It wasn't just the England forwards...
December 02, 2012, 22:07:59
What we saw in the NZL v ENG match was not just a great forward display by England. It was a monumental effort from the backs too and the fact that NZL was exposed for not having a plan "b". I am not saying NZL are not good enough to have a plan "b" because they are still a quality team but they have been in cruise mode for so long now as there plan "a" has not faultered yet so they were made to believe it will beat anyone on any day.
What England did well is take the game to the AB's and more than that, go up and fetch them on defence. Most teams try keep the ball close against the AB's as their backs are far more dangerous than their forwards. Then when the AB backs get the ball, teams stand back and hope for a mistake or let the AB's run at them. England went up and fetched them everytime. NZL backs were suffocated and they had no plan "b". They have not experienced this in such a long time that they became shocked and didn't look themselves.
Is it coincidence that SA dominated in 2007 and 2009 and those were the years we were so good at that "rush defence" tactic where we didn't let teams just run at us. We ran up to them and closed the space down pretty quickly. With no space, the AB's are not nearly as dangerous. Their pack is not even top 3 in the world. They good enough but neutralize their backs and they not world number 1. Thats what England did so well and not only did they beat them but they kinda mopped the floor with them. Very strange to see NZL having to score to make the scores look more decent. Shows just how superior England were in every facet of the game. If rugby was an 8 man game (ie. just the forwards) it would surely be a battle between SA, England and Argies for top 3 positioning.
Now I said this to friends and family when he left the shores of SA but SA's best inside centre wears the England 12 jumper!
Brad Barritt should have been capped in 2007 when the Sharks made the finals with the Bulls in Super Rugby. He was a stand out player every game that year yet Waylon Murray made it but not him. Huge mistake!!