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6 Nations Round 4 - England v Ireland

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Feb 28, 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 No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:41 pm

Blow that Dombrandt only makes the bench but great to see Launchbury back in the squad:

RFU:Jones said: “We’ve been looking at this game as a semi-final. Ireland are the most cohesive side in the world right now and it will be a good test this weekend.

“We’ve prepared really well for this game. We did some good team togetherness work in Bristol and had a solid week of training on the pitch here.

“We are looking forward to going after them in front of a great home crowd at Twickenham. It’s been special having 82,000 supporters back in for our Six Nations games and it will be a great Test match for them.”

ENGLAND XV

15. Freddie Steward

14. Max Malins

13. Joe Marchant

12. Henry Slade

11. Jack Nowell

10. Marcus Smith

9. Harry Randall

1. Ellis Genge

2. Jamie George

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Maro Itoje

5. Charlie Ewels

6. Courtney Lawes (C)

7. Tom Curry

8. Sam Simmonds

FINISHERS

16. Jamie Blamire

17. Joe Marler

18. Will Stuart

19. Joe Launchbury

20. Alex Dombrandt

21. Ben Youngs

22. George Ford

23. Elliot Daly

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:43 pm

From the squad he had to choose from it's probably the one I'd go with if Launchbury and Dombrandt aren't quite there to start. Still a damn shame to see those 2 wings after the Wales match. If Dombrandt had been fit enough I'd have loved to have seen Barbeary there too. Just seems that there were a couple of youngsters who could really have had a few caps in addition to the newer guys like Steward, SMith, Randall, Dombrandt during this tournament and it feels to me a missed opportunity.

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:50 pm

Yep as most of us thought especially in backs. Nowell and Malins? Really? Ewels?
I agree 7.5, a missed opportunity.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:51 pm

That said England by 5, unless those backs click then a bit more.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:53 pm

Hoping that the extra time will mean Nowell will be more like the player we knew. Very big game for Marchant.

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:56 pm

lostinwales wrote:Hoping that the extra time will mean Nowell will be more like the player we knew.  Very big game for Marchant.

Nowell can surely only get better! How many tackles did he miss v Wales? I agree, Marchant needs a big game as does Simmonds.

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Post by Poorfour Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:17 pm

Big game for Simmonds, and that's a strong bench in the pack.
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Post by king_carlos Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:24 pm

It was two missed tackles for Nowell against Wales wasn't it? He also made the vital turnover late on off the top of my head to be fair. Also stole the opening kick from Watkins and was strong under the high ball.

The pack with Ewels and Simmonds doesn't really convince but good to see Launchbury back in the 23 and Dombrandt fit for the bench spot.

Curry and Sinckler being fit is massive.

Great opportunity for Marchant.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:36 pm

Poorfour wrote:Big game for Simmonds, and that's a strong bench in the pack.

Potentially but I can't see us getting on top of the Irish team and man for man I'd take most of theirs over ours particularly the bench forwards, probably Marler the only English player over the Irish counterpart. Going to be a rough afternoon even at Twickers. Great opportunity to step up and make a name for yourself though, those that are hungry for more caps can do themselves a big favour here.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:53 pm

Oh I quite like that pack Sam. Wish Dombrandt had trained long enough to start then I'd have had Barbeary instead of Simmonds. Lawes still remains a lock for me rather than flanker but he'll come in useful vs POM.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu Mar 10, 2022 2:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:...Lawes still remains a lock for me rather than flanker...

Trouble is, he's lighter now. Lawes has always had trouble keeping weight on. When he was mainly a lock, he was averaging 118kg, which was always a bit low compared with Kruis and Launchbury. As he reworked his game, and focused on looking after his body, he has been around 6kg less. His Lions weight was recorded as 113kg.

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:01 pm

Think Nowell missed about 3 or 4 but not sure. Seemed a lot during game anyway. He did make a good hit on Faletau I recall but overall I thought he was way off it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:04 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:...Lawes still remains a lock for me rather than flanker...

Trouble is, he's lighter now. Lawes has always had trouble keeping weight on. When he was mainly a lock, he was averaging 118kg, which was always a bit low compared with Kruis and Launchbury. As he reworked his game, and focused on looking after his body, he has been around 6kg less. His Lions weight was recorded as 113kg.

Yeah never the strongest scrummager there but he's too slow to rucks as a flanker. Know he's said he always preferred the position at 6. He as much as anyone needs a big game Saturday, he's now the bulk in that backrow and he needs to be a bit busier for me.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:04 pm

Nowell was the worst I've ever seen him.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:06 pm

I think Lawes has been playing his best rugby for years since making the shift to blindside. If we could put him in a time machine to get a younger Lawes with fewer miles on the clock at second row then he'd certainly strengthen the team there. He's no longer that player though. To prolong his career he dropped a bit of weight, improved his carrying immensely and turned into a fantastic blindside. I think it was a great decision on his part.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:19 pm

Everyone will like something different at each position I'm sure. Doesn't get to enough rucks, and when he does its slow. Still a poor carrier for such a big guy. Amazing lineout like.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:47 pm

Just watched the game back skipping breaks, etc. Nowell missed two tackles tops. The abysmal one on Cuthbert is the obvious one. The only other potential miss was when Faletau carried strongly off the back of a fluffed Welsh lineout, he goes straight through Simmonds and Smith, Nowell makes the hit that stops his momentum, but Slade brings him down rather than Nowell. So if you want to be pretty harsh that must be the second missed tackle I've seen listed in some stats.

That aside he carried well on kick return, got a vital turnover, won the kick off back from Watkins, caught all his high balls and actually made two important tackles out wide. The first on Cuthbert not long after the missed tackle, Cuthbert and Sanjay are 2 v 1 and Nowell stops the attack. The other on Faletau in the second half when he gets good ball down the right wing with space, Nowell tracks across and makes a really good hit that forces Faletau to make a risky offload before going into touch, which results in the knock on.

If I'm being extremely critical then I'd say that when Smith chipped through on 63 minutes that Nowell probably should have attacked the breakdown from the resulting ruck. That and the terrible tackle attempt on Cuthbert are the only things that stood out to me re-watching concentrating on Nowell. The Faletau 'missed tackle' is one I wouldn't class as that given Nowell actually stops Faletau's momentum with his strong hit.

If it's the worst game Nowell has ever had it says a lot of about how consistent he's been!

Steward, Nowell and Malins lacks pace as a whole but I think it's harsh to say Nowell was that poor on the basis of basically one missed tackle.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:21 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Oh I quite like that pack Sam. Wish Dombrandt had trained long enough to start then I'd have had Barbeary instead of Simmonds. Lawes still remains a lock for me rather than flanker but he'll come in useful vs POM.

The pack is ok. All the issues still remain. There's no out right selection for 8, no tighthead competition emerging and no partner for Itoje identified. They are playing ok but not well and where they'd like to be. It would be fine if the backs were clicking but they aren't so we need the pack to be dominant which they aren't and I can't see them being so against this Ireland pack which is stacked with talent. Porter will be a big loss for them mind as Healey isn't the player he was.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:26 pm

England will need to really show up physically and aggressively up front.

Not convinced on a few selections but hey let's see how they go. This will be a good benchmark for where this squad is.(As will France)

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:29 pm

Well dunno but my impression and lots of others said same that Nowell was way off it. He looked slow, I thought he missed more than two tackles but if you say you checked then fair enough.
However, unless he's improved a LOT during last two weeks not sure him and Malins are Englands answer to wings.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:42 pm

Wasn't impressed at all king.

Pretty good overall then Sam. Think we have established our best 8 in Dombrandt but yes we have no one near the class of Sinckler. Few do though.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu Mar 10, 2022 5:40 pm

Think most people would support Marchant over Daly, but never great when selections are made by one players failings rather than anothers performances.

As noted a few days back there wasnt ever any real scope for the major overhaul of the outside backs we might want to see, especially with 4 of the strongest contenders to make an overnight difference out (Tuilagi, May, Watson, Chuck Norris).

Its easier to pick faults in the England XV/XXII than it is make realistic suggestions to notably improve it. And all part of the longer term plan, hopefully players like Malins can start showing some of their talent as they grow into test rugby. They are only going to get better and more cohesive by playing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Mar 10, 2022 5:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wasn't impressed at all king.

Pretty good overall then Sam. Think we have established our best 8 in Dombrandt but yes we have no one near the class of Sinckler. Few do though.

I'm very open, hopeful even that Dombrandt will be the go to 8 but I want to see a bit more. Same for most the forwards. Sinckler for instance is someway from his best form.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:08 pm

I'm surprised with that tackle stat on Nowell, I checked the stats and he's listed as missing 1.

He seemed to not get close to making a tackle in a lot of instances for me, but this was my impression after the game, perhaps it was wrong.

No real surprises in the lineup and it's going to be a tough one. We do have a big game in us and much of this lineup was in the one that smashed NZ in WC, we just seem to be less of a side now in some regards.

This talk from Jones about Ireland not being used to the physicality we will bring and then seeing Simmonds in the lineup is odd....but that's Jones for you. I'm sure Ireland will be confident of turning us over...but we're in with a punchers chance being at home. Ireland are good, but far from unbeatable. I wouldn't have expected us to turn over SA but we did.....by the skin of our teeth!

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Post by majesticimperialman Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:17 pm

I am surprised Simmonds is starting and Dombrandt is on the bench.

Would of thought other way round for me.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:19 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I am surprised Simmonds is starting and Dombrandt is on the bench.

Would of thought other way round for me.

I imagine there is fitness concerns with the latter.

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Post by Unclear Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:43 pm

No great surprises in the Ireland 23.  Porter being out is definitely a big loss, but personally I don't think that Sheahan is much of a step down from Kelleher and Herring is much under-rated.  Slightly surprised with O'Mahoney starting, but can understand why.  Personally I would have gone with Henderson in the second row and Beirne at 6, but it would leave the bench much lighter with Treadwell or Moloney.

As an Ulsterman I am disappointed that none of Baloucoune, Lowry, or Hume have even made the bench.  But as the first 2 haven't had the opportunity to show what they can do at this level, and Hume is fighting for a place against a B+I lion it isn't a huge surprise.

I think there won't be more than 5 points in it either way as however "cohesive" Ireland are, England won't miss so many chances at home as they did against Wales.  I'm just hoping it won't all come together for them until next week Hug

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Mar 10, 2022 7:50 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wasn't impressed at all king.

Pretty good overall then Sam. Think we have established our best 8 in Dombrandt but yes we have no one near the class of Sinckler. Few do though.

Where does he stand out?

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Post by king_carlos Thu Mar 10, 2022 9:01 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm surprised with that tackle stat on Nowell, I checked the stats and he's listed as missing 1.

He seemed to not get close to making a tackle in a lot of instances for me, but this was my impression after the game, perhaps it was wrong.

I thought he was ponderous in attack outside of returning kicks well but remembered him as solid in defence other than that one genuinely abysmal tackle attempt on Cuthbert. Hence why I watched back as it surprised me that so many were talking about him having such a bad game.

That missed tackle was almost bizarre in how terrible it was for a defender of Nowell's standard. Other than that though he made a couple of key tackles as the last man on his wing, a couple of dominant hits chasing kick offs, one very good hit on I think Beard (might have been Davies who was on by then) in the final 10 minutes when Wales were attacking around England's 22. Also won the turnover on Cuthbert and won a kick off in the air. One missed tackle aside that's a pretty darn good defensive showing from a winger.

He also caught every high ball despite Wales putting up some good kicks. Again if we're being pedantic there was one high ball that he caught in the air, spilled as he hit the ground but immediately recovered himself on the floor. Some luck in that but it was a very good kick with a good contest that Nowell won to claim the ball first.

He offered little carrying in phase play. Nowell can be good breaking tackles around the ruck to get over the gain line which sucks the defence in, gets quick ball and creates space out wide. The forwards were already doing that though. As such England probably just needed more pace on the wing to take advantage.

It's a slow back three at the minute. May and Watson are big losses at the same time. Good all round games with pace to burn.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Mar 10, 2022 9:18 pm

More than happy with your assessment KC!

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Post by Pot Hale Thu Mar 10, 2022 9:46 pm

Could go one way or the other. We'll know on Sunday I suppose.
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Post by doctor_grey Thu Mar 10, 2022 11:16 pm

Only a couple of things I could add about Nowell. Firstly, when he did have the ball he seemed to run a long way sideways. The other thing is there was pretty universal assessment of his game. I had felt the same. I like KC's analysis. Puts Nowell in a bit of perspective.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:29 am

doctor_grey wrote:Only a couple of things I could add about Nowell.  Firstly, when he did have the ball he seemed to run a long way sideways.  The other thing is there was pretty universal assessment of his game.  I had felt the same.  I like KC's analysis.  Puts Nowell in a bit of perspective.  

I think we should cut Nowell a break. Watching the recent series of "The Last Kingdom", it's clear Jack Nowell is playing the lead character Uhtred. It can't be easy combining a top flight rugby career with such heavy acting commitments, especially during a pandemic.

https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=last+kingdom+uhtred&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiOkpid87z2AhWBaN4KHQsUAUYQ_AUoAXoECAIQAw&biw=1175&bih=711&dpr=1.25

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Post by lostinwales Fri Mar 11, 2022 4:22 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Only a couple of things I could add about Nowell.  Firstly, when he did have the ball he seemed to run a long way sideways.  The other thing is there was pretty universal assessment of his game.  I had felt the same.  I like KC's analysis.  Puts Nowell in a bit of perspective.  

I think we should cut Nowell a break. Watching the recent series of "The Last Kingdom", it's clear Jack Nowell is playing the lead character Uhtred. It can't be easy combining a top flight rugby career with such heavy acting commitments, especially during a pandemic.

https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=last+kingdom+uhtred&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiOkpid87z2AhWBaN4KHQsUAUYQ_AUoAXoECAIQAw&biw=1175&bih=711&dpr=1.25

Good spot.

I can only echo what else has been said. Nowell is a wonderfully combative winger who can cause chaos because he's hard to put down and on good days he gets absolutely everywhere and puts a ton of work in. Everybody enjoys those performances. The biggest issue is that lack of top end speed which turns the chaos into points. I guess its less of an issue when we have other speedsters to apply the killing blow, but Malins and Steward are not those players.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 11, 2022 6:16 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Wasn't impressed at all king.

Pretty good overall then Sam. Think we have established our best 8 in Dombrandt but yes we have no one near the class of Sinckler. Few do though.

Where does he stand out?
Dombrandtbi think has had a very good start to internationals. He's been very busy in the tight, good carries a massive nuisance at breakdowns and a high work rate. I think because he has as yet made scything runs as he does for Harlequins it appears he's quiet; he's not.

Sinckler is just one of the very best tight heads in the game. Great in the scrum great in the loose. I think its a bit of a shame that he's around the same time as Furlong as he'll never get the plaudits.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:39 am

At some stage Eddie Jones will move on from England rugby, probably after the RWC. My suspicion is that a prime candidate to take over from him based on his excellent work at Leinster will be none other than Stuart Lancaster. Would he be welcome by the England fans?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:43 am

He won't be head coach again. May well be a support role if wanted.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:44 am

Farrell head coach, Lancaster assistant?

Just kidding you cant have them.

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Post by mountain man Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:51 am

Oh no. itoje a doubt for match as been ill. MASSIVE blow if not available.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:57 am

mountain man wrote:Oh no. itoje a doubt for match as been ill. MASSIVE blow if not available.

If Itoje is out I do think Ireland will win. However, I expect this is just mind games from Jones.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:59 am

Well at least we have Launchbury back but losing Itoje would obviously favour Ireland.

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Post by mountain man Fri Mar 11, 2022 11:05 am

Don't think this is a Jones mind games thing but who knows.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/60667484

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Mar 11, 2022 11:14 am

If real, even if Itoje starts, he might not have the fuel in the tank for a full 80. But, who knows? We will see what happens tomorrow.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Mar 11, 2022 11:15 am

Ill believe it when I see it.

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Post by dummy_half Fri Mar 11, 2022 11:17 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well at least we have Launchbury back but losing Itoje would obviously favour Ireland.

I'm a huge Launchbury fan, but he's not going to give you all the things that Itoje does, especially in the line out. Reports actually cautiously optimistic' that Itoje will be available, but if he's had a stomach issue overnight Thursday night, he's going to need some careful handling today and tomorrow morning to be fit enough, and might not last the full 80 minutes.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 11, 2022 11:43 am

No he doesn't but he's our second best lock (when fit). Fingers crossed still.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 11, 2022 5:47 pm

Chessum looks to be the guy to come into the bench spot if Itoje doesn't make it.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri Mar 11, 2022 6:34 pm

This:
Trouble is, he's lighter now. Lawes has always had trouble keeping weight on. When he was mainly a lock, he was averaging 118kg, which was always a bit low compared with Kruis and Launchbury. As he reworked his game, and focused on looking after his body, he has been around 6kg less. His Lions weight was recorded as 113kg.
Followed by:
Everyone will like something different at each position I'm sure. Doesn't get to enough rucks, and when he does its slow. Still a poor carrier for such a big guy. Amazing lineout like.

Contradictory thoughts?

7&1/2 you have never got what Lawes brings to the team apart from lineout, he is anything but slow to the breakdown, but often makes himself available as the carrier these days so he can't go into the ruck if we are looking for quick ball. Defensively, he is usually on the bottom, if he didn't maker the tackle he is 2nd of 3rd man in and trying to protect a potential jackler if he cannot get there. You can't expect him to hit a ruck and be available to take the ball on, one or the other.

He is only a couple of kilo more than me these days, 113kg in no longer "a big guy", you favourite player Launchbury doesn't make the hard yards Lawes does and weighs 10 kg more.

No mention of his outstanding defence both close in to the breakdown and better than outstanding in open play.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:14 pm

Nah. He's massively slow to the breakdown as a flanker. And I've always been a fan of him as a lock, just an inferior player to Launchbury for me. Contradictory thoughts are also allowed on the forum!

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Post by king_carlos Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:40 pm

I rate Launchbury but Lawes is the far better player. Lawes is almost incomparably better as a tackler, carrier and lineout jumper. He's also faster which adds a lot to line speed and kick chase.

The only places Launchbury beats Lawes is defensive breakdown work and maul defence. Even as a Launchbury fan I think his jackal work has decreased somewhat with injury and age as well.

Whilst his maul work is very good (I've mentioned it many times leading into the Wales and Ireland games) he's such a poor jumper for an international lock that having him in the row basically necessitates a jumper such as Lawes in the back row with how good defensive lineouts are these days.

Launchbury is good but Lawes is far better.

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