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Lady Margaret
07 Feb 12 10:59
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Date Joined: 21 Oct 04
| Topic/replies: 611 | Blogger: Lady Margaret's blog
Anyone else think England were poor at Murrayfield and looking forward to a decent punt on the Italians on Saturday?

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Replies: 312
By:
itcanbedone
When: 07 Feb 12 11:34
Yep, Italy even showed some promise and fluidity in the backline.  I would imagine they are licking there lips for the arrival of England.  It might come down to whether or not they can kick their goals.

England didn't even make a single line break.  Amazing to think these are the players Johnno was castigated for not picking.  If Johnno had been in charge on Saturday, he would have been ridiculed.  Robshaw's workrate is extremely impressive, though hardly a 7, Morgan looked ok when he came on.  Dowson had a shocker but unfair to drop a man after one cap.  The centres didn't exactly quicken the pulse.  Solid enough set piece and a decent back three.  Unfair to write a team or set up off after one match though, and Tuiliagi will improve things when he eventually returns.
By:
TheVis
When: 07 Feb 12 11:46
Let's not go too overboard on Italy here without also mentioning that England will be licking their lips at the woeful Italian defence.
By:
yummy
When: 07 Feb 12 12:10
The Italians kept possession well on Saturday and were surprisingly disciplined. Never looked like scoring a try despite racking up multi phases on numerous occasions. Can't see them scoring more than 15 pts

England were very good defensibly on Saturday but showed precious little in attack. Will find it difficult to dominate the  possession stakes and like Italy will struggle to score too many tries.

My Play

A low scoring encounter 28-34 points in total with Italy beating the handicap +16 comfortably and also a little bit of 7/2 on offer to win the game
By:
Cha-Ching
When: 07 Feb 12 12:22
Where have you got Italy +16 from? Aren't the lines 7 or 8?
By:
Lady Margaret
When: 07 Feb 12 13:34
Italy +16 can't be right?

That would be buying money shurely?
By:
Lady Margaret
When: 07 Feb 12 14:17
+9 with bet 3.65 the best price available
By:
GPT
When: 07 Feb 12 15:05
He meant the France game +16.
By:
yummy
When: 07 Feb 12 15:06
sorry guys mis type

Italy at +8 for me in a low scoring contest
By:
worcesterwilly
When: 08 Feb 12 10:54
If England cant beat an awful Italian side by at least 20 points then they may as well give up....

England have the 2 easiest fixtures first up.....and have struggled against a side who simply dont know what a try is.....
By:
Cha-Ching
When: 08 Feb 12 14:19
Does anyone else think that the rest of the Nations would have struggled first up away at a cold greasy Murrayfield? Does anyone think France, Ireland or Wales would have won that fixture by double figures?
By:
worcesterwilly
When: 08 Feb 12 14:41
I think Ireland or Wales would have won by 20 points easily....

The French may be might have bottled it...

England were hugely disappointing and one-dimensional again!!!!!!!!
By:
Cha-Ching
When: 08 Feb 12 14:46
Yes, England were poor, but I also can't have that Wales or Ireland would have won by 20. The Scots are great at making games a struggle (similar to Italy or Argentina) especially at home.

I may well be proved wrong, but I reckon come the end of the competition, a 13-6 win at Murrayfield might not seem like the worst result.
By:
pacficrc
When: 08 Feb 12 15:10
It's certainly not the worst result considering Scotland should have won.
By:
TheVis
When: 08 Feb 12 15:40
Italy have made two changes to the starting team with Bortalami replacing Van Zyl in the second row and Canale replacing Sgarbi in the centres.

3 bench changes see Pavanello and Morisi in and flanker Bergamasco has recovered from injury to make the 22.

A Masi (Aironi Rugby), G Venditti (Aironi Rugby), T Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso), G Canale (Clermont-Auvergne), L McLean (Benetton Treviso), K Burton (Benetton Treviso), E Gori (Benetton Treviso); A Lo Cicero (Racing-Metro Paris), L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Q Geldenhuys (Aironi Rugby), M Bortolami (Aironi Rugby), A Zanni (Benetton Treviso), R Barbieri (Benetton Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais)

Replacements: T D'Apice (Aironi Rugby), L Cittadini (Benetton Treviso), A Pavanello (Benetton Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Aironi Rugby), F Semenzato (Benetton Treviso), T Botes (Benetton Treviso), L Morisi (BancaMonte Parma Crociati).
By:
stewardsenquirey
When: 08 Feb 12 15:47
14 Feb 2010
Italy 12-17 England

10 Feb 2008
Italy 19-23 England

11 Feb 2006
Italy 16-31 England

15 Feb 2004
Italy 9-50 England

Not sure why you'd expect England to hammer Italy by 20+ points in Italy Worcesterwilly,as you have to go back to 2004 when they last did.I'd expect this game to be a tight affair once more.
By:
Lady Margaret
When: 08 Feb 12 15:57
England by 4/5 points for the third successive time in Rome seems about right. Can't see Italy handicap backers losing out.
By:
stewardsenquirey
When: 08 Feb 12 15:59
I've not given up hope of Italy actually beating them Shocked
By:
RugbyMan
When: 08 Feb 12 16:22
Last year Italy lost to Ireland by 2, lost to Wales by 8, beat France and lost to Scotland by 13. The only game they got hammered in was the 46 point loss to England at Twickenham. I can't see any reason at all to believe that Italy are a lesser team than they have been in previous years, in fact there are reasons to believe they should be better. Against Ireland and France they lost by an aggregate of 1pt.


The last 5 results for Italy in this championship at home (points difference):

-5, +4, -2, -8, +1


Which all makes suggestions of 20pt victories ridiculous, especially as England are clearly a team in transition. Similar to Saturday, any win at all will be good for England.
By:
RugbyMan
When: 08 Feb 12 16:35
England very much looked like a new team last round. By which I mean they made a lot of little errors, were not always on the same wavelength as each other and created little. The pitch was greasy, hands were cold and that showed for both teams.

On the plus side Barritt and Farrell missed nothing in defence, which is very promising bearing in mind Farrell is only really a stand-in at 13. No Lawes, Wood or Tuilagi takes a lot out of them and 5 players were starting their first six-nations game. Scotland's best period came at exactly the point where England started to make changes, bringing on a bunch of debutants.

Personally I dont expect them to magically become a cohesive team all of a sudden in Italy and will probably back Italy outright and on the cap. The Italians are much more experienced, at home, and they looked good in the first half, bar a few fluffed tackles. Still massive question marks over their fly-half, but Canale, Benvennutti and Masi should ask some questions at least.
By:
Injera
When: 08 Feb 12 17:45
Have backed the draw at 42s. It's a ludicrous price IF we have a tight first half.
By:
bobweenit
When: 09 Feb 12 00:09
England R banker material! Just filled me boots with -7. England will exploit lots of gaps with there pace in the pondering Italian defence. Italy have underestimated the last few years on the caps, this time I think overestimated.
By:
BJG
When: 09 Feb 12 10:36
England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Chris Robshaw (c) 6 Tom Croft, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Geoff Parling, 19 Ben Morgan, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Jordan Turner-Hall, 22 Mike Brown.

Date: Saturday, February 11
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 17:00 (16:00 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
By:
TheVis
When: 09 Feb 12 10:51
9 and 10 need to do something this week.
By:
Lady Margaret
When: 09 Feb 12 11:22
Suprised to see Dowson get another start. Didn't look like a test No.8 to me at Murrayfield.
By:
Manhatsa
When: 09 Feb 12 11:29
Time to go and lay England on the H/C and the a small lay on the outright before the biggest snooze fest starts on Saturday at 4pm.
By:
khyber kim
When: 09 Feb 12 11:54
England head coach Stuart Lancaster has named the same starting XV and bench that beat Scotland for Saturday's Six Nations match against Italy in Rome.

"We have decided to leave the starting team the same to allow them more time to get together, and we are expecting the bench to come on and make an impact as they did last week," said Lancaster.

Interim coach Lancaster's side battled to a 13-6 victory in Edinburgh .

Prop Joe Marler and scrum-half Joe Simpson will travel as injury cover.

Seven players made their international debuts in the victory at Murrayfield and Lancaster has given his inexperienced side the chance to build on their start.
Image of Tom Fordyce Tom Fordyce Chief Sports Writer, BBC Sport

"This is sensible stewardship from Stuart Lancaster. While England were far from flawless against Scotland, their interim coach understands the values of consistency and confidence. The Stadio Olimpico also represents a different kind of test: after the defensive shift against Scotland last weekend, this is the new-look team's chance to show what they can do with ball in hand. Team spirit and togetherness, not tinkering, are Lancaster's buzz words."

Charlie Hodgson has recovered from a shoulder injury to resume his fly-half role Cry while injured Northampton pair Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood are still sidelined after missing the team's tournament opener.

Leicester backs Toby Flood and Manu Tuilagi have also been given more time to prove their fitness and both could play for the Tigers at the weekend before a possible return against Wales on 25 February.

Scrum-half Lee Dickson has overcome a hand injury to take his place on the bench, while Northampton team-mate Phil Dowson, Lancaster's captain during his time in charge of the second-string Saxons side, has kept his place at number eight in the face of competition from Scarlets' Ben Morgan.

Lancaster stressed that he was keen to make full use of his replacements in the latter half of the match.
By:
RugbyMan
When: 09 Feb 12 12:35
Definitely a few players who need to step up after last week. It doesn't help that the whole game was scrappy, played in cold and damp conditions, but the level of half-back play was sub-standard and too many individual errors cost both teams. It was noticeable in France, also very cold, both Yachvilli and Tin-Duck had crap games, whereas Burton was awful and Gori did little. Definitely two better attacking teams in Dublin, but it cant have hurt that it was 12 degrees warmer.

The downside is that Rome looks set to be around 2 degrees max for the game.

Youngs, Hodgson and Dowson all need to step it up, but otherwise nobody did anything particularly wrong. Just not a hell of a lot going right, but if your half-backs are giving the ball away there is little that a centre or winger can do and your forwards are only going to be able to show their defensive skills, which were generally very good. Dowson hasn't been consistent this season, which is a massive shame as two years ago he was picking up MoM awards for fun and continued that last season. He certainly looks the most likely of the forwards to be gradually shifted out, particularly when Wood returns.


Seems sensible to me that Lancaster has stuck with the same team. If he replaces anyone that means they have only had a single game to prove themselves and certainly doesn't aid cohesion, which he desperately needs. If they win in Rome, by any means, then a brand new team has two away wins to start the championship. Could be a lot worse.
By:
worcesterwilly
When: 09 Feb 12 13:15
I think my tongue in cheek comments about 20 points have been a tad misunderstood...

However,if England cannot comfortably win this game then the new dawn will be dead in its tracks before it has even started...

Italy 12 England 20
By:
RugbyMan
When: 09 Feb 12 13:20
It didn't hold France back last year though.
By:
missty
When: 09 Feb 12 13:22
Italy are the only bet at these prices
By:
Freshy.
When: 09 Feb 12 17:43
So Lancaster has swapped his centres around, it will be interesting to see if they line up inside out, the last time this back line went south of the Alps, it was not pretty to watch, so I cant see why it will be any different this weekend.
By:
subversion
When: 09 Feb 12 18:28
not touching this one myself, too many unknowns.

can't decide if that England team were just disorganised and unfamiliar with each other, or genuinely useless against Scotland

or both.
By:
yorky
When: 09 Feb 12 23:09
do any of you watch or even understand how rugby union works, the Italians over rated , Luke McLean total weak link, backs no idea how to defend, its the French Italian game that will prove overrated, how can you criticise England, they won in Scotland for 1st time in 8years ,smashed the Scots to bits in the tackle and you think Italy's backs are going to open them up?
By:
Freshy.
When: 09 Feb 12 23:11
I watched Sarries away at Treviso, not sure if that was a taste of things to come Cool
By:
pacficrc
When: 10 Feb 12 00:10
If england play like they did against scotland they'll be beaten and if italy play like like they did against france they'll win.
By:
GPT
When: 10 Feb 12 07:23
Enjoy the game last Sunday pacficrc?My wallet did.
By:
TheVis
When: 10 Feb 12 11:50
do any of you watch or even understand how rugby union works LaughLaughLaughLaugh

No Yorky, our TVs are always off, we have never been to a live game and the whole point scoring business remains a total mystery
By:
northanlite
When: 10 Feb 12 12:41
i certainly don't understand vis.

for instance i had no idea that being forced to make 142 tackles in a match  actually meant england "smashed the scots to bits in the tackle"

i naively thought it just meant they did not have much possession.
By:
RugbyMan
When: 10 Feb 12 12:55
I thought England's defence was exceptional and I know it's generally a good thing to play to your strengths, but are their halfbacks really going to kick straight back to the opposition every single time throughout this championship?

We will get to see Italy's counter-attacking skills this weekend at least. Well, if they dont just kick straight back.
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