Wednesday, 14 December 2011
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.
Posted by P.A.Ross at 16:01