RWC2019: England v Australia Rate the Match

Owen Farrell

What did you think of today’s quarter-final match between England and Australia?

What were the main talking points? Was it a fair result?

Tell us what you thought of the game in the comments below, and we’ll put together some reaction and analysis in due course.

126 thoughts on “RWC2019: England v Australia Rate the Match

    1. That game was easy. How u going to cope with all blacks who cheat at the maul by tackling and holding down players who don’t have the ball? It is illegal but they get away with it every game. What u gonna do?

  1. Okay lets enjoy this moment! Great performance from England they really stood up and eventually squeezed the life out of Australia. Farrell calm, kept his head and the whole teams game management was solid. They kept their heads with an early Aus try 2nd half i had the fear of a second half akin to Scotland game! Only negative for me was Daly…he is just not a FB!!

    Funniest moment of the match was Sinklers try. He actually slowed down as he approached the line knowing even if Beale caught him he would just run over him, and he did. I watched that moment back twice! Sinks acting like he was a winger who had just run pitch length of an intercept! Loved it

  2. Pooper is now UnderCurry.
    Just on Daly, that is the second time in recent memory he has been one on one with an opponent and dithered about tackling him. He looks scared to commit to the tackle, useless.

    1. Watson would have caught Korobeite for that non-try I think. Daly is a worry.

      Other than that, a cracking start to the weekend.

      1. Daly got stood up and skinned twice, failed dismally to compete for a 50\50 high ball and gave away the penalty that eventually led to an Australian score. He looks fine going forward, but seems to be windy of making one on one tackles or clashes in the air. Alex Goode and Mike Brown are entitled to be spitting feathers.

    2. Where is Jack Willis going to fit into the mix? He’s just dominated another Prem game breakdown, as he always seems to. Surely in the next England squad.

      1. Who knows JK? There are others like Ben Currie, Clifford, Earl and Simmonds also going to be knocking at the door. More interested in trying to stay in this one next week than in who might be there in four years time!

      1. Yes Don, your lads will probably win but in a way, so what? when a team becomes SO dominant of every other don’t victories become a little bit pyrrhic?

    1. Unfortunately DM, they looked just as good when they emptied their bench! Reid is back in awesome form and they are so quick to turn over ball and counter-attack with pace and accuracy. Comparing Smith and de Klerk with Youngs shows a huge gap in class in a vital position which I think will be crucial to next week´s result. I also expect Daly to be thoroughly exposed. A good, well organised win this week, but we will have to step up several gears for the Kiwis.

  3. Faz…..immaculate…pass to Sinks was sublime. Truly happy for him.,,

    And yes, the Aus game plan was an absolute mess.

    Great cohesion, no panic, great execution…

    Bloody marvellous…

    1. That was a sublime pass. It was pivotal too as Australia had got back into the game, and it really turned the screw on Australia and quickly extinguished any hope of them getting some momentum against England who were overall well superior to them. Australia can be sure though that they didn’t perform the worst of the beaten quarter finalists.

  4. Eng were good enough today. Beale was a liability for Aus. NZ were a bit scary, Eng are going to have to play out of their skin next week.

  5. 6/10 max, because Aus are surely the most non coached team in Japan. This was not a competitive game. Cheika’s time def up. 1 out runners didn’t work all day, so they kept doing it! Defence also almost as non existent. Made England look good. A team of No. 65 bus drivers could have driven through the holes in the Aus line. Disappointingly, Eng played it even more conservatively than I thought possible. No attempt to go for tries. Took every kick going, even when the fat lady had done her bit hrs earlier. Frankly a depleting exp. Still, ‘ job done, played to strengths’ & all that, but will it wash next Sat? Will it strike fear into NZ hearts? Will Eng grind NZ out of it? Maybe they will.. or will they?

    1. Would agree with one of your points in particular Don… England imo should’ve gone for the line out when they were awarded some of those penalties. They had the Aus on the ropes and could scored a try and even forced a yellow card.

        1. Is that why you haven’t won the big 1 for 16 yrs? I thought 7 were worth more than 3? Afraid you might drop 1? Good that the the thumbs ups indicate & confirm yr fear based rugby going into a semi though.

          1. @Don P: “Good that the the thumbs ups indicate & confirm yr fear based rugby going into a semi though.”

            Oooh, I hadn’t seen the thumbs-up number – I think that’s the first comment I’ve made here that has gone into double-figures, should I post a link to my Soundcloud or something??

            Anyway, I’m sticking to my guns here. Whilst I would always prefer to watch tries being scored than a bloke lining up a kick at goal, in terms of match tactics, I advocate taking three points at every available opportunity. Mostly for the psychological benefits, which manifest themselves in a couple of important ways:

            1. Build the score. Slotting a penalty kick for most teams is a lot easier than engineering a try. Yes, 7 is worth more than three, but 3×3 > 1×7. (And 2×3 > 1×5). You can nail three-pointers with a lot more frequency than putting tries away. The constant accumulation of points creates a sense of dominance and control over the game.

            2. Sowing fear and indecision in the defending players’ minds. If you take three points every time a penalty is given away in the oppo’s 22, (or in their own half the way people like Daly/Halfpenny kick), it makes defending players that bit less likely to risk going into a ruck trying to nick a turnover, makes them quicker to roll away from tackles giving your team quick ball, makes them generally more risk-averse. This creates quick, attacking ball and ironically opens up more opportunities to score tries!

            3. Specifically for the world cup: knockout rugby can depend on very slim margins. Very likely that the semis and particularly the final will be decided by just a few points. Having the confidence and conviction to eke out those extra three-pointers can make a crucial difference.

            1. Yes, but yr thumbs up no. 13. Unlucky? Yr points presuppose that the opposition play ball & give pens away. What if they don’t? Like Japan v SA. Jap had 1 shot, got 3 pts. What use were they? If they’d gone 7 before 1/2 time they could have put pressure on the Saffas & taken it off themselves. Even if they’d come away with nothing, they had almost nothing to lose. Tries are good to watch, sure, but they’re practically & psychologically worth more. Like the in French, Welsh match. Only blew it due to needless yellow, but this didn’t detract from the point. Yr explanation was pretty long. Too long? Convincing to whom?

        2. Like Japan & France on Sat? Didn’t do either much good. Japan were out of it, but an attempted line out try instead of their solitary pen would have better served them. Even if they’d missed out, it would have made little difference in the end. OTOH, better decision making could have won the game for France in a tight one. Yr thinking is too rigid, ltd. Typical here though.

        3. I’m torn on this.
          We saw it Wales v Aus, and again Sunday with Wasps v Irish, where the trailing team (Aus/Wasps) took the points, having been in good field position with the opposition under pressure, and assumed that “there will be enough time to recover the ball and score again”. In both games, Aus and Wasps could not recover the ball in time to score again. I think if the opportunity is there to take the lead by scoring a try, instead of kicking a penalty and still being behind, then the try option should be taken. Either way, it would result in another score being needed. Add to that the pressure the kicker is being put under and the kick becomes harder to make.
          In a winning position, maybe it’s different. Yes England extended their lead, but not beyond 2 converted tries. They went from being 10 points ahead to being 13 points ahead I believe. The difference isn’t that great so I still would’ve gone for the lineout. The Aussies were under the cosh, had already conceded two penalties within the 22 and would’ve surely lost a man to the bin and maybe conceded a penalty try if they had been penalised again, all whilst the clock is being run down.

          1. Depends on the context of the game Jake. Not nec an either or sit, or even right or wrong. However, particularly in a close encounter, there may come a time/s during a match when 5/7 points are worth more than just 5/7, esp psychologically. That’s where the decision maker/s come/s in. Sat may illustrate this point?

            1. for the billionth time I’m going to refer to the economist article which is focused on penalties vs tries. I don’t think I can link it but google “economist rugby penalty”. It’s the only study I know which has looked into this.

              It’s based on limited data from just RWC2015 but it is based on data rather than just perceived psychological impact.

              bottom line, against a Tier 1 defence, You’ll score more points kicking for sticks than scrum or line out when awarded a penalty.

          1. Whether I’m nervous or not isn’t the pt Acee. It’s whether the AB’s are nervous or not that matters. Do you think that they are? Watch the Ireland game again, then see how you feel.

  6. Ire looked just as aimless as they did at Twickenham, with the two score lines very similar. Eng will have a very comfortable week, NZ will go into the semi as favourites,
    EJ and the boys will be very happy with that I suspect.
    Faz looked a different player today. You have to wonder how much was change of position and how much was high tackle damage.
    And why have we got Shane Williams commentating on an England game for gods sake. He was so interested he nearly called Jordan Petaia, Jordan Pickford.,.Everton fan are we Shane?

    1. Great win by England , a very potential loss avoided and ultimately an emphatic win. Agree on concerns about Dal. Thought our pack was immense, especially the back row. I also see it as a positive that we are achieving this with a ponderous scrum half…

      As woeful as Ireland were , this was sublime by New Zealand – who made them look and play like amateurs at times. I thought / hoped Ireland would have more in them but their style of play look out of date and their players knackered. A clear example of a team that’s peaked too early.

      1. Gr8 win? Really? Expectations low. 2 tries were Aus intercept error gifts, kicking out of hand far too deep, Aus defence nowhere nr as potent as NZ’s & they played into Eng’s hands with 1 out runners all day! So how was it so gr8? Maybe you meant win was a relief?

        1. So let me get this right don.
          When NZ score an intercept try it is a wonderful piece of skill, applying defensive pressure forcing the mistake and then having the vision to spot the opportunity step out of the defensive line and steal the ball

          But when any other team score one it was a howler by the opposition just thrown straight into the players hands and was pure fluke

          Does that sound about right?

          1. You’ve said everything I was thinking Leon and my lack of response to the Trolls comment was purely out of not wanting to give the ego maniac any additional airtime.

          2. Bit defensive Leon. Beads of sweat on yr brow? Don’t recall an AB intercept v Ireland?? BTW, my name should have a capital ‘D’. Sort yrself out fella!

            1. Ah yes the sign of a man who doesn’t have any comeback to the original comment.
              Switch the focus to the poster and then call them up on their grammar.
              I’m not nervous about the weekend (yet) as we are unlikely to win but in 80m of rugby we certainly could win and that must have you very nervous indeed

      1. Dunno. Former players know least about rugby? Said Slade was a ‘genius’.. for catching an Aus pass thrown right into his bread basket!

  7. It could equally be said that Ireland made New Zealand look good!
    Little variation on the now 12-18 month old Irish rugby team-template that saw two victories but had long been worked out by this WC by Hanson. Schmidt failed in my opinion to come up with a plan B or even a new plan A (being superior to whatever his plan was today).
    They need a more balanced attacking game that actually includes incisive, try-scoring back-play. I would have gone for Conway at 15 for starters!
    Otherwise both well-earned Kiwi and English results.
    Bring on the semis!

      1. It could be argued the NZers have 25% PI begged, borrowed or nicked blood and brawn! A year ago plus now, I posted something on TRB about PI’s (Vanuatuan, Tongan, Samoan or Fijian islanders) who had played either 15’s or 7’s for NZ. My exhaustive list was at least 20 players long! We could get Hutch or someone to re-post it from the archives!
        What the distinction or difference is between us having a few and NZ having more than a few since 1990, is I don’t know. Its seems its all suddenly and conveniently UNFAIR if we do it!
        Its all a

        1. It’s all a.. load of bollocks AlexD? The way to sort it is to draw up a list of Eng, then NZ PI’s. Can’t do that though can you AD? Might get caught with yr traysers down. Anyway, where’s yr sick note explaining yr being AWOL for sooooo long? Detained at HM’s pleasure? Avoidance? Been sitting in the naughty boy’s chair in the corner wearing a pointed hat with a ‘D’ on it? Johnny come lately or what? Lightweight fella!

          1. The reaction speaks volumes. Enough said. As others are saying on here…”please control the trolling”!

            1. As usual you avoid the ?’s, so no change there then. Forget what others state, it’s a blog site. Can you define trolling? Is is challenging?

              1. TRB is for ‘constructive’ rugby chat (at least I can only dare to presume that was Hutch’s and his predecessor’s intentions & aspirations for it.) A lot of your comments slip into a form of internet harassment (why lots of former contributors i notice have fallen off this site from when I was last here 18 mths ago). So thats the rough definition as you asked! I will leave it there and desist from resorting to insult and petty names.
                Anyway………hopefully a bit more rugby chat coming to a place called TRB soon!

                1. So loooong winded AlexD, I dozed off. Until you turned up late, my posts have been about rugby. Re-read them. Challenging perceived wisdom, alt takes or non conformity too difficult for some incl you? But do they contain grains of truth though? With some resorting to child like nane calling, perhaps they do. Have a nice one.


                1. Riki Flutey (NZ born/English residency)
                2. Shontayne Hape (NZ born/English residency)
                3. Manu Tuilagi * (Born Samoa/English residency)
                4. Mako Vunipola (Born NZ/English residency)
                5. Billy Vunipola (Born Aus/English residency)
                6. Willi Heinz (NZ born)
                7. Piers Francis *(born Gravesend England)
                8. Dylan Hartley (NZ born/English Mother)
                9. Cokanasiga ( Fijian born/English residency)
                10. Mouritz Botha (SA born/English residency)
                11. Mike Catt (SA born/English residency)

                * Arguably English if going by the definition of place of birth.

                Thats doesn’t seem too many to me considering the period covered above is 1995-present – 24 years!
                Mike Catt’s first cap was 1995!

                Whereas my PI investigation 18 months ago easily came up with 20 AB 15’s and 7’s players of PI origin!

                  1. Try ing to ignore you AlexD, but you’ve missed a few like, Matt Stephens, Les Vainakolo, Perry Freshwater, Dan Luger (Yugo I think), Stu Abbott, Hendrie Feurie (sp?) another Tui (I also think?) off the top of my head. Anyway, the pt was that you put yr hypocritical boot into NZ by accusing them of doing what Eng have done since 1880 something. Oops forgot Obolensky! You undermine yr own cred if not affirming yr being a sandwich short of a picnic?

                    1. Matt Stephens (had English parents so a Brit 100% by blood)
                      Dan Luger (born in Chiswick, London so a Brit)
                      Stuart Abbott (Mother English but SA born so you could argue the toss here!)
                      One other Tuilagi (?) played for one cap.

                      Not that convincing an addition to the original list. The only 100% firm fixtures would be Obolensky and Fourie. My point rests and lives intact. VERY FEW compared to you know who!

                      Nota Bene: No insults used so nill by trolling!

    1. All hindsight now. I just watched RTE with Joe being interviewed after they flew in. He said he would have done things differently. Wouldn’t we all. We were never going to win that match and in my opinion, the AB’s are the last team in the world you want to give an extra weeks break for especially when we were forced to name a full strength team for Samoa after what happened against Japan. We are all wiser with hindsight. With hindsight Joe could have fielded a weak team to take Samoa, picked a different team against New Zealand featuring far less players than in previous test matches against NZ, and he should have beaten Japan and directed the typhoon to Fukuoka against Samoa with his super abilities too. Not beating Japan was largely caused by not kicking penalties (A mistake Best and Sexton constantly make) and giving them away. That’s not ever going to give you the confidence you need in a QF, regardless of opponent. When we won the pool in 2011 and then got knocked out against Wales, we did the same thing. Didn’t kick our penalties. Sexton is a great player but not world class and often a liability. A trait that stings Irish teams often is impatience and greed. Impatience to get ahead, and greed to get ahead quickly without taking the smart points. A team like New Zealand capitalise on that. Impatient play leads to mistakes. It’s also a reason Ireland are rubbish at coming back. No patience, not just lack of wide ball. We played plenty of wide ball in 2011 and 2015. Joe Schmidt can’t be blamed for that.

      1. Are you really English Biggles? Never known someone to to put the boot into his own like you. All this stuff is retro & pointless anyway. It’s only really this yr that Ireland have fallen over, yet they were still No.1 into the WC. Perhaps it was an accident? Bet you weren’t stating all this claptrap a yr or so back. Wisest man on the planet AFTER the event/s. Pah!

  8. All my fears about Eddie’s selection proved unfounded and it was an efficient professional performance-our best since Dublin.
    Agree with others re Daly.He has lost his confidence and form.The one obvious flaw in Eddies selection

    1. I think Eddie’s selections made sense, my only concern was a lack of fitness for some. They came through well and EJ now has what I imagine was his original first team fit and hardened for the ABs. We wouldn’t have wanted to go into that with Mako and Slade not having started a game.

      It’s all about as healthy as it possibly could be going into the toughest game possible.

  9. Apparently that win cemented Ed’s job if he wanted to carry post WC.
    If he does stay he has GOT to find another full back. Players like Beauden Barret don’t grow on trees and maybe we don’t have a player of his calibre in England but I’m damn sure we have FB’s who wouldn’t be out of place at this level.

          1. Well that’s down to Jones, not you & as Woodward wasn’t picked, presumably he was deemed not up to it. Much like yr d stds. You should be Prime Minister, he’s full of it too.

            1. Don stop trolling! I was merely replying to an innocent comment by Acee about FB’s and the lack thereof. One for the future for Eddie or perhaps not Eddie (who knows and I don’t care) to look at! Anyway all this should be taken as a back-handed complement. He’s Kiwi right? You said it, not me?

          1. Ignore it Acee, he always gets bitter and twisted when he´s worried! There are some sensible people on here if you search them out!

      1. Alex, from Kingsholm, I’d rather England picked Marshall than Woodward. Great rugby brain and skillset, however sadly just can’t stay injury free. Better than Woodward in my opinion. But another kiwi anyway just to amuse Don…

        1. My FOREIGN PLAYER list above is still stuck on eleven players for England. Don added two (Obolensky and Fourie) that were valid additions. The original list (mine) only really had 9 players as Hartley and Francis are Brits by blood (50% & 100% respectively) I listed them both for transparency.
          Therefore 9 + 2 = 11 non-English players used by England in 100 years since Obolensky.
          Not bad compared with mass Polynesian Islander (PI) usage down under. I rest my case

          1. Trying too hard to convince.. yrself? You haven’t checked out the current AB team yet AlexD. Rest yr case? You’re being lazy, slipshod! Still ignoring fact that Eng picked S Africans since c. 1800. Still hypocritical. Haven’t a leg to stand on in principle. Despite yr stat manipulation (excusing Eng with mothers etc, but not applying same stds to NZ) yr, d/stds will always apply. Now you can rest yr case on that uncomfortable truth.

            1. Nope my friend! Bang off the mark!
              I remember exactly that the 20 x long list of PI’s was exclusively based – as my current one is – on players who qualified to play on residency grounds i.e the most dubious route (but I could ask Hutch to re-post it which would be a) FASCINATING and b) PERSONALLY VINDICATORY.)
              I’m excusing blood, parental links, or place of birth which I have applied equally across the board for both AB PI’s and foreigners for England of all national persuasions.
              Conclusion: Still remarkably few foreigners for England whereas, if my maths serves me, the AB track record since 1990 (which was my start-line) is DOUBLE! The case is firmly won, rested and parked! Facts Don….facts. I thought that was what you claim to be New Zealand’s Papal Nuncio of!

              1. FFS Alex who bloody cares
                The rules are the same for everyone and countries with high immigration will naturally have higher numbers of players born elsewhere. NZ has a lot of immigration from the PI’s just as England had high immigration from the commonwealth so its only natural. This is the most tiresome topic in rugby and we are in a SF week lets talk about something more interesting

              2. You’ve always been a fantasist AlexD. Remember inviting me to the pub to discuss rugby man on man? How weird was that? Mind you a pint of Old Wallop around yr ears had its attractions then as now. You remind me of that other denier, David Irving. Cherry picking, distortion, manipulation of reality & d/stds have always been yr stock in trade. And you still avoid explaining yr absence. Something else to hide?

                1. Genuine offer to meet the man behind the mouth! Besides being a gent I’d have actually bought you a pint! Note how generally positive my remarks are compared to yours. You do drag this site down by the neck! And there’ll be a vitriolic reply to this.

  10. A good all round performance-Looking forward to next week already.I remember that Underhill gave the All Blacks a torrid time last autumn-Hopefully with his mate Tom they can make things even more uncomfortable for the All Blacks next week.
    Don’t expect too many changes,apart from Kruise and Lawes swapping.
    Two things need to be tackled this week,no doubt the AB”s will have taken note.
    Firstly Daly is still skittish under the high ball and it might be an idea for him to swap with Watson.Secondly,it might be a case of rust but Slades defence on the outside of the 13 channel was lacking,and Barrett likes to attack there.

    1. Took the words JS.

      See Don has gone route 1 troll as well.

      The result was never secure. Massive moment in the second half was Sinks turnover/ rip….big, big moment that along with his indifferent smile early doors has elevated him to senior status.

      You can’t question selections and game plans pre game, then qualify a win afterwards with negativity. It’s called hindsight….and it disqualifies you as rugby mystic.

      Only negative was the upward penalty trend, not approaching previous lemming levels, but it’s always fine margins against NZ.

      And to put real perspective on it all, i thought it was a hugely entertaining game between two countries that share massive rivalries that have stood shoulder to shoulder, along with NZ, in moments of ultimate peril and hardship. The moments of reflection before games have been both appropriate and poignant. So glad that the negative spectre of the Typhoon has passed.

      Looking forward to the game that was eagerly anticipated about a millions years ago, it seems, is finally going to happen. And in a World Cup too….how lucky we are…

      1. Is a troll someone who challenges or disagrees with you D Stan? You could always respond to specific points rather than cop out with the easier or lazy troll name calling, lowest common denominator, route I suppose.

        1. Ok….

          A depleting experience ? For who ? For you I guess. Not for any Eng supporter watching it wasn’t. Not for the team either I suspect. Looked to me like the game plan worked. Conservatively kicking to put an opposition in their own half, that you know will try and run it out worked. It created opportunities and one interception try.
          The fat lady definitely didn’t sing on my telly, she did against Scotland in the first half at Twickenham…….If the boys on the pitch heard her in Japan I’m glad they’d told her to do one. If Sinks hadn’t ripped the ball in the 60th min, potentially the difference could have been back to 4 points. At that point it was looking pretty competitive to me.
          And I don’t think any team strikes fear into the heart of NZ. They analyse and develop a game plan that they think will work on the day, much like Eng did against Aus. NZ are also the most adaptive team in the world. But they also come unstuck occasionally, as Aus recently demonstrated. And yes it was against 14, but becoming 14 is also becoming unstuck.

          Will Eng “grind out” a win? I’d love it if they do. I’d love it if they played expansive rugby from the get go and won. But I’d don’t think they will. They will, as you said Don, play to their strengths, to do otherwise would be lamentable.

          1. D Stan. Depleting for a ‘neutral’ who admires the required innovation, creativity these days. When held up front, what’s the England plan? If no alt to R1, where to go? More of same, only harder? Because the plan ‘worked’ yesterday was as much due to reasons I’ve stated. Also Eng only had 34% possession. Concerning? Mindful of foresight for nxt match & with a different mindset yesterday, Eng might have won by more? There were 2 intercepts BTW. Regrds ‘unstuck’, yes happens to all, but are you relying on it nxt Sat? As Justin Marshall once said; ‘You know what you’re going to get with England’. Will it, i.e. ‘playing to their strengths’, be enough? May need more than 34 %. Are NZ better or worse than Aus? We’ll see, but you’re right, they do tend to play better with 15, not 14.. so fingers xxed.

            1. The first interception try was from within Eng’s own half. Therefore not from conservative kicking, you know the point of the argument… try and keep up Don…..

              And possession has never been a prerequisite for winning, ask S Hansen about it…..NZ are ranked No7 in world rankings considering possession alone.

              If watching Eng depletes you so much Don, there’s a very easy solution…..

              1. Ho hum. Easiest trick in the book D Stan. Reframing of what I’ve stated. How tiresome, obvious. Like yr sarcasm. Maybe it’ll benefit Eng nxt Sat? Of course Eng kicked everything AT goal, nothing to do with the intercept you in turn ref to, so unno what yr point is?! Regds possession, again a reframing AND a generalisation. At or nr 30 % teams seldom win. Not a concern for you? Good. It might be for Eng though. True NZ do prevail on lesser possession, but not usually c. This figure I venture. Perhaps in yr wisdom you can enlighten on these actual stats? Besides at 1 point v Ireland in was around 70. Evened later, but the pt is would you rather Eng more, or less possession? The solution you proffer? I must be an optimist. live in hope that Eng may go for tries 1 day. Maybe their robotic, conservative depleting kicking for 3 will suffice nxt Sat though, esp if they have 30 odd % possession. What say you DS?

                1. Blimey Don, you’re a very sensitive soul aren’t you, a very light teasing and it’s a full on personal attack. By the way do you put your replies through an enigma machine, they’re very difficult to read sometimes.
                  As regards possession, against SA in 2018 NZ lost with 75% possession. In 2016 NZ won against Wales with just 38% possession. Historically Eng have an optimum possession level and indeed the number of points scored actually decrease when possession rises above it. All very interesting I guess, in a rather depleting way.
                  Now what Eng really need is a coach capable of engineering a strategy to defeat NZ in a World Cup semi final. Now where do you think one of those maybe found, do you suppose….

                  1. So when I respond DStan, I’m sensative, full on etc. Of course, don’t know how I didn’t I pick up on this before? Yr rhetorical Enigma ? was just light hearted banter. I get it now . Gee, thanks DS. More enlightened already. Regrds yr cherry picking of 2 isolated possession stats is misleading & pretty meaningless. Are you taking lessons from Leon? You seem to imply that Eng would prefer less rather than more poessession v NZ on Sat. Well, I’m effin’ glad that you’re NOT the AB’s coach fella. Stats & damned lies aside DS, if you have the ball, potentially you can score, if you don’t, you can’t. Optimum levels aside of course. In answer to yr last ?, we’ll find out on Sat I suppose?
                    Have a light hearted day. Whoops-a-daisy, there I go being full on again. Srry.

                    1. As the saying goes, “ none are so empty as those that are full of themselves “.
                      So I am truly happy to have provided enlightenment Don, and of course your apology is humbly accepted……
                      I shall light heartedly carry on, safe in the knowledge, that if the most fantastically improbable opportunity arises to decline the offer of becoming New Zealand’s coach, you too, will be as happy as I….

        2. A troll might fairly be described as ‘someone who persistently posts large numbers of comments basically repeating his same old opinions and taking up space that would be better used by others’ At a rough count Don you have taken up about 50% of all the space on this thread – without once posting an original opinion. I suspect that more than half of the readers of this site could easily predict your every opinion on this subject. Give us a break Don try and limit yourself to just one or two posts per thread.

          1. Srry Ray, but I live in the free world. It’s a blog site, where funnily enough, people blog. Didn’t know until now that there was a blog limit! Are you a headmaster perchance? Perhaps you could define ‘original’ for me & then apply it’s meaning to yrself? Of course you could always take the radical step of ignoring me.

            1. You could have an occasional day off Don. Or change the record. We get it – ABs are superior, any attempt to get close must be undercut by a deeper understanding of the game and a contrary view is the most valuable.

              Must remember not to tick that ‘notify me of follow-up comments’ box. Inundated.

              1. You miss the point JK. When have I ever used the expression ‘the AB’s are superior’? I pick up on people’s points & ‘correct’ them as I see it. Bound to have a diff take to NH’ers. That I do so more frequently than others? Perhaps if there were less posts, I would resond less. People blog on blog sites, the frequency is surely down to the individual? Free society & all that. Of course you are also free to ignore me & as indeed you’ve advocated I believe. Have noted yr difficult request.

        3. No, Don. A troll is a dickhead who sets out to annoy everyone by overwhelmingly dominating a thread and constantly changing his argument whenever challenged. I am not at all surprised that you are unfamiliar with either the description or the term. Much.

    2. How so with Underhill? Apart from his disallowed ‘try’ v NZ (at HQ), he was part of a team that was nilled after 35! Besides, that was all too long ago now. Bit like the Paddies’ going on about 2/3. Didn’t do them much good yesterday.

  11. Good luck to the England team. If they can tame Beauden Barret they will stand a chance, if not, bye – bye England.

  12. Very worried about Daly at FB vs NZ ; I just don’t think he is good enough there at highest level. The team vs NZ is probably very similar to today, and I’m glad a few people got blooded today, but concerned at FB and 13. Slade was good but rusty and I think JJ would add value in the outside defensive channel vs NZ. Watson must play at FB for me and Cockanisga is a point of difference other nations would play. Hoping for a win but honestly don’t think we go any further.

  13. Beside which Don, we all know that World Rugby want a NZ /Japan final to “grow the game”!!
    Money talks and bullshit walks.

  14. JK, I think that you may miss my point like Pablito. I don’t need to talk NZ up, as you accuse me. Their history already affirms their record. My point is, that I challenge perceptions which I think unfounded & which people should therefore justify. That’s whether it’s about rugby, or otherwise. Try looking at it from my POV. Was it you, or someone else, who stated that this was the worst AB side they’ve seen? I get the same from the press, like Stuart Barnes who stated NZ ‘won’t win the WC’ (after the Aus loss). I encounter this stuff constantly. There’s an undertone, which some young Maori fella once encapsulated, stating in a local pub, ‘They just want to see NZ lose’. Even Hutch opined that it would be good for W rugger if NZ lost. FFS, with all yr resources, play better rugby! Sure I’m defensive, like 1/2 the human race, but the constant drip feed of & as Dallaglio eschewed today, ‘NZ had better watch out’ stuff (after the Aus win), becomes even more tedious to me than perhaps my posts are to you & others. Sure there’s an element of needle, banter, whatever the tag. Who doesn’t? However, underneath it all, I seek justification of opinions. I believe in accountability, hence I challenge perceptions, even though my ‘tone’ may not be everyone’s pint of ale. All of the aforementioned may have been a waste of time, but at least I’ve taken it to put my take on things to you. Regds.

  15. Appreciate your points Don, although I think you miss mine. I didn’t say you talk NZ rugby up, I said that it’s accepted they’re superior. You’ve yet again made that assertion by referring to their record. I use that as a case in point of where you’re may be riling people on here.

    Perhaps you don’t appreciate quite how pessimistic the English can be. We don’t need much help on that front and it seems that’s mostly what you offer. Sometimes we like to enjoy a good result, and we’re faced with your constant refusal to just let that stand.

    It wasn’t me that said that this is the worst ABs team (though for the record I don’t think it’s the 2015 vintage), and none of us here are accountable for what Barnes, Dallaglio or anyone else in the media says.

    No doubt some ‘just want to see NZ lose’ – that’s what comes from being at the top of the game. Don’t take it personally, consider it a badge of honour.

    Seeking justification of opinions is fine, done in the right way. I think it’s evident from the prevailing reaction here, a forum where healthy debate is welcome, that you often overstep the mark into something else.

    1. Dunno about English gloom JK, but yr point is that I’m raining on yr parade. Well, I come somewhat from Michael Lynagh’s POV. He’s stated that Eng are often perceived as bad winners. Too much talking up, over egging of basic rugby & over estimating of prowess based on too little. Look at how Jones is rehabilitated now that Eng are in the 1/4ers. Wasn’t so long ago that he was being vilified after falling over following 17 on the bounce. Which is true? Nxt Sat will likely answer reveal more. This infuses my take on things. Yes, I know, tell the punters what they want to hear (just look at yr thumbs ups), or if I demur, do it less. Don’t rock the boat. Well, sometimes the boat needs a reality rock.. but not too often from YPOV. Taken on board yr comments. However, everyone comes from an angle. It’s just that mine isn’t quite that of Little Tommy Tucker who stuck in his thumb & pulled out a plumb & said; ‘What a good boy am I’. Or was that Little Jack Horner? Anyway, bearing in mind yr sage like, will give it a lash.. er, considered continued go. Cheers.

      1. Most of the time I agree with your reality checks and am willing to engage is healthy discussion where there is a difference of opinion, but from time to time your aggressive choice of language and your highly combative stance where you have to have the last word is very tiresome. This week is a perfect example of this where you are chipping in on every discussion on every thread and being quite hostile in majority of your posts.
        Everyone accepts that NZ are favourites but England have a chance of springing an upset because we ain’t a bad team

        1. Ok Leon. Hope you don’t mind my chipping in on this post of yrs though & trust that my response is less agressive than the AB’s one will be on Sat. That was meant as humour BTW. Regds.

  16. Get over it.The Aussies were just plain poor-lacking exit skill.In the Southern hemisphere you have to perform in the Super 15 competition, because performing Super 15 teams provide the nucleus of national team as was proven 1995 (Transvaal) and 2007 (Bulls and Sharks in final).In 2011 Crusaders were runner up and Highlanders winners in 2015.
    So in Southern Hemisphere there is a strong correlation between how well teams do in international competitions.In 2015 the Waratahs won the Super 15 and the Aussies reach the final
    to be beaten by the All Blacks.
    NZ have won 17 of 26 finals,(3 world cups)South Africa 3 from 11 (2 world cups) Australia 4 from 10 (2 world cups).
    The Northern hemisphere do not perform as well because their domestic competitions are flooded with foreign players and have managed
    only one world cup,England 2003.
    In my opinion they are paying a heavy toll because local interest in many cases far outweigh national interest,reducing the number
    of local players and international teams have became more reliant on foreign born players,
    be it through immigration or birth.
    Can England lift the trophy? Yes it can because
    Jones has married traditional England forward play with the attacking Aussie skills and solid
    NZ defensive systems.
    Will it last, that remains to be seen,because there is a high demand world wide for successful coaches.

    1. “Jones has married traditional England forward play with the attacking Aussie skills and solid
      NZ defensive systems.”

      I think this is a very good summary of what Sir Eddie has brought to England rugby.

      One thing I’d add he’s also instilled a bit of Australian self-belief in this team, that was lacking under Lancaster – I had a lot of time for him but he was just a bit too nice in a game where you need a bit of hard-nosed swagger.

    2. Frans, if I may, i think you overlook one vital reason. It’s called football. The funny shaped ball is number one in NZ. In the UK the oval ball exists further down the sporting ladder. Not that England Football is a world-beater yet either! The irony! But the point stands. Nor do greater playing numbers guarantee success (that old chestnut!) In reality it probably means lower standards and a thin eking out of the money-pot! Were England, for example, obsessed with rugby union like NZ is with rugby and the ABs, then maybe England would be more consistent and more of a world-beater like NZ.

  17. A most enjoyable game from an England fans point of view. A few points which can be improved, and I’m sure Eddie will have the lads working on them in the week. I think a few selection changes for next weeks game, but not too many.
    I agree about Daly, he’s not the best 15 option we have, but I think he’s better at 15 than on the wing? Personally I would play Watson at 15 and have Big Joe on the right. My only worry there would be that Watson is a much better defender on the wing than Joe, and with Nowell not fully fit, maybe this is why Eddie is continuing with Daly at 15?

    1. I would agree, Joe is too raw at international level to defend against New Zealand on the wing. I’d almost say this is Eddie’s biggest selection mistake. Whats the point in having McConnochie and Cokanasiga if they’re not yet ready for the knock outs. Mike Brown makes that hit on Koroibete 9 times out of 10.
      But then again, NZ have seen what happens when they’re penalised against Daly on the Lions tour, might keep them a bit more honest around the whole pitch?

      On the positive, Nowell and May are both meant to be fit in time for Saturday!

      1. Not convinced that Mike Brown would necessarily have made that hit. Has been a great player and I have on many occasions defended him but I do think that he has gone slightly past his best. Also not convinced that he works with the attacking structure that England now have in place.

        Having said that, really not sure what McConnochie has brought to this RWC. Hopefully EJ has seen his future potential and is giving him the right experience. With Cokanisaga you know that you have an improved attack but a weakened defence. A good player to have about for the right game, but as you say probably not this one coming up!

  18. Now you’re annoying ME Andy. Does that make YOU a d*******? Talk about Whinge-Jones! Pots etc. Get some sangria down yr neck. Calm you down.

  19. Just explaining what a troll is Don, for your edification and education. Too cold here for Sangria at present, only 21C, and I think I spy a faint fluffy cloud on the horizon. To be serious for a minute though, there are a lot of people on this site who respect your knowledge of the game and would listen to you more readily if you were not quite so prolific and a little less aggressively personal when people’s opinions differ from yours. We all contribute to this site for fun, and on this particular thread the banter has turned to nastiness on occasions. Cheers.


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