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England have the best nine and ten in Europe – it’s time to rejoice

Umm, I know that folk think we did well to reach the semi but that’s larding it on a bit isn’t i…….ah, some other, less important, sport.

16 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. I broke my oath never to watch third place play-off matches. Idiot!

    May I be the millionth ex-rugby player to suggest that Something Must Be Done about the scrums? Either they are a contest for possession, in which case the ball should be fed straight, or they are a contest for penalties in which case they can be replaced by a coin toss. Or a tug-of-war.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset


    I’ve been arguing for quite some time that offences in the scrum should be free kicks only. Making them penalties is distorting the game. Tightheads are by far the highest paid players and most of the resources and efforts, at least in the English game, goes in to the tight 5.

    Scrums are a way of restarting the game after innocuous offences like knock-ons and as it stands a team can find them selves being marched 40m or conceding 3 points for trying to play an expansive game in poor weather.

  3. So much wrong with the RWC.

    I’ll add my two pennyworth:-

    Defending teams near or inside the 22 commit an offence. Ref signals advantage. Limited space means attacking side either pump up a 50:50 “catch it and either score or go back for the kick”. Otherwise defending team keep infringing, handling illegally, entering from the side, not rolling away etc etc etc AND NOTHiNG HAPPENS (Wales v Fiji being the most egregious example).

    Any further offence by the defence while advantage is being played should be an automatic yellow every time.

  4. Most tries scored by the kick and hope will be close to touch and therefore a tricky conversion.

    I therefore also suggest try’s scored anywhere during an advantage period should be followed by a conversion attempt in front of the posts as per a penalty try.

  5. @BiND

    If ‘most of the resources and efforts, at least in the English game, goes in to the tight 5’, it’s not being spent very wisely!

    Of the three rows of the scrum, the back row is the only one where we have world class players IMO (and even there we don’t have a proper 8, Earl being a converted flanker).

    The highest paid players are not tighthead props, they’re the marquee players, of whom – at the start of the 2022/23 – six were fly halves – Ford, Farrell, Biggar (was, he’s gone), Hastings, Pollard, and Jackson (was, the club’s gone).

    The others are all backs – Piutau, Hogg and Esterhuizen and (I assume) Russell, replacing the only forward, Faletau, at Bath.

    I do agree that tightheads are very important though – but we have problems everywhere, despite this 3rd place.

    In order of importance I think they are: 3, 12, 8 (Earl played well but I’d rather have him a 7 and a big heavy traffic carrier at 8), 13, 1, 15 (Steward too slow), 2 (George coming to the end).

  6. I may be one of the few people on here who loves aggressive forward play and good tactical kicking* – the rest of you might like to consider watching the 13 man code 🙂

    *I love good running rugby, too, but you need to earn the right etc etc

  7. The comments seem overly negative to me, though some things need to change:

    – Having the draw 3 years in advance is ridiculous, though that’s almost bound to change after what happened this time

    – The group stage was too long, reduce to 4 teams next time, with a secondary competition for the minnows

    – Not sure the weather helped in the final stages, bad weather does tend to level teams down

  8. I played tight head only once, in a practice match at school. A fight developed. Horrible bloody position though I dare say hooker is worse.

    We had a chap in our class who would have made a fine tight head – strong as a bloody ox, clever enough to learn quickly, and a filthy temper. But his eyesight was so bad that he wouldn’t play moving ball games. I tried to persuade everyone that we should try to cajole him, if needs be by promising never to pass to him but always to place the ball in his hands. I got nowhere. Pity; the sight of him roaring through opposition packs would have been wonderful.

    The best position that I played a lot is number eight; the best position that I ever played was scrum half (extended club injury crisis).

  9. Considering that England were the only European team to reach the last 4 of the WC, it could easily apply to rugby too.

  10. @Jack C

    They have already announced changes for next RWC, draw will be later but pool round will be extended and a round of 16 added

  11. 6 pools of 4 followed by a “round of 16” then quarters, semis and final. In other words winner and runner up will play 7 games, the same as at present.

    The tournament length will decrease from 7 to 6 weeks (but 7 weekends) as we thankfully lose the bye weeks arising from 5-team groups. This at least is a positive .

    The expansion to 24 teams means 4 more minnows (super-minnows actually as they will be ranked lower than the likes of Chile ffs) who will be humiliated by the tier one nations rather than being allowed to play in a sensible and competitive “second tier” event. One or more 100 point shellackings must be on the cards,.

  12. World Rugby is not FIFA, there are not 200 countries trying to qualify. I never understood why there are 20 teams. 16 is enough. surely with qualification games for all to replace the rather moribund treadmill of 6 nations and Autumn internationals.

  13. This new Nations Cup is a bloody disgrace. It devalues the WC, and pulls up the drawbridge so second tier sides never get to improve by playing top teams. Sod Twickenham, I’m off to watch Belgium v Portugal in February.

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