England v Australia: Rate the Match

Israel Folau

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

Who played well? what were the main talking points?

How will England reflect on their performances and results this Autumn?

Rate the Match: England v Australia

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74 thoughts on “England v Australia: Rate the Match

  1. Not a perfect performance, but several positives, breakdown was generally very good, execution in second half also! Sinckler was immense again, Manu looked good for his cameo! Never really tested under high ball which was surprising, Daly showed why he should be in the 23, but not necessarily at full back. Autumn for Eddie and England up overall compared to the year as a whole!

  2. Pretty loose game and Australia did not look strong! But definitely some positives for England, even in some of their problem areas:
    – Back row finally looking pretty strong and balanced. Good competition for places (shields and Wilson for 6, Curry and Underhill for 7?
    – Thought centres went well. Teo’s best game of the autumn by a fair distance.
    – Pack looked strong in the scrum and maul (albeit against a depleted opponent)
    – Cokanasinga and Tuilagi looked strong and added a new dimension to England’s attack

    But also some outstanding worries:
    – where to play Daly. I think it has to be at FB or 13. But I liked the look of Slade at 13 today. For me the choice is between Watson and Slade (who would you drop to put Daly in the side)?
    – Farrell’s tackling is just too borderline – I’m not sure if the added edge undoubtedly effective aggression is worth the risk?
    – Defence looked porous at times again. Hopefully this will bed in as Mitchell gets more time with the team….?

    1. Watson did not look any more convincing than Daly at 15, and for me should compete for a place on the wing when he comes back. Goode is still the best 15 in the Premiership. Farrell’ s tackling is not borderline, it is frequently illegal. No idea why he does not get penalised. Quite a few positives, but Australia were all over the place defensively and we are behind at least Ireland, NZ and Wales at present.

      1. Agreed with you on Watson. Goode is great at club level – don’t think he’s international level. Think Brown is still our best option – although I like the look of the Gloucester fb – woodward?
        Agree on Farrell – think he will get penalised and once it starts it won’t stop until he changes his technique.
        Agreed that this autumn team is behind Ireland and NZ – but not far behind and that’s with a number of key players missing.
        Don’t agree they are behind Wales who won a poor game with Scotland, neither side looking convincing, scraped past the Aussie team that England put 37 points on and leaked 24 points to Tonga in about five minutes – good win over SA though

  3. I think overall I’m disappointed with the performance. England still unable to put together an 80 minute performance.
    I wasn’t at the game but it looked a bit flat from where I was sitting, does anyone else think that?

    Positives for the autumn
    -Ben moon at prop, and old fashioned scrummager that England have not had for a while. No ones really mentioned how dan Cole has been moved on and also hartley has found good form.
    -Wilson-versatile back row, decent at carries and at the breakdown, looks hard as nails, can he jump at the line out?
    -England look like they’ve settled on how their backs will play, Owen at 10, bosher at 12 and playmaker at 13.
    -England seem to have a driving maul again
    -underhill looks set for a long run at seven, injuries permitting
    -having a big wing in cokanasiga. With mako, billy, teo and manu England have big carriers all over the field, something wev lacked since….03?

    -lack of intensity for full 80 mins
    -daly not coming on at fullback
    -still confusion over the make up of the back 3
    -do hepburn and Williams cut the mustard at international level? Juries out at the moment, would like to have seen schonert have a go, probably too late for him now.
    -scrum still not dominant at test level, better but not dominant
    -England have improved this autumn, no doubt about that but how much have they improved relatively to other teams eg Ireland and Wales?

  4. Listening to the sky pundits, raving about Itoji, Wilson, Big Joe, e.t.c. England now out of their recent slump and on target for the WC.
    Now happy we are going in the right direction.
    Their have been great gains with sinkler, Wilson cementing their international credentials.
    Teo is becoming a Will Greenwood, in that, despite his club form, always delivers in an England shirt.
    The biggest gain is that Slade has finally arrived. We’ve all been a bit underwhelmed by him to date but this Autumn he has produced consistently and has manifested a shoe in at 13.
    Once again I’ll state that who ever wins the 6 Nations( It must be at a canter) has the best chance of a Northen Hemisphere nation lifting the WC.
    This Englishman thinks the Irish ( with a fit Sexton) have destiny on their side.

    1. I can’t see Slade as a shoo in, sorry. Ironinc that Daly had his best game in the 15 shirt today and I’d still stick him in the middle with T’eo.
      Ben Moon has made a very strong case to be the number one number one in my eyes. He’s not as dynamic as Mako but scrums far more effectively. He’s relatively small and has more than held his own against the SH Goliaths this autumn. If Sinckler is the incumbent 3 then he can do the Makoesque broken field fandango and mak could be used as a very effective finisher.
      As others have said , the defence is still far too flimsy. We struggle to contain fast, direct runners. First up tackling is no better than it was four years ago.
      Wilson is s huge find and Don please note, I’m more than pleased to say that Shields has pleasantly surprised me.He looks better with each game and should be a permanent squad member.
      Faz will cost us if he persists in testing the fortitude of his shoulders against opponents chests and heads.He’s co captain (?) so needs to cut it out.
      Six more games before the Land of the Rising Sun. You can amlost hear the cries of “anyone but England”!

      1. Ok, regards Acee. My point about Shields was that there seemed to be some underlying resentment about him from the start because he was seen as having leap frogged others more worthy & was a NZ reject. Well, his inclusion in the Engkand set up was down to Jones & not Shields. Would anyone, offered a shot @ Int’al rugby, turn it down? However, given that Shields was picked, he, mostly like anyone else, needed some games in order to better have his worth assessed, that’s all. Not all agreed with this view though. It’s no skin off my nose either way, but he had a sound pedigree in S Rugby & as the Canes captain, spoke with dignity & nous IMO.

  5. Gave it a 7. Unclear exactly why. How do I, or does anyone else, actually rate a match? What are the criteria? Anyway, whatever, as predictably England endured @ home & in the end prevailed. Interesting as to what the pen count was. Any stats Pab? Does this mean they’re back on track? EJ will claim so. However, it was @ home & so distorts reality somewhat. Farrell proved again that illegal shoulder charegs pay off. Presumably he again attempted to grasp his opponent. Any more news pics, replays to back this up Pab? Bottom line, he denied Oz a 7 pointer, which ought to have resulted in a pen try & a yellow – the colour of the ref’s shirt. Still, might work again in the 6N & the WC, so why not keep trying it? Well, it may backfire @ some point & drop England in it, that’s why. Still, a win’s a win I suppose, but will it suffice to scupper Ireland away in the 6N? A definite maybe. England played in their ‘English’ way as Jones like to describe it, i.e., mostly R1. So, what else is new? The aforementioned 6N may pose harder ?’s for their workman like, little risk policy of kicking for 3 when they could have gone for more. It may even see them through to a 6N GS, even a WC final, but what do you think? In the end, these are the ONLY ?’s that matter.

      1. Leon, yes thanks. Pablito aslo uses ESPN. Take it the pens were against in both cases? Can’t recall exactly what the ST stated, but seems about similar.

        1. First time we have conceded less penalties than we gave away in over two years, partly down to the fact that Sinkler gave away none whereas Cole always managed two or three. Not sure it means much though, as Poite should never be allowed near a whistle at this level.

            1. My heart sinks every time I see he is in charge JK. Inconsistent, no idea what is going on in the tight and fails to use his TMO when he should.

                1. Senior moment JK, though both induce much the same feeling of trepidation. I cannot forget the sheer pleasure that Poite took in England’s bemusement at Italy’s game destroying tactics a couple of years ago, but my comment was about Peyper.

  6. Better by England. Australia are a pretty average team. England still have much to do if they are to catch Ireland and New Zealand. Can somebody teach Owen F how to tackle, he has been very lucky of late. That luck will run out, probably in a close game in Japan, which England will go on to lose.

    1. According to reports , EJ has said he’s not going to stop Faz leading with his shoulder. If that’s true it’s absolutely a dereliction of duty to the player and the team.

      1. Agreed! It is going to really cost us in a big match..also the more he does it the more difficult it will be to eradicate it as it will have become an ingrained physical reaction.
        Eddie has said similar things about maro giving away penalties ie they want him to play that way!

      2. What EJ says in public and what he actually does are often two completely different things Acee. I reckon he will have had a quiet word to make it clear that Farrell has pushed his luck and refs will be watching for him.

  7. Very impressed by England’s performance today and would go as far as to say that all teams in the northen hemisphere are catching up at long last. Ball handling forwards, faster clean outs at the ruck and generally a faster pace to the game. It is good to see and good for the game for it to truly open up and bring some unpredictability to major international comps, something which football has in abundance.

    1. Maybe Alex (not D are you?). However, France just lost to Fiji, tryless Wales scraped past an ‘average’ Aus by 3, Scots are up & down (do they frighten you, or England?) & Ireland, on the back of their 1st home win v NZ by 7 are suddenly world beaters? And all these games were @ home! Whilst yr points may contain an element of truth, the WC, which will be on neutral ground, may prove a different reality.

  8. Well I said that I would reserve judgement till after this game and would say that we are actually in credit after the AIs much to my surprise. Sadly this is the stage that we should have been at 12 months ago. NZ and Ireland still the odds on favourites for the RWC, but we have reestablished ourselves in the chasing pack with Wales, SA and France. Not really convinced by Argentina, Scotland or Australia but any of them could have a good RWC if things go right.

    I think that EJ knows what his squad is going to be pretty much. Just not sure that I agree with it all. However he is the head coach and I’m an armchair critic!

    Enjoyed the game today. Plenty of ambition but we really do have things to work on.

    Farrell tackling. There was more than one incident today and I thought that he could have been yellow carded twice. Thought the one on the try line was probably a penalty try. Don take note.
    Defending needs work, but that may be partly due to having quite a few new names in the team.

    1. Pretty over the top! Many of Don’s posts contain good points and arguments. Good to have an outside perspective imo.

      1. Hi Bolter. I was extremely hurt by R80’s (is he a brother of Joe 90 do you think?!) comments. So much so, that I am currently in Wetherpoons drowning my sorrows. I’ll try, with God’s help, to get over it though. Regrds.

          1. Yes, Bolter, I read his blurb. Reckons Brexit will lower UK prices. Not that I’m frugal you understand. Overall, though & as it wasn’t a planned fiscal based withdrawl, I feel pretty uneasy about the whole bizzo.

            1. You obviously know a lot more about rugby than you do about beer Don. There are proper pubs around if you look carefully.

              1. Oh, don’t know that I know that much about either Andy, but do you know The Harp, off Leicester Sq or The Lamb & Flag nr Covent Gdn? Both bosca little pubs.

                1. I remember the Harp Don, but am now happily ensconced in sunny Spain. You would need a lot of cash to get me to London ever again!

              2. Can’t reply directly to yr Spain post Andy (no button to do so?!), but perhaps the boozers out there are a bit different? Can you get a pint of Broadside? If not, may have to consider taking plenty holidays back in Blighty?

    2. Oh dear, Rugger80. I sincerely regret that I appear to have got under your non-thick skin & thereby struck a raw nerve. Surely, though, my comical ranting must have raised at least a smile on countenance? However, I am flattered, if somewhat embarresed, by your comparing me to God, rugby, or otherwise. Nevertheless, if you hope to go to Heaven at, hopefully, some distant, future point, I highly recommend that when you write the name God, that you do so using a capital G. I can’t promise you that I’ll bore off, but you may rest assured that I shall make my beast endeavours to bore on. BTW, was it you who gave a thumbs up? Oops, there I go again with that comical humour. Happy days.

  9. We have to be happy with 3 wins out of 4 and the loss was only one point.Shields is coming good and Wilson proved me wrong as an 8.
    However our kick/chase game remains poor.Cant Remember getting the ball back once.And as everyone else says why have the coaches not persuaded Farrell to give up the shoulder charge?
    Again as others say It can’t be correct Daly is the best 15 in the country but he is perhaps the best 13.Target for 6N has to be 4 wins to say rwc preparation on course.Eddie has turned 2018 around partly I suspect due to the influence of Mitchell

  10. I think England can take many positives from their performance and it looks like they’re building some depth. I think potential concerns are EJ’s player selction in that I think he has stuck with some too long and discarded others without enough evidence at hand to do so. The other concern should be Farrel’s tackling in that if he doesn’t change he’s going to get carded at a crucial point in a match. The coming 6 Nations will, I think, show where the various countries are in their preparation for the RWC.

  11. Cokansiga is looking the part, can certainly see him finding his way to a World Cup 23. We could theoretically have him, Mako, Sinckler, Billy and Tuilagi on the pitch at once. Massive power and they’re all mobile too.

    I think the biggest disappointment of the Autumn, which has generally been very positive, is Daly not nailing down the 15 shirt. Unfortunately i don’t think is relative weakness under the high ball can be fixed, so would find room for him on the wing and give Watson a go.

    1. JK, or Daly @ 13? Slade may, may not be the answer there. Also who to drop @ wing. May? Joe Cocka, the next, or new, big thing? You’ll need Brown @ the WC & likely in Wales & Ireland prior to that. Watson may be the answer, but he was shakey @ the back the last 2 times for England, dropping a couple & giving away tries.

      1. Don, I find myself wedded to the idea of Slade at 13. It may not be rational but it’s where I am.

        I would until recently have dropped May but he’s become so influential, I’d have him in with Daly. Big Joe on the bench, Nowell in the wider squad. No room for Ashton.

        Watching Lozowski at the weekend he’d be next in line if Slade gets crocked, unless EJ has now made his mind up that he’s not up to it. He’s now mastering the wing as well as 10, 12, 13 and 15, that versatility in a WC squad would be invaluable.

        1. JK, you’ll know Slade, Lozowski better than me. As the contrary Jones isn’t likely to change from Daly @ f/back, then you may well be right about Slade. Someone has to fill 13 & it’s also unlikely to have Teo & Tui on the field together, then HS may well be the starter. Besides, times running low for further change now. Lozowski’s versatility notwithstanding, if he gets another chance, he’ll to pull the stops out, as Jones doesn’t appear to favour him?

  12. On balance Eng end the Autumn in credit. To me the Aussies seemed tired and at time apathetic to the game. We got sucked into that and rather similar to Japan, we scored quickly and this seemed to negatively affect our intensity and accuracy.

    I really hope that EJ doesn’t get lured into the power game (by this I mean fielding all his big units in the same team), especially this close to the world cup. When you employ big’uns to run at brick walls you can’t rely on their fitness week to week so building a team around this game plan could back fire spectacularly. Also it would have eerie semblance to Lancaster at RWC who also got suckered into this way of thinking…

    Autumn positives – Moon, Sinkler, Wilson, Lawes (his carrying), Slade (for me he has been a sound a solid presence at 13, limited opportunity to play make but I think as he feels more at home he will grow into something special), Cokanasiga & Underhill.

    Autumn negatives – Who is our captain!? Farrell’s tackling (we will get hurt at some point by this), scrum half depth, Hepburn & William inadequate, heart in the mouth every time the opposition go aerial.

    Food for thought – is Itoje really the player we think? By my reckoning he is behind quite a few in the pecking order for World XV, equally is his kind of leadership mature enough?

    Watson walks back into the team when fit.

    Unpopular opinion – May still gives me the heebeegeebees.

    1. SJ, but England are historically always been more comfortable playing through their beefeaters beasting it up the middle.
      The ‘English’ way as EJ calls it. That’s also why Young’s & Farrell are in IMO & Cip & an alt 1/2back are out. Kicking game! If their pack overpower @ the set piece & in the loose, when in possession, then it works. Agree with yr concern about this style of play though, not so much just because of injuries, they can happen anyway, but more about what happens if they’re held up front. Or worse still, what if they get put on to the back foot? Plan B please?

      1. I’ve made another lengthy comment re Cipriani on the other thread Don so I won’t go into that again (for the sake of all!).

        Plan B is certainly key. A point I missed from my original post is that one of the things I have admired about Eng this Autumn is how they have won / challenged without the big ball carrying option – well, until the Aus game at least. Hopefully with the ‘lightweight’ backline we fielded in SA and the lack of Vunipolas / Tuilagi in the Autumn has taught us that route one isn’t the be all and end all.

        I also think Farrell has more to his game than kicking (and before you make the comment, illegal shoulder charging ;-)). He is actually quite an astute attacker, no Carter / Barrett or Cipriani granted, but he is pretty good… With Slade outside him (and I like JK am ‘wedded’ to the idea of him being our 13) we have the skillset in the back line to be more than ‘English’. I just hope EJ doesn’t lose sight of this and think it necessary to pick Te’o / Manu and Coka…

        1. Well SJ, Slade it is then? Getting pretty late to change now anyway. Both he & Farrell must perform in the 6N, especially away. No 2nd chances now. As Jones was never going to give Ciptiani a real run (recall his negative comments about sending Cip home from SA IF he misbehaved? Prejudged or what?), England have missed trick IMO. And what if the vaunted Farrell gets crocked? England will go into mourning as per Diana & GF will have to hold the fort. The opposition also better know what they’re get with Farrell, so better for their prep. Will see soon enough how it all works out though with 6N looming.

    2. Can’t agree on Williams. He may not have the impact of sinkler round the park, but he carries better than Cole, scrums as well as Cole and didn’t give away 3 penalties a game.
      Really safe pair of hands at TH. Sinkler has the X factor that makes him starter, but I am never worried by Williams coming on.

  13. I think the most pleasing part of these AIs has been the emergence of some depth that I didn’t think was there by the end of the 6N. Getting a lot of different players minutes in the Eng shirt has to be a positive. Moon, Shields, Underhill, Wilson, Slade, Te’o have all played themselves into a 23 that I wouldn’t have put them in at all perhaps 3 months ago.

    Add Mako and Billy to this group of players and I think we’d have the chance to compete against Ire so I look forward to the 6N – although I note we’re playing them in Dublin so I won’t hold my breath.

    The two main issues I’d note – as said many times, Daly hasn’t looked 100% comfortable at 15 and if I were playing the ABs tomorrow, I would have Brown in my starting line up.

    Also I think we look a bit weak at 9. Ben Youngs has played well, but his form can waver and I don’t think EJ has really brought on anyone to offer another option. Wiggy can’t surely be anything more than a stop gap, Care will surely be affected by being dropped for the last game – Robson? Anyone else? In EJ we trust I suppose.

    Good AI overall – no red cards! Thought the refereeing as a whole has been good, but maybe that’s because I’m an Englishman 😉

    1. Generally speaking I think the standard of refereeing has been very good.

      Paradoxically with the exception of a handful of awful decisions. Sadly these have mattered and it really spoils the games when we are speaking of poor decisions by the officials.

      Not a big fan of Peyper and unfortunately he did nothing on Saturday to give me any cause to re-think.

      I was at the Eng/NZ game and also the Eng/Aus game, and again both sides on Saturday spent the whole game a foot or two offside at the breakdowns. Happily, it was not an issue, but it does make me wonder why the Touch judges (or whatever they are called) don’t police this.

      1. Blub, don ‘t see how reffing has been v good, especially with yr comments about teams you’ve viewed being seemingly, permanently offside @ the breakdown? Unless the refs are ‘invisible’, they’re not much cop IMO, but agree about touch judges. Sometimes wonder if they officiate for 80 mins by watching the crowd!

        1. Put simply, I think the ‘slightly offside’ tendency seems to have become the norm. However, I don’t think that this is the refs fault as, having done a small bit of refereeing, it is bloody difficult to spot offside (unless very blatant) whilst keeping an eye on all the crap going on at a breakdown. This is why I would like to see the touch judges managing this – I know they do ‘advise’ but they only seem to do so, again, when it is blatant.

          As an aside, I wish they would also police the 5m law at a scrum. Or, go back to not having the law at all.

  14. Well England were convincing on the scoreboard in the end & turned up the pressure through their big ball carriers & upped tempo in the 2nd 1/2. They’ve also unearthed a new back row, a prop, a wing, maybe & have seemingly a settled side – for now. What depleted me about the match however, was the awful way in which Piper adjudicated. As a technical neutral he devalued my game enjoyment. Piper distorted the game with utter oblivian to Farrell’s again illegal tackle. BTW, SCW, Geenwood, Lynagh & the jaundiced S Jones, all concurred that it was a pen try. And as Cheika stated they were denied 2 more tries. H-Petty’s & another? The point is that referees are changing games & @ important junctures. In this situation it doesn’t do England any real favours to have a partially skewed post AI view of their status. I think England would still have won though. As Lynagh ventured, Oz continue to make too many errors & pens. Also, England upped intensity after 1/2time. However, without outside interference, it would likely have cast a different reflection on the result. OTOH, with returning stalwarts like the, you know whom, V bros, possibly Tui, Launchberry, Watson, JJ etc, it will bolster the team, but it could also cause some disruption, disappointment & even resentment. I mean, I’d be pretty pissed off if I were Moon & was told, Thanks Moony, but you’re benched, as Mako’s back’. As Jones will likely revert to some of these aforementioned, he’d be wise, IMO, to carefully marshall his team by rotating players & giving them meaningful game time to offer competition & carrots. EJ’s team must do well in the 6N, arguably a bigger overall test in some ways than the AI’s, but he will also, simultaneously, have to groom, properly blood & bed his players in for the WC. As he’ll likely have more injuries along the way & during the Cup, this time he must ensure his teams are picked by design rather through accident from enforced injury, as has recently been the case. Overall though, a better position for England than before the AI’s. Some careful husbandry required in the future then?. PS Still think it’s a boon for the opposition to have Cipriani & Brown out. What if, Heaven forbid, Farrell & or Daly get crocked? Yikes! These are my ethereal pondering anyway.

    1. I think the two tries Cheika is referring to is Haylett Petty’s and the Koribete (sic?) ‘try’. Both were forward passes, first by Haylett Petty himself and then by Toomua in the lead up to the second. Again I think both were forward by a considerable margin so I don’t think he can feel too aggrieved. On the Farrell matter, he has every right to be spitting feathers and perhaps it wasn’t the extra 4 points that is the matter, it was the momentum going into half time and potentially 10 mins without Farrell at the start of the second half. I’d disagree with suggestions that it should have been a red.

      I think the view of where England are has been pretty level headed all round, which can be summed up basically as ‘back on track’. The proving ground as you correctly identify is the Six Nations. Interesting that we are playing Ireland 1st up, it probably gives us our best chance of beating them, before they get into their stride.

      Agreed ref the integration of ‘key’ players. Personally I like the idea of Mako as a finisher and actually, for me and form depending, Watson is the only shoe-in.

      1. SJ, you THINK that the ‘fwd passes’ you refer to were actually fwd. From the TV angle that I saw for H-P’s try, for instance, it wasn’t obviously or definitely forward as the view was from slightly behind the passe’s trajectory & not directly in line with it. Wasn’t there also a ? of whether H-P’s hands were pointed backwards?

        1. I was in line with the actual pass for Haylett-Petty’s try and I have to say that it did ‘look’ a long way forward in real time.

          Watching later on TV it didn’t look so skewed, but it was the right decision.

        2. Don, if you read back I actually don’t think they were forward, the passes were forward and the ‘think’ I refer to were that they were by a considerable margin… Ref your point below regarding wins in Dublin and Cardiff – agreed. Although again, I wait to see the context of the defeat before commenting on whether this will represent a derailment or not.

          1. SJ, ok, but it should work both ways with refs’ decisions all the same. Have opined further on 6N’s to Staggy; re Dublin & Cardiff.

      2. SJ, already stated about Farrell. Red, no, but, as widely agreed, it was a pen try for an illegal tackle & therefore a yellow only. Too late for Oz now, but Peyper ought to be sanctioned for blatant disregard of the law. Maybe retirement?! This back on track thing is premature for me. If England prevail in the 6N & particularly in Dublin & Wales, then & only then, does this claim have validity. If they lose these 2, then it’ll be more like derailment methinks. Also, Schmidt will be prepared to get his retaliation in 1st & stop England from getting into THEIR stride I reckon. We’ll see soon enough though.

        1. Not convinced losing in Dublin or Cardiff to two teams ranked ahead of us counts as derailment. As long as we put in good performances in both games, I will be relatively happy. However happier still to win one of the two!

          1. Staggy, have to be pretty convincing then. However, with EJ’s avowed WC aspirations, 2 losses would be a significant set back, potential performances notwithstanding. Really though, England need to win all their games to give themselves a proper WC springboard IMO. Tall order, but rehearsal time will be over before you know it.

      3. Why is Watson a shoo-in? He is a decent winger but just as vulnerable as Daly under the high ball and did not distinguish himself there when given a chance. As for Daly, not sure why his reviews for this game were so positive. He dropped a straightforward catch, bottled another and had to make a diving save because he was out of position. Has not even nailed down a place in the squad imv. Brown, Goode, Pennells,
        and Woodward are all better full backs. (Have a feeling Woodward may be Aussie)? Good to see Moon stake a positive claim, but if he is fit I would like to see Genge get a run in the Six Nations. A pack with Mako, George, Sinkler, Itoje, Launchbury, Shields Billy and Underhill, with Genge, LCD, Schonert, Lawes and Wilson to come off the bench would have real heft and forward momentum. All we need then is a scrum half to get the ball away from the base of the scrum a lot quicker than Youngs and we have a platform to take on anybody. Quite like Spencer, but if he can’t displace Wiggy at club level he would be a real outside bet. I reckon Care will be back and was possibly dropped to give him a kick up the arse. Should be a terrific six nations.

  15. I don’t really understand keep going over ref decisions you can start from the kickoff nearly always some in front of the kicker then play Carry’s on till the ref sees an offence but he could call both sides at any ruck but chooses one and blows and so it goes the ref always changes the game .play the whistle move on

    1. Mmm MJR, all well & good..until perhaps a decision goes agin yr team, like Lawes being offside v NZ which resulted in that disallowed try for instance?

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