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Playing the blame game

rlwc2013 england new zealand kevin sinfield ryan hall george burgess wembley

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#41 Joe Whitley

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:12 PM

Blame is too harsh a word after the heroics of yesterday by all the players.

 

But I haven't heard anyone mention a small detail that could have altered the outcome. 

 

Interestingly, before the Fiji v Samoa match at HJ I attended a QA with Freddy Fittler answering questions, and one was who he thought would win the RLWC and why.  He argued there was very little between the 3 teams but what he considered to be an advantage for Australia was the kicking game of Cooper Cronk and  JT.  As he said these guys always nail the right kick at the right time.  I thought about how prophetic this was when NZ got possession for the last set of the match when I was screaming for the ball to be kicked into touch.

 

On about 78:30 England got to the last tackle on just about the 1/2 way and, for me, Sinfield chose the wrong kick option.  The ball should have been in to touch on the right of the pitch or kicked dead in goal.  A scrum would have wasted 20 seconds, it would also have allowed England to get some air in the lungs and to gather thoughts for a final minute.  In my opinion if he takes the correct kick option the kiwis wouldn't even have had a full set of 6 to score.  I think CC/JT would have nailed this kick had Australia been in this position.

On such things to games get away.

 

Absolutely brilliant point. I was shouting at the TV telling them to do just that.


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#42 Joe Whitley

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

I don't blame anyone from the England team for the loss but that was a schoolboy error or a brain explosion from Sinfield's to shot up that quick and not making the tackle.

 

Do you not think they would have gone in out wide if Sinfield had stayed put?


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#43 Joe Whitley

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:16 PM

A. Not either. Players aren't robots and sometimes make mistakes. Very good players make fewer, but they still make them. Suppose NZ knocked on on the first possession straight afterwards? No-one would have remembered the penalty at all.
B. They'd likely have scored anyway. If he'd made the tackle, we'd have won.
C. Ditto. If he'd missed it, they were in. If he'd caught it...

Blame necessitates hindsight, which none of those players had access to.

Surely what we want from a World Cup is that the best team win it, the best 2 contest the final, the bet 4 contest the semi- finals etc. We got exactly that. NZ and England are 2 quite evenly matched sides but NZ are probably slightly better overall, as reflected in the RLIF rankings, with Australia way out in front. Playing at Wembley maybe evened it out a bit more. Our kicking game wasn't great yesterday, just lots of fairly aimless up and unders. Maybe that was the difference.
Funnily, though, at no point yesterday did either I or my girlfriend think we would win. Even in those last few frantic minutes we both thought NZ would score and pinch it. The difference between the merely good and the simply great is that the great can do it when it really matters. NZ did. England could not.
Let's not forget that England have had a very mediocre tournament. A shock loss to Italy pre-tournament, a fairly routine loss to Australia, 3 good 20 minute spells against lesser opposition amid some very average stuff and then yesterday's loss. Won 3, lost 3. Hardly WC winning potential.

 

A. Good point.

B. I agree.

C. Again, I agree.

 

I suppose that's the most realistic way of looking at it but I definitely started to think we'd done it just before the high tackle. Though a part of me was always doubting it!


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#44 Joe Whitley

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:17 PM

No blame for anyone from me. Those lads gave everything they had. You win as a team and you lose as a team. One of the most exciting games it has been my pleasure to watch in my forty years of watching RL.

What won it for NZ was a fantastic piece of skill and athletiscism from the NZ player to keep the ball alive when to all the world it looked like the ball was going out.

 

And that was the difference in the end. Absolutely mind-blowing bit of skill and timing.


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#45 Wjct

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

I totally agree. What can we do to improve that, though? You'd think O'Loughlin with all his experience wouldn't make that sort of error. A knock-on, fair enough - we're all human - but conceding costly penalties in front of the ref is pretty poor!

 

Penalties generally happen when a team is under pressure or have been starved of posession. They need to handle pressure better but also be smarter.

 

When I say smarter - England got themselves into that cycle of being starved of posession and under pressure and then through desperation conceding penalties because of a couple of very cheap, avoidable penalties at the start. One of them O'Loughlin was penalised for holding down. The nz player was getting up to play the ball and O'loughlin still had his hands on him so the NZ player took a dive and because SOL was in contact with him the ref gave a penalty. Had SOL simply moved his hands away the nz player wouldn't have had the opportunity to milk the pen.

 

It's those little things........



#46 gavin7094

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:19 PM

 
But I haven't heard anyone mention a small detail that could have altered the outcome
 
On about 78:30 England got to the last tackle on just about the 1/2 way and, for me, Sinfield chose the wrong kick option.  The ball should have been in to touch on the right of the pitch or kicked dead in goal.  A scrum would have wasted 20 seconds, it would also have allowed England to get some air in the lungs and to gather thoughts for a final minute.  In my opinion if he takes the correct kick option the kiwis wouldn't even have had a full set of 6 to score.  I think CC/JT would have nailed this kick had Australia been in this position.
On such things to games get away.

I think in fairness that several people have mentioned this. Neither myself nor my girlfriend could believe this at the time, but we weren't under the pressure that the kicker was. Look at the pass way over Nightingale's head that went into touch (on the second tackle?). Even seemingly simple things can become difficult. If he'd put it in touch, we might have won, but we might have won if we'd done any number of other things differently. The permutations are endless.
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#47 Dave T

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:21 PM

Blame is too harsh a word after the heroics of yesterday by all the players.

 

But I haven't heard anyone mention a small detail that could have altered the outcome. 

 

Interestingly, before the Fiji v Samoa match at HJ I attended a QA with Freddy Fittler answering questions, and one was who he thought would win the RLWC and why.  He argued there was very little between the 3 teams but what he considered to be an advantage for Australia was the kicking game of Cooper Cronk and  JT.  As he said these guys always nail the right kick at the right time.  I thought about how prophetic this was when NZ got possession for the last set of the match when I was screaming for the ball to be kicked into touch.

 

On about 78:30 England got to the last tackle on just about the 1/2 way and, for me, Sinfield chose the wrong kick option.  The ball should have been in to touch on the right of the pitch or kicked dead in goal.  A scrum would have wasted 20 seconds, it would also have allowed England to get some air in the lungs and to gather thoughts for a final minute.  In my opinion if he takes the correct kick option the kiwis wouldn't even have had a full set of 6 to score.  I think CC/JT would have nailed this kick had Australia been in this position.

On such things to games get away.

It's a while back now, but didn't Australia do this to England at Cardiff in the opener? They slowed the game down by using the touchline.

 

I think this was the closest thing we had to a clanger. High tackles happen, but a choice was made not to kick into touch, and tbh at that stage our defence was ragged.



#48 Wjct

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:23 PM

Do you not think they would have gone in out wide if Sinfield had stayed put?

 

 

They had the numbers, which is why sinfield shot out. If sinfield held They'd have drawn the man and passed, the winger would have go in unopposed and improved the angle slightly to be only abit worse than where the winning kick was taken. Then they'd have converted.

 

NZ just set the play up perfectly. They could have happened in the first 10 minutes and england may not have stopped it.



#49 Saintslass

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:23 PM

There are always if onlys when our team loses.  If only Westwood had put the ball AND his hand over the try line; if only O'Loughlin had caught that pass on the way to running under the sticks; if only Hall's interception had worked (it was so close) then a high shot and missed tackle in the final seconds of the game wouldn't have mattered.  We had two clear chances to increase the gap between us and NZ (and one more remote chance, ie the Hall interception attempt) but we didn't take them.  NZ had one chance to put an unassailable lead on us and they took it.  Ultimately, that was the difference between us.  The team which has what it takes to finish off its chances wins.  And so it was.



#50 Dave T

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:26 PM

Do you not think they would have gone in out wide if Sinfield had stayed put?

I think they would have had a good chance, however to go in in the corner it means two or three perfect passes, and we saw throughout the game that England's scrambling defence out wide had been brilliant. But, had Sinfield made that tackle, he would have been the hero. He wasn't good enough to make it though and we lose the game. It was a risk, probably a calculated one, but it didn't come off.



#51 Dave T

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:31 PM

They had the numbers, which is why sinfield shot out. If sinfield held They'd have drawn the man and passed, the winger would have go in unopposed and improved the angle slightly to be only abit worse than where the winning kick was taken. Then they'd have converted.

 

NZ just set the play up perfectly. They could have happened in the first 10 minutes and england may not have stopped it.

That's not exactly how I see it.

 

Just watched it back again and England have 4 defenders on that side of the ruck versus 4 attackers. One of the defenders is an absolutely knackered George Burgess who was very slow getting into position, but he was a body in the way. Sinfield actually comes out to attack the first receiver which pulls in the centre and winger. Had he held, it would have been 4 on 4.There was still plenty of space for them to work a gap, but there was no clear overlap until the England defenders move out of their positions.



#52 Dave T

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

There are always if onlys when our team loses.  If only Westwood had put the ball AND his hand over the try line; if only O'Loughlin had caught that pass on the way to running under the sticks; if only Hall's interception had worked (it was so close) then a high shot and missed tackle in the final seconds of the game wouldn't have mattered.  We had two clear chances to increase the gap between us and NZ (and one more remote chance, ie the Hall interception attempt) but we didn't take them.  NZ had one chance to put an unassailable lead on us and they took it.  Ultimately, that was the difference between us.  The team which has what it takes to finish off its chances wins.  And so it was.

Just imagine the difference had Hall held onto that ball. The roof would have come off instead of the deafening silence! Inches in this game.



#53 Saintslass

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:43 PM

Just imagine the difference had Hall held onto that ball. The roof would have come off instead of the deafening silence! Inches in this game.

It would have been incredible in there! 



#54 Joe Whitley

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 04:00 PM

Just imagine the difference had Hall held onto that ball. The roof would have come off instead of the deafening silence! Inches in this game.

 

Similarly if Sinfield had latched onto Johnson in those dying seconds. He may have been knighted!


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#55 Viking Warrior

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 04:12 PM

johnson beat england with a tremendously skillful try 20 seconds from the end of the game that was the difference.
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#56 oldrover

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 04:57 PM

sinfields decision to shoot out of the line may have been the right one, but when he failed to make the tackle it became the wrong one. in that situation you must make the tackle, he didn't.


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#57 Keith T

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:19 PM

A. Burgess's first contact with the Kiwi was on his raised arm and then it made contact with the head. It wasn't stupid or lazy just one of those things that happen in a match.

B. Sinfield running out of the line could have worked for us but on this occasion it went against us but it is something that coaches tell young kids not to do. If he hadn't done it I am not sure a try would have been scored but if it was it would have been in the corner with a more difficult kick to follow.

C. On another day Hall would have managed to hang on to that difficult interception and it would have been all over.

All swings and roundabouts now.

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.


#58 Scubby

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:58 PM

sinfields decision to shoot out of the line may have been the right one, but when he failed to make the tackle it became the wrong one. in that situation you must make the tackle, he didn't.

 

The end was almost like a Shakespearian tragedy. The much maligned Kevin Sinfield probably had the best 78 minutes of his International career and set up 2 fantastic tries. He then makes an error on the last play kick on 78m. 

 

This guy is such an intelligent footballer it could well have been on his mind as the Kiwis moved upfield. I was right behind Sinfield and he spotted the floating ball to Johnson straight away. In a way his quick thinking was his undoing as he tried to race up and close the play. There comes the ironic tragedy as the tired 33 year-old make-shift half back tried to race up on the 23 year-old speedster. Sinfield was never quick (even in his prime) and could not quite get there, the young genius skips around him and breaks England's hearts. The last conversion even rubbed in the missed goal by Sinfield earlier in the game. 

 

I am sure it will have crushed Sinfield and another terrible Wembley memory for him. He is strong and will pick himself up but it was a tough break - no-one's fault.


Edited by Scubby, 24 November 2013 - 06:00 PM.


#59 Scubby

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:59 PM

Oops


Edited by Scubby, 24 November 2013 - 06:00 PM.


#60 Vichyssoise

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:54 PM

The end was almost like a Shakespearian tragedy. The much maligned Kevin Sinfield probably had the best 78 minutes of his International career and set up 2 fantastic tries. He then makes an error on the last play kick on 78m. 

 

This guy is such an intelligent footballer it could well have been on his mind as the Kiwis moved upfield. I was right behind Sinfield and he spotted the floating ball to Johnson straight away. In a way his quick thinking was his undoing as he tried to race up and close the play. There comes the ironic tragedy as the tired 33 year-old make-shift half back tried to race up on the 23 year-old speedster. Sinfield was never quick (even in his prime) and could not quite get there, the young genius skips around him and breaks England's hearts. The last conversion even rubbed in the missed goal by Sinfield earlier in the game. 

 

I am sure it will have crushed Sinfield and another terrible Wembley memory for him. He is strong and will pick himself up but it was a tough break - no-one's fault.

 

 

That's not exactly how I see it.

 

Just watched it back again and England have 4 defenders on that side of the ruck versus 4 attackers. One of the defenders is an absolutely knackered George Burgess who was very slow getting into position, but he was a body in the way. Sinfield actually comes out to attack the first receiver which pulls in the centre and winger. Had he held, it would have been 4 on 4.There was still plenty of space for them to work a gap, but there was no clear overlap until the England defenders move out of their positions.

 

I tend to agree with Wjct. On TV, there was a clear 4 on 3 overlap. G. Burgess was shot and I doubt he would have been able to cover in defence.

 

When FPN makes the pass from dummy-half, the ball takes ages to reach Johnson. He then just sidesteps Sinfield, accelerates, sidesteps Burgess and scores.

 

My point is, I think either way NZ scores. One can't diminish the brilliance of a player at a key moment of game by blaming Sinfield or any other player. They all made a decision based on what they saw and could do: attackers and defenders alike.

 

That's the beauty of sport although it sucks to be on the receiving end of such a crushing blow.







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