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.
If anyone is a bit bored of a Saturday and wants to watch some rugby, head over here and check out NSW Suburban (Sydney Park footy).
So this is First Division Subbies - basically the level below Sydney Premier Rugby (Sydney uni, Randwick etc) which is all-amateur (* ahem * ) and some of the games are of higher quality than Premier if I'm honest.
Why Dean Jones hated batting with David Boon and Mark Taylor
Dean Jones, the former Australia batsman, speaking on the Lessons Learnt with the Greats podcast, explained how running between the wickets has improved considerably in the modern game, owing to the likes of David Warner who give tremendous importance to fitness.
Jones, who is credited with revolutionising Australian one-day batting through the Eighties and early Nineties, explained how he found it difficult to press hard for runs in the latter half of a one-day innings, when his batting partners weren’t as eager to cross ends.
“I hated Boony…David Boon and Mark Taylor for example,” Jones said, “where they batted deep, and I ran their twos and they didn’t run mine. You need to be fit in this level. It’s not hard to get off your backside, stop having the cokes, stop having a couple of beers, to get yourself fit to win a World Cup. So, they got the batting skills and all that, but it really upset me in my time, because I am trying to go hard, hard, hard now I’m in the power [mode] last ten overs, I’m buzz, buzz, buzz…”
In the modern era where skin folds and time trials act as few of the several parameters to judge a player’s fitness, Jones said that batting skills still hold higher precedence, remarking that “just because a guy is big, doesn’t mean he can’t rip a team apart.” However, he said that running between the wickets has ascended to an amazing level in the current generation, citing Warner an example of an aggressive batsman who puts just as much effort on his big-hitting, as he does for his running between wickets.
“Now it’s got to an amazing level,” Jones said, “particularly with Warner, his fitness skills are ridiculous and still has the power to hit him big. After a while in T20 matches, you are batting 15 overs and you are still swinging… you are fatigued trying to swing hard. And he’s still got it and he’s still pushing guys for two. And that’s the level we got to get to.
“You know what? I hate mediocrity. That’s not mediocrity what he’s doing. And it’s just great to watch and if he has to embarrass a few, well, so be it. Because that’s the level we expect as fans to watch, to take the skills to another level.”
Yeah there's really no other options in the short term.
The only other viable option would be Alaalatoa but with Tongan Thor there Alaalatoa doesn't command a starting spot.
Props are also replaced by design in modern rugby so they're not great choices for captains in every instance.
Hooper confirmed Wallabies captain.
Interesting. I had thought that Rennie might look to make statement early around changing the guard.
I also thought he'd wait for the skipper stuff particularly given Hooper is going to Japan next year. Continuity I guess, but there are some talented backrowers in the wings.