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Italy vs England

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Post by bsando Sun 28 Jan 2024, 3:15 am

First topic message reminder :

Italy vs England
Guiness Six Nations, 2024

Round One
Saturday 3rd of February
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick Off 14:15 GMT

Referee: Paul Williams (NZ)
ARs: Nic Berry (Aus) & Pierre Brousset (Fra) Nika Amashukeli (Geo)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Aus)

TV Coverage ITV 1
Virgin Media (ROI)

Teams

Italy

Allan; Capuozzo, Brex, Menoncello, Ioane; P Garbisi, A Garbisi; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Ceccarelli, N Cannone, Ruzza, Negri, Lamaro (capt), L Cannone.

Replacements: Nicotera, Spagnolo, Zilocchi, Zambonin, Iachizzi, Zuliani, Varney, Pani

England

Steward; Freeman, Slade, Dingwall, Daly; Ford, Mitchell; Marler, George (capt), Stuart, Itoje, Chessum, Roots, Underhill, Earl.

Replacements: Dan, Genge, Cole, Coles, Cunningham-South, Care, F Smith, Feyi-Waboso


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Post by mountain man Sun 04 Feb 2024, 11:12 am

Probably depend on fitness of those who missed out. I'd like to think if fit Marcus Smith and Lawrence be in.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 04 Feb 2024, 12:03 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yeah can't imagine that there's going to be many if any changes for Wales. If Genge is back he'll move back to the bench but that's really it I think.

Really I thought Daly, Dingwell, Slade and Underhill were all poor

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Post by carpet baboon Sun 04 Feb 2024, 12:04 pm

Steward to 12 furbank in at 15.
You heard it here first

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 04 Feb 2024, 3:24 pm

Genge and Beard are back. Smith is still out.

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Post by mountain man Mon 05 Feb 2024, 4:17 am

Any news on Lawrence?

Shame about Smith, I was hoping he'd be ready. Think we can safely assume it'll be Ford starting and Fin bench again.

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Post by mountain man Mon 05 Feb 2024, 4:36 am

carpet baboon wrote:Steward to 12 furbank in at 15.
You heard it here first

No chance. Steward be 15 for Welsh match.
I don't think Wales will kick too much, especially if Steward is at 15 as they know he's so good under high ball, plus their line out pretty ropey and they'll look to run Eng pack around.

I guess it's not beyond realms of possibilty Furbank could be 15 but I'd say chances are infinitesimal Steward goes to 12.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 05 Feb 2024, 5:19 am

More likely to see Steward on the wing and bring in Furbank at 15 than see him in midfield.

I've seen nothing re injury updates other than the release of the squad so given Beard and Genge are both there assumed they're fit for the game.

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Post by nlpnlp Mon 05 Feb 2024, 11:58 am

I think you are more likely to see me at 12 against Wales than you are Steward.  I fully expect Steward to be wearing the 15 shirt as he is comfortably the best catcher of a kick we have and Wales I suspect will be applying a more kick to compete approach on a wet, cold Twickenham afternoon than they did against Scotland.

I think Ben Earl has got away without much criticism for a pretty miserable performance controlling the ball at the back of the scrum against Italy.  I appreciate that he isn't a no8 never mind an International no8, but why is Dombrandt in the squad as the only specialist no8 if Borthwick doesn't feel confident in picking him?  I appreciate that Mercer may have some workons in terms of his 'clap and chase', but I don't think there is any question about his control at the back of the scrum, ball carrying and tackling.  I would much rather we had Mercer playing who has the potential to be an International no8 albeit with areas he needs to work on, rather than a someone who isn't a club no8 or someone who after 15 caps doesn't look anything like an International quality no8.  Picking Earl at no8 seems to be an easy option over picking who the best 7 is out of Earl, Underhill, Curry, etc and has the knock-on impact of effecting who England can pick at 6.  Please Mr Borthwick grow a pair and pick a specialist no8 and whoever you think the best 7 is, even if it means dropping Earl.

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Post by mountain man Mon 05 Feb 2024, 12:30 pm

C-CS is an 8, play him there and Earl 7. Roots at 6.

Sorted.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 05 Feb 2024, 4:53 pm

I finally had the chance to watch the full match from the start, and I am more underwhelmed than I expected.  Clearly there was some attacking intent.  But most of the better plays came from an individual act of inspiration or brilliance, not so much the set up.  

The defense was so narrow, it didn't take much to get beat on the outside.  Frankly, not just narrow, but not moving well adjusting to Italy's attack.  So out of position quite a bit.  

Overall, I did not see much in the way of stellar performances.  Not sure there was much to worry any future opponent....

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Post by Geordie Mon 05 Feb 2024, 5:14 pm

We all know Earl is a flanker, but he has credit in the bank for staring at the world Cup. He's a strong carrier in the tight aswell as the open and his alround game is very impressive. I rate Earl thay highly that a Fully in form Earl is a starting flanker for me and the others have to fight for the remaining flank spot..including a fully fit Tom Curry (i might get slated for that). Don't forget He's only just back from injury, maybe only played about 2 games I think so will not really be at full speed yet.

I think Borthwick is torn with Dombrandt. I think he respects his skills but was concerned about his physicality at this level.
Maybe with an evolving of the attacking tactics...he wants to see if Dombrandt can bring it to this level.

CCS is one for the near future, Roots...despite his MOTM, I'm yet to be convinced he's a long term option. But rhay was his first game so we shall see.

I'll be watching the Lock combo aswel to see how they work together...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 05 Feb 2024, 6:14 pm

doctor_grey wrote:I finally had the chance to watch the full match from the start, and I am more underwhelmed than I expected.  Clearly there was some attacking intent.  But most of the better plays came from an individual act of inspiration or brilliance, not so much the set up..

Both tries came from us playing some phases and moving the defence around. Steward shows great hands to get it away to Freeman on a nice line but it's a pre planned move. Mitchell scores from some momentum provided by the attack, the Italians are scrabbling to realign as there's a blind side move being set, leaves a gap big enough for Dan Cole to run through let alone someone as quick as Mitchell.

Geordie, I'm not completely sold on Roots but he delivered what we needed him to and at 26 he should be coming into his peak years. Definitely deserves to keep hold of the shirt and keep staking a claim. I agree on Dombrant, he doesn't bring enough of a physical edge and he's a big unit as well. I think across the pack we are lacking mobile physicality. We've got it in the second row, hooker isn't bad but props and the backrow we need some more all court options. You look at France and Ireland and everyone in their pack is a carrier, they are all ferocious both sides of the ball. Dombrant should be watching tapes of Aldritt (a man with similar skills to Dombrant but who's engine and physicality are miles ahead).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 3:48 am

Earl puts in 1 or 2 fantastic runs that really stick in the memory. His carrying isn't consistent enough though and he's really not an 8. At the moment missing others I'd start him at 7 with roots at 6 and C-S at 8. Bang Pearson on the bench.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 3:49 am

doctor_grey wrote:I finally had the chance to watch the full match from the start, and I am more underwhelmed than I expected.  Clearly there was some attacking intent.  But most of the better plays came from an individual act of inspiration or brilliance, not so much the set up.  

The defense was so narrow, it didn't take much to get beat on the outside.  Frankly, not just narrow, but not moving well adjusting to Italy's attack.  So out of position quite a bit.  

Overall, I did not see much in the way of stellar performances.  Not sure there was much to worry any future opponent....

Alot of gaslighting at the moment re progress.

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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 4:01 am

I think across the pack we are lacking mobile physicality

That is exactly what Roots delivered on Saturday. Earl was pretty quiet but usually he can relied on for that. Not the biggest or most physical but very dynamic.
C-CS has physicality and speed so perfect compliment at no8.

Wales have a good backrow, Wainwright was excellent and Reffell very good at breakdown so Eng will need mobile backrow and good ruck operators. A backrow of Roots, C-CS and Earl will bring that. Underhill back from injury and looked a distance off it to me.

Props though are more of an issue but against Wales not so much. If Genge back in that will help in loose for sure.


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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 4:09 am

Alot of gaslighting at the moment re progress

7.5, could you be more specific in this? I thought England looked to play with intent from the off, loads to work on and fact defence was pretty dire at times meant the team was often scrambling back when they should have been better positioned to attack.

However, I saw more intent to play in first 20mins than I have last year or so.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 4:20 am

mountain man wrote:
Alot of gaslighting at the moment re progress

7.5, could you be more specific in this? I thought England looked to play with intent from the off, loads to work on and fact defence was pretty dire at times meant the team was often scrambling back when they should have been better positioned to attack.

However, I saw more intent to play in first 20mins than I have last year or so.

I've seen loads of comments as to how well the attack went, we have those lines from Ford, the George thing about the fresh start etc. People excited about what Borthwick is building. I've seen comments that Borthwick really starts now as previous to this his hands were tied from Eddie Jones. Comments around what a big job it is and that it'll take another 2 years before we can judge him, while at the same time saying wow best NH side, we got 3rd place in the WC.

I don't overly mind the mistakes in defence tbh, new system there'll be lapses. But you've got the media dropping in that it'll be 15 odd games and we're building for the WC etc...exactly where E Jones made his mistakes. I guess a good chunk of the media is annoying me for the blatant double standards when it comes to judging the prickly Eddie who would wind them up vs the pliable nice guy Borthwick too. I come back to if Eddie had delivered a performance vs Italy with no bonus points there would be a helluva lot more criticism for him now. Free pass though.

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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 4:32 am

Gaslighting or a positive outlook?

Did you really expect any player to be anything other than optimistic? I've not seen anyone seriously say England are the best NH side. Yes Eng finished 3rd but anyone with half a brain or less realises Ireland and France a long way ahead.

England won first match in 6N for several years. OK was Italy so they were expected to although one or two thought they might not.
Italy were good so credit needs to go to them as well.

I thought defence was all over shop so a lot to work on there. France, Ireland and Scotland could really cut them open without some rapid improvement.

At least Borthwick has picked some new players that most of us were hoping he would, and played them.

As for media, surely you know score by now. England lose and/or play badly and they are crucified. England win and they are best team in world. As it ever was.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 4:40 am

They live among us mm. The former collaborator beshocked, the make believe ref on the beeb, they're all seriously suggesting it was a magnificent achievement.

'England won first match in 6N for several years. OK was Italy so they were expected to although one or two thought they might not.
Italy were good so credit needs to go to them as well.' - I've seen this point too. We won the first match for years but much like the WC fixtures I'd say the opposition had much to say, granted it looked dodgy for a while and only by 3. I come back to the fact it's been 10 ish years since we last didn't get a bonus point against them.

I think Wales if they let loose next week could cause an interesting atmosphere in Twickenham. They under Gatlands first stint though have had the same issues as us that they're not allowed to for the majority. Perhaps with the weaker front row Warren has now will lead to a more open game on Saturday though.

Not sure. I think a good majority of the pundits threw their hat in with Borthwick so are in the we have to give him time camp. Only really Woodward didn't want him and has had a few jabs already. My sister in law was in Rome and had an after dinner speech from Dallaglio who was scathing about Borthwicks lack of experience and the fact that RFU chose him; not seen him come anywhere close to saying that opening in print though. I do think the daggers will be out soon but they've been very kind to him.

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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 4:50 am

Well pundits are probably in similar frame of mind as I am. Borthwick wasn't my choice of coach(if you recall I wanted O'Gara) but realistically he's going nowhere anytime soon so it's case of wait and see. RWC was some terrible rugby but yes they did come 3rd.

Now it's up to Borthwick and team to show progress, certainly in attack and there was signs of that on Saturday I thought.

Acid test will come against Wales, playing at Twickenham, win behind them and Wales having lost.

A dire win won't convince, better than a loss but if they scrape through by going into shell and winning through kicks I think knives will be out but Borthwick despite your hopes won't be sacked.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 4:59 am

You get my hopes up, then dash them. O'Gara with some anger management training maybe.

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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 5:02 am

O'Gara be inline for Ireland for his next job so a moot point I'd think but he'd be a very radical change for Eng!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 06 Feb 2024, 5:10 am

Yeah cause Dayglo is well known as having a sharp mind. Best displayed by his rambling, barely coherent and at best stating the obvious commentary offerings or his business dealings that leave him bankrupt. As for SCW he's had the knives out for any England head coach for ages because he's got a belief that England need a head of performance to oversee the head coach and an even bigger belief that person should be him.

Borthwick was the best EQ option available. Robertson wasn't coming as the NZ job was in the offing. O'Gara signed a long term deal with La Rochelle to rule him out of linking up with Ireland he wasn't going to come to England and the RFU weren't going to want to pay out La Rochelle even if he did. Sacking Eddie at the time they did left England with few options and the Premiership winning head coach who'd just rebuilt a side from the ground up and who had coached as an assistant two international sides for several years and assisted the Lions made a good choice.

Gatland was certainly impressed and gushed over Borthwick previously https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2022/12/20/steve-borthwick-did-two-jobs-2017-lions-tour-when-knew-special/

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 5:15 am

mountain man wrote:O'Gara be inline for Ireland for his next job so a moot point I'd think but he'd be a very radical change for Eng!

That just makes Farrell available again. Swings and roundabouts.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 5:27 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Yeah cause Dayglo is well known as having a sharp mind. Best displayed by his rambling, barely coherent and at best stating the obvious commentary offerings or his business dealings that leave him bankrupt. As for SCW he's had the knives out for any England head coach for ages because he's got a belief that England need a head of performance to oversee the head coach and an even bigger belief that person should be him.

Borthwick was the best EQ option available. Robertson wasn't coming as the NZ job was in the offing. O'Gara signed a long term deal with La Rochelle to rule him out of linking up with Ireland he wasn't going to come to England and the RFU weren't going to want to pay out La Rochelle even if he did. Sacking Eddie at the time they did left England with few options and the Premiership winning head coach who'd just rebuilt a side from the ground up and who had coached as an assistant two international sides for several years and assisted the Lions made a good choice.

Gatland was certainly impressed and gushed over Borthwick previously https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2022/12/20/steve-borthwick-did-two-jobs-2017-lions-tour-when-knew-special/

I get that there are varied valuations of any pundit out there Sam. My only point here is that there are some remaining quiet for Borthwick where similar aspects of his and England's performance would be more picked apart were it Jones.

The RFU made their choice, and he was the fairly long term one since way back when the RFU mentioned the development of a coach. At that point it was potentially someone like Gustard in that conversation also, but Harlequins put paid to him.

I think Borthwick is a fantastic coach. Just not one for leading.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 06 Feb 2024, 6:19 am

I think the performance is getting picked apart but the facts are the attack had more shape than it's had in years. Mike Brown very complimentary about it on Ben Youngs podcast. The back three were involved, the playmaker had options. It wasn't perfect but it was definite step forward. Defence looked messy and that's taking some flak but new defensive structure so might take some time to bed that in.

It's worth remembering that Italy ran France close at home last 6N. They aren't a bad side anymore that relies on one or two star players. They are a half decent cohesive unit.

At some point an assistant has to take the top job. Borthwick did it and did rather well. He needs to settle in with this coaching team and push forward. Sinfield leaving is a real blow though.

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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 6:21 am

I think the performance is getting picked apart but the facts are the attack had more shape than it's had in years.

Yep.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 7:06 am

So step forward from the 33 0 away victory we had last time?

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 06 Feb 2024, 7:14 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I finally had the chance to watch the full match from the start, and I am more underwhelmed than I expected.  Clearly there was some attacking intent.  But most of the better plays came from an individual act of inspiration or brilliance, not so much the set up..

Both tries came from us playing some phases and moving the defence around. Steward shows great hands to get it away to Freeman on a nice line but it's a pre planned move. Mitchell scores from some momentum provided by the attack, the Italians are scrabbling to realign as there's a blind side move being set, leaves a gap big enough for Dan Cole to run through let alone someone as quick as Mitchell.

Geordie, I'm not completely sold on Roots but he delivered what we needed him to and at 26 he should be coming into his peak years. Definitely deserves to keep hold of the shirt and keep staking a claim. I agree on Dombrant, he doesn't bring enough of a physical edge and he's a big unit as well. I think across the pack we are lacking mobile physicality. We've got it in the second row, hooker isn't bad but props and the backrow we need some more all court options. You look at France and Ireland and everyone in their pack is a carrier, they are all ferocious both sides of the ball. Dombrant should be watching tapes of Aldritt (a man with similar skills to Dombrant but who's engine and physicality are miles ahead).
Sorry Sam, but I disagree about the tries.  On the first one Roots had just taken the ball up and into contact, then it was a pretty basic hands move wide across the pitch.  Steward took a rather bad pass, fixed his man, and moved the ball onto Freeman who cut past his man and into the space.  The second try was after  just a few phases, but Mitchell didn't have much of a gap - he was tackled before the line - fortunately not held.  

On the other hand, I agree about Roots - one match doth not a career make.  But better to see decent play on debut rather than not!  Let's see how he gets on from here.  If he remains consistent, then great for England.  Interesting because he never made the ABs (played for NZ Maori), but put his head down, did the work, and now had a good first cap with England.  So, hoping for the best.  Unfortunately, I agree about Dombrandt as well.  I was hoping more of a ball player at 8 would help the attack.  But, as you said, just a wee bit short with the physicality.


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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 7:14 am

Hang on, I thought for you it was performance over result?

I'd say England looked better at times on Saturday than they have for some time although result ended up close. England beat Japan by a comfortable margin in RWC but it was pretty awful I thought, so judging a game purely on how close or not score was doesn't tell whole story.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 7:21 am

mountain man wrote:Hang on, I thought for you it was performance over result?

I'd say England looked better at times on Saturday than they have for some time although result ended up close. England beat Japan by a comfortable margin in RWC but it was pretty awful I thought, so judging a game purely on how close or not score was doesn't tell whole story.

Me?yes we need to entertain first and foremost. That's why I continue to be grumpy. It's awful.

And as debate is about trying to discuss aspect others favour such as result over entertainment I would suspect even people who think Borthwick is the right guy to be more questioning of not picking up a (probably) vital bonus point.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 7:22 am

I would say the beauty of following a union the size and strength of England though is that really entertainment and winning should be very doable.

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Post by mountain man Tue 06 Feb 2024, 7:34 am

Well think I've already said it, England couldn't go for BP as spent too much time scrambling to patch up shoddy defence.

As for vital, if they lose a match then BP irrelevant. You are thinking of table position by end of tournament which seems counter to your wanting entertainment over all else.
If Eng win all their games then BPs become void. If they sneak up from 4th to 3rd purely because they got BPS in so called easy games then that is masking reflection of where they are.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Feb 2024, 7:43 am

Borthwick is aiming for winning the 6Ns and to maximise that opportunity you have to pick up a bonus point vs Italy. Anyone can slip up in sport, and I'm not sure even the most ardent supporters are expecting a GS for England so we need as many points on the board as possible, including 2 bonus point losses when the loss comes. Again re the point of thinking to the end 'And as debate is about trying to discuss aspect others favour such as result over entertainment'...if results are the be all and end all then that Italy results was below par re result.

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