T Nation

Rugby


#1

GO AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


#2

Man, we were hammered.

Robinson has to go.


#3

On Australia's home soil no team has any business sending players who are not up to scratch yet or at best a second string team. Were lucky it wasnt more from what ive read and need to get our act together for next week to at least be more competitive.
Personally i dont see robinson to blame as so many first team players were unavailable to tour.


#4

We definitley need to get our act together, we were on the back foot the whole game.

Granted we had many players missing, but we haven't exactly had anything to write home about when we do; 4th twice in a row in the 6 nations is a joke for a set up like England. Don't get me wrong, I think Robinson is a great coach, but I don't think he is the right man for the top job.

The players we do have playing are the pick of the Premiership players this season, and I know that test match level is a different ball game, but they were simply below par today. I think the management has to take quite a lot of the heat for that as well.

Oh well, lets hope they can prove me wrong in the 2nd test.


#5

England were brutal today. It was a disaster waiting to happen you cant just blame Robinson though England just dont have the players at the moment. Johnson was by far the biggest factor in 2003. Woodward's last year with england was a disaster and you saw what happened on the lions tour with him in charge.
Club versus country doesn't help either.

The Premiership is falling behind the other leagues as well which probably isn't helping and there seems to be a lack of any real talent at centre.Theres no real leader in the team.
Fair dues to australia im looking forward to seeing australia versus ireland.Should be a good game.


#6

I understand where you are coming from, but I have to disagree with a lot of your post.

I agree that we miss the likes of Hill, Back and Johnson, but I think that we do have good enough personnel to perform a hell of a lot better than we are at the moment.

I think Johnson was a massive factor in us winning the world cup, but I disagree that he was by far the biggest factor. For me, Wilkinson was the most important.

I don't really think it matter what happened in Woodwards last few months; that should have been the transitional period, since then we should have been rebuilding, but we haven't.

I agree with you on club vs. country; country should always take precedence IMO.

I disagree that the Premiership is falling behind the other leagues as well. I think that the Celtic league has improved, but that the Premiership still has a greater depth of quality sides. If you look at the French league, they only have 4 or 5 top teams (as do the Celtic league). Muster are Leinster better than any side in the Premiership though.

I biggest bone to pick is at centre. Matthew Tait will be world class in 1 years time, trust me. I'm from Newcastle, and I watch him play week in and out at Kingston Park, he is like lightning! Against Austalia we had no ball on th front foot and he couldn't show his talents, but he is devastating if you give him an inch.

I think we have leaders back home, but Sanderson, whilst being a good leader, is not outstanding.

Best of luck to Ireland against Aus as well, they deserve a result in this tour. O'Driscoll is a legend!


#7

It was a scrappy first half but conditions did not help the ball handling and the ground was in a bad condition due to all the rain we had last week.

It was good to see Australia's new front row combination looking more solid than last year's. I thought our defence was very good (you have to love yet another George Gregan try-saving tackle!) and the backline got plenty of chances to throw the ball around. Plenty of improvement is needed though before the Tri-nations tournament starts.

And yes, England should not send sides over unless they send their best players. We always do in our end of season tour and take it very seriously. Unless you make a serious effort to win away from home you don't deserve to be called one of the best teams in the world. About the only team that can send a "seconds" side and still be taken seriously would be the All Blacks due to their great depth of talent.

Cheers,

Ben


#8

Well at the moment I have to say that neither of us are among the "Best teams in the world"

Atm I think s-africa, new zealand, and france are ahead of both of us. And since you stuffed us, it's pretty worrying... with only a year to go to the world cup, we should definately be doing better with the players we have available........


#9

I'd still argue that Johnson was by far the most important factor in england success in 2003. I understand saying wilkinson was but that team was built on having the best pack in the world and having who i would argue is the best leader ever in rugby. Its easy to say Wilkinson the most important because he plays in the pivotal role in rugby but without johnsons leadership i honestly dont think england would have won the world cup.
Regarding centres fair enough with Tait. I haven't seen newcastle play much this year. My point was that in general what were seeing with centres in the premiership is that theres a lot of big pacific islanders(ie crash ball specialists)Theres a lack of creativity.
That showed in Englands performances.

When you talk about leadership im not saying you dont have leaders what im saying is that Johnson was by far the best captain ever for any international side. He could get that extra 10% out of players. As good as O Driscoll is for ireland hes still no where near the level of Johnson in terms of captaining a team.

Robinson probably isn't the best man for the job true but the talk of bringing woodward back would be another disaster waiting to happen.The changes made in the coaching set up recently are some good chnages. Ford is arguably the best defensive coach in rugby and will improve englands defense.Ashton may improve the back play .I think that the club versus country aspect of english rugby had led to clubs bringing in players rather than trying to develop them which is part of the problem.


#10

I do actually agree that we wouldn't have won without Johnson, but I think that Wilko was equally, if not more, important.

I'm with you on the Woodward thing, I think its more media speculation than anything, hes burned too many bridges at England HQ to comeback.

I suppose we are lacking a young, creative 12, but I also think that we have a fair pool of young players and we need to do a better job of blooding them through to the senior squad (which we have only started doing now).

I think the new coaches are excellent choices, but that the bigwigs bottled it with Robinson.

O'Driscoll may not be quite the captain that Johnson was, but as a player he will go down as an all-time great and, possibly, Ireland's greatest ever.


#11

I think the best team in the world is the one with the world cup sitting in the trophy case. Every four years, all of the teams have to peak, and they're all gunning for that. "Rankings" don't matter...the Webb Ellis in the trophy case is all that matters.

I would rather get beat in every race I ever ran, and win a gold medal every fourth year in the Olympics, than the opposite.


#12

This is a true point. In the past Australia have had the peaking part down to a tee. They play well at world cups, and rebuld inbetween. I honestly thought England were doing that but i feel we need to not only win 2 out of the three Autumn internationals but next years 6 nations too be considered in world cup form.

In my opinion if one of the European teams doesnt win the 6 nations outright it will go to a southern hemisphere country again. Either NZ or SA at the minute.

Regarding the state of English rugby, we have lost the last generation of players who were amateurs now. The pack was basically a bunch of amateur turned pro's who new the score. 2-3 seasons ago i recall the leicester front row of Rowntree, west and Garforth dismanteling a Leinster side with BOD at center. It takes time for sides to gel and breed that team-man-ship that the strong leicester and bath sides have provided us in the past 10-15 years, and we have not got that dominat club/clubs that we had.

Our back play is aweful. Mike catt was head and shoulders above allcomers, for player of the year in the premiership and he's 34. Is he the answer to the footballing inside center we need still? I know one thing, in high pressure games Hodgson has been found by the opposition openside once too often and a footballing 12 is one area we need to look at as it provides another attacking and defensive option, when the 10 is covered. I was personally hoping henry paul would fit the bill but he just never had the impact he did in rugby league.

If we're going to challenge the best teams in the world, maybe we do need a step away from the typical bang it up the center from 1st phase. Having said that, that is Tindalls game and he hasnt been doing it of late. Its frustrating and time is running out to work on an alternative. Tait my well be the answer.

Australia should be happy as its the first time in several encounters with England that their pack has performed, especially in the front row. Their back play has always been of a high caliber imo.


#13

I also agree. Who was ranked first in June 1986? No one cares; but I know a lot of people who could tell you that the All Blacks won the cup in '87. The history books remember champions.


#14

Agreed, you can't argue with the results, we won in '91 and '99 and made the final in '03. In between those world cups we had some of the worst years ever but were able to rebuild. Last year was "one of those years". Hopefully Saturday's result is the first step in the right direction in our preparation for next year's tournament. It's the forward pack that needs to rebuild, our backline has always been strong.


#15

I love rugby and all, but the World Cup for rugby is nothing like the World Cup for soccer. I'm sorry, somebody has to say it.

Anybody who follows international rugby at all knows that the All Blacks are by far the best team. They won the Tri-Nations, whooped the British Lions in all three contests (even the NZ Maori beat the Lions), and easily conqurered Europe.

The only thing Wilkinson ever did for England was drop-kick those championship points, and England only won because he was clutch instead of on crutches for once.


#16

Haha, if you followed rugby you would know he's done a hell of a lot more than that.


#17

So the English tells me. :wink: Please, find a more durable fly-half to be your country's saviour.


#18

Being an Australian it is my duty and obligation to hate Wilkinson, but even i know that he did a tad more that just one drop-kick......But that doesnt mean that I like him.


#19

This strikes me as a statement of someone who has no idea about the game.
What is your point regarding the soccer and football World cups? Nothing like? Of course not - One is a truely Global sport and One will be a truely Global sport. Rugby Union, although one of the older team sports has only been professional since 1995, and has only been staging world cups since 1987. Give it time. I personally feel that Rugby as a game has missed out on a tremendous opportunity by granting NZ the last world cup (for 2011??) instead of japan. Now with their stadia and appetite for the new that would have been a better comparison imo.

Concerning Wilkinson, have you ever actually sen him play? Premiership teams at one point stopped running down his channel due to his tackling prowess. In addition he bought his own game on, now he has quicker feet, a devastating tackler, steps well, kicking has always been great but to say he kicked those championship points and thats it. Well, you need to watch the game and maybe learn about it a bit more. There is no finer stand off in world rugby when he is on form, especially in high pressure games.


#20

Agree with you on that one Mick.

I have a lot of respect for the abilities and the pure power of the All Blacks, but NZ is not going to get the game on the world stage like Japan could have done.

At least my mission to convert all of T-Nation to Rugby fans is well under way. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...... Oops, did I say that last bit out loud.