That’s off topic. Which is No.10 stuff
But go on then, I’ll entertain you - what about Itoje?
Itoje could be a good captain - but there may be a reluctance to saddle him with too much responsibility and thus risk diminishing his effectiveness as a player. Launchbury would be a good choice IMO but he’s too often out of the side through injury.
What is Smith like as a goal-kicker? Is this one reason for Farrell (although I saw Slade did the duties against Tonga)?
Genge is not an impossibility…
Can’t really comment, but if England win so far looks like Farrell’s contributed 15 points.
…and 3 tries to nil, well done England from West of the border.
May watch it later on Prime assuming it’s there.
Have been preoccupied with Nintendo issues this afternoon!
Farrell contributed almost nothing. He’s still inked in on the teamsheet for the duration of Jones’ tenure
I thought the whole match was pretty disjointed. Smith was fine but it seems by the selection of Farrell that Jones just doesn’t trust him. Impressed by Steward again.
Australia a real curate’s egg. Great individually but so little continuity.
I think SA will murder the England scrum if they cannot get a first choice front row on the field. A No 8 wouldn’t be a bad idea either. What does Simmonds have to do to be picked?
Agreed. Neither side got into any rhythm for even a few minutes. Disjointed is about right. England managed just a few spells, forcing errors and penalties from Australia.
Also impressed by Steward. Deserved player of the match. He was kept busy from a lot of high ball.
(The Aussies seemed intent on kicking, particularly no.9 box kicks. Even long after it was shown they weren’t getting anything from that tactic).
Delighted we didn’t kick as much.
The interplay in the midfield was fascinating.
Farrell and Smith seemed to be sharing and switching first and second receiver roles.
Often Farrell was taking the first pass, with Smith lurking unnoticed and deep somewhere. (So, with more time to scan and consider what to do when the ball came to him).
I winced a couple of times with Smith taking “high risk” decisions. But he got away with it against an undisciplined opposition.
They obviously gave Tuilagi a remit to roam and pop up in the line.
I think the midfield is a work in progress.
I’d love to see Simmons given a chance. Just 7 minutes isn’t enough.
For South Africa, I think we need our A game and best selection. And play our very best attack. Being defensive (by itself) won’t cut it against SA.
Come on England
Disjointed yes - but still a good win
I was pleased to see Smith start- and thought on balance Farrell played pretty well
I agree need to raise our game for the SA match - Itoje and Laws in particular
Are they keeping him for his boot? Still haven’t watched it.
Farrell out of Saturday due to injury. George as well.
Do we get a normal backline with Smith at 10 and a winger on the wing? I predict funky just not sure what!
(Tuilagi at hooker?)
England also short a high quality loose-head so it seems, with Marler not ‘released’ until Friday.
One might hope that a la the Aussies of a few years ago that what they lacked in the forwards, they made up for with some sparkling & creative back play.
Unfortunately, I fear Jones will employ more kicking (e.g. via Youngs), with a view to playing for territory.
Big test today for England team- am quietly confident about this one
At least the fake water carrier won’t be anywhere near Twickers - that might motivate SA - but everyone with some common decency in them will be very happy about that
It should be a great game, there’s great rugby this week there’s the France v NZ and Wales v Aus. It’ll be interesting to see how NZ react to last weeks defeat they don’t like getting beaten 2 games in a row.
I’m just hoping for a good open games of rugby.
yes likewise good open and running rugby is ideal, thats what always concerns me playing the Boks that the game gets a stranglehold over any flair and open running - the Lions tests a recent case in point.
Suspect France v NZ might provide the best entertainment
SA can strangle a game, they use to play good running rugby. It’s interesting I always thought it was more of a northern hemisphere game, lots of kicking etc but now most northern hemisphere teams are play good open rugby. It leaves SA out on its own trouble is this style of game has been responsibly successfully for them. Frustrates the hell out opposition teams and supporters.
I wish I was more confident re England. Scotland have the tools for fast and free Rugby but got throttled last week.
I am sure England will give it a go but this is not yet a settled team and I think SA will just grind out scrum and maul advantage. They are brilliant at their ‘anti-rugby’ and I am sure will not change one bit. They remind me of the old Wimbledon Crazy Gang. ‘Nobody likes us and we don’t care’.
I think the other games this week end could be great though. NZ France especially.
I think, as we have discussed here before, the rugby purist (me) wants to see a mix in the game (as has traditionally been the case), between forward power & organisation, with the running and handling of the fleeter-footed players alongside (think Welsh back-line of the 1970s).
Unfortunately, the lawmakers in the professional era (often under the guise of safety) have meant that teams like SA and others can now leverage replacements (replace the whole front-5!), constant water breaks et al, such that aerobic fitness needs are much reduced. SA have just done things better than others - and I think this has detracted from the view of the quality of their players from 10 onwards, who are very good - they just don’t get given the ball in space as often as they’d like…and when they do, they can score quickly as against Scotland.
Unquestionably, this power-led game plan can come unstuck against fast-playing teams (NZ at their best)/those like the Aussies, who play quick ball in open play and create space, avoiding set-pieces.
Problem is that going on past instructions, EJ won’t allow/enable through team selection, a team to ‘run SA around the park’ (as he did when he coached Japan in the 2015 RWC). Sadly, like you, I fear England will try and play from the pack, which is just how SA want things…and that’s one massive hill to climb.
France v AB’s - always the question is which French team is going to turn up, as the AB’s look a tad ‘off’ at the moment (not taking anything away from Ireland in saying this - that was epic).
My other bugbear is time lost when the ball is dead. Either the clock should stop when the line out or scrum is called (and restarted when the ball is in play) or teams should be penalised for taking too long to form the set piece. That would annoy SA especially!
Excellent summary Bruce - you’ve nailed it