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J-bay and Cape St Francis... thanks for making me homesick Phil :D
Posted 10:41 20th June 2012
NHSaints, I'm assuming you mean Dan Ward-Smith as the Wasps #8? He is 34 now though, so even if he were fit, I'd prefer a younger option.
On another topic, please, please, please no James Haskell. For the few positives that he brings, his negatives far outweigh them.
Also, Tuilagi will get exposed for lack of pace on the wing, in my opinion. Although Kahui had a strong world cup on the wing, generally speaking, it is a big change from centre to wing (wing to centre isn't too bad).
Also, no, no, to Barritt in the centre. We'll revert to trying to stifle South Africa, rather than trying to actually build some attacking rugby. How do you expect Tuilagi and Joseph to learn to play together if you move one of them to the wing after just one game? Tuilagi's future isn't on the wing, why play him there?
Posted 09:54 20th June 2012
He spelt 'braai' wrong. Only 'one eye' Phil.
Posted 22:53 19th June 2012
"both England props pointing inwards like an arrow head onto the hooker" isnīt this against the law?
Posted 21:50 19th June 2012
Great article...few can Deny cole is a world class tighthead and with some honing and refining the English front Row is a serious force to be reckoned with...especially considering that Marler is the weakest link in the scrum and is only 21. Combine that with a Palmer - Lawes second row or a Lawes - Parling second row and you've got a tough looking tight 5. People looking for England's up coming 8? There were two...Narraway and the Wasps U21 8 (I can't remember his name) but unfortunately Narraway was ignored after injury and the Wasps 8 had to retire due to knee injury. With Kvesic the obvious choice at 7 for England in the coming years I'd move Robshaw to 8 - he can carry, tackle and offload. And then Let croft and wood fight for the 6 jersey. There are no real talents coming through at 8 and if we'd been trying to win the series Easter would have been our starting 8. I really like the Idea of Tuilagi on the wing...we've been exposed out wide before and he'll handle that easily and he's scored most of his best tries from a back 3 position or going down the wing. That'll also allow us to employ Joseph's skill at 13 and Barritt's endless tackling from 12.
Posted 18:47 19th June 2012
@ astrospange - you might not want PV commentating if you'd heard him during the RWC! That said, I'd gladly replace Barnes with white noise, such is his ability to annoy everyone. He's neither partisan nor objective. He swaps allegiances more often than the ball changes posession during a match and we all just wish he would shut up!
@ objetive - what an awful post. To suggest that we're that bad and are delusional is plain wrong. To suggest that a win against SA is meaningless is also daft. It's no more meaningless than the last two wins by SA against an inexperienced and developing team, by an experienced and gelled SA.
Anyone who claims that SA are not experienced and gelled is just wrong. The FR is an obvious place to start and let's consider how inexperienced and un-gelled they are! Of course there are some new caps and less experienced players, but the SA team is overwhelmingly more experienced and test-hardened than the English one. And for this English team to come to SA and perform as they have done is commendable. And to belittle that achievement, or that of the winner on Saturday, shows a small-minded and one-eyed bias that's quite ugly. Most Saffas are good humoured and great hosts, with a good grasp of rugby. It's a shame that there are those who let themselves down, with ill thought through comments.
Posted 17:36 19th June 2012
For me this particular tour has not been about winning. Granted, to record a win (or even two or three) would have been fantastic but in reality this was never ever going to happen. For me it was all about the performance, blooding young and inexperienced players and improving. There is nothing better than to have a tour against the Boks in their back yard as experience. Add to this they were able to compete and this will do the world of good going forward (I hope). Don't get me wrong, England are still a long way off. Even if we do win this next match (IF?) then it will not be the same as winning any of the first two. It is, as they say, a dead rubber. However, England should go all hell for leather and try to win it. Take something from the tour and learn. They have got SH teams in November and then a Six Nations competition after that. If we can keep progressing then this side is looking good for the future. After a few more games against SH oposition we need to look at taking a few scalps. We are a good three years behind Wales and for me, the next Six Nations is going to be interesting as I think Wales have gone backwards. In contrast, their tour was a disappointment for them. Ireland for me haven't really moved. They can be great one day and awful the next. Unfortunately, the Boks and the All Blacks are looking very good not only now but for the future.
Posted 15:33 19th June 2012
Wish you were there in SA Phil!
Posted 15:30 19th June 2012
Nice article, offering praise where it is due. In my opinion though, Waldrom was no better than average and only stood out because he was in white. If he had been wearing a green or black shirt, he would have been totally inconspicuous. His carries etc. are a minimum expectation for a Bok or All Black loose. If you compare his 20 minutes worth to the play of Alberts, McCaw, Burger, Pocock, Reid etc, he simply isnt even in the same hemisphere....
Surely England can unearth another Dallalio from somewhere.
I completely agree on Dan Cole. Excellent player and technician
Posted 15:21 19th June 2012
Nailed it again, Bull!
Posted 15:04 19th June 2012
Never enjoy dead rubbers as the team that has lost the series is always more motivated to win. Inevitably, the winning team also rests players not really injured (having done the business the week before). A consolation victory is then used as a basis to argue any number of "if only" scenarios in the first two tests and to convince oneself that one actually "deserved" (hate that word in a sporting context) to have won the series. Then DVD's are released about England's famous series "win" (because they deserved to win the 1st and/or 2nd test too). England, my message to you is to not speak a bunch of nonsense if you squeeze a win on Sat. Just accept it was a bit meaningless and that you have a lot to learn before you can win when it really matters. Having said all that, it has been great having you over and well done on competing in patches. Both you and the Boks will get a lot better. EngvSA final in the next RWC? Quite possible.
Posted 14:51 19th June 2012
Vickery to replace Barnes as commentator on Sky! Sense, insight, positivity and lack of bitterness are qualities Barnes sadly does not have.
Posted 14:39 19th June 2012
Annother concise and well written article,,and yes the J.P.Pitersen try was a soft try ,as he should have been nailed by the 1st up tackler.but still a great run.I to expect there to be changes ,much as Vicks has stated.B.Morgon has been a bit of a disappiontment imo ,given his ability and size ,but has shown enough in flashes as to his potential,he can only improve imho,and overall Eglands attack is still lacking .The support just isnt there at vital moments ,but again its showing improvment in flahes,consistancy in that regard will come (i hope) as the team developes.Overall its been a good tour so far from England ,lets not forget its a very experianced and powerfull SA team,picked purely to win against England ,as stated by HM himself.For it to be an outstanding tour England have to win a test ,and they arnt to far off doing that imho,They just need to cope with the SA power game ,which i know is easier said than done ,and keep the scores close thoughout the entire match,if they can stay within 3-5 ponts they have a good chance imho,Not going to be easy ,but then nothing worth doing is easy ,and what a morale boost it could be for a young developing squad /team.To have an away win against a major SH nation
Posted 14:30 19th June 2012
Good article and nice to see Dan Cole getting the praise he deserves. Really has been one of the most consistent performers over the past two years. I feel he really benefits from sharing his position at Leicester each week as he isn't over-used. He has only missed 1 of the last 31 England tests according the the RFU website which rather supports my point.
Posted 14:20 19th June 2012