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England v South Africa

Rugby world cup England
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Evening all,

It's the match that England captain Martin Corry has picked out as the "defining moment" of his side's World Cup: England v South Africa.

We get under way at 2000 BST in Paris, and the outcome of the game will have major repercusions for both sides.

The defending champions have had a week to forget. Some might say they've had a four years to forget, but that's by the by now.

If England cam somehow summon up the kind of performance that we hear they produce at the drop of a hat in training, then maybe they could upset the odds of 6-1 on offer against them succeeding.

If they don't and the Springboks live up to the 10-1 on odds that bookmakers are so generously offering, then England could be in for a long, long night.

How do you see things going at the Stade de France? Let us know your comments ahead of and during the action from France.

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posted Sep 17, 2007

Perhaps the problem with English Rugby is simply one of transition. I am of the 'amateur' game generation that remembers the passion and spirit of players and teams who seemed to play essentially for the love of the game and pride at playing for their country.

Today we are watching highly paid professionals simply going to work. I take the same pleasure at watching someone good at the job of rugby as I might someone doing the job of bricklaying or carpentry. What I miss in English Rugby is the sheer joy of playing.

Having said this I feel that we are now in a new era and the RFU is full of people who share at some level this romantic nostalgia that I feel. All of these must make way for new unromantic realists.

To be good at the new game, and professional rugby is a new game, we need managers who can motivate their players and staff by using all of the tools of modern management and making sure that the people doing the jop are fit for it and earning their money.

Stop appealing to a non-existant passion, pride in selection for the country and other outdated concepts and start treating them like any other highly paid worker and demand results.

So come on RFU start by selecting the required level of cynical, results-driven, incentive-payment management to run the game and forget any thoughts about pride, passion and love of the game. You have created this passionless money machine the least you can do is make sure the management get value for money from its workers.

Posted with regret.

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comment by Fonz (U9546173)

posted Sep 17, 2007

It is no good complaining about it now. We've now got to focus on NZ 2011. People on BA back should remember what turnip was employed before him. Can anyone remember the extent of the mire that england was in before Ashton hit the scene. The fact is that Ashton started to blood the young guns in the six nations, playing exciting stuff, but he ran out of time. That combined with the tour of SA, he got nervous of the lack of experience, and chose(erroneously) to go with ageing players like Lorenzo, playing a dull and one-dimentional game. Now, after realising that O.A.Ps aren't the answer, lets give him a chance to pick some youth for the six nations. If he doesn't, then get him out of the job.

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comment by Fonz (U9546173)

posted Sep 17, 2007

Does anyone else think now could be the time to increase the Premiership from 12 to 14 clubs to match the French clubs. I could quite easily see the Cornish Pirates and Northampton match the quality of the big guns. Also it would expand the amount of English players exposed to top class rugby. Also a cap on non EU players to be lowered, would be good,

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posted Sep 17, 2007

I was at the game on Friday and beforehand I thought we would get a 30 point humping, but to be niled is utter humiliation. I do not doubt the commitment from players or coaches. Things have to change at the top, and that means a complete overhaul and restructure in the game, plus we have to get rid of this old boy archaic network that seems to think they know what's good for english rugby. The RFU Board should be looking themselves in the face with utter disgust at the way in which they have carried on for the last 4 years. They have the mentality that the Welsh did in the 1970's, thinking that things would carry on as normal without a thought for planning and structure in the game. We will lose to one of Samoa or Tonga in the next two weeks, and I pray it gives this old foggy network the wake up call they so desperately need.

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posted Sep 17, 2007

Quite a few rants disguised as postings. SA beat England because they are a better team.

SCW presented the rfu with his requirements to defend the RWC in 2003 and they refused. That is why we are now possibly eight years behind in development.

The Super 14's is a stepping stone to the International game the HC isn't. The nh teams are being severely punished at the breakdown by turnover ball. Our back rows are used to spoiling not contesting the ball and looking to exploit broken defences.

Finally lets have one global rugby season. The SH teams look up to speed the NH teams look a bit ring rusty

In my opiniion that is!

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posted Sep 17, 2007

""I take the ultimate responsibility for what goes on, irrespective of what that is," said Ashton."

So you'll resign after the RWC?

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posted Sep 17, 2007

Don't blame Andy Farrell for Friday's disaster. He was a great League player but is playing as if he is still playing league. Wales had a similar problem with Iestyn Harris a few years ago.

Only Jason Robinson has made a serious impact of British players who turned to Union from League and being a wing or Full Back the transformation was easier The 22 drop outs would have been great had he been playing at the JJB V St Helens as he should have been.

Mike Catt should have told him kick the ball so that our forwards have a chance of winning it. Anyone with a Union brain would have realised that the Boks would kick it back keeping us on the back foot all night.

The score wasn't a surprise because this year we have continually under acheived. Ireland at Croke Park Wales in Cardiff and France in August being perfect examples. I hope Tonga beat England because then serious redevelopment of the game will be seen to be needed.

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posted Sep 17, 2007

I hope we have several changes for the Samoa game. There's a good chance according to the South African coach that England could be beaten by them. If Farrell's dropped I'm sure he'll still blamed by some of the postings for the poor performance!

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posted Sep 17, 2007

England`s Centre pairing of a very old slow one and a very fat slow one was a major contributor to the thrashing. Neither could match the SA pace when defending and SAs props could hunt them down when attacking.

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posted Sep 19, 2007

Agree with PominNZ68, we must start again with young and fresh squad with Premiership supporting RFU contracted team, not the other way round. Our club rugby is getting like football, to many foreign players leaving little chance for our youth to develop week on week. When will we wake up to this and begin to develop a top ball playing side, days are gone of muscle bound crash bash players, need to be mobile and highly skilled to compete on world stage. 2011 NZ is target, until then lets make the changes like Wenger did at Arsenal.

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