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Stuart Barnes looks at the state of Scotland and says England must play 'with optimism' on Saturday.Back to story
Now then Ryan and Kevin, how about that then! Kicked your sorry backsides all the way back to New Zealand! As I suspected, a bunch of ordinary pre-madonna one point heros! Ha ha ha!!!
Posted 18:37 1st December 2012
In response to Paul Thwaites comments, I fear you would have rugby internationals in between world cups turn into 'friendlies' ala football, where the games serve no real purpose and nobody gives a stuff who wins or losers. To hang your hat on one tournament every 4 years suggests to me your'e either a football supporter or somebody who has never experienced rugby pre-world cup days. NZ has a legacy to uphold that is, they do not want to see their incredible winning record accumulated over the past 100 years diluted by concentrating on one tournament that happens every 4 years. After all how can you really call yourself world champions if you are rubbish most of the time & then happen to win one tournament. Thank god the kiwi's take each & every game seriously and play like true world champions.
Posted 03:15 29th November 2012
Hi Stuart, why are the world cup pools drawn so early in the four year cycle? The form of teams in 2008 didn't mirror results in 2011 and I don't expect whichever of Argentina or Wales ends up in the third tier after this weekend to match up to that billing in 2015. France as a reward for a vein of form that may prove only temporary get an easier group in three years time? I can only suppose it's to do with planning the tournament far in advance, but it does seem unfair on the countries, for whom this is their greatest stage. A counter-argument to be made is that the best team ought to win regardless, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on it! And just to be cheeky, what advice would you give someone with a keen interest in rugby hoping to grow up to be a sports journalist please?
Posted 23:06 28th November 2012
England would/could/should have beaten the Boks? The Boks are certainly not at their best. But if England thought that the Boks were there for the taking and still couldn't finish the job then maybe you are not as good as you think you are. Get a grip.
Posted 19:30 28th November 2012
Hey Paul Who blows the All Blacks trumpets the press and pundits who are usually British.When England win a WC by a last gasp drop goal you can not really talk and heaven forbid that the geat Sir Clive who got you that cup made no preparation for the future should be critised. Look at him and you see why England have never recovered simply look at the skuills on display this Saturday and you will see how far England need to go.
Posted 17:45 28th November 2012
I am so tired of reading how you British sportswriters and fans respond to the every increasing list of losses to Southern Hemisphere teams. The problem is not who you lose to and how, but by the loads of foreign players you stick into your club rugby making your international teams weak. This November, South Africa played its under 21 team against your 6 nations teams and still did not lose a single match. Most of our senior springboks were at home resting or injured having a well deserved rest after having played 11 months of non stop rugby You do not read of South Africa moaning about a loss! We learn and then we grow. We don't over analyze results, we just go out and win the next match from what we have learnt. England did not beat us because we play winning rugby, whereas England players are afraid of losing and therefore try to entertain the crowd. Get behind your players, stop nationalizing foreigners and stop the perpetual criticism. We now have the right coach, the most talented players and the right playing strategy and we are coming back next year to whip all your national teams once again
Posted 08:29 28th November 2012
Stuart, with all said and done the All Blacks won the last World Cup by a point. Their first world cup in 24 years. Is that really a demonstration of world rugby dominance? Who cares what happens in between! What I say is let them have their fun in the sun in the meantime, but when it comes to the biggest stage they are nothing but ordinary, given their 'immense ability'. The all blacks treat test matches as the be all and end all, a chance to muscle their collective ego. Other nations treat it as practice and development as well they should. If they win the next couple of world cups handsomly I will maybe be convinced of their brilliance. Until then...NO!
Posted 23:30 27th November 2012
Hi Stuart, do you see any reflection on how Ireland played this weekend due to their selections. With so many "regulars"out, do you feel the younger, fresher faces paid dividends in destroying a lack lustre Puma's team. Do you think a similar policy for England, would if nothing else build a better squad going forward instead of just using the crash ball method time and again? The added youth seems to have given Ireland an emotional lift, I can't help but think it would do the same for England. Nobody expects England to win this weekend so why not play Burns and Joseph and a few others too. Love to hear your thoughts,
Posted 22:44 27th November 2012
Hi Stuart. I agree with most of your comments but nevertheless England should have beaten South Africa in spite of their lack of creativity. Firstly 2 kickable penalties should have been slotted (perhaps we should forgive Flood has it is reported that he was feeling his injury) South Africa's try started with sloppy defending(an ill-advised fly kick from Ben Youngs). As for the fiasco regarding the late penalty - it's all been said! England could play much better on this coming Saturday and still lose by a lot. The changes that have been made by Lancaster this week have been good but If we are to beat New Zealand he should take a few chances with his starting line up: Burns and Joseph should start, Robshaw and Wood should switch sides, and the rest could be as last week unless Corbisiero isn't fit - then start Vunipola .We cannot keep selecting teams just to contain the opposition let have one to try to win! Any comments, Stuart?
Posted 15:37 27th November 2012