Monday, 27 February 2012

Confession of an England Rugby Supporter

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

I didn’t mind too much that England lost to Wales on Saturday. There, I’ve said it, it’s off my chest.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want England to win. Believe me, from my armchair I made every single tackle (and was still beaten in the tackle-count by Mr Barritt). It’s just that over the years I’ve found every English error exasperating, have screamed in anguish at every refereeing decision against us and have taken every defeat personally. As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, in recent years that’s been one helluva heap of hurt.

And yet on Saturday I was relatively sanguine. Why? Well, largely because I witnessed a team of relative international rookies stand toe-to-toe with a supposedly vastly superior team and not concede an inch. Players hitherto regarded as no more than good club players displayed genuine international credentials and players with potential came of age. In short I saw boys become men.

England's future bodes well. I am hugely encouraged – at least for another 2 weeks.


jaques said...

Wales is transparent. England showed progress. You forgot to mention just how unfit Tuilagi was in last quarter. Certainly Stuart Lancaster has Nick Mallett salivating. Wales did not win that match; England lost it, whether you agree or not.

Phil said...

I personally agree with the blog. Watching England play over the last few years has been infuriating (even the first 2 games of this six nations) least we saw a glimpse of what Lancaster was trying to achieve here. Give the man time. I don't see the point in giving the job to Nick Mallett. As great as his credentials are...England would ust end up playing forward dominated 10 man rugby. Hardly evolution....

By the way I have started up my own blog too if you fancy a look.

jaques said...

Like I said, I was bitterly disappointed . I am over England being young and on the way up; they should be there already. The coaching of Lancaster is peripheral stuff. The team was there for him already. All he basically had to do was remove MJ's error, which he did. England did not need to show promise. They had it already. It isn't international coaching inexperience by Lancaster. He made the wrong calls in the now -most-important are of the game, substitution. The players are fine. So Lawes made an error. Saying that, just like Scotland, where were was the support. Is that organization? Tuilagi, amongst others , was too damned spent. End of story. A GS gone begging!!! Now it's up to Lancaster to make it up, which will NOW be a most difficult task.

Total Flanker said...

I disagree that "the team was there for him already". Wilkinson, Moody & Thompson all retired, Sheridan & Deacon injured long term, Shaw about 56 years old and short term injuries to Lawes, Flood and Tuilagi.

The decision for Lancaster was to stick or twist. Keep Easter, Tindall, Hape, Armitage & Cueto or replace them with players in better form or better long-tern prospects. Bravely, Lancaster chose to twist.

Where I do agree with you is that Lancaster got his bench policy badly wrong against Wales - hopefully something he'll learn from.

miff said...

Despite all my ravings, I really would like to see Stuart Lancaster get the job.
I know that I believe him to be a RFU man but , having said that, it was always going to be difficult to keep Sir Rob away and perhaps he too has learnt something.
It may sound crazy but what would really make me feel comfortable is if Joe Marler, the First of the Mohicans, got his shot. England really has never really had a caricature like Chabal and Castrogiovanni. His selection would hearten me. I also just realized that ethnically Nick Mallett is English, having moved to South Africa as a child with his educator father, I am also comfortable with that scene but if Lancaster can pull a rabbit from the deep hat of history and make positive sense of this 6N, he would be a hero of sorts to me. I've always felt that the depth of England and her players leave much room for equitable selections within the pool of players and any one could be magical. There is still hope and I believe it; England can win the 6N but that would not assure , IMHO, Lancaster getting the job if England has its heart on Mallett. Money is not a concern.