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They've won playing sub-par rugby but Wales and France can be much better, says Stuart Barnes.Back to story
It seems to be the opinion on this board that England showed some improvement against Wales? where??????? 1) they lost 2) they rarely threatened the welsh 22 ball in hand 3) the pack managed to just about hold their own 4)the same old problem regarding slow ball and how to recycle quickly was again evident 5) manu never sees an oppposing player he doesn't try to run through rather than play someone else into space However the defence was excellent as it has been all tournament, the team seem to want to play for each other at last, Lancaster has done a decent job so far and at least deserves another year, but lets not kid ourselves we have seen a performance worthy of an England shirt And one last thing, Strettle stop your whining, if yours was a try Scotland should have had theirs in the second half too,can't whinge about one if your not willing to grant the other , its just not rugby dear boy
Posted 20:18 1st March 2012
hi stuart after reading the above comments would like to respond to the adulation that england are getting after the weekend. while it was a step up from their first two games the result was a loss. bearing in mind this was at home against a below par young welsh side. if you were to ask southern hemisphere supporters if this result happened against their side they would be distraught not upbeat. on the welsh side i believe we could be watching the start of a golden era in welsh rugby and id put my neck on the line and say we could be lacking at back to back grand slams as next year they play both england and ireland in cardiff. looking at the age, size and skill of this welsh time i think gatland could be building a side ready to match the all blacks at the next WC. i also think that wales will provide the bulk of the squad if not the lions test side next year
Posted 13:15 29th February 2012
As a South African I don't normally watch Six Nations, as I find it rather boring but due to the fact that the Super 15 only started this past weekend, I have literally had no other rugby to watch. England are poor. End of story. It's the worst England team I have seen in many a year and although they played better this past weekend, a loss is a loss. Plus, it was at home, so you would expect a pretty decent showing. I was really looking forward to a wonderful South African vs England Test series in June but honestly, I don't see this England team coming anywhere close to the Springboks. 3 - 0 whitewash is my prediction and it's going to be rather easy for South Africa to do this. We have better players in every single position on the field and with our loose forwards, we will win most of the breakdown contests. England play slow rugby and will be blown away in June.
Posted 10:35 29th February 2012
Hello John I was impressed with England's performance against on Wales, I liked their intent and was more than happy with the defensive Effort. Botha plays with intensity and seems to relish the opportunity to play for us. I am however somewhat perturbed with England's inability to bring Ashton, foden and strettle into the game. We seem to have a cross field kick set for 11/14 but they are low probability plays? Why are they not getting their hands on the ball more? Ashton looks half the player he is demonstrated in the past!
Posted 08:09 29th February 2012
England were a breath of fresh air compared to the last 2 matches and for the first time in 12 months they were a joy to watch. My concern on current selection points towards a certain Mr Ashton. Surely a player must be picked on form and not by name, his lack of game time in the PL has been exposed - I am a big fan of the Ash-Splash but the hunger factor he showed 12 months ago has vanished! I think a spell on the bench with prove to him and the current crop of players that form is everything as apposed to reputation.
Posted 12:42 28th February 2012
Hi Stuart, I was impressed by the England performance on Saturday against the team which I personally consider to be the best in the Northern Hemisphere. I was however disappointed with your comments with regards to the future of Stuart Lancaster. He has done more in 3 months than Martin Johnson, for all his leadership ability on the field, did during his tenure as the England Coach. Your dismissal of him as the person to take England forward was disappointing. Alternatives among the great and the good are few and far between and, while he continues to take the team forward, he should be given the job on a full time basis
Posted 11:21 28th February 2012
Stuart...couldn't agree more re the quality of Myler's passing. had a touch of the Darren Lockyers about it !..but disappointed that you seem have joined the Owen Farrell love in. He is very, very good at being confident, does a large amount of gesticulating, patting. talking, praising, nothing wrong with that, but it's the substance not the perception that worries me. After the RWC shambles, a fresh faced kid, keen. honoured to play for England, a face that fits the image of a newly branded England , a new Jonny. Please, please rerun the game, watch and objectively analyse his contribution. I did ...kicking out of hand..ordinary...defence,,.dropped off three one up tackles..line breaks..attempted one and got turned over..,distribution sluggish when cut back passing behind dummy runners...better when standing flat, and bringing on Tualagi/Barritt...nice chip and pickup..poor decision to do it again in the red zone...goal kicking...lovely striker of the ball, but showed he is fallible missing a crucial late penalty Not a bad performance, but man of the match ..crazy.. Leaving aside Flood and Hodgson we have young accomplished tens out there..Burns, Myler, Ford, Clegg, Carlisle , they must be looked at.
Posted 02:58 28th February 2012
Hey Stuart, i was lisening to you on the rugby club about the lions next year down in aus and after watching the last couple of weeks of the 6 nations, do you think that this could be the making of a great lions team and for many years to come aswell because so many of the players are under 26 and should be hitting their "peak" at the new zealand tour? Also what would be your back row for next year base on at the moment as there are so many quality players in those positions? as you could say 3/4 different combinations and they would equally be as strong as each other? thanks
Posted 20:55 27th February 2012
Hi Stuart Would you be in favour of introducing promotion and relegation in the Six Nations? Italy and Scotland look set to once again battle it out for the Wooden Spoon, with the former making little progress since their introduction at the turn of the century. Nations such as Georgia and Russia are improving all time, the former impressing during the World Cup, and promotion from the European Nations Cup could serve as a shot in the arm to Romania, who were once an up-and-coming force in European rugby. It┐s highly likely that the first game of the final round of Six Nations fixtures will see Italy and Scotland yet again face off for fifth place. Wouldn┐t it be great if there was more riding on it? Regards Hugh
Posted 15:42 27th February 2012
Hi, England on Saturday did show progress , However in the long run for English rugby I feel it was a good thing England lost! If we would of won Stuart lancaster would of probably got the full time job due to be people getting carried away etc! Nick Mallet surely has to be involved for SA tour. I think the English coaching on way the game should be played (internationals) is not like the other southern hemisphere teams. john kirwan should of been the inter man would of brought attacking ideas and flair. England can be a great team in 2015, We have the talent, the players and the resources, long term thoughts England should go with Owen and 10 manu tuilagi and Jonathon Joseph centers, that would surely provide a greater attack?
Posted 15:21 27th February 2012
Hey! One Substitution who promptly made his mark was Mike Brown - He always makes for drama, Flood looping a pass for replacement Brown to feed a cracking pass to Strettle, who charged for the line only to be held up by two defenders. If I was Welsh I would be so pleased Brown didn't come on earlier! Enough said!
Posted 11:52 27th February 2012