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England Autumn Internationals - MARK II

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 20 Nov 2021, 3:43 pm

First topic message reminder :

England squad for autumn Tests:

Forwards: Jamie Blamire (Newcastle), Callum Chick (Newcastle), Jamie George (Saracens), Tom Curry (Sale), Trevor Davison (Newcastle), Nic Dolly (Leicester), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jonny Hill (Exeter), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester), Sam Simmonds (Exeter), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol), Will Stuart (Bath), Sam Underhill (Bath)

Backs: Mark Atkinson (Gloucester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton), George Furbank (Northampton), Max Malins (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester), Raffi Quirke (Sale), Adam Radwan (Newcastle), Harry Randall (Bristol), Henry Slade (Exeter), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Joe Marchant (Quins), Ben Youngs (Leicester)

In Positions:
1.Marler, Genge
2.George, Blamire, Dolly
3.Sinckler, Stuart, Davison
4.Itoje, Hill
5.Lawes, Ewels
6.Curry, Martin
7.Underhill, Ludlam
8.Dombrandt, Simmonds, Chick

9.Youngs, Randall, Quirke
10.Smith

11.May, Radwan
12.Farrell, Atkinson
13.Tuilagi, Slade
14.Freeman, Marchant
15.Steward, Malins, Furbank
-------------------------------------------------
England v Tonga - 6th November
England v Australia - 13th November
England v South Africa - 20th November

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:09 pm

I think Eddie is caught....

Curry is one of the first names on the teamsheet.
He loves Lawes athleticism and workrate and lineout option at 6.
But he loves Underhills physicality and strength.  

But theyre all flankers....

The true 8s I see as challenging are Tom Willis and Dombrandt.  But will they get in? Dombrandt is nearest at the moment

And dont forget Jack Willis will be back in the equation aswell...

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:20 pm

Agree completely. Eddie has tough decisions ahead of him. He also values Lawes' leadership. But, as you say, they are flankers. I would like to see Dombrandt because he is a number 8, and does appear to have the goods at international level, at least from his cameos.

And from what little we saw if he comes back the same, Jack Willis could be the best of all of them....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:51 pm

I think Dombrandt will start as am 8 in the 6ns. Really not sure if that means underhill drops out though. I'd have 6 7 8 as Underhill Curry and Dombrandt but clearly there's something they see in Lawes. I think Curry again showed today that 8 is a technical position, don't mind him covering it for injury but he shouldn't be starting.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:59 pm

Well I guess Dombrandt gives the lineout option

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Post by lostinwales Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:02 pm

Lawes has been huge in this series though. That ends up being part of the problem (although its a good one to have). You could argue that Simmonds is involved because he's almost too good to be left out but there is not actually a place for him.

Front row I have no real worries. Things are a little weaker right now and dependent on the form of a few players, but Blamire was genuinely good today and has looked the part all series, and looking to the future we always seem to have monsters coming through at U20 level and we don't need them all to make it. Dolly didn't look great but it was a huge ask playing him at all. Hell of a baptism, and unfortunately for him I think we'll only see him again in an emergency.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:05 pm

Lawes always plays well....hes a class act...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:17 pm

If Lawes okay as a 6 we simply need a much more impact full set of locks at clearing rucks for me. Itoje is a major workhorse and frankly excels everywhere but Hill has only recently started making his impact in the loose and set piece. Curry at 8 doesn't have the same input at the breakdown. For me Lawes takes away from the backroom more than he adds. Everyone knows I'm basically waiting for Willis to be fit again before I start fan boying again though. When is Launchbury and him fit again. And when is Kruis back?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:19 pm

Major question at the 6ns for me also is that Blamire has taken to the gane like a duck to water....George was left out but his lineout throwing was missed today and LCD looks great....who to pick.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:23 pm

I didn't think Underhill had any impact last week or this week, on current form I'd be dropping him and bringing in Dombrandt at 8.

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Post by Sharkey06 Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:47 pm

We got a couple of penalties at the scrum early on, but thereafter we were absolutely mullered.  On todays performance, I don't think any of the front row could say they had a good day.  We were lucky how few scrums there were.  In the lineout we threw most of the time to the front, which is easy to defend.  The reason for doing this is that you don't trust your hooker.  The lineout was slightly better than the scrum, but we certainly didn't do well.

We were poor in the scrum and so so in the lineout, gave away a shed load of penalties yet still managed to win (thanks to Pollard missing a couple of easy penalties), so have a number of positives to take away.  I do though see England on an upward curve, whereas South Africa are where they are going to be at the next world cup - strong pack, with very little in the backline.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 20 Nov 2021, 11:10 pm

Not in the same boat about Blamire, though I suppose as a stand-in he was OK. And hopefully he will continue to improve. I was hoping he would score again because, well, that would be cool. Still think there is a big gap between LCD/George and him. For Dolly, this was a bridge too far.

Still unsure what is going on with Underhill. Is he carrying some injury? He doesn't seem the same player which is a shame.

Quirke is really fast and for his try I was impressed how he was anticipating the break (by Marchant, right?) and being in the right place to run it in. He looked the part to me, so we finally have at least one successor to Ben Youngs who delivered against one of the big boys. Unfortunately, he looks like he is 14 years old - someone needs to check his birth records....

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Post by lostinwales Sat 20 Nov 2021, 11:33 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Not in the same boat about Blamire, though I suppose as a stand-in he was OK.   And hopefully he will continue to improve.  I was hoping he would score again because, well, that would be cool.  Still think there is a big gap between LCD/George and him.  For Dolly, this was a bridge too far.  

Still unsure what is going on with Underhill.  Is he carrying some injury?  He doesn't seem the same player which is a shame.  

Quirke is really fast and for his try I was impressed how he was anticipating the break (by Marchant, right?) and being in the right place to run it in.  He looked the part to me, so we finally have at least one successor to Ben Youngs who delivered against one of the big boys.  Unfortunately, he looks like he is 14 years old - someone needs to check his birth records....

We are getting old - they all look like kids

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:17 am

lostinwales wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Not in the same boat about Blamire, though I suppose as a stand-in he was OK.   And hopefully he will continue to improve.  I was hoping he would score again because, well, that would be cool.  Still think there is a big gap between LCD/George and him.  For Dolly, this was a bridge too far.  

Still unsure what is going on with Underhill.  Is he carrying some injury?  He doesn't seem the same player which is a shame.  

Quirke is really fast and for his try I was impressed how he was anticipating the break (by Marchant, right?) and being in the right place to run it in.  He looked the part to me, so we finally have at least one successor to Ben Youngs who delivered against one of the big boys.  Unfortunately, he looks like he is 14 years old - someone needs to check his birth records....

We are getting old - they all look like kids
Sad but true, mate..........

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Post by king_carlos Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:24 am

On the Isiekwe stuff from earlier. He's played 5 games at lock and 2 at blindside this season. For Saints last season he played 2 games at lock and 13 at blindside. So not sure what staying there would have done. He's been in terrific form too, I've rated him for a long while. I'm starting to think that there's something the England coaches just don't rate about him. I've heard from a couple of people that he's not the sharpest tool about for instance!

On Underhill. I thought he was good last week. Strong as ever in defence and carrying much better than usual. He was fairly anonymous outside of the avoidable penalty today though. Lawes and Curry were certainly the more noticeable tacklers around the fringes which is where Underhill usually dominates. I'd bench him. His bench impact has usually been excellent as well when coming on against tiring runners.

On Blamire. It was noticeable that England threw to near the front of the lineout almost all game despite it not working very well and them having 3 excellent lineout options. That's probably not a great sign for where his darts are currently. LCD struggled there early as well though. I think Blamire is a talented 3rd choice but he needs time to get near where George and LCD are.

The bench forwards as a whole really lacked impact. I was hoping Dombrandt would add something around the fringes where we were just getting beaten up and he runs such clever lines for Quins. It didn't really happen though.

Quirke and Malins were both impressive though. As was Marchant at 13. Quirke in particular given how much England were playing off 9 whilst the Boks forwards dominated. It seemed clear that they wanted to let Smith come into the game on his terms which I think is the right way to play with Smith when struggling for front foot ball. SA's dominance meant that Smith had fewer touches in that second half so a lot was on Quirke who did really well. Both look like special players to me.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:05 am

May well be wrong on Isiekwe then. Maybe he's the ineffective blindside that Lawes has patented. Thought Dombrandt did well though when he came on. Mainly the first guy to the kick offs and didn't see any f ups on scrums from the base that I thought was attached to Curry on at least 1 scrum; could have been the same for Simmonds tho.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:10 am

Can I just say how good Steward was again today. At a time where it was high pressure he took it in his stride and was immense. As well as imperious in defence he took the angle and the try brilliantly and also gave passes at the perfect time in attack not merely just shipping it on.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 21 Nov 2021, 3:57 am

TAS Analytics very unhappy


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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:50 am

Rugby Fan wrote:TAS Analytics very unhappy


What a load of rubbish, you could do this for 1000 incidents a game for both sides. If anyone thinks SA were harshly done by the officials, they need to sit down and have a word with themselves. We'll be getting another 1hr video from that imbecile Erasmus next!

I'm a little surprised with the criticism of Blamire. I thought he was excellent.......2nd start for England, playing against the toughest pack/set piece in world rugby.....he's only 23......I'm not quite sure what people are expecting? He nailed most of his throws against the best defensive lineout in the sport, he scrummed well and fronted up around the park.

"He's not at the level of George/LCD"..........really? 2 x Lions internationals with nearly 100 caps between them! Erm

Not having a go at anyone here, just give the guy a break. He did not look out of place for me which is a pretty big compliment against SA. Some players shine from the start (Smith, Steward, Itoje).....some are steady and grow into it (May, LCD, Hill).....and some start pants and continue to be pants (T.Youngs, Simmonds, Robson*)

*Robson included for the Tigers contingent.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 21 Nov 2021, 9:12 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:May well be wrong on Isiekwe then. Maybe he's the ineffective blindside that Lawes has patented. Thought Dombrandt did well though when he came on. Mainly the first guy to the kick offs and didn't see any f ups on scrums from the base that I thought was attached to Curry on at least 1 scrum; could have been the same for Simmonds tho.

I think with Dombrandt we all wanted to see him make a bit of an impact. As it was he worked hard but didn't really offer much for the highlights reel bar giving away a penalty that resulted in three points, that penalty did annoy me. He did well to react to the charge down and dive in the bobbling ball but then rather and try to fight back to his feet (which he's entitled to do) he just lay there and the Boks went after the ball and won the penalty. It just looked like a player who hadn't quite adjusted to the change from top level club rugby to international rugby. Hopefully he gets some starts in the 6N and shows more of what he can do.

Sgt re Tom Youngs he went well enough at one point to play in a winning Lions series (all three tests if I remember rightly). I suspect Blamire will have more longevity in his international career. He's offering a lot round the pitch and his throws worked well enough despite the pressure. An ideal third choice for me as his style is similar to George and LCD and can develop behind them in the short term.

I agree with Carlos on Quirke, he looks a special player and thought he did a great job with a lot of responsibility. I'm hoping that becomes a regular feature during the 6N of him and Youngs sharing significant game time. Youngs played really well in the first half but tailed off in the second half, having a quality understudy will mean he can go hard and then come off early as opposed to us having to keep him on for 60-70 minutes because the back up isn't trusted by Eddie. 

The only thing with Quirke, same with his age grade competition JVP actually, is that he needs to get his box kicks away with a little less wind up. His kicking is really good but if he can speed it up a little he'll remove the opportunity to target him. Only a small thing.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:05 am

Surely it's a bit of a passing the baton moment at scrum half. If he's counted as Youngs understudy I don't think it will be for long.

Wish we had 1 more game to go tbh as I think the team would be really interesting. Oh well all in all a very successful autumn.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:06 am

Did not realise Tom Youngs was playing yesterday, I thought he retired to look after his wife,

Are you getting mixed up with Ben Youngs?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:13 am

majesticimperialman wrote:Did not realise Tom Youngs was playing yesterday, I thought he retired to look after his wife,

Are you getting mixed up with Ben Youngs?

He came on late in the game.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:10 am

I increasingly think a lot of the stats are useless, but you can still extract a few things from them.

They do highlight SA's major problem. According to the EPSNscrum site the Bok who made the most metres ball in hand was Etzebeth

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Post by George Carlin Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:41 am

We seem to have resorted to hand wringing and/or tactical analysis quite quickly here - I would spend more time enjoying what is probably the best victory England has had in 5 years.

Low error count, high levels of intelligence throughout, good decision making and absolute bezerker intensity at the breakdown. England don't really have problem positions at the moment in terms of quality - just different options/flavours which Eddie needs to settle upon.
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Post by lostinwales Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:47 am

George Carlin wrote:We seem to have resorted to hand wringing and/or tactical analysis quite quickly here - I would spend more time enjoying what is probably the best victory England has had in 5 years.

Low error count, high levels of intelligence throughout, good decision making and absolute bezerker intensity at the breakdown. England don't really have problem positions at the moment in terms of quality - just different options/flavours which Eddie needs to settle upon.

Best win would have been vs the AB's in 2019, but very very happy with yesterday. Overall we had so few attacking chances but scored 3 tries cutting straight through the boks.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:17 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:Did not realise Tom Youngs was playing yesterday, I thought he retired to look after his wife,

Are you getting mixed up with Ben Youngs?

He came on late in the game.

Tom Youngs didn't play for Tigers yesterday. Clare and Vanes did. Tom Youngs hasn't played for England for a while and is unlikely to at his age. Nic Dolly came off the bench and had a tough debut.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:24 pm

I'm not even going to enter into a debate about Youngs, thinking about him upsets me.

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Post by Big Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:27 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:

What a load of rubbish, you could do this for 1000 incidents a game for both sides...

Maybe I should send them some crisps to go with their bitter.

I can go with the first critique for a yellow card, given the try-scoring opportunity when the player tackles from the floor.  Independently I also thought the ref was a bit slow with the yellow for repeated infringements.  Everything else is complete rubbish.  And there are of course other occasions where England were hard done by - probably because the refs are human and aren't going to get everything right, crazy though that is.  

Just for fun, let's play with their own 'analysis'.  They want to whinge about the Kolisi yellow?  Well, watching their footage, he is clearly in no position to catch it given Marchant is way over him.  And while he is watching the ball, Marchant is clearly up there in his field of vision when he goes for it with no realistic prospect of getting to the ball first.  In my experience that is not only a penalty, but more often than not it is a red card given the landing.  Admittedly red/yellow is academic given the time on the clock, but it is still just daft to suggest they were 'hard done by' on that call.  More pertinent in my mind is that the ref blew up straight away there, and as a result I would argue it is England that were hard done by.  England had picked up and made a break, and had he allowed them to play advantage Slade looked very likely to be in under the posts, with an easy conversion and a 5 point lead to follow.  Now, I'm guessing the ref thought Marchant had knocked on, but I see that as back off Marchant's hand, forward from an England perspective off Kolisi's arm, then bounced back to Slade.  But apparently SA are robbed at that point.  Rolling Eyes

SA were the better team 2 years ago, England were the better team yesterday - but seemingly some of their fans can't cope with being on the losing side in a tight game.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:03 pm

That is the big problem with such videos. There is no perspective, no 'but some decisions were hard on England', so a subset of the people who buy into the video only get more and more trapped into thinking that their team is always hard done by.

For what its worth I agree with Big's analysis. The ref blew up early on the Marchant/Kolisi incident because it looked serious, with unfortunate results for England, and England were lucky not to get a yellow card earlier with all the penalties. By the same token Steyn was lucky not to get a card and might still get cited.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:16 pm

The performance and the significance of the win over New Zealand is England's best win since 2003. Yesterday was impressive in the sense that the team came through adversity but they were second best in too many areas.

Smith, Quirke and Steward all performing well was pleasing while Slade showed he performs better as a second playmaker.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:21 pm

I actually thought Kolisi pulled Marchant down after it was clear he'd lost the contest in the air.

From an English perspective you could say the breakdown was officiated very one sided; South Africa sealing off not allowing a fair contest.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:43 pm

Great win for England. The South Africans crying about it already, as expected, so it’s good to see them lose (and it’s not often they lose).

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:49 pm

Their fifth loss this year Mikey.

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Post by Big Sun 21 Nov 2021, 1:57 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:The performance and the significance of the win over New Zealand is England's best win since 2003. Yesterday was impressive in the sense that the team came through adversity but they were second best in too many areas.

Smith, Quirke and Steward all performing well was pleasing while Slade showed he performs better as a second playmaker.

2019 NZ win has to be the most important to date under Jones - knocking an in form NZ out of a world cup is hard to top. However, I think I take a more positive view of yesterday's match. Yes, England were beaten in some areas, but, key for me is that both times SA got their noses in front on the scoreboard, England went back on the offensive, scored, and regained the lead very quickly. I would argue that as much as SA played well to get back into it, England were also guilty of playing a bit more defensively once they'd got a lead (and giving away far too many penalties, many completely unnecessarily) - which is a bad idea against this SA side. When England were trying to score, they were succeeding and looked much the better of the two. Pointless penalties is a big and ongoing issue, and other teams will be hoping that continues as England look very good otherwise.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:38 pm

I have just watched the England v USA Womens game, can we borrow Simon Middleton and his skills coaches for the men. 89 - 0 against a side that a couple of years ago we would have struggled against. Just watching the skills level, it was superb. Props like Bern, fast skillful with a side step and swerve that most back would envy.
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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:35 pm

Big wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The performance and the significance of the win over New Zealand is England's best win since 2003. Yesterday was impressive in the sense that the team came through adversity but they were second best in too many areas.

Smith, Quirke and Steward all performing well was pleasing while Slade showed he performs better as a second playmaker.

2019 NZ win has to be the most important to date under Jones - knocking an in form NZ out of a world cup is hard to top.  However, I think I take a more positive view of yesterday's match.  Yes, England were beaten in some areas, but, key for me is that both times SA got their noses in front on the scoreboard, England went back on the offensive, scored, and regained the lead very quickly.  I would argue that as much as SA played well to get back into it, England were also guilty of playing a bit more defensively once they'd got a lead (and giving away far too many penalties, many completely unnecessarily) - which is a bad idea against this SA side.  When England were trying to score, they were succeeding and looked much the better of the two.  Pointless penalties is a big and ongoing issue, and other teams will be hoping that continues as England look very good otherwise.
I think the penalties could end up a major problem if not fixed for the Six Nations. Giving away 18 pens to a team like the Boks is usually a recipe for disaster. Even if one considers some to have been incorrect or unreasonable the total penalty count would still be too large to compete regularly against the big boys.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:52 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Big wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The performance and the significance of the win over New Zealand is England's best win since 2003. Yesterday was impressive in the sense that the team came through adversity but they were second best in too many areas.

Smith, Quirke and Steward all performing well was pleasing while Slade showed he performs better as a second playmaker.

2019 NZ win has to be the most important to date under Jones - knocking an in form NZ out of a world cup is hard to top.  However, I think I take a more positive view of yesterday's match.  Yes, England were beaten in some areas, but, key for me is that both times SA got their noses in front on the scoreboard, England went back on the offensive, scored, and regained the lead very quickly.  I would argue that as much as SA played well to get back into it, England were also guilty of playing a bit more defensively once they'd got a lead (and giving away far too many penalties, many completely unnecessarily) - which is a bad idea against this SA side.  When England were trying to score, they were succeeding and looked much the better of the two.  Pointless penalties is a big and ongoing issue, and other teams will be hoping that continues as England look very good otherwise.
I think the penalties could end up a major problem if not fixed for the Six Nations.  Giving away 18 pens to a team like the Boks is usually a recipe for disaster.  Even if one considers some to have been incorrect or unreasonable the total penalty count would still be too large to compete regularly against the big boys.  

I know there have been long running issues over penalty counts but we did not generate excessive numbers against Australia and the boks always offer a somewhat unique challenge. Nobody else is going to steamroller us in the normal course of events, and we were particularly short of the tight forwards who might have made more of a difference. LCD and George would have been an upgrade. Genge over Rodd would have been better. We could do with a convincing option to back up Sinckler. Stuart looked good at times but not on Saturday.

There  has been a lot of good to come out of the last 3 weekends.  We have some exceptional young players coming through into the main team. We seem to have thrown off the shackles that  made our recent rugby so very poor, and some of the more fringe players are starting to really look the part.  Slade for one is not going to get the same abuse for a while that he has been.

Nobody is scoring tries against us and we can score them against anyone.

The 6N will be just as brutal as ever, and I am sure the young guns will come unstuck at some point but for now the future looks bright.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 22 Nov 2021, 1:53 am

lostinwales wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Big wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The performance and the significance of the win over New Zealand is England's best win since 2003. Yesterday was impressive in the sense that the team came through adversity but they were second best in too many areas.

Smith, Quirke and Steward all performing well was pleasing while Slade showed he performs better as a second playmaker.

2019 NZ win has to be the most important to date under Jones - knocking an in form NZ out of a world cup is hard to top.  However, I think I take a more positive view of yesterday's match.  Yes, England were beaten in some areas, but, key for me is that both times SA got their noses in front on the scoreboard, England went back on the offensive, scored, and regained the lead very quickly.  I would argue that as much as SA played well to get back into it, England were also guilty of playing a bit more defensively once they'd got a lead (and giving away far too many penalties, many completely unnecessarily) - which is a bad idea against this SA side.  When England were trying to score, they were succeeding and looked much the better of the two.  Pointless penalties is a big and ongoing issue, and other teams will be hoping that continues as England look very good otherwise.
I think the penalties could end up a major problem if not fixed for the Six Nations.  Giving away 18 pens to a team like the Boks is usually a recipe for disaster.  Even if one considers some to have been incorrect or unreasonable the total penalty count would still be too large to compete regularly against the big boys.  

I know there have been long running issues over penalty counts but we did not generate excessive numbers against Australia and the boks always offer a somewhat unique challenge. Nobody else is going to steamroller us in the normal course of events, and we were particularly short of the tight forwards who might have made more of a difference. LCD and George would have been an upgrade. Genge over Rodd would have been better. We could do with a convincing option to back up Sinckler. Stuart looked good at times but not on Saturday.

There  has been a lot of good to come out of the last 3 weekends.  We have some exceptional young players coming through into the main team. We seem to have thrown off the shackles that  made our recent rugby so very poor, and some of the more fringe players are starting to really look the part.  Slade for one is not going to get the same abuse for a while that he has been.

Nobody is scoring tries against us and we can score them against anyone.

The 6N will be just as brutal as ever, and I am sure the young guns will come unstuck at some point but for now the future looks bright.
I absolutely agree, mate, that some of the younger/fringe and criticised players showed that given a chance they really belong. Smith at the top of the list. Steward, also for sure. Marchant and probably Malins too. Dombrandt and Quirke in their cameos seem likely in that list too. I would include Slade because the new game plan, and players, seems to suit his skill set. Hard to tell about Simmonds, because he had so little time, and Radwan because he only played against Tonga.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 22 Nov 2021, 4:35 am

lostinwales wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Big wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The performance and the significance of the win over New Zealand is England's best win since 2003. Yesterday was impressive in the sense that the team came through adversity but they were second best in too many areas.

Smith, Quirke and Steward all performing well was pleasing while Slade showed he performs better as a second playmaker.

2019 NZ win has to be the most important to date under Jones - knocking an in form NZ out of a world cup is hard to top.  However, I think I take a more positive view of yesterday's match.  Yes, England were beaten in some areas, but, key for me is that both times SA got their noses in front on the scoreboard, England went back on the offensive, scored, and regained the lead very quickly.  I would argue that as much as SA played well to get back into it, England were also guilty of playing a bit more defensively once they'd got a lead (and giving away far too many penalties, many completely unnecessarily) - which is a bad idea against this SA side.  When England were trying to score, they were succeeding and looked much the better of the two.  Pointless penalties is a big and ongoing issue, and other teams will be hoping that continues as England look very good otherwise.
I think the penalties could end up a major problem if not fixed for the Six Nations.  Giving away 18 pens to a team like the Boks is usually a recipe for disaster.  Even if one considers some to have been incorrect or unreasonable the total penalty count would still be too large to compete regularly against the big boys.  

I know there have been long running issues over penalty counts but we did not generate excessive numbers against Australia and the boks always offer a somewhat unique challenge. Nobody else is going to steamroller us in the normal course of events, and we were particularly short of the tight forwards who might have made more of a difference. LCD and George would have been an upgrade. Genge over Rodd would have been better. We could do with a convincing option to back up Sinckler. Stuart looked good at times but not on Saturday.

.

I'm not so sure LIW, I don't think the guys missing would have made that much of a difference personally. The 2nd half is were we really started to struggle and that was with Marler on the pitch. I thought Rodd/Blamire did as well in that first half as we could have expected more experienced options to do (Genge/LCD/George). the 2nd half was like falling off a cliff.

It concerns me that it wasn't a million miles from our best options in the pack and SA treated us like a rag doll in that 2nd half. Lets not mess around here, they smashed us in the contact/breakdown/scrum. We should be better than this.

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Post by protea438 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 7:07 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Great win for England. The South Africans crying about it already, as expected, so it’s good to see them lose (and it’s not often they lose).

Get a life idiot, I am sure Boks will be absolutely devastated that some keyboard warrior doesnt like them

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 7:43 am

You're younger than I thought from your pic there.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 8:25 am

Slades getting a lot of love, probably the best he's played offensively in an England shirt. Bit below is from the Guardian but similar elsewhere. Promising start from Gleeson with England already using Smith to distract elsewhere to open the gaps, some of the best attacking moves we've seen since Wisemantel left? Not heard anything regarding Tuilagi but we've still got questions on the midfield as it does look like they want some ballast in there. Did Atkinson do enough to be considered; he was ok but doesn't look like a top class option and with his age....Who else is there though or do you now just stick with Farrell, Slade, Marchant and Tuilagi when fit and use Steward as a battering ram when required?:

'Eddie Jones spent Sunday morning holding one-on-one meetings with his players before sending them home with a spring in their step. He then met his coaches and, again, you would expect a bit of mutual backslapping, though it is unclear if this was deemed the right time to address the elephant in the room. Maybe best to leave it for another day, but it is unlikely to go away any time soon.

Because when Owen Farrell returns to fitness Jones must address the issue of how his captain gets back into this side. Recent evidence suggests that on merit Farrell has a job on his hands and that is in no small part down to the form of Henry Slade, who against South Africa stepped out of the absent captain’s shadow, rose to the occasion when Manu Tuilagi limped off and produced his finest display in an England jersey. It has long since been lamented that while he has often shown his abundant talent in flashes he rarely seizes matches by the scruff of the neck. But at Twickenham on Saturday, Slade’s performance with ball in hand was as courageous as it was classy.


It came after he had been installed as the vice-captain with Farrell and Ellis Genge both missing and Slade has now started 12 of England’s last 13 matches, missing only the dismal defeat in Ireland. If he seemed liberated without Farrell alongside him in the centres perhaps George Ford’s omission from the squad has had a similar effect too. It was he who was expected to make way against Australia with Farrell returning but as it was Tuilagi was moved to the wing so that Slade kept hold of the No 13 jersey and it was he who was central to England’s attacking gameplan against the Springboks.

As Jones had alluded to previously, England wanted to implement a rope-a-dope strategy and the attack coach Martin Gleeson had been tasked with finding a way to beat the Springboks’ blitz defence. Slade’s passing ability was key to England’s success in that regard, notably when he whipped the ball to Tuilagi for the opening try. It was also Slade who prized open the gap for Joe Marchant to make the break for Raffi Quirke’s try and he who fizzed a long pass to Freddie Steward in a move that ultimately led to the full-back going over.

“We wanted to do something a bit different,” said Jones. “This has been the focus of our autumn campaign and we didn’t want to attack the way they wanted us to attack. We either wanted to attack really tight or we wanted to attack fairly wide, where they’re not usually attacked but Glees came up with a few plays that allowed us to get to the outside of their last defender, who closes pretty quickly.”

After the Springboks had been put to the sword it was instructive to hear Jones reflect on when Slade was first coming on to the scene. He had impressed on his debut in August 2015 enough to earn inclusion in the World Cup squad and it has since emerged that England’s rivals, chiefly New Zealand who had expected to face Stuart Lancaster’s side in the knockout stages, were fearful of the impact the then 22-year-old could have.

As it was, he featured just once, against Uruguay, by which stage England were already eliminated. “I always remember, leading up to the World Cup in 2015, he played a couple of practice games and was outstanding, then didn’t feature in that World Cup,” added Jones. “In his first bit of time with us, he was sort of in and out, but he’s really cemented a spot at 13 now, grown in terms of his influence on the team.”

That last point is interesting because Slade played at inside centre for most of Saturday’s match, after Tuilagi was withdrawn. He has only started there a handful of times and never really taken to it but Marcus Smith’s extra zip at fly-half gave Slade that little bit more time with which to weave his magic against the Springboks. It would be a shame if it is the last we see of that partnership.'


Loving the Quirke try, Smith heading wide and drawing the eyes short pass from Slade to a great line from Marchant and then 2 rapid support runners either side in Quirke and Smith. And all from a lineout in our own half. Hope it's a sign of things to come along with 1(?) try conceded in 3 matces while down to 14. Pens against wasn't good against SA but it's quite exciting. 6Ns is going to be exciting ain't it.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:13 am

I suspect Slade's 'liberation' is due to the fact he's playing in a balanced backline. It's amazing how players look so much better when there's a mix of running and passing threats in there. 

The attacking shape for the Marchant break for the try, this isn't a new move just as the Steward try Vs Australia wasn't. This isn't Gleeson putting together a new radical game plan these are the same moves we ran in the 6N. The huge difference is we have players that are now making the defence think. In the 6N it was Slade running the Marchant line with all the danger of a toddler playing with a daisy and Daly coming from deep arcing ever closer to the touchline making the pass harder and giving the winger less room. It was Farrell distributing which was nearly always straight to Ford with no hesitation. It was just so easy to pick off, blitz Ford being the obvious thing to do. 

This time round the Boks had seen 15+ stone Freddie Steward get it and go wide off of Smith a fair bit. Not easy to blitz that wide in their system plus his handling and size makes him an awkward option to defend against. Smith they know likes to run himself so suddenly the same play is causing indecision. May actually runs a nice blindside shoulder line on Slade which stops the Boks fanning across and suddenly Marchant is exploding through the gap.

Isn't it wonderful when you pick an actual backline that can work as a backline. Well actually no because we still required an early injury to get to that point which is a significant worry.

The backline functioned well Vs SA, the first try is really nice work from Youngs and Smith in tandem over a few phases to keep the attack moving forward. Steward's try is a great finish but Youngs little step and dummy pre pass pulls the Boks out of position. Quirke when he came on injected impetus with Youngs tiring that was exactly what we wanted and he got the try on the back of it.

With Farrell now injured and Manu who knows. There could be a realistic hope of a nice balanced backline in the 6N. Malins and Steward was a combination that gave us loads of security and an attacking threat I really hope that is continued.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:18 am

I still want Slade out of the team. And Quirke in. Fingers crossed Borthwick starts picking vP and forces Jones' hand.

Malins had a really good game. As May had his worst even counting his broken nose!

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:21 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I still want Slade out of the team. And Quirke in. Fingers crossed Borthwick starts picking vP and forces Jones' hand.

Malins had a really good game. As May had his worst even counting his broken nose!

If Slade is out, who is in? Presuming Manu is not in contention.

Why do you want Slade out when he has just proved that with a sensible back line he is class?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:25 am

If Farrell is fit then Farrell. If Tuilagi is fit with him. And if not Marchant.

For me with Slade its 1 swallow doesn't make a summer. I think he's shown a real lack of decision making when the game has broken up in both the Tonga and Aus games. When that decision making is taken away on first phase set moves he has shown he has the passing.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:29 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:...

I'm not so sure LIW, I don't think the guys missing would have made that much of a difference personally. The 2nd half is were we really started to struggle and that was with Marler on the pitch. I thought Rodd/Blamire did as well in that first half as we could have expected more experienced options to do (Genge/LCD/George). the 2nd half was like falling off a cliff.

It concerns me that it wasn't a million miles from our best options in the pack and SA treated us like a rag doll in that 2nd half. Lets not mess around here, they smashed us in the contact/breakdown/scrum. We should be better than this.

I don't think we can stop the SA juggernaut altogether. It is their game.  Marler didn't that is for sure, and his fellow front rows were not much use at this stage. I am concerned that if we chase after stopping the juggernaut at source we lose out elsewhere. A little more mitigation might have gone a long way though

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Post by lostinwales Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:39 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:I suspect Slade's 'liberation' is due to the fact he's playing in a balanced backline. It's amazing how players look so much better when there's a mix of running and passing threats in there. 

The attacking shape for the Marchant break for the try, this isn't a new move just as the Steward try Vs Australia wasn't. This isn't Gleeson putting together a new radical game plan these are the same moves we ran in the 6N. The huge difference is we have players that are now making the defence think. In the 6N it was Slade running the Marchant line with all the danger of a toddler playing with a daisy and Daly coming from deep arcing ever closer to the touchline making the pass harder and giving the winger less room. It was Farrell distributing which was nearly always straight to Ford with no hesitation. It was just so easy to pick off, blitz Ford being the obvious thing to do. 

This time round the Boks had seen 15+ stone Freddie Steward get it and go wide off of Smith a fair bit. Not easy to blitz that wide in their system plus his handling and size makes him an awkward option to defend against. Smith they know likes to run himself so suddenly the same play is causing indecision. May actually runs a nice blindside shoulder line on Slade which stops the Boks fanning across and suddenly Marchant is exploding through the gap.

Isn't it wonderful when you pick an actual backline that can work as a backline. Well actually no because we still required an early injury to get to that point which is a significant worry.

The backline functioned well Vs SA, the first try is really nice work from Youngs and Smith in tandem over a few phases to keep the attack moving forward. Steward's try is a great finish but Youngs little step and dummy pre pass pulls the Boks out of position. Quirke when he came on injected impetus with Youngs tiring that was exactly what we wanted and he got the try on the back of it.

With Farrell now injured and Manu who knows. There could be a realistic hope of a nice balanced backline in the 6N. Malins and Steward was a combination that gave us loads of security and an attacking threat I really hope that is continued.

The Guardian article makes the point that Smith being as quick as he is gives Slade just a fraction more time to do his thing. I believe he was often playing at FH in parts of the game with Smith given more freedom to roam, but it doesn't matter. Slade has been more able to influence the backline and so far it is working. I'd also argue that the one game this Autumn where the backline has not worked well as a unit was against Australia - and apart from the weird selection in general there was a player involved then who was not involved on Saturday.


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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:46 am

Based on the assumption that Smith is here to stay:

Do you not think that Farrell is the problem? He once posed a treat running good lines, even if they were not at speed, he doesn't do that any more, it is either kick or pass (slowly) and he is therefore predictable. Slade is taking man and ball with Farrell at 12, he showed on Saturday that with a 10 that can hold a defense or make it indecisive for a split second he can set up an attack that causes problems. Farrell's problem is that he has not shown that at either 10 or 12 for a very long time and we have looked stodgy as a result. Farrell suited Jones' kicking game, but he offers nothing to a running attack and I think anyone would have problems outside of him.

Slade also offers a left foot option at 12, unlike Farrell. Putting Farrell at 12 to Smiths 10 would be like having a sports car with the brake permanently stuck on, plenty of potential but little result.

I am not stuck on Slade, but I think Farrell is a possible bencher to steady the side down, I do not see what he brings to the starting 15 with Smith at 10. I would not be against trying alternatives to Slade, Dingwall at Saints springs to mind, but I am sure we have other younger players that can do the job at other clubs.

The day of the back that does not have power or pace is, I think gone, the game has moved on.


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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 22 Nov 2021, 10:00 am

I see people are asking for that South African Watergirl...physio whatever she is to stop running on the pitch randomly.

There several examples where she just ran on the pitch to celebrate a try before they had even scored...then she ran back off again....

Needs to stop immediately.

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