Tuesday, 26 February 2019
England Rugby - déjà vu all over again?
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?