and that’s about it.
England’s opening game in the Six Nations went pretty much like nothing had changed since the World Cup and the old regime was still in charge.
Eddie Jones changed very little with a team that Stuart Lancaster probably would have put out against Scotland, while those players did what they probably would have done under Lancaster.
The only thing more delusional than a Jock after a victory is a Jock after a glorious defeat.
They basically beat the teams they should have in the World Cup. Yes, Japan had beaten South Africa but they had to come off that high just a few days later to face a rested Jock side. Samoa were rubbish in the tournament, a major disappointment. The Jocks lost to who they should, South Africa in the pool stage and then Australia in the first knock-out game. Yes it was tight, no they weren’t cheated, but Australia were beyond awful that day.
But on the back of that the likes of the educationally subnormal Kenny Logan and others thought this had turned last years pointless Six Nation’s wooden spoon winners into world beaters.
The fact they trudged off Murrayfield having failed again to register a try in a home Calcutta Cup match, they haven’t done so in 12 years now, said everything. While England weren’t good, they didn’t even really look like going over the try line. Hell their best chance was gifted to them by England and they blew before they’d got a few yards, well inside their own half.
But all England’s pre-Jones failings were still there. Stupid penalties, the amassing of, slow play especially at the breakdown, butchering good chances and a faltering scrum.
Now some have said the scrum worked in the first half, tell us Dan Cole was back to his best. Yet through the half we kept being told how Billy Vunipola had rescued another scrum. The scrum didn’t get any ascendency until Mahler went off for Billy’s brother Mako. Don’t know how Mahler survived the cull, other than the fact everyone did. A cull is required to get the breakdown within England’s reach.
Luckily there was a cull in hooker, with Tom Youngs dispensed with. About bloody time. Oh look the lineouts worked, you do surprise me. Unfortunately his brother wasn’t cut loose, so we had his dithering to come off the bench, he was the one that gifted the Jocks their one golden chance.
Italy up next, Scotland’s great competition for this year’s wooden spoon and well they were that close to beating the French but even so England need some new blood.
Oh and while we’re at it they need Jonny Wilkinson. He was back again on ITV as they entered the world of Six Nations broadcasting – as the BBC continues it’s giving up of sport, if they’ve got Wimbledon and the Olympics they’re not bothered about anything else. And the main presenters haven’t learned a thing about when you should ask Jonny a question. A hint, it’s never before you have to dash off to yet another ad break. Because Jonny knows and Jonny will tell you in every detail the answer to your question. It’s a clinical mind, much in the manner of his clinical approach to playing. It’s knowledge that could be put to better use, for his country.