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Rugby World Cup 3rd XV


Gardian
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From what I have seen, England still can't defend a wide ball, and they can't come back with points when they get down to the opposition 5yd line. Their confidence is shockingly low. I suspect they went out with a win at all cost mentality, and they didn't shake their introverted mentality once the game was won, which is the most worrying part. I'm scratching around, but who will be in the England set up this time next year of the players on the pitch yesterday?

Ellis, Kennedy, Cueto, Tait, Delon Armitage, Flutey (i know a little controversial), tindall, Haskell. I really like lee Mears but I havn't seen the front row function well with him at no2.

My prediction of England beating Ireland now looking difficult, but Ireland have lacked consistency, so I will only eat my words after that match.

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OK ... England team

D Armitage (London Irish); P Sackey (Wasps), M Tindall (Gloucester), R Flutey (Wasps), M Cueto (Sale Sharks); A Goode (Brive), H Ellis (Leicester); A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), L Mears (Bath), P Vickery (Wasps), S Borthwick (Saracens, capt), N Kennedy (London Irish), J Haskell (Wasps), J Worsley (Wasps), N Easter (Harlequins).

Replacements: D Hartley (Northampton), J White (Leicester), T Croft (Leicester), L Narraway (Gloucester), P Hodgson (London Irish), T Flood (Leicester), M Tait (Sale Sharks).

Steffon Armitage - Ben Foden - Geraghty gone.

Still no place for Tait in starting line up.

I stay very confident in my prediction of a Welsh victory[:)].

Any English team that can't get past 5 phases against Italy(that is an actual stat apparently), and when they do get the ball, kick it away deserve everything they get in return. Sadly I say that as an Englishman

 

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Ah man - the more times you guys chop and chop and change and chop the better for us. Let them roll on with it. [:D][:P][:D]

Wales will eat England no matter how much England try to stiffle the flow of the Welsh. And God I hope they do because they'll be in their boots motivationally by the time we get to them.

France, having seen Scotland play against Wales, will be rubbing their hands with glee.

Ireland will possibly use the match to test a few younger players (or at least I hope so). Whatever happens we must come away with a BIG win from Rome.

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Johnstons next game and his player selection will be critical after which he should not change the team (subject to injury of course). To be honest I think it will be Ireland or Wales for the championship but then having said that we have only seen one game a piece and there is a way to go yet. Rugby is a fickle old game at times.
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It seems to me that for a team to regain confidence, you have to select 'in form' players 'in' position. The fact that you only have 3 players from the top 2 guiness league teams, and 6 players from the top four teams suggests that this isn't really happening.

Wales' game is so simple at the moment. Take a look at their recent tries. Many have taken the following route.

1. Forwards take ball into contact, Ruck formed

2. Quick ball whipped out to Kennedy who takes ball at pace

3. Kennedy takes ball in to contact so that he takes out 2/3 opposition players, and you still have 3/4/5 still out of position (normally still on the ground) from the original ruck.

4. quick ball to the backs, ball spread wide to space

5. 5 or 7 points

The key is quick ball after getting opponents to commit people to the rucks. England are going to have to slow the quick ball down which means yellow cards again i'm afraid.

England are going to leak early penalties followed by a few tries in the 2nd half.

Wales 30/40 pts  England 3/10pts

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[quote]2. Quick ball whipped out to Kennedy who takes ball at pace[/quote]

[quote]4. quick ball to the backs, ball spread wide to space[/quote]

It was refreshing to see this and it has been an aspect of the Irish game missing since dead head O'Sullivan came to us. We have consistently played with a SH who stands with one foot in the ruck while spinning his head around like a submarine turret for ages allowing the opposition to regroup and prevent any use of a quick break. And err, isnt that what we expect from O'Driscoll. I just hope that Kidney watch this one aspect of the Welsh game. It does my head in as does this continual kicking away possession  [:@][:@]

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why is it that someone like Powell (not Kennedy, tyhat was wishful thinking) can singularly take a ball in to contact at pace, but from a ruck we pass the ball to a pathetic pod, which is standing still, has no momentum, and always forces turnover or slow ball. aaarrrgggghhhhhhhhhhh. By the way, a colleague suggested yesterday that Dallaglio is being used to a certain extent by Johnson to help get a message accross to the team and public.
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Powell and Roberts both negated by organised English defense. Two tries to one... I will take that after last week. Discipline an issue, but today it was the result of intense Welsh pressure.

So big step forward for the English. Flutey again looks the real deal. Worsely awesome, but where was Borthwick.

Not sure about some of the refereeing descisions in both games today, pretty grim in parts.

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[quote user="baypond"]Not sure about some of the refereeing decisions in both games today, pretty grim in parts.

[/quote]

I don't normally knock the whistle blower but with 28 years playing experience, a qualified coach and qualified ref, I feel he was quick to see England's misdemeanours but turned a blind eye to the same infringements by the reds.

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It's always been the same with Kaplan - we've never got sfa from him (not v grammatical, but you get the gist).

Having said that, Wales were worthy winners, but not by much.

Out of the 4 playing today, France will be the least happy. The problem for the Scots, after probably their best game for years, is injury cover.  

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At least, unlike last week, it was watchable and gives some hope. Indeed, when you consider the fairly straightforward missed kicks, the binnings and the points needlessly given away, England could easily have won it. Over the 80 minutes the Welsh team was slightly more effective but, bearing in mind where it was being played, I was surprised how dozy their defence looked for much of the first half.

The Scottish performance was a real surprise.

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Bit too slow the French game, at times they seemed to be strolling round the pitch but much better than last weeks attempt.

England, well whats to say except the better of the two games. I didn't understand some of the refs actions. We got yellow cards and the Welsh got nothing for the same offence. I think he should have been more consistent with his referring. Still the Welsh played a good game and probably deserved to win. Onwards and upwards or so they say. I shall miss the Irish game today (so good luck) but its a bit of a forgone conclusion but then you never know, funny old game rugby.

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Too true.

But as we all know, with any sport, out of 5 games you'll get 1 cracker, 3 mediocre & 1 shocker. (Maybe the proportions are a bit general, but you get the drift).

So far, 2 shockers out of 6, sadly both involving Italy.

Well, at least everyone visiting will have had a nice weekend, i.e. ripped off in the bars / restaurants etc. 

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[quote user="Gardian"]

Too true.

But as we all know, with any sport, out of 5 games you'll get 1 cracker, 3 mediocre & 1 shocker. (Maybe the proportions are a bit general, but you get the drift).

[/quote]

Except the Heineken Cup where almost every match is a cracker.[:)]

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[quote user="raindog"]Italy/Ireland has got to be one of the worst games I've ever watched. I had to switch off for the last 5 minutes after that last interception try - couldn't stand any more.
[/quote]

Holy God raindog - just look at the penalty count. Just look at the number of scrums. Just look at the blood substitutions. Italy went out to destroy us, physically, They went out to avenge the dung they played against one of the worst English performances I've ever witnessed. They went out for blood and they bloody well got it. In every sense of the word. I'm proud of the Irish and not just because I'm Irish. Because they stopped brutality and might and feckin hard nosed gurning forwards from destroying our beloved game. They stook two fingers up the nostrels of a team who had naff all to offer but brutality.

Wales are good. Wales are very good. But they can be beaten and England showed that it can be done.

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[quote user="UlsterRugby1999"]

Holy God raindog - just look at the penalty count. Just look at the number of scrums. Just look at the blood substitutions. Italy went out to destroy us, physically, They went out to avenge the dung they played against one of the worst English performances I've ever witnessed. They went out for blood and they bloody well got it. In every sense of the word. I'm proud of the Irish and not just because I'm Irish. Because they stopped brutality and might and feckin hard nosed gurning forwards from destroying our beloved game. They stook two fingers up the nostrels of a team who had naff all to offer but brutality.

Wales are good. Wales are very good. But they can be beaten and England showed that it can be done.

[/quote]

Hi Ulster, I was really talking about the scoreline, and the boredom factor. Italy seem to have

taken a step backwards. A couple of years ago they were coming along

nicely, but I think things will improve for them as, apparently, rugby

is still growing really fast over there.

If England hadn't had

to play with 14 men for 20 minutes we might well have won, and Wales

certainly looked shell shocked after our first try. England got a

yellow against Italy for tackling someone in the air under a high ball,

Wales did exactly the same thing against us and got away with it. Ho

hum.

Yes, they can be beaten, and perhaps Ireland are the team to do it? Or France?

By

the way, what does everyone think to the friday night venue? It's

dictated by 'prime time' television apparently, but it just means less

Welsh supporters will be able to make the trip - I think it's bloody

disgusting. 6N's rugby played on a friday evening - what next?

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