Tuesday, 26 February 2019

England Rugby - déjà vu all over again?

In the same way that it would have been wrong to overreact to England's excellent opening two performances of the 2019 Six Nations, so it would be an error to overly criticise England's failure to beat the Welsh at the weekend.

Nevertheless, there are questions that we do need to ask:

1. Was Saturday just a blip, a case of a bad day at the office? Or is there a wider malaise?

2. Shorn of the services of Mako Vunipola and Maro Itoje - does England's power game begin to fall apart like a cheap suit?

3. Actually, if plans A, B and C are just to kick the ball in behind the defence, where is the evidence that England still have a power game? Or any other game at all for that matter?

4. Why, when England were struggling for possession at times on Saturday, were they so prepared to kick the ball to the opposition rather than putting the ball through the hands? Having selected a balanced midfield, why did the centres barely see the ball?

5. Did England - as it seemed at the time - really think that they could just sit on a 7 point lead?

6. Why, when England fell behind on Saturday, did Eddie Jones not deploy the likes of Dan Robson and George Ford to try to change the game?

7. If Eddie Jones rates Dan Robson to the extent that he has only played a couple of minutes off the bench against France with the game already won, why is he in the squad?

8. Is it the case - as with last year's Six Nations - that the longer the competition progresses, the worse England seem to play?


Unknown said...

Hello Flanker,
New to this lark but prepared to give it a lash.
From my perspective - that of an old full back who played for 30 years - England under EJ and his antpodean acolytes, are overtrained and underbrained. By this I do not mean they are stupid;far from it. Simply that rugby is creeping ever closer to gridiron football in that the "Gameplan" is paramount and any deviation from it could result in being dropped, publicly flogged and ritually humiliated in post-match review sessions. EJ has stated that he wants his team to play theEnglish way. What he apparently means iS like Leicester circa 1970. It follows from this that:
He does not think that English players can give or take a pass.
He is reluctant for anyone to deviate from his rigid pre-game instructions.

He is reluctant to admit that other people, including opposition coaches, might be able to counter his strategy and tactics and, therefore, has no way of altering course when the wheels fall off the cariot.

BigJocktheLock said...

Regarding question 8 - I sincerely hope so!!