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[November Tests 2017 EOYT] England vs. Samoa (25/11/2017)

MarkyH

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Good stats but stats only tell a small part.

I think Samoa was Robshaws worst game of the 3. He wasn't quick enough to the breakdown, he left the door open for Samoas first try and just looked a little laboured round the park. I'm in no rush to drop him but I'm hoping EJs told him his place isn't guaranteed...

Simmonds played well, Lawes was good too. I thought Slade was very good at 13 and Daly finished fantastically and is so good offloading the that 5 metre channel. Loz was pretty decent too. Same as usual from Ford. I don't think anyone played bad, we just weren't decisive enough at the breakdown today.

Special mention, and my man of the match was May, just because he's so much fun to watch, popped up at 9 more than once and that quick line-out was great.

Going forward, well, I will discuss that in the EPS thread later :)
 

TBeastT

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Loz has leap-frogged Slade in the pecking order IMO.
 

TRF_Olyy

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I've been very impressed by Loz as well, he's got the 22 shirt, for me, And the 12 shirt whenever one of Ford/Farrell is rested/injured

Underhill missed the beginning of the season and has had two concussions the Currys never seem to make the England team for one injury or another
Ben pulled a hammy and missed one week (which just so happened to be the barbarians game so got replaced by his brother)
Tom broke his wrist getting cleared out of a ruck during a full contact session, could happen to anyone.
Can't remember either of them being injured other than that, they're hardly Tuilagi/Corbisiero
They're also 19 so to write them off as too injury prone already is mental
 

Which Tyler

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Ofcourse ford got it, launchbury wasnt there to take it :)
I hear Tom Wood offered himself to regretfully accept the MotM award... for the sake of the team.
 
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TBeastT

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I've been very impressed by Loz as well, he's got the 22 shirt, for me, And the 12 shirt whenever one of Ford/Farrell is rested/injured


Ben pulled a hammy and missed one week (which just so happened to be the barbarians game so got replaced by his brother)
Tom broke his wrist getting cleared out of a ruck during a full contact session, could happen to anyone.
Can't remember either of them being injured other than that, they're hardly Tuilagi/Corbisiero
They're also 19 so to write them off as too injury prone already is mental
Over a fit Te'o?
 

TRF_Olyy

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Over a fit Te'o?
For me? Yes.
For Jones? Nah.

I rate Teo, And we do lack some umph in our backs, but Loz has impressed every time he's made an appearance.
 

ragerancher

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Jones says he wants more bulk on Simmonds, fair comment?
 

Goodey

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Of this back 5 category, Robshaw has been beaten by Underhill, Launchbury, Simmonds, Kruis, Lawes, Itoje and Ewels, all of which offer more offensively. I don't see how his place in the XV can be justified.
While I agree that Robshaw had a poor autumn by his standards, as did the England back row in general, I think you've underrated his attacking ability if you think it's less than Underhill, Kruis, or Lawes. Has must better hands and link play than any of them.

Bit early to tell for Simmonds but the metres stat isn't everything, I thought he had a habit of running into trouble and getting isolated.
 

TBeastT

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For me? Yes.
For Jones? Nah.

I rate Teo, And we do lack some umph in our backs, but Loz has impressed every time he's made an appearance.
Although I do think that Loz is a better player, I'd stick with Te'o because he brings something drastically different to Ford/Faz/JJ whereas Loz, although he has a much better running game than Ford or Faz, is still in the same mould. Wouldn't be at all disappointed to see Loz instead of him though.
 

Goodey

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Jones says he wants more bulk on Simmonds, fair comment?
Probably a fair point, if you look at world class 8s like Read, Faletau, Picamoles and Parisse they are all around 110-115kg which is 10kg heavier than Simmonds right now. So he's a bit short of ideal.

That said, it wouldn't be my priority. Carrying is about power, not mass, and having a good handing off or offloading game is worth more to your side than a louder smack when you hit people anyway. There are plenty of good 8s with Simmonds' weight.
 

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I think Loz has had a great series but probably wouldn't play him because having two Saracens 10s in the side is kind of upsetting
 

TBeastT

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While I agree that Robshaw had a poor autumn by his standards, as did the England back row in general, I think you've underrated his attacking ability if you think it's less than Underhill, Kruis, or Lawes. Has must better hands and link play than any of them.

Bit early to tell for Simmonds but the metres stat isn't everything, I thought he had a habit of running into trouble and getting isolated.
Lawes has a far superior attacking ability, his carrying yesterday was immense; but yes regarding Underhill and Kruis what I said was more of a blanket statement.

Jones says he wants more bulk on Simmonds, fair comment?
To me he looks about as bulky as his frame would allow. If more bulk would fault his natural running game then no, not fair at all.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Yeah, Simmonds is pretty short for a back rower, I think packing on too much mass is going to hamper his talents (see: Tait when England made him bulk up).
He's never going to be Binny mk.2 but I think he's a good size for a flanker who can cover 8.
 

Which Tyler

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Agreed,
To me he looks about as bulky as his frame would allow. If more bulk would fault his natural running game then no, not fair at all.
Agreed, Mercer has room to grow in his frame, Simmonds and Underhill are maxed out. Maybe room for another 1-2kg in the legs, but really not much
I need to see more of the Curries to decide
 

ratsapprentice

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Underhill could easily get another 5kg on him, in no way is he "maxed out".

Whether you'd want him to is another matter entirely.
 

TRF_Olyy

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The curries will naturally bulk up a bit over the next year or two, they're still v.v.young
 

TBeastT

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The curries will naturally bulk up a bit over the next year or two, they're still v.v.young
Ben’s already looking pretty large. I always saw the Curry’s as being very traditional, small 7s but last weekend he looked a unit.
 

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I'm not sure traditional small 7s even really exist in modern test rugby, you are going to struggle to find an international forward under 100kg now.
 

TBeastT

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I'm not sure traditional small 7s even really exist in modern test rugby, you are going to struggle to find an international forward under 100kg now.
Well Hooper’s in that mould at 101kg and I previously thought that the Currys were around that. Ben’s listed as being 102 but he looks bigger than that to me; at least 104/5
 

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So, with the series over and a couple of record wins under our belts, why do I have a slight sense of frustration? We've obviously got a great culture and fitness and while winning's a great habit there still feels like so much scope for improvement. Main takeaways are that Slade and Simmonds bring something different and may be worth another look.

Front Row. Disappointed not to see more of Genge, but otherwise we didn't learn much new. The 6N will be a great chance for Sinckler to press his claims.

Locks. Kruis will come again, but for now Lawes is the alpha male. He's of the athletic mould so I'd be tempted to pair him with the heavier duty Launch. They used to say that Flintoff bowled a "heavy ball" and I see Launch's impact in contact the same way. Complements Lawes well. Itoje may be suffering a slight Lions hangover.

Back Row. Preference is obviously for a heavy duty carrier at 8 - Binny if fit or Hughes. So who should their outriders be? Underhill's definitely worth persevering with at 7, and if you have him doing a lot of dirty work, does that pave the way for a looser, ball playing 6? A Clifford, or more likely Simmonds? A Tom Croft at his peak would be perfect. I had previously been thinking Itoje for 6, but maybe our need is for a faster ball handler over more physicality?

Scrummie. Nothing's changed. Youngs backed up by Care.

Midfield. Badly lacking a carrier. Teo's the logical option and needs to be given a proper shot as a starter. If he is then there's a strong argument for Slade as a second playmaker at 13; he showed some nice touches albeit, understandably, he tried to force it a bit too much at times. So that'd be Faz to 10 which is fine by me.

Back 3. May and Watson to start. If that's with Brown at 15 that's OK. But plenty of questions with Nowell and Daly also in the frame.

This 6N's the last sensible time to experiment before Japan. We won't be close to it but, injuries permitting, the team I'd like to start the tournament is Marler, Hartley, Cole, Launch, Lawes, Simmonds, Underhill, Binny, Youngs, Farell, May, Teo, Slade, Watson, Brown.

A bench of Mako, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Hughes, Care, Ford and Daly could seriously up the ante as the game breaks up and this 23 would give plenty of options. There you go, Eddie. Sorted!
 
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