> I had my suspicions prior to this match that the
>French pack would have the edge. However, even though many like Richards, I
>thought Ben Clarke was far and away the best of the England forwards and
>johnson was not far behind.
Yep. The only two experienced forwards to really perform. Leonard was
given a tough time in the scrum in the second half, and generally he
is very reliable (though I'd prefer him kept on the loose head with
Rowntree at tight head).
If it weren't for my belief in giving new caps a fair run (ie until
the end of this 5 Nations), I'd strongly go for the Leicester front
row of Rowntree,***erill and Garforth. They know each other very
well, and***erill is the best lineout thrower I've seen this season.
Admittedly I see him most home games. I'm very much looking forward to
seeing the young pretender Phil Greening of Gloucester, who had a good
England A game on Friday apparently.
>Dallagio I feel has some way to go. He wasnt really in the hunt and missed
>tackles. He followed the play well but this is mandatory for an opensider.
Yes again. He looked phased by the atmosphere, and uncertain of his
lines of running. He'll improve.
>Omojoh was not even close.
Agreed. Mick Cleary (?, Rugby Special) also put some of the blame for
the lineout on him. Incidently, he also pointed out French centre
Dourthe stamping on Ben Clarke's head causing him to be ***
replaced. Welsh prop Davies was sent off for a less vicious offence
last year, again on Clarke.
>I still think England missed a speedy
>opensider. For the Richards supporters, how does a Richards, Clarke
>(blindside) and Back\Robinson (openside) sound.
Good choice. I'd put Back ahead of Robinson, though Robinson deserved
his chance against SA. I'd stick with Dallaglio at openside though.
>I was impressed by Dawson and Sleightholme.
I'd have preferred a few more snipes from Dawson. In particular there
seemed to be a gap for him at that first 5m scrum after Underwood's
>I know that obugu (spell) is not considered that great in the scrummaging,
>stakes, but would he have held his ground better - or was it just the boileroom
>not operating on full steam. The French tight five in the set pieces and
>around the field we very good.
Ben Clegg, when I slagged off the England scrummage a while back, put
a lot of blame on Bayfield. I think he is probably right. Bayf was
anonymous on Saturday. Its a crying shame Simon Shaw of Bristol is
badly injured and out for the season. Having said that, there seems to
be a *** of silence concerning Bayf in the press here. I hadn't
really put him under a spotlight until Ben pointed it out.
>My ill informed predictions are as follows:
>France to win the GS
If they can beat their Murrayfield bogey.
>No triple crown winners.
Who do you think England and Scotland will lose to? I'm guessing you
think England to lose at Murrayfield and Scotland at Cardiff. One of
these two has a pretty good chance of the triple crown. And who knows,
Wales might just come good.
All the best