Ref Romain Poite in front of the kicker


Beauden Barrett's 2013 Try of the Year


Scrumhalf Frae Wilson smashes lock


Jacques Burger's tackling masterclass


Random great tries from 2008


Henry Tuilagi swats Zee Ngwenya away


Tameifuna & Mackintosh rucking ban


Ben May nearly scores greatest prop try


Rodney Ah You smashes Alistair Hargeaves

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wales bounce back to beat England at the Millennium Stadium

Wales bounce back to beat England at the Millennium Stadium

Wales defeated England 19-9 at the Millennium Stadium this past weekend in what was a good Rugby World Cup warm-up for them, and a match that the visitors would rather forget. The home side now have some big injury concerns though, with the world cup just three weeks away.

James Hook scored 13 points in the second half, including a try, as Wales took advantage of their opportunities, while England struggled to convert on all their possession, an area that Martin Johnson was displeased with.

"I've never seen a game like it, to dominate like that and not have the points," said Johnson. "Then we made too many errors in the second half. We lost cohesion in the last 20. We had a real stranglehold on the game in terms of possession and let it slip.

"I am disappointed but it was the strangest game I have seen," he added.

What's disappointing for Wales is that following the win, injuries to a few players have raised concerns. Gavin Henson looks to be out of the World Cup entirely, having injured his wrist, while Rhys Priestland has a thigh strain, adding to the broken leg of Morgan Stoddart. Key front rower Gethin Jenkins will not take part in their opening RWC game against South Africa.

Young skipper Sam Warburton was naturally over the moon with the win though. "Weve put a lot of effort in over the last two months and the boys are pretty pleased that weve got the reward," he said.

Based on the last two weeks, who do you see going further in the RWC, Wales or England?


Time: 03:59

Posted at 5:46 pm | 71 comments

Viewing 71 comments

Anonymous August 16, 2011 5:50 pm

last

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 6:17 pm

I think it's clear that Wilkinson should start over Flood. Also, I'm not too concerned about England as, Wilkinson, Moody, and Ashton were all missing from this game. All in all, we should be a real threat this year at the RWC. Thoughts?

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 6:22 pm

I think that Wilko should definately start but in my opinion moody is too old and completely insane, there are many better choices for flanker such as haskell and not play him no. 8.

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Barry August 16, 2011 6:27 pm

I think some of the blame for the loss should fall on Tindall as captain for not opting to kick some of the penalties - fair play for opting to go for the lineout and aiming for a try but it became apparent fairly quickly that England's attack wasn't doing the job. Hopefully the dismal performances of Shontayne "please hurt me Jamie Roberts" Hape and Banahan encourage Johnson to rethink that centre partnership. Regardless, fair play to some fantastic Welsh defence and heart.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 6:27 pm

Brand Haskell > Moody

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Ivar Smallan August 16, 2011 6:44 pm

"Shontayne 'please hurt me Jamie Roberts'". Lol.
Jamie Roberts is a beast and is going to destroy the Springbok back line.
This World cup is going to bring back sooo many memories of the lions tour, except this time Wales will win!...

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Ivar biggan August 16, 2011 6:45 pm

*"Shontayne 'please hurt me Jamie Roberts' Hape".
Apologies...

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Bowie August 16, 2011 6:54 pm

Would love to see a clip of Hensons drive back on Banahananananananana.

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Von August 16, 2011 6:58 pm

I think both yellow cards were harsh. Roberts's I think was awarded after a series of Welsh infringements so that maybe explains that one. Someone will have to correct me on the other though - my interpretation of ruck law is that if the ball's at the back of the ruck and the scrum-half has both hands on it, you're allowed to smash him. No?

Anyway, well done Wales.

I'm a huge fan of Mad Dog Moody, but faced with the option of putting a battered veteran who may not last the tournament into the world cup versus putting Haskell in at 7 where he acquitted himself extremely well previously (esp 6nations) and giving him the chance to settle and gain consistency, I'd go for The Brand. To be honest, I'm not convinced he's that natural at openside, but out of the choices available I think he's got to be the best bet.

Wilkinson should play 10 and either Flood or Flutey 12, Tuilagi 13.

Captain would probably be Easter in that case.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 6:58 pm

hmmm Personally I'd pick banahan over tindall...

I think banahan is on the up... tindall is on the down...

hape is useless and i have never rated him!

Based on this team i'd say Wales will go further, but we all know that ashton and wilkinson will probably produce points.

I would have said wales would go further based on this performance but now i doubt it, they have lost so many guys to injuries and really they have been fairly key players.. henson is a tool but he can play, stoddart another good welsh player gone...

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 7:03 pm

And again Allan Rolland shows his incompetence. How he reffed a world cup final let alone a warm up test defies logic.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 7:11 pm

Up until this year, Allan Rolland was one of the best referees in the world. Certainly in the top 3.

He has had a bad year for sure though, particularly by his standards.

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bloodfya August 16, 2011 7:19 pm

The welsh have a great team and loosing to them in the world cup POOL STAGES will not be too bad (a small possibility of happening). I think it is going to be a very tough world cup and the heart that the welsh showed on saterday in defence was of world cup final quality.
I dont know if England will be able to pull off a victory against the french this year (if they meet-which seems likely)

This world cup will be a great one.

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moddeur August 16, 2011 7:56 pm

Great defense by Wales, England lacking that killer instinct. A good wake-up in the second half by Wales, and there you have it!

I have to agree about Alain Rolland, he's in that line of referees, like Kaplan, who likes to penalize everything early on in rucks, so that later on no one will bother him. He also has had a problem with cards this year, handing out way too many of them (remember Fritz's red card, with Toulouse)?

Also, when there is a knock on and he plays the advantage, he'll then blow the whistle a second after for a penalty in favor of the team having the advantage, instead of going back to the knock on, isn't that a bit odd?

He seems to be irritable this year, maybe bad news in the family or something.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 7:59 pm

If Wales can sort the front row and line out they could really do something this year. Otherwise they'll struggle. England need some cutting edge fast! Any injury to Ashton and they're stuck. Tuilangi isnt as good as people are making out, only good when compared to Hape/tindall/fluety/banahan

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 8:03 pm

The weakest Welsh team fielded since 2007, and with just 14 men for 20 minutes of the game beat this English team.. hah. Goodbye England in NZ.

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WelshOsprey August 16, 2011 8:29 pm

Everybody calls shane williams out for his bad tackling but he stopped banahan scoring a certain try. Giving away a foot in height and about 5 stone in weight?
He may be a small guy but he puts his body on the line.
Henson looked really good until he went off injured too. Looking forward to the argentina game now.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 8:32 pm

god damn, banahan and hape suck

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minstrel boy August 16, 2011 8:46 pm

England centre combination has to be Flutey-Tuilagi! And Hook is a class player wherever you play him...

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 9:01 pm

Hape was appalling..There is no way he can leave out Tuilagi now. Can't understand why Joe Simpson hasn't at least been given a chance

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madmax August 16, 2011 9:14 pm

different question, allan rolland was bizarre with his decisions around the ruck zone, wales played to the ref and did a great job killing the ball and stifling the english attack. But would wales be able to get away with that sort of play in NZ with southern hemisphere refs? As the SH game is far stricter around the ruck zone and allows far faster ball (at least i think so, i'm from europe and i see a bit of super 15 from time to time but not many full games).
Genuinely would like a SH answer.

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Michael August 16, 2011 9:22 pm

Haskells too dumb to play 7, him and Courtney lawes just run into contact like lamp-posts with the ball tucked under one arm. If you want a ball carrying back row you've got Croft so Haskell is surely competing with Easter for 8 and Easter has a better technical skill set despite the fact that hes immobile (which is a good balance alongside the lightweight Croft). The ideal fit for 7 (with what we've got) would be Wood because with him and Croft you essentially have two extra lineout jumpers and Wood can serve a fetching role. England are really lacking a Warburton/Pocock to make a nuisance of themselves at the breakdown.

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moddeur August 16, 2011 9:22 pm

Shane Williams made two great defensive tackles, not just the one against Banahan. He's not just a good attacker!

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 9:25 pm

Once the Welsh front row, with the exception of poor Rees are back from injury than they should expect to be scoring much more. Ashton's effect on the team is over rated, a good team needs good players, not just one good player. Ashton's return will make no difference until England sort out their dismal back line

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 9:26 pm

Wilko should play starting team. That's obvious. The team plays a lot better with him on the field. And plus, he knows what to do in every situation!

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David August 16, 2011 9:44 pm

Wales could do better than usual this time around, but as people have said, without the forwards to win the set pieces and get the ball the backs we will really struggle.

THIS England team may not have been unable to score, (ok our defense was very good) but just try defending all day long against new zealand, austrailia, SA.

If england play will wilko, tuilagi, and flutey they would probably prove much more potent in attack.

I worry about wales injuries in the forwards, and its a massive shame about henson (yes as a person he is a tool, but he came back and proved he can still play). Such a shame for him.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 10:00 pm

The try save on banahan was more the welsh 15's doing than williams. Williams got driven back 6 or 7 meters and banahan would have scored had the 15 not stripped the ball.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 10:06 pm

William's try-saving tackle on the much larger Banahan was beautiful!

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Juggernauter August 16, 2011 10:27 pm

haha Hape and Tindall!! Bloody useless... And Banahan.. lame!

Get Flutey and Tuilagi in (they're not english but what the hell) and Sharples for Banahan!

Johnno wat on earth are you waiting for to leave Hape on a plane to New Zealand.. with no way back!!!

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Taumalolo August 16, 2011 10:29 pm

Haha surely this will convince the RFU to gift Hape a one way plane ticket to New Zealand...

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 10:29 pm

this from another post says it all (if a bit lengthy!!!)

It was hard to see England lose. Especially when the squad selection performed as expected.

For me I am non the wiser after both the games as to either teams real potential as both teams have been so different.

The only conclusions I can draw are...

positives - 1st phase both tight five arrangements can dominate in the scrum and line out. Both hookers look good croft, stevens and lawes stand out as game changers. Jonny is back to form, all you ball buggers can moan about drop goals and its "old fashioned" - it wins games and is good game management exactly what you'd expect from a general. Manu will score try's for england this september, he's a match winner. Both full backs look on form, and ashton is yet to be uncaged! Toby flood was off his best, but we've seen what he can do, and given the perfomances of hape, and banahan around him he was set up to fail.. Youngs is still to crack on to. those two know each other.

The negatives - Forwards need to start owning the break down to give us chance to get on the front foot, crash pods need to be moving at more pace and hitting spaces not faces. We have to second rows to work as pivots so we do need mat banahan to do that job. The reason for the inclusion of such a massive winger is to be sure of scoring from 10m out. But he showed he cant do that- could he be retrained at 12 - maybe but not in time for sept. Simpson daniel, Monye, Strettle all would have scored that try, and shown williams alot more respect.

The centres have no dynamics, Tindal is there as a defensive centre. Hape has showed nothing in an england shirt, we need a pure bread 12 to show off Manu's flair. I do not think Jonny should be used as a stop gap. Dan hipkiss would do a much better job.

Crash runners need to do just that and stop taking the ball flat and stood still - manu and ashton have shown what happens when you take ball at pace and pick your line.

I want to see the direction of attack changing and sharpe lines, backs running from depth and rumbling forwards, quick pick and goes and accurate off loading combined with bully boy rucking to suck in defenses.

England have the DNA to do all those things. There is still time!...

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Savage August 16, 2011 10:41 pm

Cool, I just got quoted!

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 12:13 am

Rolland has always been a crap ref, he's just getting worse now.
Pedantic, arbitrary, officious, likes to be the centre of attention, loves going overboard with penalties and cards.
Everything you hate about a ref.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 12:42 am

Banahans tattoos are embarrassing

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 2:11 am

i do like watching England loes

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 2:13 am

I think our best backline would be
Youngs at 9 but Care is still a fine backup
Wilko at 10
Flutey at 12, Hape..piss off
Tuilagi at 13, fine with Tindall as a back up
Ashton on one wing
Give Sharples a go on the other wing, otherwise Cueto
Foden and Armitage would be fine at 15 although Foden has played enough good games for me to know he's got consistency

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 4:35 am

Flood was crap to be honest. But if you think about it, the only time he hasnt been average is when he plays with Youngs.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 6:25 am

The culmination of 3 years' worth of selections by Martin Johnson that have almost intentionally tried to encourage boring rugby.

I won't even go into the mess that our back row is, but picking players there at openside like Haskell (not a 7), Moody (not a 7), Fourie (not good enough), Worsley (not a 7)... very intelligent.

Shontayne Hape (an average 13 at Bath) and Mike Tindall are the new Jamie Noon and Ayoola Erinle. I don't know where this theory came from that an international centre had to be a lump. Anthony Allen and Brad Barritt, two 12s with oodles of talent (and Premiership form) aren't even in the squad.

In fact, they'd rather pick Banahan at 12 than an actual 2nd 5. He's fucking awful, yet another man only in the England setup because of size. No one ever watched Conrad Smith or Shane Williams?

Johnson's walked into performances like this with some shockingly suicidal selections. Will he listen? Nope. England will bumble through, probably beat Australia or someone and tell the nation they're 'almost the best' and we can put up with lumps in the backline for another 4 years while the rest of the world wakes up and smells the coffee.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 6:32 am

Almost all successful centre partnerships work with:

one player - good distributor, good kicking game, top quality rugby brain, reads opposition attack

next player - bruiser with a good lick of speed and surprisingly deft hands

England could play Flood, Allen or Barritt at 12 and fulfill most requirements for the 1st.

They could play Tuilagi at 13 and fulfill that role too.

Or they could even stick Barritt/ Allen and Armitage together.

Banahan, Hape, Tindall don't meet those requirements. They've never even done it in the Prem or HC. They can fuck off.

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Savage August 17, 2011 8:08 am

Allen would be a great choice at 12

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Von August 17, 2011 8:23 am

Welsh Osprey said...
Everybody calls shane williams out for his bad tackling but he stopped banahan scoring a certain try. Giving away a foot in height and about 5 stone in weight?
He may be a small guy but he puts his body on the line.
Henson looked really good until he went off injured too. Looking forward to the argentina game now.

Awesome player. I think he's always tackled well above his weight, but that one on Banahan was exemplary. Served Banners right for being cocky/dim enough to think he could simply run straight and bulldoze him.

I thought Henson was having a great game, he still is a very natural rugby player isn't he? I feel for him, having his latest comeback derailed so abruptly, especially as it could be his last. Probably an injury that could have happened anytime but I do wonder if he might have been able to absorb that better had he been playing regular rugby and "battle-hardening" himselft during the time he's been poncing around dancing and doing that batchelor show.

When you see people moaning about the lack of rugby intelligence in the England centres, Henson's natural creativity is what is lacking in England. People like him seem to have time with the ball don't they?

James Hook has that ability as well. Both have them just look so comfortable with ball in hand and seem to be able to find space. I reckon Hooky's one of my favourite players actually - he could get stroppy with all the moving around he has to do (victim of his own versatility), but every time he just seems to get on with it and put in good performances.

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EasterBeater August 17, 2011 8:38 am

I do not care who plays as long as Nick Easter is nowhere near an england shirt. He is truly abysmal and does nothing of worth on a rugby pitch.

He personifies foreign views of English rugby being arrogant and ultimately useless. I do understand that the lack of depth regarding the number eight position in English rugby is gifting Nick Easter that position by default, but surely their is someone else who can play there?

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Von August 17, 2011 8:43 am

This search for a decent inside centre is really infuriating. I don't have a massive problem with non-English people getting the gig if they're the best available, but when you've got blokes like Allen, Waldouck, Barkley (pre-leg-break), possibly Armitage too, who all have ability that could be (or could have been) developed within the England set-up, I don't see why we need to explore beyond English talent. I mean, Allen even plays for Leicester so God knows why Johnno and his buddies don't rate him.

Although of course I do and it's because he's not a big fucking lump of granite.

Out of the blokes available for the world cup, I reckon it's got to be Flutey or Flood.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 8:45 am

I reckon anthony allen could be the conrad smith of England if they were to give him a shot

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 9:56 am

Lets hope this is the last time Hape makes it in the squad

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 10:30 am

Guys you do all realise that this is a warm up match and of course winning boosts morale but its also there to try and test players and gauge how they are playing.

Therefore Johnson is entitled to pick different players and see how they perform.

Personally I don't see what the hype is all about with Flutey. I don't particularly rate the guy.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 10:53 am

Ref was useless, not for the first time, if i was english id be really worried about the lack of cutting edge in the back line.(ENLAND MISSING THE POLYNESIAN POWER HOUSE). Also england looked totally lost going back to the old driving maul, fair enough from 5 yards out, but a driving maul from your own half.. boringgg snooze .. going nowhere ..
Wales will be happy with the win and their fitness, in all honesty if thered have been 5 mins extra in twikkers the week before it would be a 2 -0 win for wales..

A s for the RWC Eng and wales should clear the group stages, wales probably face new zealand if they get out of the group, so thats the end of them.. englands path to the final is far easier tho after what ive seen theyll never win the world cup.. simply put the northern hemisphere teams will struggle

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Von August 17, 2011 10:57 am

Don't think there's any hype about Flutey, is there? In my opinion he's the best of a mediocre bunch.

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jimbo1 August 17, 2011 11:03 am

Wow, a thread where the English and the Welsh discuss the video/game posted and don't resort to calling names and insults :) Makes a brilliant change. As for the game, well played Wales. Defended your hearts out and then made us pay for it. James Hook for starting 10?

As for Hape, useless. Allen has had an excellent season at Tigers and would provide England with a 9,10,12 and 13 who all play together regularly! Then bring in Ashton, Sharples and Foden and that makes an excellent set of backs with pace, brains and braun!

I hope Johnson reads these threads for ideas ;)

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ellie August 17, 2011 11:11 am

A word on the yellow cards, like Von, I believe them to have been pretty harsh. Jamie Roberts was the tackle so by the laws of the game once he has released him and is on his feet he is allowed to 'play the ball from any direction' Law 15.4 (c). I don't think this was even a penalty. For Phillips' I'm not really sure I can't really find reference to where the ruck ends - when is the ball 'out'? But what annoyed me about this one is that Banahan did something really similar earlier on in the match and Rolland reached for the yellow card and then changed his mind, what was different in the two that warranted Phillips getting a yellow card?
Both England and Wales were warned for going off their feet at tackles and I guess the number of offences committed contributed to Roberts' yellow card but after this England were conceded several more penalties for going off their feet yet received no yellow cards. If they were warned and continued infringing they should have received the same punishment! All in all I thought it was pretty shoddy refereeing and I'm just glad we managed the win!

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 11:35 am

the reason there's no awful comments here is probably because the trolls realised it was a dire match and couldn't be bothered to watch the 'highlights'.

as for an England backline post world cup, here's what Johnson's got to work with:

9 - Youngs, Care & Simpson. Nice.
10 - Flood & Farrell. Not bad.
11 - Sharples & Short. Nice.
12 - Allen & Barritt. Nice.
13. Tuilagi & Waldouck. Nice.
14. Ashton & Ojo. Nice.
15. Foden & Armitage. Nice.

Let's see how many of that lot get a game. Or any other English guys who actually have some premiership form.

I predict we have a tough time in our first 6N games away in Scotland and Italy and the 'old' (read boring) guard are recalled to combat media pressure.

England coaches don't seem to realise that they have 4 years to build for a world cup not try and scrape through every game as it comes. Robbie Deans has made a world class team out of a country that doesn't even like Union. What has Johnson done?

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Savage August 17, 2011 11:40 am

jimbo1 said...


That would be a very exciting back line. I'd add in wilko and armitage to the mix, with strettle and monye squaded, and for the future owen farrell - be good for him to get capped in a smaller game after the world cup and start racking up some confidence. Geogre ford looks exciting to, I hope he is brought on properly.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 12:45 pm

do england have the worst back line in the world?
sometimes it looks like watching 15 forwards on the park

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Chris August 17, 2011 1:03 pm

Ellie, I think if you look at the penalty count they were due a yellow card, Roberts was the unlucky receiver. Mike Philips clearly came round from outside the gate when Care didn't have his hands on the ball.

England didn't play well in the backs but it did frustrate me the Welsh ball killing. Even so, two yellow cards we should have capitalized on.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 2:31 pm

How can Dove sponsor a rugby match?!? Which official signed that deal?

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Colombes August 17, 2011 2:56 pm

Good game by Wales even if i don't see them going very far durin the RWC. I just hope that Shane Williams will score some tries for his last show.

Concernin England, i find them less dynamic, efficient and impressive than durin the 6N. It's quite bizarre, because after 2 months of training and automatism u could expect more.
example, the centers are big, slow and previsible.. furthermore, one of their only creative half, D.Care is now out of the WC
Whatever, i think the rose be ready for the RWC. even when England is not creative, they have some spirit to sell

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 2:57 pm

If Banahan was a cow on my farm I'd shoot him.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 5:16 pm

^ what an intelligent comment...

Anyway, Care is out of the RWC with an ankle injury, so looks like England are more screwed than before!

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 6:46 pm

Banahan has got to be one of the least talented international players I have ever seen. He's big... and that's all the good I have to say about him. There is a long list of problems, however; he can't distribute the ball and lacks the awareness to see the right option anyway(ruling him out as a viable option for Johnson at centre, and additionally has poor defensive positioning when he plays there), no step, no turn of pace, runs obvious lines that are easily read by the opposition. He can't even use his biggest asset - his size - effectively, as shown by his impotence against Wales.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 7:24 pm

Gotta love one try, NH rugby... so thrilling to watch 5 forwards fall over the ball then have the backs put it through the hands every time. I think they perscribe watching this crap to folks with insomnia so that they can sleep. NZ RWC victory!!!

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 8:34 pm

England were the better side but wales wanted it more!

Go Cymru!!!!!

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jimbo1 August 17, 2011 8:37 pm

^^^^^^ have you watched the SA v Auz highlights? Dumb ass :)

Now for something completely different... Manu @ 12 Fluety @ 13

or Manu @ 12 Armitage @ 13

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Spuff August 17, 2011 9:53 pm

Lol, at the guy/girl who says that NH rugby is boring.

Wales vs England wasn't a classic but neither is every game in the SH.

Sure the RWC will keep us all wide eyed :)

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 10:38 pm

In all honesty I would rather watch the England U20 side play, so much better to watch!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:06 am

Hmm anyone know where i can get a metal chastity belt that perhaps isn't metal... I am heading to new zealand for the world cup, and I know how these guys are notorious for being bum pokers! so I want some protection from that... however I can't have metal pants as when i go through security it will attract attention and i might end up getting a cavity "bum poke" search...

Any ideas?

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:08 am

"In all honesty I would rather watch the England U20 side play, so much better to watch!"

You do realise that most U20 sides play better watching rugby.... thats why some of the best games we see are club games... as the standard perhaps drops slightly the watchability gets better...

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 4:47 am

"You do realise that most U20 sides play better watching rugby.... thats why some of the best games we see are club games... as the standard perhaps drops slightly the watchability gets better..."

Even so, they still played with the imagination and enthusiasm than I haven't seen the seniors play since the win over Australia last november, which was easily the best performance England put on in a LONG time. I really don't get why they haven't tried to further develop on the gameplan they had that day, even the crapiness of Hape and Easter was hidden.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 10:13 am

yeh true, I'd agree with that... really... the best warm up game I have seen was the ireland scotland game, where although it was low scoring and had many handling errors. The teams were practicing new stuff, and experimenting, scotland was kicking to touch rather than through the posts (initially anyway)

It is just a warm up game, it carries a morale booster with it, and maybe some pride and kudos.. but fuck it, its basically a time to try and expand and experiment with stuff... not go for the same old "in to position, drop goal"

We all know JW can kick goals...he can do it in training, he can do it in a rwc final... HE CAN DO IT... so why not practice something else...offloading, keeping the ball alive, trying to make the scrums and lineouts and mauls work...

siigh...

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 11:11 am

Exactly, we know we can play a conservative game, but in this day and age playing only a conservative game just won't cut it. I guess we can look forward to the players who were in the U20 squad making the seniors. That's if MJ doesn't choose some crappy overseas player whos only lived in England for 1 year instead.

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 3:14 am

Hate to speak ill of a legend but some of Johnno's team selections are consistently baffling and atrocious in equal measure! Easter, Tindall, Cueto and in particular the woeful Hape and Banahan are nowhere near international class.

It's embarrassing, especially as we have the quality players to fit those positions who just haven't been picked. I wish
James Hook was English!

I'd also love to see English players playing like their lives depended on it like the SH teams do.

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kaibishin August 19, 2011 3:14 pm

get rid of banahan!

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