RWC 2019 Warm-ups: Wales v England Rate the Match

Millennium Stadium

What did you think of that match at the Millennium Stadium this afternoon?

How did the game compare to last week’s outing at Twickenham?

What were the main talking points?

87 thoughts on “RWC 2019 Warm-ups: Wales v England Rate the Match

  1. An okay game, six for me. Both teams strong in defence game will have very little bearing on the WC. Watson yellow? No way IMO and no bias here. He went for the tackle, arm was not raised and ready to wrap, ball passed into his arm. What gives?? Then ball played whilst he is still running off the field! WTF!

    1. Don’t think there’s any obligation to wait for the recipient of a yellow card to go off before continuing play? BUT with Heinz going off for HIA at the same time, physios on the pitch, it was a bit of a mes. I don’t agree with that yellow decision but once it was given, the onus was on england to get their shit together and defend.

      Having said that, the bigger issue is North should have given the ball to Owens who was in a lovely position to score. Greedy bastard.

    2. Hung his arm out D’maul, which unfortunately, was a yellow. Lucky the ref didn’t consider a pen try, with the overlap!

      1. But did he hang his arm out really? He didn’t exactly dangle it like he was feeding a dog a sausage did he? He went for a tackle, which involves at some point bringing your arm away from your body. Not having a go at you Don but its just bloody ridiculous. Knock on yes, deliberate NO

        1. Yes he did hang his arm out. Simples; that’s when the ball hit it! Poor game compared with last week at T’kenham which I thought was really compelling. As others have said, it will be nothing like this if the teams meet in the WC. Also very pleased no serious knocks on either side.

        2. I think it’s a yellow. His arm was way out there, not in a natural tackling position.

          Letting Wales crack on when we’re trying to make an injury sub was odd though.

        3. @ the risk of being an agent provocateur DM, Watto must have been barking to have let it all hang out then?

      2. Don, I read this blog a lot and after many patient reads of your comments I have concluded you’re a bit of a provocateur who just comes constantly fishing for a rise. Well done, you’ve finally got one out of me. Its kind of tedious and childish.

        1. Don’t call you ‘Bullett’ for nothing do they Rob? Only kidding. I do see many opinions which require challenging . Although there’s a different mind set up here, I also think that people should justify what they state. Too long on perception, short on objectivity? Like Watson’s yellow as an e.g. If he’d been Welsh, what then?! Also, the officials did review the incident. My take was that Watson knew the risk he ran. If he hadn’t hung his arm out to hit the ball, he couldn’t have copped it. It was also dumb rugby. It indirectly lead to a Welsh try. Could even be argued that it lead, certainly contributed, to the loss. Personally, I thought England got away with one early in the match. Look @ it again. I don’t exclude myself from perception either. Of course it’s a site to express opinion, as Andy has stated & which includes me.. & you. Whilst the ‘provocative’ & the ‘childish’ you express in yr piece may have an element of truth in it, this can also apply to others. And hey, without some expression of the child(ish) (& tedious?) part if our ego states, where would we be? Some place else? Perhaps you could read further Rob. You may find that some of my stuff also makes some valid ( even ‘sensible’, Egad!) points. So, happy challenging.

          1. Not commenting on the Watson yellow, as I think it’s a marginal call either way. But the try should never have been allowed to stand … Watson wasn’t off the pitch, Heinz was off for HIA and Young’s wasn’t on yet so England at 13 men, Ford was also in discussion with ref at the point of the kick … meaning England had effectively 12 men. Also noticed when Young’s tried a quick tap and go later but AWJ was talking to ref he called it back saying discussion was ongoing … same rule didn’t seem to apply earlier? Both teams solid defensively and didn’t think either looked that likely to threaten the try line outside of that potentially illegal try.

        1. Shall I take that as a thumbs down then Andy? Obviously thought this 1 through. Are you bitter after Sat? And poor old ‘Whinge’-Jones.. again. Dear oh dear. Hard lines, but better luck nxt up.

    3. I agree with you Darth. No yellow here, or at least if it was, then in the age of consistent refereeing (hahahahahaha!!!!) there should have been a yellow for the exact same thing in the France Scotland game. But in his wisdom, Nigel Owens decided it was not even worth a penalty, it was just a scrum for the knock on.

  2. It was a dire “spectacle”
    One clear try scoring opportunity created throughout the 80 minutes.
    Far too much kicking. far too many turnovers. Far too little ambition and imagination.
    England should be greatly concerned by what they produced. Outside of a good scrum, they offered little penetration, were easily stalled or turned over in attack and committed far too many basic errors.
    Very few players earned a pass mark.

    1. That’s a pretty fair summary Steve.Flat uninspiring we offered zero threat.Daly worse than ever in every respect.We need to beat Ireland to restore go forward-and am not that confident we will.

      1. Don’t get why Daly attracts so much opprobrium in this site. OK he’s not the most inspiring of players, but he made some good breaks today, was pretty solid under high ball, despite being clearly targeted in that regard by Wales, made a few decent tackles. About a 6/10 performance IMO, which is about the score I’d give majority of england players today.

        1. Sorry Stroudos, can’t agree with you. There were three high balls in the first few minutes. He caught one, juggled another and dropped the third. He then failed to get anywhere near what should have been a 50-50 ball with Biggar, and dropped off a number of tackles. 4-5 at best, and both Brown and Goode must be completely pissed off that he is rated above them.

  3. I said after last weeks game that Ireland and Wales will go further than us in Japan and today only enhanced my view.

  4. Arm wrestle. Thank the stars that Wales scored a try to spark some response. A game England could won, but again Ford, 1st up, went for 2 pens instead going for tries. A try on either occasion would have, physically & psychologically, put England right back in it. That’s where a practical thinking captain could have been useful. Would Hartley have done it differently? Never know now, but..? Even when England brought on their heavy hitters, they proved predictable. Also, Daly kept kicking it when England needed the ball in the last 1/4! Agree 6/10 for skill level & interest level.

  5. Ok, so who are our first choice midfield two, JJ/ Francis, Slade/JJ or Manu/Slade? i hope to god it’s the last pairing. Francis has done NOTHING to suggest Ed knows something we don’t and JJ has been spasmodic at best. We were crying out for some creativity and wit today and only got any when Faz came on but I thought that issue had been put to bed?
    Itoje looks well short of match practice and energy too. He needs game time against Ireland or he could well become a bench option because JL has been immense and Kruis is Mr consistent if not always the most explosive player on the park.
    Cole started well but faded and the much vaunted finishers had little impact.Lastly, can anyone tell me what we gained from S/ton’s eight minute cameo as flanker number six?

    1. Well one of the “finishers” (a ridiculous term) was our best player, George did really well.
      Singleton had 4 minutes and contributed nothing. Thats not his fault . He shouldn’t have been put in that position and a few minutes at the end of the game was utterly meaningless.

      1. Well thanks for ignoring all the other points I raised Steve. Ok, I know nothing and you are the maven of Rugby.

    2. I thought our midfield was poor today until Faz came on. Don’t think Francis should be there and JJ was anonymous for a long time before his injury and looked the same today.
      A lot of our best players are prone to injury leaving us with choices from this 31 which are never going a world cup. I still think naming the squad early is a big mistake and typical of Eddie and his Ego.

  6. Neither teams played well but England were so.poor in the first half that you really have to wonder why Eddie named the squad early. Said this last week after they won and haven’t changed my mind after that shambles. Why take a million back 3 players when a few injuries leaves us with that back row and no cover on the bench?!
    But Wales were hardly that convincing given the one try they scored shouldn’t have been given.
    Our problems at half back.continue.

    1. Sorry for asking, but why shouldn’t it have been given? Because physios on pitch and Heinz HIA not replaced? Or something else?

  7. England had a mix and match experimental team and Wales were full strength. Eng will be pleased with the result, although a loss, we could have easily won that with the test side.

    1. Wales at full strength..? Liam Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Justin Tipuric, Adam Beard, Cory Hill, Rob Evans , Ellis Jenkins and Samson Lee all missing??????

      1. Well; Anscombe was not ‘missing’ – he’s out of the WC. Jenkins too is a very doubtful starter. Other than Liam, this was close to the strongest we can put out.

        1. So you would not think that Justin Tipuric, Rob Evans, Adam Beard/Cory Hill would not get selected if available. The point I was making is that Wales were not at ‘Full Strength’ . As was proved by finishing the game with a back row forward at second row and a hooker in the back row. Wales full strength team would include those currently out with injury, but who would be available come the RWC…The team selected was the ‘best’ available with the players he had left, but certainly not full strength in my opinion.

          1. “As was proved by finishing the game with a back row forward at second row and a hooker in the back row.”

            Pah! Amateur stuff. England had a lock in the back row all game and finished with a hooker in the back row too, but seemingly just for shits and giggles.

            1. The ‘lock’ was selected to play in the back row where he has played for England before. The hooker only went to the back row for 0ne minute to allow Jones to bring Singleton on to double his cap count…lol

  8. This forcing Daly to play out of position isn’t working. Given our problems with the midfield where only Manu and Slade really cut it it could be worth playing him there. He was one of the lion’s wings for all.3 tests and certainly plays well there but he isn’t the same player at full.back, somewhat unsurprisingly.

      1. Haha yes! Singleton to be our back.up everything.
        What did we do to deserve Eddie? He’s too good for us really.

    1. Daly is one of those players who is too good to leave out, but poses the problem as to where to play him in the team? We would love to have him in the welsh team as I’m sure Gatland would find a position for him.

      1. I’m not convinced on his recent average form he is too good to leave out. His long range penalties are what sets him apart at present.

      2. Why is Daly too good to leave out? He has been in indifferent form right through the last club season and is not as good a centre as Slade.

  9. Englands back row was poor today. Playing locks out of position is not going to cause problems for the better teams.Really missed Curry today. Defence was solid. Francis is not up to the standard. Neither England or Wales will trouble either New Zealand or South Africa on todays performance.

  10. Disappointing, but a close defeat in Cardiff is no reason to despair. The defence was generally sound. Scrum again looked pretty good. Ford had a poor day with his kicking – I hope when it comes to the crunch we return to Farrell and Tuilagi.

    We’ve learned, to no surprise, the value of Curry/Underhill. Ludlam is not at the same level and while he will get better, perhaps Kvesic/Curry number 2 would have made a difference. As will Wilson at 6. Having said that there was much more value in playing someone actually going to the WC, I don’t disagree with picking Ludlam.

    The penalty count was again frustrating. It’s a little worrying that cooler heads don’t prevail in a game like this – what happens when it really matters?

    We’re not really any closer to knowing whether Ford, Marler and Singleton can provide the emergency cover needed. However it is now becoming clear that Francis isn’t up to scratch. The one squad selection I absolutely can’t fathom.

    Coka was pretty ineffectual and can be targeted in defence, the conclusion being that this time around he’s a dangerous squad option rather than a starter. Which again, is not really news.

    So what did we learn that was positive? Not a huge amount. This was still very much a B/C team, let’s start warming up the seniors now.

  11. I am not a psychologist, but I would take a guess naming of the WC squad and a good win over Wales last week would have had an affect on the players mentally. They just didn’t looked as pumped today. Seemed to be a performance with the aim to nick the game against the grain or just not get schooled and hammered. I appreciate winning momentum is important, but with how intense and draining the game is on players at this level you do wonder if just naturally players can fall into second/third gear with the WC looming in their minds. This goes for both teams here as I felt Wales never really got into top gear either.

      1. Oh dear Don…… anyway what was your thoughts on the NZ/Aus? Great NZ performance or Aus with one eye on the WC (and almost arrogantly banking last weeks as a ‘we can live with NZ if we want to’)?

        1. Belatedly (?) put a performance together. Cut out errors. Created, or took opportunities. Loose fwds worked as a trio (bit concerned about Savea OOP for Squire). Mounga better (on the front foot) & the x2 playmaker policy also better. Tuipulotu stood up. New wings played like it was another Canterbury game. Fr row rotation proved depth. May see some break through WC starters. Home advantage & having 15 helped. Game went NZ’s way (e.g., 1st try), not Aus’s, but latter will be dissappointed. Early to state yet, but wouldn’t nec write off, like Stuart Barnes, for Japan. Regds.

    1. Agreed Darth; Saturday was a bit like a mirror image of the previous match (only nothing like as good a game). At Twickenham, England were very sharp, fully switched on, whereas Wales looked slow, off the pace (for the first 20 anyway). In Cardiff, it was the other way round; Wales looked much better focussed, England had plenty of good approaches, but poor finishing. It looked to me as if EJ had said to Billie V not to extend himself too much, so as to a) put the onus on other attackers to take the initiative, b) avoid getting injured – that would be a disaster, he’s England’s best player in my view (as a Welshman!), and c) to let Billie focus on his defence which can sometimes let him down a touch.

  12. To be honest we didn’t learn much apart from Watson confirming his readiness to start and we badly missed a 7 at the breakdown,Underhill especially would have cleared that area of interfering Welsh Mitts.
    As for gripes mine concern the officiating-Normally French Referees are excellent but allowing the Welsh try,though legal,was certainly the result of sharp practice.
    As for Watsons yellow card Im having real difficulties with this.It seems as though there is a default position and the defender is always at fault,rather than poor or slow passing by attackers.What Kurtley Beale did against England seems a million miles away from what AW did(Subjective I Know!)

    1. Forgot to add,the law relating to high tackles is explicit and in Black and White-Apparently Cheap-Shot high takles by Welsh Fly Halves on English Locks are exempt !

      1. Was it high?! Just looked like he jumped him, which appears to be legal. Somewhat unorthodox, shall we say, reminiscent of lions hunting okapi (or indeed springboks…..)

  13. Overall would give the game a 6 I think. What we learned is that we need curry/underhill (no surprise) Lawes is still in my eyes a bit slow as a 6 and should be a 2nd row, leaving Wilson and Ludlam to battle for 6 (Wilson in my eyes). At scrum time we had dominance which was nice to see, and only the more so when more of our starters came on. Concern about the driving maul, but time to fix that. Daly is not a FB and on his current form I would have Watson there all day long, seems safer under high ball and think he is more likely to defend a 1v1. We have yet to see slade, May manu and Darrel start which I think are probably the strongest starting line up and a different proposition. While I have always been a ford fan (and would have him over cips on merit) I do think his tactical kicking last 2 weeks has been very poor. Cockanasinga while a deadly finisher is too often caught out of position at wing, think nowell will be a godsend once back or I would have Daly and may as my wingers with Watson at FB if all fit.

    Overall not too concerned about this result, England didn’t seem as pumped, Wales had a point to prove and actually felt they didn’t prove it outside the already talked about ‘illegal’ try. With our first team on and playing full bore in WC rather than a bit half hearted as this seemed (team already selected and one win in bank players taking it a little easy?) I think we will look much better.

    On the aus/nz game as an aside, Australia just didn’t turn up and nowhere near as slick … while NZ finally played cohesively which was worrying! Although I’m not sure a fair reflection of out and out WC credentials as I said auz almost looked to have one eye on the WC and not put as much in now they have their banker….

    1. Just can’t get my head around this 1/2 hearted bizzo Alex. I thought England played with plenty of vigour & intent, but it’s usually harder to win away & defences dominated yesterday. It can & did, come down to decision making in Cardiff IMO. @ the time, I ?’ed whether Ford ought to have gone for 1, or even both & particularly the latter, line out penalties instead of the posts. Stuart Barnes concurred with Ford BTW. However, I still wonder whether that this isn’t a NH mind set thing? In the situation yesterday, with tries @ a premium, a decision to judge the likely reward v the risk needed better spot assessment @ those stages in the match. I know NZ will go for goal too, but they also score plenty, because go for plenty. Seemed to me that England could have opted differently. The reward could have offered more, even the match? Wales also struggled to score (tries) remember & their’s only came with North’s yellow card created overlap. Again, this the result of another risk taking decision by Watson. He def got it wrong. Others here agree or disagree with the card, depending on nationality? Either way, Ford’s & Watson’s choices utimately affected the game’s outcome. Different decisions, different result? Some opine that the result didn’t matter, but then why play warm ups (fine tuning selection apart maybe?) & why to go into a WC with potentially preventable & morale detracting losses? Also, what effect will these have on WC opposition? These are some thoughts anyway.

      1. i felt the penalties were about trying to shift momentum. 1st pen is lets get on the scoreboard as we have been playing a long time and have nothing to show for it. 2nd pen was lets get back within a score and then push for the try. Both decisions made sense in the context of the game

        1. Only if it makes sense to you for England to have lost Leon. In the context of the game, which you mention & which was an arm wrestle, England could have chosen differently. Certainly for the 2nd penalty. Comes a time in a game when a pivotal decision needs to be made, to attempt to win the game. England didn’t give themselves that chance. Could a try have altered the course of the game? If they’d muffed it, what would they have lost? 3 points. So? They lost anyway. They could have given themselves an opportunity to have changed that.

          1. Did we lose the game because we opted for the post on 1 pen? No, especially given our maul completion was only 33%
            We lost it because we weren’t good enough in general.

            1. IYO. We’ll never know. However, if 1 try had been scored it would have drawn the game, regardless as to England were ‘good enough’ or not.

              1. Don – equally, had England scored a try from the maul near the end it would have drawn the game. They didn’t, and from the evidence of the game chances are they wouldn’t have earlier, had they chosen to go for the corner. If some questions had been put in their collective mind about the effectiveness of the maul, why keep risking it?

                I saw sense in going for the posts when they did to reduce the lead, put some doubt into Wales and get to a position where a try could win it. Didn’t work out that way, but the right calls for my money.

                1. Leon, aren’t YOU being bitchy & trying to score points? When it should/could have been England (trying to score points)! Even though I was never much cop @ maths @ school, yr lesson misses the point. IF England had gone for a try & succeeded, then they would have been right back in it. Phychologically, surely it would boosted England, pressured the Welsh & put the game up for grabs with enough time left. They could have given themselves a chance, rather roll over, as you seem to suggest, by going for the ‘safe’ option of penalties. Called forward thinking. You can be a smart Alec all you like, but yr way led to certain defeat. Fear of failure based reasoning IMO. Trying a calculated, optimistic ‘punt’, might have brought reward instead. Either way, no skin off mine. More off your’s though. Therein lies yr bile? Still, there’s always nxt Sat!

  14. England strike runners too flat having to stop to catch pass from ruck. It Seems to be an ongoing problem with England when put under pressure. Just watched New Zealand and if you look at speed and support play England are miles off Mr EJ.

  15. So infuriating to see 3 or 4 mauls from line outs in good position turned over. Why does the SH not get the ball out when they can see the Welsh forwards arcing round to close off the ball?
    Thought England were defensively sound but didn’t get much going forward. Francis actually played alright imo, made some good runs off first phase. Daly did well from the initial bombardment of high balls, Watson looked more assured though.
    Ford played alright but his kicking from hand needs to be more accurate… Against a better full back we’d have been punished giving up too much space.

    1. Exactly – twice I was wondering why Youngs didn’t get the ball out and we ended up getting stopped. Infuriating. Is that the scrum half not recognising when to take the ball, or the forward not letting him have it? I would have thought the scrum half must be the decision maker.

  16. Interesting so many correctly pointed out we missed a proper 7 yet for first 2 years of EJ he said we didn’t need one and played Haskell/Robshaw.From memory Curry only selected coz of someone’s injury?
    Needs to stop experimenting and give the first team game time.Haven’t played since May.Need to bed in again.After 4 years jury still out on Eddie.Does he really know what he is doing?Japan is his moment of truth.

  17. Another major issue for is that we don’t have a centre that takes the ball and stands the opposition up by running straight with intent thus attracting defenders and giving support runners space. Manu can do it but sometimes he gets tunnel vision and tries to beat half the opposing team instead of making of making two or three yards, drawing the tackle and off loading or going to ground and setting up another phase. i fera that dropping teo is going to come back and bite us big time. I don’t care who he chinned or chinned at, a squad needs balance and this one hasn’t got that.

    1. Agree Acee. We really struggled to get over the gain line in the first half especially. When Te’o has come on he has given us the go forward we needed. Also he is the like for like replacement for Manu. What playing style are we attempting?!

      1. God only knows Bolter. Maybe Jones is some sort of sleight of hand magician but I’m not buying it.
        We are playing three of the most direct and physical sides in world rugby in the group plus a USA team that may be limited but will be fired up because that’s how the Yanks do sport.
        To do this without sufficient back rowers and two hefty attention drawing centres is crazy imo. Throughout his tenure Jones bemoaned the lack of hefty mids in the England set up then “found” Teo who played extremely well for us and the Lions. Surely Teo in the starters and Manu on the bench is the stuff of dreams to any coach?
        it beggar’s belief that Teo has been dropped for anything short of smacking one of the coaches tbh.That or substance abuse which is obviously not the case or the press would have been all over it.
        I think back to ’07 when the players eventually had it out with the coaching staff and things picked up to the extent that we reached the final with a mundane seems serendipity must always be the way with England either at Association Football or Rugby Union when it comes to finding our style and best combinations. The problem this time around is that Ed the martinet won’t allow that to happen and the players aren’t of the same calibre or experience as the likes of Vickery, Dallaglio et al.
        If we make the semis i will consider that a success.

  18. Did anyone see the France Scotland game? Were France good or Scotland dire or a mixture of both? Would be just like France to be rubbish for years and then suddenly come good for the world cup.
    I am very worried about the back row situation. With injuries to Curry Underhill and Wilson we were very poor again at the breakdown. Billy, Curry and Underhill all get injured a lot.Eddie will want to keep them in the squad to recover so can’t ask for replacement s. If we field the same back row as yesterday against France and Argentina we could easily lose both matches. What is the point of having a trillion back 3 players if they don’t have ball to attack with?!
    Eddie has needlessly tied his hands by announcing the squad early.

    1. Bolter. Has been on Sky Freeview (or summat like that). The channel before Beeb 1 News anyway. Didn’t see it all continuously, but the Scots made too many errors. Never really got into it & had to (?) kick too much ball to relieve pressure. Fr were just better in the set piece & loose. Slick & dynamic backs cut the Jocks to ribbons @ times. Big Fr winger with a funny name was dangerous. Midfield of Ficou, Fofana prospered. 1/2’s also accomplished. Scotland just couldn’t get their mits on enough ball & when they did, Fr were all over them like a p***head on a curry. Forced errors. Maybe Jocks should have stuck with Vern Cotter? Twickenham apart, that is. Only kidding. Nevertheless, sobering if you are a porridge gobbler. Interesting to have seen Fr v stiffer oppo to have gleaned better appreciation of their potential WC threat. OTOH, I could be stating ‘complete bollocks’! See it if you can though. Been on a couple if times. Maybe again?

  19. Totally agree; I said this on here before the game and it was borne out, the balance of the squad is wrong and leaves us needlessly light in the back row. Contingency plan all you want but the best plan is to have the right players able to play in the right position! RM injured again and could go to the RWC without a minutes rugby! We don’t need another back 3 player we need a back row, preferably an 8… I would drop RM and call up Morgan or Dombrandt.

  20. Interesting to see the French ref experimenting with the new law changes. The offside line has now apparently been moved to a metre in front of the rear foot, it is perfectly acceptable to scramble for the ball over the top of the grounded player while completely on your knees or supported by your hands, and catchers gathering cross kicks are now allowed to start their run well in front of the kicker. When one team is driving for the line following a line out it is also now necessary to award a penalty immediately to the defending pack if they manage to wheel and collapse the maul. And if Alun Whinge-Jones sticks his tongue any further into the refs ear the tip will come out the other side. It was a poor game, disjointed and unimaginative. Both sides will need to do a lot better against Ireland. No more than a 5 overall.

  21. As an aside, was really impressed with the ref in yesterday’s tight game between SA and Argentina. 2 superb and rare pieces of refereeing in which common sense was applied, in quick succession.
    First Reinach only gave a scrum away when ‘, genuinely going for the ball and had a genuine and realistic chance of recovering it) then an Argentine player escaped any sanction when a poor SA pass forced the receiver to leap into the air to receive the ball as the Argentinian had launched a the players knee height to affect a text book tackle – ref: “play on, fair tackle, you were forced to jump by a poor pass as the player committed to the tackle”

  22. Long time reader, 1st time poster 🙂

    Don’t know whether i am being a little optomistic but her goes:

    Firstly, this was a warm up game with Eddie trying out some contingency options. We are still to play (ignoring injuries ) our first choice back row. There is no way in the world with a BR of Curry/ Underhill and Wilson we would get bullied at the breakdown. For the record, despite Stephen Jones in the Times saying it, I don’t think Lawes is nailed on in the backrow! Sometimes i am not sure he watches rugby…

    Secondly, we are still missing our first choice backline, manu, slade, may, farrell make quite a difference. But…. Watson IMHO needs to start at full back.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, this is a WARM UP game and in the days of video analysis, we can’t try any of our practiced strike moves. In fact, i am not sure we can try them until we meet Argentina.

    Fourthly, Eddie has one of the best world cup records out there. Keep the faith!

    That said, I can’t see beyond SA or NZ for the cup……..

    1. welcome Zambia new opinions always welcome even if some do have a habit of being argumentative for the sake of it.

      Firstly never take anything Stephen Jones writes seriously it is designed to be contentious and get people arguing in the comments section he is the Katie Hopkins of the rugby world.

      Secondly while I agree there is only so much you can read into the warm up games it is about trying to get your systems right. Defensively we were good on Saturday as was our scrum but our Maul attack and maul defence were poor our Lineout wasn’t great and a lot of players showed their weaknesses more than their strengths

      1. I dont buy completely the notion that its only a warm up game so the result doesnt matter. These are competitive games that you really want to be winning, or at least producing a convincing all round effort.
        Week 1 we delivered on both fronts; week 2 saw neither. That is a bit of a concern.
        Now it may be there was a drop off due to pressure being eased as the squad has been named. I think there is something in that, which does call into question whether Jones was right to name the squad last week. I understand why he did, but there are downsides.
        Pity that for the second week, Watson saw no time at FB.
        The Singleton as emergency flanker experiment lasted a whole 4 minutes. Was it really worth it?

        1. Results don’t matter but performances do and where you under perform there needs to be lessons learnt and improvement in the next game

          Con: Backrow never really threatened a turnover on Welsh ball which meant they could string together too much phase play particularly in the first half
          Pro: Despite all the phase play they didn’t particularly look like scoring off it so defence was good
          Pro: Despite the lack of possession England had far better attacking stats Metres run 251/352 Clean Breaks 5/14 Defenders Beaten 21/28 Offloads 4/14
          Con: 33% maul completion rate (2/6) is piss poor and must be the key work on for next match
          Con: Switched off for the Yellow card leading to the try
          Pro: Eng scrum was stronger
          Con: Lost lineout from a strong attacking position

  23. Firstly for me I would give this game a 6 maximum. Neither side were very convincing, and if Wales think they can win the World Cup with this squad, they should think again. They scored one try against an experimental England team, who only had 13 players involved in the game at the time, an when we still had physios on the pitch. I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that play is not allowed to continue until physios and injured players have left the pitch?

    I thought Watson’s yellow was harsh. after knocking the ball on his arm continued in its’s movement to wrap around the player he was tackling. Accidental knock on, just like the one in the France – Scotland game, where only a scrum was awarded.

    I also thought that Biggar should have had at least a yellow for his jumping challenge on Itoje, where to me it looked as though he made pretty deliberate contact with the head. If not deliberate, why was he trying to jump on him?

  24. Has anyone else seen the pretty extraordinary interview with former Wasps lock Kearnan Myall in the Guardian? In it be says he knows several England players who literally dread going into Eddie’s training camps. He says this isn’t because of the physical strain but the pressure,scrutiny, what is said to them! and what they are made to do. Honestly this doesn’t surprise me after what I related here before about the Japanese players longing to see the back.if him and resorting to going into hiding rather than have to speak to him. This is the centre of our problems I reckon.
    Maybe when Te’o lost it it was because of this?!
    I already read somewhere else that there was talk of unrest in the camp.No wonder we lack.leaders and see the players playing so robotically.

    1. I haven’t seen the article Bolter but two things come to mind: Either it’s true as i can’t see why Myall would want to get one going with EJ, in which case it may explain a lot. On the other hand, our press has never been averse to lobbing a few mischievous grenades around just before English teams partake in major sporting competitions.
      Only time will tell. Maybe Teo DID smack one of the coaches after all………..

    2. Having observed the England and New Zealand teams in camp there is a world of difference.England tightly regulated intense anxious culture imposed by an autocratic micro manager.Do players enjoy it?Not from what I saw.New Zealand relaxed low key plenty of smiles informal -players coaches talk with anyone have pics taken.Hansen serves coffee to his coaches.Players happy?absolutely.Big contrast in management styles -one loud mouth Aussie the other low key grounded kiwi

  25. For all the talk of the Watson incident and I know I have made a joke of it on another article but only one comment about Biggar attacking Itoje?

    Seriously should’ve been at least a yellow if he tried this in the WWE he’d be 24/7 Champion by now.

  26. Interesting looks like World Rugby have introduced a law amendment with immediate effect that when a player is being replaced due to an HIA play cannot resume until the replacement has come on. Too late for England but shows the WR agree that it was unfair for the ref to allow play to continue for the try

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