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Stuart Barnes: The Six Nations' obsession with results over performance will count against Europe's best in the 2015 World Cup
The Six Nations is upon us. Never mind the quality, it's all about the results. That has been the essence of this tournament for so many years. Anglo Celtic rivalries, Franco Italian; all the matters to the supports of these nations is the final score on the day, the final position in the table.Back to story
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Roger Hale says...
Hi Stuart Thought England have progressed a little since last season. Was disappointing that they could not hang on for a win against France and perhaps would if Lancaster had not made premature subs it seems tome that @ approx 60 mins most coaches think they are obliged to sub- what are your thoughts? Although the subs generally did well (particularly Morgan) when Lawes and Harteley went off the line-out suffered. The modern coaches talk a lot about "momentum" but ignore the loss of momentum when substitutions are made. On the positive side Burrell and possibly Nowell are in the team to stay but personally I'm still not sure Twelvetrees is good enough. Your comments please.
Posted 16:00 2nd February 2014
Paul Newman says...
Stuart, I was told that making mistakes educates and should not be overly criticized. making the same mistakes again shows a distinct lack of learning. Stuart Lancaster has just done that. We lost against the All Blacks in the first 20 minutes and repeated that against France. In both matches we woke up and put in a colossal effort to recover and then had nothing in the tank to stop our opponents. That is down to selection and preparation. Our defence captain should have been on the pitch at the start (Barritt) and having two tyros on the wings was one risk too many - Ashton should have been there. And finally Goode has lost a yard of pace and was sorely exposed.Stuart is getting a lot right but is not showing that he is learning from his mistakes. What do you think? Paul
Posted 13:22 2nd February 2014
Neil Collins says...
Regards Matt Graham . Matt your becoming a little heavy here mate with your comments regards Adam Jones. Adam plays the opposition to the edge, as all international players do. All the Southern Hemisphere teams play right on the edge and just within the law . Adam Jones binds within the law as the ball comes in the world changes ! Grow up, chill and have a glass of something red!
Posted 16:51 31st January 2014
Sam Donaldson says...
Hello Stuart, Do you think Scotland can do well in the six nations and do you think we can get a result against England or France?
Posted 17:56 30th January 2014
Stuart Smith says...
Stuart, A very interesting article, which raises interesting debates about how the 6 nations will impact on the world cup. However, there is a far more significant event taking place that will probably extinguish any chance of England winning their home world cup. A three match tour, or should I say demolition, will leave England´s belief in their prospects in tatters. I cannot imagine who could be so short-sighted to arrange or agree to this tour that will see a team that could potentially surprise and upset the All Blacks utterly demoralised. A further point from me if you dont mind in your "Jones" scrum debate. The scrummage is at the moment the best advert for rugby league in the world. It is wasting good portions of every game with every viewer clueless as to what is going on (probably the players and referees too). If it cant get sorted, I would prefer to see non-contested league style scrums, meaning more athletic players and not just a toss-up who gets a penalty.
Posted 17:55 30th January 2014
Paul Thwaites says...
Stuart, as you point out in the six nations it should be performance and development that should count above and beyond results (although results are good for confidence). However in a world cup the result is ALL that matters, especially in the knockout stages. With this is mind why do we not consider including some of our best players, to wit some of the standout players plying their trade in the French Top 14? Not to consider them, just because they play in another (very close in proximity) country is just dogmatic, draconian and ignorant, never mind (dare I suggest) bordering on illegal?
Posted 21:19 29th January 2014
Peter Jones says...
As a former prop I am naturally reluctant to comment on any matters ranging from No 4 upwards. However, even I can see that England's attacking game is pretty average.Why do we keep picking a fly half wo is excellent at everything apart from creating chances?Farrell is in there for his kicking, I accept that, but couldn't we play him at full back and move the focus of attack from full back to midfield. I never thought I would say it but Hodgson's performance in the last Saracens game was fantastic and he brought on attacking runners from all directions.
Posted 13:00 28th January 2014
Rob Savage says...
HI Stuart, I find the policy of not selecting players currently based overseas baffling and counter productive. I believe that a mixture of playing styles and overseas experience should make a player more selectable, rather than less? Martin Johnson played in New Zealand and since joining Toulon, Jonny Wilkinson has rediscovered form that seemed lost whilst at Newcastle. Wouldn't England be a better side with an Armitage or two back in the fold. Please let me know what you think? Thanks.
Posted 08:35 28th January 2014
Matt Graham says...
dear stuart no i can't find it in my heart to respect Adam jones for his constant cheating and shame on you for brushing my comment aside in such a facile manner, i ask you again to find a scrum where adam jones binds on the shirt and stays bound on the shirt. i'm disappointed that you appear to condone cheating as i have great respect for you as a pundit. your comment ..."As scrums are partly the art of fooling the referee (due to the mentality of northern hemisphere coaches in particular)" ....perhaps if you exposed this cheating rather than thinking its acceptable the players and coaches would not continue to cheat.
Posted 23:51 27th January 2014
Dominic Dyer says...
Hi Stuart, I really feel Stuart Lancaster is going about his job well. I know you disagree with his comments that results are the most important aspect of this year's Six nations but would you not agree that England's performances seem to be improving as his reign has continued. Simply put, as long as we sort out the midfield, i think England have a real shot at the Grand Slam this year. The only game i would worry about is the Wales encounter and i feel that home advantage will be pivotal as the teams are so evenly matched. Plus, the England boys will really want to stick it to them with last year's crushing defeat fresh in their memory.
Posted 17:24 27th January 2014
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