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English 6 Nations

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Jan 05, 2022 2:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jan/05/six-nations-rugby-covid-rob-baxter

A potential answer to a potential problem. Baxter has said that if there is a risk of cancellations or playing in front of 1 man and his dog you may as well play all the games in England.

I suppose an interesting suggestion. If they could agree a slice of revenue from whichever grounds would host along with some teams giving up home advantage would people want to see this? It doesn't reduce the risk at all, merely increases it surely, gives England an advantage. It's unlikely the Government will bring in further restrictions as their hands are tied by the back benchers so reduces the risk of last minute changes. Just a big melting pot of cross contamination.


'Rob Baxter, Exeter’s director of rugby, believes that playing this season’s Six Nations in one country has “got to be better than cancelling it”.

The tournament is due to kick off in Dublin and Edinburgh on 5 February but currently finds itself shrouded in uncertainty. Under current Welsh Government restrictions imposed due to the pandemic and, specifically, the omicron variant, Wales would have to play scheduled home games against Scotland, France and Italy behind closed doors. Scotland are in a similar position for games at Murrayfield, while it has been reported that Wales could consider moving their home against Scotland, France and Italy to England.

Financial implications of behind-closed-doors home games for the Welsh Rugby Union would be significant. They faced an identical situation for last season’s tournament, with the shutters being down for matches against Ireland and England. Full crowds were, however, allowed at the Principality Stadium for Wales’ recent Autumn Nations Series before fresh restrictions took effect from Boxing Day.

Capacity crowds are currently allowed in England, provided spectators can prove full vaccination status or provide a negative lateral flow test. Against such a backdrop, playing the whole competition – it takes place across five weekends between early February and mid-March – in one country with permitted crowds has also been mooted in some quarters.

“The whole beauty of the Six Nations has been that change of environment, that change of weather conditions, going to play in Scotland, Wales, Ireland – those are the great challenges,” said Baxter. “That’s what makes the Six Nations such a great competition to win. You’ve seen French teams in that one week they can beat anyone in the world in Paris, and then the next week it doesn’t go quite so well in Cardiff. That’s the beauty of the tournament, that’s what from a rugby perspective I am sure we would all want to see happen.

“That said, we can’t all sit here and pretend the world is in an ideal place at the moment. For the national bodies, their responsibility goes beyond the professional sport, it goes right down to grassroots rugby, so if playing the tournament provides a level of income that cancelling it or no crowds doesn’t create, then we’ve got to look at the next best scenario. If the next best scenario is playing it in one country, where you can have sellout crowds, you can raise some revenue and you can keep that income stream going for all the bodies, then it’s got to be better than cancelling it.


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“I think with every sporting body, it’s revenue that is the biggest thing that has been damaged, so anything that can keep revenue online has got to be preferable to just binning things for a season,” Baxter added. “We’ve all had to try and find a way to keep going, to try and keep revenue coming in. It’s the same with any business, you’ve got to explore those options.”

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Feb 03, 2022 7:51 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Daly must have played 5 games at 13 in the last 5 years??? Simmonds is just not at this level, I can't think of a more underpowered backrower in world rugby.

A FB on the wing
A 13 on the wing
A 13 at 12
A wing at 13

The most baffling backline selection I've seen from Eddie yet.

I expect Marchant to defend at 13 and then drop onto the wing into attack, I presume so that he can run lines that are harder to track off of Daly. I'm interested to see how it works but at least there's attacking players who will attack the gain line for Smith to play off in there. 

I wouldn't have had Daly in there either but I suspect Eddie is looking at the kicking game in what is likely to be bad weather.

Incidentally this backline, as mismatched as it is, is still better than when we had May, Farrell, Slade, Watson and Daly. A back three that all wanted to play wide and two centres that only wanted to pass.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:04 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Daly must have played 5 games at 13 in the last 5 years???
Taking 5 years as going back to the 2017/18 season:

2021/22
1 club apps at 13

2020/21
7 club apps at 13 (Championship)
1 international app at 13 for the Lions - which they did win

2019/20
3 club apps at 13

2018/19
8 club apps at 13

2017/18
8 starts at 13

It wasn't until moving to Sarries that he started predominantly playing back three at club level.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:08 pm

Good stats KC....proves it's hardly his position. He struggles defensively at 13 imo....and can't catch at 15. He's proved to be best at wing for me.

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Post by Armchairexpert Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:50 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good stats KC....proves it's hardly his position. He struggles defensively at 13 imo....and can't catch at 15. He's proved to be best at wing for me.

Maybe he will play wing and Marchant at OC and this is an Eddie Jones “only numbers” game

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Post by lostinwales Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:56 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good stats KC....proves it's hardly his position. He struggles defensively at 13 imo....and can't catch at 15. He's proved to be best at wing for me.

Do you have evidence he can't defend at 13? That is of course a danger

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:13 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good stats KC....proves it's hardly his position. He struggles defensively at 13 imo....and can't catch at 15. He's proved to be best at wing for me.

Do you have evidence he can't defend at 13? That is of course a danger

He is poor there.

Sam could well be right though with Marchant lining up 13 in defence .

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Post by king_carlos Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:19 pm

"He is poor there" feels like a strange response to "do you have evidence he can't defend at 13?"

Whistle

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:23 pm

king_carlos wrote:"He is poor there" feels like a strange response to "do you have evidence he can't defend at 13?"

Whistle

I submit the games he's played at 13 King.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:28 pm

I wouldn't say Daly is as strong a defensive 13 as Slade or JJ who have massive strengths there. I don't think he's weaker than Marchant though for instance. Daly's defensive alignment when playing up in the defensive line tends to be good and he isn't a particularly weak tackler playing in the line either.

He's missed some one on one tackles as a fullback but all fullbacks do. Even the best defensive ones such as Ben Smith will miss tackles. It's the nature of the position. Unless the opposition make zero line breaks in a game the fullback with be isolated at times which leads to defensive mistakes. It's an inevitability of the position.

It's a point I tried to make when Daly was at fullback, then when Steward was picked and I made once again during the Veainu vs Steward debate during the AIs. If one of our wingers has Veainu's chance there we'd want an international winger to finish it every time. But equally a few posters also want our fullback to stop that every time. Sometimes the expectations people have just aren't anywhere near in line with the challenges of the position players actually play IMO.

Similar to the entire "why can't we JUST get a 20 stone second row who's as mobile as Itoje but a beast in the tight?". If they were wondering about in the street like stray cats then wouldn't all teams have them?

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Post by king_carlos Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:"He is poor there" feels like a strange response to "do you have evidence he can't defend at 13?"

Whistle

I submit the games he's played at 13 King.
Specific instances?

Genuinely just interested. I think I'm more defence focused (I probably would've picked Atkinson at 12 for instance to keep Slade as the defensive leader at 13 for a game with this weather for instance) than most here but genuinely can't remember thinking Daly was a poor defensive centre all the years he was there with Wasps or the recent times with Sarries.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:32 pm

And I stand by that Steward should have made that tackle Wink

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Post by majesticimperialman Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:32 pm

During the AI EJ often played Curry at 8. my concern now is if Lawes comes back next week, will the like of Simmonds, Dombrandt lose out and Lawes moves back to 6 and Curry moves back to 8.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:38 pm

king_carlos wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:"He is poor there" feels like a strange response to "do you have evidence he can't defend at 13?"

Whistle

I submit the games he's played at 13 King.
Specific instances?

Genuinely just interested. I think I'm more defence focused (I probably would've picked Atkinson at 12 for instance to keep Slade as the defensive leader at 13 for a game with this weather for instance) than most here but genuinely can't remember thinking Daly was a poor defensive centre all the years he was there with Wasps or the recent times with Sarries.

I can't think of any. There were some early doors in the Lions match. I think he lacks positioning there and yes he drops off tackles too easily. I think we've been spoilt there for England Slade is very good Joseph was even better. Guess we'll see on Saturday what happens. I too would have gone Atkinson and Slade.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:55 pm

Fair enough. I just find it interesting that there's the general view Daly can't defend at all but when asked for examples either little or nothing ever seems to be produced.

Yes, we were spoilt with JJ and Slade. I wouldn't actually say JJ is even better, more that they are equal defenders with different strengths. Slade is better in the contact wheres JJ was an expert at using his pace to cut down space whilst blitzing but also cover the outside break when drifting.

It feels like a side selected for a very high ball in play time anyway. Those sorts of games are usually the ones where numbers of shirts become less important defensively but how sides communicate and realign becomes absolute vital.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 03, 2022 10:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:Fair enough. I just find it interesting that there's the general view Daly can't defend at all but when asked for examples either little or nothing ever seems to be produced.

Yes, we were spoilt with JJ and Slade. I wouldn't actually say JJ is even better, more that they are equal defenders with different strengths. Slade is better in the contact wheres JJ was an expert at using his pace to cut down space whilst blitzing but also cover the outside break when drifting.

It feels like a side selected for a very high ball in play time anyway. Those sorts of games are usually the ones where numbers of shirts become less important defensively but how sides communicate and realign becomes absolute vital.

It's a view on watching him but to be fair once you've watched hundreds of games it becomes a blur. I would say with the same conviction Itoje is a real nuisance at the breakdown. If you asked me for an example I'd be doing the same ie it's obvious watch the games he plays. I'd be struggling to think of an example I could point out. I've never been one to overly think he couldn't defend at 15, the normal criticism is that he gets beaten 1 on 1 but as with the example of Steward I'd always be more critical of a winger who couldn't beat a defender than vice versa. And to disprove my point an immediate example of Banaham vs ickle Shane pops into my mind.

Re Slades defending I'm assuming he's going to be the one asked to step into the void of Farrells organising again. Don't know if anyone caught the rugby podcast but Care said while Hartley was captain it was still Farrell who was the vocal leader with Hartley left to lead by example role. While there were no crowds it was obvious how much of that leadership he provides.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Feb 03, 2022 10:57 pm

I believe Slade does a lot of that kind of organising at Exeter. Worth pointing out how good we were in defense vs SA in the Autumn with no Farrell and a disrupted backline. Someone else took on that role

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:04 pm

I'm with 7.5 on Daly, when I've seen him at 13 he's struggled. He tackling isn't great.....I would say at times poor and his positioning at OC seems off. I know he likes the position but I don't think he's best used there.

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Post by lostinwales Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:36 am

Daly is a 52 cap England international and has also been capped by the Lions 5 times. He must have some redeeming talents.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Feb 04, 2022 6:51 am

lostinwales wrote:Daly is a 52 cap England international and has also been capped by the Lions 5 times. He must have some redeeming talents.

Huge boot, very good attacking kicking at full pace em can step and swerve defenders. Has been excellent in finishing and with final passes. Each of the players I'd rather have out of the team than in have great talents. But if you're trying to say I'd want x y and z because ....you're not going to focus by saying those.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri Feb 04, 2022 7:16 am

Perhaps one reason this squad looks "cobbled together" (a phrase which has been used a few times by pundits) is that Jones has attempted to change the profile of his squad. With some of his first choice selections missing, (especially Hill, Lawes, Farrell, Watson and May), rather than turn to back-up players we are used to seeing, it looks more like Jones has chosen people who fit his new idea of how we should be playing.

There's criticism again that Jones is blooding yet another centre partnership (his 21st). The Telegraph published a list, which starts off like this:

Farrell & Joseph - 18 times
Farrell & Tuilagi - 8 times
Farrell & Slade - 8 times
Tuilagi & Slade - 8 times
Te'o & Slade - 3 times
Francis & Joseph - 3 times
Farrell & Te'o - 3 times
Lawrence & Slade - 2 times
Lozowski & Slade - 2 times
Slade & Lawrence - 2 times
etc etc.

With Farrell and Tuilagi out of contention you'd have to call up Francis & Joseph to get our most experienced centre pairing, and they only turned out together three times. There's no available English centre who has turned out in a Test with Henry Slade more than twice. In that context, whatever you think of Daly's ability, Jones has actually selected one of the most familiar pairings possible, when you consider Test matches they've played in together, rather than their record as a centre combination.

It's hard to know how this side will go. It's possible our inexperience as a squad lets us down, and we get mugged. Sam Simmonds makes good ground, and scores great tries, exploding from the back of Exeter scrums and mauls. However, you have to wonder whether we have the front five to provide the same kind of platform at Murrayfield.

While we may have players who can break the Scottish line, we'll also need players to run in support, and that's where our lack of familiarity might be exposed. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing someone get clear, only to give away a penalty because they have held on to the ball. If the tackler releases, and then goes in for a steal, we need to be disciplined enough to let that ball go if there's no-one around to secure it. Better to have the opposition playing from further back, than having the luxury of booting a penalty further upfield.

I wondered whether Jones might start Dombrandt, so Smith has a familiar face around. As it stands, the only other Quins man is Marchant on the wing (and Sinckler of old). It actually might be better for Smith to have Dombrandt around later in the game, when he's less fresh, and might better appreciate someone around who knows him well.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Feb 04, 2022 7:28 am

For some benchmarks on that Scotland have used 28 combos, France 27, Wales 23 and Itlay and Aus 22.

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Post by Poorfour Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:38 am

Dombrandt on the bench, and Daly at 13 instead of Nowell on the wing and Marchant at 13 are the only real surprises in this.

Everything else is part of a jigsaw that’s been coming together since the RWC. I really like the look of this team and what it can potentially do. It might come unstuck, but I’d be happy with a strong performance and some glimpses of how it might settle.

There’s a great article on the paid for but of Rugbypass that looks at all the opportunities England created against the Boks but didn’t take because the rest of the team were only partly on Smith’s wavelength. And yet they still scored three tries.

One bit of thinking in the selection may well be to have a lot of very smart players around Smith so that he will have more chances to put them into space.

I also agree that that might be why Randall, Dombrandt and Marler are on the bench - two players who know his game plus one who combined well with him over the summer.

If England are in the game at 50 minutes, I think they will have a good shot at winning it.
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Post by dummy_half Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:03 pm

A few thoughts on the side picked
Pack looks very athletic but perhaps lacking ultimate grunt. More powerful players on the bench.
Backs look like a skillful and versatile lineup - my biggest concern is the midfield defence, although perhaps Simmonds' selection is to offer faster cover into this area. Perhaps also lacking an absolute flyer, but seems to have decent pace throughout.

Selection surprises, as others have said, are Simmonds over Dombrandt and Daly at 13.

In the case of Simmonds, it's more that EJ has ignored him for a few years, making most of us think EJ thought his negatives in terms of size and power outweighed his positives in terms of pace and skills.

I do wonder if Daly's inclusion is at least in part to provide some more experience, as there aren't many caps in the back 3 or at 10. Others have suggested Atkinson at 12 and Slade at 13 as a better balanced combination (certainly would have been two round pegs in round holes), but I think Eddie has some particular ideas with this line-up - certainly looks like it's been picked to facilitate a very different game plan from last year's team.

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Post by lostinwales Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:46 pm

I wonder how the pace of the different back lines match up? Who is quickest?

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Post by Cumbrian Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:56 pm

lostinwales wrote:I wonder how the pace of the different back lines match up? Who is quickest?

Good question actually, I'd probably (predictably) say England. You don't look at the Scottish centres and think 'searing pace', they are tough as teak and will put their bodies on the line, but I doubt they would gas many international sides. Don't know much about Darcy Graham, but I have a feeling that he is small and nippy. More so than either of our wingers? Probably at least one (maybe both) of them. Not sure about Duhan van der Merwe either, he's powerful but I don't know what his top end speed it, I suspect Marchant and/or Malins are faster though. In my opinion Hogg has the edge on Steward speed wise though.
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Post by king_carlos Fri Feb 04, 2022 1:00 pm

lostinwales wrote:I wonder how the pace of the different back lines match up? Who is quickest?
Scotland overall I'd say due to the back three.

9, 10 and 12 will be similar paces. Daly is much faster than Harris.

The Scottish back three will all be faster than their opposite number though. Marchant is probably the quickest in our back three but I'd expect Duhan is quicker over 40m. The bloke's just a freak athlete.

Marchant and Malins are both quick enough for the wing but their pace will never set them apart there. May and Watson are big losses in that regard.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri Feb 04, 2022 1:01 pm

Poorfour wrote:Dombrandt on the bench, and Daly at 13 instead of Nowell on the wing and Marchant at 13 are the only real surprises in this.

Everything else is part of a jigsaw that’s been coming together since the RWC. I really like the look of this team and what it can potentially do. It might come unstuck, but I’d be happy with a strong performance and some glimpses of how it might settle.

#

I kinda fell its more the make up of the team and the style of rugby its suited to than the actual individuals that England are building here. Quite a few of the selections (Daly) are driven by injury...totally get the point re: Nowell/Marchant though and I did assume thats how he'd go. The backrow is missing Willis and Underhill, possibly Shields too and even with Vuinpola being overlooked they've still gone for the mobile 8. Similar picture in the tight 5, starting Isikwe is a big statement about how athletic he wants the pack to be.

The only piece thats missing is the one big lump in the backs that Jones has often stated he wants. The two main options, Cokasinga and Tuillagi, both out (Lawrence has been injured most of the season too). The rest of the backs are all good all round footballers and easily interchangeable. Slades move to 12 is the most like for like to cover Farrells absence and allow position switching with Smith.

Whilst the initial look at the side, based on where we were this time last year, could look a bit wild with full context of availability and looking at the style of play England want it makes more sense. It does feel like a risk to go so far on the lightweight pack for this fixture, but shows a commitment to a longer term vision.

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Post by lostinwales Fri Feb 04, 2022 1:01 pm

Cumbrian wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I wonder how the pace of the different back lines match up? Who is quickest?

Good question actually, I'd probably (predictably) say England.  You don't look at the Scottish centres and think 'searing pace', they are tough as teak and will put their bodies on the line, but I doubt they would gas many international sides. Don't know much about Darcy Graham, but I have a feeling that he is small and nippy.  More so than either of our wingers? Probably at least one (maybe both) of them. Not sure about Duhan van der Merwe either, he's powerful but I don't know what his top end speed it, I suspect Marchant and/or Malins are faster though. In my opinion Hogg has the edge on Steward speed wise though.

I suspect that Hogg might be the quickest overall but the England back line much quicker on average. As usual top end speed not is necessarily as significant as acceleration

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri Feb 04, 2022 1:01 pm

lostinwales wrote:Daly is a 52 cap England international and has also been capped by the Lions 5 times. He must have some redeeming talents.

He's always played well on the wing and no surprises the majority of his Lions caps are there.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri Feb 04, 2022 3:12 pm

VDM was run down by Mitchell on Saturday after having a 10m start, over half the length of the pitch . Not sure what that says about his speed over a longer distance.
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Post by Poorfour Fri Feb 04, 2022 3:25 pm

lostinwales wrote:
I suspect that Hogg might be the quickest overall but the England back line much quicker on average. As usual top end speed not is necessarily as significant as acceleration

Smith and Marchant both have particularly good acceleration and change of direction. There's also speed of thought - Marchant's ability to size up what's happening in a broken field or a loose ball situation and make a good choice about how to react shouldn't be underestimated. I don't think Daly and Malins are materially slower than Watson (though May is clearly quicker).

Steward I worry about in the other direction - his top speed is good but he's tall and has a rangy stride, which I think hinders his acceleration. I've said before that he needs to do what Brown did and work on changing to a shorter stride pattern over the first 10-20m. However, his ability to eat up the ground is good.

England probably need to worry most about Hogg counterattacking, or Russell getting the ball outside the defence to one of the wingers.

Scotland need to worry about England's support lines. Because the entire backline is pretty pacy, any kind of break with someone in support is going to be dangerous. Johnson and Harris will need to stop the attack in the centres - while knowing that if they commit too early or too late England can punish them. Smith and Slade forced exactly that kind of mistake from de Allende and Am for Quirke's try, and they will be trying to do that again against Scotland.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:13 pm

Poorfour wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
I suspect that Hogg might be the quickest overall but the England back line much quicker on average. As usual top end speed not is necessarily as significant as acceleration

Smith and Marchant both have particularly good acceleration and change of direction. There's also speed of thought - Marchant's ability to size up what's happening in a broken field or a loose ball situation and make a good choice about how to react shouldn't be underestimated. I don't think Daly and Malins are materially slower than Watson (though May is clearly quicker).

Steward I worry about in the other direction - his top speed is good but he's tall and has a rangy stride, which I think hinders his acceleration. I've said before that he needs to do what Brown did and work on changing to a shorter stride pattern over the first 10-20m. However, his ability to eat up the ground is good.

England probably need to worry most about Hogg counterattacking, or Russell getting the ball outside the defence to one of the wingers.

Scotland need to worry about England's support lines. Because the entire backline is pretty pacy, any kind of break with someone in support is going to be dangerous. Johnson and Harris will need to stop the attack in the centres - while knowing that if they commit too early or too late England can punish them. Smith and Slade forced exactly that kind of mistake from de Allende and Am for Quirke's try, and they will be trying to do that again against Scotland.

You see very few tall sprinters for a reason, the long limbs take time to get moving. It was a common sight for Usain Bolt to be behind after 20-30 metres and then come roaring through in the second half of a race to win comfortably. The longer limbs take time to reach top speed.

Steward lives in Loughborough and attends Loughborough University. He can join some of the Tigers development players that are based there and use the sprint groups at the track to work on his speed quite easily if he needs to. Dan Norton has joined Speed Works who have a base at Loughborough University as well should he want that rugby specific stuff. I strongly suspect he's working a lot on his footwork and speed. Given how he's brought more attacking aspects to his game since his debut.

Remember Brown is five inches shorter and more than a stone and a half lighter than Steward. It will have been far easier to find gains in Brown than Freddie especially as Freddie is likely to naturally bulk out a little more into his substantial frame. Steward isn't ever going to be rapid he is likely to end up with a weight well over 16 stone.

What Steward does particularly well is hit the line at speed, you saw that in his try Vs Australia. Absolutely motoring as he hit the line so Smith just had to hold the man and pop it into his hands. There's been very few occasions where Steward has been out of position so far in his career.

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Post by lostinwales Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:21 pm

According to wiki Steward is pushing 17 stone now

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:25 pm

Steward is pretty slow in back 3 terms, but it hasn't been an issue so far that I've noticed. His positioning is good so he manages to hide his lack of pace somewhat.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:33 pm

lostinwales wrote:According to wiki Steward is pushing 17 stone now

Tigers website has him a smidge under 16 stone. There's a lot of frame and he's doesn't look stacked currently so he could quite easily bulk out a little naturally over the next couple of years.

He isn't going to be considered quick by back three standards but his long stride eats up the ground in a deceptive way and his positioning is very good. The Tigers back three tends to have him and Nadolo in which isn't pace heavy but still has gone very well this season. Potter the pace option isn't top end May/Radwan/LRZ quick either but it works. At international level if we put a bit of speed around him then he has the power to offer something else to our attack, let's face it we very much lack players who can run hard. That's before we get to the cannon of a boot on the kid.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun Feb 06, 2022 12:12 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good stats KC....proves it's hardly his position. He struggles defensively at 13 imo....and can't catch at 15. He's proved to be best at wing for me.

Do you have evidence he can't defend at 13? That is of course a danger

We have now, he missed at least 3 tackles and dropped off one more yesterday.

Depending on who is fit, got to be Atkinson at 12 and Slade at 13 next week to give them a chance to gel against Italy before our first home match against Wales.
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Post by BamBam Sun Feb 06, 2022 12:28 pm

Tuilagi on the bench for Sale today so would not be surprised to see him back in swiftly

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Feb 06, 2022 12:29 pm

What to do abut Marchant? His version of Olé Defense for Scotland's first try was not good. Can Nowell last a full 80? Or even maybe just 60?

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Post by king_carlos Sun Feb 06, 2022 1:22 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good stats KC....proves it's hardly his position. He struggles defensively at 13 imo....and can't catch at 15. He's proved to be best at wing for me.

Do you have evidence he can't defend at 13? That is of course a danger

We have now, he missed at least 3 tackles and dropped off one more yesterday.

Depending on who is fit, got to be Atkinson at 12 and Slade at 13 next week to give them a chance to gel against Italy before our first home match against Wales.
I had one missed tackle from Daly. On Duhan, second half, around the Scotland 22m line in broken play. Duhan steps to get onto the weak shoulder and goes straight through the arm. Daly was lucky it resulted in an England penalty a few metres further up the field.

Where we the other ones you saw WPI? Due to the conversations in the build up I watched Daly very closely in defence and honestly thought he was solid. Two really good hits from kick offs. Also a very good covering tackle on Duhan in our own 22.

The midfield offered nothing once again in attack though. Just no ability to break the gain line in attack.

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Post by king_carlos Sun Feb 06, 2022 1:27 pm

doctor_grey wrote:What to do abut Marchant?  His version of Olé Defense for Scotland's first try was not good.  Can Nowell last a full 80?  Or even maybe just 60?  
Nowell's played 80 minutes 12 times this season so has shown everything he can at club level to prove fitness.

9.Quirke 10.Smith 11.Nowell 12.Atkinson/Tuilagi 13.Slade 14.Malins 15.Steward

21.Youngs 22.Ford 23.Marchant/Daly

I'd probably go for something like that against Italy. We need a carrier in the backs to straighten the line.

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Post by king_carlos Sun Feb 06, 2022 1:28 pm

I've said it many times but George Kruis remains an enormous loss. Our lineout in attack and defence was once a great strength. The lineout hasn't been a consistent weapon in attack for a while now and defensive lineouts have been an easy source of pens for the opposition.

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Post by sensisball Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:38 pm

As a Scotsman I was delighted at some of Jones's selections for this match. On a cold, damp February day i would have started Dombrandt at 8 and Atkinson at 13 to give the English attack some front foot ball.
Taking Smith off who was growing into the match for Ford ( not even in the original squad) was also a bizzarre sunstitution.
As king_c says, Kruise is a massive loss to the English lineout. I am not sure that Charlie Ewels iss even international class. Every game I watch him m play he seems to mess up: silly penalties or spilt ball (final lineout yesterday)

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Post by sensisball Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:41 pm

As a Scotsman I was delighted at some of Jones's selections for this match. On a cold, damp February day i would have started Dombrandt at 8 and Atkinson at 13 to give the English attack some front foot ball.
Taking Smith off who was growing into the match for Ford ( not even in the original squad) was also a bizarre substitution.
As king_c says, Kruise is a massive loss to the English lineout. I am not sure that Charlie Ewels is even international class. Every game I watch him play he seems to mess up: silly penalties or spilt ball (final lineout yesterday).
England should have won that game and the fact they didn't will be a concern to the coaches, players and all England fans.

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Post by lostinwales Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:53 pm

Given its Italy it might be well worth getting some genuine threat on the wings, so Nowell on one, OHC/Radwan/Lynagh(even) on the other and Malins on the bench.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:57 pm

Not that concerned. Even an under par performance in attack we should have won it. Bit unlucky at times. Tuilagi and luanchbury possibly to come back. Question on how Jones approaches things of course. He has 2 weeks really to prepare and get the players prepared. A fear is that he sees that we should have won yesterday and sticks.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun Feb 06, 2022 4:27 pm

king_carlos wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good stats KC....proves it's hardly his position. He struggles defensively at 13 imo....and can't catch at 15. He's proved to be best at wing for me.

Do you have evidence he can't defend at 13? That is of course a danger

We have now, he missed at least 3 tackles and dropped off one more yesterday.

Depending on who is fit, got to be Atkinson at 12 and Slade at 13 next week to give them a chance to gel against Italy before our first home match against Wales.
I had one missed tackle from Daly. On Duhan, second half, around the Scotland 22m line in broken play. Duhan steps to get onto the weak shoulder and goes straight through the arm. Daly was lucky it resulted in an England penalty a few metres further up the field.

Where we the other ones you saw WPI? Due to the conversations in the build up I watched Daly very closely in defence and honestly thought he was solid. Two really good hits from kick offs. Also a very good covering tackle on Duhan in our own 22.

The midfield offered nothing once again in attack though. Just no ability to break the gain line in attack.

KC, so be honest I picked it out of a Guardian article, espn have him at 2 missed and once turned over.

Not quite as bad, but not good. Especially as Scotland had hardly any attacks in the first half.

I would like to see Atkinson at 12 next week and if Manu is fit him at 12 for the Wales game as they will have had 2 weeks to prepare. Otherwise Slade and Marchant in the centre and two proper wings.
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Post by lostinwales Sun Feb 06, 2022 5:02 pm

Actually don't think Dombrandt would of made any difference. Simmonds has terrific acceleration and it showed. We did have everything except an actual cutting edge against a very stubborn defense.




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Post by king_carlos Sun Feb 06, 2022 5:09 pm

Fair. It's why I tend to ignore tackles made and missed as stats. They're near meaningless without context.

I watched the game back quickly earlier skipping through to just see England's defensive sets and I'd still have Daly at one missed.

There's another passage of broken play where Hogg steps past 3 players in quick succession and Daly's one of those so guess that might be the second ESPN have. It looks more a case of England just holding their shape rather than committing to a tackle and creating a dog leg though. Hogg gets stopped on the gain line, just about 10 metres to the right of where he started jinking about. Would be a harsh 'missed tackle' if so as just seems to be the defensive structure.

I'd have started Akinson against Scotland and probably would for Italy. England need someone capable of getting over the gain line in the backs now they've lost the go forward the Vunipola bros once offered around the fringes. Simmonds offered little more than Curry or Ludlam in the carry which was disappointing given England were clearly trying to manufacture him opportunities. Dombrandt was invisible at blindside, sadly.

Just couldn't create enough go forward to get quick, clean ball.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Feb 06, 2022 5:34 pm

king_carlos wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:What to do abut Marchant?  His version of Olé Defense for Scotland's first try was not good.  Can Nowell last a full 80?  Or even maybe just 60?  
Nowell's played 80 minutes 12 times this season so has shown everything he can at club level to prove fitness.

9.Quirke 10.Smith 11.Nowell 12.Atkinson/Tuilagi 13.Slade 14.Malins 15.Steward

21.Youngs 22.Ford 23.Marchant/Daly

I'd probably go for something like that against Italy. We need a carrier in the backs to straighten the line.

Very much agree with this. Get Quirke in there for more experience, Atkinson for go forward, Slade organising the defence from 13, I'm open as to who plays on the left wing could be either Nowell or Marchant for me.

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Post by cb Sun Feb 06, 2022 5:46 pm

Very baffled by lots of things: -

Marler taking a throw in and not bringing on George.
Dombrandt coming on, just as Smith was taken off.
Smith coming off per se.
Dombrandt playing blindside rather than 8 when he came on.
No use made of Randall even though I thought the passing from Youngs was very slow.
Isiekwe taken off, then we lost the next line-out.
Poor kicking to touch from penalties at the end. (Remember Slade's famous kick).
Playing a hooker on the wing.
Nowell coming with no time left.

The main reason we lost though was because when we had possession, we just keep kicking the ball away.

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