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The Calcutta Cup Saturday 5 Feb 2022

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Post by bsando Wed 19 Jan 2022, 7:10 pm

First topic message reminder :

Scotland vs England

BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Saturday 5th of February 2022
Kick Off 4:45pm

What the Coaches are saying

Gregor Townsend - "The players have been in outstanding form for their respective clubs.. and that is outstanding!" *tongue click*

Eddie Jones - "There are some young players getting an opportunity. They just need to make sure they don't get distracted or else they might not do so well."

Scotland Team

1. Sutherland 2. Turner 3. Z Fagerson
4. J Gray 5. Gilchrist
6. Ritchie 7. Watson 8. M Fagerson.
9. Price 10. Russell
12. Johnson 13. Harris
11. Van der Merwe 14. Graham
15. Hogg

Replacements: McInally, Schoeman, Nel, Skinner, M Bradbury, White, Kinghorn, Tuipulotu.

England Team

1. Genge 2. Cowan-Dickie 3. Sinckler
4. Itoje 5. Isiekwe
6. Ludlam 7. Curry (c) 8. Simmonds.
9. Youngs 10. Smith
12. Slade 13. Daly
11. Marchant 14. Malins
15. Steward

Replacements: George, Marler, Stuart, Ewels, Dombrandt, Randall, Ford, Nowell.


Last edited by bsando on Thu 03 Feb 2022, 3:12 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Post by bsando Sat 05 Feb 2022, 8:44 pm

What a game! So glad I went

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Post by Gooseberry Sat 05 Feb 2022, 8:45 pm

Jokes aside I think Smiths subdued performance was partly down to him wanting to be seen to be following the gamneplan, and able to play a more structured game against tighter international defences. Scotland have arguably been the best defensive team in the NH over the past year or so, the stats from the last 6 nations they flashed up at the start were startling.

England also as a whole seemed to be playing very prescriptively from through the backs. Kicking through and trying to turn the Scottish defenders seemed to be the go to option for short cutting phases of possession to get territory and trying to pressure Scotland into mistakes in their own 22 (familiar stuff!). Having Daly 3 kickers in the middle and two lanky players out wide, pretty clear they were looking for the cross-field kicks.

There were signs it could work, but didn't really ...aside from territory it wasn't generating what really mattered, tries. The try they did get was maul, pass run. No kick. And the one time we saw some real spark from Smith.

As Scotland have with Russell they need time with Smith to get the balance right. Its a huge credit to both Townsend and Russell that they managed to renegotiate their relationship and get the best from him, hes an improved player for the experience ...and the coach was happy to pariuse his ganme management.

Hopefully getting the best from Smith and an England attack that isn't over prescriptive whilst also having the decision making and patience to play to plan, and pounce on opportunities to do the wild stuff when its right. And hopefully it wont be as painful as Russells second coming.

Its pretty clear he was bought off at the end because Jones didnt entirely trust him to close out a tight game.The bench was packed with experienced heads to do that and hopefully avoid exactly the kind of moment LCD had, although again he never should have been left hanging out on the wing and (I think it was Marchant?) getting goosed on the opposite side was pretty bad too.

Not sure where this leaves England really, there was a lot that was good. But they didnt get the points they shouldve from the early possession, and to my mind thats because their attacking play wasnt right to unlock scotlands excellent defence. Maybe if it had been wetter and wilder the kicks wouldve been harder to field and more handling errors by scotland in their 22.

I doubt it will fundamentally change Englands approach, selections or Jones' plans yet.

Farrells not coming back into the equation so its up to Curry to show he deserves the captaincy.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sat 05 Feb 2022, 8:52 pm

Tough game for England, clearly the better side for much of the match but we stayed at the task and took our points.

There were some really silly penalties we conceded and our discipline has to tighten up if we are going to have a go at this. Smith's try comes from a new front row coming on for Scotland and getting pinged for early engagement. Against Ireland and France, we can't get away giving up 40m every few minutes.

Our bench probably ended up bringing more impact than the England. After Johnson was saying at half time about Nowell bringing X-factor, he gets 30 seconds. Ewels came on with 5 minutes to go. Did Randall get on at all? That is half the bench having no opportunity to impact the game. In contrast, we replaced our front row early and everyone else bar Kinghorn got 15-20 minutes.

For England, I reckon the balance in the centres was off and there is no point having baby sitters like Slade at 12 and Daly at 13. See how Atkinson gets on at 12 with Marchant at 13 against Italy. Also, what is the point having a centre at wing if there are 5 (or more) wings in the squad? T Curry was MOTM for me, I thought he led an excellent England forward effort but he is not really a captain when it comes to speaking to the ref. It may come in time.

For us, our set piece was generally solid. Our scrums were a mixed bag and we will have to review what went wrong before France and Ireland. Gilchrist and J Gray do not work well in tandem (I will repeat ad nauseum), Skinner or Cummings have to start next week. Hopefully Ritchie is only a short term problem with Bradbury getting a chance and probably Darge or Christie to bench. Our wings were excellent and Russell generally did not get too frustrated and played cleverly. M Fagerson according to ESPN stats finished with a match-high 16 tackles, 6 carries for 33m and 2 defenders beaten. It was not a bad performance though, as said above, T Curry probably was the best player on the park.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sat 05 Feb 2022, 9:50 pm

Fair play to Scotland they took their chances. There is a lot to like about that team and the players as individuals.
England with the possession and territory stats should have had more points but if you don't take them.....etc etc.

I am not going to mention the SH ref, except he bottled those last scrums. He was right in front of Marler who had Nel desperately trying to avoid scrummaging and an unacceptable number of the lineouts were also joke, but that's the game.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 05 Feb 2022, 10:48 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:O'Keefe definitely didn't want to give a penalty at the end, but I'm not sure that makes him a bottler. Scrums were a mess all day, with neither side particularly interested in scrummaging legally from what I could see. I thought the call on the ante-penultimate scrum (the one where England actually did go forward) was actually correct: the Marler-Nel side went down first, before the shove, so a reset the right call, but 99% of the time you see that given as a penalty.

Then again, I thought England got the rub of the green for most of the second half, until the penalty try, after which things evened out a bit more. Certainly the line-out that led directly to England's try was very not straight.

But overall I actually quite liked O'Keefe as a ref: thought he managed the game well, with a good balance between allowing decent flow and not letting things become a free-for-all.

I only thought he bottled it because at most stages of the game O'Keefe would give an England penalty in that scenario. If it were the 5th minute or the 25th, no doubt that he whistles for an England penalty. He didn't want to do it and effectively decide the result through that decision.

I do agree that it's almost an impossible game to referee now. There's far too many law changes, the scrum has been a joke for so long, and as you say the pace and intensity of games in the modern age make it an uphill task for any referee.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Sat 05 Feb 2022, 10:49 pm

We shouldn't be too down - with a bit of luck I think we can improve on last years 5th. 4th place is definitely within England's grasp. Just maybe.

I would query putting a hooker to defend a high ball to the wing though - especially one who's last thought is to actually catch the ball.
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Post by RDW Sat 05 Feb 2022, 11:38 pm

A close game but ultimately I think Scotland got more key moments right than England, and that was the difference.

I think questions will rightly be asked of England's tactics to kick so much in Scotland's 22 - international rugby is all about building pressure and England were kicking it away before any pressure could come. Those kicks were hail Mary's whereas if they'd kept the ball and gone through more phases it could have led to more pens, potential cards and tries.

On key moments, I'd like to flag the scrum before the penalty try as one. First of all to go for a scrum was a bold call given they'd been a lottery all game. The key moment from me.came from Nel - him and Marler went down but Nel used his strength to bring them back up and make the scrum happened and the ball came out.

Obviously LCD volleyball attempt was a stupid thing to do but again questions have to be asked of coaching - why was he in that position in the first place? An organised defence should have made sure there were back 3 players defending cross field kicks. Especially given Finn Russell and cross field kicks shouldn't have come as much of a surprise.

Next key moment was getting Marler to take the throw in. Calm heads would have brought George on to secure possession. That was a complete shambles.

Being very picky here Watson's neck roll at the end was completely needless given we had an advantage already that almost certainly would have put the game to bed. We got away with it this time, but championship moments can hang on these things - if you get a pen advantage in that scenario, kill the ball and take the points.

Finally in the ref, I watched that trying to be as objective as I could and I thought he had a good game overall. As the old cliché goes you can look at every ruck and give a penalty to either team. We talk a lot about the best refs having a good 'feel' for the game. The scrum had been an absolute shambles all game and I don't think either front row was clearly on top across the game. He obviously didn't want to end the game on a scrum pen which is a lottery at the most of times. Of course if this happened against us I might have seen it differently!

In 6 weeks time this will all.be forgotten though and where we find ourselves by that point all comes down to being able to back up with another win next week IMO.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 06 Feb 2022, 12:46 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:Fair play to Scotland they took their chances. There is a lot to like about that team and the players as individuals.
England with the possession and territory stats should have had more points but if you don't take them.....etc etc.

I am not going to mention the SH ref, except he bottled those last scrums. He was right in front of Marler who had Nel desperately trying to avoid scrummaging and an unacceptable number of the lineouts were also joke, but that's the game.

I am still processing the game. On the lineouts - not straight seemed to be standard.

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Post by Heaf Sun 06 Feb 2022, 1:48 am

Scrums, line-outs and breakdown - all poorly officiated with errors both ways.

I also wonder about the mentality of some officials that don't seem to want to award a penalty near the end of a match for apparent fear of affecting the result.  Firstly not giving a pen for that reason is in fact affecting the result, so defeats the object of their actions, and secondly a penalty on 5 minutes is worth the same as a penalty on 75 minutes.  Time left on the clock or field position shouldn't make a difference.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 6:32 am

On reflection the use of the bench by Jones still has me scratching my head. Why take Smith off? Why leave Youngs on? Why not sub on George for a lineout deep in your own half? Why put Nowell on with the game in added time?

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Post by Geordie Sun 06 Feb 2022, 7:17 am

Not much fun when youur a falcon and England fan

I feckin hate the jocks winning....and my Scottish mother happily reminds me.....

Tome for the English to have a referendum....

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Post by yappysnap Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:08 am

Can we just bin youngs now please? Yes Smith had an average game like the rest of the backs but Youngs was just poor, and for a guy with over 100 caps you can't afford that. He should be the leadership and experience to decide tight games like that, instead he made it that tight.

The first 10 mins of the game he puts in 1 good kick, but also 2 really poor kicks a few terrible passes either behind players or falling away from them and then gets him self late to a ruck in the wrong position and kills all momentum.

Never has a player deserved 100 caps less.

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Post by RDW Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:19 am

Surely one of EJs biggest failings as coach is not developing the next generation at 9.

Which current player outside of Youngs, Care and Wigglesworth has the most caps and how many? I'm guessing it won't be a high number

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Post by RDW Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:29 am

Worth saying that Townsend is also guilty of the same crime - since Laidlaw retired ( Crying or Very sad ) Ali Price has pretty much been our only option with a host of others on a a small number of caps behind.

Indeed if Price was ruled out of the rest of the 6N we'd be in real trouble, as his replacement would have significantly less experience and ability at Test level.

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Post by BigGee Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:37 am

Losing last summers games has not helped Scotland in that regard, as some of the youngsters would have played then. Now they are likely to have to wait till next summer, when Price will surely get a break.

Maybe Toonie is now looking past George Horne, who was our other experienced player and sees White, who had an assured debut and maybe Dobie as the future. Younger players than Horne and Vellacott who maybe have more potential as game managers than the other two.

It will be interesting to see who he picks over the rest of this 6N and whether he does give Vellacott a run off the bench to see what he really is like st this level.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:42 am

Yes, on the subject of scrum halves. I see Townsend had recruited another England U20 test captain ( Bayliss is the other).
I fully realise some will/may see this as bitter, but surely in international sport if you accept selection by an international side, then you have stated your allegiance. This idea that 'youngsters' can swap when approached is acceptable is bizarre particularly when you have beaten sides of your new adopted professional selection. To have one grandparent out of four to qualify is vague at best.
I see Ireland have just selected an Aussie U20 star, although I suppose he is in Ireland.

The granny rule should also be scrapped by World Rugby but won't because the votes required are from Unions who benefit.

I wonder if Redpath would have accepted England selection if it had barred subsequent scottish selection ?and we will never know the views of scottish U20 centres who came through the scottish system and then over looked.

It really is a strange set of circumstances and perhaps a remnant of the amateur era.

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Post by yappysnap Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:55 am

RDW wrote:Surely one of EJs biggest failings as coach is not developing the next generation at 9.

Which current player outside of Youngs, Care and Wigglesworth has the most caps and how many? I'm guessing it won't be a high number

Sticking with youngs has certainly been one of his biggest failings. A guy who plays terribly, threatens to be dropped and picks his game up slightly before limping along as an average player before playing terrible again.

After those three I guess either Robson or Randall or bizarrely Heinz which is a crime in and of itself.

It's not just Youngs though he was poop but the centre combo were also predictably poor and Marchant really struggled at key moments. The subs as well were used terribly. I expect small changes for the next game and Youngs will limp along for a while yet. I wish he'd kept eating those sweets, with his hands he'd be in the top 5 for best passing props at least (on a good day).

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Post by Northgrill Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:06 am

Itoje is a very good player when he gets everything right. But when he gets it wrong he's a penalty machine. It's been an issue for years and one which I think he gets an easy ride about.

His disciplinary issues become evident when England don't have things their own way on the pitch. He pushes too much and gets in the bad side of referees quickly. You expect your locks and backrows to give away penalties. Half their job is to delve into the niggly elements of the game and try and cheat to gain an advantage. But Itoje makes so many ill disciplined errors that he actively hurts the side at times.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:07 am

In some respects Jones has hindered the depth of nine. I have a tiny bit of acceptance that we've never had top quality coming through in those early days of his reign. Saying that Spencer should have been used far more for me. And there's little excuse now with the likes of Mitchell, Randall, v P, Quirke really knocking on the door.

Italy next up so should be comfortable and does give Jones a chance to change things up. Tuilagi is back but there's also other options in midfield.

On a positive note Proudfoot and Cockerill would be pretty pleased with the pack yesterday.

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Post by BigGee Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:15 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:Yes, on the subject of scrum halves. I see Townsend had recruited another England U20 test captain ( Bayliss is the other).
I fully realise some will/may see this as bitter, but surely in international sport if you accept selection by an international side, then you have stated your allegiance. This idea that 'youngsters' can swap when approached is acceptable is bizarre particularly when you have beaten sides of your new adopted professional selection. To have one grandparent out of four to qualify is vague at best.
I see Ireland have just selected an Aussie U20 star, although I suppose he is in Ireland.

The granny rule should also be scrapped by World Rugby but won't because the votes required are from Unions who benefit.

I wonder if Redpath would have accepted England selection if it had barred subsequent scottish selection ?and we will never know the views of scottish U20 centres who came through the scottish system and then over looked.

It really is a strange set of circumstances and perhaps a remnant of the amateur era.


This discussion has been done to death many times and the timing of what you said is not great and could easily be misinterpreted as bad losing. Would you have come out with that had England won, which they very nearly did.

Lots of people have multiple identities and allegiances these days, my own kids have three English, Scottish and Italian and are proud of all of them.


What would tying in players at U20, U18 or U16 achieve really?

Probably a lot of players who would never get the chance to play international rugby and an international game that would be weaker and poorer for it. All teams, England despite their massive resources, included use the rules when it suits them.


Did England ever show any interest in picking White or Bayliss as full internationals? If they felt that they had the potential then they surely had that option.


You make it sound like it is all one way traffic when it is not, Randall and Rodd have chosen England for example, when they could have gone for Wales and Scotland.


Yesterday was a cracking game of rugby with two great sides competing hard. All the players who played in it have made their choices now and they should be respected.

What was not to like?

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:23 am

Spencer is a weird one: on the face of it he seems to have many of the qualities you want from your modern SH, including an excellent kicking game, decent sniping, and very good support lines. Yet he took a very long time to establish himself as number one even at club level, and hasn't really had any opportunities for England. You do wonder if there's more going on behind the scenes there, or if there's just something we're missing that top coaches aren't.

But yes, Jones's failure to give game time to other 9s has been well documented. Coupled with Care being put out to pasture, it's resulted in a huge vacuum below Youngs, which is not ideal. Scotland do have a similar issue, albeit it's only since Laidlaw's retirement that Price has established himself as first choice. But Horne has gone backwards over the last couple of years, and others haven't nailed down the position yet. Dobie looks a prospect, but isn't getting enough game time at Glasgow. White and Velacott also look decent options to be fair.

England's options I'm less sure about. Not convinced by Randall/Mitchell. Quirke seems the best of the bunch, and has possibly been identified by Jones as Youngs's likeliest successor.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:24 am

BigGee wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:Yes, on the subject of scrum halves. I see Townsend had recruited another England U20 test captain ( Bayliss is the other).
I fully realise some will/may see this as bitter, but surely in international sport if you accept selection by an international side, then you have stated your allegiance. This idea that 'youngsters' can swap when approached is acceptable is bizarre particularly when you have beaten sides of your new adopted professional selection. To have one grandparent out of four to qualify is vague at best.
I see Ireland have just selected an Aussie U20 star, although I suppose he is in Ireland.

The granny rule should also be scrapped by World Rugby but won't because the votes required are from Unions who benefit.

I wonder if Redpath would have accepted England selection if it had barred subsequent scottish selection ?and we will never know the views of scottish U20 centres who came through the scottish system and then over looked.

It really is a strange set of circumstances and perhaps a remnant of the amateur era.


This discussion has been done to death many times and the timing of what you said is not great and could easily be misinterpreted as bad losing. Would you have come out with that had England won, which they very nearly did.

Lots of people have multiple identities and allegiances these days, my own kids have three English, Scottish and Italian and are proud of all of them.


What would tying in players at U20, U18 or U16 achieve really?

Probably a lot of players who would never get the chance to play international rugby and an international game that would be weaker and poorer for it. All teams, England despite their massive resources, included use the rules when it suits them.


Did England ever show any interest in picking White or Bayliss as full internationals? If they felt that they had the potential then they surely had that option.


You make it sound like it is all one way traffic when it is not, Randall and Rodd have chosen England for example, when they could have gone for Wales and Scotland.


Yesterday was a cracking game of rugby with two great sides competing hard. All the players who played in it have made their choices now and they should be respected.

What was not to like?

Yes you are right about timing - not best. I understand how it looks.
I have not participated in any previous U20 topics. I probably became more aware of it when Bayliss and Redpath accepted scottish selection whilst at Bath, where there is a policy of promoting or recruiting EQ players.

Thus feels like a strange anomaly for the sport.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:33 am

I could or should add my daughter could represent England or Scotland at sport and I would be very proud either way. I wouldn't however expect her to swap allegiance, as that wouldn't be right.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:42 am

I'm not a huge fan of swapping senior sides. I didn't like it when we had Hape swapping to us albeit different sports. But these guys are all fine. Its not as if you have the same qualification for u20s. Dombrandt for jnstance played for Wales and has never qualified to play for the senior side.

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Post by BigGee Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:46 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:I could or should add my daughter could represent England or Scotland at sport and I would be very proud either way. I wouldn't however expect her to swap allegiance, as that wouldn't be right.


I think it would be easy for any of us to make that kind of judgement when it is a purely hypothetical question. It is something I have thought of as well, not that any of my kids are likely to be international athletes.

The reality is that it is likely to be a difficult and complicated question for them, especially for someone like Redpath, who was clearly good enough to have played for England but had a father who was captain of Scotland and a very Scottish family and it was clearly something he thought long and hard about.

I am sure as parents, we would all back our kids 100% whatever decisions they made and sometimes as elite athletes they have to make career defining choices. It is there choice at the end of the day.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:On reflection the use of the bench by Jones still has me scratching my head. Why take Smith off?  Why leave Youngs on? Why not sub on George for a lineout deep in your own half? Why put Nowell on with the game in added time?

Agree. Jones got a lot wrong.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 06 Feb 2022, 10:05 am

I did chuckle a little (I'm not even sure why really) when Scotland brought on their 2 South African props at the same time.....(with one being shaped pretty much like a box I might add) and then Tuipulotu a few minutes later. It was like a England v World XV out there!

This is in no ways a criticism by the way, it was more the whole timing of it.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 06 Feb 2022, 10:59 am

I am still trying to work out why Smith was taken off and Ford brought on in place of him.
I thought the idea of Ford being on the bench was not for Smith/to replace smith, but for Daily or Slade and it
start a Ford Smith partnership.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 06 Feb 2022, 11:02 am

majesticimperialman wrote:I am still trying to work out why Smith was taken off and Ford brought on in place of him.
I thought the idea of Ford being on the bench was not for Smith/to replace smith, but for Daily or Slade and it
 start a Ford Smith partnership.

It was another extremely odd decision from EJ. Ford is clearly 3rd choice now and seemingly not the future.....Surely it would have made sense to allow Smith to experience the pressure of this game, what did he get from going off? I'm really at a loss with some of the calls from Jones of late.

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Post by RDW Sun 06 Feb 2022, 11:08 am

Especially when some of Ford's penalty kicks to touch were pretty lame

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 11:12 am

Yeah. Given Slade was on the pitch as well seemed odd. Guess Ford was trying to take responsibility and lead. It was all a bit safe for me. Scotland were there for the taking. I remember back to seeing George and Care etc come on and kill games. Where was it.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 06 Feb 2022, 11:13 am

RDW wrote:Especially when some of Ford's penalty kicks to touch were pretty lame

The one at the end was particularly poor. England had won a penalty just beyond the 40 meter line, not particularly central. Ford's kick didn't even take them into the 22, so a gain of less than 20 meters. I did wonder if England could have tried to kick the penalty (Daly had the range even if Ford didn't), but having chosen to go for touch it was a very poor kick. Also agree that it was odd that Slade stopped taking the kicks to touch.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 06 Feb 2022, 11:50 am

I thought Scotland played very well and thoroughly deserved the win. Put England under pressure to force mistakes, especially the mistakes leading to the two tries. Toonie must have a well earned hangover this morning.....

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Post by takethelongroad Sun 06 Feb 2022, 12:00 pm

Overall a tough game to watch! I think that when both sides feel the referee was hindering them it reflects more on inaccuracies / inconsistency by the ref. So as here when supporters from both teams claim he murdered their team, he was probably just having a bad day.

Good to hold out with no ball and i am certain WP Nel made a difference that perhaps other replacements we have used in the past could not have provided. I remain unconvinced by Z.Fagerson and hope to see what others do in the remaining games. My pre-match thoughts were that Graham and M.Fagerson were weaknesses and shouldn’t be out there - that was clearly wrong!

Losing jamie ritchie is a worry. If josh adams is persisted with at 13 i would love to see Marc bennett on the bench to open things up in the last quarter next week. This time it’s a chance to correct last years failings and keep the momentum up.  Lets see how it goes.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 06 Feb 2022, 12:10 pm

I doubt we will see Josh Adams in the centres again.  A top level wing he is, not so much in the centres.  After his yellow he came back on and (I think) was on the wing.  I thought there was a very noticeable difference between the impact from the Scotland subs and England subs.  Nel changed the pressure in the scrums significantly.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 06 Feb 2022, 12:17 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Yes, on the subject of scrum halves. I see Townsend had recruited another England U20 test captain ( Bayliss is the other).
I fully realise some will/may see this as bitter, but surely in international sport if you accept selection by an international side, then you have stated your allegiance. This idea that 'youngsters' can swap when approached is acceptable is bizarre particularly when you have beaten sides of your new adopted professional selection. To have one grandparent out of four to qualify is vague at best.
I see Ireland have just selected an Aussie U20 star, although I suppose he is in Ireland.

The granny rule should also be scrapped by World Rugby but won't because the votes required are from Unions who benefit.

I wonder if Redpath would have accepted England selection if it had barred subsequent scottish selection ?and we will never know the views of scottish U20 centres who came through the scottish system and then over looked.

It really is a strange set of circumstances and perhaps a remnant of the amateur era.

Leatherbarrow was born in Macclesfield I believe...

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Post by milkyboy Sun 06 Feb 2022, 1:33 pm

Top class sport is often decided by fine margins - to me it was a game where Scotland defended really well and took their chances in a game England should really still have won. So the upshot is talking about a great performance by Scotland, and nitpicking about things England could have done better. A few of those key moments go the other way and we're talking about a pretty dominant england performance, and what Scotland need to do to rebuild.

Well done Scotland for winning those key moments and getting the result, but as an Englishman I thought despite our consistent shootinfootitis there was cause for optimisim in the performance.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 06 Feb 2022, 1:57 pm

To be fair given the fact that England was missing both Vunipolas, Farrell, Lawes, i was surprised  how close the score line was...i was think that because Scotland was the more settled side they would give us a drubbing, like Ireland gave Wales yesterday.
Fans go on about Fin Russel, sure  he is a good player no doubt about that....but i truly believe he only came in to his form when Cowan Dickie was sin binned, and Smith was taken off.

Still Well played Scotland a win is a win and you deserved the win.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 2:58 pm

Only missing Lawes and Farrell on that list. The others just not chosen.

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Post by bsando Sun 06 Feb 2022, 6:20 pm

Darcy Graham was fantastic once again. His pace and footwork for the White try and then getting up to catch the Russell cross field kick was vital for winning the penalty try. Had he been further back or not positioned correctly perhaps the ref and TMO decide that it’s just a penalty and yellow card. Little things in international rugby.

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Post by R!skysports Sun 06 Feb 2022, 6:30 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I am still trying to work out why Smith was taken off and Ford brought on in place of him.
I thought the idea of Ford being on the bench was not for Smith/to replace smith, but for Daily or Slade and it
 start a Ford Smith partnership.

I actually did not think Smith had a great game

Missed a easy penalty, an important touch (from a penalty) and shovelled a ball about the wingers head. With that amount of possession he really did not make much of it.

A great talent but not a great day (I know there is a bit of a love in for him just now). Just imagine if Russel did just one of those Wink

Over all I still think we were a bit lucky to win that and will put it on the Smash and grab win

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 06 Feb 2022, 7:48 pm

R!skysports wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I am still trying to work out why Smith was taken off and Ford brought on in place of him.
I thought the idea of Ford being on the bench was not for Smith/to replace smith, but for Daily or Slade and it
 start a Ford Smith partnership.

I actually did not think Smith had a great game

Missed a easy penalty, an important touch (from a penalty) and shovelled a ball about the wingers head. With that amount of possession he really did not make much of it.

A great talent but not a great day (I know there is a bit of a love in for him just now). Just imagine if Russel did just one of those Wink

Over all I still think we were a bit lucky to win that and will put it on the Smash and grab win

I dont think he was that great either but think he was hampered somewhat by wanting to play to plan. Theres an obvious element with all the England back play, right up till they were desperately scrambling to save the game in the last few minutes, that they seemed to have a pretty set pattern and tactics of looking for kicks to turn the defenders or the classic England crossfield kick (two tall guys outside and err Malins) rather than passing out wide or trying to run through opponents. The one opportunity Smith did get to run at a gap he did and took it well, albeit the hardwork having been done elsewhere to create that huge hole.
But mostly he seem somewhat inhibited, which kinda makes sense. There isnt the same scope to go wild in test rugby, certainly not when scores are tight and against an extremely strong defence (although you could argue trying to force something is exactly whats needed against Scotland). But no question hes under pressure to prove to Jones he can play to plan and manage a game to script, same stuff Russell had to take on board to become the more mature rounded player on display since his rebirth. Just feels like Russells further along that experience and mutual trust road than Smith is, no longer afraid hes going to lose his place and comfortable to know when he can/should go off script. Its notable Scotland cut loose a bit more when they were chasing the game.

The kicking error might've been what got him replaced, but I'd suggest more it was a preplanned move by Jones to get the experienced leaders on to close out the game, not showing full trust in Smiths maturity. And if he knew thats the case, as with previous Jones ramblings about Sushi and need Farrell to manage the game for him, its understandable that Smith would not be his usual fully confident self. Jones has such a fearsome reputation for making hard decisions on players, hes gonna be focused on trying to not to do the sort of things that got Cipriani ditched regardless of how skilfully he played.

It wasnt a blemish free performance, and he did look subdued. I just hope we can see Jones and him building that trust and confidence up and we can get the best of both worlds as displayed by Russell. I can see how England were trying to go about the game, but it felt a bit too prescriptive again. This seems to be a feature of the Jones era


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Post by alive555 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:49 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:To be fair given the fact that England was missing both Vunipolas, Farrell, Lawes, i was surprised  how close the score line was...i was think that because Scotland was the more settled side they would give us a drubbing, like Ireland gave Wales yesterday.
Fans go on about Fin Russel, sure  he is a good player no doubt about that....but i truly believe he only came in to his form when Cowan Dickie was sin binned, and Smith was taken off.

Still Well played Scotland a win is a win and you deserved the win.

Russell was arguably the best player on the park over the whole game,, not just the last 12 minutes or so.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 06 Feb 2022, 8:53 pm

Then how come he did not get MOM?

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Post by Mr Bounce Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:08 pm

I have to say that I was quite surprised that Scotland did not win by a much bigger margin. This was an England side shorn of numerous players. Although they had a lot of potential there was a real sense of unfamiliarity about them, and it certainly showed. It took an absolute Brain-f4rt to get Scotland back in the game. Let's not forget that England were 7 points up at this point - if Cowan-Dickie had caught it etc it could have been a very different story. The English had a tough task - beating a settled Scotland side at Murrayfield is always very difficult - with such an unfamiliar team it was unlikely. To come within 3 points, while not ideal, was surprising for me. Scotland played well, but were very defensive and could have done a lot more.

I think taking Smith off was a mistake. He wasn't at his best, and as stated above he'd made some errors but he was still making a impact; Ford for all his experience and supposed form was just not good enough on the day. Malins I feel should have been replaced by Nowell much earlier. I noticed that for all his passing rather than kicking, Youngs seemed to be getting slower and slower to the breakdown. I can't help but think that having Randall introduced at 60 could have helped with the pace of the game (if not the clearance kicking - not his strong point).

There were some plus points for me though. Curry was everywhere and was tackling well - it seems that being made the Captain has extinguished any petulance he had. Up to LCD's balls-up we had barely had any penalties against in the 2nd half. Ludlam was superb. He was carrying like a man possessed and tackling like a demon. Isiekwe, whilst not standing out, did not have a bad game and was a better choice than Ewels would have been.

Next time out? No Daly - he simply did not do enough for me. Slade for all his versatility did not gel well with Daly - he's not a natural 12, as much as I thought he would or could be. I think next week Tuilagi may well be back in the squad. I would also like to see at least one real winger rather than 2 utility players. I also believe Dombrandt should start, if only for familiarity with Smith. My 23?

Genge, LCD, Sinckler, Itoje, Isiekwe, Ludlam, Curry, Dombrandt, Youngs (unfortunately Eddie won't change him); Smith, Marchant, Tuilagi, Slade, Nowell, Steward. Replacements: George, Rodd, Heyes, Ewels (would like to see Launchbury but it won't happen), Simmonds, Randall/Quirke, Ford, Malins.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:20 pm

I would like to see one of either Quirke, starts Randall on the bench and Youngs dropping out of the squad

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Post by RDW Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:54 pm

Genuine question here and not on the wind up at all - it seems that the English press, media and even EJ himself in the lead up to the game seem to have accepted that England losing was a real possibility and if that happened then it wasn't a complete catastrophe.

Surely the recent World Cup finalists, 3rd ranked team in the world, 2020 Champions with recent win over the reigning World Champions shouldn't be so accepting as A) potentially seeing themselves as underdogs and B) it not being classed as a disaster if they lose.

Never, ever in my life have I known England rugby to have that mindset! EJ may have seen it as putting pressure on Scotland, but really he was already giving his players (and himself) an out if they lost.

Yes England were missing players, but 10 of those who did play were involved in the World Cup final. Depending on what source you go to, England have over 100,000 more adult male rugby players than Scotland. We have 2 pro teams - England has 13, plus semi pro in the lower levels. Scotland have never won the 6N.

Obviously it's nice that Scotland are being respected and taken seriously, I just find it staggering that this result has almost been accepted by England. For me England should be aiming much, much higher and is it not a worry for the fans that this seems to be the case?


Last edited by RDW on Sun 06 Feb 2022, 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by alive555 Sun 06 Feb 2022, 9:56 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Then how come he did not get MOM?

Because the sponsor chooses the MOM, it's just one person's opinion. It was probably a toss up between Fagerson and Russell. That's why I said arguably.

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Post by Heaf Mon 07 Feb 2022, 12:08 am

RDW wrote:Genuine question here and not on the wind up at all - it seems that the English press, media and even EJ himself in the lead up to the game seem to have accepted that England losing was a real possibility and if that happened then it wasn't a complete catastrophe.

Surely the recent World Cup finalists, 3rd ranked team in the world, 2020 Champions with recent win over the reigning World Champions shouldn't be so accepting as A) potentially seeing themselves as underdogs and B) it not being classed as a disaster if they lose.

Never, ever in my life have I known England rugby to have that mindset! EJ may have seen it as putting pressure on Scotland, but really he was already giving his players (and himself) an out if they lost.

Yes England were missing players, but 10 of those who did play were involved in the World Cup final. Depending on what source you go to, England have over 100,000 more adult male rugby players than Scotland. We have 2 pro teams - England has 13, plus semi pro in the lower levels. Scotland have never won the 6N.

Obviously it's nice that Scotland are being respected and taken seriously, I just find it staggering that this result has almost been accepted by England. For me England should be aiming much, much higher and is it not a worry for the fans that this seems to be the case?

The problem is you're dammed either way - when England have shown the attitude you describe in the past everyone said they were "The Arrogant English".

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Post by RDW Mon 07 Feb 2022, 12:53 am

A valid point Heaf. I'm of course not meaning that England should have been defiant/angry in the post-match interviews and saying it's an outrage they lost (I actually thought England showed great sportsmanship after the final whistle and in the interviews).

I guess this is part of a bigger discussion on EJ's reign. For me England should always be looking to win the 6N (which they may well still do) and be at the business end of world cups. 2 years ago they were there yet produced such a muddled performance at the weekend, where long-standing gripes from the fans were still evident. Of course this may be part of a master plan to not peak too early and build towards the next WC.

As a Scotland fan I've just never known a Calcutta Cup match to be so accepting of Scotland potentially being favourites and also not a surprise that they won. Thinking back to all the great England teams over the years I just find it very strange!

The important point here I guess is that England are generally operating at the same level as they always do and have done over the years - the difference now is Scotland's level is now much higher than it has ever been in the 6N period.

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