesn't have anything like the effect he used to with his carries. It doesn't help that he has a bit of a "I'm knackered" expression on his face all the time. I wonder if his carrying ability has suffered as a result of his numerous broken arms. That niggling doubt in the back of his mind may have made him a little less explosive and more cautious. I don't think any amount of playing him back into fitness will work on this occasion. I would be starting Earl at the earliest (sorry) given opportunity. He's fast, powerful, has an engine like few others and you can see just how fired up he is to get on the pitch. Granted you lose a couple of stone but I simply feel he's so much more effective in just about every aspect of the game.

Daly needs one on one tackling coaching. If he could take out attackers as the last man more effectively he'd be SO much better. Duhan Van Der Merwe was virtually waved over to the try line. I know he's a big powerful guy, but these are professional rugby players and should be used to tackling big fast lumps. If my rugby coach from school saw that, Daly would still be doing laps around the field interspersed with 50 push ups. Again - is there a mental block there?

It's no surprise that all players are Sarries big ticket players. Lack of game time can be a complete nightmare to some, and it's certainly showing here. None of the players mentioned above are bad - it's more that they're suffering from various problems. Why keep playing all 4 when there's others who are doing better jobs? It makes no sense. I just hope that Eddie has a little shake-up, rather than watch his favourites spiral further and further down the form plughole...

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 19 Feb 2021, 8:50 am

Consistently playing badly if your side is losing can really knock your confidence, when that happens it takes a lot longer to get back to where you were. You always take the safe option, rather than what your instincts tell you to do, or you do nothing keeping out of the game so you can't do anything wrong.

We have seen this with BV and OF and to an extent JG, they were anonymous in games they have played. Persevering with them will only make things worse. Daly at least tried to get into the game even if he made a mess of everything. Itoje has too much of an ego to ever believe he could be playing badly which to be fair he is not.

EJ needs to think of the players mental welfare as well as playing the way he wants. If one of them makes a mistake as a result of not being in the right mind frame and we lose to Wales, it could be devastating for them in the short term.

What happens if one of them gets injured, have we got like for like replacements? No, we play another way with a team designed around the Sarries contingent that they have probably not trained for.
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Post by BamBam Fri 19 Feb 2021, 9:34 am

doctor_grey wrote:I don't think England's problem is the boring kick-it-away approach per se.  I think it's the fact they seem to be regressing further into that shell and don't seem to have any alternative when their plan doesn't seem to work.  We know England were fortunate to beat France in the ANC and lost to France in the Six Nations.  

Yes, the most recent match was against Italy, but the FFS midfield worked better when the middle 'F' was skipped or bypassed, enabling the playmakers to make plays.  I doubt, however, England can defeat the better sides playing 14 man attack Rugby.  And if Billy Cheeseburger doesn't knock the pounds and rust off asap, it will be like attacking with 13 man Rugby.  Seems illogical to me and I would really like to understand the rationale.

Genuinely chuckled out loud at the FFS midfield Laugh

What an apt description

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:31 am

I know this might sound controversial but England are miles ahead of any other team in Europe even though Scotland beat them last week

England have one win against scotland in the last 4 games. England simply are not miles ahead of other European teams.

England play a stolid stodgy game plan well.  Its enough to win most games in the 6N.  Its not enough to win WCs

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:47 am

TJ wrote:
I know this might sound controversial but England are miles ahead of any other team in Europe even though Scotland beat them last week

England have one win against scotland in the last 4 games.  England simply are not miles ahead of other European teams.  

England play a stolid stodgy game plan well.  Its enough to win most games in the 6N.  Its not enough to win WCs

You confuse being able to and doing. England are clearly good enough to win a world cup. And they're still the best in the world.

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:55 am

TJ wrote:
I know this might sound controversial but England are miles ahead of any other team in Europe even though Scotland beat them last week

England have one win against scotland in the last 4 games.  England simply are not miles ahead of other European teams.  

England play a stolid stodgy game plan well.  Its enough to win most games in the 6N.  Its not enough to win WCs

This is a flattering use of statistics. It's true to say England have won 3 of the last 5 six nations tournaments and scotland have never won the six nations in 20 years. Eddie jones has won a majority of six nations tournaments since he became England coach.

Are you suggesting Scotland are nearly as good or even better than england? Scotland didn't get out of their group in the world cup england battered new zealand and were in the final this is the perspective I'm talking about. Scotland lost to Japan. Everyone wants to beat England and the Scots prepare like it's their world cup final as we saw them fail to back it up last week and in 2018. Jones has beaten Scotland more often than he has lost since he has been in charge that's the statistic that matters with one dead rubber game england threw away at half time making it much more flattering than it should be for Scotland.

Yes England are miles ahead. We know the level England can get up to and it's good enough to beat new zealand and nearly win a world cup. That is the peak england have shown and it is so much higher than any other six nations team. France have doing nothing of note but have plenty of talent and Wales are not the same team without Garland. I have seen England put 60 points on Scotland by running the ball and demolish Ireland in dublin and you call that 'stodgy' rugby? Nevermind beating australia and new zealand in a world cup away from home in successive weeks.

My point is that England are just treading water until the lions tour jones has even admitted as much and even that is good enough to win two trophies and be the best in europe in 2020. That's how far ahead they are from the rest and their sights are on bigger challenges than just playing well and winning the 2021 six nations so england fans shouldn't panic. I made this post mainly because of that I don't expect people from other countries to accept it for obvious reasons. The reality is everyone else apart from France has Englishmen playing for them which is a good sign of how good England are. The players that will come through after the lions tour will take england on to another level so it's not time for england fans to abuse the team or panic in eddie we trust. And even after losing to scotland we probably just need to beat france and get the right bonus points to win the six nations this year as well let's not write england off yet they are in control of their destiny and yes are a long way ahead of every other six nations team.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:09 am

I think what you should be saying, is that England can be or have the potential to be, if you are talking about post Lions sides to be "miles ahead of any other team in Europe", the way that are playing post world cup, they are anything but. They are scraping the wins they have had against the better sides, not conclusively beating them.

You cannot compare teams of 5 years ago to the current team or especially the "next" post Lions team and they certainly haven't thrashed a quality side in the last few years, beaten yes, not thrashed.

I am a passionate Englishman and would live your dream to come true, but it ain't there yet.
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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:12 am

England are not miles ahead of France by any rational yardstick

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:50 am

geoff999rugby wrote:England are not miles ahead of France by any rational yardstick

Or Scotland -or Wales or ireland

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:53 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:

You confuse being able to and doing. England are clearly good enough to win a world cup. And they're still the best in the world.

clearly nbot good enough to win the last WC as they didn't

WR rankings

1 South Africa 94.20


2 New Zealand 88.95


3 England 87.49


4 France 86.42



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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:53 am

geoff999rugby wrote:England are not miles ahead of France by any rational yardstick

Yes they are.

They have a much better coach with a proven track record at international level. They have a team that reached the world cup final with so many talented youngsters ready to take over the mantle. They beat France to both 2020 titles despite playing within themselves. They have beaten every single team in world rugby within the last 2.5 years, France haven't beaten either NZ or South Africa in over a decade. England have won 4 six nations since France last won one. They are miles ahead when it comes to actual achievements.

France have talent and they have maybe the best player in the world at the moment but is that enough? No. Until they actually do it then it's just potential just like Ireland you can talk a good game about world cups but they've never reached a semi final.

You are saying 'don't judge them on what they've done judge them on what they might do'. Yes potential is important but past achievement matters more than present form or what everyone imagines the future might bring. It shows their level and France have a long way to go not just in terms of beating teams but also mentally look at the way they crumbled up in Scotland once they were favourites. England did that for 4 years under Lancaster so if France have a similar process to go through until they reach the level England are, yes, England are miles ahead.

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:54 am

TJ wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:England are not miles ahead of France by any rational yardstick

Or Scotland -or Wales or ireland

Yes Scotland are definitely one of the favourites for the next world cup Whistle

"A bit of perspective"

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:07 pm

Look at the rankings - England are falling down the rankings and just 1 pt ahead of France. Scotland have a better recent record against England

and you wonder why English arrogance gets folk angry?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:21 pm

Rankings ain't the be all and end all. They are flawed. You're being more arrogant tj. You always have a chip on your shoulder with england.

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:26 pm

TJ wrote:Scotland have a better recent record against England

and you wonder why English arrogance gets folk angry?

Only if you warp the idea of 'recent' to fit your own argument.

It says it all though. You think the measure of how good Scotland are is how well they perform against England.

Meanwhile England measure themselves against the best in the world at world cup time. We're close but not good enough to win the cup but that's now the next step. Scotland have the 'we beat England' trophy aka the Calcutta Cup. You don't have a six nations title. When did you last win the triple crown?

If you honestly think Scotland are nearly as good as England I'm sorry but you're dreaming. There's no nice way to say it but the two teams are operating on different levels as seen in Japan.


Last edited by whatahitson on Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:27 pm

Oh yeah - thats right. England the best in the world and miles better than anyone else in the 6N yet their recent record against Scotland is a losing one, they are third in the rankings and falling and France have almost caught them

Best in the NH yet get beaten by lowly Scotland at home?

I ain't arrogant - I know Scotland are a semi / quarter final team 5th to 8th in the rankings is Scotlands natural place

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:31 pm

So the rankings show that England are the highest ranked European team but apparently it's unfair to point out they're the best team in Europe and are miles ahead of the other five teams in challenging for the next world cup. Meanwhile Scotland go out in the group stage of a world cup and have just lost at home to an awful Welsh team and you think they're a semi final world cup team?

"A bit of perspective"

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:32 pm

The real rankings are like this

1. South Africa/New Zealand
3. England
4. Australia/France
6+. The rest

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:35 pm

TJ wrote:Oh yeah - thats right.  England the best in the world and miles better than anyone else in the 6N yet their recent record against Scotland is a losing one, they are third in the rankings and falling and France have almost caught them

Best in the NH yet get beaten by lowly Scotland at home?

I ain't arrogant - I know Scotland are a semi / quarter final team  5th to 8th in the rankings is Scotlands natural place

From your perspective which is it then tj? Rankings are that england are the best nh and far better than scotland.

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:09 pm

That is a long way from "I know this might sound controversial but England are miles ahead of any other team in Europe "

because they clearly are not when Scotland has a better win record in the Calcutta cup matches and France are pushing them close 0 1 ranking point is nothing so better than Scotland yes - maybe but recent records suggest we have your number and certainly not miles ahead


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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:10 pm

I didn't say we were miles better. I think we have the best team and wider squad in the world though.

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:19 pm

The OP did and England are clearly not the best in the world.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:20 pm

In your opinion.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:23 pm

whatahitson wrote:  
geoff999rugby wrote:England are not miles ahead of France by any rational yardstick

Yes they are.

They have a much better coach with a proven track record at international level. They have a team that reached the world cup final with so many talented youngsters ready to take over the mantle. They beat France to both 2020 titles despite playing within themselves. They have beaten every single team in world rugby within the last 2.5 years, France haven't beaten either NZ or South Africa in over a decade. England have won 4 six nations since France last won one. They are miles ahead when it comes to actual achievements.

France have talent and they have maybe the best player in the world at the moment but is that enough? No. Until they actually do it then it's just potential just like Ireland you can talk a good game about world cups but they've never reached a semi final.

You are saying 'don't judge them on what they've done judge them on what they might do'. Yes potential is important but past achievement matters more than present form or what everyone imagines the future might bring. It shows their level and France have a long way to go not just in terms of beating teams but also mentally look at the way they crumbled up in Scotland once they were favourites. England did that for 4 years under Lancaster so if France have a similar process to go through until they reach the level England are, yes, England are miles ahead.  

What a load of convoluted bullsh!t.
Lets analysis the here and now.
England won the 2020 6N nations over France by pints difference and France beat England during the tournament !
During the current 6N France haven't lost a game, England have
Yes England had a better 2010's than France, no one would deny that but the last 12 months or so are telling a difference story.
France are only a point behind England in the World rankings - that can turn in a match.

Are you saying that adds up to being miles ahead...seriously !?
Making up your own rankings is stupid.

In addition there are signs England have lost their way and have gone backwards since the World Cup.
THey continue to overly rely on power at the expense of creativity.
The game is moving on, England are not. Playing a Lock at 6 is a poor management decision.
They are falling to give promising talent a fair crack of the whip - Simmons, Willis, Smith come to mind.
Some players have been badly treated - dropping Lawrence completely when he didn't get a pass for 60 mins from
either the undropable Youngs, or the undropable Farrell was poor man management.
France by contrast are starting to harness some outstanding young talent.

whatahitson wrote: mentally look at the way they crumbled up in Scotland  
As opposed to England crumbling against France last year, or Scotland this....

whatahitson wrote: You are saying 'don't judge them on what they've done judge them on what they might do'  
I said nothing of the sort - please be accurate when explicitly quoting others

whatahitson wrote:yes, England are miles ahead
No there not.
All you have illustrated is twisted blinkered thinking

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:57 pm

TJ wrote:That is a long way from  "I know this might sound controversial but England are miles ahead of any other team in Europe "

because they clearly are not when Scotland has a better win record in the Calcutta cup matches and France are pushing them close 0 1 ranking point is nothing  so better than Scotland yes - maybe but recent records suggest we have your number and certainly not miles ahead


What do you mean better win record? Eddie Jones has won 3 times v Scotland, lost twice, and had one drawn game where England gave up after being 31-0 up at half time.

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Post by TJ Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:15 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:In your opinion.

Nope - according to the rankings and recent results

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Post by hugehandoff Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:19 pm

Interesting listening to Jamie Roberts comment on how everyone has underestimated the impact of the Sarries boys not playing any rugby for 2-3 months. He said that has made a massive difference and how difficult it is to step up from club to international rugby anyway, let alone from no rugby to international.

That is a clear Eddie Jones error or risk that he was happy to take. Longer term of course you would back Farrell and Billy V to return to form, but the risk of losing that 1st test was always high. There will be the same risk for the Lions. The jump up from Championship rugby to Lions will be huge and if the tour goes ahead it will be short and provide little opportunity for players to play themselves into form. The balance between refreshed and rusty is a fine one.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:20 pm

Rankings are flawed. We all know that surely.

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:25 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
whatahitson wrote:  
geoff999rugby wrote:England are not miles ahead of France by any rational yardstick

Yes they are.

They have a much better coach with a proven track record at international level. They have a team that reached the world cup final with so many talented youngsters ready to take over the mantle. They beat France to both 2020 titles despite playing within themselves. They have beaten every single team in world rugby within the last 2.5 years, France haven't beaten either NZ or South Africa in over a decade. England have won 4 six nations since France last won one. They are miles ahead when it comes to actual achievements.

France have talent and they have maybe the best player in the world at the moment but is that enough? No. Until they actually do it then it's just potential just like Ireland you can talk a good game about world cups but they've never reached a semi final.

You are saying 'don't judge them on what they've done judge them on what they might do'. Yes potential is important but past achievement matters more than present form or what everyone imagines the future might bring. It shows their level and France have a long way to go not just in terms of beating teams but also mentally look at the way they crumbled up in Scotland once they were favourites. England did that for 4 years under Lancaster so if France have a similar process to go through until they reach the level England are, yes, England are miles ahead.  

What a load of convoluted bullsh!t.
Lets analysis the here and now.
England won the 2020 6N nations over France by pints difference and France beat England during the tournament !
During the current 6N France haven't lost a game, England have
Yes England had a better 2010's than France, no one would deny that but the last 12 months or so are telling a difference story.
France are only a point behind England in the World rankings - that can turn in a match.

Are you saying that adds up to being miles ahead...seriously !?
Making up your own rankings is stupid.

In addition there are signs England have lost their way and have gone backwards since the World Cup.
THey continue to overly rely on power at the expense of creativity.
The game is moving on, England are not. Playing a Lock at 6 is a poor management decision.
They are falling to give promising talent a fair crack of the whip - Simmons, Willis, Smith come to mind.
Some players have been badly treated - dropping Lawrence completely when he didn't get a pass for 60 mins from
either the undropable Youngs, or the undropable Farrell was poor man management.
France by contrast are starting to harness some outstanding young talent.

No need to resort to profanity. I think you need to calm down.

A win is a win. England are 'winning ugly' which as you'll hear every ex-player say is a sign of a good time. Gatland did it for years that's why he's such a good coach. Winning is what matters you don't get points for style, something that people seem to forget now because they want to be entertained by rugby instead of just supporting their own team. England won the two trophies available to win in 2020 and that was after dealing with the aftermath of losing the world cup final and the Saracens fiasco. That's a fact.

You are also talking about form from the last two games as if they are all that matters. If you treat every game like it is the true record of how good a team actually is then you're going to be constantly surprised. Just look at Scotland, beating England one week, losing to Wales the next. Or how about New Zealand losing to Argentina do you actually think Argentina or better than them or do you think the Pumas spent a lot of time and effort preparing a gameplan to beat them? England have shown they are capable of winning even when playing within themselves when they don't try to prepare well: in the games they put a whole gameplan together, they demolished Ireland in Dublin and nearly beat all three of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa at home in one series back in 2018. No other team in the 6 nations can do that and not other team even comes close to doing that which is why England are miles ahead based on results and not potential. France got the wobbles as soon as they became favourites again last season and they have to become mentally strong with being favourites like England have under Eddie Jones. Ireland and Wales are not what they were with the new coaches and Scotland have done nothing for 20 years. Until they actually do something of note by backing up wins and not just win the odd game here or there before losing 'bravely' then they're not even worth talking about. So yes England are miles ahead of the competition. There are only three teams in the south and one team in the north who can be considered their opposition and they have are ahead of two of those four teams.

Making up my own rankings is no more stupid than people pretending that imagined potential is more important than results.

You're worrying about style and 'fairness' (when is sport fair?). It is about winning and the only thing left for Eddie Jones to win is a world cup. You've completely missed the point of this thread.

whatahitson wrote: mentally look at the way they crumbled up in Scotland
As opposed to England crumbling against France last year, or Scotland this.... [/quote]

No it is not crumbling when you just get outplayed and are still within a single score at the final whistle or when you are still dealing with the aftermath of the world cup final. If Russell's drop goal had gone to an English hand England would have won despite being so poorly prepared with Saracens players etc. This is different to finally being favourites and then losing your head by getting a player sent off. Stupid comparison.

whatahitson wrote: You are saying 'don't judge them on what they've done judge them on what they might do'
I said nothing of the sort - please be accurate when explicitly quoting others [/quote]

I am paraphrasing your argument.

whatahitson wrote:yes, England are miles ahead
No there not.
All you have illustrated is twisted blinkered thinking[/quote]

This is just offensive nonsense. I have showed why I think they are miles ahead and how a bit of perspective on recent results is necessary. You have chosen to ignore it.

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:28 pm

hugehandoff wrote:Interesting listening to Jamie Roberts comment on how everyone has underestimated the impact of the Sarries boys not playing any rugby for 2-3 months. He said that has made a massive difference and how difficult it is to step up from club to international rugby anyway, let alone from no rugby to international.

That is a clear Eddie Jones error or risk that he was happy to take. Longer term of course you would back Farrell and Billy V to return to form, but the risk of losing that 1st test was always high. There will be the same risk for the Lions. The jump up from Championship rugby to Lions will be huge and if the tour goes ahead it will be short and provide little opportunity for players to play themselves into form. The balance between refreshed and rusty is a fine one.  

Yes this is I think the calculated risk he had to make.

Also I think Eddie Jones will be happy if fewer English players tour with the Lions than if they were all guns blazing and sweeping everyone aside.

I can't believe Eddie can come out and say 'we're not bothering until after the Lions tour because of what happened 4 years ago' and people just ignore him and expect England to be at their peak now rather than holding back for 2023.

Is lockdown getting to everyone?

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Post by whatahitson Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:55 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I think what you should be saying, is that England can be or have the potential to be, if you are talking about post Lions sides to be "miles ahead of any other team in Europe", the way that are playing post world cup, they are anything but. They are scraping the wins they have had against the better sides, not conclusively beating them.

You cannot compare teams of 5 years ago to the current team or especially the "next" post Lions team and they certainly haven't thrashed a quality side in the last few years, beaten yes, not thrashed.

I am a passionate Englishman and would live your dream to come true, but it ain't there yet.

In a way yes that is what I am saying but also it's not about where England have to get it's what other teams have to do as well. England don't HAVE to win a six nations title now we all know they can dominate Europe as Eddie showed that in his first two years and has now won another one. They probably will and should win more six nations titles as a result of being one of the best teams in the world but that is no longer their primary focus their focus HAS to be on the world cup because it is the only thing left.

That is not the case for any other team. Ireland and Wales have different coaching teams and only won the six nations once they never dominated back to back. France have not won a six nations in a decade. Scotland and Italy have never realistically competed for nor won a six nations title. None of those teams have come close to winning a world cup either. So this is where the other teams are.

What does it actually take to back up wins in the six nations and win when 'playing ugly'? Schmidt and Gatland knew I don't know if Farrell and Pivac know. Do France? Edwards will help but does Galthie and do all his players? Can they cope with the mental pressure of being favourites? So far the answer is NO. They underperformed against a very ordinary England team in the autumn and bottled it up in Scotland when they were in pole position. This year is their third chance and I am confident England will roll them over again and win a third trophy from three since the world cup but that's just my opinion and what I hope will happen. I might be wrong of course and if I am fair play France will have shown improvement.

However my point is simply that England have shown the way to get to a world cup final. Part of that is to introduce fresh players at the right time not rush them before they are ready or before they have earned it that is a big psychological thing earning your place. Would England have been "better" if Curry and Underhill replaced Haskell and Robshaw in the 2017 six nations? IMO no but that is what people are saying when it comes to dropping players like Youngs, Vunipola, Farrell.

What Eddie Jones has four years to work out is how to go that step further and win the final. He has shown he can coach a team to beat New Zealand. He knows they will be coming for England every time they play them again and will be a tough opponent if they meet in France. But he also has to find a way to get past a team like South Africa as well who maybe he underestimated. It is not easy but that is the task. And yes you don't just put past performances in the bank and pretend that is now your normal level but the point is they HAVE been there, done that. Those are their results. No other team in Europe comes close. Wales did but they never looked like they scraped their way to a semi final IMO and are rebuilding without Gatland. Which is why England are miles ahead.

I know it is not there. The real test for England will be when they play South Africa and New Zealand again. It will also be how and when the new players are introduced in to the team and whether they make an impact. There is too much focus on Lawrence as if he is Tuilagi it's just getting out of hand. It's probably worth remembering that Eddie knows a bit more about rugby than the loud mouths on twitter. He sees that Farrell and Youngs aren't playing well but that is not a major concern. Youngs will not be at the next world cup and Farrell hasn't played club rugby for months. Neither of those problems is going to massively impact their ability to win in France in 2023. And that's the perspective.

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