June International Test: Australia vs. England [1st Test] (11/06/2016)

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by TRF_heineken, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    Which specific rules at the breakdown are changing, which will make Pocock less effective?

    And as JohnMac99 has said above Pocock is out injured, so will take no further part in the series. Again showing you are misinformed.
     
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  3. Zed

    Zed Senior Member

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    A hugely important win for England, but I don't think EJ and co would be slapping themselves on the back. I thought England were smarter than Australia and at times more clinical, but I thought overall they didn't play that great. Their defence in the outside backs was pretty ordinary the entire game, their kicking game wasn't that great, constantly kicking away possession to the one guy on the pitch who is guaranteed not to drop the ball, they didn't offer a great deal in attack and 2/3 of their tries came from our stupid mistakes. But they still put 39 points on us.. If they can sort out their defence and bring strike players like Watson into the game more often they are going to be hard to beat. One of things that did impressive me was how England never seemed flustered and always appeared in control, even when we had put two tries on them, they didn't panic and slowly, methodically worked themselves back into the game, whereas we were running around like headless chickens, running it from our 22, foregoing penalty kicks etc etc Clueless at times.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  4. Tigs Man

    Tigs Man Senior Member

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  5. Mrs. Peter Quinn

    Mrs. Peter Quinn Senior Member

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    Yeah...also it's a very surface view to think that Pocock at 8 is a problem, just because Oz lost. It's the overall back-row balance which matters and Pocock has been devastatingly effective at 8. World Cup Finalists ain't a bad result after all. Why is it relevant here?
     
  6. TobyBeastTeague

    TobyBeastTeague Senior Member

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    I don't think the lack of a real 8 is an issue at all for the Aussies when you consider than in Sio and Kepu they have 2 of the world's most mobile and best ball-carrying props in the world. They more than pick up the carrying slack left by not having an 8. And Pocock is still fully capable of carrying hard anyway, as are Hooper and Simmons, as well as McMahon on the bench. The lack of an 8 is hardly noticeable for them, and even if it was, being the best team in the world at the breakdown would be a fair trade.
     
  7. TRF_Peat

    TRF_Peat Super Moderator

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    Something is wrong with their pack balance though judging by the amount of rucks they left cleared, or in some cases, never even attended.
     
  8. johnmac99

    johnmac99 Senior Member

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    Who do you mean? Folau? The player that panicked under pressure and threw a poor pass inside that led to JJ's try?

    Yes, there was a problem with the defence on our left where we had Mako, Burrell and Watson. It was improved during the game, but Watson needs to understand that he has to cover the outside man.

    Sio was quite mobile during the game esp. at scrums where he kept going to the floor.


    I tell you what I didn't like, and that was the constant booing and whistling while our kicker was taking his kicks. Totally disrespectful.

    Seems I'm not the only one who thinks Aussie non-players have been disrespectful

    http://www.skysports.com/rugby-unio...england-has-been-disgraceful-says-eddie-jones
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  9. Tallshort

    Tallshort Senior Member

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    I enjoy the booing, it makes those 3 points all the sweeter when the kick sales though the posts
     
  10. JJFlash

    JJFlash Senior Member

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    It's the same here in France - you get used to it, and as Tallshort says, when the kick goes through the posts.....!
    And anyway, is the kicker really going to be put off by the booing and whistling? I think not!
     
  11. The Jones Boy

    The Jones Boy Senior Member

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    There is no place for whistling and booing when a kicker does his thing.
    I see Eddie Jones is expressing high dudgeon at some of the disrespectful questions levelled at him at post match interviews and rightly so.
    That sort of rubbish doesn't belong in rugby.
    Some of those questions crossed the line and the Aussies are just going to rile the Poms into a frenzy and they will go on to take the 2nd test and the series.
    This is not the England of the world cup.
    This England has a sharp coach and a fiery leader in the captaincy who will bring out the best fighting spirit in his forward pack.
     
  12. Tony Manx

    Tony Manx TRF Season Ticket Holder

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    And in many countries also!

    Can't see what is the problem?
     
  13. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Dat irony. Calling the Aussies disrespectful and then calling the English poms :lol:
     
  14. scotty507

    scotty507 Senior Member

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    Slade (on the bench) for burrell
    Ford/Farrell starting (until a better option is found).
    Clifford for lawes
    Nowell starting for yarde
    Yarde replaced by goode on the bench

    Thoughts?
     
  15. Zed

    Zed Senior Member

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    The booing is pathetic, no idea where it came from, but it seems to have crept into the game in the last 10 years. It's pretty common in NZ and a lot of the Kiwi supporters in Perth boo at Western Force games. It's pretty sad. Funnily enough when it's a South African team playing the Force there is no booing :) I remember watching a world cup game at Twickenham and you could hear a pin drop, it was great.

    England's blitz defence worked very well later on in the game and shut us down well and that's where we are going to have to have a Plan B. Shipping it wide early when we have numbers is great, but if you are successfully "blitzed" you've lost 20m..

    I don't think Folau panicked he just can't pass! No idea why he was trying to throw a 20m spin pass.... and that's one reason why he can't play 13, his passing is weak.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  16. Which Tyler

    Which Tyler Senior Member

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    Fine until Goode for Nowell. Goode is an absolute wasted pick on the bench. He doesn't provide cover for multiple positions, and he doesn't provide game-changing impact. Besides, whilst I agree with Nowell on for Yarde; Yarde doesn't "deserve" to be dropped; A] binning him altogether would be very bad man-management, B] he offers a point of difference over the starting back-3, C] in the event of injury I'd far rather move Yarde to wing and Watson to FB than move Goode to FB and Brown to wing.
     
  17. austingtir

    austingtir Senior Member

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    You lot are completely missing my point. What are the wallabies lineout options with pocock at 8 and a pint size hooper at 7? Other than Cane (and even he does get lifted sometimes) every other player in the from the locks back are an excellent lineout option for NZ. With Mccaw there he was even an option at lineout time. Our locks are streets ahead of Australias. Australias blindside is just about their best lineout option. When they have maybe two decent options at lineout time how hard are they making it for any side with a half decent lineout to get their ball!!

    So Australia cant kick it down Ben Smiths throat. They cant kick it out because we will own their line out so what do they do. Kick it down our wings throat thats their only option left. Fairly predictable I would think!! Hence why NZ tends to run a fullback on the right wing since time began.

    With Naholo there its giving opposing teams a chance. But it wont take long before he gets upto speed or NMS is back....

    So yeah even England probably has better options than Australia because of the incredibly dubious selections of Hooper at 7 and Pocock at 8. Pocock is their best poacher end of story.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  18. Shaggy

    Shaggy Senior Member

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    To be fair, it's not that unusual to have only one of your loose forwards as a lineout option, and that's Fardy. I do agree that Australia lack depth in the No.8 area, with Palu getting pretty long in the tooth, and also pretty injury prone, he usually gets subbed at about the 50 minute mark too (he's not a lineout option either). Jed Holloway is probably an option for the future, but he's injured, so you are left with Ben McCalman, or you go for an area where there depth as a substitute; you pick another openside flanker (Gill, Hodgson, McMahon).

    As a final comment, If you have to devise tactics to nullify a player, it's actually a testament to how good a player he actually is, so to imply that Pocock is overrated is ridiculous. Most teams in the world would welcome him with open arms if they could have him.
     
  19. Every Time Ref

    Every Time Ref Senior Member

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    A little late to the party as have been away (and watched the match on a small screen from far away with no sound) but if anyone’s interested, I’ve rewatched youtube highlights with particular focus on England’s defence and thought I’d post my thoughts.

    Click here for the highlights I used

    FWIW, it is focussed on England so haven’t said much about Australia’s excellent attack – don’t mean to take anything away, just that I’m specifically looking at English defence.

    1st Australian try (0:30)

    As discussed at length, Watson was at fault – he bit in on Kerevi rather than trusting Burrell. Worth noting that Watson was already out of position as the ball came out the ruck as he and Burrell were swapping positions in the line (pretty lazily on his part, I might add) which I imagine contributed hugely to his mistake. The impression I get rewatching is that he wasn’t expecting them to go blind and switched off – very poor from him, but also highlights excellent awareness by Aus, not to mention great hands from Kerevi. Also worth noting in fairness to Watson that he made a very good tackle on Hooper the phase before, which probably “saved” a try.

    2nd Australian try (1:39)

    Burrell and JJ slow compared to Farrell, leaving a disjointed line as Foley releases the pass (pause at 1:43). Not sure whether Farrell should’ve slowed and drifted on to Kerevi, or whether LB/JJ should’ve been quicker up alongside him, allowing Folau less space. I’m guessing Gustard would say the latter, but either would’ve been an improvement, can probably put this down to new defensive systems and perhaps slightly forgive it as part of a learning curve. Watson left exposed, I would put this one down to the midfield not to him. Good cover from Brown

    Quick ruck ball (only Haskell trying to slow it down) leaves England on the back foot, disorganised and with a cluster of slow forwards up against Foley/Folau/Kuridrani in midfield.
    Farrell definitely makes a wrong read, but on rewatching it’s clear that he was left in a hell of a position by the speed of ball and the far from ideal collection of defenders inside him. I can see why he took the risk to shoot up at Folau, many times the ten would take the wrong option and he’d end up making a crucial hit behind the gainline.

    Yarde was also left in a tricky spot through no fault of his own but gave up far too many yards.

    Next ruck England actually allowed and disrupted, which makes it particularly irritating that when the ball came out to Foley (excellent through-the-legs pass by the way!) Aus had men over. Both Vunipolas and Robshaw are seen moving too late from the blindside (2:14), Mako in particular is a complete waste of a defender for this phase as he ambles across in a kind of scrum-half sweeping line.
    Despite this England actually do very well defending wide, and then narrow on the next couple of phases, to stop momentum. Special mentions to Billy V for a big hit on Hooper and Robshaw for a good read cutting off the wide option for Foley.

    Unfortunately a straight up missed tackle from Haskell (again probably caused by his being late back into the line, not anticipating the inside ball) undoes this good work. Good cover from Billy again.
    Final phase for Folau’s try: Farrell again up too quick – and faaaaar too early, early enough in fact to change his mind and leave himself in no man’s land. Easy finish.

    Australian disallowed try (4:43)

    At the time I thought Aus were hard done by here. On rewatch I’m less convinced, but still on balance think them unlucky – not because I don’t consider this blocking, but because based on consistent interpretation in line with the standard interpretation this would be fine. This rule needs sorting out by WR.

    Poor linespeed, so plenty of time to play for Aus. Slow forwards isolated in the backline a) probably contributed to slow linespeed and b) too slow to cover behind after Foley’s break. Brown should be pretty embarrassed at how easily he got done by Foley as well.

    1st English try

    Not defence per se, but worth noting that the strong kick chase and harrying from Farrell, Joseph and others allowed us to capitalise on Aus mistakes. Still an absolute gift of a try though.

    3rd Australian try (9:48)

    Again a slightly disjointed line allows Australia to pass deep and get round the outside. Ford is either up to fast or Farrell too slow, leaving a gap – my feeling is Ford is at fault, Farrell has seen the space and numbers outside and is hanging back hoping to drift. Ford gets stepped and allows the offload to too large a gap between him and Farrell (see above), allowing Kerevi to get in behind.
    Aus blindside phase appears calculated to take out both Ford and Farrell, meaning the midfield defence next phase will be compromised – lo and behold, they go wide (2 phases later actually) and score against forwards in the midfield.

    If you freeze at 10:21 as Foley receives the ball there is actually a pretty good flat line of four, up fast, if possibly a little too narrow. Billy makes a very bad read rushing up and exposing Watson, but you can forgive him - one on one with Folau he’s never the favourite whatever decision he makes. The real issue is that mismatch happening – which probably comes down to excellent Aussie phase play, as well general organisation and communication in defence (as opposed to the nitty-gritty detail this post has been about). From there it’s easy, although kudos to Robshaw for a sterling effort at covering across.

    4th Australian try (11:25)

    Care appears to miss the tackle on Haylett-Petty off the scrum, but for me Haskell’s lack of speed for an international openside is seriously exposed here – full credit to him for making the scrambling tackle, but the gap should not have been there. Especially considering he was detached from the scrum well before the ball was passed out – clear penalty IMO.
    Joseph definitely at fault for letting Kuridrani get on his inside there, no question – but to be fair he’d have been close to impossible to stop anyway from there. Credit to AUs for good quick ball, didn’t allow the defence time to reorganise.

    Final thoughts

    I'm aware that this is very focussed on the negatives – since it was the try highlights, by definition I didn’t watch the parts where England defended well. It's not all doom and gloom, but seems to be generally agreed that England's defence needs improving

    I’m left with a bit of a feeling of England still working on the defensive system and not always all being on the same page, highlighted especially by Farrell’s role in a lot of the above. Often he was up faster than those around him – he is very familiar with Gustard’s system from Sarries and knows what is wanted, the others are still learning the timing and left OF a little exposed by not being up with him. Toss a coin over whether you blame over who is to “blame” in those situations, but assuming we want the famous “Wolfpack” defence then it isn’t Farrell who needs to make changes. I do think this system is not naturally suited to JJ, which has potential problems as 13 is key to it – he will have to learn, but I do have faith he will.

    To reiterate what I said under Aus try 3, a lot of the problems came from mismatches, so not individual mistakes per se but which would come down to more structural defensive problems and communication. I’m sure Gustard will be working hard on this.

    I’m sure I remember reading about Watson being at fault for two tries? The first one definitely, I can’t see where the second is, unless people are blaming him for the third which would be incredibly unfair.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  20. TRF_Peat

    TRF_Peat Super Moderator

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    Intelligent thoughts

    If Joseph is even with Farrell, Folau still has time and space to get the pass away and Watson is even more exposed. I guess Gustard wants Joseph to be even faster up and nail Folau but that's high risk/moderate reward. I think I'd like to see a drift over all.

    I haver between saying "Yes he did" and "What do we expect against Kuridrani?". They pick him because he makes hay in that situation - how many wingers complete the tackle there? Room for improvement.

    Mako in the outside channel is the biggest culprit of our early defending woes and I still want to know why.

    I'd say that's clearly a block by the rules, but its given as a try more often than not. So yeah, we're a bit lucky, and if the line's run a little more lightly I think they get away with it.

    Strong kick chase is overstating it imo. Folau has all the time in the world when he receives it - not much space in front of him - but plenty of time. Foley catches that pass and he'd got less time, but still ample. Fair play to Fazlet and Joseph for never giving up the possibility some might be on but there really isn't much pressure on Australia until Foley drops it.

    First off, I'd like Cole to stay part of the line here and maybe push that drift a little further along.

    I think Farrell makes a mistake here in that he should trust Ford to complete the tackle. If he stays out, there is no space for Kerevi. I think you also have to blame Yarde here for not realising what's going on and biting in as well - if he does, that's Kerevi. I know there's a man outside, but the offload isn't making it to him.

    Is Ford at fault for shooting up? Maybe. He does make the tackle, but does allow the offload. If he holds his line and keeps drifting, there is a lot of space for Aus to work with and an overlap. The decision works if Farrell and Yarde work with it. They don't though.

    Bingo. One of Joseph and Brown needs to be more alive to this and working around hard. Watson is constantly exposed through this match because he's never got a back next to him. Easy work on (I hope).

    Good spot. Pause at 11:33 and the gap between Care and Haskell is huge. Massive gap between Hask and Billy too, and then everyone else. Back row is too slowly away.

    If Joseph is further in, there's a mountain of room outside. Hard one, and as you, credit to Aus. Ah! Watch it back and Joseph doesn't really spot Kuridrani is there until he gets it, yeah, bit of a bad moment.

    Apart from our defensive turnovers, there weren't many.

    Farrell has always liked to shoot up. There's nothing wrong with a midfield shooter, just the rest of the team has to be ready to deal with them missing.

    I think some quicker back rows would help enormously.

    I also think a lot of credit needs to go to Australia, who know how to play around a blitz and punish it out wide. Not that we were blitzing all the time. Will be interesting to see what changes for next test.
     
  21. Every Time Ref

    Every Time Ref Senior Member

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    I like a drift, and as I implied I think it suits JJ’s game better, it’s also easier to pull off if you have less time with the players. However I’m working on the assumption that Gustard was appointed to get England defending in his style (i.e. wolfpack). My guess is he wants JJ up before everyone, umbrella style, cutting off the wide pass option immediately.

    Bottom line is all defending is basically about choosing between drift and rush at different times, England probably need more time and training to get better at these decisions and about making them as a backline rather than as individuals.

    Also the slowness of Haskell gets another examination here on closer inspection. A quicker flanker of the back of the line might have covered Foley, pushing the rest of the backline out a man and cutting the overlap – which allows much more scope for the outside man rushing.

    I was probably a bit harsh, does deserve credit for making the tackle as many wouldn’t have. But yeah, could still have made the tackle better. Poor technique saved by good upper body strength.

    Yeah I don’t know what he was doing – probably it’s because he’s too slow, which is worrying, if it’s a problem with the system then that’s seriously worrying, if it’s part of the plan then I’m going to start calling for Farrell back!

    True. Decent kick chase. Possibly could call it strong by England’s own standards …

    Good spot on Cole. Wrong decision.

    On Ford and Farrell – probably Farrell did need to follow Ford up. Even if Ford’s decision was wrong, everyone has to follow it, more lost by indecision etc. I do think in defence it’s usually better for everyone to by doing the wrong thing in perfect synch than different people doing different things.

    Comes back to my theme (I hope I’m right) that this is a system in the middle of being learned, thus there are imperfections and errors but we can expect the cohesion to improve as Gustard spends more time with the players.

    Also a massive gap between Haskell and Robshaw/Vunipola, going further in. That back row really is too slow.

    Amen. Haskell did have one of his occasional really good games and deserved his MOM award. But exposed for his lack of speed at times, and neither Robshaw nor Billy are any quicker.

    I think the blitz could be effective, I’d love to see England defend like Sarries, but it just needs to be better, a lot better. I’m keeping faith for now as a work in progress. Give Gustard time to teach England to do what he taught Sarries to do.
     
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