Stuart Barnes: England must improve if they are to beat New Zealand

Stuart Barnes: England must improve if they are to beat New Zealand

If England play like they did in the first half at Twickenham and New Zealand as they did in Paris, lightning could indeed strike twice.

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Comments (16)

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Eric Thompson says...

I like Brown- BUT Foden gives more elusive attacking speed and could resurrect Ashton who has gone dramatically downhill since leaving Northampton. Sorry Gloucester lads for all the potential it's not evident this year as your league placing shows. Lancaster totally missed a trick against Argentina Burrell is the form centre this year and the nearest physical presence to Tuilagi, this game would have been an ideal stage to show if he's got what it takes particularly as neither Twelvetrees nor Tomkins have demonstrated anything so far and I suspect will get really exposed against the All Blacks. Wales were good against SA but when you have such great running rugby potential and you ask them time and time again to play on a gloopy pitch that is not conducive to running rugby. I have never seen a decent surface in Cardiff since the new stadium was built. A change of policy about having a mobile pitch, and David "Piggy" Powell of Northampton Saints could help Wales realise their true potential. They have to have greater ambition than just beating England and winning the 6 nations otherwise the World Cup will continue to be a fantasy.

Posted 20:35 14th November 2013

Gordon Terrace says...

I agree with what a lot Shedhead says but like a lot of glass door supporters he is one eyed. Twelvetrees has been poor at best and no way is he at test level. Lancaster should realise that the experiment did not work, send him and Tomkins back to their clubs and look elsewhere.

Posted 15:15 13th November 2013

Matt Sercombe says...

Think some of the criticism of the half-backs is a bit off the mark. Dickson managed to get the forwards onto the ball at pace and his passing gave OF enough time on the ball. Care was ponderous and innaccurate when he came on early in the second half. Lawes just looks light; he was very effective in everything he did - just look at his clearing out of the ruck area. Having watched Saints v Sarries, think Burrell would have benefitted from exposure at test level, but not against the AB's. Stuart Lancaster won't change much other than Ashton and perhaps the bench.

Posted 15:07 12th November 2013

Shedhead T says...

It is time the Glawster boys are given a fair crack of the whip at international level. We need to be building our team around Morgan, Burns, 36 and Trinder. Farrell and Flood are positively dire, while that oaf Tomkins can barely scrape his way into the Saracens team at present. Andy Farrell isn't it time you put your family bonds in check and selected the most creative 10 England have had in a generation, Mr Freddie Burns, in the driving seat. Behind this England pack he would dominate. Shedhead

Posted 13:25 12th November 2013

Matt Lockwood says...

I agree with clompy. I was at the Australia game and agreed with Brown as MOM, however he beats men from defensive positions and never when coming in to the line or creating anything. We don't have a Folau or Dagg, but Foden would appear to be the nearest we do have. We still go for safe options that we know won't be awful, but will never win a World Cup. Still need to get a few of those with the potential to do something different into that starting 15 and see if they can step up.

Posted 12:00 12th November 2013

David Grace says...

England v Australia= Victory England v Argentina= Victory Criticise them all you want, smile- they won!!!

Posted 10:27 12th November 2013

Matt Lockwood says...

Surely 2 games is enough to see Tomkins doesn't have it at the top level. Top coaches make brave decisions, and someone else needs to be given a go as you can't have a 13 with no attacking threat

Posted 20:39 11th November 2013

Michael Shaughnessy says...

Hi Stuart, Do you think there is any chance we could see an all Gloucester 10,12,13 against New Zealand? Freddie Burns was brilliant against Argentina in the summer and Henry Trinder is a fantastic young talent.

Posted 17:47 11th November 2013

Paul Smith says...

Not convinced by Tomkins at present, surely giving Burrell a run at 13 would be worth a go, could see him giving the physicality that Tualagi brings. Ashton has to be dropped and Wade given his spot.

Posted 17:22 11th November 2013

Mick Collyer says...

I totally agree with you Stuart, whilst Farrell has some good qualities his game is limited. Burns must be given a chance, he may not be having the best of seasons,( neither is Twelvetrees but he has been picked!) but he is playing behind a poor pack, with England at least he will get good quality ball. I am not convinced by Tompkins, Twelvetrees or Barritt and Tualagi is a 1 trick pony. Ashton may be struggling but his form will come again. The world cup will be on us soon and Lancaster needs to try different players sooner rather than later. Burns, Burrell, Allen, Trinder, May, Eastmond, Myler & Elliott should all be considered

Posted 15:32 11th November 2013

Ed Ocallaghan says...

Stuart, one sticking point (or lack thereof) from the weekend has been the problems with the grass at a few of the international stadiums. Not only does it ruin the spectacle for us the fans, it's dangerous for the players. Do you have any insight as to if the new artificial turf (such as used by Saracens) could become an option in the future for various unions?

Posted 12:34 11th November 2013

Clompy Clompy says...

Too many mediocre players in England colours, simple. We have a pack to match (but not dominate) the best but 9-15 we are weak. We have good players (too few) but they aren't being picked. Hartley has to start alongside Corbs and Cole. He's our best hooker and Youngs is too short to scrum alongside them, Webber for the bench. Lawes still looks too lightweight to me. He often gets stripped of the ball by smaller players and looks likes he could carry another stone as an out and out lock (but that would require him being played as one week in week out by Saints). I would go with Launchbury and Atwood. Atwood is a lump, more athletic than hes given credit for and he has bags of attitude. We lack an enforcer. Backrow is still out of balance with Armitage is (ridiculously) unavailable, I would go with Robshaw, Wood and Morgan for the ABs. Behind the scrum we are all at sea. Care is our best 9, its up to Lancaster to manage him properly. Dickson offers nothing around the fringes to keep opposing backrows interested. McCaw will focus on and force our 10 deeper. Burns needs to be given his head. We have wasted two games finding out what we already knew, namely Farrell is a competent player. Composed and solid. He could play alongside a scintillating 12 but we don't have one. Tomkins has really disappointed and Twelvetrees is patently short of class. Centre is our major issue, Burrell deserves a shot. Yarde, on one wing and Ashton one last chance on the other. Foden must come in for Brown. Our 'stand out' player of the two games is a blagger. He has talent and his attitude is good but has shone because he is the only English 3/4 who has attempted anything. He isn't quick enough to be an international 15.... full stop. Part of me hope the ABs expose him on the outside and we can look beyond him. ABs by 12. Gutsy performance to keep Lancaster in a job and RWC disappointment. We couldn't have lived with either team in Cardiff.

Posted 11:27 11th November 2013

Greg Nicol says...

I thought the wales south africa match was a really great game of rugby.however if south africa took their kicks they would have been comfortable against wales. The boks physicallity was immense, however wales competed exceptionally well and had dominance in posession, what was lacking was creativity! You will not batter your way through the Boks , you need speed and precision. wales certainly lacked precision with far too many mistakes. with both centres now out injured i worry about their ability to create tries.

Posted 11:19 11th November 2013

Greg Nicol says...

England options in the backs due to injury are limited...but Ashton has to go, so bring in Yarde if he is fit, keep foden on the wing, worst case have three full backs by bringinging in goode and putting brown on the wing. midfield is desperate for tuilagi and tomkins is making no attacking impression so bring in burrell or trinder.

Posted 11:13 11th November 2013

Greg Nicol says...

England options in the backs due to injury are limited...but Ashton has to go, so bring in Yarde if he is fit, keep foden on the wing, worst case have three full backs by bringinging in goode and putting brown on the wing. midfield is desperate for tuilagi and tomkins is making no attacking impression so bring in burrell or trinder.

Posted 11:13 11th November 2013

Tim Smith says...

Stuart, My real concern is that we lack as you quite rightly say creativity and attacking threat in our back line. We need a creative fly half and centres that can actually run attacking lines and pass ! Mike Catt is the attacking coach and I loved him as a player but perhaps we need a southern hemisphere coach for this important position. Lastly George Ford - give him a chance !!!

Posted 11:09 11th November 2013

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