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June SH tours - Whippings ahoy (as usual)

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    June SH tours - Whippings ahoy (as usual)

    Great, now there are unspecified allegations against four unnamed English player in connection with an incident in a hotel room after the New Zealand game. Jesus H Christ, what the fuck is going on with this tour? Bad enough we're getting smashed by the All Blacks, but even an allegation of what, given the information released, is likely to be of a sexual nature, and whether true or false, is not something I can recall ever being linked to an England tour.

    Smashing up hotel rooms, extreme drunkness and stupidity, but this is serious. For anything like this to even be hinted at under the reign of SCW would have seen pigs flying and moons blue.


      June SH tours - Whippings ahoy (as usual)


      15 - Tait - 10/10 on the Mike Brown standard must-do-better-o-meter (kicked poorly, missed a couple of tackles that led to tries, failed to counterattack at 100,000 mph beating all the New Zealand players including running round the subs bench twice before gliding in under the posts, butchered a try). Must never play again for England! OR 6/10 - As I've said before, I think his best position is 13. He is by some margin one of the few players who went on this tour who combines both speed and skill and his defence is much improved from his early days and certainly good enough for o/c. The thought of him running onto Cipriani cut out passes makes me think we may have a chance at scoring tries. His best moments came in the 13 channel and indeed our only properly worked try on this whole tour came with him standing in the 13 shirt when he fixed his man and then gave Varndell a sympathetic pass. Does anyone think either Tindall or Noon would have done anything other than lowered their heads and blundered slowly into the tackler?

      14 - Ojo - 4/10 - Showed why he has a long, long way to go yet. Undoubtedly a star with space and the ball in hand, but his kicking isn't up to scratch and his defence is not good enough. But there's time for him to develop and he's one for the future.

      13 - Tindall - 2/10 - Missed countless tackle, binned again, passed about once and generally looked a shadow of the big beast he was in the good old days. Injuries have caught up with him and the game has passed him by. Reserve 13 at best.

      12 - Noon - 1/10 and that's generous. For someone who was picked to stiffen England's midfield, he showed absolutely nothing to support this cretinous selection. I think he touched the ball three times and charged into the nearest black shirt. He must never, ever, ever play for England again. He is symbolic of our inadequacies in the backs. The comparision with his opposite number was embarrassing to say the least. If you're picking a banger at 12, make sure he can pass and break the line.

      11 - Varndell - 5/10 - Butchered one try (so, he too must be banished forever like Strettle according to some) but went OK. Perhaps if he could learn to hand off or rely on a bit more skill rather than just backing himself he would have got in. Took his actual try well and was a bit lucky to get away at the end with the penalty, but fair dos. I'd have him as a reserve to Sackey in the "finisher" wing category.

      10 - Flood - 6/10 - Good cover tackle for Tait's missed tackle (DROP TAIT! HE MISSED A TACKLE!) but that cost him severely. Did well given that he's hardly played at 10 all season but if he wants to play there long term, he needs to work on his kicking from hand.

      9 Care - 6.5 or 7/10 - Oh dear God, an England scrum half who can both pass and run! Must surely be the ongoing choice for a good while yet (I'll never rate Ellis till he learns to play half-decently behind a bad pack and stops meercatting instead of getting the ball away from the breakdown). In there for both tries and for a young lad on his first away tour in New Zealand picking up his first caps, he has shown immense promise.

      1 - Payne - 5.5/10 - Brainless for the penalty (but he's a prop). Did well enough around the field but I swear if I see another front rower standing in the 10 channel and taking a static ball when there's a man coming from deep who's the intended recipient I'll do myself an injury).

      2 - Mears - 4/10 - Lineout good, everything else just showing he's not big enough, I'm afraid. Paine and Hartley in the future.

      3 - Stevens - 4/10 - He's been a shadow of himself on this tour, but I suspect that's because he's been ill served by his locks and hooker as much as anything. Mears can get away with being a bit smaller in the GP but scrummagers like the New Zealand front row are big from 1-3 and off the bench too and Stevens had his backside handed to him twice. He benefits at Bath from having a big lock like Grewcock or Short behind him, as well as the bigger Lipman rather than Rees adding weight. But still, keep him in their, get him a bit leaner and he'll be fine.

      4 - Borthwick - 5/10 - Showed a bit more spite but I'm still not convinced he's hard enough for an international lock.

      5 - Palmer - 4/10 - A couple of lineout steals aside, totally anonymous again. I don't think he's up to it either.

      6 - Haskell - 7/10 - Big, big game. At the heart of everything good.

      7 - Rees - 7/10 - Again, competed on a level par with the opposition and his removal from the field was an admission that damage limitation was the name of the game as our turnover and ruck play got worse.

      8 - Narraway - 6.5/10 - He's impressed me as the matches and the games have gone on. I'm still not entirely convinced he doesn't need a few extra pounds to really step up but he's one to keep.

      Subs - Barkley was OK in patches, awful hospital balls, bad place kicking but like Flood, if you're not playing week in, week out in a key position it's hard. Worsley chucked himself about but his time has gone. Croft showed some dog. Hobson had a terrible introduction but I hop he comes back. Kay OK. Paice stiffened up the scrums and should have been starting.


      Some of these players should never play for England again.

      We need to learn how to convert turnover ball into scoring chances because every time we got it the line was absoutely static with no pace. The All Blacks moved through the gears like an Aston Martin.

      Wells and Ford (Ford especially) have to go.
      Simply have to.

      We have some promising young players both here and in the A team and should now stick with them and trust them to come through rather than picking the same old trundlers.

      I never want to see England going for damage limitation again. It's an admission of failure before you've started.

      We need to find at least one lock who eats babies for fun.


        June SH tours - Whippings ahoy (as usual)

        How many of the men who played for England yesterday do you think will be picked for the Lions next year?
        How many do you think should be picked?


          June SH tours - Whippings ahoy (as usual)

          Haskell, Care (if he continues his good start), Rees, Tait (McGheechan knows a talent and how to use it), Stevens (give him some decent support and he's a decent player), that's about it. And I wouldn't necessariy pick them to start, but I would have them in the touring party.