Six Nations 2019: England v Italy Rate the Match

Joe Launchbury

Let us know what you thought of today’s match at Twickenham.

What were the main talking points? Who played well? Did we or Eddie Jones learn anything?

Give the match a rating out of 10 and then share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rate the Match: England v Italy

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52 thoughts on “Six Nations 2019: England v Italy Rate the Match

  1. Too soon to say anything other than, an undeniable highlight was Dallaglios bouncing leg and head shaking at SCW in the post match analysis …hilarious




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  2. England played like they believed that they could win. After Italy’s 21 prev Twic & 14 of 18 6N losses, they should have been confident. Still a bit predictable & they find it hard to discard their old beliefs like going for goal after 20, when Italy were already out of it. However, a win’s a win & they could only play what was in front of them. A * was born in Joe Cocka with his MotM award, his 1 handed ball waving antics, daring behind the back pass & slick feet. Wonder if he’ll start nxt time? Wonder how he is on defence? A solid performance, but also whereby Tui went through like shite through an Italian goose. Why didn’t feed him v Wales? Lack of belief? Rigidity? No initiative? Whatever, they need to play more like the oppo are Italy in future. Will Jones allow it? Kruis charged 2, resulting in 2. The ‘inferior Shields also. Midfield was functional, but will it win the WC? 1/2’s were also ok. Robbo must have thought Xmas had come early & with a try to boot! Daly is better going fwd. Had some gd runs, although he could straighten these up sometimes. What did EJ learn? Well, probably what he & everyone else, already knew. That England can look capable enough on the front foot v the inventors of the WS. The ?
    is though, can & will they do so @ the bizzo end of the WC? Maybe, but they’ll also need to have the nerve, some adventure & a tightening up of their defence. Better teams, especially away from home, will expose the latter. Nevertheless, England have put themselves in a position to have a shot @ the 6N title, with the Scots unlikely to hold much fear for them @ HQ.




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  3. PS Gave the match a 6. Bit 1 dimensional in respect of its predictable result. More workmanlike rather than uplifting overall team performances. A few (too few?) cameos.




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  4. I gave it an 8 because England beat Italy soundly unlike other recent laboured performances.

    I don’t accept bemoaning if Italy would’ve converted their possession as even with 60%+ possession it doesn’t stop the opposition clocking up 50+ points.

    Highlight for me was the Italian Doctors Man of the Match turn, low-light the ever insufferable Nick Mullins, is he actually a human or a box of sound bites being randomly pressed by a depressed chimp?




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    1. My wife and I fully agree ref Mullins.Verbal diarrhoea full of utterly obscure facts that absolutely grate and annoy.
      England very satisfactory performance but can’t call them a great team given the mess they made of the Welsh game.




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      1. I agree with you on this Harlequin. Up until the Scotland/Wales game yesterday I had been giving credit to Wales for coming back in the England game. However Wales struggled to put away a depleted Scottish side (who also had several changes of personnel in the game due to more injuries) and I don’t think Wales are as good as the pundits are making out. So I now look back at the Wales/Eng game and it really frustrates me that we were in a controlling position at half time and just let it all slip away!




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        1. Agree DM. However, home advantage counts for much. England were, @ least in part, architects of their downfall in Cardiff. And if only the Scots could score more than 1 try! Mind you, the Irish also had their work cut out @ Murrayfield.




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      2. Harlequin it was the constant repetition about Tomasso Allan being the first try scorer for Italy, must’ve been at least 4 times then Jack Peladri being a Gloucester player.




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  5. England did what was required and agree with Mr B in that was good to see England put a lesser opposition to the sword rather than labour to a (certain) win. Joe Cocka – wow…..now I know it was against the weakest team in the 6N but he was electric. i am probably not the only one who he reminded of a young Jona Lomu! I think he has to start vs Scotland give him another run out.

    Good to see Kruis get a score, must admit I have grown to like him this 6N, he doesn’t do anything amazing but he does his job and well, seems to be getting some confidence back into his international game.

    What are people’s thoughts about Manu 13 and Slade 12 for Scotland? Manu seemed to be finding more space at 13 (admittedly against an average Italian defence), and I would like to see Slade getting his hands on the ball more. Also might relieve some kicking pressure off Farrell. I think Manu is more than just a battering ram to suck in players at 12. Also can you imagine him running at the Scottish back line with big Joe Cocka on his outside??




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  6. Eddie picked a side to carry ball against the italians so why pick farrell….i would have loved to see ford distributing at 10….first time into the italians 22 they rushed farrell and he stepped back inside and grubber kicked ‘cross field’ from 10 metres out…another example that when pressured he cannot think quickly enough and so goes to boot…for me distributing at 10 so the backs can get into the game is first on my priority list when i think number 10….we went out of the last world cup at group stage partly because of farrells lack of ability as a playmaker added to the alow back row….we have a good back row now but farrell for me is holding england back from being the number 1 team in the world. Eddie jones and the media seems to not notice this but i net thats exactly where the allblacks etc will get joy against england in the world cup.




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    1. Because Farrell is the set on stone captain & perceived as the ‘orchestrator’ by almost all Colin. Agree that he’s ltd, but try telling that to the masses.. esp when England were & are winning. Ford’s a maybe for me. Gd going fwd, but prone to taking wrong options under pressure. Cipriani is the only fly1/2 to fulfil yr fantasy. England still & always will, kick too much speculatively, so long as Farrell’s @ the helm. As said, ltd, but he’s here to stay, MMW’s.




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  7. It was very satisfying to beat Italy well having so often underperformed against them. A good warm up for the Scotland game and an interesting selection dilemma for EJ now – does he get seduced by the ‘big is best’ concept on one relatively decent showing or does he revert to a more traditional balance (especially in the backs). If I were him I’d revert to Slade and keep Cokanasiga but he is paid the big bucks to make these decisions. For me we looked a little exposed defensively between 13 and the winger at times – something that both Slade and Joseph are extremely proficient at defending.

    Thought the scrum looked good despite having two props who are perhaps best known for their work around the field – to be honest I don’t know if this is down to Italy being poor or is being good but traditionally Italy have usually been able to scrummage…




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  8. I’m definitely in the camp of Slade at 12 and Tui 13 with big Joe keeping his place on the wing. Thought Tui and Joe were excellent but the midfield partnership didn’t quite work for me and I think Slade could improve it in both attack and defence. Wilson back at 6 and Itoje in for Launch and we have a pretty good side there.




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  9. I must have been on the lash last night because I rarely agree with Barnes about anything but his analysis of Englands back play in the Times is spot on.To get the best out of Manu and Big Joe you need to get the ball to them in the outside channels fast,and yesterday much of Englands back play was very stilted,handicapped by slow service from the breakdown,It was noticeable that there was much more snap to the back play as soon as Robson and Ford took to the field.This all brings us back to Englands perennial problem at 12-To my way of thinking Teo and Manu in the centre doesn’t work,the hands don’t work fast enough.Manu at 13 works but you need good quick hands inside him.Slade isn’t really cut out to be a 12,and the only other alternative is to go back to the twin playmaker system with a much quicker service from scrum half.
    AS for the forwards I don’t think we learnt anything new though Billy still hasn’t got all his zip back,obviously this will take time.




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  10. I agree with switching Tuilagi and Slade. Manu seems a lot more comfortable to attack the wider channels. My team for Scotland:

    1. E. Genge
    2. G. George
    3. K. Sinckler
    4. G. Kruis
    5. M. Itoje
    6. M. Wilson
    7. T. Curry
    8. B. Vunipola

    9. B. Youngs
    10. O. Farrell
    11. J. May
    12. H. Slade
    13. M. Tuilagi
    14. J. Cokanasiga
    15. E. Daly

    16. L. Cowan-Dickie
    17. B. Moon
    18. H. Williams
    19. J. Launchbury
    20. N. Hughes
    21. D. Robson
    22. G. Ford
    23. J. Nowell




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      1. Good question and, to be fair, I don’t really have an answer! I suppose Hughes might be a slightly stronger carrier than Shields and that would be the key thing we would miss if Vunipola took a knock. It’s horses for courses between those two for a bench spot. I wouldn’t have either of them if Simmonds were fit but needs must for the time being.




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        1. Makes sense. Would you consider Underhill for that spot or would it leave us underpowered? It seems that we probably can’t afford Curry and Underhill in the same side




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          1. Yeah, I reckon you have to use either Curry or Underhill in a match day squad but not both. It’s so tough though because they are both class acts. Simmonds just seems like a good bench option because he covers 8 but I’ve always thought he would make a good 7 as well with his body type and pace. Who would you pick for your back row bench cover?




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            1. I agree that Simmonds would have been a great option across the back row. But I don’t think he is now in the running and remains untested at 7. So for Scotland I would go for Shields with Wilson going in at 8 is Billy comes off. I think Shields offers more than Hughes in his carrying, lineout, and versatility across the back row.

              But for the WC, I would consider playing Curry, Underhill and Billy with Wilson on the bench….




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  11. I completely agree with Manu at 13 and Coka at 14, as long as they work on defense a bit more as both of Italy’s tries came down that side i think. However, Slade doesn’t really play 12 for club and hasn’t for country as far as i know. If Eng go down the playmaker at 12 route, why not go back to Ford and Farell? Jones seems to have moved away from that though, so would he go back now or stick with Teo/Manu or Manu/Slade. Maybe the latter is fine if they just get Manu running at 13 in attack more. Then there’s JJ.. it doesn’t look like he’ll get a look in before the WC unless there are injuries




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  12. Nice to see that the Rugby Gods have a sense of reward for patience, handing Robson a try! I hope Eddie gives him another go v Scotland. What do we take from a game like this? Scotland will be far harder although I was impressed by Italy’s ball retention and patience. We were excellent in fits and starts again.
    Not sure that the centre pairing is a marriage made in heaven, Coka is a beast on the hoof but needs to spatially aware in defence and Shileds was decent but I think Wilson will be back to face the jocks.




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  13. Well, hard to take anything from that game. Italy couldn’t apply any pressure on England.
    The quality players we have, played what was in front of them.
    If Scotland had a full strength side out, or just Hogg, they would have beaten Wales ( who looked laboured after 50 mins) and should have beaten them anyway.
    All makes the the England Wales grapes that little bit more sour.
    I now think ( don’t know the Ireland France result) that Ireland will do a job on Wales and we will be too strong for Scotland.
    So we win it on points difference. Not really that much of a consolation
    We needed to replicate the 2003 run in to the WC, where we dispatched everyone comfortably and had momentum with confidence.
    England’s inconsistencies are becoming as tedious as Brexit.




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    1. I’m not sure comparisons to 2003 are fair. The competition in 6 nations between the home nations is strongest its been for ages. None of the others were real contenders for the WC in 2003. England are not the best side in the world but I think that makes for a more interesting WC – and more kudos to the team if they get to the final!




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  14. The game was all but over after 20 minutes and lost any sense of drama. It seems strange that the Italians have kept all of their games close so far, because they looked way off the pace in this one. Maybe some of the credit for that goes to England.

    What did we learn. Not a huge amount. A backline as talented as ours was always going to make hay behind a dominant pack, but I would suggest that the experiment of playing Teo and Tuilagi together should not be repeated, and Cokanasiga and Robson deserve decent run outs against Scotland. Not sure that we learnt much about Genge or Shields as to be honest the Italians were so bad even Hughes looked world class when he came on out of position.

    However, I guess that we always credit NZ when they put lesser teams to the sword, so perhaps we ought to praise an England side for doing the same. However, I’m looking at an England side that in my opinion is good enough to get to the knock out stages of the RWC and might then win a game or two depending on the draw, but I just can’t see us winning the whole thing. We just seem to be lacking something. Seems a bit harsh to be saying that when we’ve just walloped another international team but that was my impression.

    Having just watched the Glaws Quins game, what price Cips orchestrating a backline like England’s! Sadly probably just a fantasy with EJ in charge.




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  15. Well, against Italy….Ireland laboured, as did Wales, abliet with a week day team and Scotland had a last 20 mins that I’m sure they’d like to forget. Some strange moments, like the sinks kick, and has already been said, the Italian Doc’ take out. Brings a whole new meaning to a hospital pass!!

    But also some sublime moments, Fazs cross play pass for Manus 2nd wasn’t the first time he’d done that this tournament, but the floated Jamie George pass to secure the overlap eclipsed it. And big JOE was like England had won a very big hand of Texas Hold’em against Steve Hansen and nicked the best AB he’d got….

    Manu of course proved he’s not just a 3 wheeled dump truck, though Te’o probably did, but at least it was clear evidence Slade or similar is the best fit with him. And Daly proved why EJ is so desperate to have him on the pitch.

    I thought Faz had a decent game considering how the service he gets from Young’s seems to get slower with every game. He now appears to have the equivalent of the golf yips, which was even more obvious when Robson came on and appeared to have a natural repellent to the ball such was the speed it left his vicinity.

    Also Genge was excellent, so too Curry…

    And wales won by fine margins, again, but for how much longer?

    Just watched Ireland v France…..Ummmm, they do like to ruin a party the greenies don’t they…well when’s it’s not there’s and it’s Paddys day….




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  16. Oh sorry to say used to love Cips. Still think he’s truly excellent on the pitch…but he’s self destructed once too often. Imagine building a game plan around one of the most influential positions in the team only to find that the once in every 4 years linchpin has been nicked.

    Bit harsh maybe, but the last infringement was very recent and pretty low…..

    If I’d have done that I’d be unemployed full stop…..




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    1. Well, Hartley’s on field behaviour didn’t stop him from redeeming himself by achieving the captaincy & also by being clean as a hound’s tooth @ int’al level since . Cipriani’s off field antics ought to separated from his his on field form & behaviour. A more rounded, mature coach with a bit more wisdom could have better managed him. Maybe even handed him the v captain’s arm band. Given him some responsibility. Brought out the best in him. Imagine Cip v Wales, playing his natural, what’s in front of him game, as opposed to the ungifted Farrell who lacked vision & the ability to read the game thus helping in no small way to its loss. Then also recall & compare the on field, late shoulder charging & ref screeching SA antics of v captain/ captain Farrell, to those of Cipriani. Still, England’s loss due to lack of vision. Reckon WC opponents will be happier facing the predictable Farrell.. presumably as you will also. And yr work situation is not comparable. Chalk & cheese.




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    2. By all accounts Cips is the model professional at Glos, much to my surprise, and you can see how he gets on with his team mates on the pitch. Apparently a very hard worker. Not sure I’d want him running the Met police force but would have him in an England shirt any day. Brings something different to the team which we don’t have with any other FH. However sadly I think that opportunity has passed by, so all that his left is for Glos to try to keep him in England do that we can enjoy watching his skill set for a bit longer.




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      1. Had to thumbs you up for this post Staggy. Agree re Cip, who does indeed, would you agree, actually does play ‘heads up’ rugger? Wonder if LW is reading this & if he even occasionally watches Cip on the telly? Dun gd v Quins yesterday.




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  17. Unfortunately incidents have occurred under three different national coaches, not to mention club coaches as well. In no international team are you going to be rewarded with a vice captaincy for assaulting a female police officer. You need to think that one over again fella…

    It’s a loss to England and it’s obviously a personal tragedy but the list of indiscretions is just too long, certainly for the RFU I assume. I’m pretty sure he never ventures out thinking well tonight I might just throw myself under a bus or try to nick a bottle of vodka. But at some point you have to take personal responsibility as well. It wasn’t that many posts ago Sinks was getting battered for not doing the same over an on field penalty.

    There’s no denying his talent but however unfair it may seem,to suggest that off field antics can be ignored and separated at international level is a bit naive. And that’s not just England, just look at the NZ no dick heads rule….mind you that is a bit bizarre…




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    1. LW, you’re looking for teasons to justify yr preconceptions. It’s no skin off my naive nose, but shouldn’t D Care have also prev been excluded for pissing in his chips? Wasps didn’t have issues (yes I know there was the 1 punch up incident with his team mate) with Cipriani. I’n fact under Margo Wells, he regularly put in extra sprinting practice to improve his game. Perhaps Wasps knew how to better handle him, but with England’s rigidity, they shot themselves & Cip in the foot? Besides the RFU have a tendency to pick ‘yes men’ coaches & for not entirely rational reasons. E.g. Lancaster declined to insist on picking the best flanker in Euro for the last WC, whereas Cheika did insist on including offshore players last up which arguably got Oz to the final. The NZ no ‘dick heads’ thing is a sound bite slogan. Besides they’ve their issues with players but perhaps they deal with them a bit differently. And anyway, this is something of a red herring as the real point of this post is about 1 ? Do England want the best fly 1/2 or not? Then the other potential ? Is, how do they best manage him? The latter’s rhetorical of course, as the decision’s already been made regarding the latter. However & to reiterate another ?, what price would there have been on Cipriani v Wales? Not even on the bench.. like 1 or 2 others BTW, so g’luck with the visionary Eddie, who only got the job because japan beat SA.




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      1. Haha…teasons? Is that a finger trying to type reasons and head thinking treason? Made me smile anyway. I don’t suppose Danny is that bothered, most would swap a few caps for some quality time with Kelly Brook, Cips had 2 years !

        As for playing foreign players, you don’t suppose the state of French rugby has anything to do with lack of such a policy…?




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        1. Yes & ha ha indeed LW, but as the ‘treason’ comment is yrs, it merely seems to echo yr underlying intransigence. A v English thing? Regrds Cip & Brook, I don’t know & wouldn’t suppose as you do, because that would be unscientific perception. Which takes us back to the point; perception about Cipriani. Anyway & as I’ve already alluded to before, from a selfish POV, I’m happy that Farrell, who by a fair concensus here, has been exposed as limited, continues @ fly1/2 into the WC for England. Regarding ‘foreign’ players, I was referring to Armitage. A few for yr contemplation though; Hartley, Tui, Teo, Vinopola x2, Shields, Cocka. What’s that about Fr rugby again? Surely, you’re having a giraffe.




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          1. Sorry meant to say foreign based players. And I knew who you were referring to. Limiting the caping of players to domestic clubs protects the infrastructure of the country. The argument has been made countless times before. The state of the French national team is good example of the consequences of not having such a policy. It was predicted years ago and has been depressingly accurate.




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            1. Foreign based indeed. L Love a duck & FCOL, Fr is an hr away by plane! Similar to say, Newcastle. All that need be done is to have an approp release clauses in players’ contracts. And or raise the salary cap. So this protection bizzo is simply an out moded, fear based thing, or IOW, baggage. Bit like the Brexit vote. As for the state of Fr rugby, well nationally, form can be cyclical & with their lousy coaches & picks for do long, their results over the last decade or so are hardly surprising. If they’d had a Joe Scmidt, for instance, do reckon he couldn’t have done an ‘Iteland’ with them? Still enough talent there. Also, Ireland’s record prior to JS had been ordinary. Likewise with Wales, whom have allowed ‘foreign based’ players & whom just derailed England in case you hadn’t noticed. Besides & ‘talking’ of these ‘foreign born’ players, don ‘t you think that the players, I’ve already mentioned, & including Solamona, who I forgot, are not already suppressing ‘native’ players’ opportunities? These aforenamed constitute 1/2 a rugby team! Therefore regarding protection, how’s that protecting yr game? Especially when the effect is already showing with the number of English clubs having been tipped out of Euro over the last 2 yrs! Blimey, LW, nxt thing, you’ll be ‘telling’ me that the AB’s have the same policy! In conclusion however, yr thinking is countlessly ltd, hide bound & dated.. again, much like the thinking behind the Brexit vote.




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              1. As I said this has been done to death in the past. Every international ruling body would like to retain as many players in the domestic game as possible .It’s not about France being an hour away, it’s about a lot more than that. Having internationally recognised players in domestic clubs attracts attendance numbers which financially benefits the club. It attracts young and new people into the game. They aren’t going to travel to see them in France every week.

                Having senior international players in the domestic teams allows them pass on expierence and knowledge to younger emerging players that aren’t going to start their careers in France.

                And finally, continually linking anyone thinking differently to Brexit is tenuous at best, but in reality completely irrelevant.




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                1. But as Godper states, LW, commercial interests dictate. Don’t agree that they should, but there it is. Besides, don’t the ‘foreign’ stars also attract fans, pass on skills, influence (except yrs) mindsets. And, anyway, do you think the whole England team would migrate abroad, if they were gd enough in the 1st place of course? As you state, these arguments have been done to death, but so what? If you repeat something often enough it must be right? Phooey. Like I venture, much of this stuff is fear based thinking & as such DOES parrallel Brexit. Can’t see it though can you? Too conditioned, too brain washed, too out of perspective, but v typical. This rigid attitude holds yr rugby back, like Fartell’s boot. Bet you wouldn’t have minded seeing him going abroad 2nd to last up. @ leAst the AB’s have Carter a 6 mth offshore break & gave McCaw etc sabbaticals. Can you imagine the RFU allowing that. And besides yr jaundiced views seem happy for the SH being drained by the NH buying power, particularly with yr Joe Cocka, Hansen jibe. A commendable, ‘I’m all right Jack’, d/std attitude perchance? Impressive.




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          1. Actually it was a perfectly genuine question Don. I had completely forgotten the furore about Armitage. A fine player whose face didn’t fit. Why earwigging? I read most posts on here because people have taken the time to write them and their opinions are of interest. You are sometimes too cynical.




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            1. I’m also biased & 1 eyed too Andy, don’t forget. However, I did assume you’d asked a rhetorical ? About Steffon Armitage, as you usually appear as something of a font of knowledge on all things rugby. Anyway, I thought England missed a trick by not finding a way to accommodate Armitage, who I think was Euro player of the yr x2.




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        1. Do you mean Gosper, Fletch?

          I don’t think it was a jibe really was it , just a bit of light humour, you do appear to be incredibly thin skinned Don.

          You keep mentioning fear, but without really stating fear of what. So why do you think there are policies in place. Why do some countries have central contracts?

          It’s hard to gauge what you think as every post seems to be a belligerent personal attack and point scoring exercise. There’s no one else that posts here that does that….

          Time to leave you to you’re own toxic devices I think. The bog could probably do with a moderator, but that’s enough for me….




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          1. Answered ‘Gosper’, already. Was it really humour, or retro justification? Agree these things are sometimes hard to tell. However, I think people should be accountable for what they state, so sure, I challenge them. Pity the heat in the kitchen as yr accusation likewise seems, er, defensive (although not thin skinned I’m sure) & somewhat general. Fear of failure of course, in answer to that ? The nxt is rhetorical. Regds..’personal attack & pts scoring’ & ‘there’s no one else here that does that’, are you pulling my wot’s it LW? Apart from you perhaps? Re-read yr own. ‘Toxic’ for e.g. Isn’t that a tad personal? Toxic even? You’re arguably right though about the ‘bog’ probably needing a moderator. So could the blog maybe, but oops, there I go again, being thin skinned, or is it ‘just a bit of light humour’ too? Takes 2 to tango LW. Have a good one & yeah, we can leave it @ that. Best.




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  18. Wasnt much of a game in truth. England won with a great deal to spare and Italy demonstrated that they have real issues with depth and quality. They just dont have enough international class players to call upon.
    Cokanasiga went very well and will play again next week. Thought Genge was good and Robson added a bit of zip from the bench. He really needs to start next week.
    But what did we learn? Neither centre possesses a passing game of note, Daly is good going forward but doubts remain about his defensive work, neither starting half back is exactly a creative dynamo and some of our wide defending was very poor, almost nonexistent at times.
    8 tries isnt to be sniffed at and there one or two good ones to enjoy. We did what was needed, sometimes very effectively and efficiently. Yet ultimately it just wasnt very satisfying.




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  19. Not too much we didn’t know already apart from Cocka being something of a revelation to those of us who have not seen a lot of him, and Tuilagi demonstrating that he has got some pace back. A completely off the wall thought, but if we get a decent lead against Scotland has Cocka ever played 12? The idea of him and Tuilagi hitting their straps with May and Nowell on the wings would not be welcomed by most oppositions. Unfortunately it would require Cips at 10 and Goode at ful back to really make it work, which ain’t going to happen. Two for me remains unconvincing and has had enough chances. Looking ahead, I thought the most encouraging thing is that we now have good strength in depth in most positions and both Sinkler and Genge seem to be much better in the tight than they were a year ago. However, almost every WC winning team has had a world class scrum half and Young s is a mile away from that. His pass is slow, he crabs sideways before he lets it go, and whereas in the pass he had a real eye for a,break close to the base of the ruck I don’t think he made a single dart on Saturday. Robson should start against Scotland and Care should be back as soon as fit.




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  20. A solid game for most of the team but I think if you look deeper you see that some players were made to look good by others not doing much!! I’m talking about T’eo and Tuilagi. T’eo being in the midfield meant the Italians had to cover both him and Tuilagi which made it easier for the latter to make holes in the defence. T’eo didn’t do much with ball in hand, but did a fair bit without it.
    Tuilagi had his best game for some time but against better teams may get caught out in defence at 13.
    Kruis was excellent and will be even better when Itoje is back by his side. He made Launchbury look relatively ordinary in this game.
    Shields was also much improved and gives Wilson serious competition for the 6 shirt. I think Robshaw’s days are over. Both Shields and Wilson are more dynamic with ball in hand and are more versatile.
    Youngs passing was at times laboured and inaccurate, and I thought Robson looked sharp when he came on (shame it wasn’t a little earlier in the game!).
    Ford looked sharp as well when introduced and I do wonder if a combination Ford, Farrell and Tuilagi would work?




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