As expected after England’s chastening loss to Wales on Saturday, fans were quite critical of the performance on Twitter.
After two bonus-point wins over Ireland and France in the opening two rounds, many fans would have expected the same in Cardiff, but it wasn’t to be as Wales completely nullified England’s kicking game and were able to dominate territory and possession.
England looked unable to break out of the game plan that has served them so well so far this Championship, and, in the end, they lost without troubling the Welsh at all in the closing stages.
What confused many fans was Eddie Jones’ reluctance to look to his bench to change things up in the latter stages of the match. In Jones’ entire tenure in England, he has never given his bench fewer minutes.
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Most notably was the fact that neither Dan Robson nor George Ford were used by Jones. This was a game where a new half backs seemed to be a necessity, as England’s incessant kicking game was not working. Ford offers a greater attacking threat and is a better creator than Farrell, while the same could equally be said about Robson and Youngs.
The fact that Jones did not turn to them when they were dearly needed shows how little trust the Australian has in them, and that is apparent to the fans.
George Ford isn't playing and I don't know why I'm even bothering
— The Longest One (@thelongestone) February 23, 2019
When Plan A isn't working in a match, why are we not using our "finishers" earlier (or at all in too many cases!!!)? George Ford and Dan Robson would bring a different dynamic to the team – losing a match with them unused on the bench is utter madness!!
— Steve Bryant (@Joatamos) February 24, 2019
Why have George Ford and Dan Robson? It wasn't working things had to change?
— Stuart (@powellsw) February 23, 2019
— Tom (@tevansJJ) February 23, 2019
Saturday’s match once again unearthed a perennial topic of debate which is the inclusion of Danny Cipriani. The game was crying out for someone to inject some attacking impetus into the England team and keep the ball in hand.
Farrell was not having the greatest day in an England shirt, and needed to come off or revert to inside centre, as players like Manu Tuilagi outside him were becoming nothing other than spectators in attack.
While Ford could be that man, the fact that Jones did not trust him opened up calls for the Gloucester fly-half to come back into the team. Cipriani has been on the periphery of the England squad for a long time, and while he has been given chances, he has not been able to curry favour with Jones.
However, some fans believe Cipriani had the credentials to change England’s non-existent attack on Saturday.
This is what they had to say:
— Barry Baranfanger (@taviraterry) February 24, 2019
— Roger Gadd (@RogerGadd) February 23, 2019
@RugbyPodcast straight from the cesspit…
It’s Telling that Eddie didn’t trust George Ford to come on and change the game to get the win! Where’s Cippers when you need him?
— Andrew Scott (@SmilerScottUK) February 23, 2019
Rubbish…sorry but fail to see why we persisted with tactics that clearly weren’t working! Time for some changes… Ben Youngs too slow shifting the ball.. Owen Farrell too predictable and not sharp enough in attacking..bring on George Ford and Danny Care or Cipriani
— Gary Coleman (@ColemanG1992) February 23, 2019
Completely agree there. Biggar can come off the bench and change the game like that. Can’t say George Ford would do the same, yet Cipriani would.
— Dan Kentfield (@dank1989) February 23, 2019
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