BBC.co.uk

The wonder of Wilko

  • James Standley
  • 3 Feb 07, 08:50 PM

James Standley eng_badge.gifTwickenham - It can be very hard not to use hyperbole when writing about Jonny Wilkinson at the best of times, and having just watched his display against Scotland I’m not even going to try.

So, which word plucked from the gushing end of the semantic spectrum shall we use to describe the return of the perfect 10 (sorry Dan, but Wilko was here first).

Remarkable? Not even close.

Incredible? Getting there I suppose.

Astonishing? Ball-park I guess, but somehow still too, well, limp really.

How about miraculous?

I don’t think he can walk on water, but after Saturday’s display in England’s win at Twickenham I’m thinking of seeing what the bookies will offer me on that.

OK, it was only an average Scottish team and the English pack laid the foundations with a welcome return to something like their dominating best.

But Wilkinson was playing his first game for England for 1,169 days, he is just into his 10th comeback from injury and had played little more than 40 minutes since lacerating a kidney.

And how does he ease himself back?

He scores a Calcutta Cup record of 27 points, comprising seven kicks out of nine, a cheeky drop-goal and a try, and puts in at least one thumping tackle to remind us further of those distant days before his body called a time out.

OK, the rugby gods were smiling when the TMO decided he had not been in touch for his try, but it’s about time they gave him a break.

The Scotland match had many talking points for the struggling world champions - the opening chapter of Brian Ashton’s reign, the debut of Andy Farrell, Phil Vickery’s first game since being appointed long-term captain and the return of Jason Robinson from international retirement among them.

But Jonny’s return dwarfed all of them, and the rapturous reception he got from the England faithful when he went off after 73 minutes illustrated that perfectly.

He had been so keen to get back in the thick of things initially, he was about to kick off when he realised the rest of the team were locked in a huddle 20 yards away and had to run over sheepishly to join them.

But maybe he should have just got started without them - it was the sort of day when he could have pulled it off.

Having waxed lyrical I suppose we need to come back to earth and remind ourselves that it is only one match and the long journey back to the top has only just started.

But for now, let’s just salute the greatest comeback since Lazarus decided to give that breathing lark another crack.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 09:03 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Personally I was happy with Harry Ellis. We all know the quality of Wilko and it was really a case of seeing if he was as good as we all remember.
The performance of Ellis seems to show we now have a good quality scrum half to link with.

  • 2.
  • At 09:23 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Carl McMillan wrote:

Well done Jonny - good kicking out of hand, pretty good passing and great place kicking. Good to see the old flexibility back - nice step around the Scots for the try (who cares if it wasn't - it deserved it).

England played well but, if we are to be honest here, Scotland are pretty third rate and lost to a very average Australian side in the Autumn.

Nice to see Big Phil back as well.

Cheers

  • 3.
  • At 09:24 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • R Stonhold wrote:

An England team playing with energy and conviction. The pack worked hard, some ball recycling was slow, but the error rate was much lower than in the autumn and 2006 Six nations. Scotland became tired too soon before the final whistle. England have much to do before the World Cup begins; let's hope there are no long term injuries caused to key English players before that competition starts...

  • 4.
  • At 09:27 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Willyam wrote:

A slightly exagerated article, but not that far from the truth.
His performance was enhanced by the quite shockingly lackluster performance from the Scots.
His goalkicking is the main thing England lacked in his absence. His return will undoubtedly herald a new dawn for English rugby and hopefully a return to the mighty world cup winning days.
How sick must Robinson feel now, and to think if he was in charge he wouldn't have played. No wonder it was time for him to go and his appointment still baffles me.
Long live a healthy Jonny!!

  • 5.
  • At 09:27 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Richie wrote:

One word...legend

  • 6.
  • At 09:30 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I bow to the genius of Wilko but let's remember that Bude boy Phil Vickery displayed great leadership in holding the team together when we were going through yet another mini crisis in the first half, in recent matches that may have been enough to make us fold. Harry Ellis played a blinder and for me was Man Of The Match. He raised the tempo of Englands game in the way that we had come to expect of our World Cup winning side. OK we were a bit rusty but that's something we can work on and who knows there may still be time to restore our match winning ways. We are as good as any other team in the rest of the world when we believe.
Leicester and Cornwall xx

  • 7.
  • At 09:36 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • David Paris wrote:

A good game but take away the returning stars what else did we have. A good one off performance by a scrum half and full back who stuggled early on and the usual pack who held there own. living in Wales and being English is not wasy but the welsh have often thought they were returning to greatness after beating Outer Mongolia 100 points to nil, so we need to keep a lid on things and realise one swallow does not make a summer. it is going to be hard to get out of the World Cup group but that is what we must do. Beating an average Scotland team is good but a real test will be Ireland in their own back yard and then a trip to Wales.

  • 8.
  • At 09:41 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Karier Sylvie wrote:

Enfin!

  • 9.
  • At 09:42 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Mayz wrote:

Truly a fabulous performance. It wasn't just good because he came back from injury, but it was good because it was like he was never gone. Wow is all I can say. I also think Harry Ellis was another level to the rest of the rubbish we had before.

  • 10.
  • At 09:45 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • stephen from Whalley wrote:

The best thing about Jonny was his own reaction to his outstanding performance.

Didn't acknowledge the crowd during the standing ovation he received when substituted - humility, the game is bigger than him.

Thanked evrybody for supporting him in the after match interview - said how much he still owed everyone who showed faith in him - humility.

Was chomping at the bit to get away and analyse the game in order to make improvements - professionalism.

What a brilliant example to our youngsters who normally are fed the inane rantings from our overpaid, egotistical and mercenary footballers.

Good on you, Jonny!!

  • 11.
  • At 09:47 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Johnnnybegood wrote:

The legend fly half has comeback! I wonder how good Jonny Wikinson is with a stick of willow, and a Kookaburra in his hand? mmmmmm......

  • 12.
  • At 09:49 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Johnnnybegood wrote:

The legend fly half has comeback! I wonder how good Jonny Wikinson is with a stick of willow, and a Kookaburra in his hand? mmmmmm......

  • 13.
  • At 09:51 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Rachel wrote:

What a game. It wasn't perfect by any means and at times it looked like Scotland could take a result from the game but even when it looked like victory was inevitable, England didn't become complacent like they had over the last year or two and won convincingly. Great to have Wilkinson back, his standing ovation was thoroughly deserved.

  • 14.
  • At 09:53 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • john savage wrote:

I agree, Brian Ashton's introduction has seen a huge change in team ethos, they looked like they thought they could actually win the game. Fantastic start, and really, this being their first game together, they can only get better. Pride is a double edged sword, but I was happy to feel it again today, come on England.

  • 15.
  • At 09:58 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Dave Jones wrote:

Was there anyone else on the pitch? Following the BBC's coverage, it was hard to tell. Yes JW had a good match for a comeback, and he's a fine player, but did we need it rammed down our throats every 10 seconds?

Man of the Match? Not sure about that, what about Ellis, who had a blinder of a game?

  • 16.
  • At 09:59 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Lil wrote:

Finally. That's a bit more like it really. Absolutely amazing by Wilko, but all credit to Harry Ellis. A Blinder of a match from him I thought. Well done boys. Has been a good weekend all round for England. We manage to beat Oz in the cricket, our rugby U21's and Saxons won, as well as our brilliant Ladies team beating Scotland 60-0. Class!

Great to see England Winning again. Well done lads. Wilkinson will help us keep the World Cup!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 18.
  • At 10:11 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Paul Charlesworth wrote:

We looked confident as a team. The boy wonder was back and the lift that gave the squad was transferred to the pitch. The pack was awesome and full of running at the end (the Scots were broken), the backs looked like they could break down defences with guile instead of brawn and we have that priceless commodity back - a world class kicker. No longer will teams be able to get away with infringing anywhere in their own half. It should open up the field and we now have a coherent backline to exploit the resultant gaps.

People say that we shouldn't read too much into this game, but who cares what Keith Wood thinks! ENGLAND ARE BACK!!!!

  • 19.
  • At 10:24 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Jonathan Martin wrote:

Wilko played fantastic for someone who has been trying to recover from 10 injuries and 2 years of darkness. I salute him.

Better player than Dan Carter when both are on top form. By a mile in my opinion. Farrell and Ellis played well too. Vickery good as captain. As a Sale fan, nice to see JR come back and score 2 tries.

P.S. England for Grand Slam if not Triple Crown. Us vs France will be a toughie.

  • 20.
  • At 10:31 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Peter Singleton wrote:

I now see the wisdom of what Rob Andrew said about JW, that he hasn't peaked yet, and he hasn't. He is now certainly stronger than he was a few years ago. The guy is talented and very courageous, and although he played a fantastic match (his kicking was excellent, his hands were fast and accurate, he linked well, and his tackling was really solid) its great to see him being modest (about himself and the teams performance.) It was also great to see Jason Robinson's tries but England did struggle at points in the match against a Scotland team that just could not match England up front and in the penetration of their back play. Now pride is restored (a massive relief to a lot of us English) we need to go to the next level. Harry Ellis was great, so was Tindall, and AF showed signs of what he will be given time, not to mention what Vickery and the pack did. But Wilko was the star and he is an inspirational figure for us. And I just wish him and the team well.

GO ENGLAND!!!!JUST DO IT!!!

  • 21.
  • At 10:34 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Peter Singleton wrote:

I now see the wisdom of what Rob Andrew said about JW, that he hasn't peaked yet, and he hasn't. He is now certainly stronger than he was a few years ago. The guy is talented and very courageous, and although he played a fantastic match (his kicking was excellent, his hands were fast and accurate, he linked well, and his tackling was really solid) its great to see him being modest (about himself and the teams performance.) It was also great to see Jason Robinson's tries but England did struggle at points in the match against a Scotland team that just could not match England up front and in the penetration of their back play. Now pride is restored (a massive relief to a lot of us English) we need to go to the next level. Harry Ellis was great, so was Tindall, and AF showed signs of what he will be given time, not to mention what Vickery and the pack did. But Wilko was the star and he is an inspirational figure for us. And I just wish him and the team well.

GO ENGLAND!!!!JUST DO IT!!!

  • 22.
  • At 10:37 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Wonderful performance from Wilkinson, but I too must applaud the finest performance yet from young Harry Ellis. He finally is allowed the space to play the game he is capable of doing. Well done lad, not looking as lost as at the Trevi fountains last year!

  • 23.
  • At 10:38 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Peter Singleton wrote:

I now see the wisdom of what Rob Andrew said about JW, that he hasn't peaked yet, and he hasn't. He is now certainly stronger than he was a few years ago. The guy is talented and very courageous, and although he played a fantastic match (his kicking was excellent, his hands were fast and accurate, he linked well, and his tackling was really solid) its great to see him being modest (about himself and the teams performance.) It was also great to see Jason Robinson's tries but England did struggle at points in the match against a Scotland team that just could not match England up front and in the penetration of their back play. Now pride is restored (a massive relief to a lot of us English) we need to go to the next level. Harry Ellis was great, so was Tindall, and AF showed signs of what he will be given time, not to mention what Vickery and the pack did. But Wilko was the star and he is an inspirational figure for us. And I just wish him and the team well.

GO ENGLAND!!!!JUST DO IT!!!

  • 24.
  • At 10:39 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Chops wrote:

Jonny Wilkinson has endured more than any professional sportsman of the modern era (Beckham, Henson, Flintoff Etc.) over the last 3 years. To do what he did today was phenomenal. No Discussion. Name me another played in world sport who has achived anything similar? Dead simple - there aint none. I take exception to EJ Morgan and as a fellow Englishman living in Wales I know of the blinkered journalism we are exposed to. Yes, Ellis was Man of the Match, but sport is also about Human interest. JW is the most compelling sports story of the year. Aged Journeymen? Who exactly? Jason Robinson who scored a brace?

Long live Big Phil and bring on the world cup!

Chops in Llanharry

  • 25.
  • At 10:39 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Whether Charlie Hodgson is fit or not I think this ends any debate about who should be fly half.

  • 26.
  • At 10:41 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • wil wrote:

What an inspiration to everyone especially youngsters like me!!!Hope this is another new era for England. Overall what a display from the England team, carry it on!!!!

  • 27.
  • At 10:42 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Eileen wrote:

Sure England won but the game lacked flair and imagination and pace. Scotland were abysmal.

Jonny Wilkinson is not the messiah and he's not the world's best no. 10 (that is Dan Carter)

Wilkinson and the rest of the English team just looked good because Scotland were poor...there needs to be some perspective.
The real test will be when England play some real opposition.

As for keeping the World Cup ...the next step would be beating any of the other teams in the 6 nations before even thinking of the Southern Hemisphere sides.

  • 28.
  • At 10:42 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Roger Hillerby wrote:

Congratulations to the Engalnd team.

Well done Jonny in playing a good game, lets not forget there are another 14 palyers on the pitch, but once again Jonny was as always the legend that he is & inspired the rest of the team to play well. lets keep up the good work & show the rest of the world why we are the champions and lets retain the trophy in France later this year.

  • 29.
  • At 10:45 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • nick r wrote:

For one individual to shine it still takes a team to provide the platform and behind that a fully functional organisation. England were like a dysfunctional business last year, sapping each others morale, and the responsibility for that usually lies at the head. Playing people to their strengths by keeping them in their correct position helps too !
Nick

  • 30.
  • At 10:49 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • nick r wrote:

For one individual to shine it still takes a team to provide the platform and behind that a fully functional organisation. England were like a dysfunctional business last year, sapping each others morale, and the responsibility for that usually lies at the head. Playing people to their strengths by keeping them in their correct position helps too !
Nick

  • 31.
  • At 10:50 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • do i have a different telly wrote:

once again england were predictable, and played boring rugby. they excelled as scotland were poor. hope they are still taking bets that england wont make it out of the group stages.

  • 32.
  • At 10:52 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Tim Drohan wrote:

Brilliant to see England back to something like reasonable form. A little confidence can work wonders. Let's hope that we build from here for the Tests ahead and strong showing in RWC.

Perhaps tonight though we could spare a thought for Andy Robinson. How many of those lost games would have been won if we could only kick a few goals and have Robinson to finish off a few moves? Suddenly Vickery,Farrell et al are fit. No wonder we look like a team. All we need is Richard Hill back and we can start to dream.

On top off that we get a dubious try when against the ABs it was the other way.

No wonder Napoleon wanted lucky commanders.

  • 33.
  • At 10:54 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • anon wrote:

harry ellis had a stunner of a game, he seemed to be able to run through the scottish back line at will.

and of course johnny - he had an incredible match and i agree, Scotland cant come out of a game like that complaining that someone's leg hit the ground a split second before the ball did, they were completely outplayed

  • 34.
  • At 11:06 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Dan Kearns wrote:

I though Wilkinson played a blinder today as did Ellis, but I think the statement that: "Better player than Dan Carter when both are on top form. By a mile in my opinion." Is a bit too far, although I love Wilkinson and think he is the best england 10 is a very long time, this one performance has blinded us, Dan Carter is simply brilliant, you just watch the 2nd test of the Lions tour, or maybe the last time England played NZ are Carter was sublime, and Wilkinson wasn't that great today, the first 40 minutes, going forward with ball in hand he did little and wasn't really incisive, but got better in the 2nd half, I still think Wilkinson is brilliant, but Carter is in a class of his own!

  • 35.
  • At 11:21 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • tommyh wrote:

it WAS a brilliant return to action by a man who lets face it has only played 40 minutes of top class rugby this season! yes the rest of the team , particularly the forwards, were back to the sort of form that won us the world cup, the last time we saw mr wilkinson pull on that white jersey. Why is it that we just can't enjoy the fact that we have regained the calcutta cup and made the first, all important step towards a grand slam and could we be actually be back in the contest for the webb ellis cup?

it was just nice to see an England team with some urgency and bite and i believe that jonny and harry ellis were at the heart of this, long may they continue to show this type of form

  • 36.
  • At 11:25 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

After the talk about lucky coaches, maybe Brian Ashton's fortunate streak began when the Six Nations fixtures were decided - matches against Scotland and Italy are the perfect opportunity for a new team and a new midfield to blend together. A great start - some quick ball from the rucks, the first scrum half to do some "sniping" round the scrum since a the Dawson of three years ago and a goal kicker who can hit the ball between those stick things - all suggest better things when the team get used to each other. The rest of the tournament is something to be looked forward to for England supporters.

  • 37.
  • At 11:35 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Eileen wrote:

I agree with dave.

There needs to be a reality check.

I dread to think what the headlines will be like tomorrow but I guess you've got to milk it while you can.

  • 38.
  • At 11:36 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Dave, the reason for the positivity, overpositivity as you see it, is that over the last 12-18 months England fans have been subjected to utter rubbish.

I agree today's performance was far from perfect but you could see glimpses of the 2003 team. Admittedly the 2003 team were showing these glimpses a couple of years before 2003 so this team has to accelerate the process to world beaters compared to the 2003 team but after today's performance I don't think semis is out of question in the WC.

  • 39.
  • At 11:41 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Surprisingly good, yes, but i think you are going over the top. But i agree, theres nobody who deserves it more than Jonny Wilkinson, the man is an example to us all

  • 40.
  • At 11:42 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

As a Scot,humiliated as we may be as a nation, I'd just like to add my praise to the England team for today's performance. Esprcially Jonny. What a star!
That makes me proud to be British!

  • 41.
  • At 11:43 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • John wrote:

In every result, you will get the frenzied and blinkered fans (comes from elation of winning)and also the doubters and cynics, or just plain bitter. Agreed, Scotland were not the best opposition to rest a world cup retaining comment on, but it was a massive improvement of anything that we have produced in the last 3 years and has a lot of promise for the future. So enjoy it for what is is, be excited about the next game and give credit where it is due. JW and HE were fantastic, backed by the rest of, what we can hopefully and finally call a "team". This result will make any opposition team at least a little bit wary now and thats a good thing.

  • 42.
  • At 11:44 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • robert wrote:

Just like the good old days.

  • 43.
  • At 11:51 PM on 03 Feb 2007,
  • John wrote:

In every result, you will get the frenzied and blinkered fans (comes from elation of winning)and also the doubters and cynics, or just plain bitter. Agreed, Scotland were not the best opposition to rest a world cup retaining comment on, but it was a massive improvement of anything that we have produced in the last 3 years and has a lot of promise for the future. So enjoy it for what it is, be excited about the next game and give credit where it is due. JW and HE were fantastic, backed by the rest of, what we can hopefully and finally call a "team". This result will make any opposition team at least a little bit wary now and thats a good thing.

  • 44.
  • At 12:15 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • level_headed wrote:

OK, we won and its great to see things are on track to building (yes BUILDING) our team back to being a force to be reckoned with. But I have to agree with Dave (No.32) to an extent. Let's take a page out of Mr. Wilkinson's book and learn some humility. Nationalism's all well and good but sportsmanship is great. For all the praise we heap on his shoulders no one seems to be trying to follow Jonny's example.
Maybe humility isn't the term I'm looking for. Reality check? Picture England against New Zealand... A full strength South Africa... Or, dare I say it, an on-fire Ireland in 2 weeks time. Or even a good French team with enough time to prepare. Sure we can give them a damn good game, but until we actually beat them, let's not hype ourselves up so much that if the downfall comes (and I'm praying along with every other Englishman that it doesn't) then it's not as devastating as being coached by A. Robinson (harsh words, I know, but its a good reminder).
Any and every England fan has faith in their team just like every other sports fan around the globe. Trouble is that everyone around the globe is dying to make us eat our words of belief and support for our team.
We beat Scotland and took back the C Cup (no, that's not a pun) and we can be proud, but only as proud as the most humble sportsman who put his body on the line to get us there (unfortunately for all the anglophobes the spotlight again shines on Wilko). If we get beaten, I do not want to find myself among the masses who make countless excuses instead of simply admitting that the other team played the game better (maybe not more fairly, maybe not prettier, but that doesn't always constitute better) and therefore got the win. NB: "We play to win at all costs" used to be an England ethos, and it can easily be turned against us when we lose and some people start rattling off excuses. When we start winning the big games again, what I'm most looking forward to is turning to all the nay-sayers and calmly stating: "I told you so."
Until then, I'm behind my team all the way and say we should follow the example set by our sporting greats and even current sportsmen and just take things "one game at a time".

...Still though, I'd be so psyched if we could get back on track by winning the 6N! GO ENGLAND!!!

  • 45.
  • At 12:16 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • jonny wrote:

dave, in some ways ur right, but the man deserves some credit. the original, and still the best. lets hope the same occurs when we play a good team, like italy!

  • 46.
  • At 12:16 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Ellis marginally man of match but dont get carried away, Italy looked poor against France, tomorrow is the key, if Ireland win then I look forward to the Ireland France game as the decider

  • 47.
  • At 12:20 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

We can't get too excited as we beat Wales by the same type of margin at the beginning of the last 6N.

Italy next week will not be easy. Only when we have played Ireland and Wales away, and France at home will we truly know where Ashton has taken us.

Win all those and nobody can doubt us, but I'm not marching off to the bookies on today's showing. C+ for ability/achievement, A for effort. Both will need to be A if we are going to beat some of the world's better sides.

  • 48.
  • At 12:25 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Rich Game wrote:

I think moderation on both sides of the respective pesimists and optimists who have commented thus far is required. Of course England will face considerably stiffer tests over the coming weeks and months, Scotland were good in small patches but generally quite poor. However, English fans should be able to demonstrate their pride and passion in not just the win, but the nature of the performance of all players, given the dire performances and morale over the previous 18 months!

As for Johnny - I agree with the posting by Chops, it is a remarkable accomplishment of human endeavour and pure strength of mind to come back at all from the abyss of over 2 years of pretty much constant injury.

Well done England - let's take it to the next level now!

  • 49.
  • At 12:36 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • H Morgan wrote:

Yes, Jonnie played brilliantly.
Otherwise, the Scots' performance was so pathetic in all phases that its difficult to judge how England will now go forward in the the VI nations: Whatever his qualities, he can't carry a side that should have laid on a century against their opponents yesterday.

So let's not just order Jonny's own double-decker bus yet for the celebrations!

There's already enough euphoria over the England XI's latest annhilation of Australia!

The English are supposedly well known for their reserve. I'm afraid it is a quality that deserts them at the glimpse of a not very impressive win.

  • 50.
  • At 12:37 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Dave UK wrote:

Dave - likely prediction come the world cup - New Zealand choke. The kiwi's always get carried away and then can't follow through. NZ gave up the world cup in 1991 and have given it up everytime since. The Aussies will get to a semi and no more. As for the Ashes - their ours again next time round. I love aussie/ kiwi bashing as much as you love pomme baiting.

England may not win the world cup, but something Bernard Laporte said gave me an insight - "Wilkinson is English rugby's Zidane". In other words he is someone capable (minus the headbutt!) of turning the course of a game and a tournment, like a Campese or a Lomu or a Carter of course.

  • 51.
  • At 12:46 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Marty wrote:

Lads, you are not on the planet at all. As great as it is to see Jonny back in the pocket, one swallow does not make a summer. Scotland were awful. We'll put manners on ye in Croker.
What have ye outside the boy Wilko, hardly anything to keep Drico and Darce awake, thats certain! Did Josh Lewsey even touch the ball today?

Good to have England back because it only enhances the competition overall but theres a long way to go yet folks!

  • 52.
  • At 12:47 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • H Morgan wrote:

What should always be welcome in sport - surely the most democratic of activities - is the free flow of discussion relating to the game, and the willingness of blogs such as these to accept contributors with all shades of opinions properly expressed.
It is therefore sincerely hoped that this site, which is subject to moderation, will see fit to accept my post. It would otherwise seem very unsporting

  • 53.
  • At 12:50 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Jez wrote:

The game today was the opportunity the team needed to regain the confidence they know they require to be world beaters. The talent and vast experience of players like PV, JW, MT and JR is what will cement this side together. We should all remember this is an almost new shaped side and as such will not be yet at the level they will need to be for the RWC, but that said it was a steady solid performance on which to build. Great to see JW doing what he does best, mixing it with the big guys and sitting them on their a..r..s..e..s.

lOOKING FORWARD TO MORE OF THE SAME!!

  • 54.
  • At 01:48 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Sam wrote:

I sooo glad to see that there are still those pesimistic people out there, good god people you sound like a bunch of spurs fans!! Try and give some credit for a change...
Maybe Scotland weren't that great, but you still have to take your chances and win the game (or has that changed since i last looked???)
For jonny to come back after 3 years and score 27 points is fantastic. Great performances from the rest of the team as well, we might actually have a chance of winning something this year.
So once we've won the 6 nations (its called optimism/glass half full) I hope im the first person to say i told you so

  • 55.
  • At 01:50 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • David wrote:

ok from a scottish point of view, have to admit JW was pretty good for someone who hasnt played for 3 years, however how harry ellis didnt get man of the match is a joke! furthermore the fact that JW's try was given defeats the whole point of having such a system in place, the tmo should never be given such responsibiities again! However the worst of it was having to listen to Brian Moores rants for 2 hours, in the 1st half dan parks placed pin point kicks into the corners and got slated by moore for apparent "lack of options", however in the 2nd half when the same was done by JW he couldnt contain his praise, i can admit england deserved to win and scotland were poor but having to listen moore was painful, surely the BBC can adopt a little less bias commentary position, and whoever said JW is by a mile better than dan Carter must have been brainwashsed by moore's tedious rants!

  • 56.
  • At 02:26 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

What a bunch of coaches we all are! Can we not enjoy a game of rugby for what it was - a good game. As far as JW is concerned - he brought something to the England setup that has been missing - stability and a goal kicking machine. Yes he showed vision and that will no doubt develop further - but the big thing was - you infringe - we score 3 points - simple.

England have lost far too many points off of the back of missed free kicks and the opposition feeling free to infringe within 30-40m of their line as they felf CH would miss - no more with Wilco.

I hope this is the start of something - let's see what happens tomorrow but the Irish Pack best perform for I feel England will test them and any infringment under preassure will be punished with 3 points. Here's hoping ;o)

  • 57.
  • At 02:41 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • James wrote:

"Just like the good old days"

Would that be the days 1987- 2001?...Oh no your talking about 2002 and 2003...yeah wow the long lasting period of English dominance. I feel for England it seems only a few people realise that this overbloated sense of "We are the best" or "We can compete with any other team" has whats lead to 18 years of shite in the Cricket, nothing in the football and one world cup win in the Rugby. Id love to see a competitive England after being bored off my socks by this summers cricket. But please its hard to improve if your not truely honest.

P.S Wilkinson better then Carter? Oh please if you want your fly half kicking from hand all day inbetween goal shots then maybe. Speed, incisivness running ability and creativity, the elements for exciting fast paced rugby? Not a chance in the world.

  • 58.
  • At 02:47 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • An_Englishman_Abroad wrote:

Good to see the usual mix of elation, hyperbole, criticism, expectation, insults, praise etc etc. I am sure that all true rugby fans around the world were delighted to see Jonny back on the field and playing like his old self. Sure there were other players on the field performing well (especially Ellis) but at the end of the day we all like fairy tales with happy endings and JW just provided that. On more than one occasion I cringed and held my breath as Jonny got stuck in and I’m sure that we all breathed a sigh of relief when he walked off the field unaided for once and to a well-deserved standing ovation. It was a pleasure to see so many sporting Scots standing applauding him too.

I am a huge fan of JW, he is certainly a world-class No 10 with an amazing rugby brain and would no doubt be one of the first named in any World VX, however… there is no escaping the fact that Dan Carter is the more capable and exciting runner. You’d put money on JW kicking a difficult penalty but you’d but a greater amount on DC breaking through a solid defence.

At the end of the day… rugby was the winner.

Ian M.

  • 59.
  • At 02:51 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • kloxile wrote:

Interesting comments about indicators for world cup;

Far too early to get carried away , after 1 home win against the 2nd weakest team in the tourno.

However, as for W-cup then I believe we will easily get to the QF and meet Oz if we are 2nd in group and Wales if we win (probably) - but Semi vs France if we top group an win QF and NZ if 2nd and win should be top of our ambitions.

I would rate the teams as following

NZ - miles ahead
France - with home advantage 2nd

Then a whole range of teams who could do well in third pool of teams

Ireland - just edging the chasing pack
Aus, SA,England - Big squads, lots of depth, tend to overachieve in big tournaments
Argentina / Wales - could up their game and beat any of the 4 teams in the pool above.

Basically

QF 1 SA V Aus
QF 2 NZ v Ire/ Arg
QF 3 Eng Wales
QF 4 France v Scot

SF 1 SA/Aus v NZ
SF 2 Eng France

Final NZ v France

Only way this won't hppen is if NZ bottle semi - see 2003 or France don't wein group - Arg + Ire both v. tough - but Home ad means hosts virtually always overachieve.

  • 60.
  • At 02:53 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Jez wrote:

It is clear to me that without JW for the last 3 years the England set up were lost at sea. Today he showed that he is, as always the guy who controls the game from behind the tight. He commands respect from the opposition and by his shear presence and ability earns it. For me Jonny had nothing to prove, it was all about him proving to himself that he still can take to the stage with a group of top international players and perform, and that he did to a level that is far beyond the reach of most players. Lets hope that this is the start of a long injury free journey to A place where we have not yet seen any player in an England shirt, THE BEST RUGBY UNION PLAYER IN THE WORLD AT 10..

  • 61.
  • At 02:54 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

England still have France and Ireland to contend with, I wouldn't get too hyped up yet.

  • 62.
  • At 03:33 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • japanman wrote:

james, wa wa wa.. When have you ever heard anybody in the England rugby team saying " we re the best"? Whats that? oh sorry.. you haven t. Absolute honesty over every performance is all that will come out of the England dressing room; when its crap they ll be the first ones to admit it. Who are these people your talking about, the wizards? I agree, the uk press are full of bollocks, the BBC commentary was sickening in the Scotland match in their praise of England; but don t suggest the players carry that overblow opinion onto the pitch with them. The media don t wear the white shirt.The lack of recent success doesn t come down to the tabloids and it certainly doesn t come down to archaic Victorian imperial sentiment, god i m sick of that argument.I m sure nobody in the cricket team is kissing their own butts recently either, probably due to the amount of crap in the vicinity. (i m not counting overpaid buntymen footballers). By the way, i m sure i saw speed, incisive running and creativity as well as excellent kicking in Wilkinson s performance.
you seemed to have led me on a counter rant. well done.
I only wanted to say, Ellis played a blinder!

  • 63.
  • At 03:36 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • japanman wrote:

james, wa wa wa.. When have you ever heard anybody in the England rugby team saying " we re the best"? Whats that? oh sorry.. you haven t. Absolute honesty over every performance is all that will come out of the England dressing room; when its crap they ll be the first ones to admit it. Who are these people your talking about, the wizards? I agree, the uk press are full of bollocks, the BBC commentary was sickening in the Scotland match in their praise of England; but don t suggest the players carry that overblow opinion onto the pitch with them. The media don t wear the white shirt.The lack of recent success doesn t come down to the tabloids and it certainly doesn t come down to archaic Victorian imperial sentiment, god i m sick of that argument.I m sure nobody in the cricket team is kissing their own butts recently either, probably due to the amount of crap in the vicinity. (i m not counting overpaid buntymen footballers). By the way, i m sure i saw speed, incisive running and creativity as well as excellent kicking in Wilkinson s performance.
you seemed to have led me on a counter rant. well done.
I only wanted to say, Ellis played a blinder!

  • 64.
  • At 03:56 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Ok, so some people appear to be getting carried away in the eyes of others. However I'd like to point out that it has been a long time since anybody following England has had cause to be optimistic.

Although England's performance today was at times lacklustre, that's to be expected when you take their form running up to the game into consideration.

If you look at the current England team on paper you can't help but feel a little excitement and hold the belief that, if they avoid injuries to key players, England are capable of once again finding their form and becoming a force in world rugby once more.

  • 65.
  • At 04:00 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Steve, Dallas, Texas, USA wrote:

Today the Wilko comeback spurred me to travel to the only place in Dallas, USA that was showing the game. He was clearly an inspiration to the England team - and one of the main reasons for this is because he can consistently put points on the board. Just statistically I wonder how many more of the last 30 Internationals England would have won this past three years with him playing - the comparisons with Dan Carter are not relevent - this is not about debating World fifteens -its about England winning.

The impact of Wilkinson on the team is simple - they actually believe they can win the game and they will win more now!

  • 66.
  • At 04:01 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Gemma Richardson wrote:

Wilko - did what he did best today, kick o and kick o lets kick! He gets the job done, England win, fair enough! But by god its boring, but that is how they won the world cup I suppose!!!

Even a Welsh Celt like me can appreciate how well he did today. However him being given that try is scary indeed. Is it fair he got special treatment?? It is scary to think in this day and age decisions such as that are being given. Obviously this isnt Jonnys fault but he is not above the rules of the game!

Also people are getting too excited. Jonny is only a man afterall. There is still a long way to go. Plus there is nothing to be proud about when England revert back to the old idea that their success is basically relaying on Jonny. Lets hope for Englands sake he keeps fit and lets hope for Englands future they get out of that thinking fast and appreciate other new blood i.e Ellis! He was Man of the match today!

  • 67.
  • At 05:25 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Scottyd wrote:

Ahhhh it's my sister above - how random I finds you here!

Some of the rugby today reminded me of a poor standard school game - it was static and quite unpleasant on the eye.

Scotland were not just awful - they were a disgrace. We are all well aware the palate of the Scot is accustomed to the odd tipple - but some of the forwards could easily have passed as drinking a bottle of the ol' famous grouse before kick off today.

Watch tomorrow's game - I can assure you it will be far more worth it.

  • 68.
  • At 05:25 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Scottyd wrote:

Ahhhh it's my sister above - how random I finds you here!

Some of the rugby today reminded me of a poor standard school game - it was static and quite unpleasant on the eye.

Scotland were not just awful - they were a disgrace. We are all well aware the palate of the Scot is accustomed to the odd tipple - but some of the forwards could easily have passed as drinking a bottle of the ol' famous grouse before kick off today.

Watch tomorrow's game - I can assure you it will be far more worth it.

  • 69.
  • At 05:30 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Scottyd wrote:

Ahhhh it's my sister above - how random I finds you here!

Some of the rugby today reminded me of a poor standard school game - it was static and quite unpleasant on the eye.

Scotland were not just awful - they were a disgrace. We are all well aware the palate of the Scot is accustomed to the odd tipple - but some of the forwards could easily have passed as drinking a bottle of the ol' famous grouse before kick off today.

Watch tomorrow's game - I can assure you it will be far more worth it.

  • 70.
  • At 05:31 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Craig wrote:

I'm so happy not only to see JW come back a great personal achivement for him, but also he played a good game. I cant imagine one of those multi-millionaire footballers playing so well when they comeback from their broken toenail trauma.

All rugby fans should applaud JW's achivement (for the most part I think they are). I dont really care who is the "best 10" in world, if Dan Carter was Scottish would it change things ?...probably not, its a team that's on the pitch (thats why they have numbers on their shirts).

What I do care about, is an England team that are showing the signs of fighting to retain the world cup. There were a lot of positives to build on, rather than the Robinson era of negatives to cringe about.

  • 71.
  • At 05:34 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • scottyd wrote:

Ahhhh it's my sister above - how random I finds you here!

Some of the rugby today reminded me of a poor standard school game - it was static and quite unpleasant on the eye.

Scotland were not just awful - they were a disgrace. We are all well aware the palate of the Scot is accustomed to the odd tipple - but some of the forwards could easily have passed as drinking a bottle of the ol' famous grouse before kick off today.

Watch tomorrow's game - I can assure you it will be far more worth it.

  • 72.
  • At 06:11 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • steve taylor wrote:

much is being made of JONNY,S FOOT possibly being in touchwhen his try was given but nobody has said much about the england forward who was impeded during the lineout that lead to scotlands first try.These are the breaks in rugby, you take the rough with the smooth!Well done the lads!

  • 73.
  • At 06:20 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Bill F wrote:

These last two posts show just a hint of jealousy or nerves! Well done Jonny.....a genuine and professional role model for English sport.

  • 74.
  • At 06:48 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Bob Walkden wrote:

No we shouldn't get carried away because overall that was a good england performance in that we have scrapped out the result.

If (touch wood) J Wilkinson remains fit he can score us some vital points. The rest of the team seems to have gone up a level and to beat the auld enemy is by no means an easy feat.

Well done but lets err on the side of caution and not put too much pressure on JW.

  • 75.
  • At 07:41 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • matthew wrote:

i thought i'd give you my ten-penny worth. As a Welshman it was good to see Johnny Wilkinson back, one of the previous comments was it was like he'd never left. yes - true. how ever, the opponents weren't exactly good competition, i don't want to Pee on any ones chips here, but a true test of your revitalised team will be against a much more competative side like Ireland and dare I say Wales. But well done Johnny, good to see you. Even a well done to Harry Ellis who decided to play yesterday, instead of complaining to the Ref every ruck, maul, scrum etc etc.

Fairly pissed off 'cos the 6 nations w/e hasn't been shown here in Oz, loads of very sensible comments. No one is currently suggesting England will/can win the WC, but after NZ who may implode given the expectations and a home advantage for France everyone can beat each other on a given day. England would have won most of their games in the past 3 yrs with JW at the helm, no argument and we would be looking forward with enthusiasm. Great move appointing Ashton, Farrell will grow into the role and there are still players to come into form. it's not all bad at all!

  • 77.
  • At 08:32 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Fred wrote:

Well done England, It was great and uplifting to see us play well.It has been truly dissapointing to have had such a poor run and hopefully this has been an end to that.
Scotland did not play well and we played good running Rugby which was a pleasure to watch, Jonny was excellent and made a huge difference to us.
Frankly It is that that worries me the most, boy have we missed him and to leave him out of the side for any reason would be a concern and the effect on the England team is there for the world to see.
I fear Jonny is going to come under some intense physical pressure in the next few games.
We shall have to wait and see.
Good Luck England in their forthcoming games especially against the French.

  • 78.
  • At 08:35 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Fred wrote:

Well done England, It was great and uplifting to see us play well.It has been truly dissapointing to have had such a poor run and hopefully this has been an end to that.
Scotland did not play well and we played good running Rugby which was a pleasure to watch, Jonny was excellent and made a huge difference to us.
Frankly It is that that worries me the most, boy have we missed him and to leave him out of the side for any reason would be a concern and the effect on the England team is there for the world to see.
I fear Jonny is going to come under some intense physical pressure in the next few games.
We shall have to wait and see.
Good Luck England in their forthcoming games especially against the French.

  • 79.
  • At 08:35 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Fred wrote:

Well done England, It was great and uplifting to see us play well.It has been truly dissapointing to have had such a poor run and hopefully this has been an end to that.
Scotland did not play well and we played good running Rugby which was a pleasure to watch, Jonny was excellent and made a huge difference to us.
Frankly It is that that worries me the most, boy have we missed him and to leave him out of the side for any reason would be a concern and the effect on the England team is there for the world to see.
I fear Jonny is going to come under some intense physical pressure in the next few games.
We shall have to wait and see.
Good Luck England in their forthcoming games especially against the French.

  • 80.
  • At 08:39 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Fred wrote:

Well done England, It was great and uplifting to see us play well.It has been truly dissapointing to have had such a poor run and hopefully this has been an end to that.
Scotland did not play well and we played good running Rugby which was a pleasure to watch, Jonny was excellent and made a huge difference to us.
Frankly It is that that worries me the most, boy have we missed him and to leave him out of the side for any reason would be a concern and the effect on the England team is there for the world to see.
I fear Jonny is going to come under some intense physical pressure in the next few games.
We shall have to wait and see.
Good Luck England in their forthcoming games especially against the French.

  • 81.
  • At 09:06 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • graystoke wrote:

thanks jonny for my hangover this morning. it's the best for a while. can't wait to see you doing the business at croke park!
is not dallagio still in the picture?

graystoke

  • 82.
  • At 09:08 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Graeme wrote:

To be fair, england did dominate. Wilkson kicked good and the englidh pack rumbled well. It was a different story last year when scotland could show the likes of jason white, but oh well. before england can be recognised they need to get rid of that arogant Gusgott. he is rediculous. honestly, good in his time but now he is hated. Time will tell how this new enlish team is, france will put the, back in place. Although i hate Ellis, he is quality

  • 83.
  • At 09:22 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Mike Waller wrote:

A couple of points before we let ourselves get carried away:
If the opposition score 20 points in any of our remaining games, we would lose them.
We were playing against a nation which has 8,000 male players to chose from.....we have 180,000!

Agreed that the commentary was appalling, but then it is well known that BBC is a misnomer for EBC.

  • 84.
  • At 09:23 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • fudgy wrote:

Footballer's should take note!

In his post match interview Wilkinson said he was happy to get through the game without an injury....

Half his lip was missing!

  • 85.
  • At 09:25 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Pete wrote:

The thing with Jonny is that you always expect him to slot the kicks, whereas with Charlie Hodgson the thought was always 'well, it would be nice if you could get this one'. It just shows the difference between an consistent goalkicker and an inconsistent one. Would Charlie have knocked the two touchline conversions and the penalty from just inside his own half? I know thats only 7 points, but against Ireland and Wales 7 points could make all the difference. In the two years, we've lost too many matches by small margins because we havent made the kicks (11-9 vs Wales, 17-18 vs France, 18-12 vs Scotland, 24-28 (I think) vs Ireland spring to mind)

  • 86.
  • At 09:27 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • David Carroll wrote:

It wasn't bad all in all and as a fan of England have had precious little to be happy about in England's recent performances.

Great to see JW back in harness, not 'cos the English media have decided he's the messaih of English rugby, but because he's had a s*** run of injuries and he fared well in his return game.

Certainly, one swallow does not a summer make but anybody seeing the first swallow of summer can't helped but be bouyed somewhat by the whole team's performance.

  • 87.
  • At 09:35 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • xucachris wrote:

Let's not forget the change of manager for England - did you read Andy Robinson's piece yesterday on why he wouldn't pick Jonny Wilkinson???

  • 88.
  • At 09:38 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Great performance by Wilko, and for once an English sportsmen can talk the talk and walk the walk.

The rest of the England team were mediocre and had it not been for Wilkinson's kicking, the scoreline wouldn't have flattered the performance.

Reading some of the Sunday newspapers this morning, I can see the now predicatble English media are already jumping on the World Cup bandwagon stating that they can win it. Made me chuckle as England are still worlds away from the level that NZ are setting.

Truth be told, the England team are a mediocre side without Wilkinson.

Some posters on this board ought to take a good look at yourselves. If Scotland had scored an 'illegal' try, then there would be an uprorar, but because it was England you have that 'we'll let that one go because he deserved it' attitude.

It was a good Wilkinson performance against an average Scotland side and would have been much closer without Wilkinson's points tally.

  • 89.
  • At 09:40 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • xucachris wrote:

There were far too many mistakes and silly bits if ill discipline from England. I would like to see Brian Ashton really work on getting rid of those from the game.
The side that won the world cup was highly discplined, and wouldn't have given so many penalties and so much possesion.
A great win, great relief, but a long way to go on the road to recovery

  • 90.
  • At 09:42 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • George wrote:

Charlie who??!

  • 91.
  • At 09:55 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • theo gwyther wrote:

finally england play well but are scotland any good well they are but not as strong as france or ireland.this was not one of englands harder tasks but they deserve praise especially jonny what a true great!

  • 92.
  • At 09:57 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Cowshot wrote:

Dave, Ian and co: I didn't think Scotland were "humiliated". It's very hard for any side to look good when their pack is under the cosh. You really missed Jason White. On the positive side I would put Cusiter, Parks and Paterson.

Cusiter because his service under pressure is so good. If it was a bit slow from time to time I'd be more inclined to credit the English defence than blame him.

Parks for an educated boot that put Robinson under pressure. Never sneer at the ability to pin a side in its own 22!

Paterson for sheer class and courage. Didn't show much in attack because there weren't that many chances, but if he made a defensive error I didn't see it (though my vision of the last 20 mins was a bit blurry!)

If you can do something about the pack the world will look very different.

  • 93.
  • At 10:10 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • charlie wrote:

As a Scot I was pretty disappointed in our performance at Twickenham but I was pleased to see Johnny Wilkinson get back in the groove. He is an excellent ambassador for the sport and is not in the least arrogant, a true professional. England are still boring, of course, and arent on the same planet as the mighty All Blacks who are descended from Scots!

  • 94.
  • At 10:14 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Trev wrote:

It was a game for Heros, Jonny and Harry stepped up to the mark. Still a long long way to go before we reach the true potential of the team, I'd be happy to see two England players busting a gut to support Harry whenever he breaks - and actually getting there - Jonny did it once and scored a cracking try (on another day it may have been disallowed but it was a beautiful bit of Rugby). Not sure if Ashton has the time or will be given the authority to bring individuals and the team back to their best in time for the WC but we owe it to the players to give him the chance.

  • 95.
  • At 10:15 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

Gemma at 69 seems to be contradicting herself a bit. If we were relying on Johnny then why are you appreciating the fact Ellis was the best player on the park :/

Anyway. An 'easy' victory against the Italians and hopefully we can carry renewed confidence into the Irish match. The type of game we played today was perfect, let the forwards rampage (with a bit more discipline please!) and pray that Johnny et al can keep their three-quarters at bay. 'If' we were to win that then maybe we could actually begin to think about the unthinkable

P.S. Was it me or did Corry look so so much better without the captaincy hanging over him?

  • 96.
  • At 10:22 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

This article and some of the responses are prime examples of why other British nations detest England winning at any sporting event.
This arrogance will never win England any fans even when their performance deserves it - and this performance was nothing to gloat about.
If that is the best that England can offer then I will watch the World Cup with great anticipation. The top teams (of which I really don't think England currently are one of) will tear through this England team with ease if Scotland are able to inflict this damage.
There is no denying Scotland were poor but what does it say about England when the scoreline still flattered their performance? Furthermore, questions have to be asked of the video replay judge after awarding a try to Wilkinson? Was this guy drunk, on drugs, being payed a backhander or simply just incompetent? Although it probably wouldn't have changed the eventual outcome, it could have given Scotland some hope and made for a better end to the game.

  • 97.
  • At 10:40 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Trevor wrote:

Dave's post 31 is not right, he's probably a wounded scot with a huge chip on his shoulder, like most of them have towards the English. Maybe it's because we don't pay them enough attention, and sometimes forget they are there. Dave's a sore loser, Jonny Wilkinson first international game in an England jumper in 3 years, and he scores 27 individual points, and creams the ball all around the field and in between the sticks. Dave, if you like stirring things up, wait until you get that wooden spoon. At least then you'll look the part.

  • 98.
  • At 10:55 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • John Clode wrote:

A short and impossibly biased list of modern day sporting superstars allowing for the recently retired:

England: Wilkinson, Flintoff (yes, despite the shambles). Debatable: Rooney, Owen, Beckham, Pietersen, Johnson rtd


Ireland: O'Driscoll


N.Ire: Clarke


Scotland:


Wales:


France: Zidane rtd, Henry

  • 99.
  • At 10:58 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • jockface mackinnon wrote:

I am pleased.
Very pleased.
One victory and the English media and many English fans think they are fantastic.
Again.
The fall, which will come soon, will now be all the harder.
And that will be a lot of fun to watch!

Why do you folks keep on doing this to yourself?

Jock

  • 100.
  • At 11:32 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

Come on Alan, I'm an Irishman, and even though oppressed for 800 years and all that I've gotta take my hat off to Jonny.

  • 101.
  • At 11:36 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Huw wrote:

Can't help but agree with the above post. Sure, it was an impressive performance - but like others have said, it was against a stodgy, pedestrian Scottish side, and frankly anything would be better than the tripe England have produced in the last year or so. Secondly, the tactics were effective - but oh-so reminiscent of their 'ball up the jumper' rolling maul antics which soon stagnated. The call-up of some 'old faces' echoes this. Your solid forward platform was key - but I wonder what will happen if that advantage disappears?

Either way, a solid performance, good luck against the Irish!

  • 102.
  • At 11:38 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Cowshot wrote:

jockface mackinnon: Why, to keep you happy of course! Why else? (Goes and hides behind sofa. grin.)

  • 103.
  • At 11:41 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Des wrote:

Mr Wilkinson should be an ambassador for sport, not like the self opinionated, highly paid footballers we have. A credit to the nation thats what he is...........

  • 104.
  • At 11:42 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • catherine wrote:

I realise that blogs like this are a good arena for opposing opinions but we seem to be seeing the extremes!

Yes, Scotland didn't play as well as they should, or could, have. England need to win by that sort of margin against better sides than that before anglophiles will begrudgingly admit that they have started to find their form again.

Yes, there were infringements on both sides that went unnoticed - everyone that's moaning about the try that wasn't should lambast the TMO, not Jonny or England - his moral stance and work ethic is such that he would never be happy taking the credit for something that never was.

Bottom line - there were some bloody good players putting in some damn good performances yesterday but there was, as always, room for improvement. English fans have unfortunately got used to their team just turning up for the last 3 years; yesterday they actually played some rugby and it was a long time coming. As for JW, the guy had managed to stay focused and hungry enough to walk back on the pitch as if he'd never been away, despite the "drought of 1000 days" - the man's a credit to rugby and all it stands for - it's about time the Gods smiled on him for a while - how about the anglophiles out there apply some sportsmanship and let us get excited about it? No, I didn't think so, but it was worth the ask! :0)

  • 105.
  • At 11:43 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • john wrote:

The BBC commentators almost wet themselves every time an English player touched the ball biased or what !! as for "jw's" try. what try?

  • 106.
  • At 11:52 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Harry wrote:

We all feel very happy at Jonny's "miraculous" return; but lets not forget that NONE of it would happen at all if it wasn't for Harry Ellis. He is now stepping up and into Dawson's boots, and whilst he does a different job, he looked great. We finally have some world beating half-backs. I can't wait for the world cup, because everyone thought that we were going to be rubbish due to the post victory retirements. However the whole team has proved that we can now dominate in the forwards like we used to and have the backs to follow up there work. I just hope that we can do it against bigger and better teams, its only going to get harder in this competition.

  • 107.
  • At 11:52 AM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • DOSdaddy wrote:

Superhuman performance from Jonny Wilkinson and fantastic to watch.
I think we should have a whip round and buy a very large roll of cotton wool so we can preserve him for the rest of the six nations and the world cup!

  • 108.
  • At 12:06 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • steve wrote:

scotland nothing..........england world champs at this very moment. so close the lid on your laptop mate and go have a cup of tea

  • 109.
  • At 12:09 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • ross bomby wrote:

was a great game but people seem to forgetting the hard work put in by the pack to win good ball and suck in scottish defenders, farrel was great imo and can't wait to see him against harder opposition. people say the english are being once more built up for a fall but the truth is we have always had the players and result in the the H cup prove it. are league is strong and competitive with top players coming from teams throught the league unlike ireland with players manly comming from leinster and munster. before bonding was a problem but the new simpler common sence rugby england seem to playin now that shouldn't be a big problem.
come on england

  • 110.
  • At 12:20 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Ross wrote:

So that victory still only makes it 2 wins in the last 10 for England....oh yes what an astonishing record. I think we should just calm down quite a bit considering one of our tries was from a lucky break when lamont missed the ball...and another try was given when it wasnt even a try. Considering that if these hadn't happened, the scoreline would have been totally different at a crucial time in the game, and we were very static for many periods of the game, When scotland brought on some dynamism in the midfield, it obviously immediately exposed our failings and we merely benefited from playing a scotland team that were well under-par. We are still extremely vulnerable and this hype and excitement is only going to come back and slap us in the face.

  • 111.
  • At 12:22 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Mark Grainger wrote:

I think the main thing that stood out for me was the amount of hits he took. He was in the thick of it at almost every phase.

Lets be honest here how many of us were worried during the first half, if he was going to last the game.

Good luck to the lad and by god what a game he played. If you look at the game again and watch him giving out instructions to the back line, he was reading the game as though it was a teenager reading a Noddy and Big ears book.

I'm a Springbok fan but watching that game, was a brilliant game to watch and a nice warm up game for the team.

I didn't Harry Ellis coming into that game but I take my hat off to him, as he had a blinder of a game. He was thinking the whole game and his concentration never wandered.

Damn the England team nearly had me singing Sweet Chariots.

Good Luck England and Mr Ashton well done for having the guts to select a side that you did as it paid off.

  • 112.
  • At 12:30 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • John Begley wrote:

You can say anything you like about Jonny Wilkinson but what cannot be denied is his single minded determination to be the best.

I think many of the pundits (e.g. Jeremy Guscott) are ultimately under achievers. I think that Mr. Guscott had more natural talent than Jonny but achieved far less, largely because he was not as dedicated.

  • 113.
  • At 12:30 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Euan Granger wrote:

Can we all just get a grip please? Yes I am Scottish and was highly disappointed with our performance yesterday but England only put proper ground between them and us in the 2nd half.

In the first they were indisciplined, lacked ideas and apart from Wilkinson, ran flat and were slow to move the ball. Scotland lacked ideas, fitness, pace and power and deserved to lose.

Wilko's try was not a try and the TMO needs to be demoted a long way. England can't be complacent - they'll need to play much better to beat the French or Irish.

And yes, Dan Carter is still the best number 10 in world rugby - sorry guys!

  • 114.
  • At 12:33 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Love it - as usual we get accused of over blowing how things are and we get the usual kiwi/ aussie know it alls appearing telling us how crap we are and how we always fail. Yes I know the Ashes was a whitewash, but boys face reality you lost in 2005 and I suspect when England regain themselves you will lose the urn to the pommes in 2009. I don't think you lot realise how much has changed in this country sporting wise since the mid-90s. We are alot more setup mentally and logistically to regularly come back as a nation in a lot of sports. 2003/ 2005 and every Olympic games since 2000 are just the start of a resurgence in English and British sport which has found a voice - and expect to have to take a lot more stick when we do come and beat you home and away.

  • 115.
  • At 12:34 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Caron wrote:

Stop going on abt johnny wilkinson! hes not that great - and a team isnt built on one player as most english fans seem to think. personally didnt think he deserved the man of the match - harry ellis should have got that - hes one to watch....

  • 116.
  • At 12:43 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • CW wrote:

As an Englishman, yesterday I received two valuable and timely lessons. The one bestowed upon me pride the other shame.

Humility. Thank you Mr Wilkinson and thank you the Scottish Team, who said not a word of complaint about that try.

Arrogance. Thank you Mr Moore. Is there no-one who can fill the shoes of Bill McLaren? I suppose not, a true gentlemen who always gave credit where it was due, especially when it wasn’t Scotland

Here we go again one win against a Scotland team ,that quite frankly didnt get off the bus and suddenly the World Cup is there for the winning.I will make a predition now that England will beat Italy and then lose the next three games unless of course they get Jonker as a referee again and Donal Courtney as the TMO.How George Chuter was never shown a yellow card in that game is beyond belief consistantly over the ball and hardley penalised and he wasnt alone.

  • 118.
  • At 12:52 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Two things to put in perspective. Firstly Wilkinson had a point to prove and did it - that alone can make you perform amazingly. Secondly Harry Ellis did really well, but that is only one performance. I have seen him put in a number of dire ones for both England and Leicester.

  • 119.
  • At 12:53 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Mat wrote:

Miraculous indeed, not many people could get away with such a try with video referees. On the other hand some fantastic kicking something that the English team has been missing. Can't forget the brilliant performance that Ellis had in getting the ball out to Wilkinson, and the pack in securing the ball before that. We should probably wait until England face a bigger challenge than Scotland before heralding Wilkinson the messiah of English rugby. Glad to see he's back however, hopefully he'll be fit for the last match against us Welsh.

  • 120.
  • At 01:11 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • andrew winstanley wrote:

I havent seen anything like it. Even a few Kilted Scots were applauding here when he finally left the pitch. From Legend bar in Kuala Lumpur.

  • 121.
  • At 01:15 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Trevor wrote:

Wilko and Harry Ellis they where the stars of that game, let's hope they can keep this team spirit and hope lasting all the way through the six nations.

  • 122.
  • At 01:28 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • andrew winstanley wrote:

I havent seen anything like it. Even a few Kilted Scots were applauding here when he finally left the pitch. From Legend bar in Kuala Lumpur. Dare I say it, It felt like the second coming.

  • 123.
  • At 01:39 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Phil - Bristol wrote:

Has anyone noticed that whenever England is awarded a dodgy try (re. Jonnie's fluke awarded by the TMO), the losing head Coach (Haddon in this case) jumps up and down? Even AR for all his faults kept a dignified silence over such things. Never mind eh, the other nations will always rip into us whatever we do. A good starting point for England to build with creditable performances from more that one player on the pitch - as I said, SOMETHING TO BUILD FROM.

Some of my fellow Englishmen who are predicting 6 Nations and World Cup wins are pure idiots who only serve to inflame anti-Engilshness in other nations. Learn some humility, idiots, learn from JW

  • 124.
  • At 01:41 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

Jock post 99...

Don't you think that after waiting for 3 years for undoubtedly one of the best fly halves ever to return to our squad, getting a manager who knows what he's doing, and actually winning, aren't we allowed to be a bit happy?

Sure, it was only a mediocre Scotland side..but we still won..which to be honest, we probably wouldn't have done a year ago.
So why dont you let us have our glory, even if its only for a week or two.

And lets face it, if your not English, then youre scareed that Jonny's back, maybe even better than he was before.

  • 125.
  • At 01:55 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • simtom wrote:

Got to love these boards. hyperbole followed by baiting. it was a decent performance by England. They set a benchmark. Yes they won ugly but they won! A lot of the things that have were missing in the autumn there was leadership, lots of talking and an inside centre who actually looked to ship the ball rather than run down a blind alley. ilkinson made his kicks which is a crucial part of all successful international rugby teams not just the english! The All Blacks win games because Carter is metronomic, Ireland win games because of O'Gara and so on. I have read some of the other discussions and the other supporters are just as passionate and in some deluded as the English so why is that only the English are considered arrogant!

  • 126.
  • At 02:05 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • James Sparrow wrote:

An amazing display by Wilkinson and Ellis - and Farrell outside Wilko seemed to give the team some structure. They weren't anywhere near as flat as they were in the autumn - proving Farrell's Rugby brain - even at such an early stage in his career within Union - is working wonders. I thought Tindall had a powerful, dynamic game too.

I agree, England were given far too much space by the Scots, and this somewhat allowed Ellis to shine... but you can only put away what's in front of you and England did that with aplomb. I was a little dissapointed we conceded 20 points though.

One thought about Wilkinson - with him losing 3 years of his career; is he going to be able to carry on at such a high standard way into his 30's? Here's hoping!

  • 127.
  • At 02:07 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • simtom wrote:

1st things 1st all teams get lucky sometimes! I don't emember too many (non english) posters getting irate when England were denied a perfectly good try against the All Blacks in November and would there be quite so much discussion if the only piece of controversy had the Scots try been the only thing that the officials had missed OR if the referee/touch judge penalised the Scotsman who took Lewsey out to stop a certain try in the 1st half? Realistically England were decent, they set a benchmark for a minimum performance! They can and I hope will play better than this. A lot of the things that have been missing from Englands game in the autumn were present yesterday The scrum functioned , there was leadership all over the pitch, Farrell had a good if unremarkable game and did the basics well, having a real openside proved to be a good idea (Mr Robinson) and paid dividends, Worsley did his bit. In short England still have work to do but it was a good start

  • 128.
  • At 02:12 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • dave wrote:

Post 97 trevor

Well I am not a jock. All I said was as usual the hype is over the top-you get one win and all of a sudden you will win the WC, and all is good.

I made no mention of JW at all, but I will stand by my claim that you will not come close to winning the WC. That my Engliash friend is not hype, its a fact.

You and the English press should try the same!

  • 129.
  • At 02:18 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Paul Shanley wrote:

There can be no doubt that Wilkinson's performance yesterday was nothing short of incredible and i would like to congratulate him on his emphatic return to form.

However, the standard of rugby displayed by both teams yesterday was at times quite appauling. While it might be okay to take some comfort in the fact that England have their first win under their belt and managed to dispose of the Scots quite easily in the end it must be pointed out that they are by no means showing any signs of their world cup winning form. England might look impressive against a team like Scotland but put them on the pitch in Croke Park or Stade de France against quality opposition and i think we'll see where this team really stand.

The Six Nations competition this year will be a two horse race between Ireland and France and anyone who believes otherwise is in need of a reality check.

  • 130.
  • At 02:18 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • oldenglandfan wrote:

Oh dear James, you've got the inhabitants of Russet House upset at us.......again!

Seriously though, great to see JW back again and in good form AND a scrum-half that looks as if someone might be able to fill the void there after Dawson.

Still worries me though though that no-one else around at number 10 worth mentioning at the mo.

  • 131.
  • At 02:20 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • dave wrote:

Post 97 trevor

Well I am not a jock. All I said was as usual the hype is over the top-you get one win and all of a sudden you will win the WC, and all is good.

I made no mention of JW at all, but I will stand by my claim that you will not come close to winning the WC. That my Engliash friend is not hype, its a fact.

You and the English press should try the same!

  • 132.
  • At 02:22 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

There can be no doubt that Wilkinson's performance yesterday was nothing short of incredible and i would like to congratulate him on his emphatic return to form.

However, the standard of rugby displayed by both teams yesterday was at times quite appauling. While it might be okay to take some comfort in the fact that England have their first win under their belt and managed to dispose of the Scots quite easily in the end it must be pointed out that they are by no means showing any signs of their world cup winning form. England might look impressive against a team like Scotland but put them on the pitch in Croke Park or Stade de France against quality opposition and i think we'll see where this team really stand.

The Six Nations competition this year will be a two horse race between Ireland and France and anyone who believes otherwise is in need of a reality check.

  • 133.
  • At 02:39 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Peter,Expat Korea wrote:

Reply to 83.

45 years watching England on the BBC and we have never had an English commentator. A Scot for 40 odd years an now a Welshman. Loose the chip!

  • 134.
  • At 02:50 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Gordon wrote:

Ok, I am scottish and I think England totally deserved to win.

They were the better team in the forwards. However I have to point out that if wilkinson wasnt playing Scotland would have won.

The display by Jonny was awesome, he controlled the game well(few loose kicks and passes but its been a while).
Without him however england are a poor team. It shows by the results over the past three years.
When he retires England wont have a player good enough to take over.

And as for that Try, the fourth official should not be allowed to officiate any other games this year. My 7 month old niece could have called that better. And my Wife who has no idea of the rules of Rugby or anny other sport for that matter even could tell his not only his foot but his shin and knee was scraping the ground prior to the ball going down.

Just point out this isnt sour grapes and i think scotland just didnt play well enough!!

And phil from bristol thanks for being probably being one of the few English that understands how much hype is made about future chances by one result. Thats why the other nations get worked up. Media coverage is so biased and over hyped.
Every major tournament in every sporting event the media make out that the English team is going to wipe the floor with all the opposition. It just doesnt happen. And i believe the players get sick of it too having to constantly try not letting down the nation, i feel for them

  • 135.
  • At 02:53 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Danielle Bailey wrote:

Very well done Jonny. Anyone will think youve been training for the last few years instead of being injured! yesterdays game was amazing! keep it up!!

  • 136.
  • At 02:55 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • jim wrote:

JW is a good 10 and does not merit this deificiation by the media. he is one of a team of 22, no less no more and is honest enough to say this himself.

  • 137.
  • At 03:07 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

Well i was really looking forward to the game, a new coach, old faces back in the team and young blood to give us the boost. And i wasnt dissapointed. Yes there were moments that we looked a little shaky but as a feet finding game it couldnt have gone much better.
Simple things like playing players where they play for club played off, take note for future reference Mr Robinson.
Phil Vickery's appointment as captain is a sound decision, i never thought Martin Corry had it in him to be honest, the perferct example being last year against Scotland, we needed the captain to pull the forwards together but he just seemed unable too, compare that to Phil weathering the storm and bringing us out kicking and screaming was fantastic to watch yesterday.
Harry Ellis in my eyes was by far and away man of the match, yes Johnny was amazing but that performance cant be allowed to overshadow a good performance by the entire team. I know it wasnt perfect but after 8 straight losses that was a damn good comeback.

  • 138.
  • At 03:13 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Kevin Scott wrote:

What a load of garbage. England fans get wound up by an uninspiring victory in any sport. Wilkinson hits a couple of drop goals against an injury ravaged Scotland and he's described as 'miraculous'. However, to put it in perspective you're not going to win the Six Nations, or the Rugby World Cup, and you never won the Ashes or the FIFA World Cup so I suppose you're as well enjoying the moment, as English sport is a genuinely grim affair.

  • 139.
  • At 03:14 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • G Brown wrote:

Why, oh why, as a Scottish Licence payer do I have to suffer from the inane comments from such a biased summariser as Brian Moore. I am not a sore loser, England were the better team, even with the blind Irish television judge. But to have to listen to Moore is just excruciating. Can I have a refund on my licence please?

  • 140.
  • At 03:56 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • John Sammon wrote:

i see the link to complain about the comments but where is the option to complain about the article itself?!
miraculous? ridiculous.
yes, he made a great return to the squad, and i am glad he is back in the game and fit again (and yes i'm a scot!) but please get a grip - is this england getting nervy about the world cup already?! don't worry i'm sure you still have a chance even if he isn't fit come the time...

  • 141.
  • At 03:58 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Lesley wrote:

Well done England, please BBC can you find some decent commentators, these two yesterday were diabolical, all they did was argue with each other, Oh how we miss Bill McLaren.

  • 142.
  • At 04:06 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Alasdair wrote:

From the slo-mo shots after he popped a conversion/drop goal/penalty, to Brian Moore & Eddie Butler's commentary, the BBC's commentary was deeply homoerotic towards Mr Wilkinson. He played well too.

  • 143.
  • At 04:25 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Pedro wrote:

Come on people, wilkinson played a lot? yes, but he is far from being this god you are portraying him as.The guy did distribute the ball well thru the backline and and all, he did gave that quick pass to robinson for the try (and had a couple of nice hits as usual, he's the best tackling flyhalf to me), and - as usual - had his drop goal.Now, let's be real, england were facing a weak scottish defence, apart from Cusiter and Paterson (this game must have reminded the auld days when he used to carry scotland on his back! at least he had Cusiter to help him out) the scottish side really didn't play to their full potential.
Anyway, this "Wilko fever" just outshines the performance of fine english palyers like Ellis (man of the match to me),Lund, vickery and Tindall.

  • 144.
  • At 04:26 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Chris Faulkner wrote:

Simply breathtaking. I really forgot how good he was to watch, he entertained yesterday. The whole squad put on a performance the England have not had for at least two years.

  • 145.
  • At 04:33 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Adi wrote:

Despite Jonny Wilkinson's comeback, England are Still light years behind the the Allblacks. Scotland are a speck of dust compared to the Allblacks so it will be interesting to see how Jonny Wilikinson will fair against the best team in the world.

  • 146.
  • At 04:37 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Adi wrote:

Despite Jonny Wilkinson's comeback, England are Still light years behind the the Allblacks. Scotland are a speck of dust compared to the Allblacks so it will be interesting to see how Jonny Wilikinson will fair against the best team in the world.

  • 147.
  • At 04:50 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Annie wrote:


Yesterday's game was the first England match I've watched in a long time - wanted to see how the new coach did (change should have been made long ago!) and primarily to see Jonny's first match back after going thro so many hellish injuries. I wasn't dissappointed - he and the team's effort were brilliant. Oh, sure there's a very long way to go, and there were some pretty daft decisions in both team's favour, but how can you not admire a man who comes back after so long, after so little time on the field and yet he plays like that! Not just the kicking, his total involvement, tackling (much to my husband's dismay in case of injury!), calling the shots and - imo the turning point of the game - the drop goal so soon after Scotland had scored - completely drained the opposition at a crucial time. Now that's class. And for those who say the game shouldn't rely on one man and his kicking ability - I guess Jonny would be the first to say that the team has to get him into those positions so that he can be effective. Perhaps some of the other number 10s who want to claim that place should put in the hours of practice and level of commitment he does - then maybe England would have more to choose from. I was once again able to feel proud of a team that started well on the road to building themselves into a winning force. OK - there's a long way to go, but let's hope for England and rugby in general's sake that Jonny stays fit - both need him, his work ethic, his professionalism and his complete humility.

  • 148.
  • At 04:58 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Anne Salomé wrote:

May be a liitle over the top - but don't forget the confidence that Jonny brings to the rest of the team. I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Brian Ashton's part in the success. By and large, he is working with the same players but his input will have been instrumental in their belief and confidence in themselves as they stepped onto the turf. These rofessional players were as fit and skilful in the Autumn as they are now - but something's made a difference.... and don't for a minute think that he put Wilkinson and Farrell in the team unless he knew what they were capable of. Go Brian!

  • 149.
  • At 05:08 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Joe Maton wrote:

Great performance Jonny. i think harry ellis deserved man of the match though.

  • 150.
  • At 05:28 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Stuart Clark from Edinburgh wrote:

Don't forget, Jonny's try was not a try, and Jason's 2nd was a freakish mistake, if it weren't for those, it would have been 28-20. England will have to do alot better against the likes of Ireland and France if they want to do well.
Ellis and Wilkinson were awesome, get rid of Di Rollo for Scotland, he's mince!

  • 151.
  • At 05:38 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Gareth wrote:

Good performance, not vintage but a great step forward. These first two weeks are all about gaining confidence to play good rugby. Scotland's creativity lacked and Harry Ellis ran them ragged. Very impressed with Harry, Jonny was solid but expected and from that platform the rest of the team finally look rejuvinated. Big Phil and Joe were awesome up front for a deserving win. Against France or Ireland we'll have to be better but yesterday was special for JW,the ovation he recieved was spine tingling.

  • 152.
  • At 05:43 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Harry Ellis came good after a slow start and Jonny's performance was remarkable, but let's leave the exaggerations and the ridiculous hype to the media: this was a hot-and-cold display from England against an uninspiring Scotland side. Ireland, Wales and France would have properly stuffed Scotland yesterday.

It was a promising start but Ireland, Wales and France all played better than Enlgand this weekend.

  • 153.
  • At 05:43 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Gareth wrote:

Good performance, not vintage but a great step forward. These first two weeks are all about gaining confidence to play good rugby. Scotland's creativity lacked and Harry Ellis ran them ragged. Very impressed with Harry, Jonny was solid but expected and from that platform the rest of the team finally look rejuvinated. Big Phil and Joe were awesome up front for a deserving win. Against France or Ireland we'll have to be better but yesterday was special for JW,the ovation he recieved was spine tingling.

  • 154.
  • At 05:51 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • James wrote:

Very interesting to note Andy Robinson's pre match comments that JW wasn't ready! Still making bad errors even after vacating the head coach role!

  • 155.
  • At 05:58 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Jennifer wrote:

What a game!!! it's great to have Jonny back in the team!! he is amazing!! It was a great team work too!! I loved watching it! Go England!

  • 156.
  • At 06:00 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Harry Atherton wrote:

Wasn't it just the nicest change to see some kicks go over?! I mean, when 'the one' himself was playing before all 9 of his horrific (both for him and us) injuries, we took thoses monstrous, 50m kicks for granted- 3 points in the bag, thankyou very much. The Twickenham faithful, in recent years, have almost come to expect that Hodgson (a very fine attacking player, if at club level) will get a goal-kicking percentage of, at best, 30%. But now.... how the tables have turned. I just hope the pressure of expectancy won't get to Wilkinson for the rest of the tournament.
The good thing, also, was the fact that he wasn't under any pressure throughout the game because of the superb performance delivered by leicester's harry ellis, for he kept the scottish guessing. It didn't always go straight back to Johnny for the easy in-the-pocet drop goal. A few sniping runs here and there, made sure that they had to be on their toes for scrambling back, consequently giving You-Know-Who all the time in the world to strut his stuff, and orchestrate the game, along with Farrell, very well, with improvements, inevitably, still to come. The scrum half is what made the game for me.
Keep it up England, but let's not get cocky now, after all, it was Scotland! (who unfortunately, at best, will scrape a win against Italy).

  • 157.
  • At 06:21 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Jonny Royale wrote:

Let's be happy about the result and the fact that the team is rolling again.
Being happy does not mean bragging, assuming future victories or firing out crass managerial-type predictions about the rest of the 6N and WC. Enjoy the winning feeling but keep humble! So many feather-headed chumps in England never learn the value of modesty and focus.

  • 158.
  • At 06:23 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Rory kelly wrote:

Great to see Johnny back, and Im Irish! I don't agree with the comment that Wilko is better than Carter. Carter is, like the All Blacks, miles ahead of anyone else, simple as. About the match, not trying to piss on yer parade here, but Scotland aren't the greatest team in the world, teaming with mediocrity yet they still notched 20 points up on ye. Wilkos try was blatantly not a try, but you get those lucky calls every now again, which my team got today, admitedly. If Wilko hadn't scored and Lamont hadn't dropped that ball in the Scots try area, it would have been alot closer. Still though, first week formalities are over with, Ireland France next week, then Ireland England promise to be immense!! Can't wait!

  • 159.
  • At 06:23 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Jonny Royale wrote:

Let's be happy about the result and the fact that the team is rolling again.
Being happy does not mean bragging, assuming future victories or firing out crass managerial-type predictions about the rest of the 6N and WC. Enjoy the winning feeling but keep humble! So many feather-headed chumps in England never learn the value of modesty and focus.

  • 160.
  • At 06:37 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • oldenglandfan wrote:

Post 135 - Paul said
"The Six Nations competition this year will be a two horse race between Ireland and France and anyone who believes otherwise is in need of a reality check."

Would have agreed with you mate, up to todays terrific game at Cardiff where I thought the structure of the Irish was seriously threatened by with what I thought an inspirationally gutsy Welsh performance.

  • 161.
  • At 06:39 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • stu wrote:

Back from the brink?

It's slightly frustrating to see a small minority of people knocking the performace yesterday. Whilst it wasn't as convincing as some people think it's certainly a step in the right direction considering what has gone on in the past 18 months.
I think it's certainly worth considering the following points:

1) Great Performance? Lets not kid ourselves, Scotland were poor even in there supposed strong areas such as the line out. We also let a very soft try at the death.

2) A number of people have critised Jonny's performance and making comparisons with Dan Carter.
I agree Dan Carter is arguably the best fly half in the world at present. But has he really been in comparble pressure situations that Wilkinson has? No, and this really is the telling difference between the two. Only the World Cup will really tell, and if both meet one another at one of the stages of the competition. It's worth noting one has the edge over the other, experience.

3) Jonny's Return. Do not underestimate the pschological effect of such a compelling performance both on the individual and the team. Note AF's comments in both the Daily Mail and Telegraph.
When the boy is on song he does give England a 10 to 12 point advantage and makes teams think twice about infringing.

4) The All Blacks. Personally I love watching them play the game, it is a great sight to watch when they are on song. However, they are the biggest chokers in World Rugby!!! How many times have they either come into a World Cup as favourites or peaked too soon and then failed to get even to the final. Australia always seem to find the magic formula more often than not and should not be as readily dismissed as we all think.

All in all it was a good performance yesterday but there is still along way to go before the end of the Tournment. It would take a miracle for us to get anywhere near a WC Final in Paris, but hey maybe, just maybe, the waters may have just started to part with the return of the prodigal son yesterday afternoon.

  • 162.
  • At 07:10 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Dick Clegg - Brit in Atlanta wrote:

Remarkable comeback by JW, but surprised to see the head-on-tackles, with head unprotected, as before. As Hadden pointed out, two close calls/decisions the other way & a 28-20 win would have been abysmal. England's failure to cross the Scots line in the first 15 mins. will requires Ashton's attention, where punts to the corner would have yielded more points. Ellis at last brings S. hemisphere style to scrum 1/2. Huge platform on which to build - but we've miles to go yet.

  • 163.
  • At 07:21 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • John Blackburn wrote:

Great to see Jonny back but i'm left with two major questions.

1. How long will this particular comeback last? (Hopefully this is the last of his injuries but does anyone really think so)

2. Has everyone forgotten about Charlie Hodgson? The form player in english and, it could be argued, world rugby before he got injured.

Jonny being back is great but he's not the be all and end all.

  • 164.
  • At 07:21 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • robin tiger wrote:

YESSS English fans are getting carried away,but so what! Aren't we allowed to celebrate after 3 years of virtual purgatory in rugby internationals.?
An interesting selection dilemma/s will arise ;when james forrester,
james simpson-daniel,matt stevens,andrew sheridan,are fit
i would also like to see tom varndell,delon armitage,chris jones,jordan crane on the bench.
JW a modest bloke and a great sportsman an example to overhyped sports stars everywhere.
Dan Carter is a vgood fly half but i'd like to see him under pressure,tackled a lot more.
PERSONALLY i think England won't get beyond QF in RWC,and we won't see them at their best till 2008-2009 6N.
cardiff and croke park should test their resolve.Ashton looks an excellent choice,;[he inspired Ireland's 1994 win over England.]

  • 165.
  • At 07:34 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • alan wrote:

Dav et al,
great to see JW back,careful about losing him to injury before tournament ends; forwards good, Ellis v.good Scotland awful; what does this all mean? Nothing! Just a reasonable start. dan Carter far and away best 10.

  • 166.
  • At 07:36 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • charni wrote:

yes! thats it england i think jonny wilkinson and jason robinson play the best because the trys they both scored were great to watch. i think the game was the best i've seen england play since the world cup but over all andy robinsons gone we win!

WELL DONE ENGLAND!!! KEEP IT UP!!!
LETS WIN THIS YEAR!!!

  • 167.
  • At 07:37 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • enhendo wrote:

Just finished watching the Irish Welsh match funny old game... full of passion and the will to flow ...however as an Irish supporter its great to see Jonny back! we may regret his return before the season's out but if he destroys us then so be it. What a wonderful sporting talent.. the refurbished chariot may not be up for sale yet..

Dublin

  • 168.
  • At 08:01 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Ivan R wrote:

I agree with some of the less extreme comments from both sides of the divide (England supporters and everyone else). I certainly agree taht the most important decision made by England was in appointing Brian Ashton.
Whilst yesterday was a very welcome change to the last two years, what I am really looking forward to are the matches against Ireland and France to gain true perspective.

It will take a few matches for the team to gel and the real style to emerge but, at least we have the possibility of watching matches with enthusiasm and pride once more.

  • 169.
  • At 08:02 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

Typical England. Beat the Scots and everything is gravy again. What was so much better in that game than in the Autumn? Wilkinson i admit played well but he wasnt spectacular. He didnt get englands poor backline firing. Farrell was very quiet in attack and has Tindall ever thrown a pass? If you look at the england tries, only one of them came from decent team play. the rest were all luck. What happens when England have to face say Ireland? Ireland actually have a good outhalf, quick backs and a pack of forwards who can play. Scotland have none of those things, the scottish scrum is even worse then the irish scrum for pitys sake! Andy Robinson in charge would have beaten that Scotland team.

  • 170.
  • At 09:14 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • lloydy wrote:

i think that yesterday was the best rugby i have seen england play... not sinse the world cup... but ever!
they were moveing the ball much betyter than i cabn remember them ever doing and always taking the right options... but not afraid to run like the english nature can be in rugby...
johnny is god... nobody human could make that sort of a comeback after 3 years

  • 171.
  • At 09:19 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • matthew wrote:

not long back from cardiff, great seats, good game, unfair result and another bloody crap game from a new zealand ref. thousands upon thousands saw ireland gain unfair advantages from the ref, forward passes, tackles off the ball etc. wales looked the better side but we did let ourselves down with some very stupid mistakes. hope ireland don't do a new zealand and win again with a biased (very poor) ref.

  • 172.
  • At 09:37 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • jayne wrote:

A good performance I reckon. Not spectacular, nor world champion, but good. Good to see smiles on faces! Having said that, the robot that is Johnny Wilkinson - world champion calibre. What more can be said? If the rest of the team can match his undefying determination, his prescence and sheer undaunting desire to play the best he can - we will have no problem competing with New Zealand. By the way, Jason Robinson 2 trys?? lest we not forget...

  • 173.
  • At 09:38 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • phil wrote:
'There is a God and thy name is JONNY'

Jonny is unbelivalble - a step above dan carter in reality, clear that without his injuries dan carter would have spent the last few years in his shadow and not as the worlds best back - jonnys the tiger woods of rugby - the god

  • 174.
  • At 09:43 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Dominic wrote:

i don't really like wilko..
he kicked a kick in the world cup which makes him best kicker in the world? he scores a try and a few conversions against the scots and you all hail him as the best?
hes a good player...try should not of been awarded

  • 175.
  • At 09:55 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Jess wrote:

What a wonderful return to the game. Welcome back Jonny and he's better than ever. Well done Ellis, fantastic, and welcome back Jason Robinson, brilliant. Thank god they got rid of Andy Robinson, he was an absolute fool and his comments on Wilko shows he's still a fool. Well done England and keep it up.

Hilarious! Same old same old. Barely short of racist some of yer. Why the comparison with Carter? To knock the English fans back, knock Jonny back? Do you think he is comparing himself with Carter after what he has been through? In fact they are both world class 10's but an objective view may say the proven player is the one with the real silverware in the bag (and the same for any team [or why are the all blacks so totally desparate to move above Australia and England as the WC force in the pro era]) The desire to diss him just reveals your lack of rugby nouse.
Again why do most of the non-english posters want to rain on our parade after something quite special yesterday. Most of it is obvious ridiculous nonsense (we know the Scots were poor and who wouldnt be missing stars like White) - what is that smell? Oh yes fear! fear that England might be getting on the road again ready to dominate world rugby as we did early in the millenium (look at the stats not just the 2003 win) I will remind the gobby NH fans on this site whose teams have not, nor have the prospect of reaching the heights we did, that in trying to pull us down doesn't make you any better. The Stereophonics mindset is as pathetic now as it has ever been.
WE have it in perspective, its your desire to believe we havent that perpetuates the arrogance thing. I used to think that many non-english posters on the BBC site were blinkered. Have to say that thats the least of it. Blinkered AND myopic more like. Now leave us alone and go and try to learn about rugby.

ps chip on my shoulder? perhaps! silverware in the cabinet? definitely [dont gloat we will lose it - so has everyone who had it]
pps dont gloat we were the worse team to have it in our possession - WE toured and WE played the best - if you know rugby you know what I mean

  • 177.
  • At 10:26 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • phil (again) wrote:

NO. 177 you are wrong there is no denying that jonny wilkinson is unbelivable, the fact that the try shuldnt hav sttod is irrevelavant to how he dominated the games and was almost mechanically accurate with kicking, temperament and composure after a long spell out - a scootish player of his calibre might even lift the scots rugby out of its low obscurity england for the 6 nations !!

  • 178.
  • At 10:57 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Spanner'd wrote:

Good to see Wilkinson back playing at the highest level.

However all you deliriously happy England fans should be praying for wee Jonny not to get crocked in any of the remaining matches. If Wilkinson is out of the team will it be a return to the standard of play we saw from England in the autumn?

In the next few games the entire England team have to step up to standards produced by Wilkinson and Ellis, otherwise the Irish, French and Welsh teams will proceed to tear holes in them.

  • 179.
  • At 11:24 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Daryl Haire wrote:

Alright calm down mate, firstly you are wrong Dan Carter is still the best fly half in the world and one display behind a dominant pack against an average Scottish backline does not herald England's return to world beating form. Also the suggestion that "the rugby gods were smiling when the TMO decided he had not been in touch for his try, but it’s about time they gave him a break." seriously undermines the argument of Jonny the triumphant, what would the reaction had have been if the scorer was not Wilkinson and in fact Parks uproar would have ensued. The fact that it was his first game of rugby in an England shirt does not excuse the proposterous blunder of the TMO.

  • 180.
  • At 11:26 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • rjw wrote:

Isnt all the praise slightly over the top. Do you think he would have played as well as he did against a horrible Scottish side if he had been playing the All Blacks. I am sure if he had collins/mccaw and co hurtling at him his performance would have been slightly different.

Id be happy to eat my words, but lets see how he goes against a team that isnt seeded outside teh top 10. I know if the all blacks played at home against scotland and didnt win by 40 there would be some serious questions asked about their performance

  • 181.
  • At 11:28 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • Andy Mercer wrote:

Dan Carter is a great number 10, a wonderful attacker, but Wilkinson has an extra dimension. Quite simply Wilkinson is the best defensive 10 the world has seen. He tackles big men, brings them down (legally!), rolls away, bounces to his feet and is immediately ready to tackle again. Having Wilkinson in your team is like having an extra loose forward.
The extra cover he provides doesn't just help cut down the opponents' attacking options, it also gives YOUR attackers confidence to take a few extra risks, and try things.
The very best rugby players are complete players, not just brilliant in one aspect of the game. That's why one of Austalia's best players described Wilkinson as the best player he'd ever seen. And on this evidence, he's got better since then.

  • 182.
  • At 12:10 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • jack wrote:

Boys boys boys....well done

Firstly we all know it was scotland..etc etc etc. but as a rugby player and im sure most of you on here are we did what we needed to do to win. the basics were good and with the big man leading the pack we had a solid platform to build on. wilko was awesome...mainly due to all the problems he had and yes the tmo was kind but to have the skill levels and decision making to dive, transfer the ball in the air to the other hand.. enough said. Kicking was top notch so, infringing teams aka( not mentioning names but i will say they like the colour black) cant kill the ball in the red zone as england again have the capacity to hurt teams everytime were in their half. happy days is all i can say. robbo was back on form still clinical in his finishing, farrell was outstanding not making a huge impact but his strength and off;loading gave a diff dimension to the boys and a scrum half with some wit, looks like harry got some gas for xmas too! as for some negative people on here we are english and we love JW. Huge pressue on him and the boys and not only were they winners at the end of the day but they restored some pride and that is a big ask after recent times.

  • 183.
  • At 12:13 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Graham Marriott wrote:

There are great players and there are the greatest players and then there are just the odd ones who surpass the greatest in Jonny Wilkinson England have one of the if not the very best fly half to have graced the feild of Rugby to return after three years absence and perform the way he has is almost fairytale stuff. He truely is what every fan wants a dedicated player who always gives 110% something which is sadly lacking in Englands other teams containing the so called bestDan carter is also superb could he come back after 3 yrs out with only 40 mins of play under his belt? i somehow doubt it, whether attacking or defending Wilkinson gives so many options he is almost another openside flanker. Englands greatest ever and probably the worlds greatest ever if carlsberg made fly halfs Jonny would be the one. Well done jonny a true inspiration

  • 184.
  • At 02:45 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Bart wrote:

Dream on, England fans.... (yawn)

  • 185.
  • At 02:50 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • david wrote:

I reckon England may get 3rd or maybe fourth. Count on coming in behind France and Irelend.

  • 186.
  • At 02:54 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Darren wrote:

JONNY WILKINSON 52 Tests, 5 Tries.

DAN CARTER 35 Tests, 16 Tries (Incl 2 against British Lions).

Jonny scores approx one try every ten tests. Dan scores approx one try every two tests.

Both are world class flyhalves. Both have superb defence, spot kicking, directing a game, distribution etc.

BUT, on attack with ball-in-hand Dan is significantly better than Jonny, his speed, guile, fend and sidestep are superior, testing opposition defences a lot more than Jonny.

He is a more complete No.10 than Jonny.

Jonny scores approx 15.7 points per test match. Dan scores approx 14.7. Keep in mind that this reflects the playing style of the two teams. England play a more forward orientated field position game, taking penalties. New Zealand are generally all out attack opting for tries instead of kicks.

SO, if you want a No10 to kick you goals, go for Jonny (only just though). If you want a complete No10 to kick and score a try, do for Dan (he outclasses Jonny).

  • 187.
  • At 03:29 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Chris L wrote:

Keep things in perspective here - had JW's try been disallowed (and it was a disgrace that it was allowed!) the score would have been 35-20. A very weak Scotland side still put 20 points past England including 2 tries - a sobering thought when you consider the attacking and finishing capabilities of France and Ireland. JW had a good game created for him by HE who had a great game behind a dominant forward pack - easy. It will be a very different story when England comes up against a good set of loosies - JW won't get anywhere near the room he had against Scotland.

As for the comparison with Dan Carter, JW is nowhere near him! DC is in a league of his own and will be that way for many years to come - take a look at the last Lion's tour and the recent games in the UK and France. And he's only going to get better!

  • 188.
  • At 07:52 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • adi wrote:

'There is a God and thy name is JONNY'

Jonny is unbelivalble - a step above dan carter in reality, clear that without his injuries dan carter would have spent the last few years in his shadow and not as the worlds best back - jonnys the tiger woods of rugby - the god,

What a load of Rubbish

  • 189.
  • At 08:19 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

JW is NOT better than DC. DC is the best attacking player on the planet, no doubt.
Scotland are a very average team. Their backs are pedestrian.
JW DID produce an amazing display, given that its been 3 years since he last wore the white shirt. It wasn't a try - but the first Scottish try looked very suspicious, as it looked like their number 2 jumper knocked it forward.
Lots of positives for England, but there is an awfully long way to go, if England are to compete in the 6 Nations, let alone the RWC. What I would agree with, is the comments that Ashton has made an impact. Its just a shame that basic skills couldn't be taken for granted by his predecessor. Whatever anyone says or thinks about Andy Robinson, there can be no doubt about his desire to see Engalnd succeed, and HE WAS let down by his players' inability to do the basics.
Players need to be given the responsibility, and therefore some of the accountablility for what happens on the pitch.

  • 190.
  • At 08:19 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

JW is NOT better than DC. DC is the best attacking player on the planet, no doubt.
Scotland are a very average team. Their backs are pedestrian.
JW DID produce an amazing display, given that its been 3 years since he last wore the white shirt. It wasn't a try - but the first Scottish try looked very suspicious, as it looked like their number 2 jumper knocked it forward.
Lots of positives for England, but there is an awfully long way to go, if England are to compete in the 6 Nations, let alone the RWC. What I would agree with, is the comments that Ashton has made an impact. Its just a shame that basic skills couldn't be taken for granted by his predecessor. Whatever anyone says or thinks about Andy Robinson, there can be no doubt about his desire to see Engalnd succeed, and HE WAS let down by his players' inability to do the basics.
Players need to be given the responsibility, and therefore some of the accountability for what happens on the pitch.

  • 191.
  • At 08:24 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

JW is NOT better than DC. DC is the best attacking player on the planet, no doubt.
Scotland are a very average team. Their backs are pedestrian.
JW DID produce an amazing display, given that its been 3 years since he last wore the white shirt. It wasn't a try - but the first Scottish try looked very suspicious, as it looked like their number 2 jumper knocked it forward.
Lots of positives for England, but there is an awfully long way to go, if England are to compete in the 6 Nations, let alone the RWC. What I would agree with, is the comments that Ashton has made an impact. Its just a shame that basic skills couldn't be taken for granted by his predecessor. Whatever anyone says or thinks about Andy Robinson, there can be no doubt about his desire to see Engalnd succeed, and HE WAS let down by his players' inability to do the basics.
Players need to be given the responsibility, and therefore some of the accountability for what happens on the pitch.

  • 192.
  • At 09:26 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

Some people have short memories! Was not Andy Robinson the forwards coach who led England to their World Cup Victory.
He did not ask for the Manager's job, it was the RFU who appointed him. They should take the blame if he was over promoted!

Great to see the confidence back in the England side.

  • 193.
  • At 09:42 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Shane wrote:

In reference to the numerous wall post comparisons between the living legend of “Wilko”, as he is so affectionately known, and that of Dan Carter, I felt compelled to also add my thoughts.
Yes; Dan Carter is a fantastic player who is lighting up the world of rugby with his natural flair and skill, but remember, he is in a team of great players that are constantly winning. This makes him look better than he really is. New Zealand currently could enter two teams into the world cup and it would be a safe bet that it would be an all Kiwi final. Johnny on the other hand has been injured since the world cup and has entered a team who is off form, lacking in confidence and that had lost it’s attacking edge, yet he still put in a phenomenal performance, and more or less looked a rival for the best players who are currently on form. This is exceptional.
In reference to the statistics of Dan’s one try in every two tests, to Johnny’s one try in every ten tests, who cares!? Wings are on the field for a reason. Johnny sill has a larger points average with 15.7 compared with 14.7. This may not seem like a lot but we all no who we would want in our side if we were three points down and needed a win. Johnny has been tried tested, weighed and measured; he has never been found wanting. If he manages to stay injury free, (fingers crossed), all doubters will be singing from a different hymnbook. The book of Johnny.

  • 194.
  • At 09:46 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • PKB wrote:

An interesting read with some fairly predictable comments; however I find myself in total agreement with Annie (post 150) and feel that JW's performance reflects a level of sporting endeavour that some of our more histrionic 'heroes' would do well to emulate.
The media (& some pundits) seem to live in a parallel universe and predictions about the RWC are unhelpful and even counter-productive at this stage. Comparisons between team/players are best left to post-match discussions, but a resurgent England can only be good for both this and future competitions.
For what it's worth, Ellis should have got the Champagne but it was only going one way and who can criticise BM for that.

  • 195.
  • At 09:49 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

For some time now we have listened to biased commentators and Eddie Butler and Brian Moore are the best (or worst) of them all ! Jonathan Davies considers every thing Wales do 'brilliant'or 'fantastic'. Oh for the good old days of Bill Maclaren.

  • 196.
  • At 10:12 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I think it was great to see Mike Tindall back and pairing him with Andy Farrel was a joy to watch. Its so good to see a bulky centre line and it gives the team and me as a supporter confidence that England are great again.

  • 197.
  • At 10:18 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Mighty England still conceded 20pts to a mediocre Scotland team....Has Donal Courtney got Russian blood in him (Wc 1966 !!).. Wilkinson should have been off the park with blood pouring from his petted lip for at least 10 minutes when he scored his drop goal etc...Biased commentary from Brian Moore not allowed to touch Jonny ! Come on France/Ireland & Wales & bring them back down to earth! You will probably beat Italy...

  • 198.
  • At 10:19 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Nick H wrote:

Sure he can tear apart the second worst team in Europe. I´ll wait and see how he runs when it´s Jerry Collins and RIchie McCaw hunting him down. To even propose the possibility that Johnny is anywhere near Dan is ridiculous and only highlights how low English rugby is at the moment. One game. Against Scotland. Makes me laugh.

  • 199.
  • At 10:30 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Jim Oakman wrote:

Who cares if it was a 3rd rate Scotland side, we have recently played 3rd rate opposition in Both Football and Cricket and died at the first hurdle. The belief was revived because there were characters in Saturdays side that there hasnt been in recent times. jonny was superb no doubt and Robinson who i have watched since his days at Wigan in League along with Farrell both were inspirational but i believe Ellis was Unbelievable. Mny people are saying that it was only one game and that there is a long way to go but i believe that we were always capable of winning recent games but have been lacking leadership and characters which we have now got and so i do believ we will be unstoppable and brilliant timing for the up and coming world cup were i hope we retain our status of world Champions!

  • 200.
  • At 10:41 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Well played wilko, but i still think Ellis deserved man of the match, he played a blinder.

good to see you can still find the area between the posts.

COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • 201.
  • At 11:03 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Jude Farry wrote:

Please my fellow englishman stop believing your own hype. JW had a good game - no doubt, and it was a fine return from the long and difficult years he has endured. But his performance was not that spectacular. In fact, i can think of half a dozen no.10s in the world today that could pull of a performance of this level. The all blacks have three such no.10s (carter, evans and mcalister) who could pull of this level of game and it would simply be another day at the office.

  • 202.
  • At 11:10 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Charlie wrote:

wilkinson plays boring rugby and has destroyed rugby for the last 7 years (or however long he's been playing). He has no attacking ability, all he does is kick, from hand or ground. Rugby has changed from the free flowing game it used to be since JW appeared, mainly in the northern hemisphere though, they still play attacking rugby in the southern hemisphere, which is how rugby should be played. If you look at all the other fly halves, they can run with the ball and attack defences, 'wilko' doesn't.
And as for the DC arguement, there's nothing in it, it clearly goes to DC as he has far more qualities and of ha higher standard then JW.

  • 203.
  • At 11:17 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Robert Hill wrote:

England thoroughly deserved to win and I thought Wilkinson was superb, however I have two points to make. Wilkinson seems like a very nice chap and a brilliant player however I would hope that he was suitably embarrassed by the totally ridiculous footage on Sat of his every move. Should Brian Moore really be allowed to continue commentating? A commentator is there to inform in an un-bias way on the events unfolding on the screen. I have never heard such a biased commentary in my life. He need to be reminded that there are two teams on the pitch.

  • 204.
  • At 11:20 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Claire Denne wrote:

Congratulations to all our boys - it was a win well deserved. It was great to see some old faces back, and boy did we need them. It was like watching a completely different England. Wilkinson was in superb form and proved his worth on the team, and his worth as the best fly half in the world. I am just so pleased that he got through unhurt. We are going to need him this year. Well done to all, it was a great result and you all showed why we are world champions. I cant wait for the next match!!!!

  • 205.
  • At 11:23 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Houstie wrote:

It's annoying when people start saying JW is better than DC after just one game back. DC is the best fly half in the world & possibly the best there has ever been. He does everything well which includes making line breaks that most wings & centres would be proud of. JW doesn't make many breaks in a game & the England pack made it easy for him to shine on Sat. I still think JW is a fantastic player but not quite in the sme league as DC.

Also, let's be honest, if England had been playing NZ on Sat they would have lost by about 30 points. They played averagely against a very, very poor Scotland team.

  • 206.
  • At 11:24 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

As usual England fans get completely carried away and make the same old mistake of over hyping their teams in a massive way. Jonny is a great player and a brilliant kicker but lets face it the victory was against a poor Scotland team who realistically only have a chance of beating Italy. This poor Scotland did manage to put 20 points on the board and that should worry England in a big way as Ireland, Wales and France are much more dangerous teams than the Scots.
Jonny's try was never a try and the video ref should be sacked along for that decision as he was either blind or doesn't understand the rules of rugby. From the video evidence he got an easy decision very wrong.

As for Jonny being a step above Dan Carter, Adi you obviously haven't a clue.

Still I would give credit to England for a decent performance but would urge their fans to keep it in prospective.

  • 207.
  • At 11:29 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Nathan wrote:

Once again english fans (and journalists) seem to get carried away believing their own hype. JW is a very good player, no doubting that, however the england team is by no means playing well. The most telling point of the first half was the volume of the cheer that went up from the twickenham crowd whenever JW scored the drop-goal. Given that it was the first time england had even gotten close to the scotland line and didn't even attempt to go for the try illustrates how little confidence there is in their own ability. Yes they ended up winning fairly comfortably against a poor scotland side but the wilko try at a crucial time effectively killed the game off. How the try was given is beyond me but I think that the games against France, Ireland & Wales will really show what level this england team is at.

  • 208.
  • At 11:30 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • stephen palmer wrote:

Enjoyed the game immensely and not just because of win but the improved manner of England's play. Mostly positives, all of which have been well covered but what of Farrell? Great player at WIgan, I watched him there in awe but not certain about his future for England, yet. Not because of his ball skills or even pace which was modest but I think I saw 3 badly missed tackles. He didn't miss that many in a season at Wigan. My league pal Geoff used to say, when surprised, " You could have knocked me down with a rugby union tackle. " Times have changed 7 Driscoll and D'Arcy will turn him inside out if he waves at them like that. I would love to see him play better and confound me.

  • 209.
  • At 11:36 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Sandy wrote:

Even as a Scottish supporter, I would have to agree that both Jonny and Harry were outstanding amd made the difference but realistically we witnessed 3 gifted tries to the English and the worst case of biassed commentating ever heard on BBC TV. To have Bill McLaren's name mentioned only added insult to injury!

  • 210.
  • At 11:48 AM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • phil wrote:

I can't wait for him to be match fit

  • 211.
  • At 12:05 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Nick Vai wrote:

Dave at 31 is missing the point. The reaction from the press and supporters has been extreme. The reaction from those that matter, the players and coaches, has been subdued. Jonny put on an incredible performance given his lack of test rugby but there are better teams than Scotland around, at least four in Europe alone. However, the play was more expansive, the forwards laid a good platform and the half backs and centres looked strong and inventive. Judgement must be reserved until the end of the season - even the six nations is a sideshow this year and England will be looking to make good progress ready to peak in October, not rush development now.

  • 212.
  • At 12:07 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Houstie wrote:

No.179 has to be one of the funniest blogs I've read in a long time. Maybe you don't realise it Paul but the non-English have every right to pass objective comments on Saturdays game as well. I've been reading the blogs on the 6 nations & since England's win on Sat I've read ridiculous comments like yours. England will retain the World Cup & they are back to being a dominant force in world rugby. JW is the best player in the world blah, blah, blah..!!

When people like you, not all England fans, start posting such drivel on the sites then we have to post back letting you know how ridiculous you sound. England beat Scotland in the 6 nations & that's a basis for claiming you'll retain the world cup??? When England start beating world class opposition then your comments might have more clout.

  • 213.
  • At 12:27 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Tony Wilson wrote:

I tuned into Radio Five this morning and thought I was listening to Radio Dublin. A mere 40 or so hours after one of the most astonishing comebacks in the history of Rugby Union and all I can hear about the niggling injuries to 2 Irish backs and will Ireland win a Grand Slam. Was Jonny Wilkinson's magnificant display only worthy of immediate comments after the match and one commentator even suggested his Irish opposite number as the second best stand off in the world next to a certain All Black.
Get real guys - who would seriously dispute his ability and immense talent and sheer guts and determination. Talent this good is a rare commodity on these islands and should be evident to all but the most partisan or uninformed individual.
Do I believe that if Scotland had have won the match that Nicky Cambell wouldn't have constantly mentioned the victory throughout the Monday morning broadcast?
Jonnie Wilkinson epitomises all that is best in sport and he should be lauded for being a extremely modest individual and genuinely nice guy (quite the opposite of most football players).
Welcome back Jonny, a sentiment no doubt also expressed by every forward and back in the England side.


  • 214.
  • At 12:31 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Buzzer wrote:

A great relief to actually see the side playing with a purpose. At ties they played the way ashton wants them to while at others they still seemed a bit sloppy. The big difference Wilko brought for me was the early points. Recently, England have still been beating sides up front but rarely came away with points. Think Ireland away and France at home 2 years ago or Scotland last year, we should have won them all with all the possession we had. Jonny just punishes any mistakes the opposition make in their half and that allows England to then use their backs.

We have never been a side that scores tries from the first minute, we always score late once Jonny has kicked us ahead and he was back doing what he does best.

Ellis was superb (perhaps he watched Perry have a stormer for the A side) and I was also impressed with Tindall's power and lines as well as the backrow unit, having a 7 makes a huge difference.

For the Scots, I thought Cusiter was superb and he only lost the battle to Ellis as he didn't have the ball, the options or support.

Here's to the next round of games, hopefully another win, a bit more opportunity to see if Farrell is really up to it and another performance.

Those who don't like this time of year clearly aren't rugby fans, what a great weekend!!

  • 215.
  • At 12:31 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Tony Wilson wrote:

I tuned into Radio Five this morning and thought I was listening to Radio Dublin. A mere 40 or so hours after one of the most astonishing comebacks in the history of Rugby Union and all I can hear about the niggling injuries to 2 Irish backs and will Ireland win a Grand Slam. Was Jonny Wilkinson's magnificant display only worthy of immediate comments after the match and one commentator even suggested his Irish opposite number as the second best stand off in the world next to a certain All Black.
Get real guys - who would seriously dispute his ability and immense talent and sheer guts and determination. Talent this good is a rare commodity on these islands and should be evident to all but the most partisan or uninformed individual.
Do I believe that if Scotland had have won the match that Nicky Cambell wouldn't have constantly mentioned the victory throughout the Monday morning broadcast?
Jonnie Wilkinson epitomises all that is best in sport and he should be lauded for being a extremely modest individual and genuinely nice guy (quite the opposite of most football players).
Welcome back Jonny, a sentiment no doubt also expressed by every forward and back in the England side.


  • 216.
  • At 12:32 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • joseph kirby wrote:

i though johnny was fantastic. he made very few mistakes and let an scotish players past him. he showed he threw himself at evrything because he had a bloody mouth. fantastic start to the whole team.
joseph kirby

  • 217.
  • At 12:36 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

There's an enourmous amount of both hyberbole and reasoned comment so far. But let's face facts - England's performance was promising, no more. Ashton's selections, by and large, came off and we need to bear in mind that it was the first time out for this XV. Scotland were poor and I expect Italy to give England a bigger test. As for Ireland at Croke Park, that will be a huge step up. So let's take the positives (a win, no injuries, a decent start from the debutantes, a real step up from Harry Ellis and a promising performance) and add a pinch of reality (a depleted and poor Scotland, concession of 20 points, a gifted 7 points from JW's try) and come to the conclusion that England are on the up, but from a position well behind the starting line

  • 218.
  • At 12:37 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Tony Wilson wrote:

I tuned into Radio Five this morning and thought I was listening to Radio Dublin. A mere 40 or so hours after one of the most astonishing comebacks in the history of Rugby Union and all I can hear about the niggling injuries to 2 Irish backs and will Ireland win a Grand Slam. Was Jonny Wilkinson's magnificant display only worthy of immediate comments after the match and one commentator even suggested his Irish opposite number as the second best stand off in the world next to a certain All Black.
Get real guys - who would seriously dispute his ability and immense talent and sheer guts and determination. Talent this good is a rare commodity on these islands and should be evident to all but the most partisan or uninformed individual.
Do I believe that if Scotland had have won the match that Nicky Cambell wouldn't have constantly mentioned the victory throughout the Monday morning broadcast?
Jonnie Wilkinson epitomises all that is best in sport and he should be lauded for being a extremely modest individual and genuinely nice guy (quite the opposite of most football players).
Welcome back Jonny, a sentiment no doubt also expressed by every forward and back in the England side.


  • 219.
  • At 12:38 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • joseph kirby wrote:

i though johnny was fantastic. he made very few mistakes and let an scotish players past him. he showed he threw himself at evrything because he had a bloody mouth. fantastic start to the whole team.
joseph kirby

  • 220.
  • At 12:38 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • ChalieBoy wrote:

As a Scot it pains me to say but Wilkinson is truely world class. I have always been a fan of him as a player, his commitment to the game, his attitude, everything about him is superb. It is good to have him back in the world of rugby, shame he doesnt have Scottish Grandparents.

  • 221.
  • At 12:41 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Kassra wrote:

"England would have won most of their games in the past 3 yrs with JW at the helm"

------------------------------------

Colin Bosworth have you not noticed that JW (by which i assume you mean jonny wilkinson?) has not played for england for over 3 years? how can we have won any games with him!?

  • 222.
  • At 12:41 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

There's an enourmous amount of both hyberbole and reasoned comment so far. But let's face facts - England's performance was promising, no more. Ashton's selections, by and large, came off and we need to bear in mind that it was the first time out for this XV. Scotland were poor and I expect Italy to give England a bigger test. As for Ireland at Croke Park, that will be a huge step up. So let's take the positives (a win, no injuries, a decent start from the debutantes, a real step up from Harry Ellis and a promising performance) and add a pinch of reality (a depleted and poor Scotland, concession of 20 points, a gifted 7 points from JW's try) and come to the conclusion that England are on the up, but from a position well behind the starting line.

  • 223.
  • At 12:44 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Ron Lambert wrote:

I don't see how England can contemplate not having Jonny in the line up for the WC. To that end how to protect him from injury from now unitl then. One way would be not play him in Newcastle and just train and play with England. Lets face it without Jonny on Saturday and a replacement 60% place kicker England would have been back within the 2-3 points range again and probably lost.

  • 224.
  • At 12:46 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Jonny Wilkinson can kick goals from anywhere in the opposition half - WOW! That's exciting rugby isn't it.

He made a tackle - WOW! and scored a try - oh no he didn't!

With penalties given for the slightest technical error, England will win matches when he's playing but it's going to start getting pretty boring... again.

  • 225.
  • At 12:46 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • sam wrote:

Maybe England supporters should wait until the end of the tournament before talking about an England team who are no longer in the purgatory position theyve been in for the last 3 years. A sound defeat on Saturday but if the England side of Saturday had played the Ireland/Wales teams of Sunday, the story of Englands glorious return might be somewhat different. There's a long way to go yet!!Dont get carried away!

  • 226.
  • At 12:49 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Phil B wrote:

I'm interested in Nathan's view that Jonny's 'try' came at a crucial time. I think the score was 28-13 and there were about 15 minutes left. I would have said that the game was already won. And, if we are going to go into the 'what ifs'. What if Scotland had been penalised for pulling Deacon and stopping him from catching the ball in the lead up to their first try? Then it would have been 28-6. What if England weren't so confident of winning that they started to relax? Would Scotland have strolled through for a soft try near the end?

There are always 'what ifs' but they tend to cancel out over a game, and I think they did on Saturday.

Totally agree though that we won't know where we are until we play better opposition. We know that the new look England team is better than Scotland, which is an improvement, but there is still much to do.

Re: Wilkinson. Was it the best performance I've ever seen from a fly half? No. Was it the best performance I've ever seen from a player in their first full game back from a lengthy lay-off? Yes. As with the England team in general it was very promising but there is still much to do.

  • 227.
  • At 12:50 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

England will go back to their predictable boring game and become too reliant upon JWs kicking.The back line will remain uncreative and lack pace.England needs to have a serious game-plan overhaul before they can even think about retaining the RWC.I expect them to go out in the semis.

  • 228.
  • At 12:50 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • sam wrote:

Maybe England supporters should wait until the end of the tournament before talking about an England team who are no longer in the purgatory position theyve been in for the last 3 years. A sound defeat on Saturday but if the England side of Saturday had played the Ireland/Wales teams of Sunday, the story of Englands glorious return might be somewhat different. There's a long way to go yet!!Dont get carried away!

  • 229.
  • At 12:52 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Phil B wrote:

I'm interested in Nathan's view that Jonny's 'try' came at a crucial time. I think the score was 28-13 and there were about 15 minutes left. I would have said that the game was already won. And, if we are going to go into the 'what ifs'. What if Scotland had been penalised for pulling Deacon and stopping him from catching the ball in the lead up to their first try? Then it would have been 28-6. What if England weren't so confident of winning that they started to relax? Would Scotland have strolled through for a soft try near the end?

There are always 'what ifs' but they tend to cancel out over a game, and I think they did on Saturday.

Totally agree though that we won't know where we are until we play better opposition. We know that the new look England team is better than Scotland, which is an improvement, but there is still much to do.

Re: Wilkinson. Was it the best performance I've ever seen from a fly half? No. Was it the best performance I've ever seen from a player in their first full game back from a lengthy lay-off? Yes. As with the England team in general it was very promising but there is still much to do.

  • 230.
  • At 12:53 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Not had time to read all the messages but would add:-

1) JW Phenomenal! Out of rugby for 3 years, only 40 mins of competitive Rugby recently. Straight back into the national side and plays awesomely. This is 6 nations rugby remember not Yorkshire league 5!

2) JW does bring England massive confidence – what happens if and when he’s injured again. Who do we play at ten then.

3) The commentators are biased and ignore too much of what else is good in the team. (Harry Ellis for my man of the match).

4) A team only play as good as they are allowed. England was beaten by Scotland last year and Scotland was on a high despite their obvious limitations. This is top flight rugby and all are fully professional.

AND GENERALLY

5) What a great game rugby is. All the games seem to have been played in a great spirit. The professionalism, commitment and toughness of the players is so impressive. Players literally giving blood for their cause. Compare and contrast with the dramatics and drama of prima donnas overpaid football “stars”!!


6) Its great to have rugby back on terrestrial TV and good to see the other sides playing so well. What a great game yesterday (Wales/Ireland) and so good to see both sides playing such great rugby. The northern hemisphere needs a strong competition. (Or for the pessimists out there -both sides looked quite ordinary in the second half and made too many turnovers and elementary mistakes). I can’t believe how negative some people are.

7) France for the World Cup.

  • 231.
  • At 12:53 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • sam wrote:

Maybe England supporters should wait until the end of the tournament before talking about an England team who are no longer in the purgatory position theyve been in for the last 3 years. A sound defeat on Saturday but if the England side of Saturday had played the Ireland/Wales teams of Sunday, the story of Englands glorious return might be somewhat different. There's a long way to go yet!!Dont get carried away!

  • 232.
  • At 12:54 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Tony Wilson wrote:

I tuned into Radio Five this morning and thought I was listening to Radio Dublin. Less than 40 or so hours after one of the most astonishing comebacks in the history of Rugby Union and all I get to hear about are the niggling injuries to 2 Irish backs and will Ireland win a Grand Slam. Was Jonny Wilkinson's magnificant display only worthy of immediate comments after the match and one commentator even suggested his Irish opposite number as the second best stand off in the world next to a certain All Black.
Get real guys - who would seriously dispute his ability and immense talent and sheer guts and determination. Talent this good is a rare commodity on these islands and should be evident to all but the most partisan or uninformed individual.
Do I believe that if Scotland had won the match that Nicky Cambell wouldn't have been constantly mentioning the victory throughout the Monday morning broadcast?
Jonnie Wilkinson epitomises all that is best in sport and he should be lauded for also being a extremely modest individual and a genuinely nice guy (quite the opposite of most football players).
Welcome back Jonny, a sentiment no doubt also expressed by every forward and back in the England side.

  • 233.
  • At 12:55 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Howdoo wrote:

OK, Wilko played well but do you not think you're getting a bit carried away. It didn't look as though England wanted to score a try until Scotland were tired and made mistakes. To be quite happy to win a game by penalties and drop goals isn't really a game of Rugby. So yes Wilko played well by scoring the points that won the game, but lets not make him a saint yet.
I for one don't want to see a return to the old England team that won matches without trying to score a try.

  • 234.
  • At 12:56 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Like the fly that continues to drive it’s head into a window, it seems the English press and public never learn, following an embarrassing football world cup, a humiliating ashes series, two falls built firmly on pride, they decide to build their hopes and expectations on and over weight and underskilled rugby squad just for beating a truly abysmal scots team.

Congratulations Johnny you’ve guaranteed sports personality of the year, assuming Jenson Button doesn’t win two race this year, but as for an English championship charge, eich don’t think so

  • 235.
  • At 12:59 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Not had time to read all the messages but would add:-

1) JW Phenomenal! Out of rugby for 3 years, only 40 mins of competitive Rugby recently. Straight back into the national side and plays awesomely. This is 6 nations rugby remember not Yorkshire league 5!

2) JW does bring England massive confidence – what happens if and when he’s injured again. Who do we play at ten then.

3) The commentators are biased and ignore too much of what else is good in the team. (Harry Ellis for my man of the match).

4) A team only play as good as they are allowed. England was beaten by Scotland last year and Scotland was on a high despite their obvious limitations. This is top flight rugby and all are fully professional.

AND GENERALLY

5) What a great game rugby is. All the games seem to have been played in a great spirit. The professionalism, commitment and toughness of the players is so impressive. Players literally giving blood for their cause. Compare and contrast with the dramatics and drama of prima donnas overpaid football “stars”!!


6) Its great to have rugby back on terrestrial TV and good to see the other sides playing so well. What a great game yesterday (Wales/Ireland) and so good to see both sides playing such great rugby. The northern hemisphere needs a strong competition. (Or for the pessimists out there -both sides looked quite ordinary in the second half and made too many turnovers and elementary mistakes). I can’t believe how negative some people are.

7) France for the World Cup.

  • 236.
  • At 01:00 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • plodderhud wrote:

I, like most others, was mightily impressed with the way that JW performed on Saturday - like he hasn't been away.
But does anyone else share my concern with the number of tackles he made during the game?
Not sure how many it was but at times I thought he was playing as a flanker rather than number 10!
Clearly this is one of Jonny's many strengths and one that he relishes but if we want him to get to the world cup without serious injury then surely he needs to ensure he is exposed less to the tackle.
Need the back row to step up another notch again I am afraid

  • 237.
  • At 01:00 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

In reference to the statistics of Dan’s one try in every two tests, to Johnny’s one try in every ten tests, who cares!? Wings are on the field for a reason. Johnny sill has a larger points average with 15.7 compared with 14.7. This may not seem like a lot but we all no who we would want in our side if we were three points down and needed a win


Presumably Carter a try scorer capable of picking up a five pointer, after all a drop goal would only level that game which you need to win.

  • 238.
  • At 01:02 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Kerrin wrote:

Nothing like getting ahead of yourselves after one game against a weakened Scottish team. Good Lord some of you out there really are living in a dream world! Are you not even remotely concerned about the lack of depth that you have in the rugby ranks? This is a team sport. You win as a team and lose as a team. Does it not worry you that you only have one player who can be relied on to kick a ball? Lets face it he has a pretty high injury count, so you better pray no-one hurts him over the 6 nations, cause where will you be then?

At this very moment in time there is no way that JW even comes close to the calibre of player that Dan Carter is. Dan is the complete No. 10, and Johnny can kick a ball and that is about it. Its also good to see that the blood bin does not apply to JW, and that no matter who else shone as a player on Saturday, the player of the match was always going to be just one person (sorry Harry, you never had a chance).

Mind you, it was good to see England back to their traditional dull rugby of just kicking the ball over the posts. Yawn. Keep looking through those rose coloured glasses won't you. England has the most fair-weather supporters I have ever had the misfortune to see. I was disgusted to see you boo your team off the field last year, and one win and all is forgiven! Get a grip!

  • 239.
  • At 01:07 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Pete S wrote:

Can Jonny walk on water?

Well, he can clearly walk on grass over the white line and still score so I'm sure he probably could. Certainly if an IRB official was adjudicating :o)

No complaints about the match outcome and I'm not pretending that the outcome would have been any different had the leg in touch been given. However, Jonny's been credited with a "record" (for points in a Calcutta Cup tie) due to some blundering fool's incompetence.

Roy Castle will be spinning in his grave.

  • 240.
  • At 01:09 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • christopher benedict wrote:

Nathan, the wilko try did not come at a crucial time. The score at the time was 30-13. Even if the try had been disallowed, Scotland would have had to score a minimum of 2 converted tries, and 2 penalties or drop goals, in just over 20 minutes and England fail to put any score on the board for Scotland to have won. Did Scotland really look like scoring 33 points!

England's fragile confidence was evident early on but they started to play with some freedom later on. JW's kicking will help England stay in a tight match. Even when they did have a chance to do this in the recent past, Hodgson would often miss, further deflating the side and the crowd. Their play wasn't error strewn and they didn't take a lifetime to use the ball. All in all it isn't surprising that England's fans are feeling more positive even if 4th place is still England's most likely finishing position.

  • 241.
  • At 01:16 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Rob Darling wrote:

Can I just point out the reason why Donal Courtney allowed the Wilko try?!?! It was quite simply a matter of him not having access to a wide screen in the TMO room at Twickenham! hving worked in that part of the stadium I know the set up and what he has access to! If you view the game ona "regular" TV, you will see that the camera pictures actually cut Wilko off at the knee from the vital angle, therefore not giving the TMO the necessary reason to disallow the try!!

  • 242.
  • At 01:22 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Paul Shwabe wrote:

At the end of the day! England WON! Wilko lasted the match and we scored tries. Thats all that matters! People can slate jonny all they want, not many players can cum bk from 3 yrs of injuries and play an international scoring 27 points. You just gotta face it, the kid is talented! his combined effort with harry ellis was the foundations of what could be a good team to defend the world cup, and with a possible grandslam and autumn test wins, england may hav picked the correct time to reach a peak in performance. I say we back these lads cos there the best hope weve gt!

  • 243.
  • At 01:29 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

i think its about time we let the rugby do the talking and leave the negative comments alone. yes wilko, farrell and robbo were probably a risk that brian ashton took playing them, but it was a risk worth taking. ALl that was missing from saturdays win was as try from Andy Farrell.

Brian Ashton seems to have done to the england rugby team what harry redkanpp did to prostmouth fc last season, he used more or less the same bunch of players, but just man managed them better. And we all know players perform better if they are encourgaed and man- managed well.

Well done brian. role on italy

  • 244.
  • At 01:34 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Clive Woody wrote:

I shall wait to see how many points Italy beat Scotchland by before I decide how good a performance that was by England.

I can see the wooden spoon being painted tartan this year!

Jonny Wilkinson - One Rugby World Cup winners medal.

Can Carter - .....

:-)

  • 245.
  • At 01:35 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Phenomenal! Out of rugby for 3 years, only 40 mins of competitive Rugby recently. Straight back into the national side and plays awesomely. This is 6 nations rugby remember not Yorkshire league 5!

2) JW does bring England massive confidence – what happens if and when he’s injured again. Who do we play at ten then.

3) The commentators are biased and ignore too much of what else is good in the team. (Harry Ellis for my man of the match).

4) A team only play as good as they are allowed. England was beaten by Scotland last year and Scotland was on a high despite their obvious limitations. This is top flight rugby and all are fully professional.

AND GENERALLY

5) What a great game rugby is. All the games seem to have been played in a great spirit. The professionalism, commitment and toughness of the players is so impressive. Players literally giving blood for their cause. Compare and contrast with the dramatics and drama of prima donnas overpaid football “stars”!!


6) Its great to have rugby back on terrestrial TV and good to see the other sides playing so well. What a great game yesterday (Wales/Ireland) and so good to see both sides playing such great rugby. The northern hemisphere needs a strong competition. (Or for the pessimists out there -both sides looked quite ordinary in the second half and made too many turnovers and elementary mistakes). I can’t believe how negative some people are.

7) France for the World Cup.

  • 246.
  • At 01:41 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Damian Smith wrote:

I am surprised the papers are not saying that England will the six nations
JW has a game - finally - and it is all praise about how well he played, what rubbish!
Lets be honest here, he is a good player no doubt, but all he did in the weekend was kick goals - ie his role at No 10

  • 247.
  • At 01:42 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Ross wrote:

It was a good performance and frankly pleasing to see an England team with some direction and purpose in their running angles etc. And yes, Jonny played well, especially under the circumstance/pressure/time away from the game etc.. What a difference it makes to have a 10 who takes the pressure of the team with good place and hand kicking. I am still reserving judgement on Harry Ellis though, as i felt his performance was detriment to the Scottish defence (mainly around the fringes) of course you could say he expolited a weakness which is absolutely true, so before the excitement and anticipation that always follows a good English victory lets wait and see if Ellis can exploit a lot less space against much better teams and how quick he is to the breakdown, an area i think he needs to improve. Oh and kudos to Farrell, who i thought looked assured and dangerous on the ball.

  • 248.
  • At 02:21 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Hushy wrote:

The King is back!! Being a Newcastle supporter I have seen many of the ill fated Wilkinson comebacks. However I have never been in doubt that he would pull on the England 10 shirt again. Lets face it every 10 while he was out was simply keeping it warm for him. Each Wilkinson return has seen him come back a better player both physically and mentally. Who else could have looked so at home in test rugby after only 45 minutes in 3 months?? Nobody but Wilko could. He looks good behind a poor Falcons pack so if Englands forwards keep putting in displays like saturday Wilko will keep producing the goods. A great team display by England and as combinations get better then England will only improve. Bigger challenges lie infront of England but on Saturday Wor Jonny showed just why he is King!!

  • 249.
  • At 02:30 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • r0nin wrote:

Makes me laugh, all the Kiwis, Aussies and of course some sore losing Scots / Welsh supporters commenting on the article, when IMHO they have absolutely no right to be criticising the World Champions....

One the greatest no.10's in the world having only played 40 minutes of competitive rugby has come on the field and made the game look so easy... was a joy to behold...

All those silly anti-english sentiments, just keep a lid on it okay.. when we retain the world cup in 9 months time, hopefully an England v NZ final (that's if ABs make it to the final)...

;)

  • 250.
  • At 02:37 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • taoalava wrote:

i love how the english fans will knock jonny one minute because he's been injured for so long and then praise him the next because he plays really well.
you people are such fairweather fans, it's no wonder your team has more downs than ups.
top marks to you, jonny. players like you can disappear for ages but still come back and show 'em who's boss! keep up the good work.

  • 251.
  • At 02:51 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Lauren wrote:

Eh.. the words BLATANT CHEAT comes to mind!!! Maybe it is about time the games are played according to the rules!!!

  • 252.
  • At 03:29 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Chris Reilly wrote:

Although it pains me to say it as someone who was supporting Scotland, I have to say that I was impressed by the England team on Saturday. They showed none of the rustiness that I thought they would by having so many new players in the team, and I knew from the first minute of the game that it would be a long afternoon. Overall, a well deserved victory.

However, it was in the face of a very poor Scotland performance. I was particularly disappointed by the way that the forwards buckled, even though they were supposedly heavier than England. Sean Lamont and Chris Paterson had disappointing games. The only positive that Scotland can take from the weekend is that Italy looked even worse than they did, so at least Scotland SHOULD beat them at Murrayfield. Otherwise I am not looking forward to the rest of Scotland's matches!

As for Wilkinson. He is a very good player and kicker, no doubt about it (I doubt that Hodgson would have made all the kicks he did) but he was given an armchair ride by the England pack. I would like to see how he plays when put under real pressure by France, South Africa or New Zealand. Dan Carter still gets my vote for best flyhalf in the world. The way that he masterminded the All Black victory at Twickenham in 2005 when they were down to 13 men and under real pressure was impressive!

However, for the time being, I look forward to the England v France and England v Ireland games. Whoever wins, they are going to be fantastic games!

  • 253.
  • At 03:30 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • michael wrote:

Not getting carried away. I think Harry Ellis should have been man of the match and on any other day he would have been.

On the other hand, Wilko had a stormer, and a pretty amazing way to come back onto the international scene.

I think the really interesting thing to note amidst all the furore of dodgy decisions and whinging is simply this - AR said he wouldn't have played Wilkinson. Wilkinson then leads the line and notches up 27 points.

We all knew Wilko was a class act, what's changed is having a coach who selects the right team.

  • 254.
  • At 03:32 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • William Johnson wrote:

In response to Kerrin, blog 242. You are either a bitter Scot or just another who hates the English. 'Johnny can kick a ball and that is about it' - you make me mad! He brings leadership, direction, a rugby brain (note his drop goal when Scotland had just drawn level). He instills confidence in the players around him.

No one is saying England are going to win the world cup on the back of this performance (or even the 6 Nations) but when a 3 point victory would have made most Englishmen happy, then a 22 point victory was a great bonus.

Also, how can Kerrin say that it was boring England again. Yes there were 5 penalties but also 4 tries, running rugby and some awesome forward play. Please tell me you're a Scot as your whole game plan was built around the rusty boot of Dan Parks!

Learn to be happy that Jonny Wilkinson isn't just good news for England but is great news for world rugby. I personnally thought that after only playing 40 minutes, the England number 10 had QUITE a good game!!

  • 255.
  • At 03:38 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

Hilarious English statements about a guy who is very good at playing rugby and getting injured. Your Wilko would make a 6 nations 15 but would be second choice (or not selected for fear of injury) in a World XV.

Now that you've won a rugby game you don't have to talk about cricket...

Good for you England, go invent another game that you will eventually not be able to play.

  • 256.
  • At 03:52 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • jason wrote:

Absolutely priceless postings here by the 'swing low sweet chariot' brigade. One decent game in which they won by courtesy of an outrageous try that never was and a gift by lamont. This would have made the scores 28 - 20, which would be a bit more realistic to the performance.
Without doubt that JW is worldclass but do you have a plan B? Didn't see much evidence to suggest that this game would have been won without him. Ellis was also good but the rest of the team were nothing special, farrell seemed lethargic and one dimensional. Scotland were missing some important players but yet did well in spells. Can't wait to see you all turn on Ashton when Golden boy gets injured. Reckon you are all in for a reality check soon. The so called passing game and passing out of contact didn't really materialise only good old wilko kicking goals and a marauding slow pack mauling. Def not make top three in table. "swing low sweet chariot" ahahaha

  • 257.
  • At 04:36 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Richard Sawyer wrote:

I seem to have spent the day reading everything and anything about this weekends rugby matches. As an Englishman, and also being at THE MATCH, in typical English fashion I was 'overjoyed' at the result, and how the English team obtained this fantastic result. This after a victory by our cricketers over the Aussies. Dare we hope our footballers join the party! To mis-quote Meatloaf, two out of three ain't bad. Still would love to see three out of three.

  • 258.
  • At 04:41 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Aled wrote:

Did anyone else play on the weekend apart from Johnny Wilkinson? Its no wonder that everyone likes to beat the English when the whole world seems to resolve around the English team at that no 10 in particular.

He played a pretty good game granted, but we all knew that he could kick and that try simply wasn't. The reality is that Scotland were very poor and played into the English hands. Anybody who has played any rugby will know that old Johnny had an armchair ride and any no 10 worth his salt would have bossed that game.

Can we not have a bit of realism? I read the Sunday papers yesterday and struggled to find a picture that wasn't of Johnny and a match report from the other game.

Carry on like this and there will be another big fall as the performance wasn't that good.

  • 259.
  • At 04:43 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Martin Johnston wrote:

Wow - England beat a poor Scotland team - guys don't get carried away - on another day against another team England's weakneses would have been exploited.

Wilkinson played because he was allowed to play well - could you imagine the All Blacks playing England and not "testing" him out!!

Lineouts as well were on the whole uncontested - the one time Scotland did contest led to a try.

Two tries should never really have happened - I don't know what Sean Lamont was doing for Robinson's second try and as for Wilkinson's - even Brian Moore thought it was a joke.

England had a solid performance but NOT an outstanding performance as some might think.

  • 260.
  • At 04:51 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • charles wrote:

world champions don't lose 8 out of 9 games in a row!! JW has nothing special about him apart from his boot, which lowers the level of rugby.

  • 261.
  • At 05:16 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • psi wrote:

A pretty good performance from a team that is being rebuilt.
When Scotland won the Calcutta Cup last year it was against a poor england team but they celebrated as if they had won the world cup. (That will never happen of course). Now England have regained the Calcutta cup against a poor Scotland team and nobody from outside england gives them any credit. Yes if they were playing NZ they would have lost, but they weren't, they were playing Scotland and they won. I know its a cliche but you can only beat the team that you are playing. Cliches become cliches because they are true lets not forget.

  • 262.
  • At 05:25 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • jason wrote:

England were gifted 14 points and scotland were missing 4 important players which they don't have squad to cover. I fear that the core flattered england greatly as did JW performance. What happens when JW gets injured which must be only a matter of time, what is plan B? England on sat were boring and predictable like thae past but with a kicking machine like JW they might always have against likes of a depleted scotland. However, apart from ellis there wasn't anything different from Robinson's era. Pack were back to slow maulong drives and farrell is hugely over-rated. Wouldn't put any money on them making top 3 in championship let alone win a world cup.

  • 263.
  • At 05:46 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • KingofStroud wrote:

Firstly - lets ignore the carping celts and SH rabble - its just a wind up. (After all how many tries have England conceeded to forward passes, or feet in touch in front of lines men etc etc - time we had a touch of luck ourselves!!!)

Secondly it great to be cheering the boys on once again - lets see how we go next week, hopefully we can move on a step.

Thirdly and my main reason for writing - Who the hell is in charge of the match day coverage on the BBC? I was absoluted infuriated by the number of replays that were being shown on the screen instead of the live action and or scrummages that were going on on the pitch.

For the love of god will someone tell the director that the scrum is absolutly integral and MUST be shown -we want to see all of the game. If the BBC had any sense they would add ten minutes to the schedule and run the replays after the bloody game has finished.........rant over - C'MON ENGLAND

  • 264.
  • At 05:49 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

Seems a lot of people get over excited either by Jonny's performance or the responses to it!!

It indicates to me that unless you have played the game you don't know that much (and even after that lots of ex players forget what it was like - J Guscott springs to mind...).
England won, Jonny did what has been lacking (since he last played and Martin Johnson retired) in applying a clinical touch.

Scotland get to 3 - 3 Jonny immediately kicks a drop goal, Scotland get a try Jonny kicks two penalties that were not easy. 2nd half Scotland score first and are still in touch, Jonny kicks another penalty. OK his try may have been lucky but then he kicks the conversion from the touchline, do I need to go on?

Yes I like to see attractive rugby, but in all the years I played I hated losing, I could accept losing to a better side but losing by a single score is terrible, winning when you know you should have lost is fantastic!!

Forget the hype, England were never that bad despite the results, they had lost the clinical mentality and the ability to do it - hopefully they are back on track. I don't think they will win the World Cup or the Six Nations but at least they can now play with more pride having at last the players to pick from.

I feel sorry for Andy Robinson, he may not have been the world's best coach, but he never had the chance to pick the side that played on Saturday that has POTENTIAL.

Ireland won "ugly" - good luck to them, I hope they can win the Grand Slam at last but I don't think they will...

  • 265.
  • At 06:03 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Graeme wrote:

I was at the game on Saterday and supporting Scotland, and without a doubt JW was sublime and I wish him as a rugby playing gentleman (everytime he spoke too the referee, it was yes "sir") all the best, however the English media and supporters need too "settle down" a little.

Remember that expectation can be the root of all evil.... English rugby fans and media need too give the sands of time a chance. Sometimes I think if ever a Football mentality were too creep into the beautiful game it would come from the English football fans tired of trying too emulate 1966 .

  • 266.
  • At 06:52 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • kev wrote:

Fortunately Brian Ashton won't get carried away with a win against Scotland. He put a balanced side out and took a few risks (eg. Andy Farrell) and it worked. But I am sure he will be looking for gradual improvements through the 6 Nations with new blood gradually brought in to give us a fighting chance in the World Cup.

  • 267.
  • At 07:51 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • James wrote:

Wilkinson had a great game BUT how did the video ref allow his try to stand. It made no difference to the result but his leg was clearly in touch before he even got close to grounding the ball.

  • 268.
  • At 08:17 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • Pete wrote:

To the poster of #259 Jason stop being a bigot and realise that the Scots were hammered.JW is the real deal as every other nation in th 6N is about to find out!!

  • 269.
  • At 11:06 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • English Road wrote:

190 may JW try should not have been allowed his foot was in touch. Saying that one of the Scottish trys should not have been allowed should have been a penalty to England for pulling down in the lineout!

Swings and roundabouts mate.

Brillian JW welcome back

  • 270.
  • At 11:54 PM on 05 Feb 2007,
  • mike wrote:

There seems to be a lot of posts suggesting Johny had an "armchair ride" behind the forwards...er, isn't that the point? Forwards doing their job which allows him time to be creative with ball or kick for position with time. The AB's have been giving Carter the same ride for years. As for being one dimentional, again the AB's (I'm not suggesting they are so) have Carter kicking for goal from the halfway or even further out in order to keep them ahead and put more pressure on the opposition, or keep them in touch until they can get the game to swing their way. That's what England haven't been able to do until now. When they are behind they still keep in touch which means the opposition can't relax.

As usual the myopic SH lot assisted by some whingers north of the border have a go at the English celebrating a bit of a turnaround in fortune with the usual putdowns, "when Johny gets injured England won't even finish third". Well, one thing is for certain Scotland won't!
As for the other lot, keep playing your boring same old three team competition year after year, and falling in love with yourselves, and remember when it counted we came down there and took the title right from under you in your own backyard, and with the possible exception of the AB's, when England, Ireland, Wales,and France start getting things on a roll and playing well the other SH lot won't be appearing in any final either.

On yer lads! On yer Johny!

  • 271.
  • At 10:05 AM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • CLJUILLET wrote:

Well, well, how to over egg a team. I counted 4 forward passes, 1 non try and a kick by Parks deemed to be straight into touch when it actually bounced on the line. The English cheated. Fair enough it was a rubbish performance by Scotland but at least we are not cheats. JW even said afterwards he knew he was out but he still accepted the decision, typical English - no morals! Time you lot were thrown out of fair competition.

  • 272.
  • At 10:08 AM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • CLJUILLET wrote:

Well, well, how to over egg a team. I counted 4 forward passes, 1 non try and a kick by Parks deemed to be straight into touch when it actually bounced on the line. The English cheated. Fair enough it was a rubbish performance by Scotland but at least they are not cheats. JW even said afterwards he knew he was out but he still accepted the decision, typical English - no morals! Time you lot were thrown out of fair competition. When will you realise it's not just the Scots that hate you - everybody does!

  • 273.
  • At 10:37 AM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

Err, CLJUILLET, if the ball bounces on the line, it IS out.

Hehe.

Read the rules...

  • 274.
  • At 10:37 AM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • NigelM wrote:

274 CLJuillet, you're a sad and bitter person. Can't see how you can blame the English for the forward passes, non try, etc not being picked up by the officials. Still, why let logic get in the way of prejudice, eh ?

  • 275.
  • At 12:20 PM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • TC wrote:

CLJuillet - get your facts right before carping. The ball on the line IS straight into touch. Clearly you have never played the game and along with many other posters resent Englands chance to enjoy a good result for a change. No-one seriously believes that we have got everything right but there were on saturday the first few buds of recovery. Tell Ireland their victory was lucky! There should at least have been a penalty try against them!
Preferably just enjoy the closest looking 6N for years and don't talk rubbish!

  • 276.
  • At 01:04 PM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Can anyone figure out the following little play on words

Pride Fall


And I really had to laugh at the guy bringing up beating Oz in the one dayers, just to keep you up to date, the table for the triangular series is as follows

p w l d pts
Australia 8 7 1 0 31
England 8 3 5 0 13
New Zealand 8 2 6 0 9

  • 277.
  • At 01:06 PM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • Ollie Funnell wrote:

I cant believe the hype surrounding one players comeback (again & again & again). No matter how good a player JW is he is not THE England team. This is a 15 player game, all with their own strengths to bring to create a TEAM!!! It was good to see some of the old faces back, but in reality Mr Ashton has to look past this competition & on to putting up some sort of decent defence of the world cup. No matter what the outcome of this comp. if we start to gel as a team & get used to having 2 five eigths at 10 & 12 who can create space/angles, consistantly pass the gain line & turn the opposition defense then we have a chance. Mr Ashton may consider bringing in some younger players to mould into the new system, can you really expect Andy Farrell to make this position his own & play on for more than 2 world cups? (this style of play has been ever present in the southern hemisphere for at least 40 years according to an article in the guardian). Anyway, its good to see us winning again. Lets hope things continue in the same vein & this is our launch pad for a great world cup. You never know, if Mr Ashton reads this he may even offer me a job!!!!!!

  • 278.
  • At 01:21 PM on 06 Feb 2007,
  • christianj wrote:

Form is temporary, class is permanent

If any1 had any doubts about johnny he is without a doubt(injuries aside) the best flyhalf in the game, and he would walk into any of the top sides in the game.

The sad side of it is he may not get the all time scoring records due to 3 years out, he surely would have smashed them had he been fit.

but I know what Johnny can do I think saturday was far more interesting too see the new and improved Harry Ellis

He was immense and alot of our attacks stemmed from his play, he is strong,quick and has a good link up with JW

these 2 could be the making of the season for us

  • 279.
  • At 09:26 AM on 07 Feb 2007,
  • Moose Bastow wrote:

The sight of Jonny Wilkinson in an England shirt again was fantastic. The whole side seem to get a lift. Harry Ellis finally showed that he the potential to be the finest scrum half in the Northern Hemisphere. The pack with direction and leadership were back to their rugged best. Andy Farrells debut showed hints of whats to come and Jason Robinson took his chances as only he can. It must be remembered that this is a pretty ordinary Scotland side and there are sterner tests to come. Hopefully the side will build on this perfomance against Italy and give the Irish something to think about before the game at Croke Park.
Having read some of the other rubbish regarding who is better,Wilkinson or Carter, they are two totally different players with totally different styles. However if you were picking a world 15 my bet would be Wilkinson at 10 and Carter at 12. Also if I remember correctly in 2003 when England held the "mighty" All Blacks at bay they only had 13 players on the park at one point and they still couldnt run through Wilkinson at el then. The only reason the best player on the planet(Mr R McCaw)gets to so may Fly Halfs is that he plays so far offside he should wear an opposition shirt. As for Big Jerry, when he runs at Jonny he will get tackled by a Fly Half who wont bottle it. New Zealand are the best team in the World by a mile but by the end of the Six nations we may see one or two teams that will stand up to them and not roll over like to may teams have done in the past two years.

  • 280.
  • At 07:40 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • lauren wrote:

I think England need Jonny Wilkinson for his convertions,Jonny is suffering from his injuuries but always makes the effort to win the game and makes the team and audiance what a great game rugby is!!

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