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Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Monday, March 17, 2008

England and Cipriani come right against Ireland

New England wonderboy Danny Cipriani led England to victory with a well deserved 33-10 win over Ireland on Saturday.

Wilkinson's replacement had a dream game at number ten, scoring 18 points in total, kicking seven out of seven kicks at goal. His all round game play was virtually faultless and he looks a mature player who can take control of a game and the forwards, hard to believe at only 20 years of age.

Wilkinson did come on, at centre as replacement for Toby Flood, to huge cheers from the Twickenham faithful who, despite his run of poor form, still show the loyalty that the great man so richly deserves.

"Playing anywhere on that field will be fantastic and I think my big challenge is the same as every day - find the best of me," said Wilkinson.

"Danny has deserved his go and he took it brilliantly. Every day is a learning experience and I'm at a different angle now watching from the sidelines."

Ireland did score a nice try through Rob Kearney, but it just wasn't enough and without experienced centre pairing O'Driscoll and Darcy, Ireland looked poor once again, and the calls for coach Eddie O'Sullivan's scalp will now be stronger than ever.

The result means England finish second, with Ireland coming in fourth, their worst Championship result since 1999.



  • England finished second... not third.

    By Anonymous Northy, at March 17, 2008 9:11 am  

  • They did finish second, and they did with quite a good game.
    Cipriani was outstanding, unbelievable for a 20-year old.

    I had seen him play for Wasps in the H-Cup, but I was still amazed at the composure he had. Cipriani must now be the long-term 10 for England, with Wilko on the bench.

    I'd prefer guys like Tait, Allen, Brown etc, the young guns to take centre stage now. England must pull a 'Lievremont' of some sorts, to be competitive in 3,5 years.

    By Blogger Sander, at March 17, 2008 9:18 am  

  • Yeah my mistake. I've updated it now, cheers Northy.

    I agree Sander, now is the time to bring in these young guys and build for the future. Clive Woodward, Jake White.. both proven it needs to be done and can work out nicely if you make the correct decisions along the way.

    By Blogger Rugbydump, at March 17, 2008 9:50 am  

  • England did well, but against a poor Ireland and it's not enough to salvage yet another sub-standard 6 Nations (anyone else agree that the Irish were horrible all tournament?)

    Bring on the North vs. South games!

    By Blogger Kerivoula, at March 17, 2008 10:35 am  

  • Good weekend for being a Wasps fan :-D
    Gotta love the commentary on that last try, too. "Hammer. Nail. Coffin."

    By Anonymous Rawling, at March 17, 2008 10:36 am  

  • Kerivoula, you're 100% right! The real test of the England team will be in Auckland and Christchurch in June. Have to wonder though what could have been, had Ashton picked him at ten earlier?

    I also agree with you Sander. Pundits talk about how new players have been blooded, but to my mind only 3 have; Cips, Wigglesworth and Croft. Haskell already had caps in last years six nations, so can't really be counted.

    Maybe now is the time to overhaul the team completely, to bring guys like Allen back into the fold (at the expense of the Flood, who I belive plays a very limited game), Olly Morgan at 15, maybe even Miles Benjamin of Wocester on the wing, since he can't stop scoring!

    It will all depend on Ashton's contract though; with a one year rolling contract he has to bring success immediately, he has no time to experiment. That combined with his lack of bottle

    By Anonymous Peej, at March 17, 2008 11:29 am  

  • Being an Irish fan I can say I'm glad Ireland lost (surprising or what?)because it means now Eddie will get sacked, we'll get a good coach (preferably J.White)and it also means England will keep Ashton which in other words means that their talented young stars wont get a chance. That was a defeat for the greater good on Saturday. Still, England deserved to win as they played reasonably well and Ireland, youngesters apart, were terrible. Bring on the new coach!

    By Anonymous Sean, at March 17, 2008 11:29 am  

  • I think Ashton is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he brings in youngsters and they get thrashed he cops it from the press and ex players, he tries to blend them in slowly and he cops it from the press and ex players.

    I dont think anyone could have guessed how out of sorts Wilkinson was. Do you blood new players in NZ? very risky if they get a mauling.

    I thought Cipriani had a great game, lets hope some set backs wont shatter his confidence. Lets hope the press dont destroy him as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2008 11:55 am  

  • I know Ashton has taken a lot of criticism, at times it has been deserved ie. Balshaw starting every game in this years six nations. But... Brian Moore was right when he said you have to have some sympathy for him...

    Andy Robinson should have been sacked a lot earlier than he was. Because by the time he was sacked it was too close to the world cup. No body wanted to take the job on at that stage. So, Ashton took it, then took us all the way to the world cup final. Yeah we were pretty one dimensional but you couldn't have asked for much more.

    Then, the six nations approached pretty quickly with not much time for Ashton to build his own team. Now, as mentionned above he is on a one year rolling contract, with every game being at risk of losing him his job. Has he really been given a fair crack at the job????????

    By Anonymous Northy, at March 17, 2008 12:19 pm  

  • Sean

    I reckon Jake White is quietly lurking in the shaddows waiting for Brian Ashton to finally self destruct.

    Jake will be coaching England long before he coaches Ireland.

    Imagine White as England head-coach, with Eddie Jones as a backline coach.

    Brittania will rule rugby for years to come.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2008 12:19 pm  

  • I don't wholly agree with you, Peej.
    Miles Benjamin seems a very good prospect, but a two-test tour to NZ is not the place to throw youngsters in at the deep end (meaning first cap). Can you imagine a young, new Premiership player coming up against Rokocoko or Sivivatu?

    They way I'd see it, the England team for the summer tour should be something like this:

    1. Sheridan 2. Mears 3. Stevens
    4. Borthwick 5. Palmer
    6. Croft 7. Rees
    8. Haskell

    9. Harry Ellis
    10. Cipriani
    11. Lewsey
    12. Allen
    13. Hipkiss
    14. Tait
    15. Olly Morgan/Mike Brown

    Put a couple of experienced guys on the bench, and try to play a positive game. It's going to be a very, very hard tour anyway, might as well see what the younger guys are really made of.

    (btw: Balshaw playing every game? What happened to Josh Lewsey?)

    By Blogger Sander, at March 17, 2008 12:27 pm  

  • How about a compilation of some of those hits by Jamie Noon?

    By Anonymous Vark, at March 17, 2008 12:54 pm  

  • anyone catch that hit @ 0:56? WHOA...lol

    By Blogger Don, at March 17, 2008 1:02 pm  

  • I think White will definitely go to England. Ashton would only have stayed if he won the Championship. Ireland will get rid of EOS but I really don't know who they can bring in. It'll be interesting to see who an outsider would pick for Ireland. Surely now Quinlan, Best and Jennings might at least be in contention for getting in the 22.

    An awful Six Nations truth be told. Probably the worst one so far.

    Well done to Wales though, England and France are on the up but Ireland will need a new direction if they wanna stay in contention with the big boys.

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 17, 2008 1:48 pm  

  • Classy comments from Wilko.

    Being on the left side of the Atlantic where we have too many "me first" pro athletes, it's refreshing to hear.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at March 17, 2008 2:01 pm  

  • Perhaps I was a bit rash about Noon. He has put the hard hits/yards in and all he needs to do is develop his distribution a tad and he'll be a very good Tindall (crock) replacement. Tait needs to be inside him though and sorry flood but byebye

    By Blogger thedannyclayton, at March 17, 2008 2:55 pm  

  • Martin I didnt say White would coach Ireland, because chances are he wont accept. I was just saying that I think Irish fans would prefer White to Eddie any day. And as for Britannia ruling world rugby hahahahahaha etc...

    By Anonymous Sean, at March 17, 2008 3:34 pm  

  • Yes I would like to see a compilation of hits from the noonster!
    Fantastic game, england actually played like they are world beaters. (I don't mean wife beaters) lol.
    I hope Tait gets in the next selection, along with lucy. Both are quality players.

    By Anonymous brian, at March 17, 2008 4:38 pm  

  • I was really shouting at the commentator, cipriani this cipriani that. OK so hes a good player and a 20 year old. he didnt do anything spectacular in that game and his age shouldnt come into it, once you put that england shirt on you have to perform and he did(nothing special in my opinion) and i believe dropping wilko was plain silly. get ashton out hes done nothing for us. On the other hand i say cipriani 10 and wilko inside centre, now that worked well.

    By Anonymous scottyb, at March 17, 2008 5:13 pm  

  • Somebody fill me in here!
    What's so incredible about Cipriani?
    Yes he's a good player and he played a good game but he's being treated like the best thing since sliced bread.

    If you ask me all countrys have different mentallitys, take scotland for example, they play so much better when they are the clear underdogs.
    In england's case they need a hero, it used to be Wilko and now its Cipriani.
    All the comentators for the England Ireland game just jabbered on about him. What about the incredible pack work or even whats happening!?!

    Im just worried Cipriani is going to be the England team for the next four years.

    By Anonymous Ronnie, at March 17, 2008 6:27 pm  

  • I believe this 6 nations was pretty good. the performances gradually improved as well. The worst 6 nations that i have ever witnessed was the one in 2006-no rugby played at all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2008 6:46 pm  

  • Well, they had to beat one of the home nation's, i agree with kerivoula ireland were pants.You watch now even though england did absolutely shocking, it's ok because cipriani has arrived and is god almighty according to the papers, but give credit to the boy, he's good

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2008 6:46 pm  

  • Please get some of the noon hits over the 6 nations.

    I think that it chould be

    1:Sheridan 2:Mears 3:Vicary
    4: Borthwick 5: Shaw
    6: Croft 7: Moody/Haskell
    8: Easter

    9: Ellis/Wigglesworth
    10: Cipriani
    11: Varndell/James S.D.
    12: Wilkinson
    13: Noon
    14: Lewsey/Strettle
    15: Tait/Abendonen

    16: Chuter
    17: Stephans
    18: Kay
    19: Moody/Haskell
    20: Ellis/Wigglesworth
    21: Flood
    22: Vainikolo/Dan Scarborough(he plays well good for sarries)

    Tell Me what you guys think.

    By Anonymous Martin Johnson, at March 17, 2008 6:54 pm  

  • i think young cipriani played pretty good with such pressure on him.. im sure it was hard for him to live up to expectations.. but he exceeded.
    not a great tournament for england but they showed some youth promise, jamie noon had a cracker vs ireland
    i think we'l see cirpiani's real talent against team lk the boks and other southern hemisphere team because lets be honest ronan o'gara offered little to compete against at fly half
    im really dissapointed in ireland not just this tournament but the RWC also, i think they need a new coach and to start from scratch they have good talent but cant exploit its full potential

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2008 8:46 pm  

  • Can anyone explain why it sounds like two chipmunks are screaming along every time england score??

    By Anonymous lanky_cris, at March 17, 2008 11:35 pm  

  • Man, england finish second and everyone wants Ashton's job?? funny, man takes the country to the world cup final, 2nd again... maybe the english fan, doesn't like finishing at the top...since before ashton, they weren't getting anywhere...and i agree with slowly blooding players...even if its over cautious! cipriani and wilko, exp and class teaches the other...hmmm, also, finally england produce a solid effort, though against ireland without BOD, is like the all blacks without a drop-kicker with 5mins to go in a world-cup game... going nowhere...

    By Anonymous G-unit, at March 18, 2008 12:22 am  

  • @ G-Unit

    Ashton doesn't improve players, or England's strategies. if the pack's on top, things are good. Cipriani had an armchair ride, true. But for all the doubters; watch the Heineken Cup games for Wasps, and tell me he's not something special.

    And Martin Johnson; I think you should drop some guys who are too old for the next World Cup: Vickery and Shaw, for example. Shaw played well in patches, Vickery didn't do anything.

    Haskell is no nr 7; Rees and Lipman should have that jersey, and Abendanon needs to learn how to tackle, he misses way too many 1 on 1.

    By Blogger Sander, at March 18, 2008 10:07 am  

  • Why do we discuss so much over here, when we could do it through the Forum?


    By Blogger Sander, at March 18, 2008 10:18 am  

  • What about bringing Nick Kennedy into the second row?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 18, 2008 11:35 am  

  • i dunno
    you cant just not have jonny wilkinson in the starting squad it isnt right
    after all hes done for this country and hes dropped like he is worthless
    although cipriani should play 10 jonny needs to be in that team

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 19, 2008 12:02 am  

  • I think England pulled off the best performance they've had in a long time. Cipriani had an absolute blinder, as did Noon, but as Cipriani said, they wouldn't have been able to do it without the fowards.

    I'm a Wasps fan, and deep down I didn't think Cipriani had the head for the international level, but he played some of the best rugby I've ever seen him play. Wilkinson has got to go. Cipriani embarassed him. Wilkinson should definately not be starting at fly-half as he doesn't have the injection of pace that Cipriani has. He should be put at 12 for a kicking option, and if that doesn't work, I don't think he should be in the team at all. In the last 10 England games that I have watched, I have only seen him make one line break.

    Step asside Wilko you are too old...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 19, 2008 10:37 am  

  • I am so sick of all this talk of Jake White and Eddie Jones.

    If Eddie Jones has anything to do with England I will burn my shirt.

    We have some great coaches in England. Personally I think Dean Richards as manager and Martin Johnson as coach. They ruled at Leicester and Richards has turned Harlequins into a decent outfit. They are both no nonsense personalities who would knock England into shape.

    The last thing we need is some gobshite Australian whose best tactic was to bend the referee's ear before a match and sound off about the opposition cheating. We are better than this.

    Lastly Ashton deserves a chance to prove himself and the team in New Zealand.

    By Anonymous Big H, at March 20, 2008 11:51 pm  

  • I'm a bit fed up of everyone saying "this year's six nations was rubbish"...the problem is, that because the majority of people's side did poor, they then think it's a poor six nations. Now fair enough wales were the only real consistant team, but when is there ever more than 1 or 2 sides performing well throughout a six nations.

    The same was said when wales won the grand slam in 2005. Look at who played poor when England and France were winning all the time...everyone! Look how bad wales have been apart from 2005 and 2008. Scotland have been poor for a long time, Italy have competed brilliantly against everyone apart from the second half against us! France were just France, brilliant on occassions and shit on occassions. Ireland were mixed too.

    In a way you could say that this year wales took england's place at the top. Just because england or france didn't win the tournament it doesn't mean it was a poor one. Of course there were poor games but there were good ones too. Wasn't a ton of tries but was still exciting.

    Wales beat england and ireland away, first time in ages.
    Italy beat scotland and ran other teams close!
    England beat france away
    Scotland beat england!

    There's a few shocks there so overall i'd say that was good. Right then, rant over, apologies for that, just bit fed up.

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 21, 2008 1:24 am  

  • Noon is an amazing tackler and had a stormer but it was his defensive mistake that lost them the try at the begining. He should have stayed in line and not gone behind as if he expected the other guy to miss the tackle. Well played England. Just get consistency.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 21, 2008 12:02 pm  

  • Martin johnson might be new manager for england.

    soz about being anon. i dont have a url, blog etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 22, 2008 12:00 pm  

  • geraint,
    i'm sick of these comments from Welsh fans who insist beyond reason that this was a good six nations. you said it yourself, every team bar Wales were disappointing. how can you say it was a good tournament when only one team played to the best of their abilities and every other team underperformed. bad tournament, end of story

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 23, 2008 4:51 pm  

  • Name one year when every team, or even half of the teams played to their ability. Someone has to lose. The rugby being played in the world cup wasn't the greatest, but that doesn't mean it was a bad tournament.

    Also at least have the decency to use a name so i know who i'm talking to, thank you

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 23, 2008 5:14 pm  

  • Anyone else think it's hilarious that the English play a Scottish band's music as their try scoring song? The Fratellis do rock tho...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 27, 2008 8:39 pm  

  • y o y isnt tait starting more for england??
    also, in the 2 most recent tournaments (RWC n 6 Nations) we started off really slowly and then finished on a high (granted we lost the RWC final, but at least we got there)

    By Anonymous The No.2 Whose Better Than You, at May 10, 2008 10:58 pm  

  • Martin Johnson got the job gladly, and i'm sure he knows what he's doing.

    By Anonymous Harry Oliver O'Neill, at May 13, 2008 7:37 am  

  • jordan crane will be playing for england next year.

    By Anonymous Martin Johnson, at May 31, 2008 1:38 pm  

  • eprsonally i think noon is one of hte best 13 in the world at hte moment: great defence and great attack, plus a great visino of hte game, creating lots of oportuities, though he lacks kicking skills.
    is it only me, or does everybody sees him starting every summer-tour match? what do you think?

    By Anonymous Jack, at June 02, 2008 11:30 pm  

  • cirpriani had a good start to his career but wilkonson is a ledgendary player (and thts from a welshman who h8s wilko)he shold still b first pick (but he is not as good as barry john phil bennet or dan carter the best 3 1st 5-8ths in histry

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 05, 2008 10:29 pm  

  • tait should be starting every match now. bringing young guns up like people have said. got the pace, got the power, got the minds and got the passion. now lets make it work eh...

    By Anonymous jfa2991, at July 06, 2008 2:03 pm  

  • wilkinson is a true legend, the highest ever points scorer in world rugby, but remember that he didn't play a game for england for 3 YEARS! I dont think that cipriani will ever be as good as wilko!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 22, 2008 9:10 pm  

  • we will slaughter you england next game!!!

    By Anonymous jacobo, at February 13, 2009 10:57 pm  

  • great game by Cipriani and i think Noon and Tait would be a great centre partnership right now or maybe Allen

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 19, 2009 3:20 pm  

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