Rugby League World Cup Game 1 - England vs Australia (plus opening ceremony)

Discussion in 'Rugby League World Cup 2013' started by TRF_Saints, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Saint Matt

    Saint Matt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    England.
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Northampton

    Just watched the game back after attending our game (Northampton) this afternoon.

    Very impressed with England to be honest. Tactically their appeared to be a significant improvement from previous clashes with Australia. Did the basics well and moved the ball effectively when the chances arose. We created space. We isolated defenders. Haven't seen England do that in a long time. Our shape in attack was much improved in my opinion. Again, I haven't seen England score a try like Ryan Hall's for a long time. 3 dummy runners sent in and a walk over in the corner. Players attacking the line and producing crisp passes at speed. Add in the likes of James Graham and Sean O'Loughlin and we will see the bar rise up another notch in my opinion. Both awesome leaders and quality players who will make a huge difference in the forwards. That's not to say the guys who played today were poor, just the opposite. George Burgess and Chris Hill were exceptional today.

    Negatives. Doesn't matter what sport you are looking at, discipline is paramount at International level. As soon as the replacements came on and the intensity died down a touch, England started to make basic errors. England actually made errors on three consecutive sets of six leading up to Australia's first try. Tom Burgess had an average game in my opinion. That said, he will improve. Had our rotation been Graham, Sam Burgess, George Burgess, Hill and Mossop I suspect England would have won that game. I thought the level of officiating in relation to certain calls was average to say the least but there you go. We lost a huge amount of threat when James Roby went off and Kevin Sinfield went in at 9 though. Thought that was a bizarre call myself.

    What it did prove though in my opinion is that we have some awesome players - up front in particular! Hill, Ferres, all the props and James Roby were exceptional. George Burgess is simply incredible. Really happy with the performance and were unlucky to walk away without the points in my opinion. As I say, with the guys who didn't play today coming back in we will go from strength to strength in my opinion.
     
  2. Forum Ad Advertisement

  3. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,686
    Location:
    St Helens, England
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    St Helens

    England had a good go today but ultimately Australia have the extra gear that they don't. There was some good attacking rugby but the team selection is what hurt the team the most. Sinfield is a loose forward - he's NOT a stand off and he's NOT a hooker, especially not the latter. England were well in the game until Roby went off. I expected that would happen (which is why I was surprised that we didn't have Burrow on the bench to spell with him) but the momentum never recovered from that or the Sam Burgess clothesline from hell for which he'll be copping a one game ban at the very least.

    It was a spirited display and there are players to come back in as well, it bodes well for the rest of the tournament but the Australians won pretty easily in the end and I think they were below their best. That's what happens when you have eight weeks off like most of the players had but they'll be fine for the rest of their games now. I get to see them next week in the flesh when they visit Langtree Park.

    It was a good game, a good tournament opener that wasn't the one sided humiliation I thought it would be when I saw the squads. But I agree with two key points:

    Iain: Slater's try on half time was key. Absolutely. England were on the verge of turning around two points down and well in it. However, conceding a try in that fashion at that time was absolutely criminal. It was a killer and to score straight from a scrum will make the coach rage. Unforgiveable switch off and Australia sensed it.

    Matt: Discipline. It was dreadful and you can't throw away possession and penalties against a team of that calibre. But not just that, making too many handling errors and turning the ball over too easily. England found themselves on the back foot too often because of basics.

    In the forwards I think England are Australia's equal but the difference in the backs is huge, especially at centre and without question in the halves. And the quality of Thurston and Cronk is what told in the end.

    By the way, the pitch was dreadful.
     
  4. Saint Matt

    Saint Matt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    England.
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Northampton

    Sinfield's issue with England is that you can't afford to play a ball playing Loose Forward at International level. The top sides in the world these days practically play with three props. Sean O'Loughlin is ideal because he can do the hard yards out of his own half and he can offer a passing game close to the ruck. The guy is a decent leader and does a job for Leeds but the combination of Widdop and Chase in the halves looked much more dangerous. The only issue with that is neither of them is capable of taking the game by the scruff of the neck and directing the side around the field. If we had Danny Brough in the side at 7 however we would improve dramatically.

    As you say, and as I highlighted in my post, I couldn't believe the decision to take Roby off. He plays 80 minutes at St Helens week in, week out and was playing well. He's one of the only players who the Australians actually fear. He is simply world-class. I can't for the life of me see what could have been gained by replacing Sinfield for Roby.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  5. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,686
    Location:
    St Helens, England
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    St Helens

    In fairness, Roby has had two three month lay offs this year, I don't know if he managed to play more than 12 games or so. His fitness isn't going to be there just yet, so I can understand why you might play McIllorum or Burrow off the bench. McIllorum was dropped over Hockgate and I will be very surprised if he isn't on the bench for the rest of the tournament to spell with Roby, because at the moment he simply can't handle 80 minutes.

    If Kevin Sinfield at hooker is the answer, then you have to ask yourself: what is the question?

    Sinfield's kicking game is invaluable. He's a very good loose forward. O'Loughlin is a good player but he could play second row if needs be. Accomodating both of them in the team will be hard but it is possible. O'Loughlin has been injured, if he's fit I would expect him to be straight back into the team.
     
  6. Saint Matt

    Saint Matt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    England.
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Northampton

    He returned against Hull FC at the KC and played against Hull KR and Leeds in the Play-Off's. Now you mention it, he actually went off after about 50 minutes in the Leeds game but came back back on with 10 to go. That's the only explanation he can have. Perhaps bringing Rob Burrow off the bunch would have been the best option but there you go.

    Sinfield is a good 13 with the correct players around him in key positions. He hasn't played 13 for Leeds for about 3 years now - he's been playing at 6, simply because the game has changed. When he did play there, Burrow and McGuire were 6 and 7. Both natural runners, but not organisers. They did however allow Sinfield to control things in the way a 7 would. Unfortunately you can't do that at International level. Certainly not against Australia. What you do need is a pack capable of winning the battle up front, and a 7 who will direct the side around the park. The ruck is crucial which is why you need an extra forward at 13. O'Loughlin has to play IMO because he can act as a metre maker and a ball player if needed. Sinfield is the best we have in the squad at directing the side around the field and as I said earlier, Widdop and Chase aren't the sort of players who will do that.

    I've always said that the key to beating Australia is by doing the basics well. By playing percentages. When the opportunities come you need to take them, but ultimately you will give yourself a chance by doing the basics. Hard work in the forwards, good kick chase, no needless penalties or mistakes. England showed today that they can cause problems but ultimately the lack of discipline and errors cost them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  7. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,686
    Location:
    St Helens, England
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    St Helens

    I am very sure Roby was being rested because he was on empty - he was injured a lot last season (for the first time in his career really) and still won't be match fit. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if Burrow was in reserve but the esteemed coach decided he knows best.

    Personally I think that England are so vulnerable in the 3/4s that Australia look to exploit it every time we play them. Inglis and Tate tear our centres to shreds, they're as big as our prop forwards and as quick as our wingers! Australia are beatable, but not by England I don't think. Definitely by New Zealand but I just think Australia are better than England and that will remain the same for a long time to come.

    Good effort today and I was expecting a bigger loss - but there's that significant gulf in quality that overrides all other concerns.
     
  8. Saint Matt

    Saint Matt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    England.
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Northampton

    I actually didn't realise there was a section for RL on here. Just updated my club as a result of it :) Is it possible to have both ?

    Anyway, assuming S.Burgess isn't suspended, my team for next week would be:

    1. Sam Tomkins
    2. Josh Charnley
    3. Kallum Watkins
    4. Leroy Cudjoe
    5. Ryan Hall
    6. Kevin Sinfield
    7. Gareth Widdop
    8. James Graham
    9. James Roby
    10. George Burgess
    11. Ben Westwood
    12. Brett Ferres
    13. Sean O'Loughlin

    14. Rob Burrow
    15. Chris Hill
    16. Lee Mossop
    17. Sam Burgess.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  9. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,686
    Location:
    St Helens, England
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    St Helens

    I'd be stunned if he wasn't to be honest! CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL usually results in a one game ban.
     
  10. Sam Owen

    Sam Owen BANNED!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,315
    Location:
    Samoa and Auckland NZ
    Country Flag:

    Samoa

    Club or Nation:

    Blues


    I love the aggression from Burgess but that shot wasnt worth it. Yes be the enforcer, but control Sammy.

    1 games not too bad, he'd probably benefit from the rest.

    So far I see England as definate contenders and very likely finalist.
     
  11. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,686
    Location:
    St Helens, England
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    St Helens

    Definite semi finalist you'd think - I personally think the Kiwis would wipe the floor with England.

    The Burgess hit was a bad one but I don't think it was vindictive or meant to injure. I know I wouldn't want Thaiday catching up with me at a later date!
     
Enjoyed this thread? Register to post your reply - click here!

Share This Page