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Match preview & thread: ITA vs ENG (Sunday, February 4th)

  • 02-02-2018 3:39pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,008 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    Italia vs Inghilterra


    15: Matteo Minozzi |15: Mike Brown
    14: Tommaso Benvenuti |14: Anthony Watson
    13: Tommaso Boni |13: Ben Te'o
    12: Tommaso Castello |12: Owen Farrell
    11: Mattia Bellini |11: Jonny May
    10: Tommaso Allan |10: George Ford
    9: Marcello Violi |9: Ben Youngs
    1: Andrea Lovotti |1: Mako Vunipola
    2: Leonardo Ghiraldini |2: Dylan Hartley (C)
    3: Simone Ferrari |3: Dan Cole
    4: Alessandro Zanni |4: Joe Launchbury
    5: Dean Budd |5: Maro Itoje
    6: Sebastian Negri |6: Courtney Lawes
    7: Renato Giammarioli |7: Chris Robshaw
    8: Sergio Parisse (C)|8: Sam Simmonds
    16: Luca Bigi |16: Jamie George
    17: Nicola Quaglio |17: Alec Hepburn
    18: Tiziano Pasquali |18: Harry Williams
    19: George Biagi |19: George Kruis
    20: Maxime Mbanda |20: Sam Underhill
    21: Edoardo Gori |21: TJ Danny Care
    22: Carlo Canna |22: Jonathan Joseph
    23: Jayden Hayward |23: Jack Nowell
    Date: Sunday, 4th February
    Kick-off: 15.00 Irish time
    Venue:Stadio Olimpico
    Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
    Assistant Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
    Assistant Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
    TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
    Broadcasters: TV3, ITV, FR2, DMAX, NBC

    By 3PM Sunday afternoon, celebratory/commiseratory hangovers should be clearing up and the last game of the weekend (not counting the Superbowl) takes place - what looks to be the most one-sided of the three games, between Eddie Jones' England and Conor O'Shea's Italy.

    Last year, Italy caused England all sorts of problems, and caused much hilarity for the rest of the world with their "not proper rugby" tactics at the breakdown. Sadly, Italy succumbed 36-15 in Twickenham, but the scoreline flattered England - indeed there were only two points in it with ten minutes to go - such was England's inability to deal with Italy's 'smart rugby'. Three tries for England in the last ten minutes finished Italy off and provided a nice scoreline for the men in white. Happily for Dylan Hartley, World Rugby have changed the rules so Italy can't use the same tactic again, and unless O'Shea has something else up his sleep, we won't get to see confused faces in the ref cam.

    Back-to-back Six Nations Champions England (vomit) arrive in Rome in the midst of a shocking #injuryCRISIS, and as such have fielded a very weak side in their opening game. Ah, who am I kidding, it's a very strong side from Jones, props aside, who will be favourites for many for the competition. Getting their easiest game out of the way is a nice way to gear up for touger opposition in the weeks to come. The big losses for England in terms of injury are to forwards Billy Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler and Joe Marler with Elliot Daly also missing out, with no massive step down in terms of quality for most of those. Mind you, the relative newcomer Sam Simmonds at 8 is as different to Big Billy as can be - he's got pace, some decent feet and doesn't try to just mash through the opposition. He's having a great season or two at Exeter, scoring tries for fun apparently, 17 in 36 appearances according to the Exeter stats.

    From speaking to some English rugby mates, they're not overly concerned by this game - unsurprisingly given England's perfect record against Italy - though have somewhat mixed reactions to the teamsheet. It's seen as a little conservative, perhaps expecting a bit more new blood to be used in the first 15 was hopeful rather than expected - Italy may be the weakest side in the competition, but it's still the first game of the year and England need to get up a head of steam for the Welsh and Scottish games. There's some concern for the prop replacements (Sinckler, Genge and Marler being unavailable) and their inexperience - indeed it's a debut for Alec Hepburn on the bench, but the replacements are possibly 4th/5th choice in prop territory. General happiness to see Lawes back on the flank, between Simmonds and Lawes they should be up in Allan's face all day. Overall, much the same for England on the first team scene and will look to power over the Italian pack in the loose.

    Overall, Italy will be looking to improve on last year's debut season for Conor O'Shea - with a grand total of 0 wins last year, it's badly needed. It's hard to see where they'll get their victory though - away to Ireland, France and Wales. Scotland at home will be one they'll target, but with Scotland perhaps resurgent, that'll be tough. They've gone up against a poor South Africa and Argentine sides, both losses though did beat Fiji in last Autumn's internationals. I'm not sure I can see them getting one this Six Nations.

    I won't pretend to know a whole lot about this Italian side, it's a young enough inexperienced team, with 8 of the first 15 having less than 10 caps (12/23) and only 5 players out of the 23 have more than 40 caps. Congrats to him, it's Zanni's 100th cap on Sunday. Between him, Ghiraldini (89) and the ever-present Parisse (129), they'll have a job on their hands leading their team against this English side... if things start to go against them, heads could drop and it could get very ugly for Italy. I'm a little surprised to see Allan starting ahead of Canna, given what I've seen of him for Zebre.

    Much like France-Ireland, it's a case of a tight disciplined side against one very much in a building phase - hopefully Italy manage to play with a bit of freedom, watching Treviso this year makes me feel they're a bit more free-scoring than before.

    No sign of Ian McKinley by the way, and I can't seem to find if he's injured or it's just a form decision. If someone knows, let me know!

    I can't see past a fairly resouding England win here. Scrums should be interesting, Italy will be targeting England's scrum in this one you feel, given England's prop situation. Unless Italy can really do a number there and force lots of scrums, the rest of England's game (lineout particularly) should be enough to overpower them. Italy will have to play smart (cliche alert) and while they may be able to keep it tight in the first half, England should power clear in the second half.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,685 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stheno

    For some reason I can't get a signal for it on my sky box despite it being tuned in :(

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,898 ✭✭✭✭BBDBB

    Jonny Wilkinson, sponsored by Just for Men

  • Administrators Posts: 52,635 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    England to win by a lot.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 393 ✭✭Didactic Ninja

    I never understand the mocking of Hartley and Haskell in the incident referenced by OP’s pic from last year

    They were dead right to talk to the ref and get him to explain what way he was interpreting what was going on.

    Even this weekend the crooked feed was reffed differently by Owens and Gauzere for example.

    McCaw, Johnson O Driscoll etc would have done the same.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 393 ✭✭Didactic Ninja

    Hopefully Italy get a right good hiding here

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  • Registered Users Posts: 233 ✭✭chatticusfinch

    Hartley always looks like such a goon.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭bloodless_coup

    Italy to lose by no more than 10

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,291 ✭✭✭mojesius

    Cmon Italy!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,047 ✭✭✭Bazzo

    That was very easy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,739 ✭✭✭OldRio

    Dear me. I might take the dogs for a walk.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,745 ✭✭✭laugh

    What's with the Jimmy McGee style useless facts McIntyre.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,291 ✭✭✭mojesius

    Ah feck it anyway

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,300 ✭✭✭✭razorblunt

    Coles off his feet at that ruck, went flying in.

    Italians really need to get the ref breaks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,562 ✭✭✭✭Burkie1203

    The screams from ben youngs

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,954 ✭✭✭✭Buer

    Looks like Youngs tournament is over.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,583 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    Burkie1203 wrote: »
    The screams from ben youngs

    Sounded horrible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,954 ✭✭✭✭Buer

    Never good when you see the doctor holding the hand of the injured player and trying to comfort him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,300 ✭✭✭✭razorblunt

    Oooft huge shout from Young’s, looks nasty. I initially thought it was the Italian close down that was shouting it was that loud.

  • Registered Users Posts: 233 ✭✭chatticusfinch

    Poor Youngs, that looks nasty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,739 ✭✭✭OldRio

    Dear me.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,583 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    Any idea who will come into the squad in place of Youngs?

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,830 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Any idea who will come into the squad in place of Youngs?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,150 ✭✭✭✭LuckyGent88

    Any idea who will come into the squad in place of Youngs?

    Dan Robson from Wasps I think

  • Administrators Posts: 52,635 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    I spent 5 mins yesterday trying to decide whether to put Watson or May in my fantasy team ffs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,300 ✭✭✭✭razorblunt

    For goodness sake, Italians aren’t doing themselves any favours. Should be yellow for Benvenuti

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,724 ✭✭✭✭Clegg

    The pure speed of Watson is frightening. It's something Ireland lacked in the outside backs for a long time. We've quick players now but still not on the level of Watson or even May.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,138 ✭✭✭mangobob

    This could be grim for Italy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 588 ✭✭✭baas baa

    The Italian 13 was hopeless for that try.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,599 ✭✭✭ScrubsfanChris

    Great pass by Allen

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭bloodless_coup

    More like it