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Stuart Barnes wasn't impressed with England, but is refusing to judge this young team too soon.Back to story
Funny - maybe I saw a different game but Dowson looked to me to be making some crunching tackles and putting himself about pretty well. As for tentative maybe he was slightly overawed by some of the other english superstars !!. I thought for a relatively inexperienced side at that level they stood the test well, they've all had a bashing after world cup so a win at Scotland in their first game of the tournament was a great result. Imagine how good we'll be when we have the like of Tank Tuilagi and Lawes back in the side. Confidence and belief is needed and not the usually barrage of abuse.
Posted 08:14 7th February 2012
It wasn't a big suprise to see such an awful game at Murrayfield as both teams have a reluctance to play an expansive game, a fact that was further compounded by the performance of both 10s who are simply not international quality. Also, the final game sees Wales play France in Cardiff which in my opiniion would make Wales slight favourites after round 1. Strange though that the latest kick off on the final day of the 6 nations (which I thought went to the potential championship decider) is between the teams who lost out in the quarter finals of the World cup rahther than the teams who competed in the semi-final???
Posted 22:47 6th February 2012
Stuart - I thought that England were impressive in a number of ways that no-one seems to have pointed out. Firstly the defensive effort and the decision making of when to commit to rushing up to break up an attack was spot on - David Strettle in particular impressing me. The way England played the referee as well as controlled the defensive breakdown was also much more effective than it ever was under MJ. Secondly and a complete bug-bear of mine was the fact that much of England's attacking ball (yes I agree there was not enough of it) was mostly taken on with pace WITHOUT static runners. Surely for the opening 9 days or a regime Stuart Lancaster these 2 things alone make for a huge improvement. Hopefully the flair of youth will make an appearance when players start to feel more comfortable in the shirt! I'd like your opinion on this and also about the England Saxons result which after beating the Irish Wolfhounds so convincingly I was hugely surprised at!
Posted 20:56 6th February 2012
What did u think of George Norths performance against Ireland. He should have been man of the match
Posted 18:23 6th February 2012
Stuart, if England are to continue with the 'Saracens' style of play, do you think Ben Youngs is the right 9 to play in that system? Undoubted talent but hasnt dictated the tempo in an England shirt for a while now and question marks over his kicking game? Perhaps a useful Plan B option to come off the bench?
Posted 16:50 6th February 2012