Brian O'Driscoll brilliance against NZ


Brendon Leonard's brutal headclash


Malakai Fekitoa smashes Conrad Smith


Ref Romain Poite in front of the kicker


Friday Funnies - Alex Grove's freak try


Beauden Barrett's 2013 Try of the Year


Mourad Boudjellal on building Toulon


Top 10 Tries in South African Rugby 2013


Henry Tuilagi swats Zee Ngwenya away

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

England stun France at Twickenham

England stun France at Twickenham

English coach Martin Johnson finally had something to smile about as his England side produced an emphatic 34-10 win over visitors France at Twickenham on Sunday.

Wing Mark Cueto got on the score sheet after just 67 seconds, crowning a simple but well worked move off the back of a ruck. It was the first of their five tries, which had them leading 34-0 early in the second half.

Riki Flutey scored twice, with Delon Armitage and Joe Worsley also crossing for nice tries.

After successive defeats to Wales and Ireland, and being handed 10 yellow cards in their previous four matches, this result was welcome relief to Johnson, who hasnt had the smoothest of rides as coach so far.

"When we do what we did today we look like a good team," said Johnson. "That was great.

"I don't think our intensity level was higher. Our precision level was better - the guys saw opportunities and took them.

"I am very happy for the guys and there's a good feeling of satisfaction in the changing room."

"It just showed that when we executed what we wanted to do we could open them up and score tries.

"The guys have confidence in what we are doing and to turn them into clinical tries was great.

"There are still lots of improvements to make, but in the heat of the game there are always going to be mistakes and it's about minimising them."

"Centres Mike Tindall and Riki Flutey are getting better and better," he said. "Mike brings that leadership and his defence work is solid, while Riki even ripped the ball off Sebastien Chabal in the build-up to one of the tries."

"The important thing now is to have a good performance next week. Scotland had a real go against Ireland, they'll want to finish off their season by beating England at Twickenham."


Time: 02:58

Posted at 10:15 am | 61 comments

Viewing 61 comments

Arnaud March 17, 2009 11:09 am

What to say?.........................................................................

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Kerivoula March 17, 2009 11:15 am

Amazing first 50 minutes. Combination of a stunned France and stunning England, never easy to say what was the cause and what the effect. However, great running rugby from England, when was the last time their backs scored four tries against a decent side?Still think Borthwick and Tindall need to go. Lot's of good young players ready.

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Kember March 17, 2009 11:36 am

About time. Hope it's not a one off! France were crap though and I think that needs to be taken into consideration before everyone gets carried away.Agreed Kerivoula, Tait needs to be starting over Tindall but maybe once england start winning consistently as his confidence still seems low. Who gets the captaincy if Borthwick were to go though?

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 12:00 pm

i reckon armitage for captain..and SHARKYS GAY!!

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 12:11 pm

tindalls done alright so far and like johnno says hes brings leadership and experience out there on the field which if tait starts will be pretty absent.as good as england played in the first half france were dreadful. turned over easily, passes to nowhere. wouldnt have believed it was the side that beat wales a couple weeks ago. but the french have been doing this for years, one week world beaters, the next complete strangers on a field.how well has armitage taken to international rugby! the only england player so far whos certainly on the plane to SA if fit.

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Kember March 17, 2009 12:21 pm

Yeah this vid only shows the tries. Some of the balls Armitage was taking under pressure were excellent. Yet to see him have a bad game...

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 12:44 pm

Absolute shame for france, worst display I have ever seen from us. On the opposite, England seemed to have control all the way long. No explanations, no excuses, just a very very sad moment. Je vais demander la nationalit irlandaise!

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Chris March 17, 2009 1:07 pm

Goode is no good.

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piaruskov March 17, 2009 1:12 pm

some games are so straightforward they don't deserve any debate.. france played like a 3rd division team, england played like a classy international one. Not really into the "fire the coach" mood, Lievremont did not really have anyhting to do with France's failure, but still I'm starting to have doubts. The fact that he chooses to put the same team against Italy is probably not a bad choice but who, besides Lievremont, hasn't understood that Morgan Parra is NOT a kicker for fuck's sake

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Flooz March 17, 2009 1:29 pm

What to say..?It's difficult to learn something from this match.England managed a very interesting rugby during 50 minutes, playing like...frenchs :) Armitage was also fantastic.But i don't know how to judge their performance as frenchs never reach their rugby and completly missed their first half.Frenchs are used to up and down matchs. Lievremont should work on the mental and understand that parra, baby or traille are not kickers.I laso don't understand the NO-turn over against Italy..

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Ted March 17, 2009 1:35 pm

Something to cheer about at last! It's been a pretty grim road being an England supporter these past five or six years. Mind you, we've produced these good one-offs before and then gone backwards (see the Ireland game last year) so let's not get too carried away. We've got a long way to go before we're challenging the SH again.Team should be:1. Vickery2. Mears3. Sheridan4. Kennedy5. Shaw6. Croft7. Worsley8. Haskell (Captain)9. Ellis10. Cipriani11. Monye12. Flutey13. Tait14. Cueto15. ArmitageI think Cipriani's still the answer, Tinds is past it and we need to get Haskell and Croft playing in the same back row. There might be a call for Croft to be captain instead. What do you think guys?

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Kember March 17, 2009 2:12 pm

I think Hartley should start over Mears. Also I think we need to look to the future more. One of the reasons we havn't progressed since 2003 is that the recent numerous coaches have picked players on a play to win basis. That for me rules Shaw out. He didn't have a great game anyway....Would also like to see Rees nail down that 7 spot and be given the capataincy at Wasps to see how he does as although Worsely's had a good couple of games he ain't a 7 for the future. I don't think Haskell would command the respect that a captain needs firstly because he's not cemented a starting place and secondly because he just comes across as a complete arrogant wanker and who respects that?

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 2:15 pm

Sorry but to the anonymous Rob Kearny has been consistently the safest fullback under a high ball for both leinster and ireland! Armitage took 1 ball worth noting during the game against france and he had very little opposition for it...infact he was the only 1 who got up for it! so saying ''the only england player so far whos certainly on the plane to SA if fit.'' is slightly over the top. My opinion is that for the fullback slot on the lions it will be lee byrne who starts with kearny sub

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 2:19 pm

haha to the anonymous posting about haskell coming across as a complete arrogant wanker u should take a look at the ''James Haskell Official Website''...here's the link! take a look at some of the photos in the gallery...http://www.jameshaskell.com/

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Kember March 17, 2009 2:26 pm

Jesus wept. That website proves my point! He's in the wrong sport!People do not look up to someone like that as cpatain.I bumped into him last year in Rome after the England/Italy game and came away with a ver bad taste in my mouth (no innuendo's please!).

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Adedayo Adebayo March 17, 2009 2:30 pm

As an England fan, I'm looking forward to the summer touring of Argentina. Johnno needs to look to the future on that tour, and it could be a real bonus for england that we'll only lose probably armitage and maybe three others to the lions tour. we need to take the youth on tour, as well as players in the saxons and on the fringe of the elite squad (which is a rubbish idea and kills competition for places). I'm thinking: Corbisiero, Dave Wilson, Jordan Crane, Louis Deacon, Jordan Turner-Hall, Ben Foden, Matt Banahan, Steffon Armitage, Stephen Myler, David Doherty, Noah Cato, Nick Abendanon, Dan Hipkiss, Tom Varndell (if he gets game time from now til end o season), olly barkley, anthony allen, simpson daniel, ryan lamb. theres talent there that needs to be pushed through to see if they can handle it at international level, and when combined with a lot of the current england squad, then... well... you get the idea.

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Adedayo Adebayo March 17, 2009 2:37 pm

oh and dylan hartley and danny care should not be england players. dylan hartley isolates himself far too much. hes a good ball carrier in the premiership, but he gets swamped too quickly at international level. george chuter should be higher up the pecking order. and danny care at the base of the ruck kills me. he picks up the ball, takes two steps then passes, meaning the opposition defence can come straight up on the attackers. get in foden ahead of care.

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Arnaud March 17, 2009 2:42 pm

What to say?I was not expecting a french win but at least a close exciting game.World cup is in 2011 and I don't see any improvment from the french. When I see how England played against Wales and Ireland (two games lost closely) I really care about the future of our rugby.1 club in H cup.3 loss in 6 nations.No 9-10 connection found.Players who don't play at their usual place (Chabal is an 8, nothing else, Traille a center, not a fly half).We have so many young good players who wait to show their skills that I don't understant where we go.2011 : We'll beat AB in quarter or semifinals, as usual and, still as usual, we'll lost the next one.Really dissapointed by this crunch because game was over after 20 mins. That's fact : in France we really don't like the winners but we like to be second. Looks more likeable to us.So let's continue like, let's still dream about what was France 15 years ago and let's go to NZ and Australia this summer and lose by 50 points as usual...

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andy March 17, 2009 2:43 pm

Haskell for captain!! are you mad?Yes it was great, i enjoyed every minute of it. It's got to be said though how important was getting that early try? Plus for some reason we know how to knock the french off their stride. We're oneof the only nations that can do it (bit like the french against the kiwis). England players to go to SA (in squad but not starting line up) for me are:VickerySheridanArmitage (perhaps)WorsleyIf the tour was going to Aus or NZ i'd perhaps take some of those guys out but i think Worsley especially is someone you'd want on the plane and in the squad with you when you're about to face the Safa's.

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7 March 17, 2009 2:49 pm

Ted, yes, finally!I'm not so sure Cipriani is the answer (this is coming from a wasps fan). He doesn't tackle with much commitment and teams target him because of that weakness. Wasps just about get away with it, but on an international level it becomes a big problem. But I'm not to keen on Flood (although he played better than normal) and Goode is a club player.In your line-up I'd have Vickery as captain, he's done so before, and he has a lot more experience than Haskell (who didn't really impress me on Sunday). Rees looked a bit small last time I saw him play internationaly, but he's a very good player... future openside I'd say. Worsley was good on Sunday, so he should hold his place. Armitage was very very good. He had a hand in most of the tries. I'd choose him ahead of Lee Byrne for the lions. As Ted said, 'we've produced these good one-offs before and then gone backwards' and England always play better against France. Thanks to the frechies for beating Wales, anyway. Want Ireland to win 6 nations, they deserve it, being robbed by France two years ago...

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FTW March 17, 2009 3:00 pm

Delon armitage celebrates like a damn footballer, ohh and classic england-they get one good win and suddenly they can beat anyone.They beat a TERRIBLE france team at home, that counts as some sort of 'great win' up there?Sorry for being negitive but the english get carried away too easily.

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 3:11 pm

Sorry FTW but where does it say anywhere in these comments that we can beat anyone? in fact all i can see is 'nothing to celebrate, the french were rubbish' and 'lets hope this isn't a one off like last time'. which is actually more typical of the english to say. In fact we did play very well against a good french side who played poorly on the day. fuck off stop watching our competition and stick to your own ones that nobody cares about

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 3:42 pm

Like someone said, 'we've produced these good one-offs before and then gone backwards'.We need to recognise that the England team is still flooded with problems. I'd hate to see a refusal or dismissive attitude in blooding in new players on the back or one or two decent performances against a shit team.It's the world cup in 2 years, there isn't much time left. Get rid of all the dinasaurs now, aswell as the average players who don't belong in the side, Goode as a prime example.England on paper have some of the brightest prospects in the world, and a fucking ton of them. Why they aren't being blooded i don't know.

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 3:42 pm

Armitage has a good game against a terrible France and now he's a ahead of players like Byrne who have proved themselves against the worlds best teams time and again.Pull your necks in.

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Alain March 17, 2009 3:53 pm

hahahahaha..james haskell website is krap funy..if a S.A. forward had a site like this he would be shot on site..wel done to england tho..france were poor..Andrew Johns- " A race of giants"

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Kember March 17, 2009 4:11 pm

FTW you're the one getting carried away mate.To the extent that you have to make stuff up that people have said.And the reason Armitage celebrated like he did was because he used to play in France but they told him he was too small for Intl but he obviously proved them wrong.

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Arnaud March 17, 2009 4:45 pm

Damn...After having given knowledge, intelligence and some subtility to these English louts with William the conqueror, we gave them Armitage in 2009.We are really big cocks here in France...

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joshhhh March 17, 2009 4:45 pm

Ted: are you being serious?haskell as captain? he's a good player but no way is he a captain... not yet anyway.borthwick played very well against france a led well too.Tait isnt confident enough to start yet and tindal is playing well too..1. sheridan2.mears3.white4.borthwick (C)5.shaw6.croft7.worsley8.haskell9.care10.flood11.monye12.flutey13.tindall14.cueto/sackey15.armatidge

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ryebye March 17, 2009 4:59 pm

like other have said FTW, dont know what you reading :Sgodo game by england against a a french team that didnt show upnot really shure what to take from the game apprt from confidence, lets hope england play as well in the scotland gameand please pelase i hope england dont kick stupid ball away, even after playing well against france in the 1st half by passing the ball, england went back to type in the 2nd half and starting thats stupid kicking to nowhere....

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 6:21 pm

to the other anonymous who mentioned kearney is ahead of armitage in the lions line up.... of course he is and byrne is ahead of him (has anyone seen him play a bad game cos i havent). i merely said armitage is on the plane, not the hes got the no 15 jersey.

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 6:22 pm

and goode cannot start against scotland. he changed the way we played and kept trying cross field kicks that didnt come off. flood had his best game at 10 in an england shirt

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andy March 17, 2009 6:55 pm

I also agree flood had his best game for england so far

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 7:38 pm

I was thae guy saying that Johnson was a bad coach.................shit

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 7:40 pm

agree with Ted's selection but I would rather see sackey at 14. he has far more speed than cueto. you're right cipriani should play at 10. everyone seems to have forgotten that his ankle pretty much snapped off his leg! explaining his "poor form"

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PintOfRugby March 17, 2009 8:13 pm

I actually agree with FTW.Look at the bbc website and its got an article about borthwick saying their going to show the scots "how to win graciously". Thats arrogance from a player who shouldn't even be in the squad. I hope the scots bring you english back down to earth.

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jamestheconvict March 17, 2009 8:27 pm

france played like balls Englands trys were not magnificent - they were missed tackles by crap french defenders

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David March 17, 2009 8:32 pm

Ah James, I knew something was missing. I am still dying to see one of these tries you keep talking about where no tackles are missed. I've been trawling through the Super 14 highlights but I haven't found one yet. Perhaps you could suggest one for us all to look at? A try where both attack and defence is superb?

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jamestheconvict March 17, 2009 8:36 pm

yeah the truth was missing

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Matthew March 17, 2009 8:46 pm

I wish that French side had turned up against Wales innit. Fucking typical mun!Just like in the last WC. Beat the favourites and then don't show up against england!!

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David March 17, 2009 9:03 pm

No look James, I'm not trying to diss SH rugby or claim England are suddenly a fantastic side, I just want to know what you're talking about. Unless all SH tries are scored by overlaps, there must be SOME missed tackles surely? There are plenty on the S14 highlights for sure, but that doesn't mean the tries aren't good.Or are you just trying to get a reaction by saying something that doesn't make sense?

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Blonz March 17, 2009 9:11 pm

Adedayo Adebayo - 'oh and dylan hartley and danny care should not be england players' - all i can say is that you haven't watched much rugby this year. Both have been outstanding for their clubs. Danny Care has been a real find for England and shaken things up - any surprise Ellis had a good game?Tait not ready for int rugby - still too self orientated and plays 'head down rugby'. Tindall superb in defence and a team player going forward. Who cares if he is 30+?Cipriani is having a poor season. End of.It's fine being capable of something but you have to produce and he hasn't. Have to say, best game in an England short so far from wobbly-gob. Speaking as a Falcons fan - Tom May at 10 anyone!!

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 9:24 pm

We ( France ) were pitiful, no envy, i'm angry because we have good players, but good job England.

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Anonymous March 17, 2009 9:54 pm

i agree good ass-kicking england !oh yeah sharky, your a homo

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jamestheconvict March 17, 2009 10:16 pm

ok - ill explain England scored tries of missed tacklesof course there are missed tackles in s14 - if you watch the try by Ashley Cooper against the waratahs - it was a build of pressure and phases which set up space out wide - with the ball moved quickly - to score in the corner. after 15-20 phasesgood defence from waratahs - great attack by brumbies - plenty of good ball movement and offloads - continuity between the team was excellent - resulting in sustained pressure - the normally composed defence was stretched so far - that when when the ball moved to the wing - the waraths were too stretched to get therewatch the england tries1. Chabal misses a tackl on Flutey he should have made - draw and pass - try in the corner2. Fluety's try's were the pick of the bunch - a well worked - structured back line move3. Armitage try - any good full back should be able to pass 2 french defenders ( the rest were on the other side of the ruck )4. Worsley try - again 7 or 8 english players - 3 french defenders - always would have been a try 5. Flutey - now this is a great try - Armitage what a fantastic run. Great support by english players - awesome tryCut out the 3 crap tries and you have a game but the french defended like shit - didnt even look like they wanted to be thereEngland certainly did front up and perform when it mattered and thats great.

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henry March 17, 2009 10:27 pm

id agree with your team sheet ted, except i think i backline of cipriani fluty tait, whilst exciting, is too small to be selcted, england focus alot on defence and size

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andy March 17, 2009 11:09 pm

Jamestheconvict piss off you annoy the hell out of me and you talk utter rubbish.

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Adedayo Adebayo March 17, 2009 11:31 pm

Blonz, don't get me wrong, both hartley and care are good players, but they are good club players. there's a massive gap between the premiership and performing at the highest level internationally. look at charlie hodgson. awesome for sale, but for england, not so great. hopefully in time i'll be proved wrong, because we need some decent hookers wearing the red rose. as for scrum half, we've got wigglesworth, ellis, foden, care, hodgson at the exiles, and joe the plumber at wasps, an embaressment of riches (comparitively speaking. and im comparing england and italy)james the convict, interesting points as ever. one thing i would add is that, yeah defending players should never miss a tackle, but you have to give the attacker credit for finishing off a try after a tackle has been missed. in the premiership, dave strettle has made the most line-breaks/had most mis-tackles against him this season (and he's only played half a season). BUT he has scored squat diddly. its all about the finishing, and bloody hell do the southern hemishpere players know how to finish.

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Blonz March 17, 2009 11:33 pm

Jamestheconvict - you're talking utter bol****s.1. How is it that any second rower 'should make' that tackle against a good running centre like Flutey??3. 'any good full back should be able to pass 2 french defenders' - What any 2 French defenders? Didn't realise the game was that simple. Get your full back against any two defenders?!? Cos that works.4. 'Worsley try - again 7 or 8 english players - 3 french defenders - always would have been a try' - The question you should be asking yourself is how England managed to work themselves into a situation where they had a 4-5 man overlap. It didn't happen by accident.

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Blonz March 17, 2009 11:49 pm

Adedayo Adebayo - point taken about Hodson. Can't argue with that. And of course there's a difference between club rugby and international rugby. I just feel that Care brings a willingness to try something different and should be Englands no 9 moving forward, although Ellis had a very good game against France.Foden is superb and should be in the squad based on his versatility alone.

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Anonymous March 18, 2009 12:45 am

Of course there's almost always missed tackles leading up to a try.This was some decent stuff from England, france aren't easy beats. I'll say two things though.One is that France didn't turn up this game, as we all know, they're known for being hot and cold, you never know which France team will turn up.Two is that these were a little pedestrian, except for Armitages break to set up Flutey, that was quite a ncie piece of play. There's still not enough offloading in the tackle, IMO, or enough speed at clearing the ball, running or passing. Howver, a much improved display from a young England team that will certainly get better with time.I'd love to see a slightly faster game being played, but that's true of all NH teams, not just England.

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Anonymous March 18, 2009 8:48 am

A poor french team and an increible english team. I hope it was just an accident. I'm mitigated about Lievremont (french coach). I love his mind of rugby game, but his player and tactic choices are sometimes surprising!It's a good thing for rugby world if England goes back up its playing level like before 2003.

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jamestheconvict March 18, 2009 1:10 pm

awesome english attacktheyl win the 2011 wc

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Anonymous March 18, 2009 2:41 pm

What do you think of Italy - France next week? I mean, if Italy plays like whit the Welsh whit the need to win; and France has to win for the redemption for this match, that will be a great match!

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mattn March 18, 2009 6:09 pm

To: jamestheconvictall the tries wernt from 'missed tackles' thats a pretty naive comment considering that a decent % of tries would come from missed tackles.Finally a good performance from England, just a shame its only Scotland left to play.

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Jonno March 18, 2009 6:38 pm

im sorry to all the cipriani fans out there, but in an england shirt his is absolutly wank. He thinks he can do it all but he's too weak and too slow (ecpecially with his kicking) for me, wilkinson is still the answer as england always play well with him. Have flood on the bench. Does anyone know how flood failed to score that try? funny stuff.

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Brendan Laney March 18, 2009 10:04 pm

Danny care makes I larf!he may be good for his club but he has none of the required qualitys for international rugby. he is so poderous at the breakdown! he picks the ball takes two to 3 paces then sends out a slug of a pass which puts attacks on the back foot.also he takes to long at the base of the ruck. once the ball is pesented after a tackle getting it to a first receiver need to be the first priority, not allow the likes fo phil vickery (dont let me go there) to flop on top of it. then wait an age standing at the back waving like a moron as if he knows what he is doing.granted he can make a break or two while he is crabbing across the defence line but beyond he has no use.too slow in thought and pass to be a good scrum half.

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themull March 18, 2009 10:51 pm

Yea what exactly is the story with Wilko?? Is he still injured or has he never really recovered from the recurring shoulder injuries?

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TheRealSlimShady March 19, 2009 12:43 am

England played well, and i think use hav found a good player in Delon Armitage, must say tho i didnt like his celebration. But i think its unfortunate for him that he has 2 better full-backs ahead of him for the Lions, them being Rob Kearney and Lee Byrne...Not quite sure which 1 will start tho.

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Anonymous March 19, 2009 1:18 pm

Lee Byrne ftw!!!

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Anonymous March 20, 2009 4:52 am

Neither Kearny or Byrne are that great.

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Anonymous March 20, 2009 12:31 pm

AM I alone in thinking maybe we should play Croft at 7? I know a lot has been said about him not being one, in the absence of any 7 Croft with that amount of pace will make a difference by simply being there to support. Compliment with Haskell at 6 and Narraway (for speed) or Crane (for power at 8). Harsh on Worsely, but I'd like to see how the young guns will do.

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