Thursday, 17 October 2019

Eddie blinks first

It is just possible that, by dropping George Ford and breaking up the Ford-Farrell midfield axis, Eddie Jones has made his first mistake of this World Cup.

I hope I'm wrong, but it smacks of uncertainty and is reminiscent of Stuart Lancaster's decision to omit Ford from the 2015 Pool game against Wales, throwing Sam Burgess into the fray at inside centre (and the rest is history).

It also leaves Manu Tuilagi to fill the 12 shirt this time around and, while a huge fan of Henry Slade at 13, I'm not convinced that Tuilagi is entirely comfortable in the inside centre channel, particularly in defence.

Jones may have been saved, however, by Michael Cheika's decision to hand 19 year old Jordan Petaia the 13 shirt for Australia. Petaia is a huge talent, no doubt, but to expect him to play outside centre internationally for the first time in a World Cup quarter final is a huge ask.

I guess we'll wait and see...

2 comments:

Rugbydad said...

Well Flanker, you almost nailed that one then. I wonder what Eddie has got up his sleeve for NZ?

TotalFlanker said...

I clearly didn't take into account the fact that Cheika would send the Aussies out with next to no strategy whatsoever. "Just chuck it around and see how it goes" doesn't really cut it at this level.

Next week against the All Blacks will be fascinating...