Monday, March 11, 2013

Viva Italia!

Well if England ever needed proof that there are no easy games in international Rugby nor that they are destined to win at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff because they beat the team that beat Wales previously then yesterdays match hopefully will have knocked that out of them. That's not to say England were awful, they weren't, they produced some very good play at times, though looked terribly flat in their lines and lacked ruthlessness at critical moments. A series of unforced errors in kicking and a lack of discipline in tackling and marking didn't help either as they allowed Italy to dominate play at various times. Indeed the only try of the match came from Italy, all England's points came from penalties harking back to the days of Johnny Wilkinson and the grinding tactics of the past.
Even so, as I alluded too, this may have been a good thing for England giving them pause for thought and improvement. It may (though this is more unlikely) make Wales more complacent at Cardiff as they will look at England's performance and think 'well they can be beaten easily'
That said, the England starting line up will not be the one that walked out against Italy and I think that this is the year of an English Grand Slam. I just hope yesterdays poor performance will have knocked the arrogance out of England, because if they go into Cardiff with the belief that they can beat anyone, they'll lose and probably lose badly.

1 annotations:

Bill said...

If people playing in competitions do not believe they can 'beat anyone' they are playing against then there is no point in playing as they would always play to lose.

However I get your drift BUT I saw no evidence from the players or the coaches either on the pitch nor in any after match chatter that any of them think they can simply turn up and beat people.

Whatever happens on Saturday it will be a game of rugby between two sides with everything to play for so will either be tedious as neither side wants to lose or will be outstanding as both sides go out to wipe the floor with the other.

The real revelations of this Six Nations are Italy are no longer the 'whipping boys' they once were and Scott Johnson is a better coach than Andy Robinson was.
It has also been confirmed that Jack Brunel is a better French coach than Saint Andre or Livremont!