England’s woeful tactics against Ireland highlighted by ex centre
England are a way off the top teams in the world in a number of departments. Lightyears off them. But one area in particular is their kicking game.
Of course England have players that can kick, but where, when and how they kick is where the chasm between Steve Borthwick’s men and the rest lies.
Former England centre Luther Burrell perfectly highlighted that on Saturday as England visited the Aviva Stadium to take on Ireland.
England winger Anthony Watson put up a kick for his teammates to chase in the first half, which is fine, but the problem was that the only person chasing was all 1.78 metres of scrum-half Ben Youngs. As expected, England were not able to regain possession from the kick, which is obvious.
When England have the 1.96 metre fullback Freddie Steward in their back three, and two other wingers that are strong under the high ball, it is brainless for England to have their scrum-halves chasing kicks.
Burrell wrote: “Some small detail – your back 3 players are generally best at high ball retention, wingers should not be telling your 9 to fetch. Early pass to 9, belt it up in the air and wingers go contest… use your special skill set!”
IRELAND XV: Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster); Mack Hansen (Galway Corinthians/Connacht), Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster), Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht), James Lowe (Leinster); Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster); Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster), James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) (capt), Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster), Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster), Cian Prendergast (UCD/Connacht).
Replacements:Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Jeremy Loughman (Garryowen/Munster), Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht), Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster), Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster).
ENGLAND XV: Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers); Anthony Watson (Unattached), Joe Marchant (Stade Francais), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Elliot Daly (Saracens); George Ford (Sale Sharks), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears), Jamie George (Saracens), Will Stuart (Bath), Maro Itoje (Saracens), David Ribbans (Toulon), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) (capt), Ben Earl (Saracens), Billy Vunipola (Saracens).
Replacements: Theo Dan (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Jack Willis (Toulouse), Danny Care (Harlequins), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ollie Lawrence (Bath).