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England - Summer Tour

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Post by king_carlos Tue 10 Aug 2021, 4:11 pm

First topic message reminder :

GeordieFalcon wrote:Sam Simmonds should be a 12. Wink

With limited distribution and no kicking game... I hate to be a killjoy but he sounds a bit like Manu without the same power! Whistle

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 09 Oct 2021, 11:34 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Have to say I thought Randall was great for 50 mins yesterday. Exactly the type of player who could link excellently with tge aforementioned Dombrandt and Smith.

His passing and sniping were exceptional but his kicking was awful. He's got to tighten that up for international rugby. He's got to get minutes this Autumn to see if he can adapt.

I think the Robson boat has firmly sailed. He's never looked international standard and there's a couple of really good options several years younger and two more behind them as well. If we want experience we can stick Youngs on the bench (he's not playing well enough to command the starting shirt on current form).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 09 Oct 2021, 12:24 pm

I started watching after 9 or 10 mins so didn't see the shank you mentioned after that he box kicking was good. Certainly up there and probably better than youngs from the 6 nations. The thing is I want a scrum half with a good pass primarily. Youngs lags behind.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 09 Oct 2021, 12:32 pm

I also keep coming back to my opinion that Jones' will not persist in the type of kicking we've had recently. There will be more players on the pitch who will judge when to kick and how as opposed to the pre planned stuff. Jones is a brilliant coach and he'll know that players and tactics can't be set in stone.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 09 Oct 2021, 12:55 pm

Unfortunately Eddie Jones can be hard to read in these periods of time before he actually names his Autumn squad. I guess that helps drive our conversations........

Looking at scrum half, I still think Youngs is first selection by a margin. That said, players like Randall and Mitchell need to be tested to see if they have the goods, or not. I haven't seen Quirke much this season (has he played regularly?) and players like JvP will certainly be thereabouts post RWC. Maybe EJ is not so enamoured with the pretenders to the Number 9 spot?

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Post by cb Sat 09 Oct 2021, 4:02 pm

I was a little unsure of Randall but I thought he played really well last night.  I would be concerned if Youngs is not challenged sooner than the next world cup.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Sat 09 Oct 2021, 4:30 pm

cb wrote:I was a little unsure of Randall but I thought he played really well last night.  I would be concerned if Youngs is not challenged sooner than the next world cup.

Six Nations

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 09 Oct 2021, 8:11 pm

Fingers crossed.

Saw that Quirke is back in the Sale side after injury anyway. Not seen anything of the match but saw he scored again, first game since pulling out injured from England. England squad I belive is released a week on Tuesday.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 09 Oct 2021, 9:03 pm

Quirke wasn't strictly due to injury. He had minor bone bruising, would have usually had a steroid injection and played but couldn't as he'd just had his second jab and whichever vax he had advised against having steroid injections two weeks post vax. Hence the two weeks off.

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Post by nlpnlp Sat 09 Oct 2021, 11:59 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Unfortunately Eddie Jones can be hard to read in these periods of time before he actually names his Autumn squad.  I guess that helps drive our conversations........

Looking at scrum half, I still think Youngs is first selection by a margin.  That said, players like Randall and Mitchell need to be tested to see if they have the goods, or not.  I haven't seen Quirke much this season (has he played regularly?) and players like JvP will certainly be thereabouts post RWC.   Maybe EJ is not so enamoured with the pretenders to the Number 9 spot?

That is a very true sentiment.

Youngs looks the automatic choice because nobody else seems to get a look in. Robson performed consistently at club level, but got little opportunity for England. When he did, the pressure was on to perform, which seems to have drained him of confidence.

One of the young scrumhalfs needs to be given the opportunity to establish themselves, if only as competition for Youngs. Youngs hasn’t had any serious competition since Jones became coach, which isn’t to the benefit of England.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 10 Oct 2021, 12:29 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I started watching after 9 or 10 mins so didn't see the shank you mentioned after that he box kicking was good. Certainly up there and probably better than youngs from the 6 nations. The thing is I want a scrum half with a good pass primarily.  Youngs lags behind.

The shank was the Randall break just before the disallowed Quins try for a forward pass. That might have been just before you tuned in. To be fair it wasn't a box kick he got wrong. Break on the left wing and he went for the chip but booted it right into the centre of the pitch so Green had acres to counter attack. 

Personally I'd like to see Randall start at least the first two test matches of the Autumn. Youngs can be on the bench to steady the ship or see the game out. No doubt Farrell be playing 12 so England will have kicking options. 

I can't see England abandoning their kicking game because all international teams play with a strong kicking game. I'm more hopeful we'll see some diversification in attacking play as that was all a bit stilted in the 6N. We saw some more options provided to the playmakers in the summer so I'd hope to see the evolution of that continue. If Malins or Steward are at the back what we might see is less kicking to England as Daly was someone you could target but I'm not so sure Malins and Steward will be seen as easy targets under the high ball.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 12 Oct 2021, 8:09 pm

The kicking game had become default post world cup. Its the type of kicking as well though. When we've played our best attacking rugby we kicked alot but there was variation in that and executed well. It wasn't 2 narrow phases then box kick too far.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 13 Oct 2021, 1:17 pm

I think post world cup the kicking game stopped being part of the attack and more of a go to because we weren't confident in our attacking structure being able to move us up the pitch. Kicking was the easy way out.

Problems came when our defence stopped being dominant and the kicking then just looking increasingly futile.

The slightly too long kicks annoy me greatly, they were so dialled in at the world cup or are from what I remember. The flankers and wingers took the catcher a lot of the time and that forces errors and win territory. I'd hope to see a return to that in the Autumn.

The opening up of the 50/22 should only benefit us as well as it creates more space in wide channels for our speedsters that were too easily dealt with in the 6N. Not their fault. If they mark the wingers then we've got kicking options at 9/10/12 and a good rolling maul.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 13 Oct 2021, 1:49 pm

Kicking as part of the attack (or at least proactively) as we did in 2019 requires attacking options though. With Manu injured and Daly's form falling off a cliff we just haven't had either, sadly.

I know that most here hated Daly at 15 but his best performances there were integral to England's attack being very good for a time. Whilst I think it's time to move on (albeit don't think Malins is the answer) I still maintain that England became a better team overall in those years by trading Daly for Brown. What we lost defensively we more than gained in attack when Daly was playing well. The way his distribution fell off a cliff in the last 18 months was bizarre. I really struggle to remember a player who was once so strong in a certain area performing so badly there. Simple passes going to deck, balls spilled, one on ones butchered. It's been really odd. I can think of times when players effectiveness fell off a cliff after rule changes such as the hit in the scrum going affecting certain props or breakdown laws changing hurting certain flankers who didn't adapt. A strong core skill evaporating like that is so strange though.

The Manu part is more obvious and discussed to death. What he offers going forward is very difficult to replace. The woefully imbalanced midfield without adapting the game plan was painful though.

Kruis has been a huge loss too of course. He's an ideal second row for a side that's struggling to find rhythm. If you're looking to take a game plan back to basics then a second row that's great at the lineout in attack and defence, strong scrummager and a good tackler is pretty perfect.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 13 Oct 2021, 1:56 pm

king_carlos wrote:Kicking as part of the attack (or at least proactively) as we did in 2019 requires attacking options though. With Manu injured and Daly's form falling off a cliff we just haven't had either, sadly.

I know that most here hated Daly at 15 but his best performances there were integral to England's attack being very good for a time. Whilst I think it's time to move on (albeit don't think Malins is the answer) I still maintain that England became a better team overall in those years by trading Daly for Brown. What we lost defensively we more than gained in attack when Daly was playing well. The way his distribution fell off a cliff in the last 18 months was bizarre. I really struggle to remember a player who was once so strong in a certain area performing so badly there. Simple passes going to deck, balls spilled, one on ones butchered. It's been really odd. I can think of times when players effectiveness fell off a cliff after rule changes such as the hit in the scrum going affecting certain props or breakdown laws changing hurting certain flankers who didn't adapt. A strong core skill evaporating like that is so strange though.

The Manu part is more obvious and discussed to death. What he offers going forward is very difficult to replace. The woefully imbalanced midfield without adapting the game plan was painful though.

Kruis has been a huge loss too of course. He's an ideal second row for a side that's struggling to find rhythm. If you're looking to take a game plan back to basics then a second row that's great at the lineout in attack and defence, strong scrummager and a good tackler is pretty perfect.

Makes me think of May too. For such a long time he was always there when the ball came out of the sky, almost regardless of how far either Ford or Farrell had kicked it. I suspect one of the reasons he didn't look so good last year is that he wasn't there, and I don't know why that was. Maybe they changed kicking strategy but it doesn't really seem to make sense.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 13 Oct 2021, 2:31 pm

lostinwales wrote:Makes me think of May too. For such a long time he was always there when the ball came out of the sky, almost regardless of how far either Ford or Farrell had kicked it. I suspect one of the reasons he didn't look so good last year is that he wasn't there, and I don't know why that was. Maybe they changed kicking strategy but it doesn't really seem to make sense.

If you kick on the front foot then you can isolate players in the back field as wingers will have to be in the defensive line and it's more difficult to drop a number 8 back to return kicks if that's part of you game plan. If you kick on the back foot then the opposition are set, can have more players back covering and can be organised to get players between the receiver and chasers to buy them time (all good sides do it).

The line speed on kick chase has still been there but having little to no attacking edge makes it easy to know what's coming and respond to it.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 13 Oct 2021, 9:11 pm

Hopefully Gleeson can create some attacking play involving passing, pace, kicking and "heads up" play what's in front of you rugby.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Oct 2021, 8:38 am

Not just because his views ring true to me but Hartley from the Guardian.:

'“Everyone has a life-span, but Owen is not at the end of his life-span,” said Hartley, who played 97 Tests for England over 16 years and will be a pundit on Amazon Prime Video’s coverage of the autumn internationals.

“He’s only getting better, and is pretty well driven. Shiny things don’t motivate him, success does. He adds so much on the field, first and foremost, and so much off it.”

“ He is your consummate professional, in terms of how diligent he is, his training, his preparation.

“When you’ve got that in your environment with your captain it’s only rubbing off everywhere. Do I see him being replaced before the 2023 World Cup? No.”

Still Hartley believes that Smith, who led Harlequins to their first Premiership title in nine years before earning debuts for England and the British & Irish Lions, deserves to start against Tonga next month.

“I’m not saying put all the young kids in, but it’s a really bold statement of what this England team’s about if Marcus gets a shot,” he said.

“It’s not fanfare, it’s warranted. He does all the silky, flash stuff that captures the Instagram reels and YouTube highlights, but his basics are really strong as well. He’s not scared. He’s physical. And he makes his tackles. There are lots of fly-halves who throw the ball about, and have that flair, but shy away from physicality. But he’s none of that.

“He’s still a young kid but the sooner we do that, the better it is for 2023,” said Hartley. “Eddie obviously needs to think: ‘Who’s my fly-half for that World Cup final in France?’ and build back.

“It would be a show of confidence and a show to everyone how they want to take this team forward. I’d love to see it. I say give him the keys to grandpa’s car, let him take a spin and be surprised if the car comes back.”

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Smith impressed for England in July as they beat the United States 43-29 and Canada 70-14 before being selected as a replacement for the Lions tour in South Africa.

Hartley agrees, but he believes England can find a way to accommodate Smith and Farrell at 10 and 12, with Manu Tuilagi at 13. “The culture of the England team and the mindset over the last 18 months, has been more structured rugby: set-piece, kick, defend then take the opportunities when they’re presented – like Jonny May’s wonder try against Ireland,” he said. “But I think it would benefit from a more attacking mindset.”

“I don’t think we should doom and scaremonger around Owen’s position – he’s played 10 and 12 in that team. Just because Marcus is playing so well doesn’t mean Owen is gone. Owen does the basics really well, and the credit he has in the bank with Eddie – who ultimately picks the team – just as I had credit, and his work isn’t unseen. Just because Marcus is playing so well doesn’t mean Owen is gone. I’d like to see him play with Marcus.”'


Jones isn't really going to plonk him on the bench is he? There are times to pull the trigger and this is one.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Oct 2021, 10:09 am

Whens the squad announced.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 14 Oct 2021, 10:46 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Hopefully Gleeson can create some attacking play involving passing, pace, kicking and "heads up" play what's in front of you rugby.

Problem with heads up rugby is that if you're going off script then those around you have to be able to read it and whilst the idea of unpredictability is good it's very much a double edged sword. We've seen lots of mavericks fail at international level because defences are stronger and you don't instinctively know the player alongside you, when I used to play I had someone who played on the backline with me for ten years I never needed to look where he was I knew what line he'd run or how he'd defend. The chances are our team won't have that day in day out knowledge of each other.

I prefer options, set your attack up to give your playmakers options. I don't want the 13 going off script because head is up and he thinks he might have seen something. Not his job, talk to his halfbacks definitely but the halfbacks maley the decisions. The team gives the options. Big issue for me in the 6N was the barren lack of options, particularly from the midfield. Smith doesn't have that problem at Quins (quite the opposite) so we need to ensure he doesn't find it for England. Poor Ford was hung out to dry with how little he had to work with.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Oct 2021, 12:27 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Hopefully Gleeson can create some attacking play involving passing, pace, kicking and "heads up" play what's in front of you rugby.

Problem with heads up rugby is that if you're going off script then those around you have to be able to read it and whilst the idea of unpredictability is good it's very much a double edged sword. We've seen lots of mavericks fail at international level because defences are stronger and you don't instinctively know the player alongside you, when I used to play I had someone who played on the backline with me for ten years I never needed to look where he was I knew what line he'd run or how he'd defend. The chances are our team won't have that day in day out knowledge of each other.

I prefer options, set your attack up to give your playmakers options. I don't want the 13 going off script because head is up and he thinks he might have seen something. Not his job, talk to his halfbacks definitely but the halfbacks maley the decisions. The team gives the options. Big issue for me in the 6N was the barren lack of options, particularly from the midfield. Smith doesn't have that problem at Quins (quite the opposite) so we need to ensure he doesn't find it for England. Poor Ford was hung out to dry with how little he had to work with.

That really saddens me to see you write that. I WANT my outside backs looking for breaks and playing some form of heads up rugby.

Yes follow the scripts, but if Jonathan Joseph in his prime sees a break on...then go for it, and the team should be alert and ready to support.

The 50-22 will make this more important if wingers are staying back covering kicks...then the 13's will be key to making breaks.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 14 Oct 2021, 1:00 pm

Creating options for the fly half is definitely a good thing - but I wouldn't want that to preclude the 13 going off script if it's on. It's more a question of attitude.

Marcus Smith doesn't have a problem with it at Quins because when Joe Marchant picks up a loose ball or scoots through a space he's spotted, the whole team knows how to react. There's a great clip in the Squidge piece on Quins where he highlights a Marchant break with Care not only reacting in support, but taking himself away from the ball so that he becomes a second option for the pass and stretches the defence still further.

We've come a long way from when "heads up rugby" was a shorthand for "Gregor Townsend does something absolutely brilliant and hopes like hell that one of his team mates catches on in time to keep the play alive". There are players emerging who can do the All Black thing of making the right choices in real time to support something unexpected - and I'll be hugely disappointed if we stifle them.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Oct 2021, 1:09 pm

If the belt and braces approach was producing points and wins it's much more difficult to look to a more open style. The fact that entertain and results has been poor for a year gives us more scope surely?

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Post by hugehandoff Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:34 am

I am halfway through Eddie's autobiography and it is really interesting his views on different team's DNA. He writes that England are all about good set piece, physicality, defence and accurate kicking game. His time at the Brumbies was his most creative spell as a coach, but he had a great core of players in Gregan, Larkham, Roff who were all up for helping guide and create the style of play. So it is his decision to just try and play to our perceived strengths and to put our playmakers in straight jackets. It will be fascinating to see against Aus and SA if Eddie is trying to evolve our style of rugby or if he will persist with the kickathong tactics. New coaches and a lot of new players indicates we are in for a more varied and attacking style, but we will have to wait and see. He has needed to reinvent England and it will take time to do so, but hopefully we will see some promising signs. I certainly don't expect anything foolish and Quinsesque, and I don't think that would ever work, but I do think we all expect England to offer a hell of a lot more than they have done since losing the RWC final in 2019. Fingers crossed.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:57 am

hugehandoff wrote:I am halfway through Eddie's autobiography and it is really interesting his views on different team's DNA. He writes that England are all about good set piece, physicality, defence and accurate kicking game. His time at the Brumbies was his most creative spell as a coach, but he had a great core of players in Gregan, Larkham, Roff who were all up for helping guide and create the style of play. So it is his decision to just try and play to our perceived strengths and to put our playmakers in straight jackets. It will be fascinating to see against Aus and SA if Eddie is trying to evolve our style of rugby or if he will persist with the kickathong tactics. New coaches and a lot of new players indicates we are in for a more varied and attacking style, but we will have to wait and see. He has needed to reinvent England and it will take time to do so, but hopefully we will see some promising signs. I certainly don't expect anything foolish and Quinsesque, and I don't think that would ever work, but I do think we all expect England to offer a hell of a lot more than they have done since losing the RWC final in 2019. Fingers crossed.

Its not an altogether wrong description of England but does frustrate me. Many years England have scored a lot of tries, its just that they don't tend to mess about when there is a chance. They don't do the side to side going nowhere thing well (does anyone?) but have usually been very capable of exploiting opportunities.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:03 am

A bit self perpetuating though. England have loads of players available who can play a multitude of styles. And some of that doesn't necessarily go against a more attacking mindset too.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:21 am

The question is whether he adapts the style of play to suit the players he has available or the traditions of the country in question, and we'll find out the answer in a few weeks.

He undoubtedly has the option to assemble one of the most creative teams England has ever seen - and one that could rival France, NZ and Oz. Does he trust the players enough to do it?
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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:26 am

I dont want to see England just play one way. I want to see us able to adapt and play a multitude of ways depending on the opposition and they way the actual game on the day is going (weather, players not having their best game etc).

I just want to see a nice balance between tactical kicking, game management, strong pack play and backs able to recognize opportunities (when to break) and be ruthless, clinical when they get those chances.

We have the players to be able to do that IMO

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:41 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Hopefully Gleeson can create some attacking play involving passing, pace, kicking and "heads up" play what's in front of you rugby.

Problem with heads up rugby is that if you're going off script then those around you have to be able to read it and whilst the idea of unpredictability is good it's very much a double edged sword. We've seen lots of mavericks fail at international level because defences are stronger and you don't instinctively know the player alongside you, when I used to play I had someone who played on the backline with me for ten years I never needed to look where he was I knew what line he'd run or how he'd defend. The chances are our team won't have that day in day out knowledge of each other.

I prefer options, set your attack up to give your playmakers options. I don't want the 13 going off script because head is up and he thinks he might have seen something. Not his job, talk to his halfbacks definitely but the halfbacks maley the decisions. The team gives the options. Big issue for me in the 6N was the barren lack of options, particularly from the midfield. Smith doesn't have that problem at Quins (quite the opposite) so we need to ensure he doesn't find it for England. Poor Ford was hung out to dry with how little he had to work with.

That really saddens me to see you write that. I WANT my outside backs looking for breaks and playing some form of heads up rugby.

Yes follow the scripts, but if Jonathan Joseph in his prime sees a break on...then go for it, and the team should be alert and ready to support.

The 50-22 will make this more important if wingers are staying back covering kicks...then the 13's will be key to making breaks.

Depends when and where you are. If your fullback spots a gap when returning a kick and runs instead of hoofing the ball I'm ok with that. That doesn't disrupt what's happening, if your outside centre breaks from the called play to go blindside gets tackled and turned over I'm not ok with that. It's also worth noting who you have in the backline and who you call playmakers. If you've got a Jonathan Joseph at 13 and he calls something you want you 10 to be listening or the team structure to be flexible enough to accommodate that. That isn't the same for every centre, Manu for example, yeah I'll back him if he wants to go for a quick pick and go but I don't wanting him breaking the backline structure because he's not a player with vision and if it isn't on then his presence or lack of in the backline is a major hindrance.

Greenwood was excellent at spotting where he needed to be phases in advance but there was an open communication between him and Wilko, that's why the worked so well. Players going off doing their own thing rarely works at international rugby unless it's something that's built into the attacking structure. What you want is the players talking to each other and the playmakers OKing or not what others are seeing. Then it becomes much less of a scramble for support and more something than can become anticipated.

I like sides that adapt to better manipulate defences I dislike teams or players that use 'heads up' as a term for them to play as an individual. There can be plenty of freedom within structure, see what Quins are doing none of that is accidental, having watched Tigers backs try and play without much structure (mainly through years of incompetent coaching decision making) individuals playing heads up and trying to make something happen rarely works.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:55 am

There's more than one way to skin a cat. I've been critical of the style of play for England for a little while not because of the style, but the implementation and effectiveness of it. Stodgy, easy to read and badly executed. Boring as hell. I can watch a team like Saracens grind another into the ground and find it great. I can watch Harlequins run a lot and find it great. I can watch both styles and think wtf are you doing when it's done badly.

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 15 Oct 2021, 11:44 am

I noticed that Wasps have brought in Alex McHenry as temporary cover because:

'Harrison, 19, comes in to cover Gabriel Oghre, who will be away with England's autumn international squad.'
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/58913827

Wonder if they have accidentally given that away, because as far as I knew the squad hadn't been confirmed yet. Wonder what it means for Jamie George or Jamie Blamire?
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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 15 Oct 2021, 12:02 pm

Oghre...i thought he was injured..?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 15 Oct 2021, 12:05 pm

PS if they're going to pick a hooker from wasps squad i would pick their new signing Frost...looks a million miles better than Oghre...

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Post by Poorfour Fri 15 Oct 2021, 1:58 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Greenwood was excellent at spotting where he needed to be phases in advance but there was an open communication between him and Wilko, that's why the worked so well. Players going off doing their own thing rarely works at international rugby unless it's something that's built into the attacking structure. What you want is the players talking to each other and the playmakers OKing or not what others are seeing. Then it becomes much less of a scramble for support and more something than can become anticipated.

I like sides that adapt to better manipulate defences I dislike teams or players that use 'heads up' as a term for them to play as an individual. There can be plenty of freedom within structure, see what Quins are doing none of that is accidental, having watched Tigers backs try and play without much structure (mainly through years of incompetent coaching decision making) individuals playing heads up and trying to make something happen rarely works.

That's a good observation - and in the England side of 2019 Ford and Farrell were doing something similar, albeit with Ford calling the pattern of play.

And you're right that Quins manipulate defences according to a game plan - it gets confused with unstructured play because it happens over fewer phases and looks unstructured until you understand that it's five players picking lines that give Smith a choice of where to put the ball, and Smith making a split second decision about which to pick, which sometimes includes kick passes and that funny little road runner thing that oughtn't to mesmerise defences but does. It's still percentage play, just different plays and different percentages from what we've been used to.

It's why I tend to rail against comparisons with Cipriani - Cips would ignore the system if he thought it was on. Smith is playing within a system that's geared specifically about making use of his very particular skill set.
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Post by Cumbrian Fri 15 Oct 2021, 2:01 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:PS if they're going to pick a hooker from wasps squad i would pick their new signing Frost...looks a million miles better than Oghre...

Yeah Oghre's throwing seems like a bit of a liability.
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Post by miltonkeynesengland Fri 15 Oct 2021, 2:05 pm

Thing I like about Quins and Smith is how unfussy Smith is. He takes the ball and scans..if he's got nothing on he drops it short to Big E on the crash and gets ready to go again. Which means if Eddie wants tge best out of him well need guys on his shoulders ready to take the ball and able to operate in heavy traffic without getting smashed or turned over

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 15 Oct 2021, 2:30 pm

miltonkeynesengland wrote:Thing I like about Quins and Smith is how unfussy Smith is. He takes the ball and scans..if he's got nothing on he drops it short to Big E on the crash and gets ready to go again. Which means if Eddie wants tge best out of him well need guys on his shoulders ready to take the ball and able to operate in heavy traffic without getting smashed or turned over
Great observation.  Ultimately, their philosophy is simple though a team needs the horses to execute.  All about options.  

At my club we run simple triangles or P/J on attack with a lot of options and always have a forward near to the 10 in case nothing is on.  Same philosophy as Quins at a vastly(!) simpler level.  So, I don't think Quins are doing anything new or radical.  It's just they have both the conductors (Care and Smith) and the band to play along with them at a very high level.  And as said, everyone understands their roles and is on the same page.

Unfortunately, it seems not so common because of the trend in many sports where coaches and waterboys (sic) want to control every-bloody-thing, stifling creativity.  Quins have a game plan which gives options, not the freedom to play headless chicken Rugby.  It is certainly fun to watch when done well with the right players.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Oct 2021, 2:44 pm

Care picked up a conversation around this on the beeb podcast. He acknowledged that there would be fewer instances where the Harlequins 'chaos' could be implemented in international rugby as there tends to be fewer turnovers etc but that generally when it happens for England the first instinct (instructed instinct) is to kick to the back field for space and that he'd like to see more the ball passed to space to see whats on; perhaps the May try vs Ireland springs to mind for when we have done this?

His pick is Dombrandt, Robson, Smith Farrell for the spine for Aus and SA, Atkinson at 12 for Tonga.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 15 Oct 2021, 2:48 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I noticed that Wasps have brought in Alex McHenry as temporary cover because:

'Harrison, 19, comes in to cover Gabriel Oghre, who will be away with England's autumn international squad.'
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/58913827

Wonder if they have accidentally given that away, because as far as I knew the squad hadn't been confirmed yet.  Wonder what it means for Jamie George or Jamie Blamire?

Oghre's just got a three match ban. I'd presume that's why Harrison has been brought in.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 15 Oct 2021, 2:52 pm

Greenwood is on Tindall's Good, Bad, Rugby podcast this week.

They said they didn't regard themselves as the world's best centres (though I suspect Greenwood was less committed to that proposition than Tindall). However, as a pairing, they believed they could do a job against anyone. Tindall knew Greenwood could read the game, while Greenwood relied on Tindall to back him up when he didn't fancy a tackle (he had six shoulder reconstructions, and so skipped a few).

One of the reasons we don't automatically think of Tindall and Greenwood as a great centre partnership, is because Catt played just as big a role. Catt and Greenwood carved it up in the 2001 Six Nations before Woodward started playing Tindall more regularly. However, the 2002 Six Nations, when Serge Betsen got to Wilkinson, showed that Wilko needed more support.

Catt was a late call-up to the 2003 squad, and yet proved crucial in turning the tide against Wales, and then defusing the French threat in the semi-final. Woodward has never said what his team selection would have been if New Zealand had beaten Australia in the other semi-final. Once Australia had won, Tindall was always going to be the better bet at handling Sterling Mortlock, especially after he had been instrumental in beating the All Blacks.

Jones gave himself similar options at the last World Cup, using Farrell, Tuilagi and Slade to beat Australia, followed by Ford, Farrell and Tuilagi against New Zealand. If Smith really does come into the equation, then I wonder if Jones is brave enough to pair Smith with an inside centre other than Farrell.

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 15 Oct 2021, 3:08 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:I noticed that Wasps have brought in Alex McHenry as temporary cover because:

'Harrison, 19, comes in to cover Gabriel Oghre, who will be away with England's autumn international squad.'
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/58913827

Wonder if they have accidentally given that away, because as far as I knew the squad hadn't been confirmed yet.  Wonder what it means for Jamie George or Jamie Blamire?

Oghre's just got a three match ban. I'd presume that's why Harrison has been brought in.

I knew about the ban, but that should be up before the AIs start, shouldn't it? Anyway, the text caught my eye because it says he is being brought in specifically to cover the AI's. It could be a journalistic error though.
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Post by king_carlos Fri 15 Oct 2021, 3:17 pm

Cumbrian wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:I noticed that Wasps have brought in Alex McHenry as temporary cover because:

'Harrison, 19, comes in to cover Gabriel Oghre, who will be away with England's autumn international squad.'
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/58913827

Wonder if they have accidentally given that away, because as far as I knew the squad hadn't been confirmed yet.  Wonder what it means for Jamie George or Jamie Blamire?

Oghre's just got a three match ban. I'd presume that's why Harrison has been brought in.

I knew about the ban, but that should be up before the AIs start, shouldn't it?  Anyway, the text caught my eye because it says he is being brought in specifically to cover the AI's.  It could be a journalistic error though.  

Seems more likely to be journalist error than knowing who's in the squad this far in advance. For starters, if a journalist had a source giving them the squad I imagine they'd be writing about that rather than Wasps 19-year-old injury dispensation cover!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Oct 2021, 3:26 pm

“Resilience and resolve are also brilliant parts of the game. I’d hate to think it’s only about end-to-end rugby.

“I really enjoyed last Friday, and I watched it thinking: ‘This is mega’. But I was also getting really frustrated in the second half because you’re not going to beat Quins at that type of game. We haven’t said: ‘We’re going to drag them into a Poopie fight’ but there are opposing philosophies here. It’s about us understanding what our DNA is and forcing that on them. There are elements to our game that, if we get them right, can be extremely entertaining.”

Without a win in their last three matches, Sale are equally mindful that fixating on Smith, who guided Quins from 21-0 down to their 52-24 win over Bristol, risks their defence being cut apart elsewhere. “If you make it all about Marcus that’s probably when he’s at his best. People come out of the defensive line to go and get him and take their eyes off other players. We can negate some of their strengths without making it all about him.”

Sanderson also believes his players will be motivated by a desire to see off opponents who, on occasions, have been known to rub a few people up the wrong way. “I’ve used it to emotionally fuel teams in the past,” admits Sanderson. “They’re brash sometimes and in your face. They celebrate at the opposition and not to themselves; that’s just them. I don’t think it’s a weakness of theirs, I think it empowers them but it’s not how I go about it. It’s brilliant to have a contrast in the game and I respect it but it’s not something I can align myself with.”


SAnderson from the Guardian. Looking forward to seeing how Quirke looks tonight more than anything. A guy within a very defined structure who is an excellent defender, great box kick and produces fireworks himself.

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Post by miltonkeynesengland Fri 15 Oct 2021, 4:20 pm

Hang on...was Sanderson..the former Sarries coach...really talking about another team celebrating at the opposition...I wonder what colour his kettle is?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:59 pm

Raffi Quirke pushing his way to the front of the queue to challenge Benny after tonight's performance. Blimey, that was impressive. The young lad did the lot.

Wasn't a great game for some of the Quins England hopefuls. Dombrandt and Smith both very quiet, Dombrandt didn't show up in the brutal tight exchanges and Smith failed to control the game against a far less experienced opponent. Kenningham looked industrious though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:16 pm

Yeah Quirke is in the drivng seat after that one.

The quins lads struggled but I think the Sale pack is huge and physical so Dombrandt and Smith didn't have the platform they've had in the last few games.

8 Dombrandt
9 Quirke
10 Smith

V Tonga has a nice creative look to it.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 16 Oct 2021, 8:36 am

Dombrandt could be the one to lose out. He likes to play like Croft used to as a menace in the wide areas. Croft was rapid and probably the best lineout jumper of his generation. Dombrandt was made to look like a show pony last night. Eddie likes his 8 to carry hard and turn up in the physical battle. Dombrandt's name was barely mentioned other than when he annoyed the ref with moaning. I'd give him a chance but Eddie won't have been impressed by last night I don't think.

Quirke may well get a chance against Tonga and it will have been earned if he turns in some more performances like that. Not sure I'd go Quirke/Smith for SA and Australia not unless there was a lot of experience around them.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 16 Oct 2021, 9:01 am

I think Dombrandt can do the hard stuff aswell. I think his support crew ie the pack didn't give him a platform to show his usual skills.
That sale pack is very physical...Springbok esque for obvious reasons...
I'd still start Dombrandt and see what he can do behind the England pack...

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sat 16 Oct 2021, 9:51 am

Hartley is singing Farrell's praises, saying just how much he brings to the squad not just the team and that he would be VERY surprised if he was dropped or the captaincy taken away.

He says that he would work well with Smith inside him
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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 16 Oct 2021, 9:59 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I think Dombrandt can do the hard stuff aswell. I think his support crew ie the pack didn't give him a platform to show his usual skills.
That sale pack is very physical...Springbok esque for obvious reasons...
I'd still start Dombrandt and see what he can do behind the England pack...

You can't go missing Vs the Springboks because you're not good at the tight exchanges though, that excuse won't fly. I'd like to see Dombrandt given a go but we know Eddie likes his number 8 to be an all action physical beast. Dombrandt wasn't that last night, hopefully he showed Eddie he can play a different way in the recent training squad because otherwise I think he could be a surprise omission. I want him to be given a go because Billy has looked well short of his best for Sarries so far.

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Post by lostinwales Sat 16 Oct 2021, 10:00 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Dombrandt could be the one to lose out. He likes to play like Croft used to as a menace in the wide areas. Croft was rapid and probably the best lineout jumper of his generation. Dombrandt was made to look like a show pony last night. Eddie likes his 8 to carry hard and turn up in the physical battle. Dombrandt's name was barely mentioned other than when he annoyed the ref with moaning. I'd give him a chance but Eddie won't have been impressed by last night I don't think.

Quirke may well get a chance against Tonga and it will have been earned if he turns in some more performances like that. Not sure I'd go Quirke/Smith for SA and Australia not unless there was a lot of experience around them.

Strong possibility it won't be Billy and Dombrandt is next in line. If not him then we are probably looking at Simmonds or Curry and a more lightweight back row.

Can't make decisions on single performances anyway, and Dombrandt has had some good ones recently

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