Home Rugby Union Matt Dawson: How the Record-Breaking Loss to France Put England Player Reputations at Stake

Matt Dawson: How the Record-Breaking Loss to France Put England Player Reputations at Stake

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I was captain of an England team that got very bad results on a trip to the south in 1998. We all feel awful about our big loss at home yesterday and couldn’t sleep well last night. But if we try hard and show good rugby skills over the next week, then coach Steve Borthwick will pick us for the World Cup this September.

The feeling of being disheartened isn’t necessarily that a lot of players did bad. It’s more that we just aren’t as good as other teams. No matter who you choose to put in the team, our skills aren’t up to par and that’s really depressing. From listening to Podcasts like Rugby Union Daily, it seems England has a big difference between them and the top teams. France was even able to make enormous plays when they recently played against England at Twickenham.

“The Greatest Scrum-Half Ever

England’s current strategy for playing rugby has not been effective for a long time. The players, Alex Dombrandt and Jack van Poortvliet, are not doing well on the team; they have usually played better than this but their current performance is not very good. They aren’t making any breaks around the borders nor being a threat to the opponents like usual.

When you watch Antoine Dupont play, it’s like Roger Federer in his prime. He is so good that he can control the game, even when it gets tough. People might soon claim that Dupont is the greatest scrum-half ever – and even I as a big Gareth Edwards fan have to admit it! Plus, Dupont keeps getting better every day.

England’s playing strategies are too simple and so Marcus Smith has limited options. Even though it might seem like a good idea to use the same tactics as someone like Finn Russell, that doesn’t help if other players don’t know what you are up to. This means that at international level, Smith gets tackled much more often than when he plays with his club team, where he can make line-breaks and look great.

When someone on the Scottish team tries to break away, they get tackled and pushed back. This can make it hard for the Scottish team to stay organized since there isn’t another person ready to help. However, the guy (Russell) has found a way around this by reducing how often he makes risky moves.

France’s helpful tactic is to let the other player (Smith) try going forward but then quickly grab them in a tackle which stops Scotland’s attack instantly.

Alex Mitchell had an impact when he joined the team at nine. He wasn’t doing anything that Van Poortvliet couldn’t do, but he was braver when his team was behind by 24 points and felt that he didn’t have much to lose.

“England Soccer

In the past few years, people have been talking about if England has enough top-notch soccer players to compete for the World Cup. However, compared to France and Ireland, it seems that England is not as good as them at producing great international soccer players.

Maro Itoje and Jamie George used to be really good players, but aren’t nearly that good anymore. Freddie Steward is England’s best player now, but he isn’t quite world-class yet. Hugo Keenan and Thomas Ramos are world-class full-backs, but none of the other English players can get close to them right now.

England have had great soccer games against Italy and Wales, but France was determined not to make any mistakes like the one they made during their loss from Ireland. Even though France had the determination to do well, that doesn’t mean all players can reach the same level. Some of them have before and will again in the future.

England thought that their match against France would be just as challenging as the one with Ireland, but they were determined to win by playing their own game instead of adjusting for how France was playing.

“England Take a Chance to Defy the Odds Against Ireland”

England might have a chance of beating Ireland in their next game. It’s very unlikely, but there have been cases where the huge favourites ended up getting defeated.

Ireland will be very stressed out because England is considered an underdog and people would expect them to lose. People’s reputations are at stake here.

People involved in the whole event might say some unpleasant things because this is the last chance to go to a World Cup under the current coach. Not only people who are playing, but everyone involved in English rugby team will be affected if they lose. If England only wins two games at Six Nations competition, it could mean there’s something wrong with the system and it can have further impacts on future results.

We hope England will compete strongly and give Ireland a good challenge.

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