Peter Bills of the Independent on Sunday described England’s attack in the aftermath of their loss to France as ‘about as cutting edge as a Yorkshire pudding’.
I wasn’t able to watch live the ‘rugby friendly’ where the French overturned the English 22 - 9 in Marseilles but I did tune into watch this game on replay the following day. Is it just me or when you already know the score and are not really emotionally invested in the team you’re watching, the rugby is slightly boring? I found this game boring anyway. There seemed to be a fair bit of niggle and not a lot of invention. Admittedly France did score a try – but just the one.
Defence structures across all top tier teams at the moment seem so good now that backlines can’t seem to attain any flow off set piece moves. The teams that can actually score tries appear happier to feed off the mistakes of the opposition and wait to counter attack. It has been stated many times that this World Cup will be won on defence. I would prefer to think that a team that can attack with flair and score tries off different plays on the rugby field will be lifting old Bill. For this reason I would rather see Australia, Ireland, Wales or New Zealand get to the final stages of the tournament over the likes of South Africa or England who are always too content to kick, kick, kick and play the ten man game. The jury for me is still out on France. I don’t believe they have been tested enough and the wheels may come off for them, particularly with that loose canon coach and some half decent opposition.