Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Preview Wales v England

For 2008 England v Wales click here

Final game of the 6 nations with both teams having something to play for. For England this could range from 1st to 4th place depending on the other results earlier in the day. For Wales avoiding the white wash and the wooden spoon.

England will be keen to progress from last weeks win and will love the idea of sealing Welsh fate to the white wash and wooden spoon. With Tindall out Matthew Tait has been rewarded with a start, as he has played well as a sub. Tait will be looking forward to banishing those ghosts from 2005 at the Millennium Stadium. He is a bigger, fitter and more rounded player from back then and has grown mentally from that experience. Ashton has cut Lewesy from the squad showing that he will punish bad performances. Leadership is a massive part of strategy and a good leader looks to reward the good (Tait) and punish the bad (Lewsey) to create the right type of team. All leadership books will discuss this point and references to it can be found in "The Prince" and"The Art of War". This was something Andy Robinson failed to do. How often did one of the players have a crap game yet still get picked the next time around (I don't want to mention names), but Andy Robinson definitely had his favourites. More on this after the 6 Nations were I will compare Aston to Robinson style of leadership and its role in strategy.

From Lewseys removal Cueto has been brought in to play at Full back. I find this strange, Lewsey was axed as he played the full back role like a winger, so he swaps one winger with another winger at full back!!!!!! Robinson is the natural full back for his club, allowing Cuteo or Lewsey to play in their natural position on the wing.
For Wales "Captain Crap" is out and James Hook looks to replace him at fly half. Is it just me or does James Hook look like Dean Gaffney?????

Some think this may actually help Wales. Giving Jones the title "Captain Crap" won't help and it gives him a tag of bad omen. Wales will be desperate to avoid the White wash and will give them extra fight on the day. Plus if there is a chance England could win the 6 Nations it will intensive this energy. The Welsh forwards found it difficult to compete against the other 6 nations and in the last 20 minutes are normally worn out leaving the hair bear bunch to prop things up. Wales have been a bit unlucky this year with decision going against them, but still have the players in the backs to cause serious damage. The are gaining ground and it won't surprise anyone for them to put in their best performance against the English. For Wales to win they need the ball in their backs to stand a chance. It will be interesting seeing the Welsh back line up against the new and improve English back line. Strettle put in some ferocious tackles against the French, so it will prove to be an interesting contest.

I believe England will win. Some of this is due to my rose tinted specs, but also they have the form and confidence going into this last game. England squad still need time to gel properly too reach their full potential. The new forwards will look to dominate the game and the new English back line will enjoy a run at the Welsh. The Welsh back line is an attacking force, but in defense they are weak. Like wise the English back line has shown against France they can defend well and they prevented any tries from the French attack, which no one else has done this 6 nations.

If England can get a few earlier scores on Wales then the Welsh team may crumble knowing that they are heading to a white wash and wishing they could get off the pitch as soon as possible. However, if Wales get the early score using the extra energy of avoiding the white wash to England, we could be in for a good fight. I think however, England would still win the game in the last twenty minutes. This appears to be the time when the Welsh slow down and their opponents take full advantage.


Anonymous said...

hi heres a link to one of the oldest rugby medals

dave dalton

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