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How can teams counter this England game plan?

Discussion in '2019 Guinness Six Nations' started by scotty507, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. scotty507

    scotty507 First XV

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    England bully teams in defence, carry powerfully to create space and kick for territory or to compete, make the tackle and start again. Until may can have a footrace to the line which he usually wins or to tackle them in their 22 and be in a strong attscking position

    Thats my view of England's attack in its simplest form. How will teams counter this and what weapons to Wales have to challenge us? Dan Biggar chip and chase or george north trying to run over our wingers?

    Whats your thoughts on our game plan and how it can be exploited? And what its weaknesses are?
     
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  3. Tallshort

    Tallshort International

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    You just need a decent back 3 that can cover the ground better and not leave the space for Farrell and Youngs to kick too.

    If RK had been playing for Ireland the game would have been different. England won the collisions so they would have still won but not by as much.

    With Williams at fullback its going to be more difficult to kick to space so it will be interesting to see how England play but the last two games England have been able to profit on a out of sorts back 3.
     
  4. Thingimubob

    Thingimubob First XV

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    Mentioned this on the Italy vs Wales thread - I'm really interested to see how England play against us.

    I'm hoping that the Welsh back 3 will be able to deal with the English kicking game better than France and Ireland did. Mostly because Wales should be playing a top level fullback at 15 and not having to shoehorn a centre there because of injuries (fingers crossed...), and at the same time should look like they at least vaguely know each other, unlike the French...

    This is actually something Wales got punished for last year - both Josh Adams and Anscombe (who was at 15) lost their shape at the same time and gave Farrell a perfect opportunity to pop a great kick through for May to score. Hopefully they've learned from this.

    As scotty mentioned, England's carrying game has gone a long way to allowing them to pop the ball into space like they did in both games - France in particular struggled with the balance of dropping players back for the kick, or keeping the wingers up to cover the threat of an overlap. It'll be key for Wales to find this balance and force England to go through the phases - something we haven't seen a huge amount of this 6 Nations.

    One area that Wales might be able to target England is the breakdown, more due to Wales' strength in the backrow than an English weakness. England aren't always the most disciplined of sides either - take advantage of that and win penalties in the right areas, then you have a chance.

    I'm sure England do have a plan for us either way... both looking forward to and dreading the game!
     
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  5. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside First XV

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    Yep playing a team who actually plays a proper back 3 including full back, who plays there regularly will be interesting to see how England new game plan holds up.
     
  6. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    England's backrow is better than Wales',
    Man for Man and Unit vs Unit

    Don't at me.
     
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  7. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    @TRF_Olyy You're right.

    High key, I don't think England can be stopped until at least 2020.

    Low Key, Ireland, NZ and SA while on fit and on form all have the tools to beat them at the RWC if they play 15s who don't let the ball hit grass so as to stop England's innovative and effective kicking game.

    I think there's a bit of a gulf between those four and the rest, although Wales have the ability to play to more than the sum of their parts and beat anyone not in black on their day but possibly not outside Cardiff.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  8. scotty507

    scotty507 First XV

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    England have the strength in the backs kicking seen as Youngs Ford Farrell May Slade Daly are strong kickers out of hand and may and Ashton can put in clever grubbers. With manus power ables to narrow a defence and slade or may or daly to be able to kick and if they can bring the wings up to the defencive line all of them can out run the wingers if they have to turn, puts alot of pressure on the FB. And if we get the rush on him it could be a long day for wales.

    More to the point can wales challenge our defence in current form, not saying they cant but they havny shown it vs france or italy.
     
  9. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose First XV

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    Defending for at least the first 60 seconds to stop them from getting their tails up might be an idea for starters.
     
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  10. Jashay

    Jashay Academy Player

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    It's a tricky question, for sure. I agree with the view that a lack of fullback experience in both Ireland and France allowed us to exploit the kicking game more than usual, but it's not the whole story. England have been really good at shifting wide quickly enough that the backs have to come up to defend, which is what's been creating so much space behind for them to use. I think it's a tactic that would work even against a good back three, but the fullback issues have made it even more potent.

    Running through the Ireland tries:
    - a double miss pass cuts a chunk out of the defence for Daly and May to get round the line.
    - Then a chip through when Stockdale has to come up to cover Nowell because the defence can't get over fast enough.
    - Then two passes get the ball from the centre of the field to May on the wing in something like 2.5 seconds, and he's moving at such pace that he was already past Ringrose and Larmour. Henshaw has to cover that, so there's a chip through.
    - Fourth try was an intercept.

    In the France game there was a lot of exploiting space behind, but in the Ireland game England were using line speed to create space behind; the kicks are getting all the attention, but it was the passing speed that made the situations.

    So to actually answer the question, I think whilst better Fullback cover will help, I think it needs to be combined with disruption of the passing game. Problem with that glib statement is that the forwards are not giving much away on the carry, so it's hard to slow it down. And if you try to rush up and cut out the passes you run the risk of England just passing past or over your line.
     
  11. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    Equally though, if you watch the England Ireland game they often kicked when Ireland had covered passing lanes, the Stockdale example is a good one for that because Henshaw had made a couple positional errors in phases leading up to that which left him out of position and gassed having already done a lot of sprinting to recover and then the kick was so effective. Similarly with the third try I think He Shaw panicked and rushed up a bit too quickly to allow the kick in behind, I reckon RK meets him closer to the 22 and takes the loss in metres than risk leaving the backfield open. Essentially I don't think any team regardless of how dominant should be finding grass with kicks as often as England have this year, a centre and a wing at 15 really helped in that regard.

    We saw a massive contrast with Kearney on Saturday, his position was always on point and when Scotland put the kicks that England got so much change out of through either RK was there or Stockdale or Earls were better positioned. What you have to do is give them neither option, like England did to Ireland in attack, and they'd probably look as rudderless as we did in attack.

    I'd be interested to see if Wales can get an effective kicking game going I think the English back three can be exploited there by a team with at least three strong kickers. Murray was far below his normal standard a couple weeks ago and Henshaw proved not to be the best kicking option from 15 and we lost his ability there in the midfield too, England contained Sexton about as well in that regard as I've ever seen and a hammering followed. If Wales can get something going in that regard it could be a fun watch, I just don't see it though, defensively I think England are too much of a behemoth for them to overcome.
     
  12. Leinster Fan

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    Well a fullback would help...
     
  13. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

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    Obviously must easier to write it out here than execute it out on the pitch but at the same time England aren't exactly reinventing the wheel and I don't think their gameplan is exceptionally different from when Jones first took over (although there are obviously some difference, no coach who's any use stays exactly the same).

    As others have said picking a fullback immediately puts you in a better position than the last two teams who played them. Picking a 14 who's strong in the air and smart defensively also probably helps. From an Irish point of view having Kearney there also helps you against the big carriers because he lets you defend with more in the line and there's obviously better chance of stopping Vunipola on the gainline if it's two men hitting him rather than one. I'd say picking a 7 who's very physical and disruptive at the breakdown is also very important. Someone who hits right back when punched in the mouth.

    It attack I think you need to have two playmakers in your backline and constantly be shifting the point of attack with your forwards through tip ons etc as well has having a nine who's willing to snipe basically try and slow down their linespeed and keep them chasing shadows so they can't get their momentum going with big hits. You also need to be patient and willing to hold on to the ball even if you're not going where you want. There's a number of guys on the English team who aren't super disciplined and you can make that ground back with a penalty. Also if you're going to box kick etc don't telegraph it and let them set up blocking pods or if you do focus on your defensive line rather than trying to win the ball back.

    On top of that you also need to at least have a solid set peice and come out with high intenstity from the start.
    They look great at the moment but I think NZ are pretty well set up to deal with it if they're above 90%. After them I actually SA are best suited to dealing with it and after them Ireland and Wales can definitely make it close while Australia can maybe do it in one of those random performances they have where everything clicks.
     
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  14. Leinster Fan

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    Seriously though, England are playing really well. For all the talk of gameplans, and Plan Bs and so on, if you're outperforming your opposite numbers across the park you're almost always going to win.

    Farrell and Youngs have probably had the best games I've seen them play for England, and they've been given a great platform by their pack.
     
  15. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Agree with the above,
    We're not doing anything special we're just doing it really well.
    We've got a pack winning collisions and producing quick ball and a flyhalf pulling the strings who is in excellent form atm.
    Throw in a couple of centres linking up really well and probably the form winger in the world and it makes for good viewing.

    One of the analysis pieces Alpha posted after the Ireland game showed how well Farrell read the defence during that, he is playing exceptionally well atm.
     
  16. The Alpha Bro

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    I'm just happy Ireland are holding back before the RWC, let England shoot their load now! ;)
     
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  17. Reiser99

    Reiser99 First XV

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    For me there have been 3 key differences from previously. First is Curry who disrupts the breakdown far better than any of the 6.5's we've had in previous years. The back row is well balanced and competitive. Second is the variety in attack. Last year England were very predictable and followed lots of set plays when they weren't on. This year they are playing quicker and going for the set plays when they are on, rather than trying to force it. Against Ireland you had almost every player involved in the build to the first try in some way. Finally it's the precision as mentioned above. England are executing things very well and making few mistakes. It's not revolutionary, it's playing the game to a high level and not over complicating things.

    To beat them, you need to get some kind of parity in the collisions so they can't keep knocking you back. Secure the breakdown quickly and have a good back 3 who can not only stop England making ground on kicks, but turn England too.
     
  18. bushytop

    bushytop First XV

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    Unveil 23 crisp and fresh Faletau clones!
     
  19. Leinster Fan

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    When you think about it a lot of things are going right, they've got both Vunipolas and Tualagi for and firing, they've got a functional backrow for the first time in years, Slade is finally doing well at international level, May is playing the rugby of his life, they've finally got a hooker and tighthead that contribute in open play, and their halfbacks are playing their best games for their country.

    None of those were the case last year and it's a coming together of all the right things at the same time that's leading to their current form. If they can keep it going they'll take something amazing to stop them, what seems more likely is that they won't be able to keep it up. (To be clear, I think that keeping their current intensity up would be a great achievement in its own right.)
     
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  20. scotty507

    scotty507 First XV

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    Slade for me is an interesting one. Perfectly suited to this style of play. Yes not the attacking weapon of JJ in and running threat way but not slow in that department. But we are playing with a powerful 12 givinh slade abit more time to make the right choice. He is a playmaker at 13. He has made 2 great intercepts both led to a try, has a good left boot but also an accurate one and can do a long flat pass. We talk about may and daly and nowell but a defender to slade who has daly and may on his outside has a nightmare. Will he dummy and step inside before passing, grubber/chip and chase, long flat pass to the wing or simple hands. When he is playing well he adds alot in attack. Not saying he cant be replaced but i actually dont think JJ fits as well to this gameplan has slade. He just doesnt have the skills that slade does even if he is more than a running threat.

    On balance we dont need JJs threat at 13, we have farrell slade as split playmakers providing the skill, manu as the power drawing defenders and may and daly as the pace with Nowell providing the workrate and getting involvef in all aspects of the game.
     
  21. ragerancher

    ragerancher First XV

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    I'd say the way to counter how England play is to do little chips over the top into space and also look to offload just before contact. Alternatively do what other teams did to us a lot last year and get to the wingers really quickly. We still leave lots of space on the outside but have got better and making a tackle before the ball can get there.
     
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