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These 116 comments are related to an article called:

A Tale Of Two Fly Halves

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posted Mar 11, 2007

I agree, the penalties at least were coming as a result of the players trying things out; they had the confidence to take players on which was positive and the more confident the team become, the less penalites there should be. I am delighted with the result - was expecting a heavy defeat but was pleased to see a bit more pride and passion, a willingness to put it all in and give it a shot. Well done boys.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

I think flood and geragty give Brian Ashton a headace for picking number10.

Now i would like there to be the same headace at number9 bring on wigglesworth to challenge ellis and perry

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comment by Silk (U1717598)

posted Mar 11, 2007

I'm going to risk some wrath here, and say that I don't think Geraghty is international class yet. He should be behind JW and Flood in the pecking order.

He made an incredible try with a brilliant, brillant run. However, is kicking from the hand was woeful.

I think he needs to work on that aspect of his game to become top class.

That said, he's what, 21? So plenty of time. If he can keep that electric pace, and develop a better kicking game, he will be brilliant.

All round, a great performance by all. I thought Strettle was particularly brilliant.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

does any1 think that realistically charlie hodgson has and england future now with these 2 fly halves wilkinson and cipriani wen hes back?? any comments

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posted Mar 11, 2007

A hugely spirited performance- to come back from 12-9 down at half time to win by 8 points shows real determination and the fly halves, both Toby and Shane, were pivotal and had fantastic games. I think Flood should start and Geraghty be the back up on the bench, unless Wilkinson can suddenly start to impress ashton in training again... Catt was excellent and I think that in Strettle we have uncovered a gem (or rather Ashton has)

Not quite enough to contend for The World Cup, but a big thumbs up to Ashton, who has to take a lot of the credit, for todays performance by England

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posted Mar 11, 2007

why geraghty picked england over ireland makes me laugh. england are hopeless.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Assuming he's fit next week, you have to pick Wilkinson. He's simply too good to leave out. He's arguably the best place kicker in the world and he's a quality fly-half in his own right. The French pundit on the tv (I think it was Thomas Castignede) said he's the best fly half in the world and that's coming from a fly half! What Brian Ashton should think about doing is maybe playing Flood or Geraghty at centre instead of Tindall.

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comment by David (U7013298)

posted Mar 11, 2007

Message from France: France by 30 points - oh boy did I get that wrong. But Ashton cheated - he put out a team of lion-hearts with brains against mere mortals. Stretttle was on fire and the two fly halves were inspired. Well done England, you deserved the win

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comment by Dodger (U1686575)

posted Mar 11, 2007

Silk, I think this is the reason most see Gerahty as an impact sub rather than first choice (apart from Jonathan Davies, who apparently knows a thing or tow about playing 10). Next week I would definitely leave JW out of the squad and give the two 10's from today the vote of confidence, start with Flood then bring on Gerahty for the last 20-30 minutes.
Thought Lund & Easter both had good games, despite a couple of strance flicks at the base of the scrum. Also good to see Corry smiling, not my favourite, but a sound servant to English (& Lions) rugby.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

White had by far and away his best game for England.
He laid down a platform in the first twenty minutes that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Rees was brilliant. I think that England has an open side there in the class of McCaw (might even prove to be better with time) and I don't say that lightly.
Easter was Corry with pace. Corry was Johnson in disguise. Payne was a revelation.
Flood had a seriously good game. I think that he is a confidence player, and should be reatined for next week, with Geraghty coming off the bench. (Give Jonny another rest for those hamstrings).
Strettle - just give the boy the ball and stand back. Fearless.
My bet on England to retain the RWC is not yet dead!
Bravo Ashton, Bravo England.
Does anybody know how to get knuckle impressions out of living room walls? (Inflicted Rocky Balboa style about five seconds after Tindall scored the second England try?!).

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Great result even though there were some frustrating passages of play, largely due to a lack of time playing together and let's face it, a few nerves too.

I would like to see Tait at 13 and I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to do at 12 either. Should Catt be in the side? What about Noon? Wouldn't that give us real pace in the back line?

Lewsey looks out of sorts and I would consider replacing him. But who with? Cueto? Then drop Billy Whizz to full back?

And Joe Worsley for me was the one disappointment in the pack. I really admire Farrells vision, passing ability and offloads in the tackle - could he make an England flanker? Imagine Rees and Farrell in the pack - could it solve this issue of forwards and backs linking up?

Sorry, just sharing a few random thoughts here and no doubt many will disagree but thought I'd write them down anyway and I haven't even thought about the No.10 shirt yet! ;)

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Oh come off it. JW has not proved himself with at club level or international, so to pick him instead of Flood or Gerahty would be madness. JW's kicking from hand has been dreadful since he came back, and I have not seen any line break he has mad like Gerahty's today.

There is no way that you should pick a player based on name alone. Performance is everything and both Flood and Gerahty outstrip JW in this area.

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comment by MDS1975 (U7762485)

posted Mar 11, 2007

Today's starting 15 have earned the right to start next week, no matter who is back from injury in the coming days.

Everyone gave 100% and we looked to have more attacking options. The runners were less isolated, with both trys starting from superb breaks, but were finished by the right players being in support. We were by no means perfect but another 5 days training together will reduce the penalty and error count.

Well done lads you exceeded everyones expectations.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Also another arguement for Wilkinson is that he's continually produced world class performances. Flood and Geraghty have been around for all of 2 seconds. You can't judge a player on one game. They could flop against Wales and we'd be right back to square one.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

It's the mother of all (well, not quite) selection headaches for Wales next week though. I agree and don't think Geraghty should start. And is Flood good/experienced enough to be our WC fly-half? Maybe Flood 10, Wilko 12 against Wales...

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comment by Silk (U1717598)

posted Mar 11, 2007

It's too late for Farrrell to be an International Class flanker, and one can only wonder what might have happened if he'd been fit last year..

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comment by esthar2 (U3143339)

posted Mar 11, 2007

"why geraghty picked england over ireland makes me laugh. england are hopeless."
------------------------

Oh of course I forgot, Ireland beat France didnt they.

If you have nothing better to do but mindlessly bash England, don't even bother posting.

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comment by cairo1 (U7762560)

posted Mar 11, 2007

At the end of the day England won and despite all the rhetoric that has gone before thank heaven for that.
We know that we are a long way short of genuine World class but as a simple Englishmen i am simply happy that we have overturned the French whilst playing the type of game that does say hold on a minute England do know how to play the game.
The scoreline does not reflect our dominance over a French side who on paper has it all, we did outplay them full stop, i dont care about any one eyed view of others in particular our Celtic cousins because quite frankly no matter what we as Englishmen and English rugby supporters are up against the tide of general opinion.
But regardless we were the better side full stop we showed glimpses of the kind of form and approach we will need to simply compete with the likes of the All Blacks in particular.
But hey come on fella's hats off to the old guy Catt and the young guns like Flood. Rees. AND Geraghty they did English rugby proud today, and right now i for one will settle for that.
Will we beat the Welsh next weekend i simply cant say, but as a proud Englishmen i say little do i care for the next seven days i will enjoy the moment full stop.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

I agree Tait should be given a chance ,and there has to be room made for a footballing prop like Matt Stevens.Looking to the next world cup i think its worth trying Hartley or Paice at hooker,just not convinced with Schuter or Mears.What to do at 10 don't change a winning combination,they both played well and deserve another game .Its time to run with these youngsters for 2011

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Love it. It makes me laugh listening to the so called experts in the sport! Geraghty or Flood should be 10 next week they said, how quickly Wilkenson is forgotton. It wasnt that long ago they were hailing the saviour of english rugby!

On the rugby side, well done england we can play attractive rugby! Corry at second row wasan inspired bit of selection 4 backrowers stopped the french wide game.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

I think that no matter who is fit for the Wales match, Catt has to start. The effect he obviously has on the rest of the team is priceless, and his wonderful rugby brain really showed today, and maybe he's not all that slow after all...!

I think if Wilkinson is fit he has to start, he's still the best 10 in England and he has that winning experience that you cannot teach. I would have Flood on the bench and bring him on for the last 30. However, if there is any doubt at all about Wilkinson's fitness, Flood starts with Geraghty on the bench. I was really impressed with him, but he wont have the opportunity to do that every game, and he is prone to bad off days - a really exciting prospect though.

The same can be said for Strettle, except he looks ready now. He's been a huge 7s force for a while and with ball in hand he is electric - he should be in the starting XV for the next few years at least. Ditto for Tom Rees, a wonderfully dynamic player who will only get better.

Here's hoping England build on this and blow Wales away!

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comment by PRFCvet (U6609904)

posted Mar 11, 2007

Great result by England which no doubt some Celtic contributer will rip apart and claim how arrogant Engdland supporters are blah, blah, blah! Watched the game in the 'Shed' bar at Gloucester after an equally excellent game against Leicester. Simpson-Daniel excellent at centre and Richards was International class with his game today. The bar expolded with song after Tindall scored that great try. Well done England roll on the Wooden Spoonists!!!!

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comment by aligks (U5374061)

posted Mar 11, 2007

I think that maybe Flood should start next week, with both Geraghty and Wilko on the bench?

On a completely different note, does anyone know if Tom Rees is single ;-)

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posted Mar 11, 2007

What a massive imrovement on the last few games. Lets not get too excited - remember the press after the scotland game and we then went on to be woeful against Italy and Ireland.

Rees was tremendous and showed what all of us in the know have been aware of for a couple of seasons now - pencil him in for the 7 shirt for a few seasons....

Not sure that Easter was great - solid but nothing special - still see other contenders (Forrester, Ward-Smith)

Corry was better but still not sure he should be in Englands best XV.

All we need in my humble opinion is a decent hooker, someone who can scruammge better than Julian White and carry the ball and I still think we need a better 9 - some of the distribution today was terrible and slow.

Having said that - did not fancy us at all today so fantastic job boys and I left the ground very happy!!

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posted Mar 11, 2007

"why geraghty picked england over ireland makes me laugh. england are hopeless." Irish-Beast

I hardly think that you can say there is that great a difference between negland and Ireland after the performance of both teams this weekend.

All credit to england for that win. I've been waiting for 3 years for that performance. Fair enough the team still lacks a lot of finesse but the sheer will to win they had, the chances that they were creating gave me hope for the future. If we keep it moving forward then things will get a lot more interesting. Swing low sweet chariot....

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posted Mar 11, 2007

"It's too late for Farrrell to be an International Class flanker, and one can only wonder what might have happened if he'd been fit last year.."

If he'd been fit last year he would have been played for a game by AR and then dropped.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Finally England look to have players capeable of playing expansive rugby. True France were as bad as I've ever seen them but big plus was the chances created by the young guns under the direction of Catt.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

any chance of digging out last weeks postings, I'm sure I described Catt as the Sheringham of the England RU! It shows what a shift in attitude does. We weren't perfect, too many mistakes, but a genuine step forward.
Glad to help out the Irish in their hunt for the title, even the ungracious ones!

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comment by Gareth (U6891681)

posted Mar 11, 2007

Whilst Shane Geraghty showed a few flashes in the pan (including THAT run) people seem to be willfully ignoring the fact that his kicking from hand was absolutely dreadful. His kick to Dmitri Yachvilli prior to the Mike Tindall try was atrocious.

This is the problem with sport, the masses spot a bandwagon and then everyone is clamouring to get on it. One expects the pundits to try to rise above it but hearing Guscott and co so blithely remark that they would leave a fit Wilkinson out of the side against Wales was ridiculous. Wilkinson is a proven world class fly-half who has the proven ability to win matches at the highest level, Geraghty and Flood are promising young fly halves who played well today (although Geraghty nowhere near as well as everyone was pretending).

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Silk
What in hell do you know about club Rugby to say such things about Shane.
I'm disgusted, really disgusted.
Hello the English establishment again.
Sorry he doesn't play for Leicester, Bath, or Wasps.
Christ, England has a win, and against the only real European (apart from Ireland) contender to the ABs for the World Cup and people like Silk are ALREADY complaining.

WHEN DID YOU LAST GO TO AN ENGLISH CLUB GAME

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posted Mar 11, 2007

pundit20
to say that Rees is in the same class as Richie McCaw is the most stupid thing written on this page just ahead of your other comment about England looking good for the world cup. England beat a terrible French team by 8 points. If it was NZ, Sth Africa or Ireland that they were playing the English would of been smashed

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posted Mar 11, 2007

wow - amazing what happens when th pack performs at a decent level. Why bash Wilkinson - he's still the best English number 10 and lets' see what he can do when behind a pack worth its name. Geraghty - lots of talent but my mother could have run through the hole in the French defence today - great for England but the French were poor

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posted Mar 11, 2007

surely England is now the best team of northern H and favourite to win the WC 2007 in FRANCE and France played at their best but we defeated them

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comment by Silk (U1717598)

posted Mar 11, 2007

Staggered than anyone can say we need to replace Ellis.

The ball wasn't always that quick, but I'm not sure that was the scrum-halfs fault, and frankly I thought he had a good (not great, but good) game overall.

He's young and will improve.

Rees, Flood and Gegarty, Ellis, Strettle, Payne, Palmer will all improve over the next few years.

We aren't WC class yet, but there's plenty more to come from this england XV.

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comment by Mat (U3478364)

posted Mar 11, 2007

England did miss a kicker like JW. But, at last we seem, hopefully, to have a headache on who to choose at no 10. Its going to hard for JW to try and get that shirt back, but we know he is a hard worker. As for CH, probably impossible.

Who knows how England will do againt Wales? The Welsh have nothing at all to lose and England have everything still to play for.

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comment by Silk (U1717598)

posted Mar 11, 2007

MattBurnett - Did you read what I wrote?

I said "Gegarty isn't International Class yet"

I also said

"he scored a brilliant try" and "he's young and will improve"

None of that is criticism.

His kicking from hand *was* woeful. Every time he kicked that ball, it went staight to a French player in field.

That said, he had a great debut, because he scored a great try.

He will get better. I'm sure he's a very talented player. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Every single England player needs to improve if we want to challenge the ABs. That's not criticism, that's realism.

Ashton recognises that, and so do the players.

For me, Gegarty is behind JW and Flood in the pecking order. I don't think that's an unfair statement, nor do I think it's critcism.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

The outside halfs will get all the headlines tomorrow, but lets not forget a truly magnificent performance from the English pack. I've thought for a while that Corry lacks the intensity to impose himself on international rugby anywhere in the back row and he looked a lot more at home at lock. Also Rees and Easter gave the backs such good ball that it would have been criminal if England didn't win that match.

Bring on the Welsh!

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posted Mar 11, 2007

I understand a little of the excitement with Flood and Geraghty making a good solid impact at No.10, but Geraghty in particular, appeared to do nothing more than make one break. A break one could argue was afforded him by French apathy. He took it - who wouldn't - but other than that, I thought his kicking out of hand was dreadful.

If Jonny is fit, Jonny should start and I feel all the more comfortable with that, not I've seen he has very able back up in Toby Flood.

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comment by aupasf (U7653585)

posted Mar 11, 2007

Sure, as a Frenchman I am disappointed, but I truly enjoyed the game. Hats off to this new English team, they were good, full of spirit, commitment, and they were BOLD. Today they were the better team, no doubt about that. Yachvili had a poor game, and we played too conservatively (in a manner so "unfrench", like England of the old days?). Waiting for the young english guys to make mistakes rather than provoking them and trying to make them lose their confidence. The WC may be a little too soon, but it is great to see England with a real team again. The Irish must be on a cloud, but this year title can still go anywere. I believe we'll keep it, though.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

"why geraghty picked england over ireland makes me laugh. england are hopeless."

attitudes like that may influence decisions.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Joshua1979

Well, we'll see about Rees. I suggest that you replay the video and look at it without those Fern covered eyes.
As to the World Cup, well, regular contributers to these pages will know that I made the bet in October, as a long shot, and got good odds.
So we'll see.
At my age, I don't worry too much about claims of stupidity; for example, I would not be concerned too much about the opinion of somebody who could not see the objective value of the open-side performance put in by Rees today - world class. Ask Richie.
And Rees is 22.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Great stuff from England - not only did they show the self-belief and will to win of past, but they also played some attractive rugby. A great game to watch and good news for England.

Strettle's performance was awesome, and I feel the same excitement when he gets the ball as I did when Billy Whizz first got onto the scene.

Cover at number 10 is now looking much safer than previously: Flood was strong throughout and Geraghty showed some flair as an impact sub. Not sure of Perry as cover for Ellis, though...

Rees was outstanding; Easter did well too. Corry's much better to have in the second row.

Things are looking more promising, particularly as a lot of our best performances were from youngsters.

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comment by Clem_89 (U6749026)

posted Mar 11, 2007

congrats to England. A very poor performance from France and the english made the most of it. What a tournament this is!
As a French/Scottish person i can only praise the english for bouncing back after a crok park humiliation. They are worthy of the title of 'defending champions' this autum

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posted Mar 11, 2007

McCaw is superb around the park but is snidier than Betson in his prime. If a ref and his assistants ever watch him behind the play he could get penalised out of play. Still top notch, but not without faults. Rees has a fair bit to do, but he showed a heap of potential today.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

I dont think France wee as bad as all that to be fair, Englans ball retention was 100% better than it has been of late.It was more a case of the French suffering from lack of any ball. Backrow, far better at the breakdown, and forwards actually passing between eachother and out of the tackle. Corry had one of his best game in an England shirt i would say.
Welldone to all the youngsters, Gerahty, Flood and Strets. But it was a case of an English backrow doing its job today whilst be aided by a good tightfive preformance that at last gives me some hope.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

I agree Tait should get a run instead of Tindell, who played well enough,but today shows what pace can do.
And there has to be some room for a footballing prop like Matt Stevens .Also time to try Hartley or Paice at hooker ,not convinced with Schuter or Mears .What to do at 10 they deserve another go, JW is a god but let him have some rugby with his club(never thought i'd say that).Lewsey had an odd day ?Rees looks a proper player.Big test next week in Cardiff they'll be expected to win now,but Wales will not want to end with 0 points,have to have the same intensity and aggression plus some more.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Soooo glad to win and sooooooooooooooo glad to beat the french!
Strettle was on top of his game today and offered what a number of english wingers haven't foe a while...an appetite for the tackle!
Corry and Palmer did all the really hard, painful stuff without really being seen, just as a second rower should.
Catt, nervy to start but his enthusiasm and skill at picking the gaps showed in the end.
Rees, top class today, truly belive he would have graced any internation side today.
Flood and Geraghty were also on top form.
However, lets not get carried away.... the glass is still half empty!!
The real test will be..can we do it again next week against a welsh side with everything to lose and prepared to throw the kitchen sink, dishwasher, oven and anything else they can find at us. After that game we can realistically start to analise how good/bad/indifferent this team is.
Well done BA for having the guts to go with this side.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

A good win for England, but make no mistake that there is lots to do and that this win cannot paper over the cracks of the shambles of English rugby in terms of player welfare and the club v country row. Wales next week will be very difficult, particularly as they lost and will be desperate not to get whitewashed. Still, Rees was ace and I'd love to see Strettle play with some world class centres. Also nice to see a bit of ambition, despite the errors. Still think France will probably win the title, since I can't really see Scotland containing them for 80 minutes. If Ireland play like yesterday against Italy, they could lose and England are a bit to far behind in points difference, even if they beat Wales.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

That was pure class from a side who - let nobody forget - had five days to get it together. France were massively flattered by the score and for the nth time re-confirmed the fact that they're always - but always - an emotional lottery. Today they were pitiful and god knows where they go from here. But England are now faced with an immense problem at No. 10. Geraghty must surely be the biggest star on the horizon anywhere, but Flood looked mighty composed and we all know that on his day JW is better than Carter. Glad I don't have that problem to contend with. The Wales game will be slaughter, and it may be that England will win the championship outright, which would be nice. But the most significant and not surprising fact to emerge from this 6 Nations is that England are currently the World Champions, must now be 2 favourites for the next one, and given the historical regularity with which NZ choke, it wouldn't surprise me if we won it for the 2nd time on the bounce. Ireland? They'll get hammered if we meet them in the semis. Today you saw the REAL England who somehow emerged from the prison that that the RFU impose on them.
I fear for Wales next week. It could be the first 100 point tally in history.

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posted Mar 11, 2007

Ireland lost to france unluckily due to a last minute try. But before you go braggindg about england, could you remind what the score was when Ireland played England.

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