CHRIS FOY: England MUST find missing cutting edge to beat Springboks
CHRIS FOY: It was an eighth successive win over Australia, but there wasn't much English euphoria. Eddie Jones was soon shifting focus to the final autumn mission. Revenge. The head coach is well aware that his rebuilding team will need to be a whole lot better against the Boks than they were against the chronically limited Wallabies.England must take a giant step up to avoid being the victims of another South African knock-out, two years after they shattered their dreams in the World Cup final in Yokohama.
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A breathtaking weekend of rugby saw big wins for England, Wales and France.
Chris Foy gives his thoughts on all the action...
Boks staff as bad as Rassie
The absence of their water-carrying director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, didn’t stop the Springboks from maintaining an antagonistic touchline presence at Twickenham.
Team physio Rene Naylor — a vocal nuisance during the Lions series — was almost knocked over by Frans Steyn at one stage, after walking on the field as the visitors were attacking England’s line. Such incursions are a scourge and must stop. © Provided by Daily Mail (
Kiwi losses leave foster fighting for his future
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is likely to face an uncomfortable reception back in New Zealand, where public polls are calling for him to be replaced by the architect of the Crusaders’ recent successes, Scott Robertson.
Rookie England prop Bevan Rodd ready for the Boks 'Bomb Squad'
England fans are fearing another scrum ordeal at the hands of the mighty Springboks, but Sale have faith in Bevan Rodd - their rookie prop who is gearing up for a brush with the 'Bomb Squad'.The 21-year-old loosehead only made his Test debut last weekend and now he is about to face the ultimate front-row assignment. South Africa have two heavyweight units which they deploy to devastating effect. Rodd must somehow stand his ground at Twickenham on Saturday when his ability to survive a set-piece onslaught will go a long way to deciding the outcome.
Defeats by Ireland and France have created a sense of Kiwi unrest — and highlighted the folly of subjecting a weary squad to additional ‘money matches’.
England fans getting closer look at players than ever
A new tradition is taking shape at Twickenham. England players have enjoyed prolonged laps of honour after each autumn match — and many of them have hopped over the advertising boards to join family and friends in the stands.
Nearby spectators have relished the close-up view and it is good to see stadium officials have not intervened to spoil the interaction.
Six nations will be 5-star
Good luck predicting the Six Nations. France are now favourites but there will be five competitive teams.
England can challenge the French for the title, but Scotland will believe they can ambush the ‘auld enemy’. Wales are the holders, but Ireland have just beaten the All Blacks. The only good bet is on no Slam.
SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: How England can defuse South Africa 'bomb squad'
SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Having dealt with Wales and Scotland, South Africa are looking to finish off an epic season by beating England. My instinct is to rage against their famed bomb squad. Too many replacements are allowed in rugby and it skews the battle to find out not just who is the best team, but also who is the fittest team over 80 minutes.However, the laws are as they are and the clever coach recognises that, even while perhaps disagreeing with them. So I can only say his introduction of the bomb squad — five or six quality forwards off the bench early in the second half — has more often than not proved to be masterly.
France find their joie de vivre
The fortunes of certain teams have a disproportionate bearing on the overall health of the sport. That much is certainly true in the case of France.
The game is poorer when they are sub-standard; too Anglo-Saxon, narrow and colonial. But they are a force again and that is wonderful news, for variety and mass-market appeal. Test rugby has become more interesting again.
Lavanini’s argy-bargy was pointless cheap shot
Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini on Sunday became the first player to receive three red cards in international rugby.
His dismissal was absolutely deserved, for a cheap shot on Cian Healy at a ruck which left Peter O’Mahony raging: ‘Hard man, aren’t you?’ Such gratuitous, unnecessary clean-outs are a scourge of the sport which endanger vulnerable players. They must be eradicated.Read more
Rassie Erasmus playing with fire .
Rassie Erasmus has hinted that he will be releasing another video soon, giving a new side to the story about his now-infamous post-Test video rant.Erasmus, who has already been somewhat disrespectful with social media posts making light of his punishment and supporting Australia coach Dave Rennie following the latter’s post-match criticism of refereeing, has revealed he is to be in a documentary made by South African sports broadcaster SuperSport.