I thought he played quite well, actually, although as an ex-2nd row forward I'm no expert on the intricacies scrum half play.blondie95 wrote: I don't think Perry should have started, I think he would have been better as a sub as the all black 9 completely dominated him.
As our forwards didn't manage to exert their usual control over proceedings Perry had to deal with a lot of iffy ball and did so quite successfully.
Still, it's a sad state of affairs when Balshaw (or Gaybar, as he's known in some rugby circles) is the best full back we can put out.
Sackey did OK too - winning your first cap on the wing against New Zealand at Twickenham must be pretty nerve-wracking.
Howard's right about the low levels of skill and creativity, though. One school of thought would lay the blame for this on the fact that it's possible to be relegated from the Guinness Premiership, which can have dire financial consequences for a club and its players. The feeling is that players are being coached to play safe and not lose matches, rather than to win matches in an adventurous but slightly risky manner.
However, the same system exists in the Top 14 in France, but they seem to manage somewhat better than English teams.
The provincial systems which exist in other major rugby-playing nations allow teams (if they so wish) to play expansive but risky rugby, which may take a few seasons to come together, without running the risk of disappearing into the void. I mean, even the Welsh are starting to look good in comparison (apart from that orange bloke).
I still maintain that there is still something in the English sporting psyche which values things like 'graft', 'honesty', 'work-rate' etc. above skill and individual flair.
The English team had plenty of grafters yesterday, but we all saw which team had all the skill.