England vs France: How can England solve their problems after Twickenham humiliation?
England have begun investigating their biggest defeat at Twickenham in the stadium’s 116-year history after France dazzled their way to a 53-10 win.
Ireland in Dublin is the final Six Nations task for Steve Borthwick’s men before preparations begin for the World Cup in the autumn and here are the aftermath of Saturday’s debacle.
What went wrong?
Except for a brief period in the third quarter, England were overwhelmed in the contact area and many of their mistakes stemmed from that.
France were great, playing otherworldly rugby to loot seven tries, but the way the home side were physically dominated was worrying. The obviously strong differential was compounded by England’s lack of intensity, which meant they kept losing the collisions.
what can be done
Head coach Borthwick has three main levers to pull – change tactics, change staff and change mindset. The fixture list will be adjusted as Ireland’s strength lies in their tactical cohesion rather than France’s strength, while Borthwick will certainly refresh the team. How he picks his players off the canvas will be the biggest challenge as it was the kind of result that leaves lasting scars.
Who could be dropped?
No. 8 Alex Dombrandt and scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet are most at risk, while center Henry Slade can’t be far behind.
Dombrandt was the least effective of the strikers on a day when he needed to assert himself and Van Poortvliet have been struggling since July’s tour to Australia and may benefit from a team absence. Slade has now played three games but has hardly been seen.
Does England have a chance in Dublin?
It’s hard to imagine Ireland – set as 1/8th favorites by bookmakers – failing to win their first Grand Slam since 2018.
Andy Farrell has put the Irish at the top of the world rankings and even factoring in the number of injuries they picked up in Sunday’s win over Scotland at Murrayfield, they have the firepower to take down one of the weakest English sides in history defeated by Six Nations. Accurate, relentless, skilful – Ireland slowed down a little which even France found to their cost in Round 2
What does that mean for the World Cup?
Quarter-finals were taken for granted, but according to the evidence seen at Twickenham on Saturday, England’s Pool D clashes with Argentina and Japan are fraught with danger.
Borthwick has one competitive game followed by four warm-up games to form the side – precious little time given the chaos he inherited from Eddie Jones. The Ambitions are being revised and coming out of a group completed by Samoa and Chile have done well.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/england-france-steve-borthwick-six-nations-b2299706.html England vs France: How can England solve their problems after Twickenham humiliation?