Rugby World Cup: England need pack leader to beat Australia – Matt Dawson columnCat:未分類
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I think England coach Eddie Jones choice to move Owen Farrell into fly-half to get Saturdays quarter-final from Australia will be the best one.
In fact, provided that Henry Slade was fit to replace him I believe that it was inevitable.
Im because he has played really well in Japan for George Ford, who has started every match of the World Cup in 10 – although possibly his form in the huge matches has counted against him.
In the handful of huge pressure games at global level in his career he has perhaps wobbled.
It might be a little harsh on him since he is farther down on the line and more convinced now. But certainly before when he has played knock-out matches with big decisions, I wouldnt have always said he would be my first choice.
Farrell, together with Slade and Manu Tuilagi outside him was a combination during the Six Nations.
Its a mix that the resistance struggled to find any change out of and then was very threatening in attack.
It shuts down a great deal of alternatives for the resistance concerning where they can attack because Farrell is so solid there – they have to think of something different.
However there is going to be a question mark over Slade, who has not played with more than 40 minutes of rugby. Can he be eloquent?
Certainly on a Small run that he had been during the Six Nations. He looked dangerous going forward. He ran great lines, demonstrated feet and great skill – running as well as kicking.
Defensively, he read the play brilliantly – therefore I like that combination.
Australia are likely to come out that England will not expect and havent seen before.
Its a huge shout putting. However, it is his famous position – rather than the wing, by which he has won his caps – so it isnt like him is entirely throwing in at the deep end.
Englands focus is going to be on Petaia, and that means youre able to ensure that Australia are thinking about moving somewhere else and playing in another manner so that England will need to tweak their own defence.
Theyre a crowd that is clever and England need to be regarding what Australia will deliver.
The one surprise for me personally in Australias selection for Saturday is May Genia since I dont think he has been on form, playing nine. I think Nic White has been solid on when the match is open, as a starter and Genia has arrived.
If I had been in that England aspect Id be thinking, there. They will need to try and put pressure onto the ruck so that Genia gets ball that is static and also becomes a bit indecisive. I believe that choice will be embraced by England.
In addition, Genia and fly-half Christian Lealiifano have just begun together. In comparison Ben Youngs and Farrell, is a difference there.
From the rear, Australia will want to make sure the expertise of David Pocock and ruler Michael Hooper offers them an edge over England flankers Sam Underhill along with Tom Curry.
But it might only ignite Underhill and Curry to be the stars of this World Cup. Should they get it directly from Pocock and Hooper, that are up there as the best in the world for a partnership, the England boys will set their name in lights.
Pocock and Hooper will soon be well aware that their reputation is up for grabs along with this match will get all their attention and then some.
In each of these quarter-finals youre likely to find every last ounce of work and experience – what will be thrown out there. Nothing will be left to happen.
Nothing else matters Whenever you have built up for four decades to it. There are no warm-up games, theres not any qualification from the pool. This is it. That is the reason they sacrificed themselveswhy theyve been playing as long as they have and they dreamt of from when they were at college.
You have got Pocock and Hooper that have been round the block, played some big games, but never won a World Cup. Itll be their chance.
Then you have gotten the young pretenders coming through who were probably inspired by Pocock and Hooper and now want to shoot their mantle.
The question hanging over Englands performances has always been, how can they win the game if they are behind with 20 minutes to proceed?
Naturally, Id like England to not be in that position. However, it could come to the direction within the group. Who is the pack leader, although you have got Farrell as captain? Its not easy to state. If you ask eight people theyd probably name eight distinct players.
When it comes to stress moments, one voice at the forward has to make things happen.
There are loads of players with 50 or more caps. They should be, by now, good enough in making those decisions.
Its whether they do it at a quarter-final of their World Cup when there is no tomorrowno debrief. Its win and move on or move home.
Matt Dawson was talking to BBC Sports Becky Grey.
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