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The Wraparound from Rugby HQ - Week 27

Thursday, March 06, 2014

O2 Inside Line - Season 4 Episode 7

This weekend rivals England and Wales meet in a Six Nations match that has plenty of history, and all to play for as we get down to the penultimate weeked of the tournament. If England win on Sunday, they'll take the Triple Crown and set up a chance of winning the Championship.

Wales on the other hand will be aiming to repeat what they did last year in Cardiff, and hope that this, the final meeting of the two sides in Twickenham before the Rugby World Cup, will be another memorable occasion.

"Wales versus England is always a big game," said Welsh centre Jamie Roberts.

"You only have to look back at the last few seasons when we have played England, the biggest hype has surrounded that game. It is no different this week, I think the magnitude of the game for the Six Nations couldn't be any bigger. Twickenham on Sunday will be immense."

In this week's episode of O2 Inside Line we look at Player Analysis with Ben Morgan and Jonny May, go into the gym with Player Cam - where May performs an impressive box jump - and we learn more about the players in the teammates segment.

Alex Payne then chats to England forwards coach Graham Rowntree, who admits that the game today is much faster and more physical than it was when he played.

What's your prediction for England vs Wales?

Posted by Rugbydump at 6:46 pm | View Comments (14)

Posted in O2 Inside Line

Viewing 14 comments

stroudos March 07, 2014 1:36 pm

What's your prediction for England vs Wales?

The teams are incredibly evenly matched, very little between them with the only clear mismatch being in Wales's favour with the size of their wings. I suppose the experience of their props also.

So pragmatically, I think we can expect a relatively low scoring game, with only a few points difference and logic suggests Wales will edge it.

However, England are in the ascendancy and really starting to develop a positive sense of self-belief, (not arrogance). And they're at home. Might sound like nonsense but these psychological advantages can be a crucial factor. I'm also expecting (or is that hoping?) to see an open, attack-oriented game with a lot of ball in hand.

England 21 - 16 Wales

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FatProp March 07, 2014 6:04 pm

As an England fan England 30-3 Wales. As an neutral fan I would say England 13 - 19 Wales just because I can't see us stopping them scoring tries and I can see us only getting one max. Hopefully im wrong but the scrum and size advantage is just too much to lose in such a tight game. I can just see Jamie Roberts bursting through twelvetrees and Cuthbert dotting down out wide :/

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stroudos March 09, 2014 3:50 pm

Bloody good prediction if the game only lasted 40minutes!

Exciting game so far. Don't think Wales deserve to be as close in scoreboard but I England are going to keep on donating them 3-pointers they only had themselves to blame.

Hope the next half is as good...

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FatProp March 09, 2014 6:02 pm

oh how wrong I was !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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stroudos March 07, 2014 1:36 pm

Graham Rowntree: "I played quite a good level" - unbelievable modesty. Bloody love his ears too. He should rent them out a executive stress toys.

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DrG March 08, 2014 9:17 am

56 international caps and 398 caps for Leicester.. Yeh, not too bad I suppose...

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Eddie-g March 07, 2014 9:58 pm

What's your prediction for England vs Wales?

If Wales don't have a plan for Danny Care, he'll set up an England win.

I guess I weigh up the fact that England have been better in the 6N this year, and are at home, against the fact that in big games where a potential title is on the line, Wales of late have tended to come good... I'd be very hesitant to bet against Wales, but if forced I'd say England will nick it somehow.

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45678 March 07, 2014 10:38 pm

The difference between the teams last year was Adam jones. He showed great nouse in the scrums and won penalties at crucial times. The final score was flattering to cuthbert / tipuric etc, but jones won them the game

I hope to think with new scrum laws and with a more experienced front row, England will fair better. I also think romain poite won't be conned quite so easily at the scrum as Steve Walsh was last year.

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Phil mc avity March 08, 2014 9:09 am

Both teams are fit and physical. Wales may have the physical edge but England have unpredictable wingers which may be a good thing. Everyone knows Wales game plan. But England might be able to split open Wales defence.
England will have to tackle their heart out.
Wales have the quality they just need to stay focused...(which hopefully as an English rugby fan) will be hard at Twickenham.

If England put pressure on straight away, and get points in the first 15-20 minutes England could cause Wales to give a lot of penalties away and Farrell should get them over.

I recon England will get two tries and Wales one or two. With 3-4 penalties to 3
Final score: Eng 24 - Wales 19

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DrG March 08, 2014 9:30 am

I see people mentioning the scrums in here. I really don't have a clue right now based on the previous performances. I might have actually forgotten how good/bad they were against Ireland, but I seem to recall there being a lot of 'official talk' amongst the pundits stating how Ireland's pack were far superior to Englands, at least from an experience point of view and how Ireland were most likely going to ruin Englands scrum at every turn - But if I recall correctly this didn't happen EVERY scrum, it seemed like many went against England, but that the difference between the two packs was not as huge as predicted. I recall a few times where Ireland really ripped through the England pack, but I don't recall the England scrum being useless in comparison.

So all that being said, I think perhaps they might have a better chance in the forwards than people are giving them credit for.

The backs is going to be interesting, Roberts against Burrell? I'm surprised by the show that Burrell has put on so far, he has really shown confidence in the role and has stepped up. He might get caught out due to inexperience, but I think he probably fancies himself against Roberts.

Judging by the Ireland game, I'd say England has a very good chance. Admittedly I felt that Ireland were poor in terms of loose kicking, but even when they ran the ball, the England defence held strong, so it could be a game that comes down to kicking, in which case it could go either way, 1/2p is a great kicker and so is Farrell...

Looking forward to it... Wonder if Mike Phillips and Farrell will get into a little tussle - If MP is playing that is?!?

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stroudos March 10, 2014 10:02 am

Not so much Burrell v Roberts as Burrell v Davies. And Burrell totally dominated his opposite number. In fairness, I don't think Davies should have played, he didn't look match-fit either physically or mentally. In any case, Burrell had him in his pocket all afternoon.

I thought Twelvetrees did very well to keep Roberts quiet too. The only decent attack I remember Roberts being involved in was the one where he kicked the bloody thing into the deadball area - I take that as an indication that he didn't fancy his chances of busting through or going round the England centres and you don't get much more of a symbol of success than that.

I really think 36 and Burrell are developing a fantastic partnership together, almost as effective as that of Launchbury & Lawes... They have a good understanding in defence and, more excitingly, in attack - prime example that break by Twelvetrees that nearly led to Burrell scoring in the corner. To be honest I wouldn't make either of these give way for a fit Tuilagi at the moment. I'm not entirely sure where he's going to come in now - maybe he'll be a utility impact sub, I wouldn't mind seeing him come on on the wing after an hour and offer another strike runner option to mess with the heads - and lungs- of the oppo.

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DrG March 10, 2014 11:55 am

Wales had a few good attacks but nothing came from them either through good England defence or poor Welsh decision making - one being North or Cuthbert kicking ahead instead of passing(?) - No guarantee of a try of course but much more of a possibility than a ball going over the dead ball.

Roberts is normally a big guy who smashes through... Taking what it says on google, he is 6ft 4 and 110kg. 36 is 6ft 3 and 100kg - I am actually surprised by those stats as I feel 36 looks a lot smaller, but he completely dominated Roberts, despite being the smaller of the 2.

At the moment I feel Burrell is offering more to the game than I have seen Tuilagi do. On Burrell himself: The guy is so new to the international scene (not the pro scene) and he is racking up some seriously good points and not just as a result of being a supporting player to someone else that has done all the hard work. What I think is fantastic for this England team is that they are building up so many options and all the options offer SOMETHING, as you were saying, you can imagine Burrell going off and the opposition thinking 'phew, glad he's gone' and then on comes Tuilagi...

I thought Wales were sadly very lost. I think they 'deserved' a try for a couple of their efforts, but all those penalties were ridiculous and without them I think Wales would have had an even darker day.

Just a quick note to say I hope 1/2p gets fixed up soon. Sad to see a man of his calibre pick up a nasty injury like that!

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DanKnapp March 08, 2014 8:54 pm

From a different England age group, but this try is an absolute doozy.

View Video

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stroudos March 10, 2014 8:15 am

That is awesome!

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