[2014 Mid-Year Tests] England

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by ImScotty, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    would be a shame...if so though, we'll gladly spread foie gras all over him and drown him in Burgundy red fluid (that's just the way we kidnap) and give him a nice villa and Swiss bank account and ask him to do what a coach is supposed to do with our team: coach.

    And I disagree with "he'll have done nothing". I believe he's at least good, if not very good (hard to tell when in our position, us professionals of the couch and keyboards) and winning comes down to the quality of the opposition during a given era, a little bit of luck, always, and a number of tiny little factors here and there.
    But was Lancaster good with England ? Fk yeah, no doubt. But getting out of the pool, with that team he's got, and at home, that's a must, yes. In fact it's more than a must, it's a mustard. A Dijon mustard.
     
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  3. TRF_Peat

    TRF_Peat Super Moderator

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    Maybe. There's no questioning that he could completely blow or nail the job over the next two tournaments. I think he has done enough that the RFU won't sack him if he's slightly underwhelming though, I think they like where's he going and how he's got the England team portrayed. I can see a two year contract being issued.

    About a month ago usually. And yeah, everyone knows they've delayed it :p
     
  4. TheSaffycen

    TheSaffycen Senior Member

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    Can't see him getting a 2 year contract as it would only leave a new coach 2 years for the next world cup.

    If they decide to get rid of him i hope they bring in Rob Baxter, maybe even Jim Mallinder. I wouldn't get rid of Lancaster, he has done well and now is adding a more attacking edge to our game, given another world cup he could do wonders.
     
  5. ragerancher

    ragerancher Senior Member

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    Lancaster may not have delivered anything exceptional yet but there is no denying the attitude of the squad is very different to how it was under Johnson and Ashton before him. Only those with real chips on their shoulders can call England arrogant or boring with a straight face now. We've also finally broken away from 10 man rugby, even if it is just to 13 man rugby. Lancaster still hasn't managed to find a way for England to utilise our wingers, something we haven't done since the Woodward era. We do have some very good wingers but they aren't becoming big names because they are so poorly used.
     
  6. TRF_Peat

    TRF_Peat Super Moderator

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    Maybe. It's not ideal, but as things stand, I don't think Lancaster deserves the sack, but I don't think he deserves another four year contract. Two years gives him plenty of times to prove something; two years gives any new man a reasonable shot at making something happen. I don't think you need the full four years to have a shot at winning the World Cup, obviously it can be helpful, but if the talent is there a coach can make a big impact quickly. The Lions tour is the best period for England to be without a coach if it comes to it anyway.

    I'm not sure our wingers are so great tbh. Yarde's made an impact, May's been a little nervy about taking his chance, Nowell is FB-pace not winger-pace, Wade has had horrible luck with injuries, Watson's too raw... who else am I forgetting? We've got a lot of raw young lads with potential and flaws; no George North/Savea freaks, no polished Tommy Bowes or Cory Janes.

    That said, over the last year, our wingers have made a far bigger contribution. They might not be making massive linebreaks or scoring tons of tries, but they're beginning to be good for a few 20m half-breaks that set up attacking positions most games.
     
  7. Tigs Man

    Tigs Man Senior Member

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    My main grip with Lancaster is he hasn't done enough to help strengthen depth.

    We have good options but they haven't been given the game time with the squad..
     
  8. ragerancher

    ragerancher Senior Member

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    The likes of North and Savea would probably look pretty mediocre in the England setup too. We are awful in how we use our wingers. They nearly always get a ball that has been shovelled across to them because everyone inside has no options. As a result the wingers have absolutely no space and an entire settled defence up and ready. May looks like a rabbit in the headlights because he's not a big player yet every time he gets the ball it's in a crap position and he's desperately trying to make something from nothing. Give him some space to act and I'm sure we would see he actually has a lot of talent. Yarde is a bit bigger and so can try to rough his way through but again he's not playing to potential because he's so badly utilised. We treat our wingers like centres and expect them to somehow bash through the defences. You only need to look at Lancasters experiment with Tuilagi on the wing to see what we expect our wingers to do.
     
  9. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 Senior Member

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    don't agree with that at all. The only team that has had a genuine rotation policy over the last decade is New Zealand.

    Where exactly would you give people game time? Lancaster has taken large squads on tour exposed people to the squad, he can't compromise results just to blood people.

    It depends on how you want to play the game... watch New Zealand and (the third test aside) their wingers don't get much ball off primary phase except as a runner from blind. It's all about the back three offering counter attack options.

    In that way England ARE trying to utilise their wingers better, they just don't have the CA processes refined in the same way NZ and France do. Lets remember NZ have been doing it for a good 12 years now, and France for Decades, Australia and SA are getting there but like us are not quite as natural at it as the Blacks & Blues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  10. Geordiefalcon

    Geordiefalcon Senior Member

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    I worry about our defence....i think we defend too narrowly, but i think our tackling leaves a little to be desired 1-1 aswell...thus it can leave our wingers isolated?
    Against the 6n teams we can scramble well enough...but against the 3n teams we cant.

    I also think offensively we leave WAY TOO many chances on the pitch. We actually do create them...we just dont score, we're not clinical / efficient.

    Manu might be the big name...but he hasnt bonded with anyone (maybe Eastmond in the 1st test)...maybe we should drop him and look for a better "combo".

    I also want to see a bit more aggressive carrying from our forwards...and a bit more dumb strength. Maybe haskell should make that 6 spot his and let Wood and Robshaw fight it out for the 7 spot.

    The Lawes / Launchbury combo is top class but with a lack of real bulk on either flank and even the front row not being massive...are we losing out on genuine engine room beasts?

    Lots of questions.
     
  11. Crapspray

    Crapspray Senior Member

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    Bar the third test this summer, I think our defence has been very good. The Ireland game this year comes to mind; about 15 minutes of possession and they gained, net, very little ground and no points. As for the rest of the SANZAR, Australia were comfortable scoring tries against everyone else, but managed one (soft) try against England last Autumn. South Africa remains an unknown.

    England have a good team with no game-changers. Tuilagi remains the closest thing to a Savea, North, or Smith England currently have in the backs. Dropping players of his calibre might improve England in the short-run, but if they are to break into the top 3 and challenge for the World Cup they need players like him. He still hasn't played with Twelvetrees (in the centres at least), that's the combination I want to see this autumn (and have wanted to see for a year).

    I think the Launchbury-Lawes second row is too good elsewhere to drop based on weak carrying. At the moment the main carriers coming to mind in the starting pack are Hartley, Wilson, and Binny. Marler is pretty good going forward too. A bench with Mako, Attwood, and Morgan/Haskell has plenty of impact as well.

    If we play Haskell, or any other big 6, then I think Kvesic or another "genuine" openside has to come in to make up for the loss of breakdown work. Is that disruption worth it this close to the World Cup? I'm not sure it is. Long run (post-2015), I think greater specialisation of flankers will and must happen in order to continue improving the pack.
     
  12. ragerancher

    ragerancher Senior Member

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    Are you sure 12 trees and Tuilagi haven't played together? I find that suprising.
     
  13. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 Senior Member

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    certainly starting wise he's played with Barritt at 13, then Joseph, then Tomkins then Burrell.

    He got a few minutes with Tuilagi against Italy didn't he?
     
  14. Crapspray

    Crapspray Senior Member

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    In the Centres, I don't think so. He might have got a few minutes against Italy, as goodNumber10 says, but Twelvetrees went off for Ford (Farrell to 12) fairly quickly. I think once for the Lions (13. Tuilagi, 22. Twelvetrees) too, in a midweek game. That's all I can think of.

    SN2013 - Twelvetrees dropped
    Summer - Separate tours, bar mentioned game.
    Autumn - Tuilagi Injured
    SN2014 - "
    Summer - Tuilagi on wing, then Twelvetrees dropped.

    ---

    Apparently Tuilagi got 17 whole minutes against Italy with Twelvetrees, according to wiki. About 25 minutes for the Lions (in two parts) against the Rebels. So basically nothing worthwhile, in easy games, one of which was outside of the England setup.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  15. TRF_Peat

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    Would we still be awful in how we used our wingers if we were given a Savea to work? Is this genuinely the best that Lancaster can set England up to give our wingers a go, or is it the result of thinking its more important to give Mike Brown, Tuilagi, Burrell et al ideal attacking opportunities? There's no questioning that most successful wingers recently have popped up in midfield repeatedly but England's wingers don't do that as often. They stay on their wings and force the defence to stay committed to them. Is that part of what's helping Brown and Burrell get so many tries? I don't know, but I feel it's enough of a theory to question whether England would play this way with better wingers. Besides, Savea would look better in those tight spaces anyway. Space is a luxury for a winger in any team these days, the ability to operate in tight corners is now essential.

    The tactic is very much to go narrow, go quick, stop any runners by flinging yourselves at them desperately or with the two man tackle - most teams try to tackle with two men these days. It's worked well against most teams but New Zealand had found their way around it by the end of the tour. I'm not sure whether that means we need to change things.

    Agreed.

    Manu has to be in the team. We would be fools to leave out what he can do and what he brings. However, that doesn't mean he has to be in the centres. However, when we took him out of the centres, they immediately looked really weak. If we can find a centre partnership that delivers without him, Manu plays wing. If we can't, he plays centre. That's the way I see it.

    I'd agree about wanting to see a bit more aggressive carrying and big men. I have nothing but time and respect for England's current pack but I feel that the balance is clearly off. I feel that we need a few more players with x factor and specialist talent to offset the workhorses. Haskell's a better jackal than Wood too for my money.
     
  16. TRF_Peat

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  17. Crapspray

    Crapspray Senior Member

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    Makes sense. Re-watching the summer tests recently (to try and gauge where England are relative to SA/Aus), by the end of the first half of the second test England were blowing out of both ends. At least the forwards were. It's no surprise that the All Blacks won the game in the first twenty minutes of the second half. As mentioned in the Torygraph article, the really obvious match was against France in the Six Nations.

    If Lancaster does want to expand the game, it's natural that premiership players are going to have to adjust physically to more fluid play at the England level. Selection of the bench needs to be much better too: i.e. no 21. Dickson 22. Barritt 23. Goode again.

    ---

    Mentioning SA/Aus, while it's a little early in the Rugby Championship to be able to say definitively, where does everyone else think England stand? For me, Aus look a mess and haven't dramatically improved since they lost at Twickenham last year; the Boks seem to have stagnated - if not gone back a little. Given this autumn will be the last set of games versus the southern hemisphere prior to the world cup, how many wins are possible? For me, to be able to say England are still improving and have any chance next year, 2 of 3 should be the target, losing to either SA or NZ.
     
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