England will need to step up

Did you see the England vs Argentina match?

Inspired? Thrilling? 

My heartbeat barely became elevated sadly as it became very evident in the opening 10 minutes that England had come to win by kicking points early and grind out a result.

I’m not suggesting every time England play then supporters should demand an epic performance, however with a stuttering back line and limited play, it was tough to watch.

Shortly England will be hosting Australia, currently hitting form on a 7 match unbeaten run,  meaning England will face a far  sterner challenge that the Argentinians could offer. Failure to score over the posts meant the Pumas lost a game which they possibly could of won in unusual circumstances. Lack of discipline within the England ranks offered the Pumas too many opportunities to take the lead but failed to take due to poor kicking. The Aussies will not be so forgiving.

Some bright highlights from the match were…

  • Roko scoring his 3rd try. Possibly a forward pass, Roko still had to do the business and surely Jones should now review his position within the squad.
  • Nathan Hughes…possibly my man of the match. Hughes made so massive runs and had a disruptive impact whenever he was on the ball.
  • Henry Slade and Alex Lozowski both had good performances…ideal timing to show Jones what he could be missing in Japan. Possibly time to start regulary playing both players over the 6 nations?

Possible areas to debate…

  • Sad to see Mike Brown carried off with possible concussion. Now that he’s possibly out of action for the remainder of the Autumn season, will this offer Watson the chance to cement the full back position?
  • Hartley…I love this guy. Plays with passion and on the edge, however he’s seem to have lost that impact around the loose and hardly runs with the ball these days. Time for Jamie George to step up at hooker with Farrell picking up the captains armband?
  • Ford…would someone send him to a confidence coach? He often looks terrified when taking the kicks and his limited impact in getting the back line running felt like he was out of his depth in front of the home crowd.

Let’s remember however when England face the the Aussies we will see Farrell and Itoje return…surely this will be a big boost and I envisage a change in attitude by the England team.

If it was a school report, it would certainly be “Jones has done well so far, however this week wasn’t his normal standard and I’d expect better things in his next test.”