England vs. New Zealand, Autumn 2009

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by mohamed_ali12, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. After watching both of New Zealand's opening Tri-Nations games and trying to see where England can gain the upper hand in the Autumn and i've highlighted two main areas.

    THE SCRUM AND LINEOUT

    New Zealand on both occasions have looked poor at the scrum, an area where England can threaten them with superb scrummagers like White, Sheridan and Wilson, and the line-out, where Mears throws very accurately and Borthwick excells in just about the only area.

    THE BREAKDOWN

    When they move the ball to the backs they certainly look more dangerous, with the power of Nonu, the 'snake' like ability to surge through holes that Smith possesses, and the pace of Sivi'vatu and Rokocoko, but it certainly isn't something England can't deal with. We've got strong defensive players in Wilkinson and Hipkiss which should be able to stop the threat of these explosive players. When the backs were tackled, the forwards looked slow to the breakdown which allowed the opposing team (especially South Africa) to take advantage of the situation and turn ball over. With Tom Rees and Tom Croft in the picture we have two players who can turn ball over in the breakdown very well, though obviously not quite as well as Richie McCaw.

    These observations are only from the last two matches i've watched, but even with Dan Carter returning I feel England can take advantage of these weaknesses and win the game.
     
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  3. shtove

    shtove Guest

    Carter should make a huge difference, although he's not blessed with scrum halfs. But the ABs are there for the taking. An England win would ... lead to lots of tabloid blah about World Beaters Again (until they get hammered by Kidney's Ireland).

    I know there were recent noises off about Jonny's return, but what makes you think Hipkiss is in the picture?
     
  4. monkeypigeon

    monkeypigeon Guest

    Well he's currently in their 'elite player squad' (sigh) and proabkly their best centre at the moment. Jordan Turner Hall should be in the picture soon aswell.

    Don't really rate Tom Croft as a ball retriever though. Probably his weakness in my eyes.
     
  5. alexrugby

    alexrugby Guest

    That will be a kickoff

    I think both teams have same chances
     
  6. gingergenius

    gingergenius Guest

    we always yap on about the scrum prior to playing the ABs and we do, on paper, have a better scrum. However, it requires players like Sheridan to be on top of their game (which he never is when he's hyped up) and a second row capable of pushing, which one with Kennedy + Borthwick isn't. Add that to the fact that any front row will raise their game against England's overhyped one, plus no one referees scrums properply anymore anyway, and it means that I doubt we'll see too much dominance there, if indeed any at all.

    Lineout we can dominate, but it needs our 10 to kick well to the corners. Flood isn't strong in this department, and neither really is Wilkinson.

    Breakdown wise, we can certainly compete (but probably won't win) the back row scuffles.

    And backs wise, NZ have the ability to score tries from no pressure at all. England have the ability not to score tries from a great deal of pressure. In terms of being clinical, there's a huge gulf.

    We'd need a huge performance, like we played against France in the 6N, to even get close to the ABs.
     
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (shtove @ Jul 25 2009, 11:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Just like at Crooke park, eh?

    Hammered...
     
  8. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    I agree that NZ appear to be there for the taking at the moment, but it will still take a very good performance from one of the home nations to do it. Ireland are probably best placed, not many injuries after the Lions tour (Flannery being the most noticeable), but I'm not convinced they have an outside half capable against the best in the world (O'Gara will be low in confidence after the Lions and Sexton is relatively untested at international level).

    Wales could have been in with a great shout, but loosing just about the two best props in world rugby + Martyn Williams is a huge blow. I'd still like to think it's possible, but common sense (for the time being) says otherwise.

    England are a bit of an unknown this year, bit like last. Not many players stood out for the Lions, but I'm not sure that will make much difference. I can't see England dominating anyone in the scrums anymore, other teams have improved in that area and England don't have the stand-out props they once had. Of course England are still struggling to fill the no. 10 spot, hence all the palava about Wilkinson again. I think England will do pretty well again this year as a whole, but it's still a big ask to beat the All Blacks.

    Scotland unfortunately still don't quite have the quality in players in key positions to seriously challenge. Up-front I can see them challenging better that any of the home nations (if Murray is fit), but their problem areas are still at outside half, in the centres and at fullback. They should still be looking to progress from last year with the likes of the Evans brothers providing the flair that's been lacking for so many years. Andy Robinson should bring in some much needed changes.

    Just realised that I'm not sure who is actually playing the All Blacks in the autumn. I know Wales and England are, but what about Ireland and Scotland?
     
  9. feicarsinn

    feicarsinn Guest

    Nah we have Oz SA and Fiji this november
     
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