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

ncurd

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Yup you only have to look back a year on this site and most England fans were predicting a semi-final berth as minimum expectations. Winners as an outside bet.

We'd beaten Australia twice in two years and Wales too. The idea we wouldn't get out our group was going to be a shock event (and it was).

Even though most fans were mortified at the decision to drop Ford at the 11th hour and play a backline of Farrell/Barrit/Burgess general feeling even amongst Wales fans was due to their injuries England would still the match.

Obviously that didn't turn out to be the case but I think was quite clear poor management of the entire world cup campaign was the reason why rather than use not having the players to compete.
 

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The zeroes to heroes narrative is overrated. Yeah, they had an awful World Cup. But go back a little further and they put in a solid 6N and beat Australia in Twickenham in the year before. This team could clearly play a little. They go and put in one of the worst World Cups to ever exist from a big rugby nation - possibly the worst - but the underlying talent and building blocks don't just disappear. It was all there for someone who hadn't gone temporarily insane to make it work.

Throw in a few talented youngsters who hadn't quite had the time to make their case for Lancaster's squad - Itoje is already a big difference - a kinder 6N schedule and a steady list of declining opponents while playing with less injury problems ourselves and there's plenty of reasons for England's upswing. I don't want to take away too much from Eddie Jones, but he's using another man's tools on an easier task. It's not a complete surprise there's been plenty of success. He's been a class act so far, definitely the missing piece of the puzzle, but only a piece nevertheless.

edit: Don't think the team looks any more full of self-belief than before and am pretty sure an Andy Farrell coached defence could have held out the Aussies in those conditions too.

Agree to a point but even allowing for the World Cup sham, England fell just short of multiple six nations titles not only did they take the title but got the grand slam too.

I don't think prior to the World Cup they would have had the belief to come back from the Aus hammering we were under in the first 20 of the first test.

I'm not convinced another defence in the world could absorb the relentless pressure England's did in the second test, I think you might be under playing the potency of the Aus attack and just how good eng did to nullify it for the most part, I don't think even the ABs could absorb it so effectively, not that it would matter, they would just out score them anyway.
 

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Agree to a point but even allowing for the World Cup sham, England fell just short of multiple six nations titles not only did they take the title but got the grand slam too.

I don't think prior to the World Cup they would have had the belief to come back from the Aus hammering we were under in the first 20 of the first test.

I'm not convinced another defence in the world could absorb the relentless pressure England's did in the second test, I think you might be under playing the potency of the Aus attack and just how good eng did to nullify it for the most part, I don't think even the ABs could absorb it so effectively, not that it would matter, they would just out score them anyway.

Yeah. We were missing some vital pieces during those attempts. I think one of those was at coach - Jones looks an upgrade on Lancaster so far. I also think there's a few players who only really came in at the end of Lancaster's reign who are really key pieces - Itoje, Ford, Joseph, to an extent Watson.

I'm pretty sure this England team coughed up worse early leads and came right back into the match under Lancaster. I don't think anyone ever accused them of lacking self belief.

And I just watched an Andy Farrell coached Ireland stonewall South Africa for the best part of a match while down a man, so yes, I am convinced another defence in the world could absorb that relentless pressure. Look at the last game against them in Twickenham, we conceded most of the possession and territory then, okay it was only a mere 150 tackles but I'm pretty sure that team could have stuck in 200 or so if needed.

And no, I don' think the Australian attack wasn't all that much. Lacked creativity, imagination, accuracy and first class carriers in the pack. Still pretty good but yeah, I reckon other sides could contain it.
 

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The zeroes to heroes narrative is overrated. Yeah, they had an awful World Cup. But go back a little further and they put in a solid 6N and beat Australia in Twickenham in the year before. This team could clearly play a little. They go and put in one of the worst World Cups to ever exist from a big rugby nation - possibly the worst - but the underlying talent and building blocks don't just disappear. It was all there for someone who hadn't gone temporarily insane to make it work.

Throw in a few talented youngsters who hadn't quite had the time to make their case for Lancaster's squad - Itoje is already a big difference - a kinder 6N schedule and a steady list of declining opponents while playing with less injury problems ourselves and there's plenty of reasons for England's upswing. I don't want to take away too much from Eddie Jones, but he's using another man's tools on an easier task. It's not a complete surprise there's been plenty of success. He's been a class act so far, definitely the missing piece of the puzzle, but only a piece nevertheless.

edit: Don't think the team looks any more full of self-belief than before and am pretty sure an Andy Farrell coached defence could have held out the Aussies in those conditions too.

Yes I know what youre saying. Of course England were decent with SL. You mentioned how England were in good stead after a good 6 nations and beating Australia. So your confidence going into the RWC was warranted and you need confidence. Come RWC England obviously had performance issues, then a rushjob Sam Burgess would put SLs "expertise" to the test. Dumb idea IMO, i dont think SL could coach a side like Japan to beat South Africa given he had a good team to work with and couldnt beat Wales.

Eddie Jones has only recently inherited a good side for a short while and INSTANTLY hes made England look better than they were last year. England is now compared to the All Blacks seriously, Lancasters England was never seriously compared to the ABs last year. Its almost like Eddie came along and said "easy problems to fix". So far the starting of Jones career is better than SLs begining to his reign.

I think he is a piece of the puzzle but to beliitle it is truly ungrateful. Hes a big PIECE of the puzzle. I put piece in capitals cos in the end its the players.
 
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Anybody else also think that the England captain's brilliant? I think possibly the nr1 Captain in world rugby. I think Eddie can get 50% of the accolades. The other halve goes to the Captain.
 

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Anybody else also think that the England captain's brilliant? I think possibly the nr1 Captain in world rugby. I think Eddie can get 50% of the accolades. The other halve goes to the Captain.

I'd agree that Hartley's 99% redeemed himself and is doing a great job. But 1% of me is still waiting for one of his red mist brain farts every single match I watch.
 

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I'd agree that Hartley's 99% redeemed himself and is doing a great job. But 1% of me is still waiting for one of his red mist brain farts every single match I watch.

Too his credit he does appear to have curbed and chanelled his aggression, but I'm defiantly with you, I always have a horrible feeling that under certain circumstances one of his episodes could be triggered!
 

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Yeah. We were missing some vital pieces during those attempts. I think one of those was at coach - Jones looks an upgrade on Lancaster so far. I also think there's a few players who only really came in at the end of Lancaster's reign who are really key pieces - Itoje, Ford, Joseph, to an extent Watson.

I'm pretty sure this England team coughed up worse early leads and came right back into the match under Lancaster. I don't think anyone ever accused them of lacking self belief.

And I just watched an Andy Farrell coached Ireland stonewall South Africa for the best part of a match while down a man, so yes, I am convinced another defence in the world could absorb that relentless pressure. Look at the last game against them in Twickenham, we conceded most of the possession and territory then, okay it was only a mere 150 tackles but I'm pretty sure that team could have stuck in 200 or so if needed.

And no, I don' think the Australian attack wasn't all that much. Lacked creativity, imagination, accuracy and first class carriers in the pack. Still pretty good but yeah, I reckon other sides could contain it.

Yeah stone walled in the first game and much of the second then SA broke down the doors and Ireland simply couldn't contain it, Aus did not do this to England more do I believe they would let SA do it to them.

Aus didn't lack those things for the first 20 in the first test, then the boys found the answers, is it impossible that those things you highlight them of lacking is a by product of a defence that just creatives immense pressure, come on sarries have been doing it all season, by that logic Wasps and Exeter must be lacking those things in there attacks because neither could break them down, atleast not when they had all there internationals in the squad.
 

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Yeah stone walled in the first game and much of the second then SA broke down the doors and Ireland simply couldn't contain it, Aus did not do this to England more do I believe they would let SA do it to them.

Altitude. Altitude is the key difference there.

Aus didn't lack those things for the first 20 in the first test, then the boys found the answers, is it impossible that those things you highlight them of lacking is a by product of a defence that just creatives immense pressure, come on sarries have been doing it all season, by that logic Wasps and Exeter must be lacking those things in there attacks because neither could break them down, atleast not when they had all there internationals in the squad.

Being able to pass the ball up and down the line in front of a static defence displays none of the things I talked about.

Yeah, the system creates a lot of pressure. It's a good one. We needed a good one to really expose Australia's weaknesses. But that doesn't mean those weaknesses weren't there independent of how we played or not.

Yes I know what youre saying. Of course England were decent with SL. You mentioned how England were in good stead after a good 6 nations and beating Australia. So your confidence going into the RWC was warranted and you need confidence. Come RWC England obviously had performance issues, then a rushjob Sam Burgess would put SLs "expertise" to the test. Dumb idea IMO, i dont think SL could coach a side like Japan to beat South Africa given he had a good team to work with and couldnt beat Wales.

Eddie Jones has only recently inherited a good side for a short while and INSTANTLY hes made England look better than they were last year. England is now compared to the All Blacks seriously, Lancasters England was never seriously compared to the ABs last year. Its almost like Eddie came along and said "easy problems to fix". So far the starting of Jones career is better than SLs begining to his reign.

I think he is a piece of the puzzle but to beliitle it is truly ungrateful. Hes a big PIECE of the puzzle. I put piece in capitals cos in the end its the players.

I wouldn't say I'm belittling it. Just putting it into context. It's not like he's walked in and waved a magic wand and conjured up players like dragon's teeth. He walked into an underachieving dressing room and turned it around. There's a big difference. Mostly I agree with you.

The two things I would say though are

a) We played better teams and harder fixtures in 2015.
b) The comparisons to the All Blacks were being made in Lancaster's reign and I don't think the situation's changed all that much at the moment.

Eddie gives me a lot more hope he could change it that Lancaster did though.
 

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Anybody else also think that the England captain's brilliant? I think possibly the nr1 Captain in world rugby. I think Eddie can get 50% of the accolades. The other halve goes to the Captain.
More like 90% and 10% and the latter is probably generous. If Jones wasn't there keeping a tight rein on everything, do you think Hartley would be keeping a lid on things? Probably not.
 

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I wouldn't say I'm belittling it. Just putting it into context. It's not like he's walked in and waved a magic wand and conjured up players like dragon's teeth. He walked into an underachieving dressing room and turned it around. There's a big difference. Mostly I agree with you.

The two things I would say though are

a) We played better teams and harder fixtures in 2015.
b) The comparisons to the All Blacks were being made in Lancaster's reign and I don't think the situation's changed all that much at the moment.

Eddie gives me a lot more hope he could change it that Lancaster did though.
Yeah it seems I slightly misunderstood you.

Fair enough on your 2 points that you mentioned. The first one could possibly explain your guys underperforming at the RWC which is quite a lot considering its a tournament with a lotta games and you guys just had a busy season prior. Always full of ideas in hindsight but I wonder if resting/boycotting a few players in the games prior mightve been good..argh lets not go there, shouldnt even typed it.

At this stage NZ vs ENG is a game everyone wants to see. You cant help but wonder just how good England is. NZ is a bit rusty at the moment though fortunately for us Wales has not really made us pay for being off, where as England will be breathing down our necks.
 

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Yeah it seems I slightly misunderstood you.

Fair enough on your 2 points that you mentioned. The first one could possibly explain your guys underperforming at the RWC which is quite a lot considering its a tournament with a lotta games and you guys just had a busy season prior. Always full of ideas in hindsight but I wonder if resting/boycotting a few players in the games prior mightve been good..argh lets not go there, shouldnt even typed it.

At this stage NZ vs ENG is a game everyone wants to see. You cant help but wonder just how good England is. NZ is a bit rusty at the moment though fortunately for us Wales has not really made us pay for being off, where as England will be breathing down our necks.
NZ won't play England until Autumn 2017.

This England team has a lot of improvement in them though. So much to sort out before then.
 

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More like 90% and 10% and the latter is probably generous. If Jones wasn't there keeping a tight rein on everything, do you think Hartley would be keeping a lid on things? Probably not.

Probably would tbh. Think he's only blown his gasket twice in an England shirt and in neither case majorly. Well, three times but without getting caught for one of them.

Hartley's big sin always was, and always will be, doing the square root of SFA around the pitch. He got the set-piece right (or at least as right as anyone does) and then flopped around the pitch like a blancmange. A busy blancmange I'll give you, but blancmange never the less. How a man so big can achieve so little sometimes baffles me. He's kicked on a little on that to be fair under Jones but its still pretty painfully obvious that the guy in the 16 shirt is probably just a flat out better player than him.

But hey, we're winning, so everything's happy.

That he's a bit of a headcase is a failing, and a pretty ugly one in combination with the above - its one thing to pick Mr Boring but Reliable, but a whole 'nother thing if he's not that reliable. And not a good look on the captain. But it works, so all is forgiven.
 

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Yeah it seems I slightly misunderstood you.

Fair enough on your 2 points that you mentioned. The first one could possibly explain your guys underperforming at the RWC which is quite a lot considering its a tournament with a lotta games and you guys just had a busy season prior. Always full of ideas in hindsight but I wonder if resting/boycotting a few players in the games prior mightve been good..argh lets not go there, shouldnt even typed it.

At this stage NZ vs ENG is a game everyone wants to see. You cant help but wonder just how good England is. NZ is a bit rusty at the moment though fortunately for us Wales has not really made us pay for being off, where as England will be breathing down our necks.

It happens :). Trying to walk a fine line on an argument where I give Eddie plenty of credit for coming in and getting it right while pointing out that he had decent foundations and so far fairly kind circumstances. Wouldn't want to overdo the latter (which can be done when people are big on the former).

The consensus on our WC underperformance is that Lancaster's mainly to blame for getting muddled over his approach to winning games in the last year, therefore going back and forth on players and inflicting a disastrous get fit regime over the Summer of 2015 that left our tight five forwards underweight and underpowered.

And yeah, would be nice to see that game. NZ remain the ultimate measuring rule. Not sure whether the time gap between now and the next match up helps England or NZ more - England have more time to work on their failings, NZ more time to bed in the new generation. But who knows what happens between now and then?
 

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Yeah it seems I slightly misunderstood you.

Fair enough on your 2 points that you mentioned. The first one could possibly explain your guys underperforming at the RWC which is quite a lot considering its a tournament with a lotta games and you guys just had a busy season prior. Always full of ideas in hindsight but I wonder if resting/boycotting a few players in the games prior mightve been good..argh lets not go there, shouldnt even typed it.

At this stage NZ vs ENG is a game everyone wants to see. You cant help but wonder just how good England is. NZ is a bit rusty at the moment though fortunately for us Wales has not really made us pay for being off, where as England will be breathing down our necks.

Would be great to see, however NZ are still probably the best team in the world, the margin is probably considerably less than it was during the World Cup, I don't think any other nation has anywhere near the squad depth NZ do though.
 

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England should have done better at the World Cup- of that I have no doubt. After watching mostly southern hemisphere rugby, I never expected England pack to capitulate to Australia like they did in London. But that, they did.

The last 6N is rather back to business as usual. Not really sure it matters who the coach is, but Eddy got it right by withdrawing Burrell in the first OZ test, as the lad was getting undone out wide.

Anyway, England pretty much dominated the sets in the 2 tests, though disappointingly still don't trust themselves with ball in hand (kicking what little they had away most of the 2nd half - and it came straight back at them). Never really do test themselves with ball in hand, and it is this characteristic which separates them from any southern hem team - who will all back themselves to run with the ball and go through the phases.

Great defence by England in the 2nd test all the same. Good defence wins matches, and the score line was hardly reflective of the possession. England battered them on the score board. Ironically so? Maybe not. If you cant score, you wont win.
 

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though disappointingly still don't trust themselves with ball in hand (kicking what little they had away most of the 2nd half - and it came straight back at them). Never really do test themselves with ball in hand, and it is this characteristic which separates them from any southern hem team - who will all back themselves to run with the ball and go through the phases.
.

It's a mystifying tactic. I suppose you could argue we couldn't score so what's the harm in kicking away possession, but as someone so humbly pointed out before, the kiwis wouldn't be so generous with those kind of tactics.

I think the importance of this series victory far out weighs England's performance which I don't think has been great (we were worse), at least certain aspects of their rugby hasn't been great, such as their attack. I don't think that really matters though, as long as they're not kidding themselves. They need to improve and build on the Australian tour. They are not a million miles away from being a very good side. If they had someone like Folau, Cullen or Robinson at 15 and a centre that can penetrate backlines like Tuilagi, they will be so much more potent. Brown needs to go, he's solid and reliable, that's it. And England desperately need centres. I've seen Burrell, JJ, Farrell all do OK at centre, but they are not the answer. JJ seems to have a good step and a bit of pace, but he's not one of those players that continually makes those half breaks that put the defence on the backfoot. Are there any decent English rugby league backs knocking about that could be headhunted? Or any young up and coming players that fit the bill?
 
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I think Dan Brown goes ok. Reliable always ticks the box for most peoples fullbacks and as you said solid as well. I dont know if hes usually a scrappy guy but I always see him in dust ups. If hes gonna be like that then bloody throw those things, sick of this grabbing the jersey and 'ill fug you up'. Anyway I wonder if Grumpy Brown would play a lot better if he didnt react to things like its the first time hes seen dirty play..
 

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That it's pretty disrespectful to Wales.
Hansen should be busy sorting them out; not being distracted by stuf that's got nothing to do with him.

Beyond that, he's welcome to whatever opinion he wants - but it's got nothing to do with him.
 

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