England Rugby Union – World Cup Woes

England RugbyEngland’s opening match against Fiji may not have seemed a good win to those unused to Rugby Nations. Fiji entered the tournament ranked 9th in World Rugby; England – 4th.

Granted England’s performance might not threaten the Southern Hemisphere power houses; New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

South Africa have dropped in standings from 3rd to 6th after defeat by Japan, boosting England, Wales and Ireland.

So yesterday, Saturday 16th September 2015, England lost against the team immediately below them in world rankings.

Perhaps to novices that puts things at least a little in perspective. Though Rugby Union is played around the world it is most prevalent in Western Europe and the Commonwealth. In the top 10 countries only Argentina are outside that description, they are currently ranked 8th.

Me n Webb EllisI was fortunate enough to see the Webb Ellis Trophy while it was touring the country. The trophy reached Leeds on 8th August 2015 at Leeds Dock, new Royal Armouries Leeds.

I’m more a Rugby League fan but I enjoy watching Rugby Union too.

I don’t write about Sport much on this blog. I’ve written nothing about Leeds Rhinos, the Rugby League team I’ve supported all my life. Though I have mentioned them on my twitter account that is linked to this blog.

England face a difficult match next Saturday. When they meet Australia on 3rd October they know that they need to beat the World number 2. It is a tough match but it is achievable.

Team selection is key and I hope that Stuart Lancater sticks to his guns regarding Sam Burgess. Good ball distribution is something England will really need. Of course Australia will be aware about Burgess and his skill to off load the ball, legally, in tackles. This is something he brings to the game from his years in Rugby League.

I’m not critical of the decision taken by the skipper, Chris Robshaw, regarding the penalty given in the final three minutes of the match against Wales. He chose for the team to take a kick for the corner rather than a goal kick. A goal would have given them a tie, a try would have won the match. The distance to scoring a try was achievable. It must be noted that Wales Head Coach, Warren Gatland, disagrees with me.

England’s set play was strong with more Line-outs and more Scrums won than Wales. Breakdowns wasn’t as good with Wales winning more Rucks, England however won more Mauls.

The main element of the game that let England down in my opinion was discipline. Too many penalties were given away, that must be improved upon. There were 12 penalties against England and 11 against Wales of those England gave more penalties attracting a Goal attempt, it is that simple. Cut out the penalties, concentrate on getting Trys.

I know I’m being simplistic here but sometimes it is that simple.

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