RWC Update: England v Fiji - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby World Cup

RWC Update: England v Fiji

RWC Update: England v Fiji

VIBE

The match began with both sides clearly showing the nerves after an opening ceremoney that managed to whip the home crowd into an absolute frenzy. England seemed to adjust earlier, however Fiji soon settled and began to challenge the Fijian through a strong scrum and hard running.

SCORE

England 35

Tries: Mike Brown 2, Billy Vunipola. Penlaty Try
Conversions: Owen Farrell 2, George Ford
Penalties: George Ford 2, Owen Farrell

Fiji 11

Tries: Nemani Nadolo
Penalties: Nemani Nadolo, Ben Volavola

(18-8 to England at half time)

INCIDENTS OF NOTE

The first match of a RWC can usually give an indication as to the overall feel of the tournament. On this occasion it seemed dominated by two factors. The TMO and dodgy driving mauls. TMO Shaun Veldsman was perhaps the biggest influence on this match in the first half, which is exactly what we don’t want. Meanwhile the challenges around the driving maul (how to stop them legally and how to actualy do them legally) remain and was particularly evident in the first try of the tournament – a penalty try to England.

FEAST YOUR EYES

Closing in on the half hour mark, and with England seemingly in control, the Fijian scrumhalf Nikola Matawalu made a stunning break from a scrum 60m out. He looked to have scored a brilliant try only for the TMO to rule he’d dropped it over the line. But Fiji were in soon after thanks to the a pinpoint Ben Volavola cross field kick and a wonderful take for the try by Nemani Nadolo.

SHOULD I BOTHER WATCHING IT?

Of course you should. It’s the openning game of the RWC and both teams are in the pool. As much as we hate watching England, it’s always great to watch this Fijian team on the field. It’s also worth watching for the sublime performance by English fullback, Mike Brown, who was the Man of the Match. Nadalo and Matawalu were pretty great too. Get into it.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

(Courtesy of World Rugby)

  • Canuckruck

    Fiji can’t expect to win when they consistently break the gain line, run a few phases, and then kick possession away inside the England half

  • Officer McNulty

    who thinks that england maul is legal It looks like two separate pods score a try.
    Like they been watching the Hayne Plane

  • Simon

    Disappointing for us that the Poms got that last try after the siren. I thought Fiji were going to prevent the bonus point, but they were out on their feet and just making too many mistakes.
    Still, England did not look particularly dangerous there. If they bring that game to the Wallabies match, we might be in with a good chance.

  • Mats

    Aus will have as good line speed but better structure and fitness plus a better scrum. I think Aus will win convincingly v England. The poms cracked quite a bit there and if not for volavola missing touch, Fiji has the ball 10 out and 7 down with momentum.

  • tortfeaser

    Matawalu’s incessant kicking and the TMO’s interventions killed this game. But for the Wallabies surely the Fijian strength in the set piece has to be a focus. It wasn’t for England and that nearly cost them.

  • onlinesideline

    Sam Burgess is going to be a killer offloader in union. He’s a try a match at least.

    • Nutta

      We’ll see. He did offer some midfield momentum that was clearly lacking from the other guy. However he was a fair bit of a headless chook out there at times and it was only against a very loose, unstructured opponent

      • Marcus Pontmercy

        He bought nadolo’s dummy as part of his first action of the game

        • Avid

          I’d pay good money for Nadolos dummy.

  • Homer j

    The scrums were a disgrace. Joe Marler starts wide, look at the overhead shots, and bores straight in with help from the flanker. He also constantly tries to collapse by pulling down on his bind. Peyper and the touchies let him do anything he wanted. He should have been penalised for hinging leading to a collapse about 4 times.
    Unfortunately for the wallabies Poite will let him do it too.

    • onlinesideline

      exactly, the fji scrum reminded me of us 2 years ago – naive. Its ridiculous this is still not sited. Are coaches allowed to have a chat with ref legally before a match ?
      I once read Deans did this. Hope Cheika does.

    • Bruce Lyle

      I’m going to have to check the book on what a maul is as well as I thought you had to be bound onto a opposing player

      • Nutta

        Correctumundo. The English try in the 1st half off the drive was obstruction for that reason. The Fiji 9 attacked the English ball carrier – as entitled to do if there is no maul – and got incorrectly binned. Ridiculous.

        • Avid

          3 man trucks – almost but not quite a flying wedge.
          Interesting 3 man single-file set up behind Engs scrums.

          We’ll see plenty more interesting ‘winged-keels’ to challenge the refs.

          I agree there’s already too much blind adjudication.
          Since Peyper let so much go, I’m happy when touchies do bring infringements to refs notice.
          I just cant get to grips with the limited TMO decisions, ie when an infringements is ‘discovered’ in replays outside of the refs specific request.

        • Xaviera

          According to the TMO Protocol, the TMO has that power. The call on the Fiji 9 try, whilst annoying, was correct not only in fact, but in process. The surprising thing was that Jaco blew that try so quickly. I remember thinking in real time that he was behind and unsighted, so why didn’t he at least look at his ARs. Pity, because it deserved a try.

      • Xaviera

        Yep – a player from each team bound onto the ball carrier who is on his feet. That’s how they START – it’s the ending that is causing consternation. Swimming backwards certainly ends a maul and creates obstruction.

        • Avid

          The judiciary system is getting seriously tested. Which rule covers an uncontested driving maul, and where theres no tackler?

          McCaws match winning illegal try v SA this year was ‘unseen’, and unfortunately not called back. Maybe it was too line-ball for the system, but refs, ARs and TMOs must utilise video replays, and have the guts to reverse crucial decisions (as unfortunate for Fiji).

    • Nutta

      It was like watching replays of years gone by. Completely fkn illegal, completely fkn repeated and completely fkn tolerated. Farcical. So where was Mr Enthusiastic TMO on THAT repeated, dangerous play?

  • JKB

    Fiji missed 4 kicks at goal. Their scrum held up ok. They made sooooo many weak mistakes and were still in it with 20 to go.

    Wallabies to crush England and I’ll be there to see it.

    • Duncher

      Geezus man

    • No so PC Joy

      Me too and I’ll smash Poite with my handbag if he referees like that.

  • Davo

    I would appreciate further insights from someone who saw the whole game, but from the highlights package it appears England’s first try should have actually been a penalty to Fiji. Instead England got a penalty try with a Fijian yellow card. Then England’s second try was scored while Fiji was a man down from the previous incorrect decision. 14 early points to England from Peyper being intimidated by the crowd?

    • harrij08

      First try was from a maul; therefore, flip a coin…

    • Nutta

      Pretty much spot-on summary.

  • Nutta

    My Match Review guys.

    Warning though – it is a rant:

    What tragic, parochial and disingenuous behaviour by the English and how it influenced the refereeing of the game

    1st half alone:

    * Despite repeated rewind and rewatch I find NO valid reason for the 10min yellow card on the Fiji 9. In-fact following the disengage of the maul that found the English pack in the clear, to continue the maul formation is actually English obstruction and the 9 was actually attacking the ball carrier. So why was an over-zealous, sycophantic TMO not into reporting that obstruction leading to a try as enthusiastically as he reported everything else?

    * The first 3pts came via such an obvious case of English LH boring at the scrum that even my wife saw it and she’s never packed a scrum in her life. And it was tolerated all bloody game and resulted in 4 pro-English penalties. Where was Mr Hawke-Eye for that repeated dangerous play?

    * The midfield penalty leading to the English try for the “no arm cleanout” from Fiji 4 somehow found amongst the maelstrom by a clearly over excited TMO was matched by at least 6 equivalents from English that weren’t called or subject to 5 replays on big-screen to harness the clear crowd influence over the referee

    * The dozen replays of the Fiji 9’s “try” until they found a reason to not award it and the 6 replays of Nandolo’s try TRYING to find a reason to not award it vs the instantaneous no-questions-asked awarding of English trys

    * The CONTINUOUS offside play by English backs that wasn’t called

    * The CONTINUOUS tolerance of English not rolling away from the tackle when Fiji made the red zone

    * The taking out of the Fijian kick-off catcher in the air after Nadolo’s 1st penalty? So the Fijians pick a guy up in a tackle, and put him down soft but yet then have a TMO agitating for a card but fortunately “only” get penalised and lectured but English can flip a Fijian catcher in the air for nowt? Just play on? WTF?!?!?

    * The last penalty to close the half was such a clear case of Fiji winning crucial turn-over ball in a broken-field situation but NOOOO WE CAN’T ALLOW THAT and Law 6A4A was applied to find a penalty for England.

    NEED I GO ON…?

    I didn’t bother continuing the tally for the 2nd half as the trend was clearly set.

    However the most disappointing aspect for me was pig-ignorant contempt of the Fijian dance at the start. Not even content to have the grounds-marshals CLEARLY rush them along, the crowd couldn’t even contain itself to pay a little attention and have a modicum of civility to enjoy the spectacle but instead drown it out with drunken yobbo middle-aged-fat-man-beer-swilling-bawling instead. This from a country who puts on display screens “Respect the kicker” and calls for silence during shots at goal at every other test match? This wasn’t the Mighty All Blacks with a Haka, this was lil’old Fiji in all their poor-man glory. And English administrators, English crowds and English piggery did all they could to make it as unfair a contest as they possibly could – all from the land who see fit to lecture the world on gentlemanly behaviour and good-sportsmanship.

    Every now and again I reflect on why I despise the English and chip myself a little. Then something like today happens and I remember why. Well done England. How proud you must feel with all your resources and elevation to treat such an opponent like that. I haven’t stopped humming “Come Out Ye Black & Tan’s” all morning.

    • Parker

      Well said Nutta. At least I’m pretty sure the English players will have a very hollow feeling knowing that with all that unfair advantage heaped on top of the ridiculous schedule Fiji faces which prevented them from emptying their bench in the second half, with all of that, England was seriously threatened at times, had their scrum decimated on a few occasions and were frequently gun shy of the big hits being put on them. They also were turned over often. England has got to be very worried in the core of their prejudiced beings which are steeped in the unearned privilege born of the double standard. I can’t wait to see them beaten. Having said that, I respect their fullback Brown, who doesn’t need a tilted playing field to stand out. His talent is above it.

      • Nutta

        Fair comment on Brown. Good footballer.

        • Xaviera

          Brown’s stats were Folau-esque. He will need to be shutdown.

      • dane

        He was their only good player today

        • Relance

          Bit harsch on Tom Wood, who apart from the odd strangulation was about the only one to give them the penetration they were lacking in the forwards (at least until the subs came on).

        • Parker

          Wood required the field tilted in his favour to prosper.

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      I feel your pain. And I too question myself as to why I’m constantly hoping for an England loss.

      As I often do watching Rugby, I have those ‘WTF’ moments when a Ref goes the polar opposite to what I saw. I usually opt to put it down to my ignorance and Referee interpretation, as a way of keeping my sanity.
      In the end I thought Fiji’s lack of accuracy with the boot came back to bite them. Also failing to bring Nadolo into the plays, as he was constantly bending the line, getting off loads and seemed to be the go to man.

      Question please – an anyone make sense of Fiji being considered the home team and therefore getting to wear their strip?

      • Nutta

        My understanding is that the host nation always plays in the opener but as the away team. It has always been so I think.

        • m0b1us

          I think it’s a coin toss actually.

      • the ardent b’stard

        There isn’t a geographic home side at RWC.
        Merely a host.
        Home side decided is by toss, Fiji were in the Twickers home dressing room too.

        • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

          Ahhhh I see. Thanks Gents.

        • Nick

          So they kit up after the toss?

        • nickod

          The toss was done 2 or three weeks ago apparently

        • Nick

          What a disgrace! It’s not a game without a coin toss at the start. Haha.

        • Xaviera

          There was also a coin toss at the start, to determine the usual. Jaco tossed it, Fiji called and won.

        • Nick

          The circle is complete. I feel whole again.

    • Pedro

      I think many people share your sentiments. The half back’s disallowed try was initially awarded but when it was shown on the big screen they decided to have a look at it. Not something you see very often.

      I’ll tack on a couple of things I noticed from the second half. During the lead up to the second last try one of the England players appeared to be held but got up and played on. There was also an incident around that time where a English player batted a ball away while lying on the ground which I’m pretty sure is illegal.

    • JJJ

      As for the TMO, I have no doubt that the Twickenham TV crew kept his screens full of exactly the replays the English team would want and empty of all else. He probably walked out of the room after the match bewildered at how England lost by so little and how Fiji escaped jail time given their wanton slaughter of babies and nuns.

    • Nick

      I hope that was therapeutic for you. Let’s just hope this was a one-off and doesn’t set the reffing standard.

    • Antony

      Re: the maul point, isn’t it still a maul if there is initial contact (which there was in that case) and then that contact ends? My understanding is, once the maul has been set-up, you can’t just step back and cause the team in possession to be guilty of obstruction. I am, however, a back.

      • Nutta

        For there to be a maul there must be an opponent. Otherwise no maul. Once in open country you cannot run downfield as a flying wedge. But even if the ref disagrees with that there were two times the ball carrier was not bound. That also means no more maul and the 9 was entitled to attack the carrier. And when the carrier then rejoins the players in-front again it’s obstruction via offside. Either way it’s a Fiji penalty and sure as eggs break the 9 deserves no card.

        • Who?

          Antony’s right – once a maul is created, it continues until one of the following happens:
          – The ball hits the ground,
          – The ball (or ball carrier) leaves the maul,
          – The ball is on or over the tryline,
          – The maul stops moving, or
          – The maul hits the ground and the ball is unplayable.
          So, technically, provided the ball carrier remained bound at all times, then yes, it’s fine for a couple of maulers including the ball carrier to spit out the side of the maul, detach from the defenders, and continue as the same maul. That’s the way it’s been reffed for years.
          HOWEVER, if, as you’ve cited, the ball carrier detaches, then reattaching is clear obstruction, truck and trailer.

        • Avid

          When a driving maul becomes unopposed, it becomes illegal obstruction as SA found out earlier this year when their oppo unbound and legally tackled the ball carrier.

        • Who?

          Law 17.4 (f)
          When players of the team who are not in possession of the ball in the maul voluntarily leave the maul such that there are no players of that team left in the maul, the maul may continue and there are two offside lines. The offside line for the team in possession runs through the hindmost foot of the hindmost player in the maul and for the team not in possession it is a line that runs through the foremost foot of the foremost player of the team in possession at the maul.
          If a team manages to roll a maul such that the foremost foot of the foremost player from the ball carrier is in fact the front of the maul, and then the maul rolls/shears off players who are now pushing from the side, that is, effectively, players leaving voluntarily, and the maul continues. Which is why you hear refs calling, “Same maul.”
          If it’s a driving maul, and the front shears off with people BEHIND stepping sideways, then yes, you can have truck and trailer, but when there’s any hint of the maul rolling – i.e. the front maulers peel to the side to allow the driving maul to continue forging ahead – then it’s rarely enforced as anything other than the same maul.

        • Avid

          Thanks for that. Which rule covers an uncontested driving maul, and where theres no tackler – like these …

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz_E5PJANik

        • Who?

          Easy. You didn’t show a maul.
          Law 17 – Definitions:
          A maul begins when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball carrier’s team mates bind on the ball carrier. A maul therefore consists, when it begins, of at least three players, all on their feet: the ball carrier and one player from each team. All players involved must be caught in or bound to the maul and must be on their feet and moving towards a goal line. Open play has ended.
          So, to clarify, if there’s no tackler, there’s no maul formed, and therefore what you showed above (not uniquely – it’s been a well used tactic over the past while, think Japan used it yesterday) is not a maul but is a bunch of blokes standing between the ball carrier and the defenders. Which makes it a clear obstruction.

        • Avid

          Yep, if formed uncontested and moved forward into contact its just a flying wedge.

        • Who?

          Though you never see flying wedges and cavalry charges penalized anymore… They only seem to penalize for obstruction.

        • Avid

          Yet they allow obstruction dummy runners to continue interferance into defensive lines in front of the ball carrier. The Brumbies capitalised on this league play under Eddie Jones. I know its allowed, but should be considered as cynical blocking of defenses.

        • Who?

          I don’t mind them running into the line, as long as they go through the line with separation from the ball carrier. They can’t stand in the defensive line after they’ve run their line, that’s obstruction. They can’t stand in front of the line, either – they must be on the other side of the line to the ball carrier.
          England are the worst for it… And they’re never penalized. But that just follows the trend. The trend of not penalizing obstruction. Even the maul obstructions are under penalized. But the point was that the only penalty every blown – if it’s blown – for a maul formed without the other team engaging – is obstruction, not the flying wedge or cavalry charge.

        • Nutta

          It has been really interesting to watch the Japys “launch” their team mates this year. Say for instance the 9 passes left to a crash runner. The Crasher will have an Assistant on his immediate left. The Assistant will stand marginally in-front of the Crasher, grab the Crasher with one hand behind the neck and the other on his arse, charge forward with him and just prior to contact he will launch him into the tackler. Sometimes they let go, usually they don’t and follow through behind. Not one ref has called them on it. If they get away with it again this weekend vs the AB’s I’m coaching it next year.

        • Who?

          Wow – that’s a thread revival! I mention Cavalry Charges elsewhere, and this gets dug up!
          I really can’t figure out what the difference between the Boks’ tactics and the definition of Flying Wedge is. I’d love a high level ref to explain to me why it’s allowed, why it’s not dangerous anymore. Maybe it’s because players are so much bigger and stronger now, that it’s less dangerous?!
          I will mention, I had a ref say recently to me that Rugby’s a game played on your feet. At the local level… Implying that it’s not played that way at the elite level.

    • galumay

      Nutta, I woke up this morning with the intention of coming and having a rant about the game. Thanks for saving me the effort, you have articulated just about every point I was going to make!

      My only question is, when are the officials going to do something about the bias that the local TV producers introduce into the game? It cant be that hard, they could just apoint one independent person resonsible for on ground replays. The TV guys can do what they like with what goes to air.

      • Xaviera

        According to the commentators, a separate director now sits with the TMO so the TMO can call for the footage he wants, at his leisure. Still room for shenanigans, but not as much.

    • Froggy

      Nutta,
      Agree with most of what you say but: Rule 17.4 (f) ‘When players of the team not in possession of the ball in the maul voluntarily leave the maul such that there are no players of that team left in the maul the maul may continue and there are two offside lines etc’ so the continuing maul is, in fact, legal.
      On the other hand Rule 17.2 (b) ‘A player must be caught in or bound to a maul, and just alongside it’ and Rule 17.2 (c) ‘Placing a hand on another player in a maul does not constitute binding’

      • Froggy

        I mean ‘not just alongside it’

        • Nutta

          If you’re fortunate enough to have it recorded, go have a look how the English “face” of the maul slides off towards the goalposts and the tail splits off to the left then straightens. Fiji didn’t disengage. England set a screen that peeled off. That’s obstruction. Then they sent a flying wedge down field.

        • Xaviera

          Nutta – love your work. The mauls were all over the shop like a mad woman’s breakfast. I replayed the yellow card/maul try repeatedly, and still struggled to work out what was happening, so no chance for Jaco in real time, as there was so much happening, and with Berry “assisting” on one side, less than helpful (you would be correct in thinking I don’t rate Berry – much talk about the paucity of Australian referees, yet Berry gets plenty of gigs – by that standard we should have half a dozen at his level, but that’s a rant for another day).

          Personally, the ball carrier swimming rearwards is a pet hate (and illegal) and there was talk of a crackdown on that during 2015, but nothing happened. All blow, no show. Disappointing.

          Finally – tend to my OCD preciousness – they are Laws, not rules…. :)

        • Nutta

          Yes I remember the Papal Declaration about the Baller going backwards and avoiding contact. The Baller was at best to remain stationary and let the maul flow around/past him. It’s the same principle as having a prop retire to artificially create a wheel in the scrum. It’s gutless and poor technique in my opinion. Sounding like an old man but in my day in the maul we all bound in & drove & we smuggled the ball back between the players. No passengers. But we also wore hard toed ankle high boots and had proper lineouts with none of this lifting cheatery either!

    • Nipper

      Testify, brother. Agreed on most counts.

    • Marlins Tragic

      Nutta, you took the words right outta my mouth on all these points, particularly around the crowd behaviour towards the Fijians war cry, loved your last reference the black n tans.

  • Nick

    Just watched the driving maul try … what a disgrace. Not saying Fiji deserved to win but that was pretty pathetic. How the near side linesman and ref missed the ball carrier unbinding is beyond me. Players forming their own mini-maul and taking out Fijian’s was also interesting.

  • Marcus Pontmercy

    Additional stat here. Fiji made 11 turnovers against england sure hope cheika takes note of that stat

    • jamie

      Pooper will go nuts

      • Pedro

        Call me crazy, but if it worked against the all blacks it might just work against the poms.

        • jamie

          I don’t think it matters what the opposition does or who the opposition is, such is the quality of Hooper and Pocock

  • jamie

    I actually questioned when I saw the team sheets why Nadolo wasn’t at 12, which he has been for Fiji on numerous occasions. As he is undoubtedly their best player, closely followed by their 9 (all their names are similar and complex, sorry) I thought having him at 12 where he’s much closer to the action would’ve been the logical step. Maybe a change will be seen for our game

  • Aron

    I went to the Telegraph (English) website and left a rant. It’s free btw and utilises Disqus.
    Generally the comments there were that the game was scrappy – and backslapping in general.
    The only two comments I could find regarding the refereeing was 1) perhaps too much TMO and 2) The TMO favoured the Fijians in this game!! (not disputed)

  • Who?

    A few of the reffing calls were bad, but I don’t blame Jaco for it alone. Everyone has one bad call a game. But Veldsman was far too self-important. The only time I was happy with his intervention was for the high grapple by England’s 6 at the maul in the second half, as Peyper had incorrectly penalized Fiji for entry – the bloke had come right through the middle.

    The Penalty Try should’ve been reviewed for more than just where the player came from. The Fiji 9’s no-try was only called because the supposedly independent tv dorector went hunting for angles – something they didn’t do for the Poms’ 3rd try, when the winger stood up and played on despite being tackled and held.

    Think that England still would’ve won, but just a bit disappointing that the English crowd and ground screen director had such an impact on the game.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention… NEIN!!! Why did I have to listen to the patronizing and biased Pomgolian feed?!?! Wish there’d been an independent commentary… Why couldn’t we have the Kiwi feed, or the Saffa feed, or the Irish feed? Would’ve been so much better… Better than having to deal with the whinging about Wood being held back when the Fijian 9 scored his no-try, when the reality was he should’ve been pinged for being completely unbound from the scrum!

    • Xaviera

      Foxtel – all Australian commentary. Even if for only six weeks, worth every cent.

      • Who?

        There’s plenty out there who can’t stand them, either… I’d rather have Bray any day of the week. Even if he had Burkey with him (not a fan of his commentary)…
        Pretty cool that Greegs got to introduce the Japanese game on ITV with Pienaar today. The SA rep, and the Eddie Jones rep.

        • Xaviera

          Nicely put. Did GG put his Japanese to good use too?

          Clarkie, Marto and Kafe called Eng v Fiji, and they played it pretty straight. They were suitably excitable, and certainly linked various players to their Australian roots (from both teams!), but their call was balanced, which sounds a whole lot better than what you heard. Sometimes, you just don’t realise how good things are until you see the alternative.

        • Who?

          I agree – the Aussies aren’t the worst out there (unless you’re not an Aussie!). Just would’ve preferred something different.
          Sadly, no Japanese from GG, though the MC (can’t remember his name – had a suitably plummy accent) did point out his time in Japan. And Shane Williams was in the commentary box, talking up the Japanese players. It was good coverage – because it was pretty even handed and definitely neutral.

  • Gus

    Not a great game for the English but a couple of their big players stood up and made the difference. Behind all the smiles and back slapping though they must be concerned. Breakdown – beaten, attack often rattled by Fijian line speed until fitness showed, a lack of dominant defence (Fiji let themselves down in attack) and a poor scrum only allowed to survive by selective refereeing. Fiji coach cam in final minutes said it all – the one that got away. The Welsh will be believing after that display as should we.

    • Parker

      I doubt whether England is going to be as weak in subsequent games as they were in this, but they have a lot of weakness to overcome and I equally doubt they will overcome all of it. Can’t wait to see the Wobs rub England’s noses in it, shitty refereeing notwithstanding.

    • Nutta

      Let them slap their own backs as hard as they want. Their scrum was shit – illegal boring notwithstanding- their lineout was flat, their centres were as creative as Russian corruption and their backrow were as threatening as my chickens. Their only high points were the winger and the full back

  • Graeme

    Are we seriously criticizing the TMO for making a correct decision? We are Green and Gold rugby, not South Africa FFS!

    • Davo

      I think the TMO criticisim is not directed at his accuracy, but his selectivity. He seemed to mainly get involved in incidents where there was potential English upside. (No doubt prompted by the English crowd and English replay controller). There were plenty of incidents where the Fijians would have benefited from his active involvement too, but he was silent.

  • Graeme

    There seems to be lots of controversy over the English try from the maul. As much as I hate the English I can’t see how it is controversial. The four players who separated from the maul were all well behind the player with the ball. Other than a pedantic penalization of Fiji for tackling a (4) player(s) without the ball, everything seemed entirely legal.

  • subfreq

    Two things I think The Aussies will have taken note of.

    The Fijian’s owned the breakdown and turned the ball over at will. The Pooper will be pleased.

    In the fine tradition of English front rows Joe Marler drives in at a 45 degree angle as soon as the ball is played in by the 9. This is something Stephen Moore and the coaches should be highlighting to the REF prior to and during the game.

  • Canuckruck

    And I hope for the Wallabies sake that Fiji doesn’t learn from this

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The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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