Autumn RU Internationals

I wonder what people think of the autumn Rugby Union matches, both the conclusion of the 6 nations and the autumn series.

I think lack of crowds have really affected my enjoyment and also the intensity of the play more obviously than in the cricket I watched this summer.

England seem to have decided to respond to their defeat in the RWC final by being even more like SA. Set piece, three phases and then high kick is pretty tedious to me. Defending like demons is impressive but they are winning dull.

It is a shame that France will not field a full team this coming weekend due to a clash with their clubs because I think they could have been the team to challenge England’s tactics by running it back.

I have seen two Rugby League matches this autumn that have provided more intensity, skill and excitement than several of the Union games. Maybe a blip but swarming RU defences, turgid set piece resets and multiple penalties are sapping a lot of my affection for the game.



Indeed Bruce.

The intensity of the SH games have been a notch above those I’ve seen in the Autumn here.

I started watching them over the weekend. I love rugby so I’m always going to watch. Re the defence style of play, think there’s a renewed emphasis from a lot of coaches. The Aus v Argentina game a week or so ago there wasn’t a try scored, wasn’t a bad game but I much prefer a good game of running rugby.

Think penalties should only be 2 point like league also think they’re going to have to consider opening up the play by putting the defence a metre or so back from the ruck.

I think it goes far deeper with (were I in charge :wink:), a need to change:

1- reduce the subs from 8 to 4 (better 3 - 2 props and a back). The game needs more aerobic challenge (smaller body-shapes) and not allow the replacement of the whole front 5 after c.60mins.
2- amend the offside law, so that kickers can’t simply boot down field with impunity. IIRC, they always had to put players on-side?
3- sort out the scrums (straight feeds too) and line-outs as to speed of formation, and stop constant reforming of scrums. Current timelines allow aerobic recovery and simply burn time.

World Rugby is concerned about collisions and this is an artefact of larger and stronger players, who often only play shortened games.

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Bigger/smaller player thingy is a real problem for me with league (which apart from the State of Origin) I don’t watch. The players are all the same size, there’s no variety. Years ago they’d be a huge prop and a pint sized halfback. I’d hate rugby scrums to end up like league which are an embarrassment.

Re scrums and line outs, I would penalise slow arrival at either, and I would stop the clock when the ball is dead and only start it again when the ball is thrown in, or fed into the scrum. I would also shorten the time the ball can be held at the back of a ruck and actually enforce it when it goes over.

In the end I guess this is tweaking only and the game (or rather those playing it) have changed forever.


The games themselves were not that inspiring. I agree with @BruceW that RL has the edge on a being a spectacle.

I would also like to see fewer substitutes, but then along comes those dodgy blood injuries / substitutions. So it’s a tricky position.

On a positive note; it’s been great to see Georgia - great passion, and an acceptable national anthem. I would like to see these autumn internationals used to blood new talent and introduce tier 2 teams to the big time.

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I think I will always be a union fan vs RL, but agree we have not really seen a gripping contest. Mind you that might also be down to the nature of this tournament, which is a kind of made up format to replace the usual SH visits. It probably is a bigger event and player incentive when you get a one off game vs Aus, NZ or SA once a year, but otherwise if you are a NH player the big focus is the 6N with all the usual regional rivalries. Mind you I really enjoyed the first NZ v Argentina game, for a variety of reasons! and the England v Ireland game was an enjoyable spectacle as well. The stop start nature of RU is where the real fault line lies. Resetting scrums for the uninitiated must be puzzling and plain dull.

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It would be nice to see a straight feed once in a while !


Spoiler alert

Only a French fly half could get away with that 80’s hair. Plays pretty well though.

England with problems to solve. One obvious one being kicking away possession to a team that doesn’t always just kick it back…


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I do still have a problem with Amazon’s coverage of live events. The picture just looks weird. Not sure why.

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England 19 - 19 France at full time
Sudden Death over 10 minute per half

England have been crap BTW & none more crap than Farrell, just missed a sudden death penalty & thats 12 points he’s left on the field

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Farrell has been crap since RWC.

Here we go again - there are no fans like English fans for knocking their own!!

Farrell finally kicks one
England win 22-19
So congratulations in the end

And Timmo1341; England fans say it like it is - they played badly against a French B team

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Well at half time I was wondering what Farrell brings to the team at the moment. Ford can kick goals and Farrell never looks like making a line break. I’m unsure of his leadership either-too much slogging at Plan A when a refresh is needed. That is a fault of the coaches too.

In the end I suppose experience and fitness won, but hard not to believe a full-strength France wouldn’t have been an even bigger challenge.

Eddie and his team will have to be honest. Perspiration and commitment (of which England have plenty) may be enough to beat most teams but they must surely have more to offer to win against the top 3-4 sides in the world. For me priority is finding a ball-carrier at 12 when Tuilagi is not fit and some energy at 9. Those changes might mean Ford is not always kicking on the second phase.

Anyway the series ends with a bit of drama.


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I was saying to a friend earlier that I thought the camerawork is very good, but he wonders if it’s same generic feed for everyone showing it.

Last week and this weekend I felt that highlights are far too bright with whites being blown out both on the TV and via a projector.

Sorry - too many wannabe managers here, who don’t have a clue about what it’s like to be on the pitch. Yorkshire rugby/cricket (no football teams worth a mention) pundits. Give the lads a break - the French team played their hearts out. Owen Farrell, contrary to what some of you seem to believe, is human. Stop knocking players when they’re down.


I’m sure he loses sleep at night.