February 25, 2024

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Steve Diamond analyzes Fiji: England’s style “is not what the rugby world likes to see, but they are winning”.

Steve Diamond analyzes Fiji: England’s style “is not what the rugby world likes to see, but they are winning”.

What do you remember from England’s last group game against Samoa (18-17)?

Firstly, Samoa played very well, especially against England. I think maybe it was because there was confusion between the three quarters in the middle of the field. Undoubtedly played with a top-10 man at No.12 (Owen Farrell, Editor’s Note), a top-12 man at No.13 (Manu Tuilaki) and a center on the wing (Joe Marchant). Maybe that’s sorted…

What do you remember from England’s last group game against Samoa (18-17)?

Firstly, Samoa played very well, especially against England. I think maybe it was because there was confusion between the three quarters in the middle of the field. Undoubtedly played with a top-10 man at No.12 (Owen Farrell, Editor’s Note), a top-12 man at No.13 (Manu Tuilaki) and a center on the wing (Joe Marchant). Perhaps if (1) were fixed, England would play more fluidly. He has looked slow during this World Cup but, to be fair, he has been successful in all competitions. Fijians have a similar profile to Samoans. They have a good scrum, they are disciplined, and although not so against Portugal, the English will try to control the match around their success.

How would you sum up XV de la Rose’s squad?

It was 70% for several reasons. He has a new coach (Steve Borthwick) and no preparation matches have been completed. But when the decisive matches started, they beat Argentina massively… I think the more important the matches, the more England will rise.

She actually seems to be moving forward with the mask on. Does this make her more dangerous?

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I think so. If they beat Fiji – which will be difficult – they will have a test in the semi-finals as they could compete with France, South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland. In this case, I think she will still recover the missing 30%.

“Their game plan is very conservative, but in the final stages, it allows us to progress”

Is the English attitude their greatest strength?

Yes, internally, they are very united, I understand that no one is isolated, everyone is aiming for the same thing. It’s clear that they don’t play as attractive rugby as the Fijians, New Zealanders or the French, and they won’t at this stage of the tournament. I think their game plan is very conservative, but in the final stages, it allows us to progress. However, this team can be compared to 2007 (going to the final, especially after beating France 14-9 with a controlled game), with players like Danny Care, Manu Tuilaki, Joe Marler. are in the downswing of their careers – but so are young people. Then, like in 2007, they still weren’t sure how to play, but they were able to make progress. Sure, they struggled to beat Samoa, not their style the rugby world wants to see, but they win…

Technically, how would you describe them?

The most disappointing thing is their defense. They admit attempts that other big teams don’t allow. To win big matches, you need 90% successful tackles and that was not their case. Offensively, they play differently depending on who opens them. With George Ford, their game is more expansive. With Owen Farrell, the strategy is more difficult.

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The Fijians beat them at Twickenham in August (22-30), should they still fear them?

Of course! With Simon Raiwalui (who trained at Saracens, editor’s note), the Fijians have a good hitter and are very strong in the rucks. After all, England will be vulnerable to passes after contact. He will have to rely on his more dominant passing skills to try and slow Fiji down. Otherwise the competition will be very close.

The million pound question, can England become world champions?

She can be. But he needs a more adventurous game, a defense with a 90% success rate, not 80%, and a balanced lineup with Farrell, Tuilaki and Marchant.

(1) Three players return to their favorite positions against PG.