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6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 16 Feb 2022, 10:20 am

First topic message reminder :

England v Wales

Twickers, London
Saturday 26th Feb 2022
Kick Off - 1645hrs

England team

Steward; Malins, Daly, Slade, Nowell; Smith, Randall; Genge, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Ewels, Itoje, Lawes (Capt), Curry, Dombrandt.

Replacements: George, Marler, Stuart, Isiekwe, Simmonds, Youngs, Ford, Marchant.

Wales Team

L Williams; Cuthbert, Watkin, Tompkins, Adams; Biggar (capt), T Williams; W Jones, Elias, Francis, Rowlands, Beard, Moriarty, Basham, Faletau.

Replacements: Lake, G Thomas, Brown, S Davies, Morgan, Hardy, Anscombe, J Davies.


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 27 Feb 2022, 4:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mountain man Wed 02 Mar 2022, 10:52 am

I think Smith is better than Ford but this like just about every player evaluation is subjective and hard to be quantifiable, it's often just an overall impression. Ford is a really good 10 and this season been excellent for Tigers but we know what he can do and he's had more than enough chances with Eng to show what he can do. Unless he has a run of terrible games the 10 shirt has to be Smiths to lose. He's not had the amazing performances he's been hyped up to with Eng but that's due to playing with different team plus of course Int matches have almost inevitably less time and space than club matches. He has though been good, his defence been good, his kicking from tee good and given right opportunity he will cut teams apart.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 02 Mar 2022, 11:18 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I don't view his vids much if at all, it was a twitter melt down and a pet lip after the match. Didn't come across as jokey. Smith is the best we have by a distance, so clearly will receive plaudits.

I'd argue there's not much between Smith and Ford currently, if indeed anything.

Ford is a fine player in his own right, but he's just not playing at Smith's level, even the most one-eyed of Tigers fan must be able to admit that.

Ford the guy with two Prem player of the month awards so far this season isn't at Smith's level? It's not one eyed. Ford on this form is currently a match for any flyhalf going. 

What we know is that this is Ford's top level. A damn good level it is as well, but Smith we're not sure. That ceiling for Smith could be a couple of inches higher or it could Carter level, we'll soon find out (fingers crossed for Carter level).

Controversial but I think Ford might get more out of the England backline at the minute by virtue of his experience. Currently we're asking a lot of Smith because of the intentional lack of structure which is fine for Ford who happily organises multiple phase attacks without ever touching the ball. It's his biggest strength but would be a backward step for England at this point. Why we don't move more towards the many option method of attack Quins operate with opposed to the random chaos approach we're floundering with is beyond me.

That running rugby aspect from 10 that Smith bring should pose another threat though much like Ford before him he's stuck with the unbalanced selection policy of Eddie hampering him. Unleash that running threat and like Lostinwales says than that is a big USP for the England attack though I'm far from convinced he's being given the best chance for that to shine. Smith's a special player but we're wasting him currently. Hopefully Manu and Cockasiga come back in and give him some real weapons to work with.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 02 Mar 2022, 11:19 am

lostinwales wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I don't view his vids much if at all, it was a twitter melt down and a pet lip after the match. Didn't come across as jokey. Smith is the best we have by a distance, so clearly will receive plaudits.

I'd argue there's not much between Smith and Ford currently, if indeed anything.

Ford is a fine player in his own right, but he's just not playing at Smith's level, even the most one-eyed of Tigers fan must be able to admit that.

I think Ford is perhaps the better tactical kicker, but Smith is better in pretty much every other aspect of his game. Ford having little to no running game on the International stage has hampered him in his later career imo.

Smith has the running game. Last time we had a 10 who could do that was probably Cipriani. Before that Charlie Hodgson? The others have all had their moments (particularly Wilkinson) but it has not been a strength.

Think it was the Scotland or Italy (erring on former) where Smith had beaten the most defenders in a match since Wilkinson.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 02 Mar 2022, 11:20 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I don't view his vids much if at all, it was a twitter melt down and a pet lip after the match. Didn't come across as jokey. Smith is the best we have by a distance, so clearly will receive plaudits.

I'd argue there's not much between Smith and Ford currently, if indeed anything.

Ford is a fine player in his own right, but he's just not playing at Smith's level, even the most one-eyed of Tigers fan must be able to admit that.

Ford the guy with two Prem player of the month awards so far this season isn't at Smith's level? It's not one eyed. Ford on this form is currently a match for any flyhalf going. 

What we know is that this is Ford's top level. A damn good level it is as well, but Smith we're not sure. That ceiling for Smith could be a couple of inches higher or it could Carter level, we'll soon find out (fingers crossed for Carter level).

Controversial but I think Ford might get more out of the England backline at the minute by virtue of his experience. Currently we're asking a lot of Smith because of the intentional lack of structure which is fine for Ford who happily organises multiple phase attacks without ever touching the ball. It's his biggest strength but would be a backward step for England at this point. Why we don't move more towards the many option method of attack Quins operate with opposed to the random chaos approach we're floundering with is beyond me.

That running rugby aspect from 10 that Smith bring should pose another threat though much like Ford before him he's stuck with the unbalanced selection policy of Eddie hampering him. Unleash that running threat and like Lostinwales says than that is a big USP for the England attack though I'm far from convinced he's being given the best chance for that to shine. Smith's a special player but we're wasting him currently. Hopefully Manu and Cockasiga come back in and give him some real weapons to work with.

I don't think you'd find many people who agree that Ford is better tbh. Outside the Leicester fan base, or possibly Sales now!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 02 Mar 2022, 12:03 pm

Oh to live in Tigers world Sam...it must be a wonderful place. Your bias is commendable if not predictable !

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Post by Recwatcher16 Wed 02 Mar 2022, 12:50 pm

I actually think there is something in this, by the fact that Smith isnt being provided with the setup that brought him to EJs attention in the first place with his Quins style.

Ford on the other hand is more versatile but has been hampered with Farrell outside him and often dominating the fly half decisions for the team. That may be a little harsh on both Ford and Farrell but give Ford a big quick IC and not sure there would be much difference from Smith, as Ford has all the skills and time on the ball seeing gaps 2/3 phases ahead.

The way Ford came on as a substitute and his game management organised a try to draw with Scotland in that crazy game at Twickenham a few years back, will always stick in the memory.

Just for the record, I am not a Tigers fan either !

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 02 Mar 2022, 1:02 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:I actually think there is something in this, by the fact that Smith isnt being provided with the setup that brought him to EJs attention in the first place with his Quins style.

Ford on the other hand is more versatile but has been hampered with Farrell outside him and often dominating the fly half decisions for the team. That may be a little harsh on both Ford and Farrell but give Ford a big quick IC and not sure there would be much difference from Smith, as Ford has all the skills and time on the ball seeing gaps 2/3 phases ahead.

The way Ford came on as a substitute and his game management organised a try to draw with Scotland in that crazy game at Twickenham a few years back, will always stick in the memory.

Just for the record, I am not a Tigers fan either !

Ha! I'd be even more against Ford starting then given it's been Farrell who has produced the game management and not Ford.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 02 Mar 2022, 2:39 pm

Team building is overnight. Jones is clearly backing his horse on Smith, not bringing Ford on at the end of the last match shows juts how much. He wants the team to play in a free loose and fast attacking style. The building blocks are being put in place incrementally, it might not pay off overnight and there might be some dead ends, as well as injury created diversions but there is an end state Jones is looking for. The squad refresh was part of that.

But hes also bound by reality, Smith is very inexperienced at test level and defences tend to be better organised and players analysed more intently. He still has a deal to learn around game management, decision making and all the rest. As well as the familiarity of the team needing to be developed. Nothings changed since Jones' waffle last year about sushi chefs, Smith and the new look England are not expected to be an overnight complete package. Even if Farrell isnt playing hes still got a role in mentoring Smith, its not just telling him when to kick but helping him develop his thinking around the game and how he arrives at his own decisions.

You could colour me amazed if Jones benches a fit Smith for this one.

Fords a fantastic player no question, but hes clearly not Jones' go to guy or the key to where he wants the team to be. That he didnt even make the initial squad should make that obvious enough. What he does offer is another player with a similar skillset to Smith as a backup. Could even make a case he might outplay Smith tomorrow, but Smith is the project that Jones sees taking England to where he wants them to be and frankly hes backed up the faith so far in most aspects.



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Post by king_carlos Wed 02 Mar 2022, 4:39 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Team building is overnight. Jones is clearly backing his horse on Smith, not bringing Ford on at the end of the last match shows juts how much. He wants the team to play in a free loose and fast attacking style. The building blocks are being put in place incrementally, it might not pay off overnight and there might be some dead ends, as well as injury created diversions but there is an end state Jones is looking for.  The squad refresh was part of that.
Pretty much my view.

I think backing Smith is right as he looks a very special player to me but rating a player doesn't mean he can't be criticised. On Saturday I thought he squandered a lot of good ball by playing far too flat against a stronger defence than he does at club level and doing almost nothing to react to that fairly obvious issue across 80 minutes.

Under Gustard the defence was a very aggressive blitz. Under Mitchell it shifted to a hybrid where we blitzed hard around the fringes but were largely more passive out wide. So far under Seibold we are seeing a fairly fluid shift between both styles. The outside defence will sometimes be very aggressive (even Daly making some dominant hits) and sometimes far more passive (the closing moments against Wales where they gave up yards wider out to maintain shape over many phases a good example).

I'd guess the hope is to do similar with the attack. Move to a place where we can play two or three phases with a stricter structure, then open up if it's on, then go back to more structure in the forwards as required. Instead of having one strict game plan I think the plan is to have various structures in place for something much more fluid.

Whether this new style can bed in by the RWC is different question. Personally I feel we are dependent on a lot of players, not just Manu, being available at once who mostly have a lot of miles on the clock and/or injury issues. If it falls together and most of them get fit at once it could be very good indeed. I wouldn't put my business on it though.

Since 2019 most fans have wanted a less strict game plan in attack. To see some of those same posters react negatively to Jones comments on the forwards having a less strict structure in attack earlier in this thread really made me chuckle. Most the changes ardent critics of Jones wanted have now happened. Dombrandt at 8, Smith at 10, a fullback who does the basics well, a different 9 starting a big game, a looser game plan.

The previous game plan and many players had run their race. I'm happy to see the changes and see if it works. That doesn't mean I shouldn't be critical of elements of it I feel deserve criticism though.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 02 Mar 2022, 6:33 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I don't view his vids much if at all, it was a twitter melt down and a pet lip after the match. Didn't come across as jokey. Smith is the best we have by a distance, so clearly will receive plaudits.

I'd argue there's not much between Smith and Ford currently, if indeed anything.

Ford is a fine player in his own right, but he's just not playing at Smith's level, even the most one-eyed of Tigers fan must be able to admit that.

Ford the guy with two Prem player of the month awards so far this season isn't at Smith's level? It's not one eyed. Ford on this form is currently a match for any flyhalf going. 

What we know is that this is Ford's top level. A damn good level it is as well, but Smith we're not sure. That ceiling for Smith could be a couple of inches higher or it could Carter level, we'll soon find out (fingers crossed for Carter level).

Controversial but I think Ford might get more out of the England backline at the minute by virtue of his experience. Currently we're asking a lot of Smith because of the intentional lack of structure which is fine for Ford who happily organises multiple phase attacks without ever touching the ball. It's his biggest strength but would be a backward step for England at this point. Why we don't move more towards the many option method of attack Quins operate with opposed to the random chaos approach we're floundering with is beyond me.

That running rugby aspect from 10 that Smith bring should pose another threat though much like Ford before him he's stuck with the unbalanced selection policy of Eddie hampering him. Unleash that running threat and like Lostinwales says than that is a big USP for the England attack though I'm far from convinced he's being given the best chance for that to shine. Smith's a special player but we're wasting him currently. Hopefully Manu and Cockasiga come back in and give him some real weapons to work with.

I don't think you'd find many people who agree that Ford is better tbh. Outside the Leicester fan base, or possibly Sales now!

I just said they're on the same level but Smith has the potential to possibly exceed Ford which is why I want him to start and Eddie to change the way the backline plays to support him. Read the post.

Smith may be the golden boy but he's not the Messiah. He and the rest of the backline are going to need to find another gear (several gears for some others in the backline) before the RWC.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 02 Mar 2022, 6:46 pm

Own up Sam. Your talk of messiah, golden boys and love of 1 club. Has the ghost of beshocked possessed you.

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Post by majesticimperialman Wed 02 Mar 2022, 7:54 pm

Wales next game is on Friday the 11th.

Why do Wales play some of their games on a Friday night?

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 02 Mar 2022, 11:01 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Wales next game is on Friday the 11th.

Why do Wales play some of their games on a Friday night?
As far as I can tell, mate, it's a plot by the city of Cardiff to keep people trapped downtown spending money on the bars or...hookers. After all, it's almost impossible to catch a train out after a match. Simple business proposition. Trap the auslanders and, well, suck them dry.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 03 Mar 2022, 8:32 am

majesticimperialman wrote:Wales next game is on Friday the 11th.

Why do Wales play some of their games on a Friday night?

I am fairly certain that only us & France are willing to host/play on a Friday night with Ireland & England citing logistic/transport issues & Scotland citing possible effect on attendance.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 03 Mar 2022, 8:57 am

doctor_grey wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:Wales next game is on Friday the 11th.

Why do Wales play some of their games on a Friday night?
As far as I can tell, mate, it's a plot by the city of Cardiff to keep people trapped downtown spending money on the bars or...hookers.  After all, it's almost impossible to catch a train out after a match.  Simple business proposition.  Trap the auslanders and, well, suck them dry.  

Wining and dining Ken Owens?

Id assume so,me of the scheduling has been driven by TV rights money and audience, its notable that Italys games are the ones shunted off Saturday.

As noted by Oakdene theres a lot of trade off between the RFU and Richmond council over the use of Twickenham and the effects on the local area. They generally try to minimise late events there.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 03 Mar 2022, 8:59 am

I do like a Friday eve game, they tend to have a different atmosphere.

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Post by mountain man Thu 03 Mar 2022, 9:01 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I do like a Friday eve game, they tend to have a different atmosphere.

Fine for TV but a 8pm Friday night match causes lot of travel and logistic issues apparently. Not attended one myself just what I've read.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 03 Mar 2022, 9:07 am

mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I do like a Friday eve game, they tend to have a different atmosphere.

Fine for TV but a 8pm Friday night match causes lot of travel and logistic issues apparently. Not attended one myself just what I've read.

Correct, if I try to get home to West Wales on Friday night, my train leaves Cardiff at 21:24 so I would only get to see the first half.

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Post by Guest Thu 03 Mar 2022, 10:13 am

We've backtracked, it would seem (excuse the poor source):

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/no-more-friday-night-six-12740758

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wales-always-play-friday-night-20491393

I remember when we said we weren't going to host any more Friday night games a few years back. England and Ireland point blank refused, citing travel issues. Wales said they were not going to do any more while others refused to take their share. So we didn't do any for 2 years. But now we've gone back on that.

Anyone who travels home to Wales on a Friday (e.g. from work in Bristol) knows that traffic is a nightmare between 4pm and 6pm. Add in people trying to get to an international in Cardiff and it's beyond crazy. If you're going to the game this Friday book the day off and travel in the day time. Risk rush hour at your own peril!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 03 Mar 2022, 10:30 am

I can understand completely the view from the media that Friday night games are great. You're likely to reach a different cohort of people and as above night games do bring a different atmosphere; not sure how that fits with the issues on drinking culture though (of those acting like idiots anyway). Re travel etc completely agree its a pain in the rear but it is a case of money will talk, see some of the fixtures arranged for football for true ignorance of match going fans.

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Post by Guest Thu 03 Mar 2022, 11:30 am

I've no issue with it at all personally, 7.5.  I'm not planning on going to the game or to Cardiff.  I'll be watching at home or in a local pub.  For international games, a Friday night one is a change from the norm and quite good (in the pub).  Adds something different and is always a different atmosphere, as you say.  But for travelling fans, especially from France or Italy, it is not great.  They need the day off work, etc.  Obviously this was all known in advance so not a surprise.  But considering how much Cardiff and surrounding areas make on match days I'd be surprised if this doesn't negatively impact them a bit.  Maybe the WRU gets more from the TV people for agreeing to a Friday night game?  Not sure.  But I read the other day that they're struggling to sell out the game.  I even got a text from the WRU saying there were tickets still available.  Never had that before!

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Post by nlpnlp Sat 05 Mar 2022, 11:17 pm

"Ford is a fine player in his own right, but he's just not playing at Smith's level, even the most one-eyed of Tigers fan must be able to admit that.[/quote]

Ford the guy with two Prem player of the month awards so far this season isn't at Smith's level? It's not one eyed. Ford on this form is currently a match for any flyhalf going. 

What we know is that this is Ford's top level. A damn good level it is as well, but Smith we're not sure. That ceiling for Smith could be a couple of inches higher or it could Carter level, we'll soon find out (fingers crossed for Carter level).

Controversial but I think Ford might get more out of the England backline at the minute by virtue of his experience. Currently we're asking a lot of Smith because of the intentional lack of structure which is fine for Ford who happily organises multiple phase attacks without ever touching the ball. It's his biggest strength but would be a backward step for England at this point. Why we don't move more towards the many option method of attack Quins operate with opposed to the random chaos approach we're floundering with is beyond me.

That running rugby aspect from 10 that Smith bring should pose another threat though much like Ford before him he's stuck with the unbalanced selection policy of Eddie hampering him. Unleash that running threat and like Lostinwales says than that is a big USP for the England attack though I'm far fro
m convinced he's being given the best chance for that to shine. Smith's a special player but we're wasting him currently. Hopefully Manu and Cockasiga come back in and give him some real weapons to work with."

Sorry but this is some of the biggest horse sh!t I have read for a long time  What trophies does George have in his locker at club level?  Not much?  In fact pretty much nothing?  And what has he done which is so great for England?  Personally as a Sale fan I would pick Macginty over Ford all day long.  And I would roll out the red carpet and spread it with rose petals if Smith was coming to Sale.  Ford is a decent club payer, but consistently comes up short when it matters.

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Post by Sharkey06 Sat 05 Mar 2022, 11:24 pm

Horse sh!t is a bit strong, but fair comment - Ford is a club player at best and a turnstile at intenrational level. Fair play to Smith, he isn't the biggest, but makes his tackles. He is also a mucth better goal kicker.

We just need to settle on a 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

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Post by Big Sat 05 Mar 2022, 11:47 pm

nlpnlp wrote:
Sorry but this is some of the biggest horse sh!t I have read for a long time  What trophies does George have in his locker at club level?  Not much?  In fact pretty much nothing?  And what has he done which is so great for England?  Personally as a Sale fan I would pick Macginty over Ford all day long.  And I would roll out the red carpet and spread it with rose petals if Smith was coming to Sale.  Ford is a decent club payer, but consistently comes up short when it matters.

George's premiership achievements...

1 Prem title in 2012 with Tigers,
1 Anglo-welsh cup in 2010 with Tigers,

We have no idea whether or not Smith will have more at the same age as Ford now in 5 years time. And indeed by this logic Smith (or indeed anyone else) is simply keeping the spot warm for Farrell, and in fact anyone England eligible at Sarries should get straight into the team as they have the most honours.

Ford did not exactly come up short in England's 3 six nations wins, the run to the world cup final, 3-0 in Aus, etc, and is only 28 - with many fly halves producing their best rugby in their early 30s as they have that bit more experience when making decisions under pressure. England seem to have bigger issues at the moment than their choice of fly half though and it won't matter whether Smith, Ford, or Dan Carter's slightly younger clone is playing if they aren't sorted.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 06 Mar 2022, 4:55 am

Although I can see your point Nipnip, I think it's hard to cite Ford's lack of silverwear as an indication of his ability, as Tigers have been so poor for such a long time.

At International level, he's looked good (when England played well), if nothing more. He's never particular stood out, but maybe that's because he's not really a flashy player.

I'm a big Ford fan, he's immense at club level and he'll do great thing at Sale. I just see Smith as clearly the better option, he just has more to his game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 06 Mar 2022, 9:39 am

Macginty over Ford. Lol.

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6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales - Page 12 Empty Re: 6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales

Post by majesticimperialman Sun 06 Mar 2022, 5:11 pm

Wales have called up Josh Navidi for the 6 ns game against France.
Navidi played his first game in 5 month against Ulster.

Is it not to early to come back in to international rugby? would he have been better off staying with his club for the rest of the 6ns?

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6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales - Page 12 Empty Re: 6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales

Post by WELL-PAST-IT Tue 08 Mar 2022, 10:44 am

majesticimperialman wrote:Wales have called up Josh Navidi for the 6 ns game against France.
Navidi played his first game in 5 month against Ulster.

Is it not to early to come back in to international rugby? would he have been better off staying with his club for the rest of the 6ns?

Faletau, did pretty well after a game and from an even longer layoff.
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6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales - Page 12 Empty Re: 6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales

Post by doctor_grey Tue 08 Mar 2022, 6:12 pm

Big wrote:
nlpnlp wrote:
Sorry but this is some of the biggest horse sh!t I have read for a long time  What trophies does George have in his locker at club level?  Not much?  In fact pretty much nothing?  And what has he done which is so great for England?  Personally as a Sale fan I would pick Macginty over Ford all day long.  And I would roll out the red carpet and spread it with rose petals if Smith was coming to Sale.  Ford is a decent club payer, but consistently comes up short when it matters.

George's premiership achievements...

1 Prem title in 2012 with Tigers,
1 Anglo-welsh cup in 2010 with Tigers,

We have no idea whether or not Smith will have more at the same age as Ford now in 5 years time.  And indeed by this logic Smith (or indeed anyone else) is simply keeping the spot warm for Farrell, and in fact anyone England eligible at Sarries should get straight into the team as they have the most honours.  

Ford did not exactly come up short in England's 3 six nations wins, the run to the world cup final, 3-0 in Aus, etc, and is only 28 - with many fly halves producing their best rugby in their early 30s as they have that bit more experience when making decisions under pressure.  England seem to have bigger issues at the moment than their choice of fly half though and it won't matter whether Smith, Ford, or Dan Carter's slightly younger clone is playing if they aren't sorted.
Until any of them get to Andy Goode levels of accomplishment, how can we consider them good(e)? Five Premiership Titles and two Euro titles.
Stud.
Mensch.
Hombre.

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6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales - Page 12 Empty Re: 6 Nations Round 3 - England v Wales

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