I’m no expert on rugby but it seemed pretty obvious to me that England were absolutely dire last night — neither possessing any organisation or any flair or imagination. The right hand literally didn’t seem to know what the left was doing, which isn’t surprising bearing in mind Lancaster’s indecisiveness and chopping and changing selection not just over the tournament but throughout his old tenure.
Lancaster seems to be something of a Moyes — unable to deal with players with any personality or individualism. Despite only really following the Six Nations and the autumn internationals ,I can remember far more players from years back (Moore, Johnson, the Underwoods, Dawson and many more) than I expect I’ll be able to remember of the current, faceless lot.
Woodward and Wilkinson were a disgrace as ITV pundits — more concerned with trying to head off the storm gathering towards their cronies than giving honest analysis to the people who pay them. Australia were in a different league — but that was always likely to be the case. England should have treated the Wales game like a knockout but they thought they were too clever for that.
Seems like the more expensive the public school they went to the more they choked under pressure. If your parents pay £30,000 a term for you to go to school, you’re not going to be motivated in the same way as a ginger kid from Langley however ostentatiously you sing the national anthem.
I’m genuinely sorry, not for the useless bunch of losers on the field, but for the fans who have paid a fortune for tickets and the licensees of the pubs for whom an England run might have made the difference between profit and loss. I’m not so sorry for all the bullshit marketers who came up with crap like ‘Wear the Rose’. I’m sure the players will be full of contrition but, fair or not when it’s a game of sport, their actions will have had a negative impact on thousands of people’s livelihoods.
No rugby types can give football fans a sanctimonious, hypocritical lecture now about failure. True the football team went out in the group stages but they played in a rainforest after a long season. The rugby team had home advantage and everything else in their favour (except possibly a draw but this only required them to beat a depleted home nations rival).