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Monday, November 10, 2008

England win comfortably against the Pacific Islanders

England got their Autumn Tests campaign off to a good start on Saturday as they defeated the Pacific Islanders 39-13 at Twickenham. The match was expected to be a much tighter affair, but the experience and professionalism of the England outfit was too good the Islanders, who despite having a few big name stars, simply couldn’t gel as a unit.

A charge down try from Seru Rabeni gave them some hope early on, but the English speed and power was too much of a factor for the newly combined opposition.

If there’s a positive that can be taken from the match for the tourists, it’s that they will have had a chance to try out a few combinations, and will have learnt some valuable lessons ahead of their remaining matches against both France and Italy.

“France at home are very tough," captain Moses Rauluni conceded. "We will have to go back to the drawing-board and see where our mistakes were.

"England controlled the ball better than we did. The French are a lot like us and will attack from anywhere so it's going to be a tough game.

"But we'll have a week to prepare and now we've played one game together."

England outscored the Islanders by five tries to one, but will face a totally different type of challenge over the next few weeks as they take on the might of Australia, South Africa, and then New Zealand.

“I'm reasonably happy with that," said Johnson. "It was stop-start. That's understandable because this was our first match together and we were trying to put some things together."

"We're in a pretty good place and we're looking forward to next week."

Coach Johnson has since suggested that England will find their next match against Australia a far easier prospect to deal with than the unpredictable Pacific Islanders. That is not to be taken out of context though, as naturally they’ll be able to prepare better against a side they know more about.

All in all, it was a solid performance by England, setting up an intriguing encounter against the Wallabies this coming weekend.

Time: 05:52



  • What a boring commentator to listen to.

    Only saw the first half and england looked sleepy straight after scoring, otherwise a good performance.

    By Anonymous Kewne, at November 10, 2008 4:11 pm  

  • Has anyone the starting XV's??

    By Anonymous Miquel, at November 10, 2008 4:35 pm  

  • Totally agree with Kewne. Commentary is dreadful, no excitement or atmosphere created. Although i moan and moan about moore and butler, they put on a better show than this clown.

    By Anonymous MiloCav, at November 10, 2008 5:05 pm  

  • england looked good..i was suprised..they hav loads of talent..mayb they'l becum a force once more..cnt wait 4 the aussie game

    By Anonymous Alain, at November 10, 2008 5:19 pm  

  • quick tap from england?!?!?!

    I haven't seen that since Matt Dawson retired!

    By Anonymous Pedro Fleury, at November 10, 2008 5:40 pm  

  • Having seen the game, I thought England were static and slow between phases. Secure, but slow. Their back line too often seemed to be taking the ball standing still.

    However, nice to see some running rugby and the new caps looked good. Cipriani will improve, but the back- and second-row could be the weak link, especially against NZ and SA.

    By Blogger Kerivoula, at November 10, 2008 5:45 pm  

  • SA NZ and Oz will piss all over you boys

    By Anonymous Barry, at November 10, 2008 5:52 pm  

  • danni cipz isnt a patch on wilkinson i dont care what you say he will never be as good as mighty wilko

    By Anonymous Daii, at November 10, 2008 5:53 pm  

  • iagree with daii

    on the last try's replay
    you see sackey's shouder touch the touchline before he taps the ball down
    so it shouldn't have been a try

    By Anonymous scot, at November 10, 2008 6:23 pm  

  • If it wasn't a try then it was a penalty try.

    By Blogger Kerivoula, at November 10, 2008 6:31 pm  

  • Take a look at the first England try. The final pass, the one over the shoulder one, is miles forward! The pass is made when the player is about half a yard inside the Pacific Islanders' 22. It's caught about 5 or 6 yards into the 22. At full speed, it looks like a perfectly legal pass, but it's far from it! Loads of forward passes like this get missed these days.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 10, 2008 7:16 pm  

  • im pretty sure ur wrong. he passes it backwards over his shoulder therefore cannot be a forwards pass, momentum carries it forwards but the pass was backwards. look it up, they are missed all the time these days for a reason.

    By Anonymous ed, at November 10, 2008 7:24 pm  

  • Anonymous said...
    Take a look at the first England try. The final pass, the one over the shoulder one, is miles forward! The pass is made when the player is about half a yard inside the Pacific Islanders' 22. It's caught about 5 or 6 yards into the 22. At full speed, it looks like a perfectly legal pass, but it's far from it! Loads of forward passes like this get missed these days.

    look at the old school rugby: more passes forward than now

    good to see ugo monye in action in rugby union ^^

    By Blogger joachim, at November 10, 2008 8:04 pm  

  • For Englands second try anyone see Census johnson, 21 stone prop chasing Ugo Monye and keeping up with him pretty well

    By Anonymous Cheesy, at November 10, 2008 8:52 pm  

  • Shit the commentator is horrible!!!

    By Blogger Alexis, at November 10, 2008 9:32 pm  

  • What was Cipriani up to on that kick that was charged down? Under the new rules, you'd gain no distance on a kick to touch where it was passed back.

    By Anonymous Ref, at November 10, 2008 9:49 pm  

  • kerivoula said...
    If it wasn't a try then it was a penalty try.

    maybe, but lets be honest, what about the forward pass to Sackey in the first place?!

    By Blogger Niall, at November 10, 2008 10:03 pm  

  • @Scot

    "on the last try's replay
    you see sackey's shouder touch the touchline before he taps the ball down so it shouldn't have been a try"

    It was a high tackle which means a foulplay, so the ref has to decide, if Sackey would have scored without the high tackle, I would say yes, so a penalty try should be given, in my opinion the ref was absolutley right.

    By Anonymous Jochen, at November 10, 2008 10:23 pm  

  • shut up Barry you dick SA almost lost to Wales

    By Anonymous james R, at November 10, 2008 10:57 pm  

  • i especially like that line out move which lead to that try :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 10, 2008 10:59 pm  

  • did anyone see who caught monye? CENCUS JONHSON. Their #3, 21st something prop. He's amazing. I had a fun time watching this game just to see the PI play, they're always entertaining. The chip out of their own half to Delesau near FT was pretty funny, didn't he truck someone, then chip, two people were in his way so he pushed them both over, then tackled the guy who recovered his chip? lol, classic.

    By Anonymous heinzy, at November 10, 2008 11:03 pm  

  • How can anyone take anything from this game!!! seriously this performance by England wasn't up to International standards esp if they go up against the SH teams!! the first half was crap and the second half was crap!!! This game was always going to be Englands but I don't understand how the press in the NH find the Ozzies easybeats, i mean seriously watch the game again it was SHIT!!!

    By Anonymous Alex, at November 11, 2008 1:11 am  

  • why did sackey have to be so hollywood-ish while the PI was tryin to help him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2008 1:21 am  

  • ha ha ha ha ha ha - you english think that performance was good ????? ha ha haha - the PI team are thrown together - play like crap - cant defend like all PI teams - and you guys think your all of the sudden better than OZ- who beat "the best" italian team in years

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2008 2:56 am  

  • Very good play from both wings. Make me wonder why more African Americans don't play rugby for the U.S. Not making it a race thing because Lewis Moody is a great wing, but in America all the good running backs are black so I'm just saying.

    By Blogger Hendrick, at November 11, 2008 5:04 am  

  • Hendrick
    'Lewis Moody is a great wing'??

    last time i checked i m pretty sure he s still a flanker!! but yeah i d agree he s a good one!

    Thought danny care was really good. does exactly what England need - speeds game up. tait is fit now - love to see him in the team but not sure where...ideally outside centre but if noon s in charge of defence they re not going to put him there..any thoughts?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2008 6:54 am  

  • Alex and anonymous...you fragile things you. Nobody's saying the match makes England better than anyone else (except for the PI, I guess), certainly not the whole of the SH. But, did you see the Aussie and SA games? They were shockingly poor performances by both, especially Aus. Anyone can win next week, the only fools are those claiming they know what the results will be.

    By Blogger Kerivoula, at November 11, 2008 7:04 am  

  • the commentry by AU commentators reaally does put us to shame, its alot more enjoyable.

    Danny care will be captin in a few years, hes exactly the spark england need. Never afraid to give it a go - very enjoyable.

    Yes my friend Tait is fit, i think he should go 13. He reguarly hits above his weight, much like fluety. But I guess you would loose the bulk (even though hes not heavier) you get with the noonster.

    I dont think you can call this game a waste. England showed real sparks of creativity, signalling a much changed england under johnsons reign. I think if they continue thier 'give it a go' attidute it could well stun Au into submission.

    By Anonymous Brian, at November 11, 2008 9:05 am  

  • This doesn't tell us much about Eng's form .. the PI side are committed but they're more of a great concept than a great football team at the moment, but it IS a great concept and I hope they get very competitive pretty soon.
    I don't think Johnson seriously believes the Oz defence will be easier than this.
    Sackey's try looked OK but even if he'd missed forcing the ball the penalty try should have been given under the posts anyway.
    I first saw the ABs do the little drop ball from the lineout to a player running through a few months back, and it's still making tries .. simple but effective when executed well, but the surprise element must be fading.
    There are no forward passes in the highlights video.

    By Anonymous robert, at November 11, 2008 11:01 am  

  • England's done some solid training - plenty of ball secured at the right times and good finishing.

    PI's are missing Henry Tuilagi's go-forward ball!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2008 11:09 am  

  • Ed - the pass was forward, rugby union deals in absolutes, all this momentum is a rugby league rule.

    Twice England players stood up despite being held in the tackle and both times it lead to tries.

    The PI's had a perfectly good try dissallowed for no reason and it was bought back for a PI penalty, where was the advantage?

    The only way we'll beat Oz is if we continue to get all the 50/50 calls go our way, we don't stand a chance against SA or NZ

    By Blogger Ricky, at November 11, 2008 11:21 am  

  • As for the Sackey incident, the ref shouldn't have even bothered going to the TMO.

    The defender stuck his arm out as Sackey ducked in to cross the line, it was high but that was a desperate attempt to drag him into touch.

    The match was a friendly, the 2 point conversion wouldn't have made a difference to the result and if it had been made a penalty try then a yellow card may have been branded.

    The sensible thing was to award the try and let both sides finish with 15 men after a match with no sinicism

    By Blogger Ricky, at November 11, 2008 11:28 am  

  • Some amazing comments. Due to mo...men...tum, about 70% of all passes would be foward looking at it like that. Wikipedia should explain that mystical piece of physics for you.
    It was a scrappy game, but they showed that theyve def got heap loads of potential. Nxt three games should be good watching. SA could be mighty close if both teams are heads in, no-one should be bigging up the aussies for a certainty, theyll be the easiest of the three by far.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2008 12:28 pm  

  • About 70% of all passes are forwards - and at grass roots rugby they're called as forward like they should be.

    The initial law was written to read
    "A throw-forward occurs when the ball is propelled by the hand or arm of a player in the direction of his opponents' dead ball line"
    which clearly deals in abosultes of how the ball travels.

    In the new wording
    "A throw-forward occurs when a player throws or passes the ball forward."
    'Forward' means towards the opposing team's dead ball line" leads to some ambiguity as to what is forward so some (mainly southern hemisphere refs, players and fans) think that as long as the pass is backwards in relation to the player passing the ball it is okay

    The confusion is due to the ammendment of the wording without ammending the law

    By Blogger Ricky, at November 11, 2008 2:21 pm  

  • that commentator was horrible, it was like a bad golf commy

    By Anonymous AmerikaLock, at November 11, 2008 4:54 pm  

  • Who cares, Ricky?

    The basics of physics >

    If there's rugby rulings that suggest differently then they're wrong, to be blunt.

    By Anonymous Rancid, at November 11, 2008 4:56 pm  

  • New caps looked sharp.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2008 4:56 pm  

  • firstly those knocking the PI's, yes they been brought together buts its often pretty difficult to play a team with no structure, they are unpredictable. secondly their backline was up there with the best they may not play together regularly but theres plenty of danger there, dont dismiss this victory. secondly to the guy who was championing Aus' victory against 'the best italian team in years'. they battle for the wooden spoon with scotland in the 6n every year, so i would really call that a victory either. SA didnt exactly spark against Wales either, and havent since the world cup when they were on fire. im not saying england are going to win, in fact i think one win out of the three matches would be an awesome result when looking at where england are at the moment, just dont write them off completely. england have a better pack than aus and the backs may not be as experienced but they didnt look too bad last week n they all play well for their clubs, it may be closer than alot of you think

    By Anonymous caucau's no.1 fan, at November 11, 2008 6:55 pm  

  • the number 13 who charged down the kick was surly offside wasn't he? im not even an england fan, im from ireland, but it looked like he was miles off side as the pass was thrown?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2008 7:26 pm  

  • Rancid - the laws of rugby mean that "basic physics" has to be accounted for... Its not rocket science yet the entire southern hemisphere seem not to be able to understand

    By Blogger Ricky, at November 11, 2008 10:01 pm  

  • Ricky,

    There is a video on this very website debating forward passes. (Maybe someone more computer savvy will post a link here).

    In this video they quite clearly show that even when a player passes the ball backwards over his head it can travel forward.

    The laws account for this by focusing on the moment the ball is let go - not when it is in flight. i.e. when the ball is passed not when it is caught.

    The direction of the ball after it has been released is irrelevant.

    As for the disallowed PI try - the guy was part of the ruck, which means you cannot pick the ball up. The ref was correct

    By Anonymous blindcider, at November 11, 2008 10:42 pm  

  • i reckon their guna beat one of either australia, south africa or new zealand! probably the aussies

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 12, 2008 12:45 am  

  • blindcider .. agreed, it's commonsense .. I don't understand why some people keep crying "forward pass" even when the ball is clearly thrown backwards over the shoulder .. under their interpretation the game would be impossible to play and impossible to referee, as the majority of passes from a running player would be "forward". !!

    By Anonymous robert, at November 12, 2008 1:10 am  

  • Ugo Monye...Nigerian

    Just wanted to put that out there :D

    By Blogger Don, at November 12, 2008 6:24 am  

  • Kerivoula - sensible as always sir, the game was a chance to blood some new players, that's all.

    As for the 'forward pass', firstly I can't believe we're still having this debate and secondly with or without momentum it wasn't forward. It looks forward on the original angle but then the replay is from above and the ball is clearly going backwards by quite a long way.

    Ugo Monye - Nigerian? No, his family originally came from Nigeria but he is English. I know because I went to school with him. It's great to see him make the conversion from an exciting 7s player to a full blown international.

    By Anonymous will66, at November 12, 2008 1:53 pm  

  • as a welsh fan i just wanna say goodluck to England and the other home nations agaist the sh teams. bout time we knock them down a few pegs. England will front up against the ausies on the weekend, they will need to slow the game down round the fringes cos thats where they have ben lethal. Bags of talent in the the baks they just need to let go and just run at them....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 12, 2008 4:31 pm  

  • hendrick

    simple answer to why african americans don't play rugby.. or americans for that matter. until rugby pay their players $5-8 million a year, average salary of a star wide receiver, america's best athletes will stick to football. also keep in mind that the minimum wage in pro football is $300,000

    By Anonymous islestyle, at November 13, 2008 1:42 am  

  • so what your saying is african americans or americans in genral wont play enless theres alot of money invilved. Im all for proffetionalism but the main reason for playing a game should be enjoyment for the game, passion and pride..... thats the difference between u.s.a and the rest of the world when it comes to sport. Americans play there on sports and call them world champs. The rest of the world actually play each other which gives the players and fans a real sense of pride...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 13, 2008 12:34 pm  

  • what the fuck is wrong with the commentator he sounds bloody constipated , pretty bad game from these replays

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 13, 2008 12:46 pm  

  • anyone else notice that it was a the islander tight head prop that caught ugo monye from behind, what an effort.

    By Anonymous franny, at November 13, 2008 2:27 pm  

  • anon

    yup thats basically it.. money talks around here.. these football players bring in billions a year for their teams.. so if these players are going to put their bodies on the line, they want to get paid the big bucks... there are still a lot of players that play for the love of the game.... but love doesn't feed the kids or pay the bills

    sad? yes but that's just the way it is

    oh and yes we are the world champs!!! (by default cuz nobody else plays gridiron) :)

    By Anonymous islestyle, at November 13, 2008 9:00 pm  

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