At least you got some honesty

from Brian Ashton.

After Saturday’s debacle against the Irish at least new England coach Brian Ashton was honest in what he said about the game and performance of his side.

So unlike his predecessor, who would look befuddled and come out with some banalities about taking the positives and learning from this and the coaches of both the cricket & football team, Ashton basically said they were crap and beaten by the better side.

I woud disagree when he said the whole 15 weren’t up to it, as the new kid on the wing Strettle looked the part and if he’d got more ball could have done more damage than his single try.

A lot of that has to go down to the new whipping boy for England Any Farrell, he didn’t look the part. He certainly wasn’t the only one that had a bad game but his was a pivotal role and on a number of occasions he could have spread the ball wide to the wing but held on and stopped any momentum. He just looked slow of thought and deed throughout and became an easy target for those that see him as a league player.

But just because they have a previous bias against him doesn’t mean they aren’t correct, it’s an experiment that has been tried and should be put on hold now, send him back to his club or the Saxon’s side and see if he can run a game there not on the 6 Nations with a World Cup looming.

It’s not the only other place where changes are required, Martin Corry does look a better player without the captaincy weighing him down but he still looks too far off the pace for the international game. The back row just don’t seem to be able to impose themselves on a game. Oh for the days of Back, Hill & Dallaglio.

The line out needs a lot of work, it hasn’t been right for some-while, ever since Thompson started faltering with his throws. It never seems to be quick clean ball if they win the line out at all. Grewcock is a yellow card waiting to happen and it did again, much like Lewis Moody (who wasn’t involved here) players you’d like to play but can they be kept on with the way they give penalties away time after time.

I wonder what will happen with Strettle if Billy Whizz is back for the France game? I know I said previously that players need to be played in their correct position but maybe a speed merchant like Robinson in the centre could the call. It’s not like he can’t tackle and you’d know he’d keep up with quick breaks from the likes of Ellis.

And the day started off so well with the Jocks implosion, giving Italy a 21-0 lead after only five and half minutes, after all the talk of fortress Murrayfield. A well deserved first away victory for the Azzurri. Troncon didn’t half marshall his troops well.

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