For the record: I'm supporting you guys.
just threw up in my mouth a little
Schmidt is on to "Hometown."
Ireland are usually the most disciplined team on the pitch but they came out on the wrong end of a 9-6 penalty count, with Schmidt hinting at some frustrations at referee Angus Gardner – who the Ireland head coach had curiously decided to criticise as recently as Thursday.
“We’ll go back and have a look at it,” said Schmidt. “I certainly understand the frustrations of some of the players and in discussing things with them based on what I saw on the monitor, it’s not too dissimilar from the last time we had this referee.
"Our brand of cynical bullshit finally got called on us. It happened with this referee last time but we were too stupid/arrogant/complacent to understand and rectify this either in our preparation, or during the game"
@NTA nah its true,and remind me where you are from and why you are here please?
Australian. Long time contributor here, and I've had my share of disagreements with these kiwi bastards but I'm not about to spout fuckwit statements like "not world champs to me".
Wind your neck in, you've got school tomorrow
Some post-match thoughts based off some halftime thoughts I put elsewhere:
Losing Sinckler early did hurt the Poms in the close channels. Not the scrum tho, oh no. In any case, a situation like this is both a strength and weakness of an EJ game plan: he finds the right guys for the roles from the available talent, builds that game plan, and then it suddenly can't be adjusted on the fly.
Pommy handling looked ordinary early on, because they weren't settling into the game - like the ABs last week. Needed some phases, a bit of structure, set a few rucks to get the rhythm of the defence but also their own attack.
I can't remember the commentators calling Tuilagi, Daly, Watson, or May once in the first half. This is a result of their forwards not keeping the ball, and being in the right areas to do it.
On the scrum: I am still not sure why Itoje starts at TH lock in that team. Lawes is slightly bigger and should have been working on a spot as starting behind Sinckler for some time now, because that is where the English scrum fell apart.
The English scrum builds its reputation on big grunt and cohesion, not necessarily tactical nous. Having a dirty great pair of donkeys in the second row helps any prop, but Cole and Marler have seen the wrong side of refs in the recent past for not packing straight, even against those packs perceived as weaker (e.g. Wallabies). Last night he got a poor effort from Itoje in the second row, and you could see this either side of halftime when the Boks had the feed:
i) Before the break, Itoje at TH lock and the scrum bends behind Cole
ii) After the break, Itoje at LH lock (Kruis came on at the half for Lawes) and Vunipola got folded
The interesting bit for me - and the lesson for EJ and Mitchell - was the next 2 scrums where the Boks (despite replacing both props around 44 minutes) got ascendancy again on their own ball BUT Marler came on and on England ball, they set much better then chose their moment to drive.
Overall, I thought Itoje had a poor game BUT this is what happens when you're not getting an armchair ride from the rest of your forward pack. I think he should really be blindside flanker for England where his speed and size are better suited.
And yes I know I've just spent a fair few bytes talking Itoje, but really nothing compared to the boner that English Rugby have for him.
After that couple of scrums, things settled back down to where the Saffers had the upper hand. This happens sometimes when you've just finished belting one prop and they bring a new one on - Koch didn't adjust for Marler or the improved drive of Kruis off England ball. Its important to note that since they change the hooking law back to the old-school method, winning your ball seems harder for a lot of sides, but once it is under the second row, the battle is all about timing of the shove, and England did it poorly without the ball and occasionally well, with.
There was that period midway through the first period where England strung together multiple phases and started to look good BUT, like England teams of yore, they got into a muddle once the missing part (Sinckler) didn't give them the go-forward they needed.
Changing gears: the contrast of performance for Pollard between the Wales and England games caught my eye. Very passive against Wales - wasn't even chasing his own kicks because they had a winger to put everyone onside. Last night he was much more active in chasing kicks, attacking the line, and getting involved around the ruck including some good tackling. Was he in cotton wool against the Welsh, then told to go for broke? Dunno but I think it was a little surprising to the England backs to have Pollard - who is a solid unit - suddenly in their faces. Looked like one of the tweaks Rassie made to "win" a final rather than "not lose" a semifinal.
English back three a bit lacking under the high ball. Lot of cheap turnover right there and must say they're much better on attack, which didn't fire last night.
Last thing for now: Cheslin. Fucking. Kolbe. Yeah sure the try was amazing but even better was the way he knocked Courtney Lawes over - difference of 30cm and 35kg, mind - every time the Poms ran the big unit at him. It happened about 4-5 times by my count, and was a clear tactic for the blindside to try and isolate him. Only one time did the little bloke not complete the tackle, but still cleaned him up for someone else to attack the ball.
One of the best attacking 10s of our generation, but can only be considered one of the best 10s if you decide kicking isn't a core duty
It is a bit unusual when common wisdom is to have your 10 do most of the kicking.
However Brumbieleague didn't really need kicks in general play, and at Test level we had Burke or Eales knocking them over, and then Elton Flatley later on.
Could snap the odd droppie tho