Sunday, 17 March 2013

What did the 6 Nations really tell us?

That England are sadly still rubbish - sorry a bit harsh but frankly a long long way from being a great team and threatening for either a 6 nations grand slam or a good chance in the World Cup.

So three games in I reported I was really pleased.  By then England were the only unbeaten team.

However let us consider...

Scotland - getting better and didn't get the wooden spoon this year but frankly they are one of the sides with lowest ability in the championship.  We played them when it was their first game with a new coach and style they beat Italy and Ireland but...

France - I have no idea what they were doing - the French have this ability to implode and this year is no different, the selections and substitutions have left most observers totally bamboozled.

Ireland - What the hell happened there?  Another team to lose it and play way below their ability.  Injuries didn't help but they just never played how we know they can.  They need to shake the team up, they know it they started but sorry old loyalties should be disregarded, the side needs to move on and rebuild.

So - England beat all three of them but Ireland took the wooden spoon, Scotland were on a rebuild first match and France - yes well threw the game and championship away with bizarre selection and tactics.

Italy - they will soon be up there in with a chance of the championship if the other sides don't improve.  Beating France and Ireland shows where they have come to but also shows the other sides frankly slipping too.  England were very lucky to beat them at Twickenham.

So we arrived at Cardiff.  Could England beat Wales and take the Grand Slam - honestly I didn't think so I hoped we'd keep in touch and win the championship on virtue of points difference.  By the end of the first half I said "They are going to beat us by 30 points"...  30-3 the final score.  I should be a pundit.

Wales were very good - best Northern Hemisphere side.  England - just better than Italy - that is the truth.  That is what the 6 nations has shown us - we'll get mauled in the World Cup!  The forwards lost the scrum battle and annoyed the ref - great.  The roof was closed - in the morning when I heard that I said "Owen will miss kicks"... he did... I should be a pundit!...  When we did in the second half get close to a try but Toby Flood for the second week showed lack of strength when it was really needed then Care lost his head and kicked it off the park.  That move was rubbish frankly and summed up England's performance.  In defence too many penalties given away the discipline showed in the earlier games gone.  England of old.  Shame I had high hopes but realise now that Wales are so far ahead of everyone else and the first 3 games had overly flattered England's ability.

If I was picking the Lions I'd consider Brad Barritt as he works so hard and Mike Brown (I thought him England's best player in the championship) but both of them only for impact / versatility off the bench.  Forwards... er no I'd not take any of the England team - lost the scrum with Italy and Wales repeatedly too many penalties, there are a lot better back row's about.  England against Italy and Wales struggled at the breakdown.  I mean just pick Wales 1 - 8 would be my recommendation for the Lions.  Actually - just take Wales they are way above the rest anyway! 

I should get used to it as an England fan really the odd glimpse of quality and then the crushing realisation that actually no it is all a thin veneer with little depth and no ability to dig deep when needed.  It was nearly there this year but ...   Oh well.   Oh yes finally - how is Ashton on the wing with Strettle and Varndell playing so much better in the premiership?  As I say forget loyalties, look at some other players who deserve a chance.

There's always next year... yes I know ... forget that Wales will I predict get a hat-trick of championships and that should be a Grand Slam they won't slip up like this year I predict.

3 comments:

  1. An interesting and entertaining synopsis, although I have no idea what the wooden spoon is, aside from a utensil used to dish out a salad.

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    1. The "Wooden Spoon" is the term used for coming last in the 6 nations - i.e. the worst of all trophies

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  2. I don't think England was that bad. They're young and promising and by the world cup could well be up there with the best. But until we can take on and beat the southern hemisphere regularly we'll all still have a long way to go. On Saturday I think Wales could have beaten the All Blacks because every player performed to their best. that doesn't often happen.

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