5 Reasons England will beat the Wallabies - Green and Gold Rugby
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5 Reasons England will beat the Wallabies

5 Reasons England will beat the Wallabies

It’s Test week! And what a belter of a match we have in store for us.

In one corner we have England, Six Nations Champions and traditional rivals. In the other we have the Wallabies, World Cup runners-up with plenty to prove. Over the next three weeks we will have a smorgasboard of top-class rugby, and at Green & Gold Rugby we are ready to fire.

To start us off, we’ve enlisted Englishman Paul Bains to fly the flag for the visitors, and give us the reasons he thinks the English Rose will hold the Cook Cup aloft in Sydney at the end of the series. Paul is the man behind www.DrivingMaul.com, and the best place to get in touch with him is on Twitter. He runs the weekly #RugbyChat from @DrivingMaul every Tuesday 6pm Sydney time.

Tomorrow I will come in swinging for the Wallabies, and give my five reasons why Cheik will triumph over Eddie and the English.

But to kick us off, here are Paul’s reasons England will beat the Wallabies:

 

Strength of the front five

Maro Itoje - second row dynamo

Maro Itoje – second row dynamo

Eddie has brought England back to its traditional strengths. At the Rugby World Cup England’s scrum went backwards but that was an aberration due to the squad falling apart. Joe Marler is taking the summer off, but England have discovered four world class locks who are not only solid at the set piece but also dynamic around the park. England should have at least parity at scrum time but it’s the lineout where they will be looking to attack the opposition throw in. Aussie fans high on their Twickenham victory will be bought back to earth as we establish our set piece dominance once again.

The mystery midfield

When Eddie took over there were two main positional questions – the back row and the centre combination. We still have no idea what centre combination Eddie will choose. That means Australia can’t prepare for what Eddie is going to throw at them. I can think of 7 realistic starting combinations that all bring something different. We all obviously thought Manu Tuilagi would start, but his injury opens up opportunities for a number of talented youngsters. Will Eddie bring in Te’o as a like-for-like replacement or play either Owen Farrell or Henry Slade at 12 as the second playmaker? Outside them will we see Jonathan Joseph hold onto his shirt or Elliot Daly or Slade come in to offer something different? Those are just the realistic combinations with Luther Burrell offering a left-field option.


Youth with a winning edge

Stuart Lancaster and now Eddie have brought in a lot of young players. These players have been playing together for years at England age group levels. Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Clifford, Slade, Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell won the Junior Rugby World Championship together in 2013. So whilst some combinations might look new at test level, they have been developing for years in an environment used to success. And many of these new players were un-tarred by the World Cup failure, bringing a freedom and energy not seen for years in English rugby. Also both Clifford and Itoje captained the the U20s so whilst they appear young they will bring leadership to the team to support captain Dylan Hartley.

 

Anthony Watson - junior prodigy, Test star

Anthony Watson – junior prodigy, Test star

 

Dead-eye Farrell

A lot has been talked about George Ford’s kicking nightmare at Twickenham last weekend, where he slotted just 1/7 against Wales. But he won’t be the first choice kicker. Owen Farrell is possibly the most robotic kicker in world rugby, in the recent 6 Nations he had a kicking percentage of 80%. Sometimes he gets too involved in the agro side of things but that never affects his place kicking. Even if Farrell gets injured then Ford isn’t the only back up with Slade a regular kicker and Daley adding a long range option. It won’t be Johnny Wilkinson-esque accuracy, but England will punish any ill-discipline from Australia, which could be lucrative if a referee decides to police the ruck with a heavy hand.


Eddie Jones: media warrior

Already Eddie has come out talking about his bags getting searched at customs. This was just gold for him, and he has the English press eating out of his hand at the moment. One of the problems for England at the Rugby World Cup was getting distracted by social media and the press. Eddie gives such easy and great headlines that the press just lap it up – it makes their job so easy. Eddie will be dictating the headlines, dictating the stories, and dictating the narrative of the tour, which means less public in-fightin, less soundbites from bitter ex-players, and we can all enjoy the rugby.


Taking heat off the players, who are ready to fire

Taking heat off the players, who are ready to fire

What do you think – is he on the money? Can the Poms really win the series?
  • muffy

    The only bit that has me concerned is the youth bit. With youth comes enthusiasm and I think they will play with a pace that may catch the WBs and their fans by surprise.

    There is a bit of talk this side (not from the deathly silent WBs camp) that the poms will be caught off guard at first by the pace of our game.

    Not sure that one is going to play out that way.

    I think WBs would be smart to play a tight game at first, then put the foot on the gas.

    • It would be an interesting move for the dodgers to try to play a fast running game.

      They undoubtedly have the athletes, but they simply never play that style, while the Wallaby players play it week in and week out. Our systems, fitness balance and soft tissue conditioning are all optimised for fast play on hard grounds. Theirs aren’t.

      They’d be carrying off their wounded in their own hamstrings.

    • Driving Maul

      I’m fully expecting to see plenty of the niggle that the Tahs brought the other week rather than fast expansive rugby at least in the first test

  • Shannon

    The line out to me is the only upside England have in the Wallabies and on our own ball we can just play quick like the all blacks tend to do when they have lost a few on the night, u also think simmons is good enough to win n his own ball most of the time is Moore is on target. The midfield is a moot poiby as the wallabies are the same no one know who is going to be picked there. Should Eddie play teo we will play a rush defence pressuring him with his offloads could be very beneficial in turnover ball and that is where I beleive the Wallabies will hurt England. In a nutshell Wallavies too fast, too fit and too skill full

    • PiratesRugby

      All Blacks killed the WBs in the RWC final by kicking for touch and exposing the weakness of our line out. Expect the same from the poms.
      Even with Phipps and Folwy as our halves, the WBs are more potent in attack. It will take Eddie Jones more that one season to teach poms to attack like Aussies.
      I think Aussie scrummaging is not that bad. And the test in Melbourne won’t allow a full on scrum battle because the surface is so poor this year.
      I don’t see the WBs slamming the poms like in the RWC but at home we are still favourites.
      Mind you, the favourite doesn’t always win the Melbourne Cup!

      • Keith Butler

        Think you right. We were pretty shite at the RWC and got our arses handed to us by the Aussie’s. I hope and expect a much better performance this time round but for your guys to win the series 2-1. I have my tickets for the Melbourne test and will be cheering the boys along. Hope the pitch hold up.

      • RednWhite

        It’s the AB’s attacking he want’s to teach them. Not the WB’s.

      • I’m not sure he wants England “to attack like the Wallabies”.

        He’s said quite openly that he wants England to go back to the power game.

      • Driving Maul

        I think you’ll see that the English clubs have been playing with more pace and skill, that will benefit the national side so Eddie doesn’t have to so as much work in that area.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Agree on the set piece, although our front row is better than it has been in the past and the S15 teams are proving that this isn’t a weakness any more. Not so sure on the lineouts as Moore hits his target most of the time and I’d see parity there more than anything. I think the backline will tear them apart and they will struggle to keep up. As far as motor mouth Jones being a positive I’ll back Cheika to take anything he says and use it to motivate the boys rather than see it disrupting their game. The one thing I think England have going for them is that they will come out and be in the face of the Wallabies doing that typical dirty off the ball crap to try and wind up the players and take them off their game plan. They either need to ignore it, or get straight back and have a good scrap to settle things down early. If they let it drag on or try and fight it then it’ll play straight into the English hands.

    • Keith Butler

      Name me any team international, super 18, NH premiership that do not do dirty off the ball crap and wind up opposition players. We see it every week.

      • MM

        Aussies don’t. Its the backbone of the pommy game, off the ball niggle.

        • Keith Butler

          You must be WUMing. So no shirt pulling, grabbing hold of players legs to stop them getting up (Hoopers very good at that one) etc etc. I watch super rugby every week and it happens a regular as clock work.

        • MM

          Hooper might look like he’s holding onto people’s legs but the reality is that they’re standing on his hand or fingers to stop him getting up. Amazed he hasn’t sunk his teeth in but he’s too clean.

    • Driving Maul

      did you watch the Tahs the other weekend? They loved the niggle

    • Joy

      Cheika outgun the motor mouth! He is too fat and too bald.

  • Julian Manieson

    Getting a bit of deja vu from the World Cup re. front row subs, but is Toby Smith going to be up to scrummaging at Tighthead? He’s been playing Loosie for the Rebels all year.
    I’m assuming that’s his role because otherwise we literally only have Holmes at the minute (Kepu is Injured/In France?)
    God I wish Paul Alo Emile or Tom Longbottom had stayed. Or that Dan Palmer hadn’t decided to put his future first and get a degree.
    Sam Talakai might want to stay fit in Bali…
    *sigh*

    • Kepu is back and uninjured.

  • MM

    What are the odds on Hartley getting red carded in the first test and sent home. No Pooper please………

    • Keith Butler

      Hartley kept a clean sheet throughout the 6Ns, well disciplined, led well, strong scrum and accurate lineout throwing. His back up, George, is probably a better all round hooker and would be no 1 if Hartley wasn’t captain. Chances of him being red carded in the first test zero.

      • MM

        Hartley will go, the Australian press are in on it. As well as influencing customs and border protection we have the ear of the refs. Red carded 20 minutes into the first half for stomping followed up with a head butt to the ref. Won’t be able to help himself.

        • Keith Butler

          You forgot biting and manslaughter.

    • Driving Maul

      He’s calmed down and Eddie will have his head in the right place, but it’s always a risk

  • Dud Roodt

    I feel like the scrum will be where this one is won or lost. The Poms are going to be gunning to attack and I just hope we aren’t pinning our success on the fact we dominated at RWC. It’s an area that is just all down to the discretion of the ref, and luckily we had discussed Marler’s boring in ad nauseam to the point Poite couldn’t ignore it. Will we get that opportunity again? And now with Hartley at hooker who is exponentially better at scrum time than Youngs

  • Bay35Pablo

    Locks don’t win scrums they push them.
    Play our game at centres not theirs.
    Fresh meat to bully.
    Score more tries so penalties don’t matter.
    Eddie doesn’t win the games talking but it sure gets column inches.

  • onlinesideline

    I would have realllly liked to have seen Leroy Housten picked in 23 and come on as bulldozer straight up the middle around 65th min .Palu just does not do it for me…these days that is.

    • Haz

      No you don’t.

      Houston is a very average 8. Certainly not one of the better ones in the prem and would easily be dealt with.

  • PiratesRugby

    I hope you’re right but leaving Skelton and Mumm in the squad doesn’t raise the quality of our life be out. Or scrum for that matter.

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Can't write, can't play. Tahs and Wallabies.

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