Second win for England Rugby ahead of key Argentina clash

Second win for England Rugby ahead of key Argentina clash
KOBE, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 26: Mark Wilson of England is tackled during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group C game between England and USA at Kobe Misaki Stadium on September 26, 2019 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England will be satisfied with a powerful 45-7 win over the US Eagles, in Round two of RWC fixtures. Ten points from two pool games and ten points conceded are hard to argue against. Now the England Rugby team can look ahead to their key clash against Argentina.

Many talking points have been raised, with Eddie Jones now given time to digest his team’s attack and defence. Argentina is the next target, for England Rugby fans. Gladly, England stepped up from their scrappy win against Tonga on Sunday. The pack showed the teams set-piece is in good working order, in time for key clashes against Argentina and France.

The red card to the Eagles’ John Quil for a blatant shoulder to Owen Farrell’s head and jaw,  was the only sour point of the game. He has subsequently been cited, and could likely miss the rest of the World Cup.

Charlie Inglefield analyzes England’s performance, ahead of Argentina on 5 October.

George Ford should start against Los Pumas

George Ford was outstanding at fly-half giving Eddie Jones a pleasant selection headache ahead of the Pumas’ clash. Anthony Watson, Lewis Ludlam, Ellis Genge, and Jonathan Joseph all put themselves into contention for the Argentinian clash.

It is easy to forget that George Ford is only 26 and yet has over fifty caps for England. Ford was outstanding against the Eagles and head and shoulders over anyone else on the field. He often cops it from the press for his consistency at test match level but over the summer Ford has taken his game to a new level.

Ford and Farrell will most likely combine for that all-important clash against Argentina.

Jones enjoys these selection problems, and he has one with Ford demanding a starting place.

The onus will be on England’s pack providing quick ball and if they do, then Ford could unleash the England Rugby team’s backline.

Joseph pushes Slade down the England Rugby XV order

Come the final whistle, England and the USA could barely hold onto the ball; such was the effect of 78% humidity. Other than Ford, the one man who had no such problems was Jonathan Joseph.

The Bath-man looks reborn after a frustrating 12 months on the physio table. He has always had the pace and the footwork but Joseph now looks more confident looking for the gaps. His distribution, footwork and pace were top-class against the Eagles. It now looks like Farrell and Ford will start against Argentina but Joseph is a very decent option.

Henry Slade is clearly struggling with injury so Joseph has moved ahead on the pecking order.

Mark Wilson and Lewis Ludlam could replace Underhill

England’s bench made a real impact against an exhausted Eagles outfit. Mark Wilson (see main photo) who has had limited opportunities in the England Rugby summer calendar, was very busy in the second half.

Lewis Ludlam lasted the full eighty minutes and was explosive in the back row. It would be harsh on Sam Underhill but Jones will likely consider either Wilson or Ludlam for the Argentinian clash. It’s another pleasant selection problem for England’s management to mull over.

Tom Curry
Tom Curry of England celebrates with teammate Lewis Ludlam after their team’s second win during the Rugby World Cup 2019. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Curry and Underhill are similar ‘greyhounds at the breakdown’ and in the link play. Ludlam and Wilson provide more go-forward. Either way, England Rugby are well stocked in the back row.

Talking point: Will Jones start Cokanasiga ahead of Daly?

The likely back three for England might be Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson and Jonny May. Jones may be tempted to start Joe Cokanasiga against the Pumas and give him a roving role.

It hasn’t quite worked out for Daly yet after his two starts in the World Cup. What we ideally want to see is Daly in full flight and using his wonderful footwork. Against Tonga and the USA, Daly has had promising interventions from full-back but has largely struggled to get involved. Daly has also bombed a few yawning try-scoring opportunities with the final pass, in both of England’s pool matches.

Harsh, maybe, but now that England enters the business side of the pool, Daly needs to be incisive and industrious.

Anthony Watson looks a certain starter and is so lethal from broken play, as illustrated when he came on against the Eagles. So Jones has to work out what balance the England Rugby back three he wants to face Los Pumas.

England Rugby teams goal: Improve handling skills

Again, it is easy to nitpick here because the indoor conditions meant the ball was like handling a bar of soap. With the skill levels that England’s players are expected to have, they won’t be happy with the amount of handling errors.

With respect to Tonga and the USA, England has to tighten up over Argentina and France. Opportunities won’t be as generous and England may only have three or four tryscoring chances in a match. The focus will go onto Ben Youngs and Willi Heinz to be accurate, and throw sympathetic passes in these slippery conditions.

The England Rugby team will be delighted to come through unscathed with maximum points in the bag and just ten points conceded. A welcome 8-day break before the Argentina clash will give Eddie Jones a chance to think about some tough selection choices. Particularly on the possible inclusions of George Ford, Mark Wilson and Jonathan Joseph.

 

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