By RuggerPleb
#63681
RuggerPleb wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2023 9:10 pm

... and even Italy still having a chance if they can shock NZ.
:yikes:

I'll stop making predictions now. Ireland may be in trouble.
P51b liked this
By Olyy
#63706
Another headclash in the Fiji/Georgia game
Slight mitigation in the step of the Georgian player however always high/illegal, direct head contact, high degree of force
Yellow

Gotta love that consistency!
By Olyy
#63770
Tom, Ford and Manu all start this weekend

Looking forward to seeing Tom play again - hopefully for longer than 2mins this time!

Frustrating that Rodd doesn't make the bench, not like Marler needs the experience

User avatar
By poyntonshark
#63772
Far fewer selection complaints than I've had with recent England squads, but I still don't understand how Johnny May keeps getting selected. I'm quite a fan of Marchant but not on the wing (that might just be me). Ludlum unlucky to miss out, but I like the look of the back row. Billy on the bench more on reputation than on current form. Although I think we missed Dan Cole's early season window of good form, he might be a decent choice against Samoa, though they have been a bit disappointing this tournament.
By ale shark
#63773
Come on then, what on earth does GZEPSO mean? Why does every social media post have to try and be so clever?
By Olyy
#63774
ale shark wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 7:20 am
Come on then, what on earth does GZEPSO mean? Why does every social media post have to try and be so clever?
The image is actually a video, when you view it on Twitter, and the letters all cycle through a bunch of random letters before landing on "LINEUP"
By ale shark
#63775
Wow, brilliant. I bet their social media team spent a day thinking that one up.
User avatar
By Lord Elpus
#63776
They tried that at Sale Sharks but the letters ended up as "COCKUP"
dinogyro liked this
By SimonG
#63782
ale shark wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 7:20 am
Come on then, what on earth does GZEPSO mean? Why does every social media post have to try and be so clever?
Possibly they are hoping that eventually they might actually achieve that aim?

No sign of it happening yet though!
By Olyy
#63798
Absolute guff

Farrell gets a lot of stick, and a lot of it undeserved, but I think that's the worst I've ever seen him play
Poor passing, poor leadership and the only player I've ever seen get timed out by the shot clock
User avatar
By SSR
#63799
I was struck by a comment along the lines of " Steve Borthwick said that this weeks training was the hardest they have had".
Now I understood that the squad training had been heavy during the warm up games and
that was why they were leaden and underperformed. The turaround in the earlier matches
was due to the training being more measured.
If the above quote is true, does that explain the dire nature of the game last night?
If so, what is going on?
By ale shark
#63800
I’m not sure there had been much of an upturn in performance, we were just playing poor teams. Hopefully Fiji smash us next week to deservedly end this global embarrassment.

Borthwick was an abominably dull captain and he’s an even worse coach. Wigglesworth should just come home, total waste of an RFU funded hotel room.
Bucks1861 liked this
User avatar
By Lord Elpus
#63802
The pack lacks power and the backs lack pace. It's so reminiscent of SS in the KJ era when the half backs just shovelled on slow ball.

Genge talks a good game only, George is less of a force, Cole is ageing, Itoje below his own par, Chessum green and clumsy in contact, Lawes over-the-hill now, Curry rusty, Earl not a number 8.
DavenportSharky liked this
By SimonG
#63804
ale shark wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2023 7:52 am
I’m not sure there had been much of an upturn in performance, we were just playing poor teams. Hopefully Fiji smash us next week to deservedly end this global embarrassment.

Borthwick was an abominably dull captain and he’s an even worse coach. Wigglesworth should just come home, total waste of an RFU funded hotel room.
I always thought that with this draw we would be "good enough" to make the quarter/semi finals and here we are - albeit playing dreadful rugby. I can see us beating Fiji next weekend (still playing dreadful rugby) and then the RFU can pat themselves on the back and renew Borthwick's contract as reaching the top four will be regarded as a great success.

Depressing isn't it?
DavenportSharky liked this
User avatar
By Flumpty
#63807
This isn'y backed by any science or deep knowledge of the game - is the England team coached to (near) death. In situation A, we do B, then C and following that D, etc, etc rather than playing what is in front of you ?
By Surbiton_Shark
#63808
Selection for next week will be interesting - a defining moment for Borthwick - well it should be but I temporarily forgot about the RFU

Mitchell is a bust flush. Not entirely his fault - the only scrum half we played since the last world cup is Youngs. Mitchell snuck in via the back door - favoured by the press/other professionals on his attacking abilities. We literally don't favour that in an England shirt - it's box kick and shovel to 10. His inexperience is showing up and let's face it - he ain't up for it so he doesn't make the bench - Youngs to start and Care on the bench

If we pick Faz/Ford together - well that's just stupid

I'd imagine Ford will be dropped - he won't make the same fuss Faz was - this is clearly a Faz run team (how on earth would you drag Ford off on Sat night and keep Faz on)

We'll prob go Faz/Manu/Marchant - be lovely if we picked someone on the wing with actual pace.

Steward offers about at Hammers does in attack - just start with Smith.

Switch Curry to 8 for better ball control at scrums he's got a touch more experience and having him/Earl on the field is better than Billy just skulking about moaning to the ref.

For heaven's sake - let's give it a go - if we lose at least we won't die wondering.
User avatar
By Yareet
#63809
SimonG wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2023 12:45 pm
ale shark wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2023 7:52 am
I’m not sure there had been much of an upturn in performance, we were just playing poor teams. Hopefully Fiji smash us next week to deservedly end this global embarrassment.

Borthwick was an abominably dull captain and he’s an even worse coach. Wigglesworth should just come home, total waste of an RFU funded hotel room.
I always thought that with this draw we would be "good enough" to make the quarter/semi finals and here we are - albeit playing dreadful rugby. I can see us beating Fiji next weekend (still playing dreadful rugby) and then the RFU can pat themselves on the back and renew Borthwick's contract as reaching the top four will be regarded as a great success.

Depressing isn't it?
I fully agree that the draw made the quarters likely. I also agree that we could well beat Fiji.

Where I struggle is this idea that winning a quarter would be considered a great success.

We are demonstrably a 5th-8th ranked side who have got lucky that 1-4 are all on the other side of the draw.

I’ve seen nothing from England rugby to suggest they think anything different yet there seems to be utter conviction from certain quarters that we know what the powers that be are thinking.

Borthwick has a contract until 2027. Keeping him on isn’t “renewing his contract”. It’s honouring what was agreed and we have no idea what objectives he has been set.

I’m also struggling to find all of this doom and gloom anywhere as we waltzed past Argentina and Japan - on paper the hardest two teams in the league. Nor while we put Chile to the sword.

For clarity, I think the semifinal is about our limit; absent a huge turnaround in capability, a significant slice of luck or a couple of red cards to the oppo. possibly all three are required.

But then I was also convinced we’d get hammered by Australia in 2007, NZ in 2019 and Argentina a few weeks ago once Tom went off.

Shall we just see what happens and then react to what the RFU actually do rather than what our biases suggest they might?
ledzepsfr liked this
By RinTin
#63813
On our hopes vs Fiji next week - what is clear is Fiji are playing to the standard of their opposition. They raise their game vs us, Oz and Wales, then struggle past Georgia and lose to Portugal. All games were close though with them seemingly matching their opposition. The loss to Portugal means nothing and Fiji will be our toughest opponent of the tournament so far.

Team selection - if Manu starts he has to go at 12. If Farrell is 12 I'd go Lawrence at 13.

Agree with all that we need pace on the wings. Marchant 13, Daly 11, Arundell 14 and Smith 15 is an exciting group with great pace and ball skills. Bench S/H, Lawrence and Steward.

Farrell should be out of the 23 but it won't happen. Ford will be dropped with Smith retained on the bench. Wish SB could just grow some balls and make the big calls.
By ale shark
#63814
Don’t worry about the line up RinTin, Itoje has promised us there’ll be some “honest conversations” this week.

My faith is restored and I’m now expecting us to go all the way.
Olyy, RinTin liked this
By SimonG
#63817
Yareet wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2023 8:15 pm
SimonG wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2023 12:45 pm
ale shark wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2023 7:52 am
I’m not sure there had been much of an upturn in performance, we were just playing poor teams. Hopefully Fiji smash us next week to deservedly end this global embarrassment.

Borthwick was an abominably dull captain and he’s an even worse coach. Wigglesworth should just come home, total waste of an RFU funded hotel room.
I always thought that with this draw we would be "good enough" to make the quarter/semi finals and here we are - albeit playing dreadful rugby. I can see us beating Fiji next weekend (still playing dreadful rugby) and then the RFU can pat themselves on the back and renew Borthwick's contract as reaching the top four will be regarded as a great success.

Depressing isn't it?
I fully agree that the draw made the quarters likely. I also agree that we could well beat Fiji.

Where I struggle is this idea that winning a quarter would be considered a great success.

We are demonstrably a 5th-8th ranked side who have got lucky that 1-4 are all on the other side of the draw.

I’ve seen nothing from England rugby to suggest they think anything different yet there seems to be utter conviction from certain quarters that we know what the powers that be are thinking.

Borthwick has a contract until 2027. Keeping him on isn’t “renewing his contract”. It’s honouring what was agreed and we have no idea what objectives he has been set.

I’m also struggling to find all of this doom and gloom anywhere as we waltzed past Argentina and Japan - on paper the hardest two teams in the league. Nor while we put Chile to the sword.

For clarity, I think the semifinal is about our limit; absent a huge turnaround in capability, a significant slice of luck or a couple of red cards to the oppo. possibly all three are required.

But then I was also convinced we’d get hammered by Australia in 2007, NZ in 2019 and Argentina a few weeks ago once Tom went off.

Shall we just see what happens and then react to what the RFU actually do rather than what our biases suggest they might?
To avoid any misunderstanding I meant that reaching the semis would be regarded as a great success by the RFU.

And I take your point about Borthwick's contract although I'm not sure we should wait until we see what the RFU do before we comment as they have a history of not doing anything!
By RinTin
#63822
I've heard the RFU can't touch Borthwick as it would cost too much to end his contract early. Even if we get spanked by Fiji in the quarter SB is secure and holds all the cards.
By Elgar
#63824
There may be a middle ground to do with 'encouraging' him to reconsider some of his appointments.

E.g a defence coach who is undoubtedly an absolutely outstanding chap on a number of different counts but ultimately, is pretty inexperienced and is presiding over a relatively leaky defence.

Even more pertinently an attach coach who is also very inexperienced and seems to be coaching the opposite of attack.
By Olyy
#63826
Do agree that the assistants are a large part of the issue - a green HC shouldn't have been allowed to surround himself with equally green assistants

We do have Felix Jones coming in post RWC, and he worked as an assistant attack coach early in his coaching career, but seems to be working more on the defence side of things with the Boks atm - he's coming in as an unspecified "Assistant Coach" so might be that he'll be a man who wears many hats rather than vying with Wiggy for the "Attack Coach" role
User avatar
By Yareet
#63828
Olyy wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 1:11 pm
Do agree that the assistants are a large part of the issue - a green HC shouldn't have been allowed to surround himself with equally green assistants

We do have Felix Jones coming in post RWC, and he worked as an assistant attack coach early in his coaching career, but seems to be working more on the defence side of things with the Boks atm - he's coming in as an unspecified "Assistant Coach" so might be that he'll be a man who wears many hats rather than vying with Wiggy for the "Attack Coach" role
I think Wiggy is officially an Assistant Coach as well - or at least was when he was appointed
By Olyy
#63830
Yareet wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 1:28 pm
Olyy wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 1:11 pm
Do agree that the assistants are a large part of the issue - a green HC shouldn't have been allowed to surround himself with equally green assistants

We do have Felix Jones coming in post RWC, and he worked as an assistant attack coach early in his coaching career, but seems to be working more on the defence side of things with the Boks atm - he's coming in as an unspecified "Assistant Coach" so might be that he'll be a man who wears many hats rather than vying with Wiggy for the "Attack Coach" role
I think Wiggy is officially an Assistant Coach as well - or at least was when he was appointed
I do remember that as well, but looks like he's been promoted:
https://www.englandrugby.com/england/se ... gglesworth
User avatar
By Yareet
#63831
Olyy wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 1:58 pm
Yareet wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 1:28 pm
Olyy wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 1:11 pm
Do agree that the assistants are a large part of the issue - a green HC shouldn't have been allowed to surround himself with equally green assistants

We do have Felix Jones coming in post RWC, and he worked as an assistant attack coach early in his coaching career, but seems to be working more on the defence side of things with the Boks atm - he's coming in as an unspecified "Assistant Coach" so might be that he'll be a man who wears many hats rather than vying with Wiggy for the "Attack Coach" role
I think Wiggy is officially an Assistant Coach as well - or at least was when he was appointed
I do remember that as well, but looks like he's been promoted:
https://www.englandrugby.com/england/se ... gglesworth
I may be misremembering but I seem to recall that the belief is that Wiggy is the attack coach for the World Cup.

Thereafter, the new guy will do attack and keep Sir Kev for defence. I’d guess Wiggy might become skills coach?
Olyy liked this
By Surbiton_Shark
#63853
Ford apparently on bench for Sunday. The golden child at 10, somehow Mitchell starts and Smith starts at 15

Wonder if George will continue his vocal support of the Golden one
By ale shark
#63854
Surbiton_Shark wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 9:29 pm
Ford apparently on bench for Sunday. The golden child at 10, somehow Mitchell starts and Smith starts at 15

Wonder if George will continue his vocal support of the Golden one
Utter shambles, a total clusterfuk. Unsurprisingly the match isn’t even sold out.
By Olyy
#63855
From Axes quotes yesterday it sounds like he was privvy to it before the press
He got his opportunity with England and played unbelievably well yet it still doesn’t fall for him. What has he got to do? I guess he should have been named captain. I like Owen Farrell; he is a good leader and brilliant attacking fly-half. George can’t do any more by ways of game management and keeping the scoreboard ticking over. He can’t do any more, not after the Argentina game.


I'm a huge Marcus Smith fan, don't get me wrong, but that's as a 10. Starting him at 15 in the biggest England game for 4 years is just wild. His second ever start there in his career. Maybe he'll come through it fine but someone as inexperienced in the position as him will get found out sooner or later - maybe it'll be the jouer jouer of Fiji, or maybe it'll be a tactical kicking team, but no one should be learning a position in international knockout rugby
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#63856
I'm not a huge Marcus Smith fan and I still have doubts about him at this level, but here he is replacing Freddie Steward (who we might well start on the wing for his searing pace), not Beaudon Barrett, how bad can it be? The biggest problem I have with shoehorning Marcus in is the likely futility of it. There has been little evidence that England are prepared to play a gameplan that utilises Marcus' skills in any way. I'm not hoping for Fiji to beat us, what I'm really hoping for is that the England management team prove me wrong and allow England to play actual attacking rugby for 80 minutes, not just the first and last 10 minutes as seems to be the case lately.
Olyy liked this
By SimonG
#63861
poyntonshark wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2023 4:46 am
I'm not a huge Marcus Smith fan and I still have doubts about him at this level, but here he is replacing Freddie Steward (who we might well start on the wing for his searing pace), not Beaudon Barrett, how bad can it be? The biggest problem I have with shoehorning Marcus in is the likely futility of it. There has been little evidence that England are prepared to play a gameplan that utilises Marcus' skills in any way. I'm not hoping for Fiji to beat us, what I'm really hoping for is that the England management team prove me wrong and allow England to play actual attacking rugby for 80 minutes, not just the first and last 10 minutes as seems to be the case lately.
I'm a huge Marcus Smith fan but I agree with you entirely. Smith is great at Quins because he plays in a team that tries to play open exciting heads-up rugby the exact opposite of England. His selection at 10 or 15 won't make any difference at all.

The most important thing for England on Saturday is to have Ford at 10 and Farrell in his civvies.
By Elgar
#63867
Whether Smith can avoid getting exposed in the backfield, for 80 minutes and against decent opposition, is untested. For all the solidity that Steward gives in winning high balls, he doesn't turn defence into attack.
I don't think the Smith selection over Steward is as much of a gamble as it's being made out.

I don't see what Farrell brings to the game that gives him the status that he has in Borthwick's and that he had in EJ's England teams. But while Ford was superb against Argentina, I think that was a standout performance by him and I don't follow the rhetoric that he played anywhere near as effectively against Japan (lovely cross kick assist to Steward aside) or well at all against Samoa. I'm not sure the Farrell / Ford decision is as pivotal as being made out either. Both of them are being and will keep being hamstrung by having no form 9 at test level to pair with and no established midfield combo.
By RinTin
#63868
Starting at 15 is different to coming on there for 20 minutes with a game to change.

What it does is provide the second play maker meaning no need for Farrell at 12 (missed a trick not taking slade as a 13) and no need for Malins on the wing.

If you asked Fiji who they would worry about more Smith vs Steward I would wager it would be Smith. Bold call - if Smith plays in the same manner as his substitute appearances it could be inspired.
By Elgar
#63872
I don't think Slade would necessarily fix it. I can only remember thinking he looked like a potentially really effective test player in the Boks test when Raffi scored the winner and the last 6Nations win in Dublin (where Tuilagi mark I was out and about and pretty everything else that could go wrong for Ireland on the day, did).and he's got loads and loads of caps now.
By DavenportSharky
#63874
I think the backs issue is multifactorial and not solveable by one player. Experience only takes you so far and there has been over reliance on it. Steward would not look so limited if there were 2 rapid tricky wingers on either side of him. If you asked Premiership wingers who they currently fear opposing them I can’t believe that Daly and May would feature highly. Tuilagi is a one trick pony who has been declining for years. Tactics are limited by his selection and I don’t buy the creating space for others argument. Owen Farrell has been deified without justification. He is a solid tough player who has never been world class but is clearly a leader and reliable kicker. He creates little and does not compare well with many of the other 10s at this tournament. The Mirror reported this week that Farrell and Arundell had a set to in training resulting in the latter being excluded from selection. If true it suggests an over powerful influence. The original scrum half selection was extraordinary. I feel sorry for Mitchell who has not had much time to settle with a 10 or an 8. Too many of the backs in the squad are in decline and they are led by a head coach and attack coach who lack imagination, confidence and experience.
ale shark liked this
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#63875
If Tuilagi only has one trick, then it's one hell of a trick. I agree he is in decline, but still comfortably England's best option and still always occupies more than one defender. In the brief windows that England are allowed to play actual rugby he has looked dangerous this tournament. I don't buy the "All our players are useless" argument. In those brief windows of rugby England can look pretty handy, not Ireland, France, SA or NZ handy, but capable of giving any of them a game and causing an upset with a following wind.
By RinTin
#63877
poyntonshark wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2023 3:29 am
If Tuilagi only has one trick, then it's one hell of a trick. I agree he is in decline, but still comfortably England's best option and still always occupies more than one defender. In the brief windows that England are allowed to play actual rugby he has looked dangerous this tournament. I don't buy the "All our players are useless" argument. In those brief windows of rugby England can look pretty handy, not Ireland, France, SA or NZ handy, but capable of giving any of them a game and causing an upset with a following wind.
Am I on my own in thinking Ollie Lawrence looks sharper and a better option?
Elgar, SimonG liked this
By RinTin
#63878
To clarify my point about Slade, most expected him to be in the squad. My post though was not about him specifically sorry, more the idea that a ball player at 13 is perfect for SB's game plan if we have Steward at 15. Steve wants 2 playmakers in the backs it's that simple.

My point was that Smith at Fullback actually means SB doesn't need a playmaker in the centres for his game plan to work. It means he doesn't shoe horn Farrell in there, meaning Tuilagi and Marchant can do what they do best.
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#63879
RinTin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2023 8:11 am
poyntonshark wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2023 3:29 am
If Tuilagi only has one trick, then it's one hell of a trick. I agree he is in decline, but still comfortably England's best option and still always occupies more than one defender. In the brief windows that England are allowed to play actual rugby he has looked dangerous this tournament. I don't buy the "All our players are useless" argument. In those brief windows of rugby England can look pretty handy, not Ireland, France, SA or NZ handy, but capable of giving any of them a game and causing an upset with a following wind.
Am I on my own in thinking Ollie Lawrence looks sharper and a better option?
I've been vaguely disappointed with Lawrence for quite a while. When he first became prominent I was hopeful of a complete centre, big enough to punch holes, quick and agile enough to be elusive and seemingly good hands, but he hasn't progressed as I hoped. Obviously, the Wuss issue and EJ Hokey Cokeying him in and out of the squad without ever playing him didn't help. Hopefully being more settled and apparently more secure in his spot in the squad will see him reach his potential. Manu not likely to be in the way for much, if any, longer.
By Elgar
#63881
I think Lawrence is giving us more of what Tuilagi is there to do at the moment (from the limited amounts we've seen).

If we were getting over the gain line more regularly and recycling more quickly then I can see how Steward might start to look like more of a weapon of a midfield strike runner from 15 than he does now. I thought he looked good in attack against Oz and SA the autumn before last but we played quite quickly in that series.
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#63893
Steward runs good lines, but slowly. As someone mentioned earlier, much less of an issue if we have speedsters on the wing, but we haven't, Johnny May is a shadow of his former self.
Olyy, Elgar liked this
By RinTin
#63896
M Smith (Harlequins); J May (Gloucester), J Marchant (Stade Francais), M Tuilagi (Sale), E Daly (Saracens); O Farrell (Saracens. capt), A Mitchell (Northampton); E Genge (Bristol), J George (Saracens), D Cole (Leicester); M Itoje (Saracens), O Chessum (Leicester); C Lawes (Northampton), B Earl (Saracens), T Curry (Sale).

Replacements: T Dan (Saracens), J Marler (Harlequins), K Sinckler (Bristol), G Martin (Leicester), B Vunipola (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins), G Ford (Sale), O Lawrence (Bath).
User avatar
By Flumpty
#63917
Argentina were good value for their deserved win. They have a decent guy who came on as hooker with a few minutes to go :mrgreen:
By Olyy
#63918
Pre-game I thought that Wales would win by 10-12,
Argentina started both halves very well,
Wales definitely had their moments - I thought that after Tomos Williams' try they were going to keep that lead
Entertaining enough game, good warmup for Ireland New Zealand later!
User avatar
By Flumpty
#63923
What an absolute cracker of a game tonight between Ireland and the All Blacks.
Last edited by Flumpty on Sat Oct 14, 2023 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Olyy, Bronzbronx liked this
By Olyy
#63924
Some games make it feel like you're watching a different sport,
Superb game - feel for Ireland, but what a performance by New Zealand
Bronzbronx liked this
By ledzepsfr
#63926
Olyy wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 6:09 pm
Pre-game I thought that Wales would win by 10-12,
Argentina started both halves very well,
Wales definitely had their moments - I thought that after Tomos Williams' try they were going to keep that lead
Entertaining enough game, good warmup for Ireland New Zealand later!
Why no HIA for the two welsh guys that clashed heads?
Why no yellow card for the Josh Adams penalty? Dickson bottled it saying there was attempt at a wrap.
DavenportSharky liked this
By SimonG
#63931
ledzepsfr wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2023 3:55 am
Olyy wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 6:09 pm
Pre-game I thought that Wales would win by 10-12,
Argentina started both halves very well,
Wales definitely had their moments - I thought that after Tomos Williams' try they were going to keep that lead
Entertaining enough game, good warmup for Ireland New Zealand later!
Why no HIA for the two welsh guys that clashed heads?
Why no yellow card for the Josh Adams penalty? Dickson bottled it saying there was attempt at a wrap.
I think that to answer your first question you would need to ask the independent match day doctors.

As for the second question not sure what Karl Dickson has to do with it. Dan Biggar was refereeing the game wasn't he?
RinTin liked this

Dumb

Sam James new club

Completely fair and I think Sam (should) walk in[…]

Nayacalevu Post on X Twitter https://twitter.com[…]

Rugby paper/discipline stats

I wonder if there are stats for previous years? […]