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England v Scotland 6N Championship Saturday 4th February 2023

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England v Scotland 6N Championship Saturday 4th February 2023 - Page 4 Empty England v Scotland 6N Championship Saturday 4th February 2023

Post by BigGee Sun Jan 29 2023, 18:05

First topic message reminder :

England v Scotland
Twickenham Stadium
London

Calcutta Cup & 6 Nations Championship

Saturday 4th February 2023

Kick Off - 16.45



Well here we go again, The Auld Enemies meet up in their first games of the 6N to play for the Calcutta Cup, just the same as last year, except at a different stadium.

Time was, Scotland rocking up at Twickenham was pretty much a certain defeat, but we have won and drawn on our last two trips down south, so maybe HQ does not hold the same fear for us as it once did.


First games of the 6N can of course be a bit of a lottery, when form goes out of the window. Both sides though, could only be described as having patchy form in the first place, with England playing badly enough in the autumn to manage to get their coach the sack and Scotland hardly setting the heather alight either. So a hard one to call.

England under a new coach, have everything to prove and the players have world cup squad places on their minds. A big ask for a new squad under new coaching to immediately get what the new regime wants straight away.

Scotland are perhaps a lot more settled than they have been arriving for recent tournaments and the polemic between the coach, Townsend and the star playmaker, Russell seems to have simmered right down and has the making of a fine romance at the moment, can't live with each other, can't live without. Townsend is also probably playing for his job as well, as his contract has not been renewed post WC either. He says he would consider staying on, but whether he gets the chance will likely depend on a very good tournament from this perennially under performing side, albeit one that can pull off big wins on their day.


Home advantage for this fixture is still massive though and Scotland's depth will be sorely tested going into the competition with some key injuries, so the bookies money probably still rests with England. A close and exciting game though hopefully and I have got a vested interest as I am going!


My guess at the Scotland team:

1. Schoeman
2. Brown
3. Nel
4. Gray R
5. Gilchrist
6. Ritchie - capt
7. Crosbie
8. Fagerson M
9. Horne
10. Russell
11. DVDM
12. Tuipolotu
13. Harris
14. Steyn
15. Kinghorn


Subs

Sutherland
Turner
Fagerson Z
Skinner
Watson
White
Jones H
Smith





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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 02 2023, 15:45

Personally I think England will be on top at the scrum, like both Sinckler and Genge at scrum time. It's when Vunipola comes on that we will struggle.

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Post by dummy_half Thu Feb 02 2023, 15:46

Interesting selection from England - looks like a team picked mainly for what they can do rather than what they will stop the opposition doing. Probabl close to what all on here would pick given the limitations of who we have available (or not) other than another winger / full back for Mallins. Of course, we haven't had the benefit of seeing how he's gone in training, so perhaps he's stood out to Borthwick and the other coaches more than Watson has.

Weather looks pretty reasonable for Saturday - cloudy but dry and not particularly windy, with the ground firming up after a largely dry week or so. The sort of day that running the ball should be possible.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Thu Feb 02 2023, 15:49

Really pleased to see Ben Curry get his chance. It's well known that he was considered a better prospect, until some serious injuries, than his brother  - who didn't exactly turn out badly either.
When you consider Earls and Ludlum can both operate as Sevens, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Ludlow and both Willis brothers are not in the squads, it's a hugely competitive position.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Feb 02 2023, 15:49

lostinwales wrote:Not much ballast for scrums but it shouldn't matter too much. Interesting that should Chessum or Itoje go off they'll bring on another lock/flanker hybrid to replace them.
If the Woki and Flament pairing can work for France with Marchand at hooker then that should be no issue for England with the right game plan. Those three Frenchmen are brilliant players I'd add but none would be considered big for their position. France beat the Boks with that lineup.

With how fast the game now is we are increasingly seeing a move away from massive locks with the rare exceptions being freaks such as Etzebeth, Lood and Retallick who are gigantic and incredibly mobile.

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu Feb 02 2023, 16:05

I really like that back row. Dombrandt links up well with Smith being on his wavelength week in week out and is a far more dynamic and quick player than his predecessor. Ben Curry as stated above was thought of as the better of the brothers 5 -6 years ago, so it's great he's finally been given a decent shot. And of course Ludlam never seems to have a bad game for England, giving 100% anytime he's even near the shirt. He's very difficult to stop when on the charge and happens to tackle like an absolute demon. He's also in exceptional form. Then you have Ben Earl set to come on and cause absolute havoc. They have the potential to do very well this 6 Nations. Will they? Who knows.

Pleased to see Chessum, Isiekwe and Walker starting/on the bench. Also happy that Youngs is not starting. JVP is good enough to get over his nightmare start to the NZ game, and having that much experience on the bench may prove useful (I know, I'm saying something "nice" about him!).

Also super pleased for OHC. Hope that he gets the chance to score in his first International game.

Here's hoping Vunipola has been taught how to scrummage properly.

I am looking forward to this.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Feb 02 2023, 16:05

Geordie wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:and if Itoje is injured then we will have a real lightweight duo in Chessum and Isiekwe and I fear hugely for our set piece.

Lightweight?

Ollie Chessum - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone
Nick Isiekwe - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone...and not someone id call weak!

Isiekwe is only 24. Getting capped at 19 means that it feels like he's been around forever

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Feb 02 2023, 16:05

lostinwales wrote:Just to add that Genge is one of a very select few England players to have increased his reputation over the last couple of seasons of Jones' rule.

The last couple of seasons under somebody else as well. Steve really did bring out the best in Ellis, I'm hoping for a continuance now they are back together at international level.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Feb 02 2023, 16:08

lostinwales wrote:
Geordie wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:and if Itoje is injured then we will have a real lightweight duo in Chessum and Isiekwe and I fear hugely for our set piece.

Lightweight?

Ollie Chessum - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone
Nick Isiekwe - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone...and not someone id call weak!

Isiekwe is only 24. Getting capped at 19 means that it feels like he's been around forever

At 24 he's got 102 Prem games and another 26 European ones under his belt as well. Definitely feels like he should be older than he is, maybe it's his time to force a regular berth in the England squad.

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Post by Geordie Thu Feb 02 2023, 16:11

lostinwales wrote:
Geordie wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:and if Itoje is injured then we will have a real lightweight duo in Chessum and Isiekwe and I fear hugely for our set piece.

Lightweight?

Ollie Chessum - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone
Nick Isiekwe - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone...and not someone id call weak!

Isiekwe is only 24. Getting capped at 19 means that it feels like he's been around forever

Yes Isiekwe could become a real mainstay...hes the perfect model for a lock...strong, fit, athletic. Lets see how he goes this 6n.

But i was reffering to the comment that this would be a "lightweight" lock combo....it certainly wouldnt...despite them being seen as mobile locks.

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Post by majesticimperialman Thu Feb 02 2023, 16:31

Nic see some young blood in the side for a change.
Hope Marchant goes well at13.

Looking forward to the first game under Borthwick and co.

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Post by hugehandoff Thu Feb 02 2023, 17:16

and let's hope that the quality of rugby provides the talking points and not red and yellow cards. We all understand how important player safety is, but currently it is too easy for players with no malicious intent to receive their marching orders. That horrible feeling against Ireland last year does not need to be repeated, especially when it costs so much to attend. I live in Paris now and this is costing me a pretty penny and as I think England will struggle (respect to Scotland as they are genuinely a decent side) already they really don't need their usual glut of cards. Fingers crossed that Sinfield has them sorted in this regard.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Feb 02 2023, 18:04

I was really hoping Kinghorn would start for Scotland. Otherwise England have no chance....

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Post by Poorfour Thu Feb 02 2023, 18:04

Recwatcher16 wrote:Really pleased to see Ben Curry get his chance. It's well known that he was considered a better prospect, until some serious injuries, than his brother  - who didn't exactly turn out badly either.
When you consider Earls and Ludlum can both operate as Sevens, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Ludlow and both Willis brothers are not in the squads, it's a hugely competitive position.

Not to mention human/limpet hybrid and former heir apparent to Neil "Too Small For International Rugby" Back, Will Evans (though on the "too small" front - he's almost identical in size to Sam Simmonds)
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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Feb 02 2023, 20:02

Poorfour wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:Really pleased to see Ben Curry get his chance. It's well known that he was considered a better prospect, until some serious injuries, than his brother  - who didn't exactly turn out badly either.
When you consider Earls and Ludlum can both operate as Sevens, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Ludlow and both Willis brothers are not in the squads, it's a hugely competitive position.

Not to mention human/limpet hybrid and former heir apparent to Neil "Too Small For International Rugby" Back, Will Evans (though on the "too small" front - he's almost identical in size to Sam Simmonds)

Evans is a stone lighter than Simmonds. Would be good to see Evans face off against Reffell at some point on the international stage, both coached by Brett Deacon in the arts of being a menace at the breakdown.

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Post by lostinwales Fri Feb 03 2023, 09:40

formerly known as Sam wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Geordie wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:and if Itoje is injured then we will have a real lightweight duo in Chessum and Isiekwe and I fear hugely for our set piece.

Lightweight?

Ollie Chessum - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone
Nick Isiekwe - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone...and not someone id call weak!

Isiekwe is only 24. Getting capped at 19 means that it feels like he's been around forever

At 24 he's got 102 Prem games and another 26 European ones under his belt as well. Definitely feels like he should be older than he is, maybe it's his time to force a regular berth in the England squad.

Just to add to this. Itoje is the smallest lock in the match.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri Feb 03 2023, 13:28

It is all swings and roundabouts on weights. I went to the England and Scotland sites (and where missing, club sites) and got the weights of the 23

Ollie Lawrence is the heaviest England centre at 100kg whereas the Scotland centres are all 102-104kg. The heaviest Scottish back is Kinghorn at 107kg supposedly (DVDM is 106kg) vs 105kg for Steward. Personally, I don't believe Kinghorn is that heavy even if he is 6'5 and makes me doubt all the weights

If they do matter and are accurate in the pack, England's second row is 11kg lighter and on a pack wide level, that is counterbalanced by Dombrandt outweighing M Fagerson by 16kg. The total pack weights are less than a kilo per man different. England have a bit more flexibility in being able to bring Isiekwe on at BS and Earl at OS if they want go heavy

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Post by mountain man Fri Feb 03 2023, 13:53

I'm always sceptical of weights issued by teams. You hear commentators etc going on about Englands "enormous pack" then weights of respective teams put up on screen for a scrum and find Scotland/Wales etc are heavier.

It obviously has a bearing though, look at SA. Massive front row but then two huge locks and big back row. Hence most powerful scrum in world rugby, combined with technique of course.

Fortunately there's still room in rugby for the smaller guys, Darcy Graham a prime example and from an England perspective I'm glad he's not there tomorrow!

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Post by Heuer27 Fri Feb 03 2023, 14:33

Hazel, I was speaking to Blarehorn’s dad last year and he was tipping the scales at over 17st. He had lost weight to get to that because he felt too big. Don’t think he had any reason to lie to me about that. In fact he said Blair was pretty cagey about his height and weight because he was a bit self conscious about his height. 6’5” is a conservative estimate, his dad said he was taller than that. 😳

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Post by king_carlos Fri Feb 03 2023, 15:07

As Heuer mentions above it's very hard to rely on rugby's listed heights let alone weights. Having seen Carebearhorn up close he is absolutely gigantic. I was with a few Scottish Premiership (not my level mind, I was in the clubs bin juice sides!) players and Kinghorn was the same height and broader than a couple of locks who anyone would consider gigantic themselves.

Ollie Chessum for instance is listed at a similar size to James Ryan but seeing them alongside each other last season Ryan is noticeably the larger. Though Chessum will keep filling out of course.

I've seen George McGuigan listed anywhere from 5'9" and under 15 stone to 6'0" and nearly 18 stone. Having seen him at Welford Road many times he's far closer to the Harry Thacker or Tom Youngs end of the scale. Still a really good player I'd add either way though I do think he lacks the physicality for top international level.

So many players punch above or below their size that I find it all largely meaningless though.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Feb 03 2023, 16:37

king_carlos wrote:As Heuer mentions above it's very hard to rely on rugby's listed heights let alone weights. Having seen Carebearhorn up close he is absolutely gigantic. I was with a few Scottish Premiership (not my level mind, I was in the clubs bin juice sides!) players and Kinghorn was the same height and broader than a couple of locks who anyone would consider gigantic themselves.

Ollie Chessum for instance is listed at a similar size to James Ryan but seeing them alongside each other last season Ryan is noticeably the larger. Though Chessum will keep filling out of course.

I've seen George McGuigan listed anywhere from 5'9" and under 15 stone to 6'0" and nearly 18 stone. Having seen him at Welford Road many times he's far closer to the Harry Thacker or Tom Youngs end of the scale. Still a really good player I'd add either way though I do think he lacks the physicality for top international level.

So many players punch above or below their size that I find it all largely meaningless though.
I think you hit the nail pretty straight on.  It's not about weight, per se.  It is much more about body type, muscle mass, power, fast twitch, and so on.  A lot of measurables which don't translate well to the media, and weight does not correlate well to any of those things.  

No team in any sport goes back and updates weights.  Unless a player is on a managed diet to decrease or increase weight for whatever reason, no one really cares as long as their weight doesn't vary too much during a season, although they usually decrease somewhat. The weights, in my experience, end up as orders of magnitude numbers.

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Post by alive555 Fri Feb 03 2023, 16:56

Hazel Sapling wrote:It is all swings and roundabouts on weights. I went to the England and Scotland sites (and where missing, club sites) and got the weights of the 23

Ollie Lawrence is the heaviest England centre at 100kg whereas the Scotland centres are all 102-104kg. The heaviest Scottish back is Kinghorn at 107kg supposedly (DVDM is 106kg) vs 105kg for Steward. Personally, I don't believe Kinghorn is that heavy even if he is 6'5 and makes me doubt all the weights

If they do matter and are accurate in the pack, England's second row is 11kg lighter and on a pack wide level, that is counterbalanced by Dombrandt outweighing M Fagerson by 16kg. The total pack weights are less than a kilo per man different. England have a bit more flexibility in being able to bring Isiekwe on at BS and Earl at OS if they want go heavy

Matt Fagerson definitely isn't 16kg less than dombrandt!

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Post by dummy_half Fri Feb 03 2023, 18:04

king_carlos wrote:...

So many players punch above or below their size that I find it all largely meaningless though.

WHy does the image of Matt Bananaman being run over by Shane Williams spring to mind?

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Feb 03 2023, 19:01

dummy_half wrote:
king_carlos wrote:...

So many players punch above or below their size that I find it all largely meaningless though.

WHy does the image of Matt Bananaman being run over by Shane Williams spring to mind?
because it's funny?

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Post by Poorfour Fri Feb 03 2023, 22:09

Height and weight are a pretty good indicator, but stats online are very unreliable and there's also a massive difference in how players use their size.

Wilkinson was a great example, or Lewsey - two of the smaller players on the pitch, but they hit bloody hard.
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Post by lostinwales Fri Feb 03 2023, 23:26

doctor_grey wrote:
dummy_half wrote:
king_carlos wrote:...

So many players punch above or below their size that I find it all largely meaningless though.

WHy does the image of Matt Bananaman being run over by Shane Williams spring to mind?
because it's funny?

Its also not what happened. Bananaman tried to run over Williams and failed

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Feb 03 2023, 23:33

lostinwales wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
dummy_half wrote:
king_carlos wrote:...

So many players punch above or below their size that I find it all largely meaningless though.

WHy does the image of Matt Bananaman being run over by Shane Williams spring to mind?
because it's funny?

Its also not what happened. Bananaman tried to run over Williams and failed
You're right of course.  Still funny though...

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Post by Poorfour Fri Feb 03 2023, 23:46

Banahan was played as a winger, when he could have been the solution to England's desperate need for a 12 who combined size and pace
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Post by George Carlin Sat Feb 04 2023, 07:05

doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:As Heuer mentions above it's very hard to rely on rugby's listed heights let alone weights. Having seen Carebearhorn up close he is absolutely gigantic. I was with a few Scottish Premiership (not my level mind, I was in the clubs bin juice sides!) players and Kinghorn was the same height and broader than a couple of locks who anyone would consider gigantic themselves.

Ollie Chessum for instance is listed at a similar size to James Ryan but seeing them alongside each other last season Ryan is noticeably the larger. Though Chessum will keep filling out of course.

I've seen George McGuigan listed anywhere from 5'9" and under 15 stone to 6'0" and nearly 18 stone. Having seen him at Welford Road many times he's far closer to the Harry Thacker or Tom Youngs end of the scale. Still a really good player I'd add either way though I do think he lacks the physicality for top international level.

So many players punch above or below their size that I find it all largely meaningless though.
I think you hit the nail pretty straight on.  It's not about weight, per se.  It is much more about body type, muscle mass, power, fast twitch, and so on.  A lot of measurables which don't translate well to the media, and weight does not correlate well to any of those things.  

No team in any sport goes back and updates weights.  Unless a player is on a managed diet to decrease or increase weight for whatever reason, no one really cares as long as their weight doesn't vary too much during a season, although they usually decrease somewhat.  The weights, in my experience, end up as orders of magnitude numbers.
I completely agree that nobody regularly weighs players apart from their clubs. Christ knows what weight Andy Goode was at the end of his career.

There was a great interview that Hamish Watson gave to ITV Sport which I'll try to find. It was just after his Lions selection and the interviewer asked him what he thought about criticism that he was too small to play the Saffers. Watson calmly replied that he didn't care because anyone actually involved with the game would know immediately that its a nonsensical comment. He said something like when you take into account in-game judgement, dynamism and technique, the actual size of a player is about the 6th most important variable when it comes down to how impactful they are.

Then again, I don't believe that raw size is irrelevant when it comes to set piece in the final quarter when everyone is knackered.
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Post by Poorfour Sat Feb 04 2023, 07:42

When you’re tired, size can work with you or against you. It’s more bulk for others to shift, but it’s also more bulk for you to shift. I think the game - especially if the tackle height is reduced - is going to trend towards players who have 80 minute fitness. Even among the props.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Feb 04 2023, 11:08

The ruck, dubious source I know, have reported England as having the second heaviest pack this weekend. Only France is heavier.

England pack: Genge – 120kg, George -108kg, Sinckler – 124kg, Itoje – 115kg, Chessum – 118kg, Ludlam – 111kg, B Curry – 106kg, Dombrandt-120kg.

TOTAL 922kg.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Feb 04 2023, 11:48

Whether the weight number are accurate or not, these are all pretty big boys!  

As long as they can scrummage.  Interesting article about England's scrummaging in the Telegraph:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2023/02/03/englands-illegal-scrum-forces-change-scotland-six-nations-game/

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Post by lostinwales Sat Feb 04 2023, 12:01

Poorfour wrote:Banahan was played as a winger, when he could have been the solution to England's desperate need for a 12 who combined size and pace

He had a cracking offload.

I wonder if he'd come through now if he would have stayed at 2nd row,

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Post by Poorfour Sat Feb 04 2023, 12:56

lostinwales wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Banahan was played as a winger, when he could have been the solution to England's desperate need for a 12 who combined size and pace

He had a cracking offload.

I wonder if he'd come through now if he would have stayed at 2nd row,

He might have done. Academies today are creating players who have a pretty rounded skill set - quite a lot of eventual forwards started out in the backs, and quite a lot of backline players have played 10 or 13 in their age grade rugby. I’ve had this conversation with Ms Poorfour Maj, who has a choice of playing 3, 8 or 12. We’ve concluded that being a prop who can play like a centre is probably a better route to selection than “just” being a centre.
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Post by doctor_grey Sat Feb 04 2023, 13:18

Poorfour wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Banahan was played as a winger, when he could have been the solution to England's desperate need for a 12 who combined size and pace

He had a cracking offload.

I wonder if he'd come through now if he would have stayed at 2nd row,

He might have done. Academies today are creating players who have a pretty rounded skill set - quite a lot of eventual forwards started out in the backs, and quite a lot of backline players have played 10 or 13 in their age grade rugby. I’ve had this conversation with Ms Poorfour Maj, who has a choice of playing 3, 8 or 12. We’ve concluded that being a prop who can play like a centre is probably a better route to selection than “just” being a centre.
If England had a Prop who played like a centre, then we know who we could put at 12!


OK, it would probably be Farrell, but....

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Post by lostinwales Sat Feb 04 2023, 14:28

doctor_grey wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Banahan was played as a winger, when he could have been the solution to England's desperate need for a 12 who combined size and pace

He had a cracking offload.

I wonder if he'd come through now if he would have stayed at 2nd row,

He might have done. Academies today are creating players who have a pretty rounded skill set - quite a lot of eventual forwards started out in the backs, and quite a lot of backline players have played 10 or 13 in their age grade rugby. I’ve had this conversation with Ms Poorfour Maj, who has a choice of playing 3, 8 or 12. We’ve concluded that being a prop who can play like a centre is probably a better route to selection than “just” being a centre.
If England had a Prop who played like a centre, then we know who we could put at 12!


OK, it would probably be Farrell, but....

Basteraud...

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Post by Geordie Sat Feb 04 2023, 16:04

Laugh guys when I listed the sizes of Isiekwe and Chessum I was merely trying to show that losing itoje would not make the England second row lightweight lol....

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Post by Geordie Sat Feb 04 2023, 16:50

Steward .....smash

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Post by tigertattie Sat Feb 04 2023, 16:52

Soooo. It’s looking like a hide behind to sofa kinda game.

Someone watch out for jimbo’s blood pressure
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Post by Geordie Sat Feb 04 2023, 16:58

Love love at the moment....

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Post by Geordie Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:00

The red sea parted there.....

Sinfield defence absent

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Post by Duty281 Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:01

10 minutes of good Scottish defence...followed up by whatever the hell that was from England's midfield.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:03

Huw really loves scoring against England!

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Post by Geordie Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:09

Malins world class....who ever questioned his selection....

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Post by Duty281 Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:10

Reminded me of one of Cueto's tries v South Africa, around 2004/5.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:12

Geordie wrote:Malins world class....who ever questioned his selection....

He does really well, Smith put more on that then he intended.

You can tell England are under a new regime, things are still clicking into place but promising signs.

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Post by Scottrf Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:14

Weak as hell from Dombrandt, take him off.

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Post by Heaf Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:15

Nice try - but they should have got him ...

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Post by Geordie Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:15

Sinfields defence showing up well

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Post by Duty281 Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:15

Exceptional finish by Van der Merwe, but England's exit play/kick chase/defence found wanting again.

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Post by Geordie Sat Feb 04 2023, 17:17

Not exceptional at all.....awful defence

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