Rare scenes as Ellis Genge is hit so hard he injures his own teammate
It is not often Ellis Genge goes backwards on a rugby pitch, and it is very rare that he flies backwards like he is not a 117kg Test prop. Whether he is attacking or defending, the England loosehead is all about aggression and getting on the front foot. Italy flanker Sebastian Negri had other ideas on Sunday though at Twickenham.
In round two of the Guinness Six Nations, the Bristol Bears prop flew out the line to meet the flanker, typifying this new ultra aggressive defence that Kevin Sinfield is trying to implement in the England set up. Everything was looking good right up until contact, where the 108kg loose forward dropped his shoulder to send Genge flying backwards in what would have been a very new experience for the prop.
It was such a new experience for Genge that his teammate Kyle Sinckler was actually smashed in the face by his fellow prop’s boot as he was rolling backwards. Given the fact that the pair play week in week out with Bristol, Sinckler would know that when Genge his someone, they usually remain hit, so the last thing he would have expected was a boot in the face when he went in to assist the tackle. This actually forced a bloodied Sinckler from the field early in the second half, with Dan Cole coming on in his place.
England’s replacements have struggled to provide the impact that Steve Borthwick has obviously desired so far this Championship, which he discussed after the match.
“At eight points up I would expect to win that game against Scotland. There was another point we were four points up and we let it slip,” said Borthwick.
“As we move forward with this team, as we coach and understand, we will be debriefing those things really fully so we don’t let those opportunities slide.
“You can’t rewind the clock. I talked about my regrets as a player and I don’t want these players to have regrets.
“We let one slip against Scotland and we made sure we fully debriefed it to learn from it.
“Against Italy, there was a period late in the game where we let momentum get away from us. I really need to understand why it happened and how it happened.
“We can’t keep letting teams have momentum late in games against us. Clearly we let Italy out of their half, which is exactly what happened against Scotland. Systems take time.”
Take a look at the hit on Genge: