>>> Men and boys stuff. Wales have got progressively better. England have
>>> got worse. Wales have been clinical when they've had opportunities and
>>> smart where England have not. England have no idea how to play Walsh,
>>> which hasn't helped, and a sign of their immaturity and what they need
>>> to do to actually win a Grand Slam.
>>> The scoreline is flattering but no question who the better side is by
>>> some margin. Warburton and Tipuric have been incredible but the whole
>>> team have been exceptional.
>> Indeed, a very nice win. A great spectacle in the end, and I'm really
>> pleased there was one clearly superior team, and a good game in the
>> end. It saved the competition this year after lacklustre rounds 2-4.
>> 9-3 at half time seemed a little unflattering for Wales I thought. The
>> scrum and that lead were critical to the result, then things deservedly
>> went Wales's way with the two turnover tries. It would have been
>> interesting if England could have come back on terms before the
>> pull-away, they had a few chances it shouldn't be forgotten, but the
>> lack of attacking options meant Wales could sit on their lead and wait
>> for the turnovers. The players out of position were exposed I thought
>> -- Wood and Brown just aren't natural players in their game positions
>> and that made a difference. Barritt was fine tackling, but exposed for
>> pace and handling at times.
>> I would have liked to see Lancaster throw everything into the ring with
>> complete changes after the first Wales try, and there seemed to be some
>> timidity in game plan -- not attacking the welsh lineout, allowing
>> Wales more numbers at the breakdown -- apart from that it is a
>> necessary bit of pain for a team to go through as it develops. I was
>> gobsmacked when it was mentioned Dan Cole had the most caps in the
>> starting XV.
>> Good to see Tipuric produce on the international stage, he certainly
>> did well in the two tries and generally around the field. A possible
>> bonus is Wales get the RSRU shield and they tour Japan in the summer,
>> so whatever happens it will stay in the NH a little longer. Whereas
>> Argentina will probably be favourites to win the last test when England
>> tour in June.
> Here's what I said to a Welsh friend by email:
> What a thrashing ! Superb performance by Wales and a thoroughly
> deserved win. Enjoyable game, even if we lost.
> We were perhaps slightly better at the lineout, but that's not a big
> enough part of the game. Destroyed in the scrum and everywhere else we
> were outplayed. I agree on Tuilagi - I've been wondering for a while why
> he's so popular - yes he's a big wrecking ball, but big smart players
> against him will be better. Back 3 let us down - we need some gas on the
> wings and players who can tackle. 6/7/8 di their best but are unbalanced
> as I said already.
> We will learn a lot from that I hope.... enjoy it while you can Chas !
We need to get someone more canny at nine. Neither Youngs nor Care know
how to boss around the scrum. Care seems the more urgent of the two, but
liable to panic (like his chip straight into touch when England had a
rare attacking advantage). Youngs spent too much time arms aloft
complaining to Walsh. That's not going to work even with a good ref!
As a non-connoisseur of scrums, I was a little surprised at the pinging.
Dan Cole was pinged at one point for pulling down on Jenkins' arm, but it
looked to me that that was what Adam Jones was doing to Marler and then
Vunipola every scrum. Couldn't quite understand what Walsh's problem
with T Youngs was either in how he was positioning himself for the
scrum. Any practitioners of the dark arts care to shed more light on
what was going on?
Agree that we need something more effective at 12 and 13, and probably at
11 and 14 too. I thought that, given the situation around them, Farrell
and Goode acquitted themselves ok. I think the biggest problem was that
we didn't adapt to the game situation. It was clear that Wales were
starting to dominate the breakdown, and yet we wouldn't commit extra
players. When the ball did bobble loose at a breakdown, it wasn't helped
that Youngs usually had his back to the ball trying to get Walsh to award
something. Is it just me that thinks we haven't had a real streetwise
number 9 since Dawson?
Excellent performance by Wales in pretty much all departments. The
midfield looked a lot stronger than ours. The two number 7s(!) looked to
be having a field day. Cuthbert and North had more composure and skill
than Ashton, and more gas than Brown.
Can't help feeling that more competition at the breakdown, and a few more
kicks to the corners to see if the lineout (England's one competitive
area) could have worked better and put Wales under more pressure. Then
again, if a team can't adapt tactics on the field, then it deserves to
come off second best and hopefully learn the lessons for next time.