BBC BLOGS - Bryn Palmer

Archives for February 2011

Ashton leads way as England charge picks up pace

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Bryn Palmer | 19:20 UK time, Saturday, 12 February 2011


It was going to be tough, England players and coaches had assured us all week.

Never mind those turning up at Twickenham expecting the sort of try-fest that marked encounters between the countries in the first half-dozen years of the Six Nations.

Martin Johnson was unequivocal. Substance over style was the mantra. The number one priority was to win. Second? No serious injuries. Only then would he consider if it was a good game or not.

With a try on the board with barely two minutes on the clock and three more by half-time, the first objective was achieved by the interval. Only bumps and bruises were reported post-match.

Which left Johnson in unfamiliar territory after his effervescent troops profited royally from some hapless Italian defence and their own ambition to plunder eight tries in all, second only to the 10 they put past the Azzurri in a record 80-point thrashing in 2001.

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'Complete' lock Palmer key to new England

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Bryn Palmer | 20:19 UK time, Thursday, 10 February 2011

"There are two sides to Tom Palmer," begins James Haskell, with the mischievous air of someone who is about to reveal something he knows a team-mate will not thank him for.

"Tom has earned the nickname of 'Dexter' from the TV show," said the England flanker. "A lot of people are slightly unnerved by him. I think sometimes the silence and the quiet staring eyes can maybe be a bit intimidating."

Being compared to an anti-hero may not be what the England lock had in mind when discussing his own contribution to their opening Six Nations Championship win over Wales in Cardiff.

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