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Well done England and BA

International rugby England
by Carling99 (U1701111) 12 March 2007
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England did far better than I thought and hoped and as BA took a lot of stick (not least from me) over his selection I thought it only fair to compare our view of the team against what actually happened.

Front row did a bit better than expected. Chuter was the main winner here with a genuinely classy and assured performance. Payne just about held his own in the scrum and apart from the odd fumble was more involved and aggressive in the loose than Sheridan has been for example. White did well at scrum time and didn't get in the way in the loose.
Hats off to Corry. On that performance I have to turn the question mark around and ask why Leicester don't play him at Lock. Palmer was athletic and comfortable.
Back row, having been given a solid base were superb. Odd jitters from Easter but warmed into a performance that Quins fans will recognise. Rees all over the park and Worsley quietly tackling the soul out of France as well as making a few surges. Best balanced back row since the Holy Trinity.
Lewsey and Tindall only worries in the BD.

Rating prior to match My rating on match
Payne 6.60 7
Chuter 5.30 7

White 6.00 7
Corry 5.20 8

Palmer 9.30 8
Worsley 6.50 7
Rees 9.60 9

Easter 8.40 8

Ellis 9.30 9
Flood 6.80 8
Strettle9.20 9
Catt 6.40 7
Tindall 3.50 6
Robinson9.40 8
Lewsey 7.40 6
1st XV AVE7.26 7.6
Turner 2.41
Mears 5.44
Deacon 2.41
Lund 8.68
Tait 8.90
Perry 6.99

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comment by Juggler (U2995016)

posted Mar 12, 2007

Chuter played like he does for Leicester, which is good to see. Spot on with his throwing, and you can tell when he's having a good game as he'll pull of those ludicrous and unexpected bits of skill like the one-handed pass out to Ellis for his break down the touchline.

Corry was fantastic at lock. I thought he'd be good, and I thought he'd a be a huge improvement on Grewcock and Deacon. He was.

White and Payne scrummaged very well, as expected. I still don't know why Ashton went for Freshwater ahead of Payne, but he's in now and that's what counts.

Rees. Have we found the answer, then?

Ellis has been England's best player of the 6N and that was another pacy, aggressive and strong performance. Really coming into his own.

Flood and Geraghty - nice to see promising young English backs actually delivering on that promise rather than being dragged into the general mediocrity that surrounds them, as was the case under Robinson.

Tins was poor, I thought, but he was the go-to guy to carry the ball up and recycle (or knock-on...). In the absence of a similarly powerful but better OC he'll keep his place to face Shanklin.

Catt. Bye, Faz... it was nice to see you. Actually, Catt showed the value of a player who really understands the game of Union. No substitute for real experience of the game. If only Abbott had a better kicking game, though...

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posted Mar 12, 2007

I agree the team did well and credit to Ashton for his bravery in selections. However, it took 11 changes from the previous line up. So there is still a liability for the performances up to Saturday.
The pairing of Tindall and Catt worked well, with the ball actually getting to the wings. Well done Strettle.
Catt was outstanding, no doubt his pride filling his shirt by a couple of inches and taking 5 years and a few thousand miles off his legs. (The two handling errors concentrated upon by the TV coverage caused by adrenalin and a pass from Ellis going unexpectedly to him rather than flood, due to a Frenchman on the floor between.)
Toby Flood lifted his game, no doubt encouraged and calmed by Catt. Gerahty took his opportunity and showed the benefit of his partnership with Catt. Needs to work on his kicking, but otherwise very impressive.
Josh Lewsey needs to watch the video and put his hands up. But otherwise solid, a few breaks and unlucky not to get the try ahead of Flood.
The pack did well. The benefit of a good dog (Rees-brilliant) securing the ball and slowing opposition was clearly shown. Also having a front 3 and 5 back row players, (Palmer has turned out as number 8 before) made the whole unit more mobile and fluid. Even White was running and handling. (Amazing)
The much vaunted French 2nd row, did not turn up and their back row (Particularly Cerbal) were outplayed.
Well done. No donít spoil it by bringing JW and Farrell straight back in. On the bench maybe, but for whom?

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posted Mar 12, 2007

Congratulations to a brave England performance. You thoroughly deserved to win. France looked strong at times, but you kept them away from the try line and looked a little more adventurous. You have to be worried about players like Tindall and Lewsey. What the hell were they thinking when trying to pass the ball in risky situations??

Although I do think that you will beat Wales, the hammering at Croke Park will come back to haunt you and you will lose out on point difference. Nevertheless, again congratulations!!!

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posted Mar 12, 2007

I know everyone is concentrating on how well the backs played, but for me it was Rees who really changed things. For the first time we had true open side who was able to do the dirty work on the ground, slowing down French ball, and who was constantly running in support of the backs. This is what England have lacked since the "Holy Trinity" ceased to be.

As for this weekend, Wilkinson on the Bench perhaps if fit, but I'd not change that line-up, they need more game time together. As a left field thought, perhaps bring in Richard Hill on the bench, as I beleive he's playing pretty well for Saracens at the moment.

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comment by nickvai (U7172006)

posted Mar 12, 2007

Great platform from the forwards. Catt showed his value by keeping his head up the whole match and was always aware of what was going on, and the Beeb were too harsh about his handling errors. Downsides for the tournament have to be that Lewsey has been a passenger in every game and the mauling at Croke Park puts the six nations beyond England.

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comment by Fat10 (U6603165)

posted Mar 12, 2007

Fully agree on 90% of what you say Carling99 .

Not a Worsley fan but he did little wrong in defence. I'm going through a creative phase at the moment and believe there has to be more than tackling to his game to put on that 6 shirt for England. Worsley is not the brightest with ball in hand and I'm sure a grubber kick was attempted at one point !!? what was all that about ?
Totally agree with Corry summary and also the fact that Lewsey and Tindell look like square pegs in round holes when it comes to a pacey passing game . They both kept trying but neither are naturals when it comes to the passing game . Lewsey has spent too much time on the wing and the Tindell too much time with his head down and ball firmly tucked under his arm.
I can see more of a role for Tindell in the centre than I can for Lewsey in the back three but would like to see Cueto brought into a back three of Robinson , Strettle and Cueto .
I can live with Tindell if we use him correctly and with an electric back 3 I can see him keeping his place to pose another type of threat.
My head says Tait though !

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