Stuart Lancaster has been shopping.
He has an eye for the true, tried and tested ingredients he knows, and he also has an eye for ’hot on the shelves’ newer ones. Ones that promise to add that extra dimension, element of surprise, and something very special to the mix.
It’s all about quantities and their qualities. Can the newer ingredients live up to the promise? Are the tested ingredients still coping with the heat? And last but not least, how will they react and perform together?
Ben Smith in the last test demonstrated this. He kicked, he chased, he tackled and turned it over. And he knew when to pass.
Billy Twelvetrees once said,
‘You need to do everything as a centre nowadays.’ And that’s the crux.
Making the yards is great but players must also commit to tackles and defend like their life depends on it. They also have to know when to pass. In the last test it is possible that another 2 tries were on the cards if the ball had been passed at the opportune time. Great pity.
Comments from the New Zealand commentators live during the third test included observations that Tuilagi played too wide, Eastmond too close, Burns stats didn’t touch Cruden’s during the game and Cips was brought on far too late. One also felt that Eastmond wouldn’t have been in their 22 at all. Interesting statements from supporters of the winning team.
Mr Lancaster and we have seen a lot over this test period. There is no room for passengers on the pitch. I have a good idea who will mix and rise as the complete package for
What about you?