Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Sunday, February 27, 2011

England get the better of France at Twickenham

England are looking on course for their first Grand Slam since 2003 as they won a hard-fought battle against champions France 17-9 at Twickenham on Saturday, making it three out of three wins so far in this year’s Six Nations.

While at times England looked scrappy in the backs with inaccurate passing and a few dropped balls, they managed to keep things together to hold off the French challenge, with a try to Ben Foden separating the two sides.

"It was a good win. We really had to fight and graft," said coach Martin Johnson.

"I quite enjoy that type of game - it's not always pretty, but that's test match rugby. Last year we lost to Ireland in a similar sort of game and it rips your guts out."

Jonny Wilkinson, second choice flyhalf these days, came on after 51 minutes - following an injury to Toby Flood – and showed the kind of temperament and ability you’d expect.

He slotted a long range kick within seconds of entering the stage, and later controlled things nicely, with a few well timed offloads in what was a good opportunity for him.

While Johnson has said that it’s too early to talk of the Grand Slam, England are on the right track and if they manage to pick up their overall error count, will be difficult to stop.

You can watch extended highlights of the game on the Eplayer on the sidebar. Navigate to 'Rugby Union' and there's a 9 minute long version there, as well as some of the other games.

Time: 03:58



  • 2ND!!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 4:31 pm  

  • 2nd!!!

    By Anonymous Resident Troll, at February 27, 2011 4:39 pm  

  • Chabal is shocking

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 4:39 pm  

  • i think that a lot of that game was won on france's screw ups

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 4:59 pm  

  • france were muck!!!
    And at anonymous.....
    Jonny wilkonson is to old to win england another worldcup......

    By Blogger Ronan, at February 27, 2011 5:03 pm  

  • Yes, Chabal really isn't international class. I don't understand why French coaches keep going back to him. He's one of the best known rugby players in Europe because of his 'image' yet there's no way he should be starting.

    Anyway, decent intensity to the game early on but just so many errors. The game had no flow in the second half.

    Both sides messed up good chances to score. Disappointing lack of precision.

    By Anonymous John F, at February 27, 2011 5:05 pm  

  • a bit scrappy from england in the first half but i cant say i'm unhappy with a victory against the french. That will teach Lievremont for making such ludicrous comments before a game. England could have easily got another 12 points at least, if they had been a bit more precise on that pass and well i think tindall's try probably was a try.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 5:13 pm  

  • What's the consensus on Tindall's attempt - looked to me like France's desire to minimise men in the ruck meant that no one actually had a hand on Tindall and he was fully entitled to keep on moving.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 5:30 pm  

  • Got a question: what do these guys do at this level after a game? Is there a dinner for them, do they meet the other team at all? Do they drink beers in any organized or unorganized way? I have always wondered this.

    I think they party together after Lions tours. Do you guys have any insight what goes on after a test match?

    By Anonymous Bombaklaat Jones, at February 27, 2011 5:53 pm  

  • Rougerie knock-on over the tryline is missing in those highlights

    By Blogger D0m3, at February 27, 2011 5:57 pm  

  • they make love

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 5:58 pm  

  • to anonymous at 5.30:
    I wondered the same and I think you are right. He was not held and in my opinion entitled to score. But hey, the ref is always right, isn´t he.
    And Ashton went up a few points on my scale. He wanted Cueto, his fellow winger, to score that try and forgot the support on the inside. Not the smartest thing but forgivable imho.
    Enjoyed the game. Not the most beautifull but cetainly exciting.

    By Anonymous Guy, at February 27, 2011 6:16 pm  

  • Favorite part? Ashton diving over the tryline to no avail.

    It was still a good match for England. They played sub-par and still won, so maybe they've got a real shot in the WC....who knows.

    Wilkinson is still an amazing athlete. Dunno what you mean, Ronan, about him being *too old. He has only gotten more and more in-form this year.

    By Anonymous orange, at February 27, 2011 6:23 pm  

  • chabal is not good because he has a queue!!!
    looks like a girl now

    By Anonymous l0l, at February 27, 2011 6:34 pm  

  • Is Yoan Huget (French #14) for real ? Seriously what is he doing in the squad ? Bring Heymans and Malzieu back !

    By Anonymous Ben, at February 27, 2011 6:35 pm  

  • Ashton swan diving for nothing... Hilarious! What a dick

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 6:53 pm  

  • I think the French (and to be fair, the English as well) were doing their best impression of my club team on a Saturday afternoon with all the unforced errors.

    Second, I'm just glad that I have BBC America now and can watch such high level rugby from my couch!

    By Blogger Connor, at February 27, 2011 6:57 pm  

  • Sign of a good team to be able to win when under-performing - and also shows a few aread that need improvement.

    And to the 2 annonymous who are slagging off Ashton, you are really pathetic. So because he does a dive when he scores (like several other players) he's a 'fucking slimebag'? It really upsets you that much? Dry your tears boys and pray that whatever country you support gets a player who has the enthusiasm and ability of Ashton. If you see him interviewed, he comes across as a very funny, down to earth bloke.

    By Anonymous Coops, at February 27, 2011 7:40 pm  

  • Ashton is a complete twat. His dives are stupid enough when they're valid scores. But when only he and a mate are still playing, he looks even more daft. Hopefully he'll grow up before WC2011.

    By Anonymous katman, at February 27, 2011 8:23 pm  

  • it is a real shame that people still feel the need to slag people off on RD for no reason. i hope they are at least as good as ashton so they can attempt to back up their ludicrous comments.

    I think that the unforced errors can be partially excused because of the rubbish weather in the UK, which you can't really see in highlights.

    By Anonymous cory, at February 27, 2011 8:29 pm  

  • Tindall did not score: the rule does say, once you're tackled, wether you're held or not, you must release the ball. He was rightly tackled, fell on the ground, therefore there should've been a ruck.

    Very weird refereeing on the scrum, though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 8:41 pm  

  • I find it funny how no one gets so upset to the point I can't read their posts without sounding like they're going to cry when Shane Williams dives before a try.

    Anyway, unlucky Flood, went 13/13 without a miss. Looking very promising.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 27, 2011 9:21 pm  

  • Sorry RD i love your site and appreciate your great job, but man that was the worst highlights i've ever seen. You missed every single French occasions (and there were a few) or moments of brilliance, that's not really fair for the side who bravely fought but lost that day.

    In a hardly fought game like this one, with two great teams giving everything they have, you should show respect to both of them by posting full and fair highlights.

    By Anonymous rodofle, at February 27, 2011 9:36 pm  

  • well done england! for the moment, they are the best side of europe in terms of form and cohesion.
    as usual the "crunch" are more ferocious than ambitious contest, but that's the beauty of the england-france.
    What to remember?

    Without surprise, England is in the good way, finding a good balance between forwards and backs. Furthermore, even in difficulty they kept their self-control. Youngs and Flood are the metronomes of the team, Foden defended very well, Ashton had few runs and another stupid dive, and Palmer impose himself have the essential lock

    For France, not everything is dark. They were the best in the 1st half, imposing their rythm and power. And as usual, during last matchs, few mistakes (the 5 meters scrum just before the english try) and bad lucks cost them the match (a bad bounce disallowed rougerie try)
    But as "trash-talk" lievremont said, there was a true lack of cohesion. France has the forwards, now, they must install a coherent backline. Huget and Traille should really be kick out. Medard, Mermoz, Clerc, Rougerie, Malzieu can be the one.

    A last word on Clancy, i wonder what Lievremont have said him during the after-match meeting...? Certainly somethin about the 5 freekicks against a french scrum who was clearly dominant. pity that France couldn't build on it because of his interpretation of scrum launchs

    english players are ready for rwc, frenchies not far, but not again

    By Anonymous Colombes, at February 27, 2011 11:20 pm  

  • @ Anonymous at 8:41.
    Disagree with all of your post.

    Re Tindall try attempt, you are incorrect - see IRB law clarification athttp://www.irblaws.com/EN/clarificationdetail/law/15/49:
    A tackle occurs when the ball-carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground. A ball-carrier who is not held is not a tackled player and a tackle has not taken place.

    Tindall was not held, so was entitled to continue.

    "Should have been a ruck" makes no sense.

    Clancy refereed the scrum throughout this match far more accurately and consistently than I've seen anywhere else in a long time.

    By Anonymous Von, at February 27, 2011 11:23 pm  

  • Colombes, I don't like to disagree with you but I think you're mistaken on the scrum point.

    All Clancy's calls were clearly explained at the time - not sure if you could hear on the broadcast you watched (or fully understand his accent if you did), but on all the replays you could see he was right.

    The French scrum was penalised for illegal binding, premature engagement and there was one where the ball was fed practically to the No8. All fair decisions and very consistent.

    In fact, apart from Tindall not held in the tackle - which in real-time I thought was the right decision - I don't think he made a wrong call all evening.

    By Anonymous Von, at February 27, 2011 11:33 pm  

  • Good game. Closer than the score line suggests.

    I don't understand Lievrement... Some very questionable choices:

    Chabal was terrible. He only has one way of playing - run straight - and it doesn't work. Bonnaire should have played.

    Huget still isn't at test level. Malzieu is brilliant. Heymans can do a better job too. So why aren't they chosen?

    Parra wouldn't have missed the kicks that Yachvili did.

    I could go on...

    And after the match, Lievrement is heavily critical of the referee. For the most part, I thought he was reasonably good. Mistakes here and there for either side, but no major ones. Well, he did disallow Tindall's try (which was a try - not held) - Lierement forgot to thank him for that one.

    By Anonymous KG, at February 28, 2011 12:16 am  

  • 'Resident Troll said...

    Wow, the name trolls are back in fashion again.

    cheers for advertising my nickname.

    Not sure about Tindalls try, im not bothered either way, but to me it look like it could have been a 'legal try'

    On Chabal, i dont think he is as bad normally as he was this game...but he seems to me more of a talisman sort of super sub. like the french heads would drop if he wasnt picked..

    I think Ashtons alright...his swan dive thing is a bit gay i must admit...especially being for a disallowed try.

    By Anonymous Resident Troll, at February 28, 2011 12:49 am  

  • Didn't like Les Bleus sudden adoption of the up-and-under.. seemed very.. distrusting of the backs to create anything and hoping on mistakes. Good game anyway, game was swung at Palmers charge down.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 1:56 am  

  • ^^ Previous post. Name - GF

    By Anonymous GF, at February 28, 2011 1:57 am  

  • 1. England are clearly going to win the Grand Slam and World Cup

    2. Chris Ashton is a dick for diving and he epitomises how arrogant England are

    3. England are so arrogant as soon as they win a match they think they're invincible

    4. England are boring and being the best NH team means nothing

    5. Tackling in Super Rugby is woeful and therefore the NH is just the bestest ever

    6. First

    7. I comment on rugbydump all the time and I chat a lot of shit, and I'm a twat.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:47 am  

  • i don't really know how to follow that last comment up

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 3:03 am  

  • England looks really good right now. Well until they play someone from the SH. Was going to see England in the world cup, but now have to go the the Middle East(U.S. Solder). Does anybody need tickets.

    By Blogger Hendrick, at February 28, 2011 3:34 am  

  • ignore it

    and tell me - do you think England will beat Ireland in the Aviva, on that form?

    By Anonymous mise, at February 28, 2011 3:37 am  

  • I think the best fact from that game (being English) was that we won and didn't play our best. That said neither did the French and against a SH team not sure how we'll stand up. Not sure about Hape being first choice - any suggestions for a midfield combo?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 4:03 am  

  • anyone got any idea how I can watch BBC iplayer from australia?? Missing the games becuase of time difference and it is killing me! Someone said to use a proxy server, but can't find one that works with iplayer...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 4:05 am  

  • Grand Slam on the way for England. World Cup? Very Unlikely.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 5:21 am  

  • @Anonymous 4:03 - Hape's starting to grow on me, however I'd still like to see Flood at 10 and Wilkinson at 12.

    By Anonymous Von, at February 28, 2011 6:47 am  

  • Disappointing game and kuddos to England. As crap as a team you're playing against, it's good to be able to win the game. I can't understand how France can be lacking so much attacking power. It's ridiculous. And I'm French!

    By Anonymous Nico, at February 28, 2011 7:00 am  

  • To von,

    Illégal binding, prematury engagement, wrong introduction... Waw, that's a lot of stuff for a pack which had no other interest to impose its power to the english one.
    I agree with u on the yachvili biased introductions but I'm still Not ok by clancy scrum referring

    New irb laws want to reduce the scrum times in order to give more open-game and i find it interesting. But it doesnt mean to judge too quickly. Scrummagers dont follow laws, they follow the ref interpretation. Clancy didnt want to lose time with scrums, The english props understood it, and collapsed many scrums with english introductions (particulary dan Cole) result? A poker game where clancy Always gave a freekick in the doubt.

    Clancy had a Good game but scrum is certainly Not his cup of tea.

    By Anonymous Colombes, at February 28, 2011 9:21 am  

  • Well done england, pragmatism and cohesion have paid

    Very bad highlights, 3 minutes to sum up a match, are u kittin? and as usual completly biased: no images of french attacks in the first half, no allusion to rougerie disallowed try.

    but,yes, what could u expect from a channel which have presented the game in a nauseabond reference to Azincourt battle...? :(

    By Anonymous Greg, at February 28, 2011 9:56 am  

  • ' mise said...
    ignore it

    and tell me - do you think England will beat Ireland in the Aviva, on that form?'

    I think they're in with a pretty good chance if Ireland don't up there game. If Ireland cut the penalty count and the scrum is stable then it should be close, but after watching the Scotland match yesterday it isn't looking good for Ireland.

    By Anonymous Nick, at February 28, 2011 10:40 am  

  • FYI - Those highlights are not compiled entirely by RD, so that's why certain things are missing. They were up a day after the game though so I wouldn't complain.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 10:45 am  

  • Interesting Match.

    I thought the referee was very very good, he applied the new approach to the scrummage with cohesion which most ref's fail to do after the first scrum - its about making the scrum a contest again where bother hookers can strike! He clearly saw the previous footage of the french scrum engaging early and feeding.

    Really England missed three more tries. The one call that was wrong was the Mike Tindal try - He was not held therefore was entitled to keep going! Ashton should have executed the pass better, and the forward pass was a shame.

    I thought the best selection decision for England was playing Chabal I have yet to see him do anything worth while - he's still trading on that one hit against New Zealand!

    We gifted them 9 points with poor discipline at the restart.

    In short we beat the Champions with an average performance. I Think we shouldn't under estimate Scotland, they show moments of brilliance and as soon as they start finishing off they will be a side to watch. Ireland are a wounded beast and will be a hell of a challenge.

    Still not sure if we are good enough for South Africa and NZ yet, but we are getting there!

    By Blogger Savage, at February 28, 2011 11:22 am  

  • Colombes said...
    Illégal binding, prematury engagement, wrong introduction... Waw, that's a lot of stuff for a pack which had no other interest to impose its power to the english one.

    I remember France being done for illegal binding once, not sure if it happened much more or not. Seems you agree on the feeding at the put-in (which I think was only penalised once too).

    Early engagement I would have though would indeed be a tactic if you're trying to impose your physical advantage on the other side - get an early hit and smash them backwards to assert your authority. Only it backfired, maybe because England anticipated this happening and waited for the right moment to hit, which drew the ref's attention to the fact France had gone early.

    France's scrum also lost a bit of confidence from the start I think. Where the first scrum was driven straight back by England you could sense a sudden change in their collective self-belief with regard to an area where they assumed they would dominate.

    To be honest, I may not be the best qualified person to comment on scrums - I'm not even a forward, let alone a front-row! But from what I saw on TV and heard from Clancy's explanataions and Brian Moore's on the BBC commentary, most of the decisions seemed fair enough.

    By Anonymous Von, at February 28, 2011 11:26 am  

  • On another note, well done to the thousands of French fans who turned up at Twickenham and threw a huge amount of support behind their team. At one point when they were belting out the Marseillaise it sounded like it could've been a home game for them.

    They also showed the proper respect for English goal-kickers, unlike some of the football fans who seemed to have sneaked into the ground to boo the French.

    By Anonymous Von, at February 28, 2011 11:48 am  

  • As a French I could argue about:
    - "Some" Clancy's decisions in scrummaging during the 2nd half (but Von/Colombes got both some valid comments)
    - Some of the line out decisions (not all straight) and one french being taking out in the air with no penalty (but Brian Moore explained us he fell by himself....until the replay came ;-))

    But to be fair, England deserved to win as:
    - In my view there was no forward pass on Asthon try.
    - English front rows played well the French in the scrummaging.
    - We saw the differences between having a team working for 2 years on solid basis vs. a French team with no gameplay.
    - The French back is simply outragious, no complementarity and some players simply not having the level to play. The first 20 minutes of the games, I thought the French were playing in white.....
    - Lievremont once more shows its limits and lack of tactical understandings and poor managerial skills. May be rather than reading Churchill he might be adviced Rugby for dummies..... Anyhow I am not completely sure he will understand both.....

    Basically, 8 points difference it is cheap paid for England.

    By Anonymous Flipje, at February 28, 2011 12:10 pm  

  • Well, Tindall's try given or not I still think the score reflected the match.
    It wasn't the perfect from either side but England played better as a team and that made the difference.
    In some way, we might even argue the rotation costed the French.

    By Blogger vinniechan, at February 28, 2011 12:17 pm  

  • to those who complain abt the highlights: how wud u propose to sum up a game when the essence of it was both team battering each other at the break downs constantly for 80 minutes?

    By Blogger vinniechan, at February 28, 2011 12:20 pm  

  • "The first 20 minutes of the games, I thought the French were playing in white....."

    I will rephrase "I hoped the French were playing in white..."

    By Anonymous Flipje, at February 28, 2011 1:11 pm  

  • Martin Johnson is doing a great job. The England of old would never have been able to adopt such a gameplan and close out the match.
    I really don't like England but I must give credit where its due.
    See you in NZ.
    Go Bokke :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:02 pm  

  • wasnt anybody shocked by the mr clancy's performance??? his decisions on rucks and scrums were a bit harsh on the french i thought

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 3:55 pm  

  • Lovin the fact that England are back to winning ways and Im sure we have another gear to go up, In parts we look amazing but not consistant, hope this gets rectified for RWC2011.

    Tindal should have been allowed the try, not held at all.

    By Anonymous Stag, at February 28, 2011 4:49 pm  

  • England are only doing well because all the other 6N teams are playing terribly, fair enough they're taking their chance but when they play the all blacks & boks they'll come back down to earth.

    By Anonymous Cheese, at February 28, 2011 5:46 pm  

  • Cheese, im not so sure, i reckon they have got a better gel in the team and might be able to muster the boks...dont think they could out do NZ though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 6:39 pm  

  • sorry RD but the way you highlight the French games is very disappointing...

    I used to come to your page to watch the highlights of games ive missed or even to see entertaining highlights, but now I don't because you lost credibility...some very good bosh from the French (i.e. Domingo on Flood) and missed try (i.e. Rougerie) are missing from your recap and you seem to only put English actions...you are very good at making France look shit when the game was actually VERY close.

    Also Lievremont was being very respectful towards the English (and not the other way round like everyone seems to think here in England) and he added after the game that he hoped England would go on to win the Grand Slam! And that again is missing from your little article...

    Every time I visit your page now I am very disappointed, your covering of the games are obviously biased by your own judgements...

    By Anonymous bob, at February 28, 2011 7:14 pm  

  • Huget n'a pas le niveau pour jouer en équipe de France, je pense qu'un joueur comme Malzieu est tout à fait apte à faire partie du groupe!!!! Et un Médard à l'arrière aurait pu amener des belles choses offensivement...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 7:41 pm  

  • Dear bob,

    RD is not responsible of the highlights. it's bbc or sky contents, so u can complain to them but, yeah, of course, this summary don't reflect at all the match.

    furthermore, don't fall in the paranoia thing, it's worldwide rugby home here.

    By Anonymous Doug, at February 28, 2011 8:51 pm  

  • Une vidéo qui manque cruellement d'objectivité!!! Par exemple, où l'action d'essai de Rougerie dans cette vidéo?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 11:07 pm  

  • @ Bob, and whoever else is complaining, there's a few things to consider please.

    Firstly, and most importantly, these highlights were grabbed from somewhere else. A few of the penalty kicks were cut down though to make the video shorter (and less boring).

    Secondly, they were up the day after the game. This is free website with little resources, so that's not bad going, considering the work was done on a Sunday..

    Thirdly, if you'd like longer, more accurate highlights in future, that's fine, but you will then need to wait longer for them to be edited, which I'm sure will bring some complaints of another kind.

    The sole responsibility of Rugbydump is not to make sure that one particular team is made to look good, especially when it's the losing side. These were just quick short highlights showing the key points, and if one or two moments weren't included that you were hoping to see, then I do apologise. A note is provided though that tells you how to view longer highlights (also for free).

    Lastly, just to make things clearer, RD is and always has been impartial, and myself, the owner and person who runs the website, am not from England.

    I hope that clears some things up?


    By Blogger RD, at March 01, 2011 12:05 am  

  • Love your work. There's obviously some emotional Frenchman kicking about. I don't blame them but they're clutching at straws a little, moaning about 'chances' not being included in highlights. Anyone with a brain can tell by the scoreline that it was a close game.

    By Anonymous Kieran, at March 01, 2011 12:25 am  

  • You have to give an awful lot of credit to MJ. If England do go on to win a Grand Slam it will be because he's brought out the very best in a group of decent, but not greta, players. He's some leader.

    I think they might just fall short this year though. Since 2003, England can't buy a win against Ireland and I don't see that changing this year. Well, fingers crossed anyway.

    By Blogger BearGryllsFurCoat, at March 01, 2011 1:57 am  

  • good celebration ashton ya fucken muppet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 01, 2011 2:59 am  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Resident Troll, at March 01, 2011 3:02 am  

  • Everyone just ignore these comments above.
    It's probably the same person talking to himself or something.

    In regards to the England France game, not the greatest game ever.
    England are capable of challenging at the WC, based on their form overall this year and last, though they are very much not favorites, merely an outside chance.

    NZ are favorites, followed probably by Aus and SA, then England after those three.
    France, frankly they haven't put together a single world class preformance in about a year.

    Currently they have major deficincies in their game.
    Average to poor defense, very pedestrian attacking and running lines, an average kicking game.

    It's weird because they have definatly got the players to be much more competetive, but just aren't at the moment.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 01, 2011 3:21 am  

  • France has no hope of World Cup glory, there are only 4 teams in contention, England, Australia, South Africa & NZ. My bet is an Australian / NZ Grand Final, not willing to pick a winner out of the two though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 01, 2011 5:59 am  

  • RD said...
    A few of the penalty kicks were cut down though to make the video shorter (and less boring).

    Amen to that brother.

    By Anonymous Von, at March 01, 2011 11:16 am  

  • Think Aus need to find a much better tight 5 before they can challenge for the WC - otherwise they will get bullied out of games, despite the skill in the backline. Actually, scratch that, they need an entirely new pack (with the honourable exception of Pocock)

    Hard to see beyond SA or NZ despite an improving England - but its a knock out cup so suprises can be expected

    Re the Eng Fr game - thought Clancy was generally good, although the French were living offside, particularly in the first half.

    One thing I particularly liked from him is that he allowed both teams to counter-ruck so long as they entered the ruck from directly behind. Too many refs go for a penalty when someone comes through the middle of the ruck to steal the ball, irrespective of where they entered

    By Anonymous Paolo, at March 01, 2011 11:26 am  

  • Right guys, Resident Troll did not make these comments, and from now I shall retire that name...so please dont confuse that idiot with this idiot!

    By Anonymous Resident Troll, at March 01, 2011 4:16 pm  

  • to anonymous,

    "france has no hope of world cup glory"

    well, for the moment, i agree with u. And i nearly think it's better for them not to be favorites before the RWC. French are never good when they think they are the best, and, in opposition, incredibly dangerous when they are outsiders.

    Result, october 2011

    By Anonymous Guy, at March 01, 2011 7:55 pm  

  • Paulo, Australia have a great no 6 in Elsom, Pocock is world class, Palu when he's playing is one of the world's best no 8s. In the second row Nathan Sharpe is an excellent player, Rob Simmons, James Horwill and Mark Chisholm are all good second rowers.

    In the front row, Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau are both excellent hookers.

    The only problem position for Australia is prop.
    And even there they have plenty of loosies capable enough, Robinson, Alexander, Slipper.

    The real problem is tight-head, Aus simpyl doesn't have a good one, and if you know scrums, you know that tight head is the key position. Without a tight head the scrum will always be a problem.

    You make the mistake of thinking that a bad scrum means the rest of the pack is weak. The fact is Australia has zero issues with their line-out, all of their pack can tackle, ruck and counter-ruck (in fact they are very good at turning over opposition ball), their defence is top class and they can all run the ball, in fact in terms of running in the backline only a couple teams can match the skills they have.

    In the NH the forward pack sometimes seems to mean the scrum and only the scrum. But that simply doesn't make sense.
    You can't become the no 2 team in the world (with wins over NZ, SA and all the 6 nations teams) without a forward pack.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 01, 2011 11:10 pm  

  • "- Some of the line out decisions (not all straight) and one french being taking out in the air with no penalty (but Brian Moore explained us he fell by himself....until the replay came ;-))"

    His players let him go and he fell onto an English player. He wasn't taken out.

    By Anonymous Not the anonymous mousse, at March 02, 2011 12:42 am  

  • Jono, not sure this is the place for a discussion on the Aussie pack, but a few thoughts...

    Agreed on Pocock, possibly the best in the world. I loved watching Elsom for Leinster but think he has only rarely shown that form on the international stage. He has a tendency to disappear when things are going badly

    Palu is ok without being anything special. Sharpe the same and whilst Moore is quite good, there's not another player out of the lot you mention that would be in the top 5 in their position and I think that really is my point

    The Aussie backline is stuffed with extravagant talent that if it were allied to a same level of ability in the forwards, would see them outclassing the entire world, inc NZ. Unfortunately it isn't

    And no I don't just mean the scrum (although a bad scrum is not always just down to the front row, as I'm sure you know)

    I think the fact that Aus are currently 2nd is testament to the ability in their back division. If you joined them to the pack from NZ, SA, France, England, even perhaps Argentina, then no-one would be beating them

    Perhaps the rest of the world should just count their lucky stars that Aus are lacking up front.

    By Anonymous Paolo, at March 02, 2011 7:01 pm  

  • RD - keep doing what your doing, real rugby fans appreciate everything your website does, with out you I wouldn't get to see the super 14's or whats going outside the UK!

    Thanks RD - ignore the ignorant comments!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 02, 2011 9:54 pm  

  • Paulo, we'll have to agree to disagree I guess.

    I'm bias of course, so maybe I overate players a bit, but as an example Tatafu Polota Nau is actually considered a better hooker than Moore in Australia.

    The line out never gives up ball easily, and often steals opposition.

    In my opinion, it would be impossible for Australia to unleash their backs at all without a solid forward pack.

    Certainly there are better packs, South Africa and New Zealand are obvious examples, but they never take a backwards step against either of these teams.

    It's a misconception that people have about the Australian team.

    Defensivley they are tough as hell (see the game against England in Perth where England camped on the wallabies line for phase after phase and couldn't make a metre, were driven back in every tackle).

    If they fixed their scrum, I would wager my hosue that the criticism of their pack would suddenly stop.

    But again, it's just my opinion.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 03, 2011 12:06 am  

  • Agree with Jono there, alot of the critisism of the Aussie pack comes from being poor at scrum time. Lineouts and open play they are very competitive. Having said that one of the most important things is getting your scrum right.

    By Anonymous King, at March 03, 2011 12:01 pm  

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