venerdì 10 febbraio 2012

Know you enemy / 2: England

Barry French è l'autore di Total Flanker, blog inglese intervistato anche lui la scorsa settimana dagli irlandesi di in vista del 6 Nations. Domani per gli Azzurri è il turno proprio dell'Inghilterra 
di Stuart Lancaster, in un Olimpico sold out. Ecco come Barry vede il match e pronostica una stretta vittoria degli ospiti, ma senza esserne troppo sicuro. 

It's difficult to know what to make of this new England team. It was difficult enough before the Scotland game, before we'd had the chance to see how the team would play. And now, having witnessed the performance at Murrayfield, we're not very much wiser

Why the difficulty? Well, largely because England played virtually no rugby last week. When they had the ball they kicked it, or they dropped it, or they lost it in contact, or they were turned over. Zero creativity, zero continuity, zero penetration, zero rugby

And yet... England tackled, and tackled, and tackled again. With no ball to speak of I guess they had no choice but whenever the Scots did break through (and it happened on a few occasions) the English defence scrambled back to keep them at bay. It wasn't at all pretty but it was great to watch...and they won! 

So, one thing we have learned is that this new England team will fight. What we still need to find out is whether they can play. 

Against Italy on Saturday it will, as always, be a huge battle upfront - but the English front row did a job on Scotland and coped pretty well with the Italian scrum last year and England's lineout is solid enough. No, where the real problem lies for England is at the ruck where Croft, Dowson and Robshaw really need to up their game. If they can do this and produce quick ball then England's back three of Ashton, Foden and Strettle could run riot (assuming that Youngs, Farrell and Hodgson don't kick possession away). 

Last year at Twickenham England got it absolutely right, Italy simply couldn't cope and the tries flowed. I suspect that this year it could be very different. I predict an England win by less than 6 points - and I say that with no confidence at all!

10 commenti:

Abr ha detto...

I found that inspiring, thanks Barry.

Applying the same equation to Italy:
(a) under Brunel we just started playing rugby, and
(b) we tackle and tacke and tackle since years, but
(c) when the French broke through, the Italian defence WASN'T ABLE to scamble back and to keep them at bay.

My conclusion: the difference is made by defensive scrambling, "playing rugby" is ok but it ha little or no influence on winning or losing a game.

I called the English way a "defense driven pragmatism". They were at Murrayfield, rugby is somewhat different when you play home.
Let's see what will happen in Rome, whether Italians would learn to scramble under the snow.

Anonimo ha detto...

sono d'accordo, effettivamente l'italia ha qualche chance. Voi come vedete i tre match di questo turno? I vostri pronostici? Angelo

ringo ha detto...

Io metto in conto una sconfitta per pochi punti domani: facciamo una meta al massimo di distacco. Quanto al resto la prossima volta: una squadra alla volta ;)

Abr ha detto...

Personalmente credo che proveremo molto, calceremo un sacco perché li forzeremo al fallo, ma servirà fortuna e supporto del pubblico per arrivare in meta.
Forse ci arriveremmo prima se lasciassimo lavorare le maul (bisognerà spiegarlo bene a Gori), ma dipenderà dalla qualità delle rimesse laterali); dopodiché un paio di mete penso le subiremo. Alla fine concordo col Barry: perdiamo di sei, cioè un punto in meno della Scozia.

Per le altre, vincono le padrone di casa: la Francia di misura - sottobreak, il Galles dilaga, 15 punti di scarto. Ecco, ho gufato.

ringo ha detto...

Socio, guarda che se poi il Galles perde...

Abr ha detto...

Gufai: vince il Galles, Francia pure (offerta sull'altare sacrificale), perde l'Italia.

E così, dopo un post dove un inglese offre non sollecitato il suo pronostico, all'insegna del "my educated opinion", noi si cade regolarmente nello strenuo attaccamento a iella, malocchio, cuorno e scuorno, per cui si DEVE dissimulare, dire il contrario di quel che si pensa e con le dita incrociate ... :o

ringo ha detto...

Per quanto riguarda gli Azzurri, il mio pronostico non è accompagnato da dita incrociate. Così come credo che vinceranno i francesi (e non sotto break) e il Galles contro la Scozia.

Nursedude ha detto...

Italy play really well at home. They have the front row that can cause England problems. England looked to have a real problem creating last week against the Scots. I think they are ripe for the taking. It should be a great ambiance at the Stadio Olimpico.

I'm an American rugby fan, who had a chance to meet and get my picture with some members of la Squadra in Nelson during the World Cup. I would love to be able to see Italy-England today, but I can only get France-Irleand today. Glad you were able to find Barry's blog and give him a shout out-I have been following him since early 2007.

Nursedude ha detto...

PS, here is the link from my review of the game with Italy-USA in Nelson

ringo ha detto...

Thank you mate and welcome ;)

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