Australia v England: The Aftermath

England played Australia this morning in Perth, and here is your opportunity to vent your frustration, share your joy or just have a rant about England’s performance.

We’ll bring you our usual opinions, player ratings and debriefing, but let us know what you thought of the game on this thread.

Who stood out? Was there a gameplan? Did England play with width? Was there any quick ball? Have your say here…

4 thoughts on “Australia v England: The Aftermath

  1. What on earth was that?

    I fail to see the point in picking a squad with such pace and flair in the back three, then using them to simply boot back possession.

    Ben Foden, on his day with the attacking support he needs, can match James O’ Connor easily. Chris Ashton is a rising star, and showed his class in the few moments he touched the ball, and Cueto is a world class back three player. So then why did they insist upon hoofing the ball back? Have we reverted to the post-2003 sickness again? The difference between O’ Connor and Foden was the gameplan they had been brought in to enforce, and the former clearly reaped the rewards.

    Toby Flood always gains some kind of label as a more attacking alternative to Jonny, but whenever he makes the starting squad in these big matches he can never release the men outside him! On several occasions, he had the opportunity to unleash Tindall or Foden and instead opted for the up and under. Why? Martin Johnson can take all the right moves in selection by picking Foden, Hape (who had a lacklustre match to say the least) and Flood but if he doesnt allow them to play the way they can, he might as well have picked 15 forwards.

    A thoroughly forgettable match when we failed to cross the try-line. England dominated in the scrum and translated into two penalty tries, but had they played a game where the focus was not so blatantly on the forwards, then the sniffs at the line may have translated into points. Martin Johnson has to pick a lane, and all fans would prefer he actually vindicated his selection with his gameplan.

  2. How can a team so dominant in the scrum lose the game? This was one of the most frustrating England displays for some time, and that is saying something.

    As someone said yesterday, England make rugby look like the hardest game in the world to play. Australia make it look so easy – they run at pace, pass, offload, run, score.

    England get within 10 metres of the line, take a minute to decide what to do and then pass to a static forward who tries to bosh through 3 defenders. It’s infuriating and embarrassing.

    I think England’s lack of ambition was displayed nicely when Foden took a mark without an Australian player anywhere near him. For Northampton he would have run it back without hesitating.

    Ben Youngs looked much sharper than the awful Care and must surely start next week. Selection for Tuesday’s second string match should be interesting as it will inform Saturday’s team again…I wonder if Care and Hape will be in that midweek squad?!

  3. My reading of the game was very similar to yours Hutch. I thought generally our attacking play was better than much of the 6N, but it all went wrong in that last 10 metres before the line. Just too cautious and reliant upon the “pod system” of 3 or 4 forwards grouping together and only ever making one pass before going in to contact again. We just leaves ourselves way too predictable for opponents I’m afraid.

    Totally agree about Youngs vs Care too, and hopefully getting Youngs in would fix some of the above and help get the backline moving. On paper it’s a good backline and there is some logic in playing two bulky centres to play close to the gain line and open it up for an exciting back 3, but it didn’t really work out that way did it?

    I thought the defence was the worst part of our game though. Lots of missed tackles and just no shape to it at all. I still don’t know what type of defence we think we’re trying to play and it doesn’t feel like the players know either. Elsom’s try in particular was crap defence, but I thought they were all avoidable.

    I thought both penalty tries were warranted, but we can’t rely on every ref giving us two of those a game, and we have to find other ways of scoring and play the same way in the last 10 metres as we do on the rest of the pitch.

  4. Wow, that English scrum is something special. It made for some very embarrassing moments for a Wallaby supporter like me.
    However, I didn’t think there was anything special how the pack played outside of scrum time. Your line-out’s were mediocre and i cant remember a single turnover.
    With TPN back in Hooker for the Wallabies hopefully they can bring a little more stability to the scrum in Sydney (Ill settle for one penalty try). What he will definitely bring is some serious muscle to Australian defence with some of his famous leg-breaking tackles. Check him out in action here:

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