England v New Zealand: Rate the Match

Chris Ashton

What did you think of the game today? Give the match a rating out of ten, and you can share your thoughts in the comments below, discussing the match with fellow fans.

Who played well? what were the main talking points?

What needs working on ahead of the next two matches?

England v New Zealand: Rate the Match

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94 thoughts on “England v New Zealand: Rate the Match

  1. A great test match. Retallick the difference between the sides – what a performance from him in the lineout.
    Frustrating though – felt we could have won that. Interesting to see our attack go up a gear with Ford on. I wonder if that should have happened sooner?




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    1. Henhog, Barrett’s kicking his goals & that pass to McKenzie, deluge dictating aerial tactics, also factors. TMO another, as per last week. Never 1 thing, although George’s throwing & Retrllick’s steals certainly contributed. Unsure if Twick currey house or virus were factors this time round though.




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      1. Sure – loads of things contributed to the result. But I’d say the teams were very evenly matched in every department except the line out where Retallick reigned supreme (I don’t think George was as bad as people are saying – these were genuine steals)




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        1. Hendog, indeed, but wonder if Hartley would have missed so many? Teams may have been evenly matched, however England were nilled after they scored their 15.




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          1. A fair question Don but watching it through again it is hard to criticise George´s throwing in. He was neither short nor too long, But Retallick was timing his jump superbly and getting a hand in in front of Itoje. I thought the game changer in this area was due to good thinking by the NZ management who brought on the very tall Scott Barrett, thus giving them three tall jumpers and cutting back substantially on England´s options. I think Kruis, who calls the lineout ran out of ideas at this point and kept backing a losing horse.




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            1. AL, the hooker usually gets blamed. Dunno if it’s fair. 1 throw almost went to the other touch line though. Did line outs go to Barrett? Recall Retellick. As I mentioned elsewhere, the captain especially, should have changed the calls.




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  2. 1st 35 minutes were best we have seen for a long time.A totally different team to the one of the last 12 months.Confidence and trust restored .We deserved at least a draw.We have hope for a very good performance in rwc.My prediction was utterly wrong




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  3. So frustrated! We more than matched them and threw it away with poor decisions and a ridiculous call from the adjudicators.
    I’ll swallow a large slice of humble pie and doff my cap to Shields. he was excellent, as were Wilson and Underhill.
    Sinckler not convincing and his hot head came back to haunt him.
    Some things to work on but a lot of encouraging signs too.




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    1. Acee, as mentioned to Hendog, England were scoreless once NZ came back before 1/2 time. Must have therefore been shaded? Also why were the adjudicators ridiculous? Lawes’ front foot was in front of the last English foot & therefore offside. Not by a lot, but it was still offside. Unlucky perhaps, but then so were NZ when Savea butchered a cert.




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      1. Agreed with you last week but not this time Don. It only took the SA TMO a week to get their national own back for Farrell dodging the bullet last week. I have watched this at least a dozen times and seen the stills sequence that was in the Sunday Times. At the point that Peranara lifted the ball Lawes was almost certainly onside. Even if I agreed with you that it was marginal, (which I don´t) the TMO went well beyond his remit in bringing it to the ref´s attention as he is supposed only to do so in the case of a clear and obvious offence that the ref may not have seen. The only mitigating factor may have been that he was suffering from shock that someone had actually come from an onside position, since Garces had allowed both teams almost unlimited licence on the offside line all afternoon. Having said that, I thought that although it was a much improved performance by England they still won only 38 per cent possession, made a lot less yards with ball in hand and got cleaned out at the lineout. New Zealand played a pragmatic game that suited the conditions and made the right decisions about kicking for goal at crucial times. On that basis they deserved to win. Individually I thought Shields played better than last week but would still rather have Lawes at six in the sort of form he is in. Underhill showed that he has more power and bite than Curry and should be given a run for several games, and I would still like to see Morgan given a run at 8 against Japan. Kruis was fairly anonymous and does not carry strongly enough into contact in my view. I hope Launchbury is fit again soon. Youngs actually showed signs of getting back to the sort of form he was in about three years ago, and Farrell was steady enough at 10, although I would have him at 12 and bring Cips in. I remain unconvinced by Slade and thought Teó looked much more up to speed this week. Daley is NOT a full back and needs to be given a run at 13 before it is too late, though having said that I am not convinced he is as good as a lot of people think he is. For me the standout contribution came from John Mitchell who actually appears to have instilled some bite and organisation into the England defence again. It will be interesting to see who gets a game against Japan next week, but this was a long way from being NZ or England at their best.




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        1. AL, can only reiterate my comments to Acee, above, re the Lawes offside. The TMO must have had ‘good reason’ to call it & better angles via technology than us to judge it from. To state that his decision was ‘payback’ based seems almost as wayward as England’s 2nd 1/2 throwing? However, as per Panlito last week with Farrell’s illegal tackle, we can all sometimes seek evidence to suit our views & this can be intransigent or hard to shift? Agree to differ I suppose.




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        2. Andy L, despite not being entirely convinced about yr efforts regarding the Lawes off side, I’ve, for what it’s worth, given you a belated ‘thumbs up’ for yr effort & balance in the body of yr post. So there!




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  4. Dear Sky Sports

    Is there anyone else you can wheel out beside Stuart Barnes?

    Sincerely

    Everyone.

    P.s. Fantastic test. Classic grind.




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  5. Well done NZ, they just seem to know how to win!

    Off side call against Lawes. We were lucky last week. Karma came around and evened it up this week. Thought NZ were just the better team to be fair. Looked more dangerous with ball in hand than we did.

    Good game of rugby in testing conditions. Might have to start considering an apology to EJ, but I think that I’ll wait for a couple of weeks before deciding whether to or not.




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    1. Staggy, you are more magnanous than I might have been if the scoreline had been revrsed. Especially with an anticipated subsequent torrent of excrement coming down on my head. Anyway, decent comment all the same. Well done.




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  6. Thank god for the rain and the errors as a result. The way the all blacks can get over the gain line with their handling and physicality is second to none. Over the moon with that performance, properly enjoyable game. Think we have to be realistic and say that new Zealand are still some way ahead of the rest, fascinating to see how they go in Dublin.




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  7. Damn. So close
    Poor Sam Underhill. His turning Barrett inside out would have gone down in legend had the try been given
    Would like to see the replay. Lawes looked onside on the big screens but it wasn’t easy to tell.
    Still, the game was there to be won and I think there was some sloppy thinking at the end.
    Fantastic performance from the England back row though, in particular Underhill. Would anyone else like to see him at 6 with Curry at 7?
    Think George must have caught something off Marx last week.
    And on that note, is Retallick the world’s best player at the moment?




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    1. Re Underhill, I can see why playing him and curry in tandem seems appealing. i was really pleased to see him do a bit of carrying today and he has got decent pace by the look of it. With Billy at 8 we might lack an extra jumper at line out time but Having said that , Hooper is only five foot eleven and the Wallabies seem to cope having him and Pocock together.




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    2. Did we make Retallick look even better than he is though? George had a shocker. he looked spooked and kept trying to hit itoje all the time.
      Why did no one call for a short throw to the front of the line out? It’s this lack of thinking ability that really bugs me about the current set of players. Same with the Farrell decision to go for a drive when 3 points would have just kept the AB’s at arms length. If your are going to be captain you have to smart enough for the role.




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      1. Surely EJ & coaching team will have discussed such scenarios as the drive v pen beforehand though Acee? If they had & Farrell fluffed it, then is he really the team’s ‘spiritual leader’? Of course as England had scored earlier from the drive, maybe he wasn’t necessarily wrong?




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        1. Hey, I’m not dissing Him and maybe i’m talking cobblers . Surely it would have been worth a shot to try something different though? You know what they say about the definition of madness………..




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            1. ABs did their homework. Eng seem to default to throwing to Maro in the last 20, Retallick read it well though!

              Also they did use a short ball at the front, much earlier in the match, so a bit less effective.




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    3. Pablito, I think that unfortunately it probably was the correct call. Lawes was onside and then the Kiwi players in the ruck advanced by a foot or two putting him offside just. So technically correct but would it have been called offside at any other point in the game – no, so from that point of view an inconsistency and probably a bit unlucky to be pinged for it. However as I said above, we got the rub of the green last week so we can’t complain.




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        1. Pablito, I’m not a ref, but I thought that it was the hind most foot. Doesn’t say which teams player I thought. In this case the kiwis front foot would be the rear most foot on our side. Like I said though, it was a harsh call, not usually picked up. Bit like crooked feeds, etc, etc.




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          1. Pretty sure the it’s your own player that’s relevant, otherwise Lawes would have been a mile offside, as you state. So in the end it was a very close judgement call by the TMO. But shame it had to go there in the first place!




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            1. If you look it up online under World Rugby it states that the offside line at a ruck is judged by the hind most player of your own team




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              1. Having now looked it up, I think that it says the ruck participants hindmost foot, but that doesn’t cover when the attacking team have advanced past the last defending player. Personally I think that in this instance, it must be the front foot of the attacking player furthest forward in the ruck Otherwise the offside line would be in the middle of the ruck somewhere and I don’t think that that is correct.

                Any referees out there want to help us out?




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                1. No need for refs, it’s clear. Go to laws dot worldrugby dot org (sorry but links seem to disappear on this site). Look at 15.4. There is a handy picture to explain and the following text
                  ‘At a ruck or maul, the offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the player of the same team’
                  Another point of interest is that it clearly states foot rather than any other part of the body




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            2. It shouldn´t have gone there Hendog. Garces did not refer it and the TMO exceeded his remit by interfering when there was no “clear offence”. Lawes was behind the rear foot of his own ruck when Peranara lifted the ball.




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      1. Correct Staggy. If the offside was technically offside, then it was, er, offside. Yr convoluted explanation outPablitos Pablito with his shoulder charge excuses. Blimey!




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        1. Don, I disagree with your long, convoluted and repeated, many times over, comments about the tackle last week. My opinion was that it was just fair, but could have been called either way. This week, my opinion was that it was just offside but really really harsh to have been called, so in that respect NZ were lucky.




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          1. Staggy, an unconvoluted, I know you disagreed last week. Presumably though, if NZ were lucky this week, then so were England last week?




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    4. What price Shields though pablito? Seemed to put in a decent shift @ 6?So, Hartley back for the errant Boy George? Retellick sends his regards, as does the TMO.




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      1. Thought Shields was pretty good Don. Not as good as Underhill and I still think Ewers or Armand would be a better choice, but he had a good game – as I thought he did last week as well.
        Apparently Hartley was injured so I hope he’s back for the next game but if not George needs to work on his throwing solidly for a week – and whoever calles the lineout needs some practice as well.
        Retallick was brilliant in the second half – I think that it’s no coincidence that a number of Kiwi losses have come when he’s not playing.
        Crotty was also superb and made a big difference once SBW had gone off




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        1. Pablito, well Jones could/should have @ least rotated Ewers, Armand. Rather than find himself forced to field a novice back row, with forethought, he could have had all these guys blooded already. Hookers tend to get the blame, not the jumpers. I think Retellick got the motm award, yet SJ of the S Times gave this accolade to Itoje. IMO perhaps too few games lost by NZ without Retellick to deem this a trend? Better eyes than me. Didn’t notice Crotty as superb?




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  8. One 50:50 call goes your way, the other doesn’t. That said, Underhill’s inside out was a joy to watch. Great test match. The conditions certainly helped us but our defence forced NZ to kick away a lot more often than I think they normally would have. Don’t get me wrong, the moments where NZ started to click terrified me, but we definitely put in a shift defensively that altered their usual way of play




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    1. Jay, if a team rushes up in defence, then an obvious counter is to chip over it. Besides, I’ve been told here before that NZ kick as much as anyone anyway.




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      1. Yes of course, but i’m referring to the times where multiple phases saw no gainline breaks, or a loss in territory. That’s where ‘IMO’ it felt like NZ kicked more than normal because they weren’t finding as many gaps, or kicked less effectively than they normally do. Categorically no need for you to be patronising.




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  9. Another wrestle. Near run thing. Nice try, but done by the TMO in the end. Ironic. Stated that I thought it would be closer than some, but not that close. Jones picks were some he could have made 2 years or so back, rather than through the necessity of injuries. Those whom clamoured so vociferously for George though, may have now regretted it. Made Marx look good. Threw like Harpo. Made Retallick look good too. Well, I did tell you so. Ltd England game plan. Kick it. Chase it. Rush defence. In the wet, it was almost effective. Out tried NZ 2 to 1. Got out of the traps quick. NZ struggled for 1st 1/2 possession, but came back before 1/2 time. Got some parity in the 2nd 1/2. The maligned Barrett’s goal kicking stood up, as did his ‘arrogant’ drop. Got NZ home, after a couple of close calls, in the end. Still, game will give England some belief after a narrow win & a loss to the SH. However, it was just 1 game, England were @ home & it was tipping it down. Need to consolidate & not drop off like 2012. May need Farrell to game manage better for a late drop kick. Ran too far W&E away from the posts. Also, should he have gone for the line out instead of the pen? If England had scored another try though, I & others wouldn’t be asking this ?




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    1. I couldn’t understand why England carried on through the phases after making it bang in front of the posts, on the NZ 22?! Farrell seemed to be back on the pocket so not sure whether it was a comms error or they felt they needed more space. Either way, criminal for Lawes to try and offload, similar to Shields in the first test the offload negated a lot of the good work he did in the game. He also managed 8 tackles in his first, short appearance as injury cover… Mental.
      A good test match for both sets of fans a d the neutral though, England came out the blocks fast but NZ were always going to come back.




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    2. Congratulations to NZ. They deserved to win and a win it was. Retallick and Beauden Barrett the difference for me (best line out jumper and best fly-half still in the world)
      From a purely England perspective they went ef*ing close and in the first half (only the 1st, not the second) made NZ look mortal!
      Eddie’s phase 2 seems to be going ok – a 7 out of 10! Will wait to see how the rest of the Ai’s go before counting any chickens but the England squad should take nothing but positives from this.
      A final sincere congratulations to NZ – Class!




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      1. AlexD, what phase 2? Injuries have enforced new selections & how can Englsnd take a positive from being nilled after c. 1/2 an hour? Right about counting chickens though.




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    1. Staggy, no need to so defensive. It was a particularly from a bunch of Irish fans as it happens, whom I incidentally came across on some site. Reckoned it was ‘arrogant’ of NZ mot have gone for the drop v SA when in a similar position to England yesterday. That’s all.




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      1. Don, for what it’s worth, I most certainly didn’t think that it was arrogant to go for the drop goal. there was a penalty advantage so it was having a free shot at the three. Absolute sense. Another example of clear NZ thinking under pressure.

        I think that it probably unfair for you to throw out the “we’ve been accused of arrogance tag” on this forum when no one had said anything remotely along those lines. Haven’t read all of the comments but every one that I have read has been pretty much full of praise for the AB’s game yesterday.




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  10. 2 great points from Eddie.We won the last 20
    which is normally when NZ run away with it.Also NZ been together for 3 months us 3 weeks.
    He refused to criticise ref or players choices.
    He has gone through a bad patch but now come good so I’m sorry Eddie I lost faith.Lastly Mitchell is having quite an effect and Shields was effective against his mates and silenced my doubts.
    Well done to the whole squad!




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    1. Harlequin, it could also be argued that NZ’s defence held out, especially in the last 20. That EJ mentioned NZ have been together for 3 months (Did he? Have they?) & England 3 weeks, seems a bit like an excuse as well. Didn’t come up when his team won 18 on the bounce & in any event, unfortunately, it is what is in rugby. Jones didn’t criticise last week either, so difficult to do so yesterday. As to whether Eddie has come ‘good’ after 1 narrow win & 1loss, may be a mite premature. Promising sure & England will likely win their remaining 2 games @ home, but your ‘apology’ may be a tad early.




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      1. In my view and the view of many that was a different team to the one that was so poor in 6N and tour to SA.NZ is an experienced settled side and world champions and to lose by 1point when we scored 3 tries(ok 1 disallowed)to one is remarkable.Yes it’s only one game and yes we need to be Oz.Jones lost it for a time but possibly due to influence of Mitchell he is back on course.




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        1. Harlequin. Only time’ll tell about Jones. If NZ had lost 6 on a row though, ?’s would have been asked & heads likely have rolled. IMO, that England have won 1 & lost 1 @ home doesn’t mean Eddie is back on track.. yet. I think you read too much , too soon into these results. If NZ are experienced, it’s because of their also blooding players, e.g. Ioane, Goodhue, Mckenzie, Barrett bros & rotating them so that they cover injuries, unlike Jones who had a novice back 3 due his lack of foresight. His omissions are also bizarre & leave England exposed. Also, it must be of some concern to you that England were nilled for c. 50. That’s not to state that they haven’t performed well. However, it’ll be neutral ground in Japan, so England will need consolidate in the 6N, home & away, before a more informed judgement can be made for me. Or maybe 2 swallows do make a summer. We’ll see.




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    2. “We ‘won’ the last 20….(EJ)” You do not ‘win’ 20 minutes of a test match. The result is on the scoreboard; suck it up.




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      1. Hey, don’t put EJ’s bloomin spin on the rest of us. We know we lost.

        However to be fair, I think that he was pointing out that NZ normally run away with the game in the last 20 and they didn’t against England, so that is at least a positive to us England supporters.

        Good to see that Wales got the Aussie monkey off their back. (And I’m not talking about Folou!!!)




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        1. Not if you sing in a choir standing in a line of four Welshmen it wasn´t Staggy! It was a terrible game made worse by Wales winning it!




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  11. The weather conditions makes it hard to judge Englands performance though they competed fiercely throughout.The forwards were fine-my one reservation being the inability to solve the second half line out problems.
    In the backs we will probably have to suspend judgement until after the Australia match but there are two areas of concern:-
    1 the Midfield (10,12,13) selection is incapable of raising the pace of the game-Defensively it is fine but offensively to make best of the talents of the back 3 we have to become less risk averse-It is noticeable that England play quicker with Ford on the field.With modern defences being so good this puts a premium on good decision making in the split seconds available. Both Ford and Cipriani being naturals make these decisions slightly quicker than Farrell.Fine player though Farrell is im sure he had a lot of advice from Charlie Hodgson in his younger days.Charlie could advise on what to do in any number of situations ,he couldn’t advise him on WHEN to do it.
    2 Full Back Eliot is too fine a player to leave out but im becoming of the opinion that he should be at 13 or on the wing-This situation wont be resolved until Watson is fit to play but he has 2 consierable advantages,he is commanding under the high ball and possesses blistering pace that only May can match.

    As for the controversial incident if any blame is to be given it should be levelled at Garces-He had a good view and saw no reason to disallow the try,it was only disallowed by the interference of the TMO.What happened yesterday seems to run contrary to Rule 6(I Think) which states that “The referee is the sole judge of fact and time”.It is not for the TMO to adjudicate Until asked to do so !.Garces was weak he is a better referee than that.




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    1. JS – by the same token, as a Glaws supporter, I was rather glad of the TMO’s intervention on Friday night, pointing out that the ref should probably relook at the try that he had just disallowed. So I find myself in a quandary on this one.




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    2. JS10. Was Lawes offside? That’s the only ? Anything else is subjective opinion. Garces did make the final decision. HE decided to take a 2nd opinion. Presumably as it was a close call. Just because the call didn’t go yr way, it doesn’t make the ref weak.




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      1. You miss my point.It seemed to those watching with me that Garces was perfectly happy that a try had been scored but only disallowed after the TMO interfered without being asked.If he had doubts he should have asked the TMO.It may seem pedantic but it is important, Referees such as Owens and Barnes only refer decisions to the TMO if they have doubts-they do not tolerate interference from TMO”s




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        1. We have benefited from similar situations in the past. Its all swings and roundabouts.
          Obviously it is hard to go so close to something and be denied by a 50:50 decision but that’s life




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            1. I don’t mind calls for consistency but too many people using a bit of Ref bashing as an excuse for losing when we had ample opportunity to win the game without relying on marginal calls had we taken the pen or drop goal opportunities.
              I do however feel for Underhill who missed out on scoring an epic try




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        2. JS10, if you change the subjective word, ‘interference’, to information, it surely gives this situation a different, more objective slant. Its it illegal for a reg to decide to take a TMO’s advice. Presumably in the interests of attempting to get a decision right? Unlike Barnes in 07 perhaps?




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  12. England were undone by their own inability to press home any momentum (after 30mins). As an England fan it is frustrating if it happens once or twice, for it to happen several times and for largely the same reasons (failing lineout and handling errors) was soul destroying. Retallick had a massive role in this and I will now no longer buy the Sunday Times if Stephen Jones is being serious about awarding him a 6/10 and Itoje a 9/10!

    Re the ‘try’ my initial view was the Lawes looked offside but several pundits (no less than the kiwi lover Stuart Barnes) are adamant that he wasn’t. If the offside line is behind the tackled England player and not the foot of the foremost Kiwi player rucking through, then I can see their point bit it remains very marginal.

    It doesn’t help anyone’s cause whinging about refereeing decisions – that is the realm of Kiwi fans. Perhaps that is why they get the rub of the green so often…

    Positives – the way our front row has held up, Underhill and for the first time in a long time, our discipline!

    Negatives – the aforementioned inaccuracy at crucial times and for me Daly at 15 doesn’t seem to be working (I’d be keen to see Nowell there against Japan)

    On a final note, if Cipriani had thrown that pass to Ashton we’d be talking about rare genius and maverick brilliance. I think Youngs needs some credit.




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    1. SJ, agree about ST’s S Jones, but his job is to sell column inches not about rugby objectivity. Also known as attention seeking I believe. Lawes was either offside, or he wasn’t. Because Barnes opined that he wasn’t offside, hardly makes him a Kiwi lover. You seem to have a bit of a chip with yr jaundiced Kiwi fans jibe & opinion about NZ getting the rub (who, what, where, when & why?). Pity, as some of yr other stuff made some sense to me.




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      1. Ref the Sunday Times article we reasoned among friends yesterday that Stephen Jones was responding to the Kiwi press (NZ Herald I believe) giving Itoje a very low rating in the second Lions game. Either way our conclusion was it was petty and not objective – if I wanted to buy a tabloid I know where to find them.

        Re the offside – as stated, I believe it was offside. My comment never said that Barnes loves Kiwis because he opined for offside Don, anyone who listens to his commentary will know that his admiration for the Kiwis regularly slips over into unhinged infatuation. His reasoning and that of Jonathan Kaplin in The Telegraph that the offside line was where George Ford lay and not the Kiwi rucker who had gone through the ball meant that it was marginal – and to be honest I haven’t watched it again, I was merely bringing that point to this forum. Ref my opinion, it remains – Lawes looked offside to me.

        Whinging / Excusing – Wayne Barnes 2007, John Timus disallowed try 1993, RWC final 1995. Food poisoning 2012. Lions 3rd test final call 2017.

        Why, you ask? I’m not sure but I’d hazard it’s because losing hurts… no less for Kiwi fans than for any other nation incidentally but for the invective and distasteful slandering of characters (particularly in the case of Wayne Barnes) , these live long in the memory and perhaps distorts how frequently it actually happens.




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  13. A good game – but in all honesty, I haven’t seen the ABs play so badly for years. I think England may take a little of the credit for that, but it’s more that even the best sides have bad days, and you just have to pray that one will come when you’re up against them!
    Any unbiased observer will have seen two teams miles apart in terms of real ability; but full marks to England, they really tried hard, and, unlike in South Africa, managed to sustain their effort beyond the first quarter. obviously no question about the veracity of the Lawes off-side – why do people grasp at these flimsy straws? – but a really enjoyable game.




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  14. So a view on the offside/disallowed try.

    Firstly, the records show that it wasn’t a try so I accept that. If this was the semi-final of the world cup (or similar) I would be somewhat annoyed, but it wasn’t, so I don’t care too much.

    I think there is a wider issue here though. I was at the game, East Stand, quite central, so we could see that both sides spent the whole game around a foot or two offside at the breakdowns. A couple of times England were pinged for it but at those times they did seem to have gone even further offside.

    So, as we ask, and as we expect of the ref, he had created, and implemented his interpretation of the offside line, and he was consistent.

    I haven’t seen the replay other than that which was shown in the stadium, and that was not clear at all, but assuming that it was technically offside, it makes the decision correct BUT becomes inconsistent, which is what is always demanded of the decision making.

    Additionally, the ref was right there, looking at Lawes and the breakdown. He wasn’t blind-sided at all. With the established tempo for the game he saw it as wholly legal.

    For comparison with last weeks “Farrell Tackle” I would add that there had been similar, and in some cases, worse high tackles during the game that had gone unpunished, so whatever one thinks of Farrell’s late intervention, it was consistent.




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  15. Th ecomments re tackling do not add up in relation to Cipriani. He was often one of the top two tacklers for Wasps last year. He has worked very hard on his defence in recent years. Targeted it himself as a weakness in his game.




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  16. The comments re tackling do not add up in relation to Cipriani. He was often one of the top two tacklers for Wasps last year. He has worked very hard on his defence in recent years. Targeted it himself as a weakness in his game.




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