9 Things England Will Have Learnt From Their Loss To Ireland

Rugby Union - 2015 RBS Six Nations Launch - Hurlingham Club

After yesterday’s defeat to Ireland we take a look at nine things England will have learnt after their trip to Dublin in this year’s Six Nations.

1. Now Is Not The Time To Panic

England’s defeat to Ireland may have been their poorest performance in this year’s Six Nations, however now is not the time to panic and make rash changes. This was an inexperienced England side coming up against an in-form Ireland who have experience on their side and a master tactician in Joe Schmidt.

2. The Poor Starts Are Becoming A Real Issue

For the first time in this year’s Six Nations England’s slow start cost them dearly as despite a late resurgence they did not have enough time to get back into the game and overcome the deficit. This was the same case during several of the Autumn Internationals and needs to be cut out immediately if they are to have any hope during the World Cup.

3. Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes Are Missed

Whilst Dave Attwood and George Kruis have performed well for the most part during the last few games. it became apparent against Ireland that England seriously miss their first choice second row pairing. Whilst Kruis had a solid enough game against Ireland, Attwood had a bit of an off day so Launchbury and Lawes need to be reunited when fit.

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4. Use Of Substitutions

It’s hard to understand the point in having a player like Danny Cipriani on the bench if you’re not going to bring him on when you need a try as was the case against Ireland. He was exactly the sort of player England needed yesterday yet didn’t get a chance. Equally the removal of Jonathan Joseph baffled as he was one of the few players who can create something.

5. The Decision Making Needs To Improve

Taking a kick at the posts when 13 points down with 12 minutes to go is a bizarre decision at best. It showed a lack of ambition and trust in their ability to score a try so late in the game. If England are truly to compete against the best sides in the world then they have to show ambition in these circumstances rather than playing the safe option.

6. Mike Brown Is A Key Figure

Alex Goode didn’t have his best performance in an England shirt yesterday, however he did a few things well. Unfortunately it became apparent that England seriously missed the aerial prowess and running of Mike Brown from the back. For that reason they need to hope he gets fit and stays that way ahead of the World Cup.

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7. The Tactical Kicking Game Is Still Poor

England were given a masterclass in aerial kicking by Ireland who completely dominated from the boot, even Ireland’s try came from a chip over the top. Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray kept England pinned back whilst the chase from the back three put England’s backs under pressure at every opportunity and resulted in a number of territorial gains.

8. Now Is The Time To Introduce Henry Slade

Whilst Billy Twelvetrees made an impressive cameo in the closing stages against Wales during the opening game of the Six Nations, his performance against Ireland can’t have done his international ambitions much good. For that reason, perhaps now is the time to give Henry Slade an opportunity in an England shirt.

9. Jack Nowell Should Start Ahead Of Jonny May

Although England struggled to give Nowell much ball, the few times he did get hold of it, for the most part her performed well. There were a couple of issues, however he showed enough against Ireland to suggest he should be given the opportunity to start again next time round against Scotland.e

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2 comments

  1. Slade over Twelvetrees, agreed. Nowell over May agreed. And whilst I would agree that we need Lawes and Launchbury back, that would likely cause Attwood or Kruis to be placed on the Bench. With Nick Easter playing so well, I think losing what he offers will be detrimental at this stage. So Easter MUST remain in England’s match day 23.

  2. Lancasters ponderous thought processes and his preference for planning protocols does England much harm in the selection decisions he makes.
    He sent Lawes and Parling back to their clubs and they both played absolute blinders for Leicester and Northants. These two in the England side would have made far more difference than bringing on Cipriani after 50 minutes.
    Parling and Lawes can both poach ball on opposition lineout and Lawes would have had Sexton looking over his shoulder for the big hit all afternoon.
    Strange that Lancaster follows his protocol about not reintroducing players after injury unless their name is Farrell. If you are called Farrell you can come straight back into the England side out of form and carrying an injury and even be selected out of position at inside centre. Everyone else has to play a couple of games for their club before they can even get back on the bench.

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