England Win!

20 06 2010

Unfortunately we were unable to watch any of the rugby yesterday due to other commitments, and typically, just when we were thinking perhaps it doesn’t matter considering the state of northern hemisphere rugby, England win and Scotland complete a series triumph in Argentina. True Italy and Wales lost convincingly to the Springboks and New Zealand respectively, yet finally we have some positives.

We won’t comment on the games for obvious reasons but reading the reports it seems that the two young guns, Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs were brilliant, and that Croft finally played something like he did for the Lions last year. We have been advocating the talents of these three right from the birth of this website last December and so it is pleasing to see that they are finally being given their head and, above all, justifying their selections in some style.

Here at the Compulsive Hooker we have been waiting for an opportunity to write something positive about the English rugby team for so long – and it is galling that the one game we miss is the game where suddenly the shackles were broken! Whilst we are still not convinced Martin Johnson and his team are the right men for the job; at least they have finally given England fans something positive to dwell on.

What is imperative now is that England win well against the New Zealand Maori on Wednesday and then, coming into the home Autumn tests, prove that this is not a fluke. Anyone getting too excited should remember there is a precedence for a one off good performance under the current regime, with England demolishing France in the 2009 6 Nations and then reverting to type.  However a win is a win, and a win over southern hemisphere opposition away from home is to be treasured in these lean times.

Can anyone reading this who did watch the game possibly comment in a little more detail with regard to the performance of the young England players in the team?




2 responses

20 06 2010

I’m asking for an enquiry, I’m not as yet sure who the inposters were, but almost certain it wasn’t England. If so, where was the montonous hoofing of the ball up field and then hiding behind the set piece? That’ll be the last game for Youngs in a white jersey, I could see Johnno’s nostrils flare with fury as he time and time again threw the ball sharply out the backs, recklessly abandoning years of well used playbook preferences. And dont get me started on Ashton, what was he hoping to acheive running oblique lines? surely he knows he was headed nowhere near the safety inside defence to wrap him up before he did any real damage. Does he honestly expect his pack to chase him all the way out there? It was a ugly display of running rugby, unbecoming of real purists of the game has heralded up north, dont try it again, you looked ridiculous……

20 06 2010
Brian Carpenter

Croft was Croft at something like his best – versatile and athletic in the line-out, a destructive tackler and carrier and never slow to defend his corner in any ‘shenanigans’ (as dear old Bill McLaren might have said). Lawes wasn’t quite so prominent, but carried well at times, and his athletic gifts are obvious.

Youngs, though, made the most difference. Anyone who’s seen him will know about his pace, but his speed of service and ability to recognize when to commit defenders and when to ship the ball out quickly really stood out. Injuries permitting it’s hard to see beyond him as the England scrum-half for at least the next 5-7 years. Danny Care is a very talented player but has always looked a little short at the top level to me (although he’s played in some poorly directed sides), and at the moment I’d expect Joe Simpson to be Youngs’ main challenger.

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