Personally I would have kicked the penalty. But once you have made the decision to go for the corner don't throw to number 2 even if it banker ball. Wales were clearly expecting and stacked out the area at least if you go to the middle or back there is less defence and it's more difficult to get pushed into touch. I also agree with Clive Woodward why does Stuart Lancaster insist in making the changes no matter what, it can just disrupt the pattern and flow of the team in a tight game unless forced into a change leave the team alone.
I think there's something to add to all of this. Fitness. Check that try at 70 minutes. No English player could even commit to the chase. Even Farrel was jogging. That's what Gatland does, flogs our players with a view to a full 80 minutes. Now, he forgets things like passing, how to catch etc. But I've not seen a Welsh team drop off in years. England were out on their feet with 20 minutes to go. That's where penalties start to arise.
Australia look sharp. Just saying.
Sorry to post this but the look of total and abject fear on Mike Brown's face at 12:25 is priceless.....Sam is a little taller.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsTvB5ObLvY&feature=youtu.be&t=735
I didn't think the ref got many that wrong did he? Most of them seemed to be stupid avoidable errors anyway. It's turning into premier league wendyball this isn't it - blame the ref or one decision any time you lose, forget the fact that you had the rest of the game to score points and suss the ref out, ergo not give away penalties, PLUS all you say above re cause & effect. Lazy journalism if you ask me.
The Marler articles are quite interesting in one way (Kaplan's opinion is probably valid, but you can probably find others who'd disagree and yet more players around the world you could cite for similar tactics), but then again, Aussies whingeing (to the referee via the media) about "illegal" scrummaging - scrums traditionally being an area of weakness for them vs England - ahead of a big match....... no change there.
I dislike whingeing. It's childish. But, what I particularly dislike is ignorance of cause and effect. There's a tendency to say 4 missed/not awarded penalties = 12 points. But it does not. It means that, had any one of them been changed, the game enters an entirely different, for want of a better word, timestream. If any one of them had been given then every other action in the game would have been entirely different.
Yeah - scrums are basically now just a way to try and win a penalty. Whilst all the time feeding the ball into the second row and getting away with it :evil:
We owe you a beer or two
Lots of love
Stupid questions get stupid answers....
OK, being an ex practioner of the dark arts I can help here
You ll remember from your childhood days that the bloke in the middle used to be called a "Hooker" because he used his foot to "hook" the ball back from the scrum half. Around the end of the 90s the All Blacks worked out that a very good way of winning scrum domination was to pack down very hard with the sole intention of pushing the other team back. If the 9 put the ball in quickly essentially they could secure the ball by stepping over it. This made it very hard to judge a crokked put in as it was out of the channel so quickly and so ref's stopped looking for them.
Now, as professionalism took hold and scrums got bigger and stronger this became a technique that was very hard to stop for a weaker team. Again you'll remmebr that the way for a smaller pack to at least achieve parity at a scrum was to put the ball in quickly, hook the ball back and have the 8 or 9 get it out as fast as possible. Although your options from the scrum were limited, you did at least keep possession. - An excellent example of this was Japan v S. Africa last week where Japan had the ball out of the scrum before the Boks had even settled
As the Hit and drive took hold though, weaker scrums were forced to develop illeagal ways to stop being massacred at their own scrums. This resulted in front rows going down slowly to stop being pushed backwards. It also resulted in the far far scarier situation where one or more props would slip on the hit - especially in the N Hemisphere with muddy pitches - and both front rows would go down out of control and very quicky. Believe me this is utterly terrifying when it happens to you as you do not have any time to disengage and so get twisted in a lot of horrible ways.
To combat this, a confused IRB directed referees to police the front rows and award penalties to proper that they judged were not scrummaging legally. As this did nothing to address the problem, nothing happened. Unfathomable decisions were made by refs who had no idea of what was happening in scrums which made scrums an opportunity to win penalties for stronger teams or at best a 50 50 coin toss as to what the outcome would be. This led to Brian Moore commentating in Ireland v ???, when a scrum in the last few mins was awarded to the opposition in their own 22, Ireland needed a penalty to win/draw, that Ireland should simply collpase the scrum as they had a better chance of being awarded a penalty than winning the ball befoe the opposition could clear/kick it off. He was 100% correct at the time which was utterly ridiculous
Recently the new laws have helped things by preventing teams going for a "hit" on the engage (A very good youtube video with Adam jones shows this nicely - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auBZ-9Pba9U ). This (IMO) has massively reduced the numbers of scrums that collapse and means that there is a definite channel for the scrum half to put the ball into. What has to change now is that the referees (or the TJ, or the TMO- I really don't see why it is so hard) properly judge a straight put in and no pushing before the ball is in. When this does happen in a match with 2 even teams you get a somewhat amusing situation of the ball sitting in the middle of the channel with both hookers staring at it wondering what to do
If you can handle 2 hours of Brian Moore, he did an excellent 5 Live sports special podcast on this with Phil Vickery but I can't find the link in the Mire of the BBC website. In it there are interviews with several IRB and referees who claim that if they are to referee straight put ins and no pushing before the ball is in it must be trialled at lower levels again as it has not been taught for years as "coaches don't want it to be". Clearly that is ridiculous but is does show that the IRB effectively allowed this to happen and are trying to fix it on the quiet so they don't have to take responsibility for nearly ruining one of the USPs of Rugby Union. Happily it seems to be a problem that affects international and, possibly, Premiership level rugby only as when you get to lower levels packs are not so insanely oversized that the hit and chase was never really an option
Clearly England need to step up to beat Aussie but at Twickenham they must be decent bet to win.
Informed stuff also.