47 thoughts on “England 30 Ireland 9: Post-match Reaction

  1. Great result but not the best match to watch. Am I being a little bit picky in the way England constantly kicked the ball away even on turnover ball. We wont always have such dominance over the scrum and we could have made more of it. Poor day for Farrell but a good day for Youngs. Excellent tap penalty.

    1. Totally agree as well. The scrum was worth about 20 points, how many other teams will be that poor at scrummaging?

      1. The wallabies dont have that strong a scrum. Remember though, we still won against opposition with a fearsome scrum. We competed with France at the set piece and breakdown and their front row has a million caps.
        I thought Youngs was excellent when he came on, shifted the ball quickly, did the basics well and took his chance when it was on. Battle for the 9 shirt heating up.

  2. Wow, what a front 5 humping. Loved watching how much it meant to the English pack. Shame about the Ross injury imbalancing it as a contest. Agree with Benjit on use of the ball, but when good players can’t hold the ball on either side I think we just have to acknowledge it was a day for 10 man rugby.

  3. i agree big tom had a hard time, but where was his support, he shored up better after o’brien was replaced, and what actually happened to ross?

  4. Outstanding scrum from, England didn’y think Corbisiero had that in him.
    New dawn for England?
    Will Lancaster get the job?

    I bloody well hope so…

    1. Actually I have always thought that our front row was good and they showed with parity against France last week how good they were against the best and this week took another step forward. Cole and Corbs are young and will only get better.

      1. If they’re staging demolition jobs on the international scene like that, already. They’ll be wrecking balls come 2015, especially with “Wig” to guide them from the helm.

  5. Completely didn’t expect that kind of dominance up front today. Corbisiero was excellent, as was Cole. Not the day for attacking rugby, but that said, I would have liked to have seen a little less kicking. That Irish pack is far better than what they showed today, not quite sure how that happened. In terms of overall performance, England were ok, nothing special though. Morgan was a real plus again. There were far to many handling errors for this game to ever get going properly.

    All in all though, 4 wins out of 5 for England. I wouldn’t have believed that was possible at the start of the tournament. Lancaster has really made these guys want to work for each other. Forget about all of the things that have gone on off the field, whatever happens he has left a real mark on this England side, reminding us why Rugby is such a great team sport.

    Well done to Wales, deserved winners of the 6 nations. Really looking forward to seeing how the summer tour games go now!

  6. Great result for England and well deserved too. I dunno what happened to our scrum, but I can’t complain, we were well beaten. Sexton kicked our restarts too far I thought, there was no way we could get up there and contest possession and given how bad our scrum ball retention was overall it was almost always the wrong option.

  7. Overall poor game, even if the conditions were so so.

    The England scrum won the match so plus points for the front row, Parling is turning into a really good player, Botha played well as well.

    Morgon had his best game yet and the potential is endless.

    This team is young enough to develop into a great team but they have a long way to go, lets see what happens with the coaching situation, but it feels better to be an England supporter again, at least we have a team to be proud of now.

  8. Great finale for England. Wales seem to have some cushion as best NH team but our trajectory is striking.

    I always wondered whether Rowntree was a great coach or just less awful than the rest of Johnson’s team. Point proven, and not just today’s game. He has to stay. Which has to help SL’s chances. Honestly though I can’t see any of the advisory panel voting against SL and Ritchie will have no choice but to ratify. I just hope they do it quickly and with conviction and make it clear that they think they have the best guy for the job. And then they need to back him in securing the right coaches, starting with Rowntree. Backs coach will be the hard one.

    1. Wayne Smith has already stated he would play a supporting role to the England head coach. I think he could do a great job with the youth coming through.

  9. Not sure there was all that much to be learned for England today. As we’ve seen in the past we’re a good wet weather team. Good scrum, good line out, good goal kicker, good defense. All were present and correct today but we did nothing exceptionally well and never looked like creating anything. Every single point came from penalties/penalty tries off scrums and if I watch rugby the rest of my life I don’t think I’ll ever see a top tier rugby nation put in a more amateurish scrummaging effort than Ireland did.

    I’d be worried for Ireland. To have only beaten the two worst teams in the tournament is bad but to have a down year and not blood a single new player (DR is 28 so he doesn’t count) is scary.

    1. Pessimistic but accurate i think. Whilst i like what Farrel does well (goal kicking and D) i think he stiffles our attacking back play… he stands too deep and doesn’t pass flat in front of the man. I also don’t think his kicking from hand is great it gets made to look good by our cohesive and determined chasers. If Flood can find last 6N form then hes straight back in for me.

    2. Why can’t you just be happy with the performance of the team? Coming into this tournemant we were written off, many saying we would be battling with Italy for the wooden spoon. We beat the French in Paris for the first time in a long time, beat Scotland at Murrayfield and Ireland who tore us apart last year. All that was acheived by the most inexperienced side in the tournemant.
      Lancaster and his team should be given a medal for the determination that they have instilled in this young England side.
      The Irish didn’t play well because we destroyed their platform and as so often happens when he doesn’t have one, Sexton went to pot.

      1. Ye I am pleased with the performance and very happy with the way the 6N has gone. My comments are a bit too pessimistic its true. I think the future is looking very bright Lancaster has layed some great foundations but they are still only foundations. I think the game was very poor as a whole, I don’t think we’ll be worrying any southern hemisphere oposition yet (well maybe the aus scrum). But seeing how this is a forum for discussion i’m not just gunna post up “wuhhoooo we pounded them up front we’re awesome!!!!”. I want to be critical of some of the aspects of our play that were very poor.

        1. I’d echo Nick. I’m not trying to be negative. This years 6N has been a massive success. We have a united squad and the foundations of a good team. Front row seems in good nick, Parling and Morgan are great additions and Farrell proved he has all the tools to be great if he continues to develop.
          But reality is that if we think that this team is anywhere close to the real deal we are in for a big comedown. We are currently lacking an elite 7, scrum half and any attacking edge. Either we try to sort these and hopefully become a genuine force again or this could all slip away really quickly (remember the World Cup debacle was preceded by a Six Nations Championship). So I don’t see how it makes sense to treat coming second as the be and end all.

  10. My favourite game of the weekend was the England/Ireland under 20. Great pace and invention – on this showing we have some really good players queuing up for the senior squad.

    1. This is the biggest scandal/ mystery is that for years England have produced successful age grade sides as acknowledged by Ferris in his pre match comments, yet we fail to translate it to the senior side.

  11. Very pleased with the result. For all those moaning about how we played the game, I would suggest that you’ve got a little too used to the southern hemisphere, dry ground type rugby we’ve had for most of this six nations. Rugby gets played in wet weather too and you’ve got to adapt to the conditions. Wet, poor handling conditions generally mean a tight forward orientated kicking for territory game and that was what England succeeded in doing today. They played the conditions. Ireland failed simply because their tight five disintegrated. There will be closer games to come between the two teams. Definitely two teams going in opposite directions as to development though.

    Hope Lancaster gets the job now as he has exceeded all expectations and although he still has a little work to do with regard to attacking style, he has the team playing better than the sum of their parts which is what all the best coaches manage to do.

    1. However wet it was there was still some pretty dire play. Tuilagi knock on, Croft twice, Morgan once all unpressured simply dropping the ball. Whilst i wasn’t expecting scintilating back moves i think 4 (off the top of my head i think their was more) simple knock ons isn’t great.

      Also I don’t buy the whole “southern hemi hard pitches argument” for two reasons. 1) NZ is often wetter than here. 2) When they come up here in the Autumn they still pass the ball around well.

      Having said all that i’m happy with the way things are going but i’m still gunna be critical because thats what forums are for.

    2. Reds Vs Sharks was played in the rain yesterday, they should complain they can’t play in the rain as they have less practice, was still a decent game though. OK the handling was bad on both sides, so I’ll give benefit of the doubt to the conditions.

      A campaign with far more positives than negatives, if I had to summarise where we are at I think we are team that no one will find easy to beat, but we don’t pose enough questions in attack yet.

      Key things to work on:
      – All the best FHs I can think of offer attacking threat through kicking, passing and running. OK Farrell will never be Dan Carter, but he does need more strings to his bow. I think he will get there through application and determination though.
      – I was really suprised at how easily Ireland nullified Barritt and Tuilagi through just running up very quickly in defence and how we failed all game to get the ball to the big guy to run at the little guy. We have lots to do to become one of the top passing sides.
      – I’ve seen very little of well worked first phase play all tournamount. If the U20s can work a superb try from first phase there’s no excuses for the seniors, especially when Croft collects ball at the back like he could catch flys with chopsticks. This is a facet of he game where coaching innovation and creativity makes a difference, so our inability to do much here does worry me.
      – Only back 3 try in the 5 games came from counter attack, we’ve regressed since last years tournamount in our ability to get our strike runners involved in the game.

      Whilst all the best sides are built on perspiration they are sprinkled with inspiration. We aren’t going to get much better through perspiration alone (hopefully can get as fit and strong as the Welsh) but I don’t see our performances are going to become any more committed than we’ve seen and we’ve also set very high standards defensively. We are back to being a good side, but I’m not sure yet if the foundations are the in playing and coaching teams for us to become a great one.

      1. Good analysis Matt I think you’ve summed England up very well.

        Regarding Farrell. I see the game management type of play and goal kicking as something players can learn but the ability to get back line moving seems like something you either have or you don’t. I haven’t seen anything from Farrell to suggest he’ll ever be a good attacking fly half.

        I’m hoping we’ll sign Wayne Smith to sort out the inventive structures/play. judging by sarries I don’t think Farrell snr is a great backs coach.

  12. Quite a difficult game I thought, the first half proving disappointing with England looking frail under the high ball, but the second half demolition of the Irish scrum was very impressive. The scoreline flatters a bit perhaps, but England deserved to win. Well done guys and well done the referee who officiated in a very even handed manner.

  13. I’m probably being very unfair in my next comment but did anyone notice that the first scrum after stevens came on resulted in an irish free kick? Maybe it wasnt his fault but he has had a terrible tournament and needs to be replaced.

    1. Ye hopefully Marler can get some real consistency with his scrum and take the bench spot. Or Doran Jones every time i see him play for Northampton hes awesome surprised he wasn’t in this 6N. I think the logic for picking Stevens is he covers both sides but judging by this 6N he covers neither.

    2. I noticed that as well! It was Mears first scrum also though. If we learnt anything from yesterday though it is the importance of having tighthead cover on the bench! I know Corbs has played tighthead for Irish before, no idea how he would fare as international cover though. Hopefully Marler can get some starts on the summer tour.

  14. well done england best team won. Am getting very worried about ireland and declan kidney since 09 we have gone backwards apart from beating eng last year and aus in wc we have done nothing, why is it every other team can bring in young players but we cant donnacha ryan wouldnt of got a start only o connell was injured and as for picking o leary who is clearly finished as an international scrum half is a joke.New Zealand will destroy us in the summer and there is a real danger we will drop out of the top 8.

  15. History will record that England won the game by a considerable margin and, in so doing, secured second place in the Six Nations’ Championship. Now that is certainly something I would never have predicted in the immediate aftermath of the last World Cup!

    The conditions were not conducive to open, running rugby and, the fact that so many players (on both sides) made handling errors is a clear indication of how slippery the ball was. However, England was the better team by far although it is nowhere near the finished product. Some of the new players will go on to greater things while a few may have already reached their personal zenith……Dickson and Strettle come to mind in the latter category. Under Lancaster, we have undoubtedly moved forward and started to play some decent rugby. This is a change that was long overdue – RFU please take note.

    1. Disagree entirely with your point about players having reached their personal zeniths re Dickson and Strettle. Strettle has real gas and a good ability to finish, and if he can strengthen his defense and work out how not to get turned in the tackle, he should be an international winger for a good while.

      As for Dickson, one bad performance doesn’t make him a bad scrum half. Having been at the game, I think that any scrum half would have struggled in those first-half conditions, with a ball resembling a bar of soap. He’ll want to get over that performance pretty quickly, but even when Ben Youngs is on top form, Dickson’s service is far superior. I have noticed how often Toby Flood has to jump to catch a ball passed to him by Youngs, or stop dead to receive it.

      I am encouraged to see BY picking up form again with his lovely try but he’s still lacking in the scrum half basics of controlling the tempo of the game through quality of service.

      1. I am afraid that I must disagree with your comments about Dickson, his performance yesterday was a follow on to an unconvincing second half against France and creates too many oppoertunities for the opposition to feed off.

      2. I think Ben Youngs has the potential to be genuinley world class. He showed this in the 2 Aus victories in which he was the heartbeat of the team’s attack also throughout the last 6N.

        However his form dropped off before the world cup had a bad RWC and start of the 6N so Dickson deserved his shot as he was playing well for Northampton and played very well.

        However again i can’t ever see Dickson being a GREAT talent. Good international standard yes but i cant ever see him reaching the peaks that Youngs did in those 2 tests.

        I think dropping Youngs could have done wonders for him to bring him back down to earth. Hopefully he will keep his feet on the ground because he has the most talent in my opinion.

  16. Agreed that it was a flattering scoreline and even the most one eyed englishman would find it hard to put more english players in a lions team than Irish at the moment, but it was another step in the right direction.

    If Lancaster stays (and I hope he does) he does need an experienced attack coach though as we really haven’t done much with the ball, given the possession. However one step at a time – making a shambles on and off the pitch hard to beat was the first step. Making them winners albeit in limited circumstances was the next. I’m sure that Lancaster knows he needs more from this team going forward.

  17. Full credit to England they demolished the Irish scrum, always knew we would be in trouble if anything happened to Ross.
    The rest of the pack did little to help Court he is not a tight head and was in trouble from the off, IRFU need to put some time into Hagen to help him develop
    before next season.
    Need to blood some of the younger guys in NZ this summer we can recover
    maybe we needed to be reminded of how fragile we are in the front row

  18. A great game for England, and one which I hope means that Lancaster will stay. With regards to Andy Farrell, he is a great motivator, and good basic skills coach, but he is not an attack coach. He has helped Lancaster get the basics back in to the England game (something which was severely lacking in the RWC). England definitely need an experienced attack coach to take them forward.

  19. Ben youngs is world class. If he hits his form of course. Saturdays game was the first time in a long time I’ve seen him just get the ball away. From doing that he got his chance to score which he took. Coming from a SH, I must disagree and say that youngs is a superior player to Dickson. Dickson however, does the basics extremely well and I would haul youngs off and get dickson on after half an hour in any game if he wasn’t playing up to scratch.

  20. The comments re Dickson and Youngs are interesting, if you look back at the past 20 years and when Englnad have been at their best they have had a two or three good scrum halfs vying for the position and oushing each other to improve their game. So if nothing else these two can push each other forward then it can be no bad thing?

  21. On the 9 issue if care sorts his life out he is the best option! but ENG have options which is great. Interesting ireland has talent but doesn’t pick it! murray is slow and big not a scrum half to play our style we arn’t massive we need to play at tempo! reddan is our best choice still, with marshal as the back up then murray. promising 9 in under 20’s front row hagan is scrummaging well at leinster possibly better than ross! hes 24 same age as healy definately needs faith put in him! dan touhy i have said it before is our best lock option along with paul o’connel as with ryan POC has to go tight head which weakens are scrum Touhy is a strong abrasive lock who would be the opposite of POC which I think you need. my final point is darcy and trimble did nothing all tournament bod is back this week want an irish back line of Reddan Sexton Earls BOD Bowe Fitz Kearny with Marshal, Keatley and Dave Kearny on the bench, gives tonnes of replacement options in the backs.

    1. Ireland’s’ problem is not with backs. We have more than enough quality backs. It’s forwards.

      1. Whilst I agree with Kidney’s comments on number of foreign props playing for provinces, do you think Kidney has:
        – Picked the best team from players avaiable?
        – Got the best out of the players picked?

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