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[2013 EOYT] England

Big Ewis

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hopefully this thread will attract more posts than the one I did for Ireland ! :p

We've got a couple of rematches from last year's EOYT, and then a very interesting fixture:

- Australia
- Argentina
- New Zealand

All between Nov. 2nd and 16th.

* Australia: I feel this year's matchup will be very interesting and telling. England just leapfrogged the Aussies for that prestigious 3rd spot and this is the direct confrontation of the two. The scrum wasn't a problem somehow last November, I do believe it may be this time around. And England have a lot yet to prove and confirm, while the Wallabies have to hang on and replenish that reputation that's just been a constant slope for a while now as we all know - even more so if they lose in Argentina, upcoming.

* Argentina: (barring this summer's farce of test matches) these two teams haven't met since...the 2011 RWC Pools. England won 13-9. And the match before that, November 2009 in Twickers, the Pumas had lost again 16-9, eerily similar results.
The last and only time Argentina won on English soil was in 2006, 18-25.
I don't think Argentina will win this one, but the English sure won't push their scrum back 25metres this time around.

* New Zealand: obviously, this may be the most anticipated match of the month - that and possibly France NZ ? - can England make it the start of a win-streak ? They'll most certainly have the psychological edge. And I don't know how much this will play here, but either team may be out of air at this point, likely NZ after all those test matches.
NZ can't afford to lose this though.
 

ragerancher

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I worry that some teams watching the Eng-Arg games will have seen that, even though England dominated, Argentina were able to score 2 very defensible tries in the second game. Literally they had NO creativity whatsoever. It was pick and drive pick and drive and they managed to do that all the way to our try line and across it. If a team is constantly pushing you back in the breakdown after spending the entire game never going wide and you don't react, you are in trouble. If England haven't adapted then all other teams need to do is pick and drive their way along the pitch.
 

Big Ewis

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^ all that is true, I remember it. I believe the score was 51-26 England in the second one.
But that obviously won't happen in the prime time man. They're at full strength, focused and at home this time.
 

ratsapprentice

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At this point in time I think it's difficult to know exactly what our team is going to look like.
But for my money there are already a couple of positions that are nailed down assuming the players are fit and their form doesn't nose-dive.

1. Alex Corbisiero
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11. Marland Yarde
12.
13. Manu Tuilagi
14.
15.

Corbisiero - Until Mako Vunipola can start dominating well regarded tightheads in the premiership then he will remain consigned to the bench. The same goes for the newly exaggerated Joe Marler.

Marland Yarde - It feels weird saying that a player with only 1 cap is a nailed on starter... and yet he is. I believe Lancaster favors having a player that is solid defensively/under the high-ball and strong enough to not be turned over on one wing, with a creative attacking player on the other. Marland seems to be the most well rounded winger in the premiership - good defence, hands, strong and quick. He is big enough that he can be used on a crash ball and fast enough to take advantage of half gaps and support other's breaks. Being awarded his first cap has clearly given him confidence after a quietly impressive first season.

Manu Tuilagi - Not much explanation required, is there? There isn't really anyone challenging him at OC that I am aware of. Tomkins, Lowe and JJ all look like good potential back-ups to him but aren't offering any real threat to his status as first choice OC.
We'll see how long he takes to recover (form-wise) from his injury, but barring any inability to find decent form, he's already on the team-sheet.
 

Crapspray

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I think Wood is close to a certainty at 6. With Croft gone, only insuppressible form by both Robshaw and Kvesic would get rid of him. If either one isn't, they won't start. Apart from that, I agree, it's all up in the air (bar the three you've mentioned). It's certainly a nice place to be compared to just a year ago. Speaking of which, has a replacement(s) for Croft/Barritt been announced yet?

As for the tests, an absolute minimum of two wins. Australia are horrid at the moment, and Argentina not much better. Add in home advantage and England should look to put both away relatively comfortably if the 2015 ambition isn't to ring hollow. All building up to the final match against the All Blacks. A valiant defeat (keeping them withing ten) would be good enough in my eyes, but I can dream...
 

ratsapprentice

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If Wood has been selected as captain then he isn't going to be on the bench! We'll see whether that rumor turns out to be true ( I rather fear that it is).

I don't think they'll name replacements until the squad actually meets up - I don't think they are required to by the EPS agreements.

I agree with your expectations on the results.
 

j'nuh

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Gotta say, I am worried by the potential lack of continuity in the pack. I once thought the pack was rather settled, but maybe not so much anymore.

Should Cole and Youngs make up such a significant part of the England front row, when they were in a pack destroyed in the scrum by a front row which includes Wilson and Webber?

Do we, after all, add Attwood for the extra physicality he brings?

Is Morgan playing well enough for England? Vunipola appears to be doing much better at the minute, admittedly with a better pack...

Is Kvesic ready?
 
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Patchey

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Gotta say, I am worried by the potential lack of continuity in the pack. I once thought the pack was rather settled, but maybe not so much anymore.

Should Cole and Youngs make up such a significant part of the England front row, when they were in a pack destroyed in the scrum by a front row which includes Wilson and Webber?

Do we, after all, add Attwood for the extra physicality he brings?

Is Morgan playing well enough for England? Vunipola appears to be doing much better at the minute, admittedly with a better pack...

Is Kvesic ready?
1) Yes, for the Aus game at least with Webber and Wilson on the bench.

2) Only if we can really do without Launbury's loose work. Not convinced.

3) Morgan has to start. Confused as to why Gloucester have him on the bench right now. You're right about Billy looking much better though.

4) No. He isn't a starter...yet.
 

psychic duck

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1) Yes, for the Aus game at least with Webber and Wilson on the bench.

2) Only if we can really do without Launbury's loose work. Not convinced.

3) Morgan has to start. Confused as to why Gloucester have him on the bench right now. You're right about Billy looking much better though.

4) No. He isn't a starter...yet.
Probably because Qera and Kalamafoni are both quality international standard players. TRF_Olyy said that Morgan was very unimpressive as well early season.
 

ratsapprentice

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Webber is in the Saxons. Wilson should start ahead of Cole if he is playing better, which is entirely possible.

I have a feeling Attwood will be brought on as a replacement for Parling, not Launchbury.

Whoever is playing better out of the two of Morgan or Vunipola should start, I'd back Morgan to come into form.

Kvesic is very unlikely to start the first test - or more accurately, Chris Robshaw is unlikely to not start the first test.
 
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TRF_Peat

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I personally would start with a settled pack where sensibly possible and bring on the new boys from the bench - Attwood, Kvesic, Wilson (feels like one) - see how they do, and go from there.
 

j'nuh

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My pack would be:

1. Corbisiero (nailed on)
2. Youngs
3. Wilson
4. Launchbury
5. Parling/Attwood
6. Wood (capt)
7. Kvesic
8. Vunipola (if Morgan cannot regain form)

1) Yes, for the Aus game at least with Webber and Wilson on the bench.

2) Only if we can really do without Launbury's loose work. Not convinced.

3) Morgan has to start. Confused as to why Gloucester have him on the bench right now. You're right about Billy looking much better though.

4) No. He isn't a starter...yet.
Simple really. Glos have 4 international-quality backrowers in Morgan, Kalamafoni, Kvesic and Qera, and Morgan is in the worst form.

Without barnstorming carries, he looks a very ordinary player. He needs to get back to carrying at his best, and then he'll be one of the first names on the sheet.
 

Big Ewis

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so a majority of ppl here would say 2 out of 3 for the tests ?
 

j'nuh

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Yes. We cannot hope to win against NZ unless there's a handy norovirus going around, but we should be winning against Argentina, and Australia is the game to target to win.
 

Patchey

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I can't imagine Parling going off for Atwood unless he is injured. One of our most consistent forwards and the key to the line out. Unless someone else can run the line out as well as Parling he is almost certain to play the full 80 when he can.

On a related note I saw Glos using Kvesic as a line out option last weekend. Good news from England's point of view.
 

ratsapprentice

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Attwood is a lineout operator - a pretty damn good one at that.

All flankers should be good jumpers IMO.
 

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I'm still not convinced by him. Guess I need to watch a few more Bath games before I can make up my mind!
 

ratsapprentice

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The only thing that Geoff is better at IMO, is as an individual jumper in the lineout.
He's more disruptive of opposition ball and takes more himself, but I think there isn't all that much between them as lineout "generals".

Attwood is demonstrably better as a ball carrier and tackler though.
For example - In last year's Premiership:

Attwood made 10 metres per match on average - beating 1 in 5 defenders.
Parling made 7 metres per match on average - beating 1 in 34 defenders.

They both made an average of 7.5 tackles per match.
Attwood missed 1 in 13 tackles.
Parling missed 1 in 9 tackles.

Penalties: Both concede about 1 every other game. (Parling slightly less at 0.4pm vs Attwood's 0.5pm)

Turnovers: Attwood conceded 1 every 3 games - Parling conceded almost 1 per game.
 

ragerancher

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Stats don't tell the whole story (eg context of the team and match) but those looks pretty favourable for Attwood. However I thought Parling did quite a good job in the Lions.
 

Big Ewis

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Yes. We cannot hope to win against NZ unless there's a handy norovirus going around, but we should be winning against Argentina, and Australia is the game to target to win.
"handy" :lol:
Well this is what I can say about this year's fixture against NZ: I hope England find their form again they had the last time, but that this time; not making excuses or wtvr (I'm not even a kiwi); NZ really show up, i.e. Carter or whoever doesn't miss sitters from the boot right in front of the post, they don't miss 5 tackles per play the entire 80minutes, and actually play All-Black Rugby on attack and pressure the opponents.
 
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