Autumn Int. other countries

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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Oldschool » December 2nd, 2014, 8:10 pm

Beckenham Wasp wrote:
offshorerules wrote:
Beckenham Wasp wrote:Yes. Farrell Snr is a massive bluffer and unlike Larder, Edwards and Mike Ford doesn't really have much to offer in Union terms. Either as a player or a coach. Unlike Larder, Edwards and Ford he was a Rugby League forward and not a three quarter or a half back and together with his lack of Union experience he doesn't strike you as a thinker about the game. Just an over confident meat head who spent most of his career running through brick walls, tackling the opposition and shouting at his team mates.

I think people under estimate just how different Union and League are as sports. When you strip it all back 75% of Rugby Union really revolves around winning possession of the ball and getting the ball over the gain line as efficiently as possible. If you can't get over the gain line retaining possession is a waste of time. In League a teams gets given the ball, the gain line and 10 metres of space every phase of play. Some of the basic skills might be the same but the tactics and game play is completely and utterly different.

The fear that many England rugby supporters have is that Farrell dominates Lancaster to an unhealthy degree . Lancaster might have lots of admirable qualities and he has done a lot of things right but he lacks an illustrious record as a player and he lacks executive coaching experience. It wouldn't be surprising if Farrell was over mighty and domineering. At least in terms of the selection and coaching of the backs because Graham Rowntree wouldn't accept any nonsense.

Centre play is a problem for all teams in the modern game. Over the last 20 years the roles of the centres and the environment they have to play in has completely changed. Gone are the days when centres had the time and the space to be game breaking players in their own right unless they are truly exceptional. England's problem has been that rather than finding a functional midfield structure and functional players that can perform the basics of getting over the gain line, putting the back 3 into space and organising the defence they have tried to fruitlessly search for "magic players" who will some how completely transform the English back line. Usually some poor Rugby League convert who doesn't know one end of a Union ball from the other. The results of that approach have been unimpressive and in many cases embarrassing.

Until England figure what mid field structure they want and what functions they want their centres to fulfil and then cut their cloth accordingly their back play will remain a disjointed mess.


To be fair given the absolute shambles English rugby was in while that cretin Johnson was in charge, Lancaster has to be given some credit though.


I wouldn't go as far as calling Martin Johnson a cretin. He was completely unqualified and unfit for the job and should never have taken it but personally attacking him is very harsh. The man most to blame for the Martin Johnson debacle was the man who appointed Johnson against all the professional advice he was given. The former RFU Chairman Martyn Thomas. Thomas has been the most destructive and negative force in English rugby since the advent of professionalism and was at the root of virtually everything wrong with English rugby at the elite level in the last 10 years. Stoking the club v country issue and causing all manner of mayhem within HQ.

Lancaster has done some good things but he has also really struggled in other areas. His has brought through a lot of young players and is fair minded and good man manager however he is tactically naive and rigid and he has failed to find a structure or a consistent style of play that suits England's playing resources. Also he has allowed Farrell far too much influence over areas of the game he has no expertise in.

Lancaster has done a reasonable job since he has been appointed but unless the quality of England's performances markedly improve I would replace him with Jim Mallinder and his Northampton coaching setup after 2015. Why they signed Lancaster up on such a long term contract is beyond me.

If Lancaster dumped Farrell Squared he'd probably be rid of the source of most of his problems.
But then we don't want him to get rid of two men (descendants of Fearghal) with such fine Irish surnames do we. :lol:
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby domhnallj » December 2nd, 2014, 9:48 pm

Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Vamos los azules » December 2nd, 2014, 10:13 pm

domhnallj wrote:Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.

Defence looked ok on that tour so he obviously contributed something. Generally England's defence is working and as that is within Farrell's remit I don't buy in to the him being a complete waste of space theory.

That said, I wouldn't have appointed Farrell senior as backs coach for England, but the fact that subsequently Mike Catt has been brought in as attacking skills coach (failing miserably on all evidence this autumn mind you!) and Brian Ashton has come in for a few sessions as consultant attack coach suggests someone somewhere (possibly Lancaster, possibly Farrell himself) realised he needed help.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Oldschool » December 2nd, 2014, 10:24 pm

Vamos los azules wrote:
domhnallj wrote:Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.

Defence looked ok on that tour so he obviously contributed something. Generally England's defence is working and as that is within Farrell's remit I don't buy in to the him being a complete waste of space theory.

That said, I wouldn't have appointed Farrell senior as backs coach for England, but the fact that subsequently Mike Catt has been brought in as attacking skills coach (failing miserably on all evidence this autumn mind you!) and Brian Ashton has come in for a few sessions as consultant attack coach suggests someone somewhere (possibly Lancaster, possibly Farrell himself) realised he needed help.

Could simply be Lancaster machinating to push Farrell out.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Vamos los azules » December 2nd, 2014, 10:36 pm

Oldschool wrote:
Vamos los azules wrote:
domhnallj wrote:Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.

Defence looked ok on that tour so he obviously contributed something. Generally England's defence is working and as that is within Farrell's remit I don't buy in to the him being a complete waste of space theory.

That said, I wouldn't have appointed Farrell senior as backs coach for England, but the fact that subsequently Mike Catt has been brought in as attacking skills coach (failing miserably on all evidence this autumn mind you!) and Brian Ashton has come in for a few sessions as consultant attack coach suggests someone somewhere (possibly Lancaster, possibly Farrell himself) realised he needed help.

Could simply be Lancaster machinating to push Farrell out.

I am not sure Lancaster is ruthless enough to do that to someone he has built up a close relationship with over the years. The whole loyalty, respect etc etc culture does seem to be genuinely how he operates.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby offshorerules » December 2nd, 2014, 10:46 pm

Beckenham Wasp wrote:
offshorerules wrote:
Beckenham Wasp wrote:Yes. Farrell Snr is a massive bluffer and unlike Larder, Edwards and Mike Ford doesn't really have much to offer in Union terms. Either as a player or a coach. Unlike Larder, Edwards and Ford he was a Rugby League forward and not a three quarter or a half back and together with his lack of Union experience he doesn't strike you as a thinker about the game. Just an over confident meat head who spent most of his career running through brick walls, tackling the opposition and shouting at his team mates.

I think people under estimate just how different Union and League are as sports. When you strip it all back 75% of Rugby Union really revolves around winning possession of the ball and getting the ball over the gain line as efficiently as possible. If you can't get over the gain line retaining possession is a waste of time. In League a teams gets given the ball, the gain line and 10 metres of space every phase of play. Some of the basic skills might be the same but the tactics and game play is completely and utterly different.

The fear that many England rugby supporters have is that Farrell dominates Lancaster to an unhealthy degree . Lancaster might have lots of admirable qualities and he has done a lot of things right but he lacks an illustrious record as a player and he lacks executive coaching experience. It wouldn't be surprising if Farrell was over mighty and domineering. At least in terms of the selection and coaching of the backs because Graham Rowntree wouldn't accept any

To be fair given the absolute shambles English rugby was in while that cretin Johnson was in charge, Lancaster has to be given some credit though.


I wouldn't go as far as calling Martin Johnson a cretin. He was completely unqualified and unfit for the job and should never have taken it but personally attacking him is very harsh. The man most to blame for the Martin Johnson debacle was the man who appointed Johnson against all the professional advice he was given. The former RFU Chairman Martyn Thomas. Thomas has been the most destructive and negative force in English rugby since the advent of professionalism and was at the root of virtually everything wrong with English rugby at the elite level in the last 10 years. Stoking the club v country issue and causing all manner of mayhem within HQ.

Lancaster has done some good things but he has also really struggled in other areas. His has brought through a lot of young players and is fair minded and good man manager however he is tactically naive and rigid and he has failed to find a structure or a consistent style of play that suits England's playing resources. Also he has allowed Farrell far too much influence over areas of the game he has no expertise in.

Lancaster has done a reasonable job since he has been appointed but unless the quality of England's performances markedly improve I would replace him with Jim Mallinder and his Northampton coaching setup after 2015. Why they signed Lancaster up on such a long term contract is beyond me.


No no you're right. I know some pretty decent cretins. Johnson is more of an ignoramus. Completely without virtue.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 2nd, 2014, 11:02 pm

domhnallj wrote:Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.


Farrell Snr has lots of things Lancaster doesn't. He was the best Rugby League player in England for 5 or 6 years. He captained the English and British Lions Rugby League teams and was voted the best Rugby League player in the World in 2004. Lancaster on the other hand was a jobbing player with Leeds and a PE teacher. Bit of a difference.

All that might make Farrell Snr full of beans but doesn't mean he is a good Union coach. Also I find it amusing that an Irishman would speak so fondly of the last Lions Tour. Farrell had his paw prints all over the Lions' ropey game plans and performances in the first and second tests and many of the mid week games of that Tour. The Lions only started to play to their potential when Gatland had his back against the wall and decided to pick as many Welshman as possible and got the Lions to play like Wales in the third test.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 2nd, 2014, 11:21 pm

Vamos los azules wrote:
domhnallj wrote:Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.

Defence looked ok on that tour so he obviously contributed something. Generally England's defence is working and as that is within Farrell's remit I don't buy in to the him being a complete waste of space theory.

That said, I wouldn't have appointed Farrell senior as backs coach for England, but the fact that subsequently Mike Catt has been brought in as attacking skills coach (failing miserably on all evidence this autumn mind you!) and Brian Ashton has come in for a few sessions as consultant attack coach suggests someone somewhere (possibly Lancaster, possibly Farrell himself) realised he needed help.


Farrell Snr and his brainless kick and chase tactics that he learnt with Saracens are an active menace. Aimlessly kicking away first phase ball every time you get the ball in your own half is his MO. It is how Saracens used the play when he was there, it was how England played in the 2013 Six Nations before Wales found them out and it was how the Lions played in the first two test in Australia. Awful stuff to watch and not very effective against a team who understand's how to counter act it.

Also his instance that England play a split field Rugby League formation in the backs with two play makers at 10 and 12 has caused England nothing but trouble. Firstly Rugby Union has one less back than Rugby League so with a split field back line it is very hard for England to create overlaps and secondly having a second play maker at 12 robs England of a ball carrier who can get over the gain line and means the ball tends to be shifted wide without committing defenders or creating space for the back 3. Fundamental problems of how the English back line is structured and all from the Farrell play book.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby domhnallj » December 2nd, 2014, 11:23 pm

Beckenham Wasp wrote:
domhnallj wrote:Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.


Farrell Snr has lots of things Lancaster doesn't. He was the best Rugby League player in England for 5 or 6 years. He captained the English and British Lions Rugby League teams and was voted the best Rugby League player in the World in 2004. Lancaster on the other hand was a jobbing player with Leeds and a PE teacher. Bit of a difference.

All that might make Farrell Snr full of beans but doesn't mean he is a good Union coach. Also I find it amusing that an Irishman would speak so fondly of the last Lions Tour. Farrell had his paw prints all over the Lions' ropey game plans and performances in the first and second tests and many of the mid week games of that Tour. The Lions only started to play to their potential when Gatland had his back against the wall and decided to pick as many Welshman as possible and got the Lions to play like Wales in the third test.


And I'm sure that Andy will never have to pay for a bag of chips in Scunthorpe for the rest of his days. It was their comparative accomplishments in Union as coaches I was referring to.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 2nd, 2014, 11:27 pm

Defence looked ok on that tour so he obviously contributed something. Generally England's defence is working and as that is within Farrell's remit I don't buy in to the him being a complete waste of space theory.

That said, I wouldn't have appointed Farrell senior as backs coach for England, but the fact that subsequently Mike Catt has been brought in as attacking skills coach (failing miserably on all evidence this autumn mind you!) and Brian Ashton has come in for a few sessions as consultant attack coach suggests someone somewhere (possibly Lancaster, possibly Farrell himself) realised he needed help.[/quote]
Could simply be Lancaster machinating to push Farrell out.[/quote]
I am not sure Lancaster is ruthless enough to do that to someone he has built up a close relationship with over the years. The whole loyalty, respect etc etc culture does seem to be genuinely how he operates.[/quote]

Yeap. Lancaster believes in all that management speak prattle he comes out with. I don't really care if the England team are a nice bunch of lads anyone of whom your mother would like to have as a son-in-law I want a team that can play to its potential and win. A functioning back line that can catch and pass and looks like they have actually played together before would be good too!
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 2nd, 2014, 11:38 pm

domhnallj wrote:
Beckenham Wasp wrote:
domhnallj wrote:Wouldn't be surprised if Farrell did dominate Lancaster. He has something Lancaster doesn't - a tour win with the Lions.


Farrell Snr has lots of things Lancaster doesn't. He was the best Rugby League player in England for 5 or 6 years. He captained the English and British Lions Rugby League teams and was voted the best Rugby League player in the World in 2004. Lancaster on the other hand was a jobbing player with Leeds and a PE teacher. Bit of a difference.

All that might make Farrell Snr full of beans but doesn't mean he is a good Union coach. Also I find it amusing that an Irishman would speak so fondly of the last Lions Tour. Farrell had his paw prints all over the Lions' ropey game plans and performances in the first and second tests and many of the mid week games of that Tour. The Lions only started to play to their potential when Gatland had his back against the wall and decided to pick as many Welshman as possible and got the Lions to play like Wales in the third test.


And I'm sure that Andy will never have to pay for a bag of chips in Scunthorpe for the rest of his days. It was their comparative accomplishments in Union as coaches I was referring to.


Scunthorpe is in Lincolnshire. Rugby League has only traditionally been played in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumberland. Farrell's celebrity as a League player probably doesn't extend far beyond Wigan, inner city Sydney and South Auckland! He might be recognised in Hull if he was lucky.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby domhnallj » December 3rd, 2014, 12:06 am

Scunthorpes about a twenty minute drive from hull. I'd imagine he'd get a rousing reception either side of the river.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 3rd, 2014, 12:54 am

domhnallj wrote:Scunthorpes about a twenty minute drive from hull. I'd imagine he'd get a rousing reception either side of the river.


That doesn't really mean a thing. Rugby League is a very, very localised sport in England. Either a town or a city is into Rugby League or it isn't. Rugby League might be big in Hull but people in North Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas would have no interest in the sport at all. The same goes for areas near to Wigan, St Helens, Warrington etc. There is massive interest in the towns themselves but nothing in the surrounding areas. The RFU did a very good of containing the rebellion and strangling any efforts it made to expand. Good job too. It is rugby for dummies.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby offshorerules » December 3rd, 2014, 10:38 am

Also isn't there a certain truth in the view of GB league that the standard is pretty poor in comparison to NZ and AUS? So being a GB league legend doesn't really amount to much.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby leinster4life13 » December 3rd, 2014, 12:55 pm

offshorerules wrote:Also isn't there a certain truth in the view of GB league that the standard is pretty poor in comparison to NZ and AUS? So being a GB league legend doesn't really amount to much.

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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 3rd, 2014, 5:15 pm

offshorerules wrote:Also isn't there a certain truth in the view of GB league that the standard is pretty poor in comparison to NZ and AUS? So being a GB league legend doesn't really amount to much.


To put it bluntly yes, though that doesn't mean that the best English rugby league players aren't any good. They just don't play in a very strong competition. It has been very notable that since the best English players have started to play in the Australian NRL the performances of the English rugby league team have improved a lot. Burgess, Graham, Widdop, Sam Tomkins etc are all genuine World class players.

Andy Farrell might have been a cr*p Union player and in my opinion a poor Union coach but there is little doubt he was a World class Rugby League player who would have got into the World XIII at the peak of his powers. In global terms Shaun Edwards and Mike Ford were also top notch players too.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 3rd, 2014, 5:37 pm

leinster4life13 wrote:
offshorerules wrote:Also isn't there a certain truth in the view of GB league that the standard is pretty poor in comparison to NZ and AUS? So being a GB league legend doesn't really amount to much.

Yes, I follow NRL, but you couldnt pay me to watch a Wigan-Leeds game.


Well the problem English Rugby League, apart from its very narrow geographic reach that doesn't actually include the majority of Northern England, is that it only really has 5 or 6 clubs that are strong enough on and off the field to justify full time professionalism. Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Leeds and Hull FC. Unlike Rugby Union it doesn't have a strong international game or a rich central governing body that can subsidise the other clubs and make up the short fall. That is the main reason why Rugby League in England in a perpetual financial crisis whilst the competitiveness and quality of the domestic competition remains low.

I can't say I have that much sympathy with them to be honest. Everything that the RFU criticised Rugby League for has come to pass. For 100 years Rugby League has been run for the benefit of 5 or 6 most powerful professional clubs with nearly all the sport's limited resources being channelled into player's salaries rather than the grass roots or growing the sport whilst the international game has always been views as an irrelevant sideshow. When there was a steady flow of working class Rugby Union players in England and Wales that were willing to professionalise themselves to play League that was all well and good but once the flow of Union converts dried up in 1995 League in England went into a pretty rapid decline that it has only just started to come to terms with.

I prefer watching Rugby League to soccer but that really isn't saying much. Some of the games can be entertaining and the individual skills and physicality can be impressive but the game play and tactics are so formulaic and one dimensional. One League match is pretty much the same as another and 99 times out of 100 the clear favourites win.
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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby JB1973 » December 3rd, 2014, 5:46 pm

offshorerules wrote:Also isn't there a certain truth in the view of GB league that the standard is pretty poor in comparison to NZ and AUS? So being a GB league legend doesn't really amount to much.



In Farrells day GB/England were generally better than NZ, Farrell was a fine player who would have done well in the NRL.

He was an outstanding leader for club and country and would have been as good as most of the aussies playing at the time.

Not saying he is an outstanding backs coach (I think alex king would be the best English person for the job) but I don't think we should decry his achievements in RL (and I'm a st Helens fan!).

I admit to being a big fan of R/L after union and boxing it is my favourite sport, I lived in Leeds for several years and played the game (to no great level admittedly) but it's a cracking game to play, and with the ten and back rule and the ball in play for so much of the game a very tiring sport to play.


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Re: Autumn Int. other countries

Postby Beckenham Wasp » December 3rd, 2014, 7:01 pm

JB1973 wrote:
offshorerules wrote:Also isn't there a certain truth in the view of GB league that the standard is pretty poor in comparison to NZ and AUS? So being a GB league legend doesn't really amount to much.



In Farrells day GB/England were generally better than NZ, Farrell was a fine player who would have done well in the NRL.

He was an outstanding leader for club and country and would have been as good as most of the aussies playing at the time.

Not saying he is an outstanding backs coach (I think alex king would be the best English person for the job) but I don't think we should decry his achievements in RL.


That is a fair point. In terms of backs coaches the best Englishmen would be Alex King at Northampton, Mark Mapletoft at Quins and Ali Hepher at Exeter. It should also be mentioned that Jim Mallinder was a creative player and backs coach in his own right before taking the top job at Northampton. Mike Ford isn't doing a bad job with the Bath backs at the moment either. It is interesting that a generation of conservative style players like Paul Grayson, Jon Callard and Paul Burke have been found wanting on the coaching front recently. I think a backs coach really needs to push the players and the boundaries of what is possible to be effective. The forwards coaches and defence coaches and other analysts will by their nature always err on the side of caution and a good backs coach needs to continually challenge that.

I am not convinced by Catt at all, even if he doesn't have much influence over England's tactics and general style of play. I am pretty sure he has been an enthusiastic advocate for the "split field" attack with two play makers at 10 and 12 and for the over use of long miss passes that might put width on the ball but generally don't commit defenders and create space. He wasn't that great with London Irish either so he seems to have been promoted off the back of his playing credentials rather than his coaching ones. `

Personally I really don't see there being much future in the Lancaster/Farrell/Catt coaching combo beyond 2015.
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