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6 Nations Round 2 - Italy v England

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 08 Feb 2022, 4:20 am

First topic message reminder :

Italy vs England

Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Sunday 13th of February 2022
Kick Off - 3pm


Italy Team

Padovani; Mori, Brex, Zanon, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Petro Ceccarelli, Cannone, Ruzza, Steyn, Lamaro (capt), Halafihi.

Replacements: Faiva, Traore, Pasquali, Sisi, Negri, Pettinelli, Fusco, Marin.


England Team

Steward; Malins, Marchant, Slade, Nowell; Smith, Randall; Genge, George, Stuart, Ewels, Isiekwe, Itoje, Curry (capt), Dombrandt.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Sinckler, Chessum, Simmonds, Youngs, Ford, Daly.


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 11 Feb 2022, 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by majesticimperialman Wed 09 Feb 2022, 8:49 pm

Likely squad for this week ends game.

Forwards: Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Curry (Sale Sharks), Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ewels (Bath Rugby), Genge (Leicester Tigers), George (Saracens), Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Isiekwe (Saracens), Itoje (Saracens), Marler (Harlequins), Rodd (Sale Sharks), Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Sinckler (Bristol Bears), Stuart (Bath Rugby)

Backs: Daly (Saracens), Ford (Leicester Tigers), Malins (Saracens), Marchant (Harlequins), Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Randall (Bristol Bears), Radwan (Newcastle), Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Smith (Harlequins), Steward (Leicester Tigers), Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 09 Feb 2022, 9:10 pm

...Jesus.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 09 Feb 2022, 9:21 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:...Jesus.
Nah.  Eddie Jones left him out of the squad.  Too old.  Also, EJ doesn't want the meek inheriting the earth.  Wants Test Match animals.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 10 Feb 2022, 12:38 am

Bleurgh. The backs in that squad depress me.

Forwards wise, well I'd rather Launchbury get 80 minutes with Wasps the next two weeks before Wales at Twickenham. I'd also obviously rather Lawes not be risked until 100%.

As a Tigers fan I'm biased but I'd love Heyes to get a start. I think he's a much brighter talent than Stuart and we direly need a reserve TH to push Sinckler.

1.Marler 2.George 3.Heyes 4.Itoje 5.Ewels 6.Isiekwe 7.Curry (c) 8.Dombrandt
9.Youngs 10.Smith 11.Nowell 12.Slade 13.Marchant 14.Radwan 15.Steward

16.Cowan-Dickie 17.Genge 18.Sinckler 19.Chessum 20.Simmonds 21.Randall 22.Ford 23.Malins

That's probably what I'd pick from that squad. I'd much prefer Atkinson at 12 as some form of hard carrier, keep Slade at 13.

No, I'm not benching LCD as punishment for good play from Russell isolating him defensively leading to a brain fart. As mentioned in other threads I think our forward subs have massively lacked impact for a while. I'd love to see LCD trialed in a Malcolm Marx type role where he comes on after around 45 minutes with clear instructions to really lift the physicality in the forwards.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 10 Feb 2022, 1:14 am

Players dropping out

Lawes
Launchbury (not up to speed yet?)
Barbeary
Pearson

Backs
Atkinson
Furbank
Lynagh
Hassel Collins
Quirke

Back row will be interesting. I guess most likely will be what finished the last game, but there is an outside chance of Chessum starting now. If not he'll be on the bench.

7 back 5 players retained (4-8) 5 starting 2 on the bench.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 10 Feb 2022, 4:45 am

I'm not quite understanding the Quirke exclusion over Randell, with the latter not really having the skill-set for Int rugby imo.

No doubt EJ will put players out of position to show how clever he is.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 10 Feb 2022, 5:30 am

Margin_Walker wrote:Besides, Pearson is the Ludlum replacement so a second row hasn't replaced a flanker. Launchbury being back fit is a bonus.

Well fit but… he was taken off during the Exeter game with face and chest ‘knocks’.
It explains why he was released back to Wasps after assessment by England.
Alfie Barbeary also played against Exeter & is clearly not firing 100% at the moment.
But these guys 8o% is better than most & still managed to carry a load of metres though fell
Off a few tackles.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 10 Feb 2022, 7:09 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm not quite understanding the Quirke exclusion over Randell, with the latter not really having the skill-set for Int rugby imo.

No doubt EJ will put players out of position to show how clever he is.
Have to admit I didn't even notice Randall on Saturday. Quietest I've seen him. Guess that's because he didn't have the experience to really make his mark.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 10 Feb 2022, 7:30 am

Think id go

Genge LCD Sinckler
Itoje Isiekwe
Chessum Curry
Donbrandt
Randall Smith
Nowell Slade Marchant Radwan Steward

Rodd Geoge Stuart ewels simmonds youngs Ford Malins.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 10 Feb 2022, 7:54 am

This is the main reason I'f pick LCD to start and get back on the horse straight away. As well as overall he had a good game. Marler does like to use humour to cover his health so wonder how much that lineout is eating away at him too.

From the BBC:

Joe Marler says the England squad have rallied behind Luke Cowan-Dickie after the hooker was sent to the sin-bin and conceded a game-changing penalty try in the Six Nations defeat at Scotland.

England led 17-10 when Cowan-Dickie deliberately knocked the ball into touch, preventing Scotland wing Darcy Graham from scoring a 66th-minute try.

Finn Russell then kicked a late penalty as Scotland won 20-17.

"He was heartbroken," Marler told BBC Sport.

Lawes unavailable for Italy trip
Cowan-Dickie posted an apology to England fans on Twitter following the game at Murrayfield, and Marler responded by poking fun at his team-mate and making reference to his own mistake.


Report
But Harlequins prop Marler, who often speaks about the importance of mental health after his own depression diagnosis, said that would have made the Exeter hooker feel better.

"He is a very emotional guy and he wears his heart on his sleeve," added Marler.

"Behind the scenes we have got behind him to say it's OK - have your five minutes of downtime.

"But he is buzzing about the place now and he's looking forward to ripping into the next game. It shows the togetherness of the group at the minute.

"The youngsters are all very close with each other and the old boys, that are still mucking about, all get on too."

'I felt like Eminem in 8 Mile'
With Cowan-Dickie in the sin-bin, and Marler on the field as a second-half replacement for Ellis Genge, line-out duties fell to the Harlequins player.

However, the 31-year-old appeared to delay his throw and was then penalised for not throwing the ball five metres. Scotland were awarded a scrum, from which they won the penalty which Russell converted as the hosts retained the Calcutta Cup.

Following the skewed attempt, Marler says he received a stern stare from his Quins and England team-mate Alex Dombrandt, who was the target for the line-out throw.

"I felt like Eminem in 8 Mile when I just choked and I threw it far too late," he added. "I'm sorry.

"The nominated player [to throw at the line-out] was the loosehead [prop] if the hooker got sin-binned.

"[Ellis] Gengey had nailed it all week and I thought I had nailed it all week. It just got to the moment that I didn't nail it and that is fully my responsibility.

"It did put us under a bit of pressure. It led to a scrum, which led to a penalty, which led to three points. So, as much as I like having a laugh about it, I take pride in my work and I'm disappointed I put us under unnecessary pressure."

England will be looking to recover from their opening-game loss with victory in their next match against Italy in Rome on Sunday, 13 February.

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Post by mountain man Thu 10 Feb 2022, 9:01 am

Whatever happens SURELY we won't have Youngs again for 80 minutes? Or will we knowing Jones. I'd start LCD to show confidence in him or if George does start to ring changes bring LCD on after 50mins. Radwen on wing, give him a chance. Forecast looks to be dry so he could cause havoc. Nowell other wing. However, could be an Eddie curve ball and see him at 13.

However, it's Italy so Eng will win anyway so not sure we'll learn a massive amount.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 10 Feb 2022, 9:17 am

I think if the game starts in a similar manner to Italy-France, then we will see England under pressure in the first half (or really through 60 minutes). Then the question is how England respond.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 10 Feb 2022, 12:39 pm

I think if it starts off in a similar manner to the previous game then England will do pretty well as the Itlaians will be in the wrong country.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Thu 10 Feb 2022, 1:31 pm

Gooseberry wrote:I think if it starts off in a similar manner to the previous game then England will do pretty well as the Itlaians will be in the wrong country.

Depends, if you lose the coin toss you'll never be able to get the game started so scoring any points will be tricky

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 10 Feb 2022, 1:39 pm

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:I think if it starts off in a similar manner to the previous game then England will do pretty well as the Itlaians will be in the wrong country.

Depends, if you lose the coin toss you'll never be able to get the game started so scoring any points will be tricky

Need Farrell back, hes a well known t osser


Last edited by Gooseberry on Thu 10 Feb 2022, 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : autoswearcorrect)

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Post by Poorfour Thu 10 Feb 2022, 1:58 pm

doctor_grey wrote:I think if the game starts in a similar manner to Italy-France, then we will see England under pressure in the first half (or really through 60 minutes).  Then the question is how England respond.  

By bringing on Ford and sticking with Youngs, racking up the points against a tiring Italian side and then using that as justification for doing it again against Wales, with predictable results.

I'd almost rather Smith didn't start if that really is the plan. If there's one player on the planet who's suited to coming on and winning a game from the bench, it's him.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 10 Feb 2022, 2:14 pm

I can't see much different to what happened with Scotland. Jones clearly thinks that his tactics worked and as he said we'd win that game more than we'd lose. I agree with that in a way. But I also can't help but watch that game and think big tick for the pack and what a waste from the backs. Go and win the game, pick better options and stop kicking it a bloody way. We should have come away from Murrayfield with a big win.

We'll win comfortably vs Italy. We'll be over 15 points ahead at half time. There will be a couple of backs moves which look great. I expect that this will be one of the games Youngs plays well and has a couple of breaks. Ford will come on about 65 mins. Overall we learn sod all, and don't prepare as well as we could for the rest of the tournament.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 10 Feb 2022, 2:24 pm

On the Calcutta match thread they posted the link to the squidge rugby video where they dissected the first Scottish try. Can't help admiring the planning whilst questioning the use of people off the pitch (and also wondering where our equivalent schemes are coming from).

The only thing I'd add is that even just having May might have made enough difference. On his best days he covers so much ground so quickly it helps to counteract the attempts to pull the defensive line out of shape.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 10 Feb 2022, 3:27 pm

What time does the squad get announced?

At least once the squad is announced we can move on from assuming EJ will make a foolish and wrong headed selection to discussing his actual foolish and wrong headed selection.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 10 Feb 2022, 9:39 pm

Poorfour wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I think if the game starts in a similar manner to Italy-France, then we will see England under pressure in the first half (or really through 60 minutes).  Then the question is how England respond.  

By bringing on Ford and sticking with Youngs, racking up the points against a tiring Italian side and then using that as justification for doing it again against Wales, with predictable results.

I'd almost rather Smith didn't start if that really is the plan. If there's one player on the planet who's suited to coming on and winning a game from the bench, it's him.

I really hope that's not the case PF. Smith is the future....as much as I like Ford. Smith is the guy to build around, he's unreal. I'm getting really worried with the way things are developing lately, I hope I'm wrong (it has been known).

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Post by king_carlos Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:58 am

We seemed to have looked at a lot of players without really finding many. Guys like Lawrence and Earl I felt showed promise during that short investment in them but are now discarded. Others who have had quite a few caps such as Ewels and Stuart just don't seem to add anything.

Last Six Nations I was less frustrated than others as I did feel the strict bubbles England operated with for the ANC and Six Nations needed taking into account. Being unable to get fringe players to their clubs for game time meant most the squad looked under cooked. There was a furore over the Sarries players who were short of match fitness but in reality the issue went way past that due to jumping from the ANC bubble to Six Nations bubble with a few weeks between where several club fixtures got cancelled.

The backline lacking cutting edge without Manu is wearing thin. Against Scotland that looked further exacerbated by the absence of May and Watson as threats wider out who are also solid all round internationals.

Equally concerning is the back five of the pack where players have declined from their peak (Billy), struggled with injury (Lawes, Underhill and Launchbury) or are unavailable (Kruis). In all cases the replacements just haven't looked anywhere near what those 5 offered at their best. I'm not saying rushing those guys back from injury way below their best is a solution either. Just that it's frustrating that the replacements really haven't grabbed their chances.

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Post by yappysnap Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:01 am

lostinwales wrote:On the Calcutta match thread they posted the link to the squidge rugby video where they dissected the first Scottish try. Can't help admiring the planning whilst questioning the use of people off the pitch (and also wondering where our equivalent schemes are coming from).

The only thing I'd add is that even just having May might have made enough difference. On his best days he covers so much ground so quickly it helps to counteract the attempts to pull the defensive line out of shape.

That Squidge rugby video is great, he seems to never do as much on England but the analysis he did on Smith was really interesting, showing the young guy overplayed his hand a lot of the time and made simple things more confusing than they needed to be but was still good for most of the game. I still can't help but feel a lot of the pressure should be on Youngs, he has over 100 Int caps and must be a decade older than Smith, but seems to do sod all to help him or take the pressure off (the opposite in fact).

But watchign that analysis does show why Smith/Quirke may be a bad idea as it could be two rabbit in headlights players at times then. So who knows. We probably should have blooded a new nine long before this so we aren't having this worry.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 9:20 am

He does love Ford though (best fly half in the world apparently)!

Pressure is a funny thing. And how much is internal and external. Some will revel in it, some go to pieces. Sometimes if there is none you don't push yourself. Youngs must be buoyed by the support he has from the coaches, there's a lot of competition and they've backed him and said you're the best we have by a distance and you'll be getting 80 mins (or a good chunk of the game) each time. He must be doing what the coaches want from him.

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Post by Geordie Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:10 am

king_carlos wrote:We seemed to have looked at a lot of players without really finding many. Guys like Lawrence and Earl I felt showed promise during that short investment in them but are now discarded. Others who have had quite a few caps such as Ewels and Stuart just don't seem to add anything.
.

The big question KC is what are they looking for...as genuinely it baffles me at times....

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Post by mountain man Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:11 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
king_carlos wrote:We seemed to have looked at a lot of players without really finding many. Guys like Lawrence and Earl I felt showed promise during that short investment in them but are now discarded. Others who have had quite a few caps such as Ewels and Stuart just don't seem to add anything.
.

The big question KC is what are they looking for...as genuinely it baffles me at times....

Another Manu obviously.

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Post by Geordie Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:21 am

mountain man wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
king_carlos wrote:We seemed to have looked at a lot of players without really finding many. Guys like Lawrence and Earl I felt showed promise during that short investment in them but are now discarded. Others who have had quite a few caps such as Ewels and Stuart just don't seem to add anything.
.

The big question KC is what are they looking for...as genuinely it baffles me at times....

Another Manu obviously.

Those are few and far betweens.....

But we have others with differing skills.

Was Lawrence given a real chance?
Odogwu is back scoring tries...has he even been looked at? He could be a proper handful at 13.

My feeling is we'll sludge it through the 6n....then the summer tour of Australia we'll see some new blood...probably not the ones we want...who get some minutes then back to the AI and run in the world cup it'll be back to sludge....

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:29 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:...
Was Lawrence given a real chance?
Odogwu is back scoring tries...has he even been looked at? He could be a proper handful at 13.
....

Lawrence was given plenty of game time. It did correspond with some incredibly depressing games when we seemed to think back play was optional and he hardly ever even saw the ball let alone get a pass. Having said that he didn't impress in the few opportunities he had. He's not Manu although he was being sold as the next 'power centre'. He's still very young and could come back but I think he needs to step up.

Odogwu was on the fringes of the squad then did his knee at just the wrong time. He was out for months. Given he's only just back its not surprising he isn't in the squad now, and I think he has to rebuild his reputation again, but if he has a good rest of season I would hope he gets a shot in the summer.

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Post by Geordie Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:38 am

I really dont think Lawrence did get a fair deal to be fair. One game he'd played 60 mins and not touched the ball.

Now was that him not going looking for it....? Maybe but we'll not know.

He's only 22 so he still has time.

Odogwu is the one i think will be a beast at 13...if his defence management is good enough.

Hopefully in the summer some of these are looked at.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:45 am

I don't think it helps Lawrence (or Ted Hill) playing for Warriors.

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Post by miltonkeynesengland Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:32 am

Well well..

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:32 am

Well that is .. interesting

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:32 am

1. Ellis Genge (VC)
2. Jamie George
3. Will Stuart
4. Charlie Ewels
5. Nick Isiekwe
6. Maro Itoje
7. Tom Curry
8. Alex Dombrandt

9. Harry Randall
10. Marcus Smith
11. Jack Nowell
12. Henry Slade (VC)
13. Joe Marchant
14. Max Malins
15. Freddie Steward

Finishers
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (VC)
17. Joe Marler
18. Kyle Sinckler
19. Ollie Chessum
20. Sam Simmonds
21. Ben Youngs
22. George Ford
23. Elliot Daly

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Post by Geordie Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:34 am

I really dont know what to say about 5 and 6....

And that backline......

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:35 am

Good to see Nowell back and Marchant playing where he is supposed to.

Halfbacks - looks like a switch to Youngs/Ford in the 2nd half

Suspect Chessum will get 5 minutes at most unless there is an injury - and I don't get playing Itoje at 6 these days. It is not that he can't, but he's probably stronger than the other 2 locks anyway.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:39 am

It's better than last week.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:40 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I really dont know what to say about 5 and 6....

And that backline......

I think the backline is better balanced than last week but still feel it lacks the kind of talent that will change a chance into a try, if that makes sense. The RFU twitter feed has a video of the May try from last year, and I can't see something similar coming out of this team.

Nowell is terrific at what he does. He'll be a complete pain in the ar$e and make lots of meters, but he doesn't score many tries. Malins will look sharp and make meters but again I am not convinced

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:41 am

Also worth saying that is a hell of a front row to bring on 2nd half.

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Post by BamBam Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:45 am

Argh, why not give Quirke the opportunity rather than Randall. What on earth is Itoje doing at 6, if it's another switcheroo with Isiekwe playing there in the scrum then why not put him in the 6 shirt?

Marchant back at 13 is a good thing, would have liked Radwan on one wing. Historically it used to be one strike wing and one all rounder, we've got two all rounders here

Dombrandt at 8 is also positive, but we suddenly have a very big back row.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:49 am

I can understand Itoje there given the players not in the squad tbf. I'd swap Isiekwe and him but he went well last week and perhaps Jones wants to see him next to Ewels. With Launchbury on his way back it may be a straight head to head for the rest of the tournament.

Malins must be nearing the end of chances in terms of a starter. Nice overall play but has lacked cutting edge and kicks too readily.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:51 am

So…..Young’s and Ford will be subbed on at exactly 58:00 minutes to steady the English ship…..

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:00 pm

BamBam wrote:Argh, why not give Quirke the opportunity rather than Randall. What on earth is Itoje doing at 6, if it's another switcheroo with Isiekwe playing there in the scrum then why not put him in the 6 shirt?

Marchant back at 13 is a good thing, would have liked Radwan on one wing. Historically it used to be one strike wing and one all rounder, we've got two all rounders here

Dombrandt at 8 is also positive, but we suddenly have a very big back row.

Just hoping it's horses for courses.

I suspect there is something off with Quirke at the moment, at least in the eyes of the management. Don't know if its because he'd carrying an injury or if it is lack of form.

Absolutely agree on the wings.

I think we have depended too much on bits of individual brilliance to get us over the line. That has been May, or to some extent Manu.

Now we have Smith but we could really do with the kinds of crazy things that a Radwan or similar can provide.


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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:02 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I can understand Itoje there given the players not in the squad tbf. I'd swap Isiekwe and him but he went well last week and perhaps Jones wants to see him next to Ewels. With Launchbury on his way back it may be a straight head to head for the rest of the tournament.

Malins must be nearing the end of chances in terms of a starter. Nice overall play but has lacked cutting edge and kicks too readily.

Agree on Malins. He seems ideal sub material (instead of Daly).

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Post by Poorfour Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:14 pm

I think the point is, that is a side that could gel quickly and really put in a performance.

Not totally comfortable with Itoje out of position but "lock at 6" seems to be the direction of travel and reflects not having Lawes. Slade is out of position too, but he and Marchant worked way better together against the Boks than Slade and Daly did last week. Randall is there I think because he combined well with Smith over the summer. Dombrandt has a chance to show what he can do.

If it goes well, I would not be averse to seeing a similar side against Wales or Ireland. Maybe with Itoje back in the row and Lawes at 6 if he returns from the protocol.
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Post by mountain man Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:16 pm

Happy with backline although would have liked Radwen on bench. Itoje 6? WTF. Is this just to give Ewels a game?

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Post by Geordie Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:20 pm

Is the role of 6 that much different to the role Itoje plays at lock anyway...i dont think so.

Bar where he fits in at scrum time.

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Post by Geordie Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:43 pm

Im quite excited to see Ollie Chessum come on aswell...

He may only get a few minutes i guess, but hes been very good for the tigers..."an aggressive pain in the backside for the opposition is probably a good way to put it."

i hope he plays the same for the spell hes on...

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Post by dummy_half Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:56 pm

Definitely a bit of a 'horses for courses' selection to give a few players (Stuart, Isiekwe and Ewels) more game time against the weakest team in the tournament. The most obvious question is Itoje at 6, but he's obviously a very capable player in the loose, and having less set piece responsibility may allow him to be an even bigger pain in the ar$e around the breakdown.

The backline has plenty of good players but does seem to lack someone in the three quarters with an X-Factor like May or Manu, who can create something from nothing.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 11 Feb 2022, 1:25 pm

If Itoje starts to get on the wrong side of the ref and he frequently does, he could end up being a bigger penalty machine that he normally is playing at lock.

What do we learn with him there, we know what Ewels can do, it fits on the back of a postage stamp. How Itoje and Isiekwe work in tandem we don't really know at this level. It looked alright last week but it takes a few games to bed in together and with the other 6 players in the pack, the Sarries connection should make it work well.

It's a useless experiment, where as Dombrandt, Curry and Simmons together could be a worthwhile one.

He does it on purpose I think. At least one weird call a game just to get the supporters interested and often angry
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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 1:56 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:If Itoje starts to get on the wrong side of the ref and he frequently does, he could end up being a bigger penalty machine that he normally is playing at lock.

What do we learn with him there, we know what Ewels can do, it fits on the back of a postage stamp. How Itoje and Isiekwe work in tandem we don't really know at this level. It looked alright last week but it takes a few games to bed in together and with the other 6 players in the pack, the Sarries connection should make it  work well.

It's a useless experiment, where as Dombrandt, Curry and Simmons together could be a worthwhile one.

He does it on purpose I think. At least one weird call a game just to get the supporters interested and often angry

Given that Isiekwe and Itoje play frequently together at Sarries I don't think they have to bed in together as a combo. I do think we need to see how well Isiekwe manages at this level. Ignoring his early caps it was a much better debut than the one Hill made, although Hill in the Autumn was better still.

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Post by Sharkey06 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 1:59 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:If Itoje starts to get on the wrong side of the ref and he frequently does, he could end up being a bigger penalty machine that he normally is playing at lock.

What do we learn with him there, we know what Ewels can do, it fits on the back of a postage stamp. How Itoje and Isiekwe work in tandem we don't really know at this level. It looked alright last week but it takes a few games to bed in together and with the other 6 players in the pack, the Sarries connection should make it  work well.

It's a useless experiment, where as Dombrandt, Curry and Simmons together could be a worthwhile one.

He does it on purpose I think. At least one weird call a game just to get the supporters interested and often angry

Absolutely right with Eddie making silly call ups and selections to get some airtime.  

Why was Mark Atkinson ever in the squad if Eddie never had any interest in actually picking him to play?  If he can't get a game now, with Owen and Manu injured, and after the useless centre display against Scotland then he never will.

Simmonds would be an ideal pick to play Italy - last game he played against them I think he scored 2 tries.  Instead we get Itoje who is a top quality player, but slower than most backrowers and won't have the instinctive positional play that a specialist will.  Ok England will beat Italy whatever team we put out, but we may as well try and learn something in preparation for the next world cup.  What odds Chessum gets a couple of minutes and goes the same way as George Martin - sent back to his club and forgotten about for the next x years?

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