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2023 World Cup Draw

Derpus

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I think Englands defensive system has definitely reduced the scope for creative play. But, i agree, broadly the pack with ascendency will usually win.

I think turnover attack has only become such a huge thing since its become essentially impossible to get into space in any other way. I really hope they try to address this issue as rugby was a hard enough sell in Aus even before it turned into the roided up stodge fest that its turned into. Hopefully they take onboard some of the suggestions like stronger enforcement of the offside line and far less substitutions.
 
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Derpus

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*Couldn't edit the above post but this was meant to follow on.

NZ were completely dominated where as South Africa simply matched England's intensity (and won a bit of supremacy at scrum time). England had plenty of field position and opportunity but couldn't turn that into points against a well organised defence. NZ were stuck in their own half most of the time and never approached anything resembling parity.

Obviously you'll never win if your pack is completely dominated but it's a spectrum, not binary. I think England win 95% of the time if a team accepts the invitation to attack and play with the ball and is unable to gain a significant amount of forward dominance. But if they cede possession and replicate England's defensive organization England are as lost as the rest, if not more so. I think England have definitely played to their potential and probably peaked in that semi.

They really need to fix this. Then again, maybe i only want them to change it because im a southern hemisphere sop pining for the days when a scrum could be set and the ball going through hands within 30 seconds.
 
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Reiser99

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*Couldn't edit the above post but this was meant to follow on.

NZ were completely dominated where as South Africa simply matched England's intensity (and won a bit of supremacy at scrum time). England had plenty of field position and opportunity but couldn't turn that into points against a well organised defence. NZ were stuck in their own half most of the time and never approached anything resembling parity.

Obviously you'll never win if your pack is completely dominated but it's a spectrum, not binary. I think England win 95% of the time if a team accepts the invitation to attack and play with the ball and is unable to gain a significant amount of forward dominance. But if they cede possession and replicate England's defensive organization England are as lost as the rest, if not more so. I think England have definitely played to their potential and probably peaked in that semi.

They really need to fix this. Then again, maybe i only want them to change it because im a southern hemisphere sop pining for the days when a scrum could be set and the ball going through hands within 30 seconds.
Disagree slightly. Not to take anything away from the South African performance as they were deserved winners, but I think the key was scrum. It wasn't a bit of dominance, they completely dominated it. As soon as England lost that S.A were just able to relieve pressure easily even when S.A knocked on themselves. England were forced to play once they were losing and so inevitably there were more knock ons.

Personally I think it highlighted problems with the scrum laws. The scrum is supposed to reset the game. I think players need to be told to use it quicker if the scrum is stable. Also if the scrum is stable for at least 5 seconds then the maximum punishment after can only be a free kick. If a team is pushed back immediately or straightaway collapses it technically then you can give a penalty. I don't think reams should be punished with a penalty at the scrum for competing fairly and then losing.
The reason I say this is because England actually did compete at the start, but ultimately lost. If they'd only had to deal with a free kick, then they could still have competed. However, once they were giving away penalties while competing fairly, they had no choice but to try and disrupt the scrum, which is always likely to mean more penalties.

Another example was last week in the European cup. Can't actually remember which teams it was, but the scrum was stable and the ball had been in for at least 10 seconds. The ref told the the SH to use it and when he reached for it the opposition flankers eased up ready to help tackle. At this point the attacking team got a nudge on, pushed them back and won a penalty. Now yes the defending team should not ease up until the ball is out, but the ball should not be in that long if the scrum is stable. A free kick here would be fairer imo because keeping the ball in is defeating the point of the scrum.
 

Derpus

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But thats what i mean. SA found a point of difference and then all they had to do was muscle up in defence.

Anyway, 100% agree on the scrum nonsense. They've completely lost sight of what they are supposed to be for. They also take for ever. They should at least stop the clock for resets. Refs also need to enforce the use it rule.

Wales internationally collapsed a scrum for five full minutes at the tail end of a world cup game for god sake. And we all know the refs just guess what the **** happened most of the time.

I guess we probably shouldn't derail the thread, anyway.
 

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I disagree, a team with as many caps as England should simply not be struggling as much as they are.
I think your definition of 'struggling' must be different to mine. :confused: I thought we had won 8 straight games, hauling in two trophies along the way, with only three of those games being within a single score, and one of those due to two garbage time tries against 13 men. We need to be better in attack and our passing has been inaccurate, but our defence has been dominant, our breakdown work has been excellent, our lineout is close to 100% and frequently disrupts the opposition and steals ball, our scrum has been much improved since we poached Proudfoot, our maul has been a source of tries and our kicking game has been effective. We're not the finished article by any means, but with three years of development time before the next world cup, that's a great foundation to have.
 

Not Eddie Jones

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England seem to have played to their potential? South Africa showed that if you slow the tempo, play percentages and muscle up England have exactly 0 ability to play with the ball creatively.

Brilliant defensive side and the rush defense definitely stifles any team looking to play. But once you force them to play Farrell and Ford appear to be pretty limited.

I also reckon refs will start to target the 'rush defence', which is really just a team being uniformely offside consistently. Most teams have picked up a form of it now, and it's really stifling play across the board. One of the major issues in world rugby at the moment.
There's no way this team has played to its potential. It was the youngest England team ever at a world cup in 2019, and the second youngest side in the whole tournament. Hardly any of the players have yet hit 30 and the average age of the squad is only slightly higher than the average age of the French squad, the one that everyone's raving about the 'potential' of. This England team is really only two-and-a-half years old. After the last Lions tour, England steadily shed a lot of the old veterans and leaders, chaps like Robshaw, Hartley, Haskell, Brown, Cole, and replaced them with young players. As a result, England's results were patchy, and I would say they overachieved in the world cup rather than peaked. NZ were clear favourites in the semi, especially after they obliterated Ireland, but England surprised them, then found a veteran SA team a step too far. This year, England have got back into the winning habit they had when Eddie first came and a number of the young players he brought in to replace the veterans are clearly better players than the fellas they replaced. Curry and Underhill are a major step up from Robshaw and Haskell for example. And four of England's ten games next year are against minnows, so, coupled with the Lions tour stealing a lot of the established players away, I expect we'll see a number of new faces blooded, and some of those will come in and freshen up the team again and keep it moving forwards.

England don't have zero ability to play the ball creatively. That's just an old cliche. Last year this same group of players were scoring tries for fun. They got a bonus point in 4 out of 5 6N games, put 8 tries on Ireland, 4 on Oz in the quarter final etc. The players haven't overnight lost all that talent and skill, they're just playing a lot more kick-heavy, i.e. different to the way they played last year. And next year they'll play different again. This idea that they're gonna just stick to the same thing for the next 3 years has no evidential basis. Eddie constantly talks about changing, developing, improving, staying one step ahead of every other team, being able to play any kind of game plan and to adapt and change in-game. There's no way he's just gonna stick to the same tactics for the next 3 years.
 

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There's no way this team has played to its potential. It was the youngest England team ever at a world cup in 2019, and the second youngest side in the whole tournament. Hardly any of the players have yet hit 30 and the average age of the squad is only slightly higher than the average age of the French squad, the one that everyone's raving about the 'potential' of. This England team is really only two-and-a-half years old. After the last Lions tour, England steadily shed a lot of the old veterans and leaders, chaps like Robshaw, Hartley, Haskell, Brown, Cole, and replaced them with young players. As a result, England's results were patchy, and I would say they overachieved in the world cup rather than peaked. NZ were clear favourites in the semi, especially after they obliterated Ireland, but England surprised them, then found a veteran SA team a step too far. This year, England have got back into the winning habit they had when Eddie first came and a number of the young players he brought in to replace the veterans are clearly better players than the fellas they replaced. Curry and Underhill are a major step up from Robshaw and Haskell for example. And four of England's ten games next year are against minnows, so, coupled with the Lions tour stealing a lot of the established players away, I expect we'll see a number of new faces blooded, and some of those will come in and freshen up the team again and keep it moving forwards.

England don't have zero ability to play the ball creatively. That's just an old cliche. Last year this same group of players were scoring tries for fun. They got a bonus point in 4 out of 5 6N games, put 8 tries on Ireland, 4 on Oz in the quarter final etc. The players haven't overnight lost all that talent and skill, they're just playing a lot more kick-heavy, i.e. different to the way they played last year. And next year they'll play different again. This idea that they're gonna just stick to the same thing for the next 3 years has no evidential basis. Eddie constantly talks about changing, developing, improving, staying one step ahead of every other team, being able to play any kind of game plan and to adapt and change in-game. There's no way he's just gonna stick to the same tactics for the next 3 years.
Fair enough. Ill be very surprised if England win the next world cup but i guess we wait and see eh.
 

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Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Scotland aren't exactly a pushover these days, so there's no guarantee France would have won if they'd had 15 men on the pitch. We could just as easily say that England would have won the ANC Final in normal time easily if Owen Farrell had kicked his goals. He didn't, so they didn't. It is what it is.

It's funny how so many fans are down on England at the moment. I said at the time that winning the ANC Final by coming from behind and scoring at the death felt like a massive step forwards, and that was echoed by Farrell and co in The Next Level video of the final, saying last year they would have lost that game. I'm really happy where England are at three years out from the world cup with still a pretty young squad that's already got experience of a world cup final, is in the habit of winning trophies and have played nowhere near their potential with 3 years to go.
We currently have our most experienced team ever. We shouldn’t be talking about potential at this stage of the team’s development.

And if a team isn’t playing anywhere near its potential I’d say that is a pretty damning indictment of both coach and senior players.

I also think saying that we’re working on the defence and will be adding the attack later in the cycle is disingenuous claptrap.

Of course the team will (should) evolve in terms of style and personnel over the period. But right now there are big question marks over both tactics and all the members of the key decision making hinge of 8, 9 and 10.
 

Not Eddie Jones

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Fair enough. Ill be very surprised if England win the next world cup but i guess we wait and see eh.
So will I, I'm used to us blowing it. But at least this time when we blow it, it won't be for lack of talent. :)
 

Not Eddie Jones

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We currently have our most experienced team ever. We shouldn’t be talking about potential at this stage of the team’s development.

And if a team isn’t playing anywhere near its potential I’d say that is a pretty damning indictment of both coach and senior players.

I also think saying that we’re working on the defence and will be adding the attack later in the cycle is disingenuous claptrap.

Of course the team will (should) evolve in terms of style and personnel over the period. But right now there are big question marks over both tactics and all the members of the key decision making hinge of 8, 9 and 10.
Most experienced in terms of international caps, yes, but it's still a team of young players. There are far more international games these days (well, maybe not this year exactly, but you know what I mean) than there were 20 years ago, so players have more opportunities now to gain international caps, hence the all-time caps record being broken regularly in recent years. I'd argue that the dad's army team under Woodward was far more experienced than this current version, with half the players being over 30 and therefore having played for many more years and many more club games than the current bunch.

Having said all that, I'd love to know what you think the potential of this squad is. I mean, they've won 8 straight games and both trophies on offer this year and are ranked second in the world, and you consider that a damning indictment of both coach and senior players? o_O I'm lost. Are you only happy if they win by 30 points every game? 40? Only if they play sexy rugby? Only if they match the pre-match scoreline predictions of the media?
 

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I think the potential of this group and those coming through is extremely high, that’s why I get so frustrated. If you’ve got players with 50 caps under their belts your expectations should be high, irrespective of age.

As I’ve said before all the current squad can make the next World Cup age wise but a number of them won’t improve between now and then and some may already be on a downward path - notably Binny, Youngs and Farrell.

Woodward’s team were past their best when they won. A key difference between that squad and this were the number of big characters who were prepared to take responsibility, problem solve on the pitch and challenge Woodward. Woodward, to his immense credit listened, and backed off training during the run up to the final and also left the players to it before extra time when Jonno told him to butt out. I doubt Jones would have done likewise and a hallmark of his Eng is that we haven’t been able to change tack or problem solve with any degree of regularity. When things have gone to plan we’ve looked world beating at times, but when the oppo have dared to go off script all too often we haven’t had answers.

The rugby doesn’t have to be ‘sexy’, it has to be smarter - mixing it up and doing the right thing at the right time. Sometimes that will mean more kicking - totally the right thing to do when Fra didn’t have a specialist FB for instance. But I just get the inescapable feeling that we too often play the game on PowerPoint not on grass.

We’re never going to agree on this. I hope you’re right, but think I am!
 

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I think the potential of this group and those coming through is extremely high, that’s why I get so frustrated. If you’ve got players with 50 caps under their belts your expectations should be high, irrespective of age.

As I’ve said before all the current squad can make the next World Cup age wise but a number of them won’t improve between now and then and some may already be on a downward path - notably Binny, Youngs and Farrell.

Woodward’s team were past their best when they won. A key difference between that squad and this were the number of big characters who were prepared to take responsibility, problem solve on the pitch and challenge Woodward. Woodward, to his immense credit listened, and backed off training during the run up to the final and also left the players to it before extra time when Jonno told him to butt out. I doubt Jones would have done likewise and a hallmark of his Eng is that we haven’t been able to change tack or problem solve with any degree of regularity. When things have gone to plan we’ve looked world beating at times, but when the oppo have dared to go off script all too often we haven’t had answers.

The rugby doesn’t have to be ‘sexy’, it has to be smarter - mixing it up and doing the right thing at the right time. Sometimes that will mean more kicking - totally the right thing to do when Fra didn’t have a specialist FB for instance. But I just get the inescapable feeling that we too often play the game on PowerPoint not on grass.

We’re never going to agree on this. I hope you’re right, but think I am!
I do actually agree with you. We haven't been able to change tack or problem solve and it's something Woodward's team did time and time again. That's why I was so pleased with the France win, it felt like they'd got over a hurdle that's been plaguing them. A year ago we were saying that England couldn't win games unless they scored first, that if they fell behind they struggled and lost. Against France we went behind to an early try, fought back, dominated the second half and stole it at the death. Hopefully they now kick on and start doing that regularly. If they don't, it was just a blip and we are, as you say, too mechanical. Certainly Eddie and the players are constantly talking about the players taking responsibility for changing things when they're not working, and I agree that we've rarely seen that happen. Then again, England have rarely played from behind this year, they've dominated a lot of matches, so there hasn't really been that much need for it, nor opportunity. I suspect the last three games of the 6N, away to Wales and Ireland either side of France at Twickers, will tell us whether they've kicked on or not. Until then, I shall remain staunchly optimistic. After all, when have England ever let us down before?:p
 

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I do actually agree with you. We haven't been able to change tack or problem solve and it's something Woodward's team did time and time again. That's why I was so pleased with the France win, it felt like they'd got over a hurdle that's been plaguing them. A year ago we were saying that England couldn't win games unless they scored first, that if they fell behind they struggled and lost. Against France we went behind to an early try, fought back, dominated the second half and stole it at the death. Hopefully they now kick on and start doing that regularly. If they don't, it was just a blip and we are, as you say, too mechanical. Certainly Eddie and the players are constantly talking about the players taking responsibility for changing things when they're not working, and I agree that we've rarely seen that happen. Then again, England have rarely played from behind this year, they've dominated a lot of matches, so there hasn't really been that much need for it, nor opportunity. I suspect the last three games of the 6N, away to Wales and Ireland either side of France at Twickers, will tell us whether they've kicked on or not. Until then, I shall remain staunchly optimistic. After all, when have England ever let us down before?:p
I don't think we have to worry about if they will kick on or not, it's pretty much guaranteed.
 

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I haven't really commented on England so here goes. This Autumn looked a bit like Autumn 2017 to me except the foundations are far, far better. I wouldn't be surprised to see them go 3/5 in the 6n and pick up another loss later in the year but only if Ireland and France get it right. (both should but there's questions remaining over the management and coaching of both)

I can see why fans would be frustrated as a result, last time very young lads needed to be brought into a team with weaknesses which is something international coaches are bizarrely afraid of doing. This time, with the exception of 9 and 10 where you're weak if Farrell remains out of form, the players are there it's just the combos that need figuring out. Despite having some pretty enviable options you seem miles away from getting a settled midfield and the back three always seems to be Johnny May (good) Elliot Daly (serviceable) and some lad in middling form. It could be a case where a loss or two will force the change that's required, hard to change a winning team at this level.

All that said I think your pack is being managed perfectly which is more than enough to guarantee being a top 3 team in the world right now.
 

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