…nearly a decade…
…and it was Toby Flood-less. Any coincidence? I think not. But will they learn from this?
England put a score on the reigning World Champions, and unbeaten in 20 games, New Zealand in a performance barely imaginable after what had happened over the last few weeks of the autumn internationals. Yes they came close in those previous games, if they’d taken the kicks against Australia and not against South Africa the results could have been different.
But the performance against New Zealand was just far superior to what we’ve seen before. Up and at ‘em from the off, people saying the All Blacks didn’t play their usual game, well that’s because England didn’t allow them to. Winning starts and re-starts, not being muscled out at the breakdown and not letting them getting a lead when they got back into things after half-time. All while keeping the points ticking over.
Somehow I don’t see that performance if Toby Flood had the number 10 jersey on.
No, Owen Farrell isn’t the greatest stand-off ever but he gives everyone around a greater sense of security than flouncing Flood does. So the competition now should fall between Farrell and debutant Freddie Burns, finally it should be the end of Flood’s rather insipid England career, that has sadly lasted a lot longer than it should have, as he was found out quite a while back.
One more step in the progression of England under Lancaster.
Now we just have to hope the England cricket side figure out their greatest win on Indian soil was a Bell-less victory.