38 thoughts on “Rate the Match: New Zealand v England 3rd Test

  1. Firmly back in our place? Pretty dominant performance from the All Blacks. The only positive I can take is the continued fight, which we always get from this England team.

    Ashton was pretty dire, I wonder if that really will be his last international outing. Not sure what happened to Eastmond, was he injured? But the much anticipated Burrell-Tuilagi midfield didn’t get anywhere either. Burns made far too many mistakes, Cipriani looked good. Youngs turned it around in the second half and made some nice breaks.

    Maybe it’s harsh to rate individuals on the back of such an all-round stuffing.

  2. Must have had a norovirus, only possible explanation ;)

    Very important for us to make a big statement in the Autumn now, that performance requires a big response.

    Hope the ABs do win their next fixture, the side are deserving of the all time win streak record.

  3. Ashton’s attrocious tackling and defensive positioning gifted the All Blacks at least 2 of their tries. Utter shambles.

    A lesson in ruthlessness from the world champions.

    I don’t think Cipriani hurt his chances here, wouldn’t be surprised if he just took the number 2 spot. Watch out Farrell, a playmaker with some imagination is chasing your heals.

  4. I don’t think reverting to Ashton bashing is fair here, the defensive line was so poor in midfield that Ashton could do nothing but try and stop it early. Yes he rushed in and missed some tackles but that was because he couldn’t defend on his wing without support and knew it.

    don’t know what went wrong today but hopefully SL can learn some lessons from it.

    Cipriani was good though, agree he may have risen a little from this.

  5. The bottom line is our skill level in most aspects of the game fall quite a long way short of NZ and the better team won the series 3-0.As has been the case for years we Have to improve ball handling passing offloading and retention.I can’t see us matching the SH until we address this fundamental weakness-More skill less bash bash.On a matter of detail you are unlikely win playing 2 wingers who can’t tackle

  6. The AB pack dominated the 1st 1/2. Won the breakdown. England had no ball or territory. Too big a gap to pull back even tho they reversed the possession, territory situation, to better extent in the 2nd 1/2, as the horses had bolted by then.

    Blame game with Ashton the scapegoat seems unhelpful & subjective. The whole England backline alignment on their rhs in 1st 1/2 was off. A .Smith also threw them out with his wraparound. England’s backs left their Kiwi counterparts unmarked. Also Brown ought to have taken a gamble & pushed up pronto outside the r wing to block up the gap early on. Yarde good going fwd, but got stood up in ‘D’, altho tough to stop Jane on NZ’s right. If Yarde had held his ground infield, the latter would have lightly beaten him on the outside anyway. So much for the S Times Jones’ slating of Jane previously methinks. Sealed lips (or pens) gather no feet?

    Thought England kicked too much & somewhat inaccurately in the 2nd 1/2 when they needed to keep ball & run at the ABs. Chewed the clock unnecessarily when a couple of tries were needed; like at the end of the 2nd test!

    Hope England don’t go back into their shell though, as the aforementioned S Jones & of all people, Stu Barnes intimated after the 2nd test. I just don’t get this; ‘it’s not England’s natural game’ (to run the ball, esp through the backs) stuff. Why should it be ‘either’ ‘or’. Why can’t they dev/have? an allround game & use their nous as to when they decide to either run it or take it up through the forwards? In other words, mix & match as appropriate. Sticking to a fwd dominatd game works… if the opposition are dominated.

    Seems to me that Lancaster has tried to create a more balanced game on tour, much to my surprise. I’d perviously seen him as too conservative (still do in some apects, but that’s another story).

    IMO & perhaps in that of the NZ rugger public (if I read them correctly), England gained more respect for attempting a more all round game on this tour. This is not because the dastardly Kiwis wanted to lull England into playing it ‘thier’ way, but because it made England more of a THREAT!

    Interesting to see how & where England go from here. In the end & for all the talk of England being NZ’s toughest opponent, they go home on the back of a 3 zip blackwash.

    Til the next episode then.

    1. It is possible for England to be the toughest opponent and still lose 3-0. The aggregate points difference is still better than France or Ireland’s tours. Just means none of us are good enough.

      Agree with your assessment!

      For me, the autumn will be a chance to balance things. Start of our season, end of the SH one. If we can’t win fresh with home advantage, then we definitely haven’t got anywhere.

  7. Simon

    It’s also about playing under pressure. Skills can go awry when there’s little time to think & when the blow torch is turned up. Thinking, e.g, of Burns’ kick straight down the AB’s throat at 1 point. Could have been suicidal. Kicked much better in the 1st game.

    Mind you Ben Smith butchered that pass when he ought to have put Savea away for a sitter & the AB hooker too threw another pass fractionally late for another try that never was. They could have been important.

    Ironically, it was Ashton who, for all the bashing he received, impeded the latter Kiwi’s pass to save a cert 5 pointer.

  8. Stu

    Agree regds Ashton.

    I’ve always liked Cip for what he CAN do, altho I though that he kicked too much when he came on rather than run @ NZ. They needed TRIES!

  9. ABs showed why they are number one!

    Regardless of Don’s comments, trying to take the ABs on at fast offloading rugby is like trying to match the Springboks physically! Our game plan was better in the second half but we were still second best.

    Lots of comments about end of season and I think it did show – too much rugby for some players – however will the ABs be saying that in the autumn?

    Well the good news is that we have discovered more about some players and welcome back Ben Youngs – where have you been hiding? – but we have also discovered that we may not be quite as far up the pecking order as we thought!

    I imagine SL has learnt some lessons.

    Anyway well done the ABs.

  10. Geat

    Heartiest regds! Gd to agree on summat b4 2015. Ha, ha.

    Still reckon SA, trad foes, likely hardest tho.

    Think England will be somewhere, not nowhere too tho.

    1. Oh absolutely, I meant of the touring teams.

      You’ll need to raise your game to beat the Boks in South Africa.

  11. Where was the intensity and commitment in the first half. Shades of Millennium stadium in 2013. Too flat too passive. I thought the days of us not at least being competitive were over.

  12. Take away the leader of the defence, an replace him with a 2-3 season league convert (who’s moved across the backline), and an overenthusiastic, but not too sharp, crashball, and what happens to your midfield defence?

    I hope we stick with Eastmond in the overall squad, but surely now 36 + Tuilagi should get a run out. 36 can easily play the part of Anthony Allen at tigers and keep Manu where he needs to be.

    Will rewatch the whole thing (including the 1st half), and hopefully get a better feel for just how awful it was. On first viewing though, the forwards went well, though I don’t know if Hartley offers more than Webber, and Launch and Lawes is still our best pairing, bring out the best in each other.

  13. I hope Eastmond doesn’t become the Tait of this team and get written off with 1 performance, he showed in the 1st test he can fit there just didn’t deliver today, same as most.

    I still think he could be the best person to fill the 12 role for England leading upto 2015. Burrell had another poor game when he came on, so i think 12 is wide open again.

  14. That first half was terrible. I thought Eastmond defense was solved & Ashton was bad, he just showed poor tackling technique. The tackle for A.Smith was bad his hands just slipped right of from him for the 1st try. And that forward pass one where was Ashton. But the most amusing part was right at the end when Burrel passed him the ball, with Ashton somehow dropping the ball to the ground & then trying to take the quick tap.

    The partnership of Launchbury & Lawes seem way more effective then the one with Parling. Hartley, Woods, Vunipola , all had bad games, i think they need rest just as Mike Brown & Lauchbury.

    Burrel was poor again, miss some tackles, and some poor passing went quiet after his first charge and did not appear late 20mins to the game.Did not make a impact at all

    Kieran Brookes was good at the scrum, seems much better then Henry Thomas. Attwood made some impact of the bench.

    There are a bunch of weird question about our performances, and injuries. For example why did England not learn anything from Dan Coles Injury look at Owen Farrel ended up injured after being rushed to 2nd test. Why was 12t rushed as well, was Parling injury a result of England pushing him too much.

    Most of our selection was not performing well, Mike Brown, Launchbury all tired. Why were we continuing to picks these players. The only reason to me was Lancaster was trying to build his rwc 2015 squad over form & fitness. Hence are selection for the 2nd test & 3rd test.

  15. Some of the positives of this Tour for me

    .Kieran Brookes looks to me our 3rd choice tight head
    .Haskell showed what were missing when we don’t have 2 flankers with the same style.
    .Ben Youngs on a good day showed us what he is capable of
    .Yarde growth for the test
    .Ciprani showed he can step up
    .Rob Webber was impressive for us

    The Mixed
    . Burns was good in the first test but horrible in the 3rd
    . Geoff Parling played well but his partnership with Lawes or Lauchbury is nowhere as good as Lawes & Lauchbury. Needs to find someone whether it Ed Slater or Attwood that gives us the same prowess Lawes & Lauchbury does.
    . May showed improvement but was tossed off.
    . Pennell played well for the Crusaders but was not trusted to go against the All Blacks.

    The Negative
    .England Management have more to learn
    .Tuilagi on the wing was stupid
    . Our flankers combo. It’s almost as if we missed Tom Croft
    . We had opportunities but failed to finish them.
    . We are still a long way from finding our starting rwc 2015 squad

  16. First half blitz by the amazing All Blacks. I love the depth we have over here. Lots of our guys getting on a bit, Hansen slowly bleeding new players in. England woeful in the first half. Just need to beat the Wannbies and all will be good.
    Nice to welcome back Dan soon and Read made all the difference. See you in your Autumn

  17. Agreed with Dr boo. Haskell added something and Webber may be in the mix to start in the autumn. Young’s In second half looked good – he and care on form could be a threat for 80 mins.

    Still think we need to decide on centers and wing and establish backups we invest in at 15 and 10. Lots to work on but better to see it now than next year!!

    1. I give you the Wales Italy and France matches in the 2013 6n as a counter to that argument. Possibly the most dire rugby seen under Lancaster.

  18. No Barrit and Tualgi please, iv seen glimpses of the other side and its better than those two together.

    Question marks over Robshaw and Wood as a flanker combination, I think Wood lacks the bulk of the likes of Haskell or the speed of an Armitage. He might well do the ‘dark arts’ but his carrying is average and his breakdown work is too. I think we have better balance when Haskell and Robshaw are combined. Armitage would be my first choice but that isn’t going to happen.

    The positives are Yarde and Brown look like they are a winger short of a great back three, Watson, Ashton, Wade or May? Would like to see Watson and Wade have a go.

    I think whoever starts at fly half , Cipriani should be on the bench, a really terrific sub option, very quick and offers something very different to our other fly halves.

    Too many critical players were out of form, Care, Brown, Launchbury and therefore didn’t make the same impact as in the Six Nations.

  19. Interesting to see wood mentioned as someone who could be replaced, not long ago he was touted as SL preferred captain, but I agree that backrow might be better with Haskell or even croft. My gold plated would be robshaw at 6, armitage at 7 and vunipola at 8 but this doesn’t look likely. Really think they should look hard at armitage, I know the arguments against but he is the best English 7 at this time and would improve england single handedly.

  20. How about 1, Alex Waller. 2. Webber. 3. Wilson 4. Lawes 5. Attwood 6. Wood/Robshaw 7. Ksevic 8. B Vunipola. 9. Care 10. Farrell 11. Yarde 12. Devoto 13. Tuilagi 14. Watson 15. Brown Bench: Marler, Hartley, Brookes, Launchbury, Morgan, Youngs, Cipriani, Foden?

  21. What exactly has Waller done to displace Mako, Mullan, Marler and Corbs? The coaches have just had a good look at him, and he didn’t displace Mullan for 4th choice.

    Attwood over Launch? Offers something a bit different, but Lawes and Launch seems to click very nicely, would prefer Attwood on the bench though.

    Robshaw at 6 loses us a lineout option (or at least a good quality one).

    Devoto has a lot to prove yet, but may well be the future.

    Youngs did not have a good game. A few good runs != a good scrum half, his passing was so slow, even at the base of good front foot ball.

  22. stu

    How long have I been advocating Armitage? Not on the agenda I was told & that was that! Ah well,… but after getting (according to S Jones of the S Times) flogged @ the breakdown last Saturday, is he now a ‘special case’ enough for England?

    1. No. New Zealand don’t pick players if they chase the dollar over their country, England do the same. It’s the way it should be.

  23. Banastre

    What about Cipriani to start? Farrell, whilst suiting the ‘English’ mould, doesn’t have the quick feet, hands or sharp mind skills of Cip. Farrell also has disciplinary issues & his kicking tends to go off with a bit of hair dryer therapy.

  24. Dr Boo

    The 1st 1/2 wasn’t so terrible from my POV.

    The thing is, many seem to have their knives out, e.g. Ashton, but didn’t he stop the sitter from the Kiwi hooker? On the other hand, Yarde is the good guy, yet he missed a tackle or so & butchered a try when, just like Tui in the earlier game, he didn’t FEND the tackler. Basic stuff, surely. Also a wayward kicker. Needs working on this & his ‘D’.

    But all this is not that constructive & it’s not just the backs who ‘let England down’. The coaches were out thought by Hansen. The ABs mauled more than previously. Not just to drive England or to go for pushovers, but to suck in the opposition forwards. The gaps between the backs, which would normally filled with fatties, were exposed for the ABs to exploit. They duly did so with pretty much orthodox, precise (mostly) backline moves.

    Much here sounds also like a bit the same old deck chair shuffle on the boat that ran into the ice block… & retro wisdom after the event?

    It’s not just the players, it’s about the coaching, skills & experience too.

    IMO too much was too hyped, too early, by too many for so few who, in the end, came up short. May have been wiser to have waited until after the series before extolling opinions of England’s prowess. 1 (or 2) swallow/s don’t always make a summer. Now where have I seen this before? And perhaps my view about the AB ‘Norovirus’ test wasn’t just about whining after all? Methinks more than a few misread my comments then.

    Also, if, as usual, the old line about England’s ‘learning lessons’ from this tour is actually to be meaningful, it’s precisely what they, or more specifically Lancaster, will ‘learn’ from these last 3 matches.

    This is not to say that England won’t do well in Autumn. They may well, but does their current outfit have the experience & nous to win the WC? That is the real question… including for all participating teams.

  25. Have to say I think it’s about mindset under pressure. I.e the pass that should have been from Yarde to Burrell. The AB automatically make that pass. Fitzpatrick had it bang on when he said you have to be scared to loose, so you train methodically so that those passes are automatic. You have to finish every opportunity,every time. If you strive for a100% completion rate, even when you achieve 90% your still going to beat everyone. Perhaps bringing an ex AB coach into the fold would help.

  26. Geat

    ‘You’ll need to raise your game to beat the Boks in South Africa’.

    Oops! Maybe so, but did you see the Kiwi ref rescue the Boks v Wales? Sealed lips gather no… etc?

    And isn’t that what many said last yr, pre Ellis?

    Been there before with Armitage, not my loss tho.

    1. You really should check the dates of posts – I posted that after the first South Africa v Wales test. The Bokke were outstanding and definitely would have given you a game.

      If they play like they did on Saturday, it’ll be a blackwash.

  27. Sharpy

    Liked you on that Napoleonic TV series.

    Interesting comment regds coach. The other H Unions have already gone down this route, but I understand that anyone would pref a home grown person.

    However, I believe a SH coach like Joe Schmidt would turn around the culture, mind set & how the game COULD be played.

    England had a chance to go for Mallet (born here BTW) or Eddie Jones prev, but declined.

    Need much hammering needed yet to change, but then SL may pull it of come nxt yr, who knows?

  28. Staggy

    Well it was yr loss.

    Interpreting my comments as you do surely minimises yr & England’s chances.

    Are you saying if England had gone more R1, they would have won the series? And what of SA? You intimate that it’s unwise to take them on with R1, so what DO you (England) do?

    What can be wrong with an all round game? That’s a rhetorical ? really methinks.

  29. Geat

    But doesn’t this just bear out my view about 1 swallow etc?

    I don’t nec see a blackwash either. Too early to say that just yet.

Comments are closed.