Anorak News | In England’s Defence

In England’s Defence

by | 17th, June 2003

‘WHAT does Australian rugby coach Eddie Jones know about Premier League football? Not very much, it seems.

Billy Whizz

He has welcomed the England XV to Australian shores following their historic 15-13 defeat of the All Blacks with a misdirected barb ahead of this weekend’s match with his Wallabies.

”They’re playing that Premier League soccer,” he said. ”Get down the other end and have a few set plays and take what they get down there.”

Anyone who has watched any Premier League football recently will not have a clue what Jones is on about.

And nor will anyone who has watched England’s recent performances on the rugby field.

It is true that England were poor in attack, especially behind the scrum, at Wellington.

But the All Blacks didn’t create a whole lot more – and they are supposed to have the most exciting and creative back line in world rugby.

Indeed, the only try of the game came from a kick and chase from the Kiwis, which should not have counted anyway as the chaser was clearly offside.

Australia know that any victory against the All Blacks in New Zealand is a very impressive achievement and the quality of the English defence will have made a mark.

However, if they think that there is no more to England’s game than a solid defence, a big pack and Jonny Wilkinson’s boot, they might be in for a shock on Saturday.

Conditions in Melbourne will hopefully be better than they were at Wellington, where rain and swirling wind made life difficult for both teams.

Both sides will then be encouraged to attack each other out wide – and give us the chance to see Ben Cohen and Jason Robinson and Joe Roff and Wendell Sailor in full flow.

In fact, it should be just like a Premier League football match – flowing from end to end with pace, skill and plenty of passion.

We hope Eddie Jones enjoys it.’

Posted: 17th, June 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink