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FunBus

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‘Not brave, just the English being English and massively overrating their man.’

Yes, only the English do this.

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

To isolate a 3 minute passage of play and state that a player can’t be listed in the same class as several in his position because of it is a ludicrous analysis.

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

So that 3 minutes means ‘he cannot claim to be in the same category as Brodie Retallick, Alun Wyn Jones, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, and Sam Whitelock,’ does it?

Does the 80 minutes that Retallick and Whitelock did nothing against England count? How about de Jager’s performance against Italy when you lost in 2016? Presumably none of these locks you mention have ever had a ‘bad’ 3 minutes let alone a bad match?

My guess is that, seeing as you have constantly claimed Itoje is overrated, you were a little embarrassed after the England-New Zealand game and have over-reached in your analysis.

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

It was one of those games where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I think the Boks were in a great place as they’d had a comfortable trot since the first game; England made some selection errors (to the ones Jones mentioned I’d have added a preference for Lawes at ‘6’ with Curry to ‘7’ for this game); they lost their tighthead after 2 minutes so Cole had to go 78 minutes (probably affected his mind-set); and they were mentally a few percent off the pace following their AB win.
It was a bit of a perfect storm, but that’s the nature of knock-out games.

Jones: I got RWC final selections wrong

Not quite sure how a 4 point victory over Australia with their backs to the wall for the whole of the 2nd half is better than England’s 24 point win in the QF, but there you go. England would have won fairly comfortably against Wales if they’d met in the final. In the last 7 matches England have won 5, and one of those defeats was in Cardiff when a Wales first team narrowly beat an England 2nd team in a RWC warm-up.

Jones: I got RWC final selections wrong

Congratulations to the Bok fans. Not much went right for England, but there can be no doubt that the best team on the night won.

CHAMPIONS: Springboks strike late to win third Rugby World Cup

What few analytical powers I’ve got suggest England are a slightly better, more balanced team, but not a gap that is greater than the bounce of the ball on the day. This is a 50-50 game.

Underdogs maybe, but the Springboks have what it takes to topple England

Mrs Chook sounds like a very discerning woman of impeccable taste.

Underdogs maybe, but the Springboks have what it takes to topple England

Jonny May is well-known as being very, very weird.

England to have the edge over box-happy Boks

Props aren’t the brightest, are they?

England duo endlessly take the mickey in the silliest presser of the World Cup

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England fined for haka drama

How do you think blokes with the name of Read, Smith, Barrett, Moody, Taylor, Cole, Bridge, etc etc found themselves in New Zealand? Took a wrong turn at the Cape?

England fined for haka drama

Not sure everyone thought the response was fine. Stuff has just printed an article linking Owen Farrell’s smile to colonial oppression and the violation of Maori women in the 18th century.
It’s one perspective, I suppose.

England fined for haka drama

By the time it kicks off, guys, you’ll have both worked yourselves up into full ‘English colonial arrogance’ frenzy.

Cheslin Kolbe passed fit, named in South African team for World Cup final

Happy for the kid, but…bugger????

Cheslin Kolbe passed fit, named in South African team for World Cup final

England have tended to be a lighter pack than NZ at under – 20 level for a good few years now.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

Absolutely, spot on, NB. I remember seeing the step-change in the Under-20s around then and, credit to Stuart Lancaster, he always gave it a high priority. I’ve been saying for a while, even after 2015, that it would pay-off as there was some real quality coming through.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

If this is the natural evolution of the game, then they’ve got to do something about player workloads. Career lengths will be like the NFL (around 4 years on average) if players are expected to bring that intensity and playing style every week. I know it’s a RWC SF, but Underhill can play no other way, and his coaches will expect it from him every game, particularly at international level.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

I think Woodward deserves some criticism as well. He moaned a bit, but paid no real attention to the absence of credible pathways, and he was Head Coach for 7 years. But, the RFU were complacent amateurs and it took nearly 10 years to recover.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

Yep, that Cardiff game was probably the only time since the disastrous 2018 6 Nations season (which I think Eddie wrote off as he was beasting them in camp to put in a fitness foundation) that England lost to a better team on the day. In particular they got done at the breakdown, so I’m sure that’s when the desire to pair Curry and Underhill really took hold.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

Have to agree to disagree, rebel. I’ve looked at it 2 or 3 times now (strangely enough I’ve kept the recording of the game 😁 ), and I can see no definitive point at which the ball definitely leaves George’s grasp – and it’s supposed to be definitive to be ‘clear and obvious’.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

No, Fionn, 2m people don’t play rugby in England. At one point the RFU were going to schools that don’t play rugby, giving the kids (boys and girls) a ‘taster’ session and registering them.
The question is how many elite athletes become professional rugby players. That’s your ‘pool’ size, and England may be ‘bigger’ but not by nearly as much as is made out. When you take into account the fact many players start later in rugby than, say, NZ, it evens out the higher in the quality pyramid you go.
If you’re an elite athlete in NZ, you will almost certainly have been exposed to rugby as a kid. In England, the chances are you won’t have.
Thousands of blokes taking up rugby at university and then later playing socially after 14 pints of Scruttocks Old Peculiar may make the participation rate look impressive, but it doesn’t give Eddie Jones any extra options.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

I don’t think Oz is a good fit, NB. Eddie seems to require (even though he’s much more experienced now) absolute buy-in or you’re gone. There are too many influential people in Oz with a personal animus against him. I don’t think he could be bothered to fight on multiple fronts.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

The massive player numbers is a bit of a myth. England will never have long periods of dominance like NZ, rugby is a minority interest. 99% of inner-city kids will never pick-up a rugby ball. Take Sinckler, for example. He wanted to be a footballer as a kid but kept fighting on the pitch. He just happened to have a teacher in school who liked rugby and encouraged him to go training with a local team. He turned up in Manchester United kit.
Very few 5 year olds in England dream of playing rugby for England. They often start too late (perhaps at university) or rugby never touches them at all.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

I don’t think Eddie stays as head coach beyond another year. This England team is relatively young and there are good pathways in place. If they lose on Saturday, there’ll be no shortage of motivation, if they win, there’s others to come through if some drop off.
England will never dominate for the length of time of NZ. Rugby simply isn’t important enough in the English psyche to sustain that long-term intensity. It will go in cycles.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks