Against all odds

Against all odds

The sign of a great side is to win under adversity, and on Saturday at Twickenham, England did just that. 76 minutes with a maximum of 14 players on the pitch following Elliot Daly's dismissal, quite correctly, for taking a man out in the air. and just before half time, also losing Dan Cole to a debatable yellow card for constant scrum offences, and later Joe Marler for holding players off of the ball, England's cause made even harder after losing a talisman when Billy Vunipola went off with a serious knee injury. Argentina also saw 2 yellows and a late red card.

The lack of numbers were hardly noticable due to an incredible level of workrate from the three flankers in the reshuffled back row, Robshaw, Wood and Harrison and the likes of May, Brown, Joseph in the backs, at one point, I took to Twitter to ask if we had cloned Jonny May as he seemed to be involved in every phase of play, left wing, right wing, defence and attack, he was superb and was voted man of the match by Twitter, although there were 7 or 8 options for England that could have got that honour, which officially went to Mr Redemption, Chris Robshaw, who has had an outstanding 2016 wearing the red rose.

The 27-14 result should be celebrated, especially given that Argentina lost by just 3 points to Scotland and 4 points to Wales and also England should have won by more! Mike Brown having a try correctly ruled out (when he had an overlap he chose to ignore, a frustrating feature of Englands win over Fiji) Also bear in mind, England were missing the likes of Itoje, Watson, Nowell, Haskell et al who shone on the Australian tour. 

Being able to keep the winning streak going whilst blooding younsters like Ewels, Sinckler, Harrison, Te'o, Slade, George and play previously written off players like Wood and May (the former played a huge part in the latters try!) just shows that Eddie Jones has a secret formula that get's the best out of players and with just Australia standing in the way of England having an unbeaten year for the first time sinc 2003, you would't bet against them!

 

A quick paragraph in praise of the touch judges, Marius Mitrea and Ian Davies and the TMO Tim Hayes. They were superb. The referee made a few contentious calls, (don't they always, though!) but the 2 flag men were on top of EVERYTHING. Watching on TV you could hear the amount of decisions they were feeding to Pascal Gauzere and by and large, they controlled a lot of the game. The TMO made the right call all day long (I'd have liked to see him referred to for the first Argentina try, seemed like a double movement to me, but we won, so I'll let it go!) The officials often get slated, but these guys kept the game honest. 6 cards would make you think it was a dirty game, but it was far from it, and you have these men to thank!!