France beat Scotland, England hang on against Wales and what next for Italy after Ireland loss

Another fascinating weekend of Six Nations Rugby, Mike Penistone looks back at how England are moving forward and asks how and who will stop the French.

France beat Scotland, England hang on against Wales and what next for Italy after Ireland loss

A view from down under.

Six Nations R 3

Scotland 17 v France 36

England 23 v Wales 19

Ireland 57 v Italy 6

Is England a team in transition, with young players developing nicely?

Is France a good team or a team that forces mistakes, then reacts?

Four young English, players can be the foundation for an assault on the 2023 World Cup.

Smith, Dombrandt, Randall and Steward are talented young players.

A South African friend of mine, who knows a bit about rugby, suggests Smith will be the best player in the World in 5 years’ time. It may be sooner than that!

France has X factor players who can play instinctively, turn defence into attack and score tries. Their line speed in defence forced Russell to play deeper, with second man plays sometimes twenty meters from the advantage line.

When Moefana scored a try, look at the French players in support, within five meters, excellent.

There are still major question marks over the composition of England’s midfield. The answer is Jonathan Dante the French centre. But England’s equivalent Manu Tuilagi can’t put three games together. One English try, and a sneaky one at that is poor return for weeks of preparation. Two seasons ago I complained, in writing, that England’s midfield, ignored obvious overlaps and grubber kicked to touch, to mild applause. Daly did it again in a four v 2 situation. This is not a problem of ability, it is attitude. Daly has pace, Farrell hadn’t. Pass and chase the pass in support works…try it.

Watch the Kiwi Teams in Super Rugby Pacific, how they make long crisp accurate passes early in the game. They create width and when the forwards are re-engaged, they can use footwork or have space to run into. This may go on for numerous phases until the line is broken or Will Jordan (Crusaders) decides to end it.

Jordan, Smith, and Dupont are already in my World cup fifteen, 2023.

When Wales started to assert themselves there was a period when England looked vulnerable mentally. The question they may consider is……

How do we wrestle back momentum?

You don’t wait for a mistake!

You don’t get the ball and kick it!

Published: Monday 28 February 2022