It’s funny, after his two try, man of the match, performance, I read one of Ben Youngs’ media fanbois who was claiming this game silenced the doubters, yet in the same article he basically went on to point out all Youngs’ failings in the game and how Youngs presence hindered England.
Yes there was the two tries but what could England have done with a better scrum-half? One that if he had to kick the ball away – why are you doing this Eddie? – would have placed his kicks so that England could either compete for them, of hit the opposition player just has he caught it. Not one that just kicked the ball away.
What could they have done with a scrum-half who was always there? There at the breakdown. There when others made a break.
A scrum-half who got to the breakdown quickly and got the ball away from the breakdown quickly, without hesitation when he got there and hesitation when he was passing the ball out.
Put Dupont in that England side and Watson might not trudge off the field having hardly touched the ball and his replacement Thorley, might have been seen. And maybe Eddie might decide, you know those Italian guys aren’t dropping these kicks we might as well play actual rugby.
And then England might not have been sweating on Ireland just scraping that six point victory they required against France to take the title.
England got lucky in that France are a decent enough side now and that Ireland are predictably one dimensional, especially when they have the ball a few yards out. Give to forward, forward drops down into tackler, give to forward… wash, rinse, repeat.
Still it’s the title that matters and it’s funny laughing at the Taffs when they all thought it was theirs in the bag when England lost that opening game to France. And there they are sitting fifth in the table, with one win to their name.