Last weekend Martin Johnson endured his for the first time loss as England coach as the Lions were crushed by Australia at Twickenham. England will be looking for rebound back tomorrow as they face Republic of South Africa (live on Sky Sports 2 from 2pm) and Sky Bet is proposing 10/11 for England to revenge their World Cup frustration of 2007 and 13/8 for them to be leading at both half time and full time. Republic of South Africa, who is coming away an four points win over Scotland, are 4/6 to win the match with a handicap head start of 4.5 points and it’s 5/1 for the 1st scoring play to be an South African try.
The England management state all their players are fit and ready and waiting for this afternoon’s joust at the world champions by South Africa at Twickenham, on the other hand, they pronounced that around Andrew Sheridan before in the week.
The loose-head prop from Sale are all of a sudden nowhere to be seen since an aftermath from the neck injury he endured on the dud versus the Wallabies 7 days past, and whenever Martin Johnson’s English go away as altogether versus the Springboks, a few really critical doubts will have to be enquired really early in the wet behind the ears authorities term of office.
South Africa last travelled to the old cabbage patch in southwest Greater London in the late fall of 2006: 2 years, 2 England big cheese*, one Springbok coach and just about a full cast-list of dynamic performing artist* agone. The pace of change has been amazing. Now, the home English will begin with merely 4 survivors from the Defeat that finished Andy Robinson’s stint in charge of the national squad, a few whom, Jamie Noon and Phil Vickery, boast in unlike functions. Alike, the tourers will field a foursome of ’06 old-timers.
Since that match, England have got played the Boks on 4 occasions and been absolutely tonked on 3 of them. The exception was the final of the 2007 World Cup in French capital, a tryless meeting than could have swayed the red-rose way had Mark Cueto maxmised Mathew Tait’s exciting foray on the South African line instead of grant the little toe of his left foot to skid into touch prior to anchoring the ball. It was a gnat’s breth moment in a closely-contested game, and those Englishmen who took part in it have as yet to recuperate to the full from the letdown.
“There has all the same a belief of ruefulness,” accepted Nick Easter, the Harlequins No 8, yesterday. “Rob Andrew (the director of elite rugby at Twickenham who ended up on the losing side in the 1991 World Cup final) evidenced us afterward that we had never bounce back it. Actually, I do not believe a player should bounce back something like that. Whenever he does, in that respect something amiss.”
Johnson, chewing over his third game since coach afterward the wildly arguable dismissal of Brian Ashton coming after last season’s Six Nations Championship, cost dispensed with this torment. Jubilantly for him, his minute came in 2003, when England luck out. Just he cannot break away the point of reference of Oct ’07. The South Africans accept just about bang the buffs at the close of a long yr, they’re full with hurt and are playing this match on English soil. Should they bring home the bacon more than comfortably this time than they made out last, the affect on English team spirit could comprise appreciable – not to the lowest degree as the All Blacks come after the Boks into Twickenham 7 days of now.
Giving been found out all over Sheridan – the try to hide the extent of the front-rower’s wound was ham-handed in the utmost – Johnson found himself being questioned about a different embarrassing issue when it came out that Danny Cipriani, the celebrity outside-half from Wasps, had been calibrating his marksmanship skills under the vigilant eye of Dave Alred, who was forced out as England’s kicking coach on what went called the “day of the long knives” a bit over two and a half years ago. As England accept a designated kicking coach in Jon Callard, was this not a bit awkward?
“Don’t mention it,” Johnson said, in full fire-fighting fashion. “Danny also acts with Jon. Numerous players carry things independently.” As for reacting to the comments of Jake White, the World Cup-winning Springbok coach, on the content of Cipriani’s use of breaking through in parts of national newspapers most other players fail to achieve, Johnson was not a great deal concerned. “People want superstars and they want instant consequences,” he aforesaid with a shrug. “There’s big anticipation on Danny, but it’s important to recollect that this is his fourth commencement in an international match.”
Not amazingly, Johnson was more interested about building up barricades of England’s game – the scrum, the line-out, the advancing of the hits vs the break up – than Cipriani’s pick of kicking wise man or his tastes on the life-style front. The scrummage, for and so farseeing the hardest and most authoritative aspect of the English game, is in bad shape – even the Wallabies, unrated in that arena, arrived at hay at the set-piece last calendar week – although the line-out are less reliable than the coach would care. Given the Springboks’ prowess here, a sharp improvement is not merely desirable, but necessary.
“If we can do a handful of things better than we did against Australia, things will change,”Johnson said. “It’s different being in a four-point game with 10 minutes go than attempting to chase down a 14-point deficit, as we found ourselves doing last week.”
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