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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

England impress with big midweek win against the Crusaders

England picked up their first win on tour as they beat the Crusaders 38-7 this morning. The hosts scored their solitary try through replacement Matt Todd, while England scored six as they showed their strength in depth ahead of the third Test.

News of Owen Farrell's medial ligament knee strain this morning meant that a starting spot in the third Test against the All Blacks is up for grabs. Danny Cipriani made a claim for it with a solid 50 minutes against the former Super Rugby champions.

With the score at 26-7 at halftime, the game was pretty much over but the England XV added another two tries through Anthony Watson and Chris Pennell, adding to first half efforts from Joe Gray, Ben Foden, Brad Barritt and Alex Goode. Foden's in particular was very neatly taken. 

Injured Farrell will remain with the squad for further treatment but coach Stuart Lancaster has said that he'll narrow down the squad over the 24 hours following the Crusaders game.

"The knee has been scanned and there is a strain there. It's disappointing for Owen as he was desperate to play in the final Test but such is his character that he is already working on his rehab and still contributing to the tour. Fortunately we have three other fly halves to call on."

While the Crusaders were missing some of their All Black stars, it was an impressive run out for an England squad that are testing new combinations and are looking well placed for the home Rugby World Cup next year. Farrell's injury may yet be a blessing in disguise.

Posted at 1:25 pm | 30 comments

Viewing 30 comments

Juggernauter June 17, 2014 6:10 pm

Some skill from England! Great to see Pennell getting a try, fully deserved... roll on the 3rd test!

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Bunn June 17, 2014 6:46 pm

"crossed the plain of touchline" Please learn the rules commentator!

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getitout June 17, 2014 8:01 pm

what law is this? I am not familiar with it

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hellraiser_rob June 17, 2014 6:46 pm

I had to use all my guile and cunning to watch this at work, nice win, wonder if cips has catapulted himself straight into the starting 10 birth for Saturday, they took him off quite early in the 2nd half.

We have amazing depth in the lock department Ed Slater was great.

I wonder why England rate Goode over Foden at 15?

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not impressed June 17, 2014 8:10 pm

Crockett, Franks, Romano, Whitelock, McCaw, Read, Carter, Crotty, Dagg missing... England dominated a Canterbury-Tasman ITM cup team.

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UpTheLowEnd June 17, 2014 10:14 pm

If you go that route, you also gotta say England 2nd/3rd string dominate ITM cup team.

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not impressed June 18, 2014 2:15 am

Absolutely right. As they damn well should

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UpTheLowEnd June 18, 2014 9:58 am

Also, whilst I still appreciate the sentiment, it definitely is two mismatched sides, but calling it purely an ITM cup side is a little strong considering; McNicholl, Taylor, Laulala, Tupou, Ellis, Taufua, Tuitavake, Adam Whitelock, Luke Whitelock and Flynn all played against the force a couple of weeks back. Of which I believe 5 have been capped for the All Blacks.

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oldflyhalf June 18, 2014 9:44 am

...the depth, or "pensioners", of Crusaders versus "amazing depth" of England. :)
the details that make always the difference.

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NotAWelshDavies June 17, 2014 9:03 pm

Cipriani to start the next test, nothing to lose. Pick the form players.

I would also be inclined to start Tuilangi and Eastmond in the centres as Twelvetrees looked off the pace- albeit due to injury- and Burrell cannot tackle.

Evidence the Burrell cannot tackle;

In the build up to Nonu's try, Burrell gets drawn in to allow Conrad Smith's break.
After this, he fails to tackle the sideways moving Nonu when covering; this is more understandable, but the attempt is so weak it is an indictment of his tackling ability

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Phil mc avity June 17, 2014 9:16 pm

So does Marland Yarde, Yarde runs up and takes no one allowing Smith to get through. (Same action on Nonus try)

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stroudos June 18, 2014 12:21 pm

Would love to see Cipriani-Eastmond-Tuilagi combo.

I'm not sure that watching someone defend against Conrad Smith is a fair test - there's something about that bloke, looks unspectacular but he bewitches defenders somehow, a true expert at unlocking defences and creating stuff out of nothing.

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s_conner June 18, 2014 12:40 pm

It's all in the hips! He swings them better than Shakira

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DanKnapp June 18, 2014 3:22 pm

That's true, and we all know, hips don't lie.

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DanKnapp June 18, 2014 3:22 pm

Reports that his breasts are small and humble, not like melons, have yet to be confirmed.

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Phil mc avity June 17, 2014 9:17 pm

I would pick Cipriani at 10. With Watson and Foden on the wings

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UpTheLowEnd June 18, 2014 8:13 am

People are gonna get awful pissed off if you keep spamming your youtube channel like that. This is a place for discussion not mindless self promotion.

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DanKnapp June 18, 2014 3:23 pm

I like how your comment now appears to be a particularly brutal putdown of Phil, recently returned from sabbatical. And three people have liked it. I'm going to like it too, to make it four, to continue the charade.

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Will Coll June 18, 2014 7:43 am

Guys, does anyone know where I might be able to see some GreatRugbyvideos?

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10stonenumber10 June 18, 2014 11:43 pm

Looking it from a world cup perspective...

Faz and Care both 'doubts', mid-week team then a supposed 'understrength' 3rd test team...

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I see it as a deliberate rest and choice by the men upstairs to practice the BATTLESTATIONS!!! game plan, just in case a 1st choice half back takes a serious dent, and to ensure security in the so-called 'easier' games.

Again, another good opposition for the England squad, neither were world beaters, but a much more cohesive opposition than the Bah-Bahs, and a damn sight more forgiving than New Zealand. If there is anything to draw from these '2nd' string games, it's that there is depth to the squad, and should Faz/Ford/Cips get injured, Slade is only a phone call away and more than capable of "pulling a Stephen Donald Trophy Special"

If this is the starting point for the uphill road to the World Cup, it is a fair effort.

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stroudos June 20, 2014 3:21 pm

I like your thinking 10 and I wouldn't put it past Mr Lancaster, whose tactical nous impresses more and more, to hatch such a plan. We saw what happened to New Zealand in 2007 when they found themselves without a proper Plan B when Dan Carter's leg played up. Either way,

I'm looking forward to seeing how this team goes tomorrow - on paper it looks like there should be some aesthetically-pleasing rugby played. If New Zealand intensity allows them to, that is.

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10stonenumber10 June 21, 2014 12:19 am

**Burns, not Ford, though he and Myler are in the running too, Slade's performance puts him ahead, and will probably be called up as a replacement for a centre that goes down

It is just logical play. The likelihood of starting without your 1st choice team increases exponentially with every match played. No disrespect to the shirt, but Lancaster seems to have taken the pressure off of wearing it, "Play the ball" instead of "Play like England"

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Ireland West June 23, 2014 9:29 pm

I'd have Foden in at 15 everytime, but am also a big fan of Brown. Could he play at 12 ?.
Having two tactical kickers at 10 & 12 takes some of the pressure off the 10 & Brown has proven his adaptability at wing & fullback. Would like to give another run to Yarde. He can exploit space with pace, while Tuilagi & Burrell rely on bulk. Happy to see England line out without Farrell at 10 - he seems to remain a talent in development, playing out Lancaster's ideas rather than trust his own talent. His ability to line break is much under-used & his Run/Kick/Pass mix seems unbalanced.

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