with dismal team management.
In keeping up his dismal record in recent games against the Jocks, Eddie Jones became the first England coach to lose back to back Calcutta Cups in 38 years and he owns it all.
I said before the game that England would lose because on three people. Eddie Jones, his insistence on starting Ben Youngs and the knowledge he couldn’t stop himself from bringing on George Ford.
And so it turned out as England lost again, meaning they’ve only won one of the last five Calcutta Cups, with one draw in there – which should have been a sacking offence – and two defeats on the trot, either one a sacking offence.
Why does he did he… does he… do it?
England had all the ball and all of the territory, yet couldn’t get away from the Jocks, indeed spending most of the game behind. They really didn’t look like scoring tries for great parts of the match. Why was that, well, that was because of the first name on Jones’s team sheet.
Youngs did two things all game, one break, where he got isolated and the pass for Smith’s try, hich he almost butchered. Just needing to pop the ball up for the onrushing fly-half, Youngs passed it almost behind Smith. And that was Youngs throughout.
Marcus Smith was hindered throughout his hour on the pitch by having Yongs alongside him. Youngs, as he always is, was slow to the breakdown, slow at the breakdown, slow getting away from the breakdown. How many times does Jones need to watch Youngs stand there as England are counter rucked, when he finally gets there? How many times does Jones need to watch Youngs dither with his pass, meaning when the receiver finally gets the head high ball that stops him in his tracks he has an opposing player right on him?
Because his passing is awful, nothing in the breadbasket for a player to run onto. No, it’s always too high and stops all forward motion. Hard to know which is worse, his passing or those gawd awful box kicks that just gifts possession away and contributes nothing to England’s play.
Ah kicking. Jones’s favourite thing for England to do.
So having scored all of England’s 17 points, including the go ahead try, with an hour on the clock, Jones decided to remove Smith for George Ford.
It looked like one of either two scenarios from Jones. Either a by the numbers substitution or Jones not liking a player being on track to take all the plaudits and headlines.
Either way it certainly wasn’t Jones reading the situation as he laughably said after the match that he thought “I thought George Ford could lift the game”. Smith had just lifted things, with that try, and has been the man that has closed games out for his club this season.
While Ford came on and contributed to the defeat.
With time running out Mr Pat-a-Cake Tackle, put in two of the worst kicks for touch you’ll see. While they could have been right up attacking the Jock line, they were yards from where they should have been. Ford stood there looking like he was about to burst into tears.
Jones had cut the cord. He’d dispensed with Ford in the Autumn games. But when it came to the crunch and Farrell dropped out, Jones panicked and brought Ford straight back in. We should just be grateful that he didn’t start the bottler as some dimwit commentators wanted.
It wasn’t the only decision Jones made that showed he hadn’t a clue what was going off out there. Marchant was having a stinker, not surprising for a player who had been isolating for the previous week but it took until the 89th minute before Jones decided to take him off. Nowell only getting on after the clicked had ticked over into the red.
Don’t know whose fault it was that Marler took the line-out after Cowan-Dickie had been sin binned. That was one of the things the ref got correct. Should the Jock try have stood, after a quick line-out was taken when the ball wasn’t the original one that went into touch and the line-out wasn’t set correctly. And as for his bottling of the scrums at the end. When you see penalties given for the forward going team in scrums like that during the game before and after, you know he was scared of giving a decision that might have denied the home side victory.
But blaming the ref for being an inept coward deflects from Jones and his ownership of this debacle.
Watching on you couldn’t help but marvel at the sacrifices made by the BBC for their coverage of their one game for this round, their one England game of the whole tournament. In efforts to slim down and cut costs they managed to use only 9 people to talk about this game on BBC One.
I would have had more sympathy… actually just sympathy because I had none… for Brian Moore losing his job, if he wasn’t such a loathsome individual. Someone who keeps going on about the lies of others, when he lies about the fact he’s Yorkshire, when he ain’t.
One wonders what percentage of those watching the games on the BBC will be English and how many of them will be sick fed up of the parochial regional commentators.
But the BBC have lost their only decent voice for the game. Nine people and there’s only one you would keep. Though most of them were better than the woman who did the France Italy game, on ITV. The only funny thing about her little quips, that she laughed at herself, was the deafening silence they were greeted by from her co-commentators. A complete waste of time and batteries in teh remote control, for the mute button.