for being substituted.
Eddie Jones said he wanted England to give Italy a
good hiding in their second Six Nations game, the team he picked didn’t the one he ended up with did.
Jones’ major problem was the man who bizarrely ended up being given the man of the match award. Scrum half, Ben Youngs. I assume it was award by the host broadcasters, normally is, which points to top trolling by Italian TV.
Host broadcasters a lot of the time go for a home plater as MotM, did the Italians think that while Youngs was on the park the Italians were in the game, after he came off they certainly weren’t.
Again the faults of the previous game and indeed the previous regime were all their while Italy were well in the game and this hiding wasn’t looking like coming any-time soon.
And one of those main faults is the breakdown. England’s inability to get quick clean ball from such situations. Now the forwards, flankers mainly, are always getting the blame for this while Youngs gets a free pass. Though those outside of him at breakdowns very rarely get any pass.
He is always so slow to get there and when he does he is even more slow in getting the ball in hand and getting it away.
The number of times England are pushed back at a ruck and end up losing possession either through giving away a penalty or the ball being knocked out of someone’s hands or a charged down box-kick. Because of Youngs’ dithering all this happens.
He gets to the breakdown and just stands there, looking up, looking down and doing nothing. The ball is there, it’s almost out and free for everyone and he does nothing. The defence is scrambling, they’re in disarray and wide open for an attack and he does nothing.
And then he does something but the other side is back in position, those in the breakdown have got out of the ruck and are lined up, filling the gaps, and so he either passes to someone with a man now right on them or attempts another inept, nothing, box-kick that is sometimes luckily not charged down.
The thing is you know he can do it properly, he did… once… but then dithered after making one decent break and pretty much undid all his good work.
Another are is the scrum. The amount of times you see Youngs being harried by the opposing number nine after he’s put the ball in the scrum, yet when the put in is for the other side e’s nowhere to be seen.
So while Youngs dithered, England toiled. Then came the substitutions and Danny Care and on came the hiding.
And then they awarded him the man of the match, to much head shaking and hilarity. He later Tweeted that he didn’t pick the award and had offered it to Jonathan Joseph, who scored a hat-trick of tries in the 40 to 9 victory. One hopes he has the good grace to offer someone else the number 9 shirt the next time Jones makes the mistake of picking him.