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A Tale Of Two Fly Halves

Six Nations England
by jwhitall182 (U5366974) 11 March 2007
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Great performance from england today particularly Flood and Geraghty. Both showed some real confidence when they played and has given Ashton a real selection headache. Geraghty made a huge impact when he came on and Flood never did a thing wrong. Both looked so composed under the pressure of the Twickenham crowds and played superbly.

Also Catty did the job after a nervy start and played that heads up rugby Ashton has been wanting England to play for some time picking out the front row in defense and taking them on.

The pack today was brilliant. Even after going backward about thirty yards they kept recycling the ball. Corry looked alot more comfortable in lock and the back row finally had the dynamism that we've been lacking. Rees was very good and Nick Easter constantly gave England go forward ball. I doubt there will be much changes in the pack for Wales.

Only real concern was giving away a few penalties.

The young guns shined today Strettle looking a constant threat, Rees man of the match, and of course Flood and Geraghty both showing that they can make the jump from club to international.

Im not saying that England were perfect today, i dont think France played as well as they could but it is a good start for England and now we can look to the future with much hope. Well done.

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posted Mar 12, 2007

Flood is not a better 10 than Wilko - not even close, if Flood had been behind the pack against Ireland you'd be saying he shouldn't even be in the squad. Short term memories are not useful. Catt at 12 - he's brilliant and should remain Capt, he makes the team click - the 'x' factor.

15:Robinson/?
14:David Strettle
13:Mike Tindall
12:Mike Catt(c)
11:James Simpson Daniel
10:JW
9:Harry Ellis

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posted Mar 12, 2007

Shut up Irish-beast. Do Ireland need him, are you worried?
(Actually, I would be after Sat's performance. I was disgusted by what happened to O'Gara, by the way, if he was deliberately choked).

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posted Mar 12, 2007

Why not treat the Wales game with the exact same respect and pick the same team and then sub according to how it's being played.
Lots of errors, but it reminded me of the pre-2002/3 performances as England developed back then.
I think Wales will be a better side than we have seen, and will kill themselves to get the win. A hard, fast game hopefully - England will have to step up a gear (or two).
That said, brilliant game (barring the usual mad 10 mins we now get second half) astounding pack, to stand up after Ireland trouncing. I'm sure I saw Jonno in there somewhere.
Hats off to Ashton for having balls, and to the players he picked for having even bigger ones! Good luck to all teams next Saturday, we're having a pretty good 6 Nations, are we not.

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posted Mar 12, 2007


vino you are right about JL - I've noticed in recent games he always seems to slip over when running into the tackle from deep! I think he shows signs of being low in confidence. But I prefer him at full-back to Robinson, who I think is better on the wing. If JL isn't going to play FB, I don't see a place for him in the team.

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posted Mar 12, 2007

No evidence that O'Gara was choked - more daft blarney.

Ireland will choke when they realise exactly where they are - and get bounced out of the RWC and all that experience goes with it. Great having a set of backs averaging 60 caps each but you need to win a bit more than a Triple Crown - the big deal must be to at least beat France and England in the same season (particularly when you play them both at home) and they failed.

On the other hand England have quite shocking problems - they're called Flood, Wilkinson, Hodgson, Geraghty, Ellis, Perry, Richards, Wigglesworth, Allen, Tait, Strettle, Simpson Daniel, Cueto, Robinson, Lewsey (please someone buy him new boots with better studs),Morgan, Rees, Lund, Palmer, Deacon, Ward Smith, Easter, Hill, Worsley, etc etc etc. Oh and yes, Martin Corry - I thought he had a great game on Saturday. Not to mention Lamb, Sheridan, Bell, Borthwick, etc etc.

We now have a really good pool of players and if they are ever all fit at the same time, one helluva team. Catt was right - the future's looking pretty decent.........

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posted Mar 12, 2007

Let's be honest, a functioning pack makes life easier for those behind them. Against Ireland even the likes of Dan Carter would have struggled as the pack failed to do their job.

The France game was a huge improvement on that. The pack did their job, won turn-overs, did the hard yards and created quick ball which created the space for the backs.

There are still some silly mistakes in the England game, unnecessary penalties, handling errors etc but this was a massive step forward. It is more impressive given the number of changes made for this game and the inexperience of a number of the players.

There is a long way to go but we are now getting to see England playing rugby, going through the phases and actually penetrating a defence. We need to be sensible at times, take it to ground and re-cycle it quickly rather than always going for the pass out of the tackle etc but I actually felt excited about England for the first time this season.

Strettle has huge potential and is exciting to watch. Geraghty and Flood did well at fly-half, they both need to mature into the international game but they both look to be more than just kickers, they can run good lines and get over the gain line.

I don't see us winning the RWC but I hope that we can start performing with some consistency with a mixture of experience and youth.

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posted Mar 12, 2007

Were you lot watching the same game? Catt is a liability and should have been hauled off 15 mins in. Every time he touched the ball he made a mess of things (bar his one line break). If England are hoping for an old man to see them through the World Cup, then they are desparate. Tait should have been on in his place. If Ashton doesn't grow a pair and start playing the younger guys England have no hope. White should keep his place ahead of Vickery. The scrum was much improved with him on.

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posted Mar 12, 2007

geraghty's run wasn't the only impressive thing he did, his first touch of the ball in an international and he pulled off that sublime deft offload which caused a fright for france when, i can't remember who made a break down the left wing. what he did yesterday was very natural, apart from his kicking. he's very clued in and the way that he was able to link up with catt after that scintillating run shows their understanding and awareness of each other and the combination should be kept.

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posted Mar 12, 2007

"Why would you drop Mike Catt and put Wilkinson into the centre? Did you see Catt's performance against France?
I wouldn't put Robinson at fullback."

For some reasons,Mike Catt always seems to play well against the French(remember the game in Paris in 2004 too)

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posted Mar 12, 2007

Caperscoter,

Catt was poor in the first half and although he was great in the second I believe that Wilko can do exactly the same plus his goal kicking is priceless. Flood and Wilko could alternate at first receiver (although little time together on the pitch for Newcastle, they will have a good understanding from training time etc) better than Flood and Catt. Also, with Tait outside him, there will at least be a good level of understanding in midfield between the clubmates.

Robinson plays his best at fullback for Sale and I think that Lewsey needs time out to rediscover his form. Simpson Daniel must be included - he will add even more to our back three.

However, with news that Vickery will not play in Wales there is certainly a case for Catt to be put back into that side for his leadership whch means I would be back at square 1 as to who to pick at 10 if Wilko is fit...!

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