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June International Test: Australia vs. England [2nd Test] (18/06/2016)

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Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Time: 12:00 CAT (SA, GMT+2
)​
 

scotty507

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Slade(on the bench) for burrell.
Ford/Farrell starting(until we get a better option)
Clifford for lawes
Nowell starting
Goode on bench. No yarde

Thoughts?
 

TBeastT

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Pretty spot on except I'd go for Daly over Goode for his versatility and he also brings more from the bench.
 

spartan32

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Nowell to start over Yard, I just think he's better.

I'm not sure that Brown did enough wrong to warrant replacement by Goode.

The Ford/Faz axis clearly worked so I'd imagine that would be the way to start, but if Te'o is really the player he is made out to be then maybe EJ will want to start him at 12 to soften up the Aussie midfield, but it would be a hell of a first cap.

Id prefer Daly on the bench over Slade as he's a real firecracker and could cause problems for tired legs.

Then have Care on bench and pack the rest with forwards as this is where we seem to have the advantage over the Aussies. I too would like to see Clifford over Lawes, more dynamic and again good to run him out against tired legs in the 2nd, but Lawes isn't exactly a bad option.

The Aussies saw what they could do to us when they move the ball fast and wide and no doubt that's exactly what they will look to do on Saturday. We have to slow them down and force them onto the back foot. I'd like to see a full on wolf pack defence deployed. Smash them in midfield and push them onto the back foot and into a kicking game which they don't really favour. Have youngs and care sweeping behind the line to counter any dinks over the top. Shackle and frustrate them and the mistakes will come.

Not having Pockock available does help our cause but let's be honest the Aussies have a raft of quality lads to fill the voids and England are going to need to raise their game again to clinch a historic victory. I can't wait
 

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I'm not sure that Brown did enough wrong to warrant replacement by Goode. [\QUOTE]

That should not be the criteria!!

Is there someone who can do a better job or is there someone who at the least will not do a worse job but should be given game time with view to gaining experience/confidence for the future?

Those should be the guiding principles of continuity selection!
 

spartan32

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I'm not sure that Brown did enough wrong to warrant replacement by Goode. [\QUOTE]

That should not be the criteria!!

Is there someone who can do a better job or is there someone who at the least will not do a worse job but should be given game time with view to gaining experience/confidence for the future?

Those should be the guiding principles of continuity selection!
I half agree with this, and Goode has had a very strong domestic season, but the general consensus is that he struggles to convert that to test rugby. This next game is pretty critical to England and maybe isn't the time to start rocking the ship just to give someone a chance. Better I think to get the job done, win the series, and then role out some other chaps on the 3rd test with some room to breath. I can't EJ suddenly throwing Goode into the 15 shirt when he hasn't done up til now.
 

Mumbles119

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I'm not sure that Brown did enough wrong to warrant replacement by Goode. [\QUOTE]

That should not be the criteria!!

Is there someone who can do a better job or is there someone who at the least will not do a worse job but should be given game time with view to gaining experience/confidence for the future?

Those should be the guiding principles of continuity selection!
This^^^

When interviewed about squad changes, Eddie said: "We are definitely looking at how we can improve the team. There are a couple of guys who have been a little bit off the pace and a couple of guys coming into their peak. At this time of the year, players are in various physical conditions - it's a matter of making sure we are picking players at their peak."

Obviously no-one can take what Eddie says as factual guidance, as we have seen already!

But what choice do we have, these are the only meagre tidbits of misinformation we have to play with.

Who would be 'off the pace'?
I would say Brown, Mako and maybe even Kruis, going by the wording Jones has used.
 

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The Ford/Faz axis clearly worked so I'd imagine that would be the way to start, but if Te'o is really the player he is made out to be then maybe EJ will want to start him at 12 to soften up the Aussie midfield, but it would be a hell of a first cap.
There's a feeling for me that EJ is really using the fact that he's Australian as weapon in the psycholgical battle whenever he can - all the references to bodyline, the "lubed up" controversy etc. etc. I think he knows how badly it would feel for an Aussie to lose not only to the Poms, but to the Poms led by an Aussie turncoat! ANd he's using it to wind them up.

I just wonder, could that attitude contribute to selection of Te'o at all, as someone who could've qualified for Aus and player professional League there for years?

I'm not sure that Brown did enough wrong to warrant replacement by Goode. [\QUOTE]

That should not be the criteria!!

Is there someone who can do a better job or is there someone who at the least will not do a worse job but should be given game time with view to gaining experience/confidence for the future?

Those should be the guiding principles of continuity selection!
I think you have to be pretty bad to be in a position where Goode would be a better choice. Brown was pretty bad, not convinced he was that bad though.
 

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This^^^

When interviewed about squad changes, Eddie said: "We are definitely looking at how we can improve the team. There are a couple of guys who have been a little bit off the pace and a couple of guys coming into their peak. At this time of the year, players are in various physical conditions - it's a matter of making sure we are picking players at their peak."

Obviously no-one can take what Eddie says as factual guidance, as we have seen already!

But what choice do we have, these are the only meagre tidbits of misinformation we have to play with.

Who would be 'off the pace'?
I would say Brown, Mako and maybe even Kruis, going by the wording Jones has used.
Apparently Kruis had a bad back going into the first test. I didn't recall thinking there was something wrong at the time or think he did anything much wrong though, just that the game passed him by.

I would suggest putting in Lawes for him (keeps the lineout strong) but he sat out training Monday, so maybe not.

Maybe Sinckler for Hill (who's had a big work load for his age).
 

TBeastT

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Apparently Kruis had a bad back going into the first test. I didn't recall thinking there was something wrong at the time or think he did anything much wrong though, just that the game passed him by.

I would suggest putting in Lawes for him (keeps the lineout strong) but he sat out training Monday, so maybe not.

Maybe Sinckler for Hill (who's had a big work load for his age).
I can't help feeling that saying Kruis had a bad back is Jones trying to hide what was really quite a bad performance. If Kruis had really been in bad enough shape for it to mean he wasn't performing anywhere near his capabilities, then I think Eddie would've put out Lawes or Launchbury. As for Sinckler for Hill, can't help feeling that that's a change for the sake of change. Hill's been performing fine, so why, in the 2nd test, risk debuting Sinckler?

My team for this test would be:
1. Mako
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. Robshaw
7. Hask
8. Billy (If he doesn't make an impact this game, put Clifford in. Billy's too slow and unfit for the SH sides)
9. Youngs
10. Ford
11. Nowell
12. Faz
13. JJ
14. Watson
15. Brown (Don't think he's done enough to merit dropping. If he has another poor game, then maybe)

16. George (LCD really needs to work on his lineouts. If he doesn't improve them, he needs replacing in the squad by Taylor)
17. Genge (Brings more impact from the bench than Mullan)
18. Hill
19. Launch
20. Clifford
21. Care
22. Slade (I understand calls for a 6/2 split, but not having a 10 scares me, even when there are 2 on the pitch)
23. Daly
 

Which Tyler

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Making any (non-enforced) changes to a winning team needs to be done with care.
There's an argument for starting Mullan instead of Mako; but the safe option is to stick and give MV a chance to come good; undecided yet. George has had another week to recover from his injury - it's basically up to the medics whether he benches or not.
Locks and backrow have to remain; though a place needs to be made for a backrow on the bench; preferably a quick one, so Clifford benches. Which only leaves the question of which lock to leave out, which is a genuinely tough decision - unless Kruis' back has reacted badly.

I hate to say this, but Youngs earned another start :( Whilst Ford has to start, which means Farrell at IC. Ford the primary kicker from hand; Faz from the floor.
I like the idea of pushing Watson to FB and starting Nowell and Yarde; but I think I wouldn't make that change just yet. Very tempted to start Nowell anyway - Yarde didn't do badly, and doesn't "deserve" to be dropped; but he didn't play up to Nowell's 6N standard; 50:50.

OK, I've got 2 50:50 changes; IMO the argument for not changing is better int he pack than the backs; so


1. MVunipola
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. Robshaw
7. Haskell
8. BVunipola

09. Youngs
10. Ford
11. Watson (I know, he doesn't like the number, but it's where he plays)
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. Nowell
15. Brown

16. George; 17. Mullan; 18. Hill; 19. Lawes/Launch; 20. Clifford; 21. Care; 22. Slade; 23. Yarde
 

ragerancher

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I think it is wrong to view the team that won as a "winning" team, it felt more like a team clinging on desperately who just managed to get things right. I am not confident we can repeat that, it always felt like England were on the verge of snapping and a thrashing beginning with how easily the Aussies were tearing up our defence. Crucial turnovers in the 22 stopped this and the Aussies WILL try to address that. If they do, we are in big trouble. I must say, I'm worried. It's very rare for a team to have their defence so comperehensively torn apart and still win.

We need more speed and need to learn how to drift. It's not a new problem, Wales and France both worried us by going around our half-hearted blitz and the Aussies did even more. We simply cannot pretend that teams will not simply go round us any more, it's a weakness that has been highlighted numerous times and will be exploited more and more. If the Aussies come in trying to move it wide and we just keep drifting and moving up on their deep attack, we will make it much harder for them. Also serious work needed on our forwards carrying, it is predictable and ponderous, the guy who is going to take contact never leaves any doubt in the opposition defence, never the threat of a pop pass to another man on the shoulder.
 

spartan32

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Making any (non-enforced) changes to a winning team needs to be done with care.
There's an argument for starting Mullan instead of Mako; but the safe option is to stick and give MV a chance to come good; undecided yet. George has had another week to recover from his injury - it's basically up to the medics whether he benches or not.
Locks and backrow have to remain; though a place needs to be made for a backrow on the bench; preferably a quick one, so Clifford benches. Which only leaves the question of which lock to leave out, which is a genuinely tough decision - unless Kruis' back has reacted badly.

I hate to say this, but Youngs earned another start :( Whilst Ford has to start, which means Farrell at IC. Ford the primary kicker from hand; Faz from the floor.
I like the idea of pushing Watson to FB and starting Nowell and Yarde; but I think I wouldn't make that change just yet. Very tempted to start Nowell anyway - Yarde didn't do badly, and doesn't "deserve" to be dropped; but he didn't play up to Nowell's 6N standard; 50:50.

OK, I've got 2 50:50 changes; IMO the argument for not changing is better int he pack than the backs; so


1. MVunipola
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. Robshaw
7. Haskell
8. BVunipola

09. Youngs
10. Ford
11. Watson (I know, he doesn't like the number, but it's where he plays)
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. Nowell
15. Brown

16. George; 17. Mullan; 18. Hill; 19. Lawes/Launch; 20. Clifford; 21. Care; 22. Slade; 23. Yarde
I'd love to see a Watson, Nowell, Yard back three. Real attacking threats all over the place and giving Watson a run up at people is always entertaining, but we all know EJ isn't ready to make that move just yet, although if he doesn't start backing Goode at some point you have to wonder why he selected him at all? I suppose as injury cover for Brown but is he really the heir apparent to Brown?
 

TBeastT

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I think it is wrong to view the team that won as a "winning" team, it felt more like a team clinging on desperately who just managed to get things right. I am not confident we can repeat that, it always felt like England were on the verge of snapping and a thrashing beginning with how easily the Aussies were tearing up our defence. Crucial turnovers in the 22 stopped this and the Aussies WILL try to address that. If they do, we are in big trouble. I must say, I'm worried. It's very rare for a team to have their defence so comperehensively torn apart and still win.

We need more speed and need to learn how to drift. It's not a new problem, Wales and France both worried us by going around our half-hearted blitz and the Aussies did even more. We simply cannot pretend that teams will not simply go round us any more, it's a weakness that has been highlighted numerous times and will be exploited more and more. If the Aussies come in trying to move it wide and we just keep drifting and moving up on their deep attack, we will make it much harder for them. Also serious work needed on our forwards carrying, it is predictable and ponderous, the guy who is going to take contact never leaves any doubt in the opposition defence, never the threat of a pop pass to another man on the shoulder.
This is spot on. How many times have we seen Retallick and Read give a little pop pass to the man beside them to gain an extra few metres? Mako in particular has brilliantly soft hands, we should get him using them to get some of the faster forwards through holes. We should also take a tip from them in the distance carriers are from the ruck. Whenever SR sides have forward-carrying-phases, the carriers are a good 10-15 metres away from the scrum half, which means the opposition defence can't be as tight against them if the carriers have more space to work with. The only problem I can see with this is that our forwards (and Youngs come to think of it) may not have the hands for it.
 

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In fairness, the last game mightn't be the best to judge our attack on, as we didn't really ever go through multiple phases. Maybe once?

In general though, I think Jones' model is working pretty well. We attack tight because it makes it easier for us to support our ball carrier and generate quick ball, and because it forces teams to bunch up tight to defend against us. Once we've got good ball and their defence is tight and disorganised, we've got two players who can get it wide very quickly and oodles of pace out there. I think we got into a position to do that twice against Australia and it worked both times - can't ask for more than that.

Whether the forwards will make the holes against Australia if given ball remains a bit to be seen but I'm fairly confident. Who knows? If Australia hadn't infringed virtually every time we went into their half, we'd have found out.
 

TBeastT

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It would be nice to see them mix it up a bit though. This tactic of forwards always carrying tight has made Billy practically irrelevant, teams expect him and any other ball carrier we put at them. Adding a little offloading game to our pack would do much more good than bad, so I think it's work a shot. Especially once we've got athletes like Lawes, Clifford or Harrison on the field.

On top of that, our back line is just about the blandest in the world. I don't think I've ever seen us do anything other than kick or just put the ball down the line. No switches, loops, anything, that isn't the kind of thing players have mastered before they're allowed to play contact rugby. Last 6 Nations when Ford and JJ were allowed to work some of their magic together they pulled teams apart, let's get that going again. Don't get me wrong, the tactics we're using at the moment are good, and should continue to be used as they're winning us games, but the odd bit of play would go a long way.
 

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The pack offloads more than it did under Lancaster. Jones clearly isn't against it.

And I don't think Billy's at all irrelevant. His value has always been to get over the gainline while sucking in 2 or 3 defenders and presenting clean ball, not marauding around the pitch. He's still doing that. It would be nice if he had more help but I think that comes from better ball carriers and more quick ball, not more ball handling before contact.

And who cares if its bland if it works? We've been scoring a lot of tries as we get used to Eddie's system, we look really clinical. Personally I love the fact that we've got a back line doing the basics well.
 

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The pack offloads more than it did under Lancaster. Jones clearly isn't against it.

And I don't think Billy's at all irrelevant. His value has always been to get over the gainline while sucking in 2 or 3 defenders and presenting clean ball, not marauding around the pitch. He's still doing that. It would be nice if he had more help but I think that comes from better ball carriers and more quick ball, not more ball handling before contact.

And who cares if its bland if it works? We've been scoring a lot of tries as we get used to Eddie's system, we look really clinical. Personally I love the fact that we've got a back line doing the basics well.
I see your point with the backline, and won't argue against it, what I said was more a thought than a criticism, however I entirely disagree on Billy. England's over use of him and the under use of anyone else in the tight, ball-carrying areas has led to Oz coming up with their game plan to beat him. You say that it takes 2-3 men to bring him down, this is true, but they've countered that by not putting men into the ruck when he's tackled, to nullify their not being there, thus meaning that him carrying, in reality has achieved next to nothing, as when Oz have him on such a tight leash, he can go nowhere. And I don't think anyone would disagree that beyond Billy, some of our packs ball carrying is atrocious, as someone has previously said, "I've seen phone boxes with more agility than Dan Cole." Lumps like him simply don't make ground, however if we got players like him offloading to an on charging Billy or Haskell, then we would immediately become a much more dominant carrying force.

All I'm saying is that, although our play at the moment is clearly doing well for us, our pack could become so much more impressive with some little tweaks. We have some absolute monsters amongst our forwards, and they definitely do a job for us, but I believe that they could really step it up a notch with the use of some basic skill amongst them.
 

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Rancher I don't think it's fair to say we weren't the winning team. Yes the Aussies always posed a threat but that is true of any great team. You can never be safe until the final whistle goes. Even NZ wouldn't be arrogant enough to say they would be safe against the Aussies until the end., and they are the very best in the world.

I think we learned more about them then they did about us, and we have the stronger set piece across the board, the better kicking game from
Hand and from the tee, and they have the better running game. Seems like a fair fight to me.

I imagine the next game will come down to which team can play their own style and keep the game at the tempo that suites them, and there is no reason that team can't be us.
 

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Jones has largely got his forwards selection right. By picking a big powerful pack he's chosen to pose Australia our own set of problems rather overly worrying about their strengths. Might not be a World Cup winning strategy but it's a horses for courses selection for this series and will evolve as new players are introduced.

On the other hand what the Australian backs can do to ours is causing me to lose sleep.
 
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