Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Jonny says good bye

Jonny's retired!! I suppose its not a big surprise really. He doesn't want to play Six nations knowing he will not make the World Cup in 2015. Although strange things have happened, remember Mike Catt!!!.
He is making way for other players to develop in time for the World Cup. Toby Flood is the now the obviously first choice for fly half.  I would have said he was the first choice even at this world cup just gone, but Jonny picked ahead of him based on experience I assume.
I was happy for Jonny to be in the squad, but felt it would have worked better playing in the small pool games and as a replacement to change things around or defend a lead. He was still a better defensive fly half, but attacking wise Toby was much better. Every time they swapped around, Toby Flood improved the England play and they had to catch with the opposition. 
In the quarter finals playing them both together was a huge mistake. Their reasoning I suppose was trying to develop a situation like in 2003 with Jonny and Catty. However Catty was a centre with Fly half experience. Toby was a fly half with centre experience, when the going got tough he would always drift back to his normal positioning. They said they played together at Newcastle in this partnership, however what did Newcastle win during this time, Nothing.
It always annoys me greatly when they play players out of position in the biggest games of their careers. In these intense pressure situation people with always revert to where they are most comfortable, as its the position they play in week in and week out. Its the position the train in every week as well. Then they get a few training sessions and they are expect to play in a different position in a pressured game like the quarter finals of the world cup. Guess what it doesn't work. I am sure this wasn't the only reason we lost, but it played its part.
I think its always better to play a person in their natural position even if this isn't your best player as when the pressure is on natural instincts kick in.
Back to Jonny. He will remind a English sporting legend and probably the most hated English rugby player in Australia forever. 2003 was a fantastic year. I am guessing he must now be the last of the 2003 squad to retire from international duty.
Oh I am forgetting Mike Tindall. I guess he hasn't retired, but I doubt he will ever get back in the squad.

Friday, 2 December 2011

England Women Victory

So England women have beaten the World Champions New Zealand to clinch the series with 1 game left.
Congratulations and well done. 21-7 on Wednesday a good score.
Can someone in the England's men set up please take note!!!

Friday, 25 November 2011

More trouble at the RFU

England Attack coach Brian Smith has resigned. Feedback from some of the players was he had no ideas. He asked them for their opinions and wrote them up on a board.

Well a I would have though a good coach would canvas his players and get them involved in the decision making.
get them to take ownership of the way they play.
Get an understanding of what it is like on the front lines in the modern game against these teams.

Some England players said it lack imagination and was lackluster. However, I believe England was the top try scoring nation in the 6 nations over the last two years. Won the 6 nations last year. Not that bad then!!

Feedback is important and should be accepted for what it is and that is a opinion of that person based on their perspective. Its not right or wrong.
It should be accepted and those involved develop from it to communicate better or improve their skills. It could have been an explanation as to why he ask for peoples ideas would have helped those giving the bad feedback.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

RFU leaked report who benefits

You have to wonder who benefits from a leaked report.
The players!! No its bad news for them.
The coaches! no!
The RFU management, yes. The leaked report firmly blames the players and coaches for the lack of success.
The leak really helps Rob Andrew out as many people been asking what he does! Why isn't he to blame.
What did Rob Andrew ever achieve as the Newcastle manager. Not a lot!!

Players will always negotiate about pay. We haven't heard both sides of the story and unlikely to now.
Yes I am sure some players are at fault but this leak doesn't help.
Will the players want to take part in a review again and give honest feedback. NO not if the RFU management use it shift the blame.

The England team and the RFU is suppose to the pinnacle of English rugby. Where as the premiership clubs are professional organisation the RFU is still run by amateurs. This does make sense. RFU management wouldn't last 5 minutes in a premiership club or any big company.

Time for a change within the very structure of the RFU. I would like the premiership clubs to create a new RFU and England team even if meant a few years of being out in the wilderness. It would long term be better for the game as the RFU is a shambles.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

6 nations Review 2008

My 6 nations review.

So who is going to win it this year? Who will get the wooden spoon?

It looks to be the most open championship for some time due to the change in players and coaches/managers since the world cup.

I suspect that no team will be able to obtain the Grand Slam this year. It will all come down to the away games for the title hopefulls.

England are away at Scotland, Italy and France. With Wales and Ireland at home. My ambition for England is to come at least second this year. I believe that England should beat Wales at home and hopefully beat Ireland for the first time since 2003. I think that France away from home will be the crunch match for England.

I predict that France will win the championship overall, but not the Grand Slam I suspect they will slip up on one of their away games, potentially the first game against Scotland, as the French are notoriously slow starters in the 6 Nations. The Scots often catch people out at home with their defensive style of play that tends to grind the opposition down and frustrates them into errors.

Italy I believe will get the wooden spoon and Wales, Ireland and Scotland fighting out the 3rd,4th and 5th spot.

Ireland, bad World Cup and believe there will be a hangover from this performance through the 6 nations. There is obviously issues in the Irish team and these have yet to be dealt with properly.

Wales I believe under Gatland will be become a decent team again. However, not this year as it is too soon for the management to make a major effect on the performance on the team.

Scotland continue to make progress, but its slow progress at the moment. Good World Cup for Scotland, but can they build on it! They must be looking for at least a 3rd or 4th place finish to continue this progress.

Good luck everyone, lets show the Southern Hemisphere why our Rugby is the best.