England’s worst ever Home defeat

Having thought that English rugby could not get much worse, South Africa made sure it did on Saturday with a 42-6 win at Twickenham.

It was a very traumatic afternoon, when the team with around 60% of possession scored just 6 points and conceded 42. The World Champions were outstanding and physical, playing the game at a ferocious pace, whilst England were lumbering, ponderous and naive.

So where did it all go wrong? Danny Cipriani was poor, but is he to blame? Is leadership still an issue? Does Steve Borthwick warrant a place in the team, let alone the captaincy?

Let us know what you think.

12 thoughts on “England’s worst ever Home defeat

  1. It was difficult to watch without covering my eyes. There was no direction or leadership, scrums were terrible, lineouts were worse. Rucking was terrible as well, so with no set piece and no good quality ball, we didn’t stand a chance. Haskell was pretty good, but not much to be said about the others. What’s happened to Paul Sackey these days? He looks like he doesn’t care!

  2. I remember posting on here during the RWC that in the pool game SA let us off by opting to kick for goal a lot and only scoring 3 tries when they could have got more, and barely got out of third gear.

    On Saturday we saw what would have happened in Paris had they kept pressing for the full 80. Oddly enough the margin of defeat was identical, but I felt that Saturday’s game was even more humiliating.

    The telling moment was the two 5-metre scrums in the first half. Ours was clueless, gutless and ended in nothing. Minutes later theirs was swift, ruthless and successful. We looked more scared with the ball on their 5-metre line than we did in defence.

    Another brainless penalty from Haskell to spoil a reasonable performance from him. I thought Rees had some very good moments again though.
    We got a lesson in the lineout as expected. Why can’t we just keep it simple – pick good lineout players and throw it straight, and no dancing?

    But never mind eh, they’ll learn from this and move on, so says the inspirational Borthwick. I had hoped that an international team would know already that running laterally at one of the meanest defences in the world was futile, but seemingly not. Especially given that it didn’t achieve much last week against a less mean defence. Borthwick’s days must be numbered now surely?

    Cipriani shouldn’t have been selected. He’s not fully fit and hasn’t been at his best for Wasps yet. Understandable given what he’s been through and I’m loathe to blame him too much at his age. Greenwood had a point though at full time – 3 tries against England now from his kicks being charged down is becoming a pattern. He needs rest, but I’m sure he’ll be back to his best.

    It’s easy to criticise Johnno (and Graham Simmons had a good old go on Sky!) but what the hell do you do with people that don’t even seem to comprehend the basics of the game. He was a brilliant captain without doubt, but he had some pretty good foot soldiers. I don’t know who he will turn to for help now.

    I hope he does it, but even speaking as someone who was cautiously excited when he took the job, I am truly stunned at just how bad we are.

    This was only meant to be a short post but has become a sizeable rant. So I shall finish with a question that leaves me utterly lost for words – Jamie Noon – why?

  3. I don’t know what you guys are talking about. What I saw was England using creative tactics, pressuring the Boks into making basic errors, with a scoreline that reflects that. I am very excited about watching the rest of the game (only been able to watch the first one minute 40 seconds so far).

  4. Picking up from what Rob says about Borthwick’s post-match quote. He and Johnno also said that it’s obvious all England have to do is “learn how to capitalise on our numerous opportunities”. If that’s the case and if it is such an easy fix – what the hell were they practising the whole of last week?!

    I know they have to try to not be too inflammatory at post match interviews and i’d guess that what was said behind closed doors was a lot sterner but it’s a problem that seems to go right to the core of the current crop of players. When a player wearing black, green or canary yellow makes a break he generally has 3 options in the first wave of support and three more in a second wave. When a white shirted player makes a break it’s like “oh, sh*t, someone’s just done something good, what do i do now? Oh yeah, i need to get there in support, oh dear, we’ve given a way a penalty for holding on.”

    Again, this has turned into a rant but it’s so ruddy frustrating.

  5. As a Welshman I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the England/South Africa game and have already watched my recording seventy three times since Saturday.

  6. Lest I be misunderstood and not wanting to sound triumphant or boastful I must correct my last post – it was seventy two times not seventy three.

  7. Dai – How many times did you watch your boys get rogered by the AB’s at the weekend? Probably none, as you seem excited about seeing others’ misfortune.

  8. Hi Uncle Mat – Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed the Wales/ All Blacks game too and, sadly for the Welsh, the best team won. Given the opportunity I would have liked to have watched it many more times than I did (a) because Wales were far from being humiliated by the result and were in no way ‘rogered’ by the AB’s and (b) because I just love to watch the All Blacks play rugby anyway. Am really, really looking forward to next Saturday and England vs All Blacks as I am sure you and zillions of English fans must be too. Let’s all hope the home team do not suffer any repeat ‘misfortunes, as you put it – twice in the space of seven days would be too much. I wish them well. I do really. Honestly. Cross my heart and … oops, gone too far now.

  9. As a South African, I can only say that I am delighted with the result against England. The English players were highly apprehensive as they took to the field and that useless grubber kick at the start of the game only goes to prove that they had no confidence in their ability to take the Boks on.
    I am also of the opinion that the Welsh and Scottish teams can consider themselves very fortunate that they didn’t lose by bigger margins. The Boks are always weary of early injury whilst on tour and tend to play very conservatively. This was definately not the case in the final match against their arch enemy, England. I felt sorry for Martin Johnson in the post match interview but feel that he is the right man for the job.
    Finally, I must say that rugby in the Northern Hemisphere is not up to the standard of rugby in the Southern Hemisphere. That goes for the standard of refereeing as well. Viva the Boks.

  10. I almost didn’t bite…almost.

    Alan – how can you say that the one bit of inventiveness England showed, namely a cheeky grubber to start the game, which elicited 3 points within 2 mins, was “useless”?! It’s “use” was to get us 3 points.

    Apart from that the Boks were better in all areas and no-one can deny that at the moment the southern hemisphere international teams are far superior to the northern hemisphere ones.

    Martin Johnson and the whole squad deserve to be given this final November international and the whole six nations campaign to prove themselves before we start calling for them to be canned.

  11. Now look. It all went wrong when Jonno dropped mz old mates Balshy and the volcano from the squad. Quite frankly where was Ryan Lamb as well. What a disgrace. I know that Balshy straight at those cheeky Boks, and I reckon he would have scored at least three times what with his masterful ball handling skills. In fact, only the other day I was relaxing in my sunbed marvelling at his ball handling skills. And he makes a jolly good cup of cocoa. I will be back soon mark my words!!!

  12. Just to say that although Cipriani had an awful game, he at least got some points on the board. I think bringing him back in to the squad after just a few games after injury was a tad premature though, and explains his lack of form. I just hope it doesnt knock his confidence. Hopefully by the 6 Nations he will be sorted. Toby Flood – the in form 10… erm, didnt look like that on Saturday to me when he got on… bet the All Blacks are sh*tting conkers thinking about him playing :-p

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