79 thoughts on “Rate the match: Ireland v England

  1. Turgid boring mess. Neither team was able to string anything close to a threatening line break together. England physicality won it. A yawn fest for the neutral. Playing like that both teams are likely to lose another game before the end of the championship, race is wide open.

    1. I know trolling is your favourite past time, but please go back and read your own comment about the Wales vs France game yesterday

      1. Please go back and read all the tripe about how that match was shameful, no skill, etc. and how eng and ire show Wal and Fra how to play. It’s not trolling when you give people back their own words.

        1. That was entirely not a response to what I said, If you compare the matches the fare was pretty much the same, except the conditions were worse today. Yesterday you defended the passion and desire, today you speak about how boring it was.
          If in fact you did it to annoy people and don’t actually believe your statement then that is not far off the definition of trolling

        2. Was it raining in Paris? No? Both teams today played the conditions but in the first half at least there wasa ambition to win the match, far different from yesterday’s match of 2 teams trying not to lose.

    2. Suddenly the Welsh are connoisseurs of open free flowing rugby I suppose? But if not for one unlucky bounce of the ball Tuilagi would have scored, indeed where have we seen happen before and successfully come off Welsh fans?

      England for the grandslam

      1. Blimey, the lack of self awareness in some is amazing. If you’re gonna talk big about other teams before your team even play then you’re obviously gonna have the p*** taken out of you when you turn up and turn out almost a carbon copy of the same incisiveless play.

        For the record I would have thought fans loved that match. Intense, desire, tackling effort. Mistakes must have been frustrating. Reminds me of a game I watched yesterday that all of the welsh fans I was with loved and everyone else thought was the worst game of rugby for some time … Until today.

        1. Imho, yesterday’s game was schoolboy rugby. The only difference between North’s try and Tuilagi’s was in the luck of the bounce. If you watch the match again, you can see that the teams have got an idea about what to do with the ball beyond first phase, whereas when you see yesterdays game, you can see that the welsh idea of a set piece play is a shite pass to Jamie roberts and a crash ball up the middle, where he gets knocked back by Bastardeau. So, yes, neither game was sensational, but conditions must be taken into account and the fact of the matter remains that yesterday, both teams were shite and one was less shite then the other, whilst today, one team was better then the other.

          If you disagree, I can point you to a myriad passages of play from both the welsh and the french where the ball never got beyond the first reciever ad infinitum, and then point out some passages from todays game to contrast.

          1. And I could show you a load of play from today where ball was shovelled on with no point – getting the ball past the first receiver isn’t the sole point of rugby. It’s a bad idea to do that sometimes. I could also show you stacks of play yesterday that disproves your theory about Wales use of Jamie Roberts as the sole receiver but we both know it would be pointless. You’re an Irish or English fan and hence saw today as the superior game. I can understand that – emotional investment is what made today’s and yesterday’s game worth watching and in fact massively enjoyable to fans. To try and say one was better than the other is just openly stating your bias for the teams involved.

  2. Not a great game to watch but the intensity was there from both sides and there were skills on show all be it, defensiwve ones.

    England deserved their win, they like wales showed character. Ireland were notso far off but injurries spoiled any chance they might have had. Sexton was a hell of a loss, o’gara was rubbish.

    O’brian was excellent as was paling, b youngs and robshaw. Farrell had a food game without being amazing, his kicking out of hand was so so at times. He was helped because youngs took a lot of kicks and he was on song.

    Interesting one for the lions, o’brian really helped his cause before the injury, sexton farrel comp never happened really, youngs looks interesting if he can be consistant.

    If sexton and o’brian struggle to come back, scotland could be in with a shout next week, though fncy irelnd.

    England look on for the championship but wales are coming back and france have a game in them, things could change.

  3. As an Englishman, that game was good. As a forward, that game was fantastic. Credit HAS to be given to the English forwards, who have been the backbone of this team after their win against NZ. Never been happier to see a MOTM award given, Robshaw epitomises England’s new die hard attitude.

  4. Wow what a terrible game. Total stinkfest. Commentary wasn’t biased enough but that was probably cos it was such a rubbish spectacle that even Brian Moore couldn’t get passionate about an England victory.

  5. Conditions were atrocious. Thought the referee was absolutely shite, slight but noticeable bias towards Ireland. I thought that some good passages of play were strung together, especially at the beginning, but over time, both teams realized that the winners would not be the most adventurous. I actually think that the game was won by the shit irish hands, Heaslip, o’driscoll, and others coming to mind. The irish were very ferocious at the breakdown, often to a fault, and I disagree about the game being won by english physicality. At noteable moments, the irish had the upper hand at the setpiece, the tackle area, and were winning the contacts, particulary in the second half up till Haskell was sinbinned. To dismiss the english as musclemen is demeaning to their defensive excellence, and i think that it was obvious that had the conditions been better, England would have edged it in the battle of running rugby, especially with Brian o’driscoll being unusually flaky.

    on the subject of bod, he looked like he was walking funny. Must be all that giving birth today (-;

    Humour aside, aw few points to take out from this game:

    1. If rugby is to have any real success at providing a suitable alternative to rugby, the laws should be simplified so that referees don’t spend all their time consulting laws of marginal utility to find a reason to penalize a team.
    2. The possibility of closing roofs should be considered.
    3. Ronan o’fucking Gara is still shite.
    4. owen Farrell is now the frontrunner at fly half for the lions.
    5. Haskell sinbinned? Your having a laugh. Not even a penalty.
    6. Cian Healy staying on? Your having a laugh. Red card for repeated wankerishness.
    7. England for the grand slam. Ireland for second place. Wales to battle it out with Scotland and France for third.
    8. NH is still way behind the southern hemisphere. And I thought that last week was a new dawn.

    1. When I praise a teams physicality I am far from demeaning them. I see it as one of the prime qualities of a good team.

      2 – no roof on most stadiums
      3 – definitely
      4 – agreed
      5 – agree
      6 – agree
      7 – can’t see it. Think Ireland will lose to France, don’t think Wales will lose another game. Gonna be a tight championship decided on points.
      8 – couldn’t care less.

      1. That’s true, Ireland play france in france. I forgot, and with sexton possibly out and Healy cited, it’ll be a french win. However, I stand by the grand slam prediction. Wales in Cardiff will be the banana skin for England I feel if their is to be one.

        1. As for rugby being a suitable alternative to, and I assume here it was a typo and you meant football, who cares? Football fans can stick with football. This isn’t a competition. Rugby is the best game already. We’re not going to dumb it down to appeal to people who think Joey Barton is an ok human being.

          1. Couldn’t agree more! The thing that makes rugby union so appealing is that it keeps the di*kheads out. Anyone with a pair of eyes already knows that rugby is a far superior sport that doesn’t need (or even want) to compete with football.

            Ael, If you want a simpler less intriguing game just watch league

    2. 5- sure the ref said sin binning was for repeat team offending. But he was in a penalty position of not rolling away, then he kicked the ball. Kind of asking for it.

  6. I thought the referee was crap, although the conditions were appalling, he didn’t see off side, collapsing the line out and maul and ruck, holding on not releasing etc etc etc. Well done England for playing the conditions and the bloody ref.

  7. Thrilled with the win, but I think I’ll pass on a second viewing. Hope Healey gets a long time out for the stamp and punches

  8. England had chances given to them, Ireland gave away pentalties which in fact gave the game at the end of the day, similar to the France vs wales game.
    However completely out of the subject:
    congratz O’Driscoll on the new baby, will he be a new Irish star in the making?

  9. Ireland tried to play a running game, England had the better game plan to defend and feed off the penalties forced by the conditions. I think that had the conditions been perfect Ireland would have won by a small margin but the terrible condition suited the English game play down to a tee. Both very very evenly matched teams with England edging it on the day.

  10. The conditions meant it was never going to be a pretty match. We were spoilt last weekend. I thought Ireland were going to edge it beforehand, and they would have done but for their handling errors in the first half. This England team has a very promising future, but I think they will fall short of the Grand Slam.

    1. I agree with Paul’s sentiments.

      The one thing that irritates me is the selection of players carrying injuries!!

    1. Now now no need to be mean. Be more constructive in your feedback.

      Also worth replying directly to a message if it winds you up so much rather than just general posting. People might get your point then.

      1. Brighty loves to stir things up but I have to say that half way through this match I started feeling that France and Wales had probably had a bit of a bad press yesterday. This game was played in worse conditions and I thought that the teams playing today were better, but conditions in Paris were far from ideal. Today probably wasn’t a great one for the neutral but you do have to play the conditions and respect them. That is one of the great elements of rugby – it’s not just an Aussie running game – it rains as well and you have to adapt.

  11. England played the conditions, and won because they were more streetwise than the irish. Which is odd considering the difference in experience between the sides. As an englishman i must admit it wasnt the best contest but it was certainly played at a higher tempo and quality than france vs wales yesterday. That was awful.

  12. Conditions made it difficult but England coped with them better and the team as a whole are growing in confidence .Robshaw is proving to be a very good captain and leads from the front and Farrell is improving game by game.I really do not see any of the other three teams beating us.

  13. Healy has probably played his last game. He’ll be cited for the totally malicious stamp on Coles ankle and the forearm drives and shoulder charges he generally went about with. Ref was awful, conditions were worse. Everyone would have liked to see more ball in hand but its ridiculous to play like that in a torrential down pour. The only reason the Wales France game didn’t seem as lively was they were so matched. Two monstrous packs and backlines trying to play similar ways to each other. Must admit it seemed the French or the welsh didn’t know what came after the first phase. Everything will be different in two weeks so all the keyboard warriors pipe down and stop going on like little girls. We’re all rugby fans and we all love rugby, banter is banter until it gets nasty.

  14. A difficult game in both the rain and cold. England prevented Ireland from building any momentum and kept the home fans quiet until the second half, they didn’t even have a kick at goal in the first 40. Our scramble defence was very good. It was a streetwise performance against a more experienced team.
    Healey will undoubtedly be cited and banned for (hopefully)a considerable period of time, he was like a wild animal out there and Keith Woods should have known better than to defend his actions.
    The game turned on the sin-binning period, we were magnificent during it and out-scored Ireland. I hope SL doen’t play Woods out of position again, he is a class flanker.
    Congratulations to BOD on the birth of his child.

  15. Can see Healy take a 1match ban making him available for 2weeks time.

    Not sure why we have these breaks, would prefer just to see 5 weeks of rugby on the trot and just keep the momentum going.

    Difficult for an English fan at the moment as we know France are going to have to hit form at some point, I just hope that Saint-Andre continue to not play Parra. Then there is Wales which could go anyway at all from Wales clicking and winning by 15points to England turning up and also winning by 15points. Glad I’m not a betting man.

    Think England need to bring Billy Vulipola onto the bench at some point as the English back row was full of hardwork but not much penetration which he would bring in Morgan’s absence.

  16. If you told me Ireland would kick less, complete more passes, run more, gain more yard, have the upper hand in possession and territory, make more breaks, beat more defenders, match England at the ruck, make a better percentage of their tackles, and have the upper hand at the set piece, I would expect a resounding Irish win.

    But, credit is due to the English; they coped with conditions better than Ireland and they were the more composed side. The English did not make mistakes when they couldn’t afford to; the Irish never had a chance to make the English pay. Instead, any moment that called for the Irish to be composed or clinical, they made the mistakes. The Irish had twice as many turnovers, 14, as the English. From the 15 minute mark to the 35 minute mark Ireland were on the front foot, and their mistakes meant they got nothing from it. I was just shocking to see Ireland make so many mistakes.

  17. Tense edge of your seat stuff but oh so ugly. How can a low scoring game be so exciting. Fair enough the conditions meant it was not going to be champagne rugby but the number of errors. Ref was incosistent sin bins Haskell but leaves Healy on the park. England could win the slam but it’s odds on France or Wales coming good before that. Ireland I feel are a team moving into that transition period where as I can see England getting better and better, well I hope.

  18. England pulled off a great win IMO with awful conditions and a hostile crowd to contend with. The reason this win was just as good as the free flowing attacking prowess shown against New Zealand and Scotland is that it proved this young side is becoming streetwise and mature in handling the conditions and grinding out a win against vastly more experienced opponents. Enlgland can no longer be accused of arrogance nor over rated hype, they are a class act who play for each other and play for their country with pride. Lancaster’s influence has been incredible and the transformation from the World Cup immense. The scary thing for everyone else is that the England team that lined up and won today is the second youngest, on average, to have ever played in the 6 Nations. The rate of improvement has been so fast that I would truly back a Six Nations Grand Slam this term with comfortable victories against France and Italy to come and a close win against the improving and always dangerous Wales on the final day. This team is going places!

  19. I respect Lancaster’s resolve in sticking with a winning team and remaining loyal to the boys who have done a good job but would love to see the following team line up against France:

    1. M. Vuniploa
    2. D. Hartley
    3. D. Cole
    4. J. Launchbury
    5. G. Parling
    6. T. Wood
    7. C. Robshaw
    8. B. Morgan (if fit)

    9. B. Youngs
    10. O. Farrell
    11. B. Foden
    12. B. Twelvetrees
    13. M. Tuilagi
    14. C. Ashton
    15. M. Brown

    16. J. Marler
    17. D. Wilson
    18. T. Youngs
    19. C. Lawes
    20. J. Haskell
    21. D. Care
    22. F. Burns
    23. J. Joseph

    Harshest call in the world on Goode and Barritt but I just can’t fit them in the team with the inclusion of Foden and Twelvetrees. I just believe that the team should have the structure with a second play maker at inside centre (12trees) allowing for three out and out strike runners in the back three (Foden, Ashton and Brown).

    Goode and Barritt bring solidity but not game changing spark and so I have chosen Jospeh in the final bench spot as he can fill outside centre, wing and has raw pace and a little bit of x-factor if needed.

    Look at the impact of that bench as well – The only place that I would normally change would be Corbisero to start if fit with Vunipola on the bench and Marler dropping out.

    Cracking team!

    1. Surprised you would drop Marler. I thought he had a pretty good game, getting on top of Mike Ross a few times in the first half.

  20. The conditions meant it was never going to be much of a spectacle but tense oh so tense. Low scoring but exciting right up to the end. Error strewn but that was the conditions. I feel that Ireland are now moving into that transition period and will be off the top for a little while. England I feel are on an upward trajectory, at least I hope so. Ref was garbage Haskell sin bin, possibly on team offences but Healy should’ve walked, two cardable offences to choose from. England for the grandslam? It’d be nice but after only two games it’s a bit early to say that. I think France and Wales will do their utmost to prevent that and one or the other or both have got to start firing on all cylinders soon. Let’s hope all those who went off injured are OK, there is a Lion’s tour coming up and we don’t want the selectors having an easy time do we.

  21. IMO it wasnt a classic match as was expected, however the conditions werent exactly perfect.

    Thought Heaslip had a bit of a shocker, those two dropped catches. Also thought that some of Youngs kicking was a bit aimless and fed the Irish the ball. Thought that Farrell had a great game, some of his kicks were excellent, and he kept England ahead.

    Throughout the match I thought that the Irish pack was better, and indeed if you look at the stats Ireland were better. However, only one stat matters and that is the score. England for the grandslam

  22. Good result for England. A little early for Grand Slam talk as we could certainly get beaten by France or Wales.

    Hartley has to start over Youngs in two weeks as the set piece was not good with him on the pitch. Happy with him as an impact sub.

    Marler put in a good performance today as I had previously thought that his scrummaging was dodgy. He held up well.

    I apologise to all rugby fans for suggesting after last week that Haskell was edging closer to a Lions berth. Back to his usual boneheaded tricks giving away penalties and getting sinbinned. I’d keep him on the bench for his power and energy as well as versatility as they come in handy but he’s a liability over a full 80 (or 70!).

    When will Lawes realise that he’s going to hurt himself even more seriously if he keeps making suicidal plays like that. He’s a serial offender in that respect.

    Robshaw looking good for Lions Captain, Mr Gatland.

    Ben Youngs had a great game today. Back to his best. Farrel was outstanding.

    Not a game for those further out but I thought Brown had a very good game today (I’m not a fan of his either) and Goode was better but I still believe that he is only the third best English FB.

    1. Oh and I thought that the ref was pretty inconsistent, however I still think that Haskell deserved his binning.

    2. Goode probably has the best rugby brain in the EPS, thought his positional play was excellent, but he’s just not physical enough. Turned over too easily when going into contact. Just seems to me to be a potentially brilliant FH playing out of position.

  23. I hate to be right sometimes. England need an 8 at 8. Wood is a great player, but out of position today he put England under a lot of pressure because he couldn’t stabilise the scrum at the base or control the ball.

    Haskell too. Made some tackles, but his yellow card was really stupid and what I’ve come to expect from him. Lancaster’s disciplined team could do without him and it’s hardly as if England are lacking in that position.

    The thing I keep saying about Lawes. Focuses on building himself and trying to put in the bigger hits and it gets him A yellow carded or B injured. He needs to get his focus right. Waste of a substitute today.

    Other than that I thought England were pretty good today. Tough effort around the park.

    1. Agree he didn’t look comfortable at the base of the scrum, but also consider we only conceded 7 turnovers all game, had a 96% retention rate at ruck and we nullified the choke tackle pretty successfully. I think we won the battle of the backrow (just) and with this being an area Ireland historically stuff us at I think the selection worked for this game.

      Given France offered a level of resistance at the breakdown that Mahatma Gandhi would be proud of I would like to see us select a specialist 8 for that game, whether Morgan is fit or not.

      1. Although I think Wood did a decent job at 8, I would rather see a specialist 8 against France. But not Waldrom!! If fit, Morgan should start, but if not can we pleas give Big Billy a shot. If I hadn’t seen Waldrom come on I wouldn’t have known he was on the pitch yesterday, so not much of an impact off the bench.

  24. I think England deserve credit for a hard fought win in Dublin. However, I think the Irish only have themselves to blame. 9 errors in the first half (i think) and a couple of these were in danger zones. Conditions were bad for both teams. One of the most frustrating games to watch as a fan. Losing sexton was disastrous as well. O gara attacked the gain line maybe once? A disgrace.

    The healey stamp was overly vicious but I am sure Dan Cole didnt get on the wrong side again so willingly. I am amazed he didnt get yellowed for the punches though. They were right in front of Nigel Owens.

    I think England will probably win the GS now. Wales fans need to chill out, there is cause for optimism but travelling to Rome next. I wouldnt be surprised if they got turned over there.

    1. Brian (highest try scorer of all time in the 5/6 nations, and widely accepted as one of the greatest centres of all time) Poppins.

      Pitiful conditions. England were always good at grinding out wins in wet conditions. In the dry, it may well have been a different story, but I suspect England could still have sneaked it. Lancaster is a savvy manager. But, I would have backed Ireland in the dry with hindsight.

      1. ???? So you suspect Eng would have smneaked it in the dry but in hindsight you would have backed Ire are you still a little merry? ;0)

  25. Haskell is a waste of space, nothing new there.

    England did well today, the team spirit seems to be there, little youngs was superb and Lions could be calling if he keeps it up, Big Youngs struggled at the lineout, weather was awful, he was second on the tackle count though, hard worker in the loose.

    Robshaw outstanding, number 8 is still a problem, I’m not convinced about Morgan and Wood is not an 8, did well enough today, for a sub8.

    Still want Foden back in the side but Goode had a good game today although the irish kicking was so so.

    O’Gara go home take up something else.

  26. A good win by England in the most hostile of conditions, now I am not one for normally running down officials as they do a difficult job that being said I was less than impressed with the Referee for Sundays game.

    I feel he missed about three infringemnts by both sides for blocking runners after the ball was kicked and then he sin binned Haskell for kicking the ball away when in truth he was trying to get out the way but let Farrell go for a late tackle and Cian Healy stay on the pitch for his attempted leg breaker.

    I for one am dissappointed we now have two weeks break as I really would of wanted the France game to be this weekend but the signs are looking good for England!

    1. Nope, sorry, can’t give that to Haskell and it was a good call by the referee. He makes several attempts to move and stops. The ball comes out and suddenly he wants to move again. Simple rule – if the ball is playable, trying to move is only going to get you in trouble. He thought he could get away with it and he didn’t. Easy yellow to give and well given. Farrell could well have gotten one too for pulling back Connor Murray – deliberate and cynical – doesn’t matter if it’s half way or not.

      The blocking runner is again a tough one to give. I’d have to say a lot of tries at this level come from a missed blocker, it’s the fine lines that top level rugby lives on. Especially with the amount of dummy runs that are completely legit, even the best refs miss those blocking lines several times a game.

      It’s far from the worst refereeing performance of the weekend *coughClancycough*

    2. He also missed a blatantly cheap shot on Farrell early on.
      Healy should definitely have had a yellow for the stamp, and then a second yellow for the punches. Hopefully he will get cited for both, which could cause Ireland serious problems in their scrum for the rest of the competition.
      Haskell knew what he was doing, he blatantly kicked the ball away (whilst trying to get out), and deserved a yellow for cynical play. But when you put into context the difference between that and Healy’s actions, the refereeing is quite shocking.

      1. To be honest, the stamp is something that can happen as you look away to check if England are onside. and the punches were disguised as rucking. You wouldn’t believe how often people get away with that. You’ve got to say as well that last week the Welsh were jumping all over the Irish with studs and because there was no mention on the BBC there was no citing. He’s not the only referee ignoring this.

        1. To be honest I don’t have much of an issue with the punching; within reason there is never going to be too much damage done.

          But Healy’s stamp could easily have broken Cole’s ankle; and for that alone I hope he is banned for a long time!

  27. After week 2 my Lions would be:-

    Cole Best Healy (just – temperament needs keeping an eye on)
    Parling Launchbury
    6 O’Brien 7 Robshaw 8 Faletau
    Youngs Farrell
    Scott O’Driscoll
    Zebo (before injury) North


    1. Good selection, if we are looking at purely form in the 2 6N games I think I would pick:
      – 36 over Scott (for winning the head to head)
      – Visser over North
      – Philips over Care (thought he looked back to his threatening best round the fringes and was actually Wales’ top carrier)
      – Maybe Youngs over Hartley

      1. Inside centre very close. I thought that Scott did pretty well against England bearing in mind his pack were going backwards for most of the game.

        Wing might be a problem. Really struggling to find anyone putting their hand up. Even considered Brown. Visser is probably a decent choice.

        Several SH’s in with a shout.

        Wouldn’t pick Youngs until his fundamentals improve, but is in with a shout as a good impact sub. Brings a load of energy.

    2. England look the real deal at the moment. you can criticise certin aplyers but in awful conditions which suited ireland, we put them away with a performance which i thought was “old heads” on young shoulders.

      My only gripe was Healy , who trie to get Cole out of the game, by stamping his ankle and trying to pull his head off in a few rucks!

      We could seriously hammer the frogs.

  28. Well done England the better team won I can’t believe how many unforced errors Ireland made in the fitst half. Heaslip was hopeless and shouldn’t be captain. We got back in the game and with England down to 14 men we should of been able to go on and win very disappointing. Farrell should of been binned in the first half and Healy I’m sure will be cited.

      1. Probably should have been binned for his pull back on Connor Murray. Depends on how far Murray was likely to get on whether you get carded for anything like that though.

        You don’t get cited for those though, only if play was dangerous

  29. Good nail biting game i thought.

    I didn’t think England would win when i saw the conditions, but they won well, and won ugly.

    Their first half discipline won the game i think.

    It was an uncharacteristic performance from Ireland. They’re normally so assured of themselves in those conditions, but I think what has shown through more with this game is Lancaster’s coaching credentials, and he has England well prepared.

    I think England may struggle in Cardiff, and with a French backlash. It’s going to be tight!

  30. Enjoyable gutsy match full of rain and defence.

    Annoying amount of unforced errors in the passes, and some appalling lineout play broke the game up, but otherwise quite entertaining.

    Big tackles and a lot of high ball showed the advantage of having two 15s on the pitch for england as the flyers of both sides never got a chance – save a couple of glimpses from Earls.

    Still too early to really nail the lions, but England are looking likely to be having a good showing, but I wouldn’t write off any of the Irish after this performance – still picking BOD, Healy, Zebo, Sexton and O’Brien for the 1stXV. Heaslip had an off day, but I would still take him on the plane.

  31. Healy is a dirty b*st*rd isn’t he?

    I hope he will get a decent ban for that vicious stamp and for so bravely punching someone trapped at the bottom of a ruck (couldn’t see who)

    Unfortunately though, I would guess that the citing committee will show their usual lack of backbone and ban him for a game or two.

  32. I dont understand Lancaster’s decisions in the backrow.

    He played:
    6 Haskell
    7 Robshaw
    8 Wood

    Surely thats all of them out of position.
    Would it not be a lot more balanced as:

    6 Robshaw
    7 Wood
    8 Haskell

    1. 8 is still Haskell out of position. He doesn’t control the scrum at the base, all 3 of those players are 6s. The most likely 7 of them is Robshaw and the most likely 8 watched from the bench at unsteady/untidy scrums where England were losing ball at the base. Surely the more sensible would be

      6 Wood
      7 Robshaw
      8 Waldrom

  33. one for the purists. im not really a fan of those types of games. i respect the attrition element but like many of u, i love free flowing running rugby. 2 teams that can do a lot if damage to each other in the dry but alas it was a shout out to old school drive and attrition.

  34. England could really do with a proper number 7 that can do a serious job at the breakdown.

    Someone like Ross Rennie or Sam Warburton (at his best).

    Someone who is not necessarily big or smashes people but someone that disrupts the breakdown and wins turnovers.

    Matt Kvesic or Will Fraser are probably the two possibles for the future.

    I feel Ireland are suffering from the same problem with too many 6s and have never replaced David Wallace.

    Scotland have three very good 7s in Rennie, John Barclay and Chris Fusaro but they are all injured atm.

    Wales have Tipuric and Warburton.

    1. I have to say that I used to think that but England are disrupting the breakdown and winning turnovers without a “true” 7.

    2. I think the game is moving on, aggressive clearout at the breakdown by 1-8 is meaning sides with 1 or 2 breakdown artists are going to find themselves out gunned and out muscled (e.g. McCaw didn’t get his hands near England ruck ball). Whilst England continue to have exceptional mobility and fitness in the tight 5 and a back row the incredible work rates I don’t think we are missing a groundhog breakdown specialist.

      This is something I’ve changed my view on over the last couple of months as I was in the lets have Armitage in and Robshaw at 6 camp, but I think the way the whole pack are rucking, clearing out and turning over is a far better solution.

    3. I am getting so bored of this “true” 7 chat. England are doing fantastically at the breakdown and have had three brilliant wins in a row. Who has been the standout player in all three? Our apparently “false” number 7.

      Why do we need a dubiously legal (McCaw, Pocock) number 7 disrupting the breakdown?

  35. I think England 1-8 do the job at the breakdown without needing this “true 7”. True 7 gets into the breakdown, gets legal hands on ball and turns it over. Same as a true 6, a true 8 a true any position in the loose.

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