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6 Nations Round 4 - England v Ireland

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 28 Feb 2022, 4:34 am

First topic message reminder :

England v Ireland

Twickers, London
Saturday 12th March 2022
Kick Off - 1645hrs

England team


Ireland team

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Post by mountain man Thu 03 Mar 2022, 2:21 pm

king_carlos wrote:Willis played the last two weeks. First game off the bench, seconding starting and subbed after 60 minutes. He needs more time to reach fitness required for the Six Nations after such a long layoff though. He's missed almost a year.

Cheers. I knew he was back playing but some saying he's one of the injured so was wondering if he'd been crocked again. Thankfully not. As I said earlier, maybe he'll get a look in for summer/autumn games for Eng.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 03 Mar 2022, 3:10 pm

Similar position with Underhill I believe?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 03 Mar 2022, 3:34 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:The summer squad to Australia will be interesting...

Would be a good opportunity to work on some of the combinations re backrow, halfback and back three but also to get a couple of locks development going and get some game time into the second and third choice front rows. Currently we have two international looseheads, two international hookers and one international tighthead. Be good to develop the options behind them before the world cup in case of injuries and bans.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 03 Mar 2022, 4:50 pm

Could even see an all wasps back row of Willis Willis and Barbeary.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 03 Mar 2022, 5:05 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Similar position with Underhill I believe?
Underhill came through RTP protocols, was named on the Bath bench against Falcons but on the eve of the match was pulled out. Bath have stated it's due to illness not a recurrence of concussion symptoms though. He's due to be in contention for this weekends game with Bristol. 

He apparently came through RTP a couple of weeks after the Leinster game where he got concussed but then got covid, had to isolate for 10 days so couldn't train, lost fitness, had to work back, was named on the Falcons bench, then fell ill. Bloke hasn't had much luck at the minute.

England could really do with him back even if Curry and Lawes are fit. I like the balance of the Lawes, Curry, Dombrandt back row but the bench lacks impact and Underhill has frequently been very good as a replacement. His physicality in the tackle against tiring runners and another jackal threat as the game breaks up is very valuable.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 03 Mar 2022, 5:06 pm

king_carlos wrote:
I'd start Ludlow over Simmonds as an openside, yeah. Simmonds offers little at the breakdown for a carrying number 8 let alone an openside.

I disagree on Ludlam. I thought he played well against Scotland. His tackling and breakdown work are strong, his kick chase fantastic due to his pace and he was taking on a tough role carrying against the defence when set. I wouldn't pick him over Curry, Underhill or Willis if they were fit but he's a good player. Certainly a better openside than Kenningham at this stage for instance. Even as a Tigers fan I rate Ludlam over Reffell at this stage too.

If Ben Curry hadn't just been injured it would've been interesting to see whether he'd have been called up. He was also capped in the summer.

The turnover stats on the stats thread are really interesting - a load of players on 3 and then Dombrandt and Itoje out in front with 6 and 5 respectively. Neither of them are players in positions you'd normally expect to produce turnovers, and at 6'5" and 6'6" they're not normally the shape of player you expect to be a groundhog. Are we seeing the beginning of a shift in forward roles?

If Eddie is expecting turnovers to come from elsewhere in the pack, we may see the openside role being picked for link play or tackling. Curry can do those and the traditional 7 role, but it might mean that Simmonds is seen as a viable option at 7 if Dombrandt is turning into a top notch ball stealer.
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Post by Unclear Thu 03 Mar 2022, 5:32 pm

Porter out for the rest of the tournament with the ankle injury sustained in the Italy game. Healy and Kilcoyne aren't bad replacements, but neither offers the combination of skills and physicality in the loose.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 03 Mar 2022, 5:33 pm

It's more protecting the ball at rucks I worry about.

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Post by mountain man Thu 03 Mar 2022, 5:34 pm

Unclear wrote:Porter out for the rest of the tournament with the ankle injury sustained in the Italy game.  Healy and Kilcoyne aren't bad replacements, but neither offers the combination of skills and physicality in the loose.  

Yes that's a big loss he's been superb. Wins barnett war as well....

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 03 Mar 2022, 6:13 pm

king_carlos wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:How in bloody hell are so many players injured?  Yes, Rugby is not badminton, but something just doesn't seem right.  
Too much rugby, plain and simple if you ask me Doc.

It's not just England either. Though the club vs country stuff, not being able to rest internationals as the Irish provinces do for instance doesn't help. Most sides keep having a ton of injuries.
It's a sh*te status quo. Less rugby, higher quality when played is direly needed.

mountain man wrote:Think since pro era started players got so much bigger, stronger, fitter they run faster and collisions are greater. Plus muscles get bigger and stronger but connective tissue can't keep up so tendon injuries etc occur.
England players in particular seem to suffer above average number of injuries in camp - I don't have stats for this but it seems like it. I think Jones beasts them to breaking point and beyond sometimes.
Good points gents.   And pardon me for pulling out parts of your comments.  

Firstly there is no question there is too much Rugby.  And we have been beating that drum for years.  And thanks for bringing up the other countries issues as well.  And in what we hope is soon to be a post-Covid world, everyone in the sport is trying to recoup their losses.  In fairness, Rugby is not a big money sport and many clubs and national unions are hanging by a financial thread.  But this is an issue which pre-dates Covid.  The seasons are too long and the players play too many games.  The NFL had fought the Players Union for years about extending the season by one or two games.  The NFLPA, who eventually lost, was adamantly against despite the extra game cheque because of the increased wear and tear on the players.  So now with a 17 game season and a few more for the playoff teams, players still play about 5 months per year and far fewer games than in Rugby.  We simply run the risk of destroying the game just to make a few extra quid and player welfare be damned.  

I agree also Rugby players are generally bigger, faster, and stronger than ever.  Interestingly in the NFL this seems to have levelled out over the last decade, for what its's worth.  Not sure if Eddie Jones really does beat the tar out of the players more than other coaches, or whether he is milking a tough guy, hyper-training attitude.  But many players have mentioned his camps are very hard compared to the camps they have been exposed to.  

I don't have Rugby injury numbers, unlike in America where detailed injury info is mostly in the public domain for most sports, so I am not sure I entirely trust what is made public (or even through the network of docs who are involved with high level athletes).  But I tend to look at non-contact injuries as well as training camp injuries and my sense is the numbers, or maybe the severity, is indeed increasing.  Whether this is real or not, I don't know.  

Ultimately, we need a scaled down global calendar.  I would put a dead nuts max. of 25 matches per player.  The global calendar ensures Rugby is synchronised so somewhere in the world Rugby addicts like us can always find top quality Rugby to watch.

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Post by cb Thu 03 Mar 2022, 6:44 pm

I was always hoping we would see a back row of Willis, Curry and Dombrandt.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 03 Mar 2022, 8:09 pm

cb wrote:I was always hoping we would see a back row of Willis, Curry and Dombrandt.

I really like Willis, he's outstanding on the deck....possibly the best we've had. He does need to develop in other areas though and he was improving his carrying before injury. He's had some god awful injuries and nobody knows how it's impacted his game, he's been so unlucky.

I'm personally more excited with Barbeary, he's such a physical player....he has real X factor. I suspect he may need to up his work rate slightly but when he gets a shot (I was hoping this 6N), he could be a one to watch.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 03 Mar 2022, 9:13 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:How in bloody hell are so many players injured?  Yes, Rugby is not badminton, but something just doesn't seem right.  
Too much rugby, plain and simple if you ask me Doc.

It's not just England either. Though the club vs country stuff, not being able to rest internationals as the Irish provinces do for instance doesn't help. Most sides keep having a ton of injuries.
It's a sh*te status quo. Less rugby, higher quality when played is direly needed.

mountain man wrote:Think since pro era started players got so much bigger, stronger, fitter they run faster and collisions are greater. Plus muscles get bigger and stronger but connective tissue can't keep up so tendon injuries etc occur.
England players in particular seem to suffer above average number of injuries in camp - I don't have stats for this but it seems like it. I think Jones beasts them to breaking point and beyond sometimes.
Good points gents.   And pardon me for pulling out parts of your comments.  

Firstly there is no question there is too much Rugby.  And we have been beating that drum for years.  And thanks for bringing up the other countries issues as well.  And in what we hope is soon to be a post-Covid world, everyone in the sport is trying to recoup their losses.  In fairness, Rugby is not a big money sport and many clubs and national unions are hanging by a financial thread.  But this is an issue which pre-dates Covid.  The seasons are too long and the players play too many games.  The NFL had fought the Players Union for years about extending the season by one or two games.  The NFLPA, who eventually lost, was adamantly against despite the extra game cheque because of the increased wear and tear on the players.  So now with a 17 game season and a few more for the playoff teams, players still play about 5 months per year and far fewer games than in Rugby.  We simply run the risk of destroying the game just to make a few extra quid and player welfare be damned.  

I agree also Rugby players are generally bigger, faster, and stronger than ever.  Interestingly in the NFL this seems to have levelled out over the last decade, for what its's worth.  Not sure if Eddie Jones really does beat the tar out of the players more than other coaches, or whether he is milking a tough guy, hyper-training attitude.  But many players have mentioned his camps are very hard compared to the camps they have been exposed to.  

I don't have Rugby injury numbers, unlike in America where detailed injury info is mostly in the public domain for most sports, so I am not sure I entirely trust what is made public (or even through the network of docs who are involved with high level athletes).  But I tend to look at non-contact injuries as well as training camp injuries and my sense is the numbers, or maybe the severity, is indeed increasing.  Whether this is real or not, I don't know.  

Ultimately, we need a scaled down global calendar.  I would put a dead nuts max. of 25 matches per player.  The global calendar ensures Rugby is synchronised so somewhere in the world Rugby addicts like us can always find top quality Rugby to watch.


Its probably worth noting that world rugby do collect and deeply analyse data on injuries, types, causes, and severity across the world to try and understand and mitigate risks. There have been law changes driven by this, including cracking down on charging at rucks, the scrums, and of course endless iterations of banning tackling. They are very data driven in these decisions.

Its also really important data from a legal perspective, and for working with insurers. That they weren't doing it properly and glossing over it for concussions has left them open to the current lawsuits. The RFU and clubs and all the rest will be doing this as well and looking at how they train etc.

In spite of all that don't think theres any question the frequency of bad injuries has gone up over the pro era as players got bigger and more athletic. Moving fast is a bad idea which is why I stick to keyboard sports now.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 03 Mar 2022, 9:35 pm

Porter is a big loss even if he is still settling into the shift to LH.

It's still going to be a terrific Ireland team though. Likely something like below:

1.Healy 2.Kelleher 3.Furlong 4.Bierne 5.Ryan 6.Doris 7.JvdF 8.Conan
9.Gibson-Park 10.Sexton 11.Hansen 12.Henshaw 13.Ringrose 14.Conway 15.Keenan

16.Sheehan 17.Kilcoyne 18.Beelham 19.Henderson 20.POM 21.Murray 22.Carbery 23.Aki

Strong pack, strong backs, experienced, settled, good bench impact. Even with how important home advantage usually is in the Six Nations I'd have Ireland as favourites.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 03 Mar 2022, 10:27 pm

Fantastic side, they've really transformed that pack after Best, POC, Heaslip etc. Will be a real test.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 04 Mar 2022, 6:25 am

When it come to the pack i think England might be on par with.....Its the backs that Ireland maybe a bit stronger.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 04 Mar 2022, 8:32 am

Honestly if England dont have A fit of firing Tuilagi and Curry available I struggle to see them having parity in the pack or backs. Really havent had that edge form the bench you'd often expect either, struggled late against Scotland and Wales. Huge test for how well the new look team is going if they can step up, theyll have to put in their best 80 minutes of the tournament by some way if Ireland turn up. Not gonna get that first 20-30 minutes where they are the only team playing so easily.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 04 Mar 2022, 8:38 am

majesticimperialman wrote:When it come to the pack i think England might be on par with.....Its the backs that Ireland maybe a bit stronger.

Sadly not. In terms of player quality as individuals there's not much in it but as a unit the Irish look far more cohesive.

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Post by mountain man Fri 04 Mar 2022, 8:55 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:When it come to the pack i think England might be on par with.....Its the backs that Ireland maybe a bit stronger.

Sadly not. In terms of player quality as individuals there's not much in it but as a unit the Irish look far more cohesive.

Think you nailed it there, Ireland look as if they play together every week which let's be fair most do with Leinster. Home advantage will help but seeing how England struggled in 2nd half against Wales I can see Ireland attacking like that for 80 mins. Question is can England.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 04 Mar 2022, 9:18 am

Underhill looks to be back and playing this weekend. Will EJ take a chance?
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Post by mountain man Fri 04 Mar 2022, 9:54 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Underhill looks to be back and playing this weekend. Will EJ take a chance?

My feeling is no as Cockerill was giving impression yesterday Curry be fit as will Hill(2nd row of course). Maybe Barbeary gets a shot, perhaps Jones saw how well Darge went for Scotland and realises if you're good enough then play.

But basically won't know until match squad announced.

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Post by Pot Hale Fri 04 Mar 2022, 10:14 am

king_carlos wrote:Porter is a big loss even if he is still settling into the shift to LH.

It's still going to be a terrific Ireland team though. Likely something like below:

1.Healy 2.Kelleher 3.Furlong 4.Bierne 5.Ryan 6.Doris 7.JvdF 8.Conan
9.Gibson-Park 10.Sexton 11.Hansen 12.Henshaw 13.Ringrose 14.Conway 15.Keenan

16.Sheehan 17.Kilcoyne 18.Beelham 19.Henderson 20.POM 21.Murray 22.Carbery 23.Aki

Strong pack, strong backs, experienced, settled, good bench impact. Even with how important home advantage usually is in the Six Nations I'd have Ireland as favourites.


Kelleher is out for rest of the season. That means either Herring starts with young Sheehan (5 caps) on the bench, or vice versa. Either way, Ireland have lost two of their starting front-row.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 10:21 am

Think England will get the upper hand in the pack myself. There is the caveat that we'll be far stronger if Curry makes it through his protocols, but I think the breakdown will be somewhere we can really target and the scrum has looked good.

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Post by mountain man Fri 04 Mar 2022, 10:33 am

Dunno, Irish backrow are brilliant at breakdown, Doris in particular. Think be pretty even. If Curry out I'd say definitely in Ire favour.
As for pack overall, missing Kelleher and Porter is huge so tips things towards Eng maybe.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 10:47 am

England will target the Irish scrum but only when Marler and Stuart come on. Sinkler and Genge are not there to dominate scrums but to be prominant in carrying the ball around the fringes.

The key will be the ruck, if you slow Irish ball, this passing out the back amongst the centre's and Furlong etc, with runners marginally obstructing, becomes much more difficult to execute. NZ used to do it a lot but moved away from it a few years back as it became predictable and were accused of obstruction, when defending teams couldn't tackle players behind the gain line.

England will also target the space between the Irish OC and the wingers, which has brought some success in recent years.

Who is the ref ?

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Post by mountain man Fri 04 Mar 2022, 10:52 am

Ref is Raynal. Adamson is assistant(gulp).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 11:07 am

Ireland have looked a little isolated in their carries so far. Definitely an area to win for England. And an area where we have got plenty of ball.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 11:54 am

mountain man wrote:Ref is Raynal. Adamson is assistant(gulp).

Two good refs in my view.

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Post by mountain man Fri 04 Mar 2022, 12:00 pm

I take it you missed Eng Wales match? Adamson was poor and that's being kind. However wasn't biased, just made bad decisions for/against both teams.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 04 Mar 2022, 12:06 pm

mountain man wrote:Dunno, Irish backrow are brilliant at breakdown, Doris in particular. Think be pretty even. If Curry out I'd say definitely in Ire favour.
As for pack overall, missing Kelleher and Porter is huge so tips things towards Eng maybe.

Except the stats say that Itoje and Dombrandt are out ahead of everyone in terms of turnovers. Ireland are good at protecting their rucks, but when you've got guys that size making 4 turnovers a game between them it's a slightly different prospect. I do think that even without Curry England will be able to pressure the rucks and that might create opportunities for disruption.

Still might not be enough. England have shown they can control possession and territory, and have made good yards up to the 22 but are being too easily stopped in the red zone. If they can find the missing pieces that give Smith targets to hit within scoring distance, it will be a close game but I expect England to win. If not, advantage Ireland.
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Post by Heaf Fri 04 Mar 2022, 12:08 pm

Wasn't Raynal the guy that allowed Connacht to kick to touch from a pen and then take the line-out to beat Wasps in the European Cup before the law change came into affect a couple of years ago?

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 12:20 pm

Poorfour wrote:
mountain man wrote:Dunno, Irish backrow are brilliant at breakdown, Doris in particular. Think be pretty even. If Curry out I'd say definitely in Ire favour.
As for pack overall, missing Kelleher and Porter is huge so tips things towards Eng maybe.

Except the stats say that Itoje and Dombrandt are out ahead of everyone in terms of turnovers. Ireland are good at protecting their rucks, but when you've got guys that size making 4 turnovers a game between them it's a slightly different prospect. I do think that even without Curry England will be able to pressure the rucks and that might create opportunities for disruption.

Still might not be enough. England have shown they can control possession and territory, and have made good yards up to the 22 but are being too easily stopped in the red zone. If they can find the missing pieces that give Smith targets to hit within scoring distance, it will be a close game but I expect England to win. If not, advantage Ireland.

Ireland dont rely on just two guys for turnovers. There are multiple guys who are involved there but Itoje and Dombrant are doing great alright.

Kelleher is a loss for sure but his deputy Sheehan is first class too.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 04 Mar 2022, 12:26 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:England will target the Irish scrum but only when Marler and Stuart come on. Sinkler and Genge are not there to dominate scrums but to be prominant in carrying the ball around the fringes.

The key will be the ruck, if you slow Irish ball, this passing out the back amongst the centre's and Furlong etc, with runners marginally obstructing, becomes much more difficult to execute. NZ used to do it a lot but moved away from it a few years back as it became predictable and were accused of obstruction, when defending teams couldn't tackle players behind the gain line.

England will also target the space between the Irish OC and the wingers, which has brought some success in recent years.

Who is the ref ?
But if we slow them down at the rock, they will kick more. Excluding Steward, who is going to catch the ball?????

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Post by Poorfour Fri 04 Mar 2022, 12:46 pm

[quote="Collapse2005"]
Poorfour wrote:
Ireland dont rely on just two guys for turnovers. There are multiple guys who are involved there but Itoje and Dombrant are doing great alright.

Kelleher is a loss for sure but his deputy Sheehan is first class too.

At a team level, England have made 21 turnovers to Ireland's 12, though Ireland concede fewer penalties but make more handling errors.
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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 12:49 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Ireland dont rely on just two guys for turnovers. There are multiple guys who are involved there but Itoje and Dombrant are doing great alright.

Kelleher is a loss for sure but his deputy Sheehan is first class too.

At a team level, England have made 21 turnovers to Ireland's 12, though Ireland concede fewer penalties but make more handling errors.



Thats fair enough and Im not really surprised as Itoje and Dombrant are very strong at that.

The thing is though Poorfour you dont need turnovers as much if you retain a lot of possession which is kind of how Ireland play.

The handling errors arent surprising either as Ireland is a team that attacks and passes a lot.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 1:35 pm

Turnovers get the attention and plaudits but If England do consistently slow down the ruck ball that will be good enough - easier said than done against this Irish side, but achievable.
You then draw Ireland into a kickfest for territory and a subsequent forward contest for possession. That will be Sexton against Smith and Slade, which will be very interesting to watch.

Sounds like Jonny Hill could be fit and selected and his size could be very handy against this team.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 04 Mar 2022, 2:06 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:England will target the Irish scrum but only when Marler and Stuart come on. Sinkler and Genge are not there to dominate scrums but to be prominant in carrying the ball around the fringes.

The key will be the ruck, if you slow Irish ball, this passing out the back amongst the centre's and Furlong etc, with runners marginally obstructing, becomes much more difficult to execute. NZ used to do it a lot but moved away from it a few years back as it became predictable and were accused of obstruction, when defending teams couldn't tackle players behind the gain line.

England will also target the space between the Irish OC and the wingers, which has brought some success in recent years.

Who is the ref ?
But if we slow them down at the rock, they will kick more.  Excluding Steward, who is going to catch the ball?????

Malins and Nowell may not be living up to the hype (or the old reputation) but both are fine under the high ball and both regularly play at 15.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Mar 2022, 2:09 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:England will target the Irish scrum but only when Marler and Stuart come on. Sinkler and Genge are not there to dominate scrums but to be prominant in carrying the ball around the fringes.

The key will be the ruck, if you slow Irish ball, this passing out the back amongst the centre's and Furlong etc, with runners marginally obstructing, becomes much more difficult to execute. NZ used to do it a lot but moved away from it a few years back as it became predictable and were accused of obstruction, when defending teams couldn't tackle players behind the gain line.

England will also target the space between the Irish OC and the wingers, which has brought some success in recent years.

Who is the ref ?
But if we slow them down at the rock, they will kick more.  Excluding Steward, who is going to catch the ball?????
Whilst Malins and Nowell are a very slow international wing pairing, Malins just isn't a wing in my mind, they are both very good under the high ball.

I've been critical of Malins as a winger but one thing I can't criticise is his high ball work. It was already solid being a fullback and since being in the England squad it's improved out of sight as well. He's very good at competing in the air both defensively and chasing kicks. Sadly, his kick chase when it comes to making tackles leaves a lot to be desired.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Mar 2022, 2:10 pm

Hill and Launchbury both returning would be big boosts. I'm hoping Launchbury being in the training camp this weekend rather than released for game time means he's viewed as being at full match fitness again.

Early murmurs are that Curry is coming through the RTP protocols well and should be available too. Which is massive.

1.Marler 2.George 3.Sinckler 4.Launchbury 5.Itoje 6.Lawes 7.Curry 8.Dombrandt

16.Blamire 17.Genge 18.Stuart 19.Hill 20.Simmonds

That would be an improved pack overall despite losing LCD.

If Underhill returns strongly at the weekend he could even come into the training squad next week and compete for a bench spot.

The pack should be strong. The midfield and wings feel likely to still lack any edge with all the injuries.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 04 Mar 2022, 3:55 pm

That is a very heavy back 5, the lightest being Curry at circa 17.5 stone.followed by Itoje (a freak for just over 18 st), Lawes and then Dombrandt (19st) and Lunchbox at circa 20 st. Hill still to come at 21 st.

The thing is, it is still very mobile, they all have good pace baring Launchbury and all are hard workers that put in a good shift. Also four potential lineout jumpers and two lineout throwers (Marler) Very Happy
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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Mar 2022, 4:05 pm

There's no way Hill is actually that 21 stone listed on Wikipedia. That'd make him heavier than Lood de Jager whilst be 2 inches shorter. Also heavier than Etzebeth.

The most gargantuan of the modern athletic locks I've seen in person is actually Tomas Lavanini. He is monstrous and barely has any fat on him. A truly freak athlete even if there are better locks about. Even Lavanini is listed as 20.5 stone though.

Paul Willemse is listed at 20-21 stone depending on the source. There is literally now way Willemse weighs the same as Hill. As good a second row as Willemse is he literally can't jump in the lineout due to his size.

Judging by weights of similarly sized players I'd guess Hill is in the 19 stone region. As seen with Itoje and now Woki playing second row very well at 17 stone that obsession with weight is irrelevant anyway. Itoje is a fantastic scrummager and mauler despite being 18 stone.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 04 Mar 2022, 4:22 pm

I think every one is making Ireland out to be a great team by the way the dispatched Italy.

But come on Italy down to 12 men at one point. Why would you not expect Ireland to put so many points on a team like Italy.

I think all round it is fairly even, just a bit worried about England wingers. v Ireland wingers.

I would like too see an England win being at Home.
base on the first 2 games, England by 10 points.....here's hoping.

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Post by mountain man Fri 04 Mar 2022, 4:32 pm

Think it's more the way they beat NZ in the autumn and Wales in first match.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Mar 2022, 5:11 pm

And gave a fantastic French team a good fight.

And are stacked with lots of very players in the forwards and backs.

And are settled.

And have a good set-piece, good defence and good attack.

And kick well.

And have very good bench impact.

But other than that it's just how they beat a 13 man Italy, yeah.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 04 Mar 2022, 5:26 pm

Yeah good news on the returnees for England, Hills been a bit forgotten about in all the recent woes. Maybe not a game changer but still good to have more options coming back.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Mar 2022, 5:35 pm

Hill's not a world class lock but he is better than Isiekwe and Ewels to be fair. His form in the AIs was improving too.

With Kruis retiring it's important that this team gets the most out of Hill.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 04 Mar 2022, 5:43 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:That is a very heavy back 5, the lightest being Curry at circa 17.5 stone.followed by Itoje (a freak for just over 18 st), Lawes and then Dombrandt (19st) and Lunchbox at circa 20 st. Hill still to come at 21 st.

The thing is, it is still very mobile, they all have good pace baring Launchbury and all are hard workers that put in a good shift. Also four potential lineout jumpers and two lineout throwers (Marler) Very Happy
That's a great point.  And a pretty handy pack.  But, if I had to guess (and yes, I am guessing), Launchbury if he is fit, comes off the bench, just due to lack of game time.  An in-form Launchbury is a real asset.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 04 Mar 2022, 10:32 pm

mountain man wrote:I take it you missed Eng Wales match? Adamson was poor and that's being kind. However wasn't biased, just made bad decisions for/against both teams.

No I watched it but thought he was fine. There were some mistakes but in general he seems decent.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 05 Mar 2022, 3:09 pm

Mako Vunipola has just gone off with a crocked knee after three minutes. He did manage to walk off unassisted.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 05 Mar 2022, 6:18 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Mako Vunipola has just gone off with a crocked knee after three minutes. He did manage to walk off unassisted.

On crutches at the end. Doesn't sound good.

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