Sunday Oct 4, 2015 England knocked out of home World Cup by outstanding Wallabies

England knocked out of home World Cup by outstanding Wallabies
53
Comments

On Saturday night England became the first ever host nation to be knocked out at the group stages of the Rugby World Cup as Australia outplayed them in front of a packed house at Twickenham. The Wallabies were marshalled by the sensational Bernard Foley, as England struggled up front and lacked the firepower to break the opposition defences.

Following a narrow loss to Wales, England needed to win to stay in the competition, but the 33-13 drubbing at home has meant that they have no chance of qualifying, despite still having one match left to play, against Uruguay.

On a night when Australia’s most attacking threat, Israel Folau, had a fairly poor match, Foley and crew were able to create gaps in the English defence, while the superb David Pocock menaced the breakdown.

Chris Robshaw and coach Stuart Lancaster will have the week from hell, having to answer to a brutal media response, and disappointed fans who expected a lot more, even if Pool A was always touted as the group of death.

We’ll have more reaction from the match over the course of the next few days

Guard of Honour – the players formed a guard of honour as the hosts bowed out

53 Comments

  •  london1
    london1

    Hahaha, you have a point. No coincidence captains are usually forwards. I would have liked to maybe see (this is a bold call). However I do know one thing, a captain should always be a first pick, he should be the player that you know is undropable. Is Robshaw that player? 24 players playing their first World Cup. I think that Wood might have made a good captain. I would have even chosen Parling before Robshaw, however I do not even know if the English squad have a natural leader within those 31 selected.....

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, New Zealand is conspicuously absent from your list..... I enjoyed your analysis of the other three; did you think New Zealand were so strong that there was no need to do the same for them? For dark horses also see France and Ireland, both of whom seem to be hitting some decent form.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Well, based on your selection criteria, Angry Mike Brown would have to be in contention for captaincy. But he's not really the man to scare the bejesus out of people; also it's not that easy to captain a side from full back - at the very least it's a pain in the arse jogging over to listen to some bullshit about a scrum then jogging all the way back to your position... Wood - not scary enough Marler - ditto Easter - too much like the loveable, vulnerable bundle of cuddles that was Minty off of Eastenders* What about Attwood? He can be a nasty fakir when he wants to be. Come to think of it, we did this once before didn't we? I put forward Ben Youngs then and still think he's a good shout. 1. Best player in his position, should be in the starting 15 on merit. 2. Has the nasty edge that you're looking for; at the moment he can come across a bit petulant but as he gets a bit older that should go. * I do not watch Eastenders and have no idea what any of that means...

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  •  drg
    drg

    Robshaw looks like a school boy captain... big guy, well spoke, facial hair, strong etc etc, the kind of player that gets the captain position because of the above, not because of his skill or decision making processes... but because he looks like the meatiest guy on the pitch, so that when he goes and shakes hands in the middle the opposition captain goes "oh shit, this guy is big".... But we're not playing school boy rugby... England needed a Captain that would be right in the mix if something kicked off, disciplined enough not to throw a punch, but nasty enough to grab the offender and stare him to death whilst marching him backwards (or being shoved backwards but locking on so the guy knows it is just him and Englands captain).... But I don't know who the guy to do that is... looking at who England played in that game, I don't really see anyone in there, Wood? Marler? Easter instead of Morgan?

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  •  london1
    london1

    Now, the past is the past; and we (as in England) are going to have to wait 4 lovely years. But who is going to win this? Lets open a debate 2 candidates and 1 dark horse. Australia: I was a fan and believer before this match. I think Cheika has found an u "unorthodox" but completely devastating back-row. People speak about Pocock and Hooper, but Fardy is like your angostura in an Old-Fashioned he just hast to be there. Pocock gives Australia the x-factor, why? I think they become even more dangerous without the ball. Every time Pocock turnovers, the opposite team defends on a back foot + Australia has a devastating back-line. Then you have crazy "little" Hooper. Australias third center, he is everywhere in attack and defense. This is Australias back bone. With the addition of Geteau, who has been one of Europe`s top players. South Africa: Lets first go back 4 years and remember how Tonga beat France. Japan gave South Africa the reality check they needed, and now you have the Springbok eater. I think Malherbe should start, as De Jager. Both are much more mobile than Duplesis and Matfield and I believe that South Africas line out can do perfectly well without Victor. However Du Preez is their gem. He controls every aspect of the game, gives Pollard (whom I think should not be starting) the quick ball he needs to feed both De Allende and Kriel. I also am going to say something that will be bood, however Devilliers was a stone in their shoe. My dark horse, Argentina: Beating South Africa a couple of months ago was not coincidence. Well dead are the days when Argentina would give it to Hernandez and he would kick it back to opposition OR the days when Argentina would slow their own ball down. Now they are exciting in attack and passionl in defense. Just look at Cordero (inevitable to just remeber Shane Williams when you see him play), Sanchez. But most importantly, their pack. Argentina once again has quick ball because of its forwards and fire crackers in their ba

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Same difference. A shoulder-barge is a shoulder-barge. I was second-guessing Farrell's intention. I think if Giteau had received the ball he'd have tackled him properly (with arms). My contention is that even when Giteau didn't get the ball, if Farrell had wrapped him up he would have avoided punishment altogether, because his claim that Giteau was running interference (to borrow a term from another code) is completely valid.

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  •  drg
    drg

    Haha, I was secondary schooled in the UK, but abroad before that... I can be English if I desire, but I tend to remain on the fringes of any nation as it makes for better rugby viewing (for me at least).. I believe I've mentioned in the past that I can play for 5 of the 6 teams in the 6N... The coaches just don't want to upset the rugby equilibrium as there are issues with salary caps and how I'll rip up the pitch with my skills.... etc... That being said, I didn't want the crims to win.... What saddens me is that the side we may see against Uruguay, may indeed be the sort of side needed to picked in the first instance. I suspect Lancaster might want to put on a show for the fans with the last game... running rugby and points may cool their tempers a bit.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Rather than "just decided to shoulder check"? I'll have to watch it again, it's not that I don't agree, it's simply at the time with the replays I was trying to see the positioning of Farrell and Giteau in relation to the ball as well as watching Burgess cop someone in the jaw.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    It perplexes and bewilders that the coach invested so much time in Burrell only to ditch him at such a crucial moment. And I don't know anyone who can explain why he thought Barritt was a better option. Interesting point made on another site, suggesting that in actual fact NOT being selected for England at the moment is far better for your reputation: http://www.therugbyblog.com/england-rugby-why-it-is-best-not-to-be-selected Look how high Burrell, Tuilagi, Slade, Nowell, Hartley and Wade's stock has risen. Not to mention Cipriani and of course the Meesiah that is Steffon Armitage. A lot of those guys will be able to distance themselves from this World Cup run and survive untainted by failure. Perversely, Lancaster has done them a big favour!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Are you not English then DrG? Always assumed you were... I've got a feeling we'll see a different side v Uruguay, in a tacit admission by the coaches that behave been picking the wrong team all along. I also suspect Robshaw will be jettisoned as captain, which I don't necessarily have a problem with but if it happens in this time-frame, I will interpret it as scapegoating by Lancaster and he will sink further in my estimation. The question then would be can he cope with the psychological burden of my disapproval?

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    "Pulled out" as in didn't complete the tackle, or "attempt to grasp".

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    You're very welcome to join in sir, it's not an exclusive dialogue. 100% agree on Nowell. Punches well above his weight and, by the way, can cover 13 and 15. I'd have thought that would be a useful bloke to have on the bench. I suppose that's what I find most frustrating about Lancaster et al. Seems like they watch a player perform brilliantly, then go "well that was good, now let's try something completely different"!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    It's quite funny actually, like many of the above, I usually found myself cheering the opposition whenever England were playing... but I did feel a strong sense of guilt/disappointment and sympathy at the end of that game... It was like someone loaded a weight ONTO my shoulders... The game neared the end, the whistle eventually blew and "oh..........they're out........oh......" there is this sort of cloud (not the weather) now hanging over the RWC, I guess because the hosts had such an appalling run at it. I mean had England made it to the quarters, or the semis then perhaps the fans would have felt slightly satisfied... but really all England fans had was: A shaky start against Fiji - good result in the end. A loss to Wales - good start, then fell apart.. A thrashing by Aus.... The next game is still a big game as any international... but I could forgive England, for not even turning up, or playing like a touring side on a Sunday after the worlds biggest piss up on Sat night.... The answers? Squad selections, team selections, captains, management? All of the above? None of the above... I think the tell tale sign is the fact that none of us on here, really have a clue on what the plans were.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Eddie, I'm not a Farrell fan at all... in fact I really can't stand the guy, but I think he can feel slightly hard done by. Only slightly, because all it was was a shoulder - Stroudos above said that Farrell pulled out, I'll admit at the time with the replays I didn't see it that way, or recognise that at all... But there was a reverse angle someone where it looked very much like a perfect positioning hit, sadly the lack of arms did it for me. 45678, I was actually more surprised that both Farrell and Burgess weren't both shown a yellow... for instance, play was brought back and looked over, and I thought "uh oh, Farrell is going to get done here", then it showed Burgess arm to the jaw, and I suspected that the referee was going to look at both... it seemed however he was somewhat disinterested in Burgess' indiscretion...

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  •  drg
    drg

    I don't know quite where to stick this comment in, as you guys have had a big back and forth (a good one at that!) Stroudos, you mentioned some light players in the back line, what about Nowell? I thought he really tore up the park in the 6N, but he hasn't had a single look in this world cup (I think...)... Surely he is another example of a small guy with fantastic power and skill.

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  •  mattyj
    mattyj

    I thought all along Luthor Burrell was injured. It sickens me to my stomach to think Barritt was selected not only in the squad ahead of him, but that he had starts against both Wales and Australia before Slade! MADNESS. THE MAN DOES NOTHING BUT TACKLE WITH POOR TECHNIQUE WHICH LOOKS AWESOME BUT ACHIEVES LITTLE (so much love for the KO on Quade Cooper that time though. kudos Braddy).

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Absolutely. Although I'm told by someone who seems to know more about Bath Rugby than I do that Toby Booth is more responsible for the backs. The other problem with Ford is you're back into the "let's play my son in the key playmaking role" business and accusations of nepotism even if it's the right call.

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    so much to say here, I'll try to keep it short! - first as a neutral, that a was very enjoyable, instense game. kudos to both teams. - Australia now look the favorites to win this for me - I'll say it again: how stupid was it not to select Armitage?? you need some guy like that against the likes of Pocock and Hooper. What the hell does it matter that he plays his club rugby in France, seriously....this is 2015. - as pretty much all French rugby fans, I really wanted England to lose...but actually felt bad for them by the end. I even caught myself cheering them on at times!! I must be running a fever or something...

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    I thought he deserved it - I'll take another look though. If Giteau was in front of play, it was only very marginal. I certainly wouldn't have called that a blocking line (i.e. in front of the ball-carrier). And I thought Farrell dropped his shoulder right into Giteau, no arms involved... I should probably take another look, but I didn't think there was much to argue. He certainly took one for the team though, I thought Burgess was certain to go until Poite got singularly focused on the Farrell hit.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Check my comment below about Jake White. If England want (need?) a head coach who will fight politics with scorched- earth politics, he'll do just that. I'd imagine he'd walk in and say, "I had to deal with SA rugby politics, I can deal with your best shots in my sleep". I'll put it out there that England went down the selection rabbit-hole in trying to fit Burgess into their plans. In a very painful irony, it's his club, Bath, that had already (a) decided he was more suited to loose-forward; and (b) put together a fabulous backline, including a league convert who has spent 3+ years learning to play 12. Someone knows what they are doing here. Maybe the RFU should ask Mike Ford for some advice.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Ah yes, I see what you're saying. I didn't want to suggest Pocock was on the same scale as say, Vermeulen - on his own, though, he's not giving up too many kgs... as you say it's picking him and Hooper which means you are ceding a big weight advantage. With Australia, Cheika had to weigh up playing one of the two - probably with Fardy and Palu (as a typical 6-7-8 combo) - or both. And if the latter, did he go with a ball-carrier or a more typical blind-sider like Fardy? Anyway, we now know the answer. I personally think the reason he can do it is because Pocock is a rare talent and can play anywhere. He isn't the conspicuous ball-carrier that some 8s are, but he reads the game so well, and is always in the thick of the action. Probably going to play openside for a game or two now, assuming Hooper cops a ban, and you can't imagine Australia skipping a beat with that change.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    At first, I didn't like to see Farrell arguing with the ref, but to be fair he had a point, in that Giteau was directly "in front o't' person who got t' baaall". What I take from this is once you're committed, just smash the bastard. Here, Farrell's noticed that Giteau didn't actually get the ball so he's pulled out - actually very impressive reactions, but the effect is it just looks like an off-the-ball shoulder-charge. I do think he'd have got away with this if he'd wrapped Giteau up and taken him to ground. I think Burgess's neck roll tackle on Hooper was far worse - at least worthy of a penalty itself and I don't think you could argue with a yellow card. Romain Poite would be a very unpopular individual if he'd sent off two England players at the same time here - can you imagine!?

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Accidental offside by Giteau. England scrum. ;)

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    This may seem pedantic, but I'm just going to qualify this point:"Pocock, however, is a pretty big unit already - who just happens to have exceptional breakdown skills."For an international back row forward, he's relatively small, particularly if you compare with Number 8s, which is the shirt he's wearing, whether it fits (figuratively and/or literally) or not: Pocock - 1.84 (6ft), 106kg (16st10) Morgan - 1.91 (6'3), 116kg (18st 4) Read - 1.93 (6'4), 112kg (17st 9) Vermeulen - 1.93 (6'4), 116kg (18st 4) Of course, he's not an eightman, he's an flanker, but even there he's not large and when you pair him with Hooper, one of the small opensides on the circuit, that's quite a lightweight pair: Hooper - 1.82 (6ft), 101kg (15st 13) McCaw - 1.88 (6'2), 108kg (17st) Burger - 1.93 (6'4), 114kg (17st 13) Louw - 1.90 (6'3), 114kg (17st 13) To be fair, Fardy at 1.98 (6'6), 114kg (17st 13) is a big bugger! I don't see the current England coaching team having the guts of Cheika in selecting both Pocock and Hooper, for fear of losing ballast. They'd probably insist on one of them replacing the other off the bench, arguably diluting their combined impact in the process.

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  •  45678
    45678

    what is everyone's take on the Farrell yellow card? not a moan, but I thought it could have been interpreted a number of ways I personally thought Giteau was fair game as he was running a blocking line and made no attempt to pull away. If Farrell hadn't have made a tackle, he would have looked a tit if giteau had received a late pass It then leads to the conclusion that burgess could have then been given a yellow instead? would that even be recognised as foul play if giteau had been penalised first for taking out a defender

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Thanks for the kind words Eddie. Personally I'm not the sort to dwell on it though, in fact I was over it by about 9:30pm on Saturday. I don't see any great shame in losing to this Australia team. The only part that bothers me is the "what if they'd better use of the players at their disposal" question. You're right about playing combinations who know each other's game - again England had that chance, in fact they could have selected the entire Bath back line at one point, who were ripping games up - Ford, Eastmond, Joseph, Watson, Rokodaguni. I'd have kept Ben Youngs and Mike Brown in their positions and that is a potentially lethal back line. There's a political issue here of course, selecting that number of players from one club would have ruffled feathers, but that's where the coach has to be strong and say bollocks to politics, I'm going to pick my best side. But the main reason he wouldn't have picked that line-up is the obsession with size, even when it's at the expense of skill. If you're big AND skillful, great - cf Sonny Bill, Nadolo, Savea. If you're a big cumbersome oil tanker, only picked to negate a perceived strength on your opponent's side, then that's no good.

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  •  paimoe
    paimoe

    Good stuff

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Jake White's director of rugby at Montpellier. He's been coaching or managing for the last six years or so, in terms of someone up to speed on the modern game, he's there. You only need look at how he turned round the Brumbies in less than a year to know what he can do. And he's desperate to return to international rugby. He was mighty pissed, and soon left the Brumbies, when the ARU passed him over for Ewan McKenzie (before Cheika replaced him). The risk with Jake is he will fight with the higher ups. He will threaten to resign - the exceptional circumstances clause is an obvious flashpoint with the RFU - he's a snake in dealing with the media. It's the baggage you get with him. But in terms of a coach who identifies and develops young talent and figures out to get the most out of teams, he's very good at that.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    "Man of the match" makes no bloody sense in most rugby matches anyway. Without the other 14 (or 22 if you prefer) players contributing, you wouldn't have that chance to shine.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Hey Stroudos - tough, tough days for England fans. I feel for you guys, and I hope rugby's growth in England, which you care so much about, isn't set back by these two rough losses. I'm not totally convinced it is a pure size v skill issue that England needs to address - though I think your point about Australia's smaller dudes, especially in the backs, is well made. Pocock, however, is a pretty big unit already - who just happens to have exceptional breakdown skills. I think in the case of England, it was a matter of falling between two strategies in so many areas. And the muddled selections, mainly in the backline, were indicative of that. Big guys can be skilled (hello, Julian Savea), but zippy little guys who know each other's games (Foley-Beale, the Waratahs 10-12 for 2 years) are a nightmare to defend. England could have picked Eastmond and Joseph to play outside Ford. They could have called up Armitage to play open-side. They could have used Care and Youngs at 9. But they reverted to Farrell with his superior kicking game, mucked around with the selections outside of him, had Wrigglesworth on the bench, all while not having a dominant enough pack to take control under a more conservative strategy. Against a top, top side like Australia, in a very big game, the gaps in England's capabilities were badly shown up.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Stuff like this never rolls easily off the tongue, but the Aussies might well be the best team in this competition. Despite all the harrumphing, England are certainly not a bad team, but the Aussies were full value for that big win. I've got to give Cheika plenty of credit - I personally think he's known for a while what his best combinations are, but he's played a bit of bait-and-switch and tried out a few players... but his tight-5 is mean, Hooper-Fardy-Pocock is lethal, and Genia-Foley-Giteau is sensational. None of it happened by accident, here's a coach who knows how to make stuff click. They also got to introduce Beale early on Saturday, and the way he and Folau and Ashley-Cooper interchanged in attack and defence... very, very difficult team to play against.

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  •  45678
    45678

    having tried to digest the last 2 weeks, I'm at a loss of where England can go from here...... Lancaster seems an honest enough guy. I would have thought it sensible to continue with him, given that a coach should be allowed to develop and grow in the same way players are expected to mature with experience however, if the reports are true that Lancaster was being led by Farrell snr, then I cant see how it is sustainable for him to stay. we need a strong willed head coach with conviction, not someone who is manipulated and bullied into decisions by others My next worry is who can take over? The usual touted names of SCW and Jake white aren't relevant anymore in modern rugby. I don't think there are any English coaches ready for the top job yet and which foreign coaches are available? We also need to take a measured approach in the manner that Roy Hodgson did with the football side and say that we are not good enough and we need time to evolve in a culture without fear. will the UK press ever allow any time for an English coach to develop a side? I suspect we have also culturally gone too far the other way. the Johnson era was clearly a glorified stag do, but we now have no personality. we're over coached, over trained and lack any free thought and absolutely no mongrel. We also need to overhaul the selection policy. too much emphasis is put on the captain and it forces selection. it would be questionable if robshaw would play if not captain. does a captain have that much influence over their team and ref's anymore? perhaps its not so important I am not so concerned about the overseas rule. we have clearly left 2 quality players out, but the lack of any other quality fetchers is more alarming than not selecting one I also think the charm offensive employed by Lancaster has made the problem worse. we are clearly going to be the country everyone loves to hate for evermore, so lets just be the caricature and enjoy being hated

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Hopefully all these tits singing Swing Low at unrelated matches will now shut the hell up. But I doubt it. I suppose if Wales pull off the unthinkable and end up in a final with Australia, (not sure if that even works draw-wise, just thinking back to England & SA in 2007), the RFU will claim that it gives a different perspective to England's abject failure - losing only to the best teams and all that sort of nonsense.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    So, does this mean there will be cheap tickets becoming available for the knockout matches? I realise this is a dull thing to say, but I very nearly put some cash on Australia to win by 11-20 last Thursday. It was about 7-1 at the time too. Couldn't bring myself to do it, but it might have sweetened the bitter taste of defeat. Main observation I have is that of skill over size. Hard to imagine Hooper and Pocock being selected in the same back row for England. Despite them being awesome both individually and as a unit along with Fardy, some clown would be insisting that we just had to have more ballast. In the midfield, Australia had Foley, Giteau and Beale, (who I include because although nominally on the wing he was involved in creating the try-scoring opportunities in the inside channels, in a playmaking sense too, rather than the old blindside wing crashball option). These are all relatively small, creative playmakers. OK, Kuridrani at 13 is a beast, but he still has a lot of skill to offer. These lot offer so much invention and create opportunities in attack and I didn't see them embarrassed in defence, yet it would be unthinkable for Bomber and Farrell Sr to pick such a lightweight backline. My suspicion is that Catt would dearly love to do exactly that. What sticks in the craw is that players of this type are available to England. Ford, Joseph, Slade, Cipriani, Eastmond and Daly spring to mind. Not saying they're definitely as good at their Australian counterparts, but given a bit of trust, confidence and experience, and if they're allowed to play a bit rather than being coached to death, they could be devastating.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    I feel mainly for the English fans - I feel for the players too, and the management to an extent, but it's the pain that fans are feeling that I know best. Saturday was a beat-down. Australia might end up being the best side in the competition, and there might not in the end be much shame losing to them - it is the Wales game that England are going to rue for a very long time. They had control of that game; and then lost when their selection errors caught up with them and they panicked after they went behind. Even a draw in that game, and England would have been in with an excellent chance to qualify. Anyway, tough few days for England fans, but the real damage was done last weekend. The explanations I think fans are owed are the following: 1. Steffon Armitage. We all understand the RFU's position, but if England weren't going to invoke the exceptional circumstances clause for him, a world-class fetcher and uniquely skilled in terms of England's resources, what is it there for? 2. Sam Burgess. He's still learning the game. Who decided the world cup was a good place to continue his development? Frankly, the backline was a mess because they tried and failed to fit him in. 3. Half-backs. Explain the thinking here. I get that there's a choice between Farrell and Ford, but they committed to neither. Or both. Or something in between. Danny Care never got a look in while Wrigglesworth was poor. Talk us through the plans. 4. The back-three. They were England's most dangerous players with the ball in hand, why were they so sparingly used? By the way, I fully expect sometime this week to hear Jake White's name linked to the England job. It may well be Jake White himself leaking his name to the media, but if England want a man to shake up the system, he'll do it.

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  •  drg
    drg

    You realise it's your fault that England are out right? The Welsh are in tatters and won't last the knock out stages, but still you had to just ruin Englands competition.... tut tut tut...

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  •  drg
    drg

    What a hideous way of picking MOTM.... I bet it was probably the last thing Launchbury wanted as well...

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    Which is clearly not a very good way to do it. Ask twitter to choose between Foley, Pocock and Launcbury while the whole of Australia is asleep. Okey dokey then.

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  •  welshosprey
    welshosprey

    Swinnggggg looooooowwwwwwww

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    To be honest, I think England could have had a much better chance with perhaps the likes of Ford (or Cips), Slade included, even Nowell who hasn't even had a look in.

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  •  katman
    katman

    He was good. Some big carries and he had those two charge-downs. But really, when your team is knocked out of the world Cup by 33-13, and when a guy like David Pocock played the way he did, this is beyond silly.

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  •  drg
    drg

    Let's hope that's what he meant because I think almost all the teams in the world would want to have both Hooper and Pocock in their set up.

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  •  drg
    drg

    He was obviously so invisibly incredible.... Honestly no idea, it's a bit of a farce...

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  •  katman
    katman

    Cipriani was quoted as saying no Australian player would make this England team, but I suspect what he meant was "No Aussie would be seen dead in this England team".

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  •  jimmynee
    jimmynee

    Just too many new combinations - albeit some enforced, but if you look at Wales Gatland would happily pick almost the same 15 regardless of how they've performed recently for their clubs. Lancaster took a pick and mix approach where he looked at the result of the Aviva final (must have been the deciding factor for going with Farrell over Ford), recent club performances (confidence in Barritt who did have a great season), and of course, choosing Burgess for his record in League not Union.

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  •  drg
    drg

    Actually now you mention it, that's probably another way of looking at it. As you say, Watson and Joseph are supposed points machines, but Farrell is not the type to distribute it out to the back, not in a successful way. I suppose my original comment came from the fact that I feel that Ford/Cipriani are better players than Farrell (they offer more opportunities), I also don't rate Burgess to just walk into a squad like he did, Barritt made some horrible mistakes in the Wales game and I can't see how he was worth picking.

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  •  guy
    guy

    As a neutral it took me 24 hours to emotionally process this result. Can't even imagine how this must be for the English fans. I kind of feel sorry for Lancaster. I had the feeling he did some good stuff with the English team, especially regarding norms and values. Maybe he has been too naive in the end. Apart from that I guess England imploded under presure and expectations and were completely outclassed by a fired up Wallaby side.

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  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Negative selection and game plan from England. If this was Boxing, the corner would have thrown in the towel, too many defensive moves without throwing a single punch themselves. I've said it until I am Azzurri Blue in the face. The selection seems to be based on nullifying the opposition rather than playing to England's strengths. Big Faz was an immobile failure in Union, sure it may be blamed on decades of injuries and age, but he simply did not have the head for Union. To an extent, I feel L'il Faz and Ford mk2 were picked because their dads were the coaches. They are both undeniably talented in their own way (Ford more so than Faz), but a player like Slade or even Cips on a good day would have given England that extra gear. Selection policy should be "Can they deal with this?" rather than "Can we deal with that?"

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  •  colombes
    colombes

    Yep, no ozzies would be in the english team, just too good for that ;) Forgetting Cipriani or Clive Woodward "motivation" speechs, it was a clinical perf by Australia whose direct gamestyle recalled me 1999 one. Like most of people, i was quite surprised by their scrum and Foley versality. With Beale and Giteau, they've also 2 great playmakers. In 1 year, Cheika has settled a complete team, when many others are incomplete. England lost again the "strategy" battle. Vs Wales and Australia, they simply didn't have a plan "B" to surprise the opposition. I don't really know if Andy Farrell had an influence on Lancaster in the 2 last selections... But it's just like if they decided to forget their positive promesses of the last 2 years to improvise a more pragmatic style with Burgess, Barritt and Farrell. A bullet in the foot. Hope to see more Ford, Joseph and Watson in 2019, but with a much more 'decided' coach and captain

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  •  katman
    katman

    Fantastic performance by the Aussies. Their scrum, aside from a couple of early wobbly ones, was dominant over a supposedly superior England tight 5. And both Pocock and Foley were in sublime form. Can someone then please explain how, despite these performances and the 33-13 score, they still managed to name Launchbury as Man of the Match?

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  •  flanker2712
    flanker2712

    It seems to me that Andy Farrell had a bigger say all along in selection (and likely coaching) than Lancaster ever did. I'm sure he out his foot down a few times, and Lancaster doesn't seem like a man to stand up to Farrell. The Burgess experiment went horribly wrong, and I can't see how that was anything other than Farrell having his way.

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  •  drg
    drg

    I don't know how teams are picked and played, maybe what I'm about to say is actually standard in most teams. To me, it appears 'England' (coaches, an those in charge) have sat in a room and said "what sort of style do we want to play?", then when they've agreed, they've gone out and picked the team surrounding that chosen style. I personally would assume that picking the best players you've got and seeing how they form their own style and going from there would be the way forward, no? Take Hooper and Pocock, I can't for the life of me imagine someone sitting in a room and saying we're going to pick a pack of wolves like those two, without actually seeing them perform well, it wouldn't cross someones mind. South Africa had this incident where they were accused of not picking enough black players - So they're suggesting you stand on the edge of a training ground and say "wow, that black guy is amazing, better than the others.....but he's black, so we won't pick him"...yeh, I don't think so... But it seems to me, England could be accused of doing that (in a completely different non racist way....). Picking players because they fit some pre-determined plan, rather than because they're any good... England seemed electric when they played Ford. Cipriani is similar calibre with his "lets play" style... I figured picking Farrell was boring but probably the sensible option for England because if they want to play 10 man rugby then he is probably the guy to go for.... but they couldn't even get that right... On the particular game, Farrell would have been hard done by with his yellow IF he'd actually tackled, rather than checked the Aussie player. Burgess was extremely lucky not to spend 10 mins off with his high shot to the jaw - unintentional I'm sure, but seeing as it was in the same picture as Farrells indiscretion, I'd have figured it would have got more than just a "lower next time" comment from the referee... Well done to Aus, hard luck to Eng :)

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  •  jimmynee
    jimmynee

    Folau seems to be trying too hard. Obviously wants to make a big impression, but just needs bide his time a bit more and not butcher opportunities like he did in the first half. Hooper had his usual moment of madness and was lucky not to get binned for it, but him and Pocock were immense. Beale made a big impact as well - funny how forced substitutions in both England games were instrumental in critical tries. England once again strangely lacked composure and confidence. Why Ben Youngs was taking tap and go penalties instead of going for territory and a catch and drive is a mystery. And that Aussie scrum...wow. Wales need to make sure they don't knock on any ball on Saturday.

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England knocked out of home World Cup by outstanding Wallabies | RugbyDump