Sunday, June 03, 2007

Its not all doom and gloom for England...

Despite the 1st XV's not unexpected hammering by the Springboks, yesterday was actually not such a bad day for England rugby.

First, lets not forget that England led at half time yesterday and were in touch in both tests well into the second half. Take away the effects of altitude and the widely reported virus that rampaged through the touring party, neither of which will be a factor in France this autumn, this shadow side may have been competitive for all 80mins.

Even more encouraging was England Saxons ' victory over the New Zealand Maori in the Churchill Cup final. This was the Maori's first defeat since they were beaten by England in 2003 on their famous pre-world cup tour. What was really encouraging was that all three tries the Saxons scored were from flowing moves with the ball put through several pairs of hands. Voyce's try was set up by the kind of simple draw and give from Cipriani that England backs have routinely butchered over the last couple of years; and the winning try was set up by great vision and execution from Barkley (who had an impressive game all round) to find Croft in acres of space on the wing. Oh and for a lock forward boy can Croft move, Tigers have got a live one there.

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