For the ninth time since the Five Nations turned six in 2000, Ireland will face England in the final.
This pattern in planning suggests that the organizers of this match-up are mostly likely to win the title See.
It’s only one play-off for third place this year, provided France win at least one of their two home games.
Based on Eddie Jones’ own mantra, this is a pathetic failure for England in particular .
Upon acquisition, Jones immediately led England to its first Grand Slam in 13 years in 2016, an accomplishment he demonstrated in an interview with Lawrence Dallaglio a few months later.
« Yeeeeahh, me thought we were going to win the Six Nations. Look, without being arrogant, I think England should always win the Six Nations – or win for the Six Nations (« I agree, » Dallaglio interjected). They could the W eg have some bad luck that keeps you from winning it. But given the players and resources, you should be able to win the Six Nations. «
This could be taken as an implicit criticism of its predecessor, although it was likely not intended as such, but merely as a coolly phlegmatic Eddie setting up his booth.
In the twelve seasons before Jones’ arrival in England they had won only one six-nation title in 2011 and there was nothing to report about that, a few functional wins – wins though, we should admit – against Wales, France and Scotland, followed by a beating in Dublin at the Quest for the Grand Slam. It was soon overshadowed by a memorable Shambolic World Cup campaign in New Zealand that fall, and coach Martin Johnson was unstoppable to defend his title.
Over the course of his six responsible seasons one can be sure say Eddie made England winners again as opposed to « apologetic losers ».
He led England to a world record in its first 15 months ord with 18 straight wins, ending in the last round of the 2017 Six Nations in his Grand Slam game against Ireland (another English slam that failed in Dublin 4).
In his first two Years in England he was a hit, in high demand at the conference, provided numerous addresses in pendulum-style style and explained his coaching philosophy at the Oxford Union.
His name became the epitome of top-level management in Great Britain, the popular cliché for politicians and business people who urgently need a clunky sporty analogy. « In the same way that Eddie Jones made England glory Down Under, this conservative government will lead Britain to victory in the Brexit negotiations. » etc. etc.
The mood would change dramatically in 2018. Without warning, England’s potency and strength waned and they began a dark streak of bad luck, eventually finishing in a barely believable fifth place in the Six Nations (their worst performance since 1987). The talk of « always » fighting for the victory of the Six Nations was suddenly seen as brave. Jones, hailed as a savior two years earlier, has now been widely written off as a pseudo-Aussmouth loudmouth.
Speaking to Donald McRae in the fall of 2016, Jones said, « Wait until season three, buddy. Then we could hit a small low. «
Her lowest point coincided with one of Ireland’s highlights, the Grand Slam game in Twickenham on March 17, 2018. The game ended at halftime and it could have been a record loss for the Six Nations but try for Elliot Daly -80 minutes, which gave the final goal line an overly flattering look.
Jones was pretty unfathomable afterwards, but according to McRae he was still relatively relaxed behind the scenes.
« We’ll be fine, buddy. The plan is on the right track, » he told McRae shortly after the St. Patrick’s Day game.
England would be in full bloom again in 2019 and culminate in the co- Phase of the Japan world champions to achieve. It was almost perfectly choreographed management of a World Cup cycle. But the semi-final against New Zealand couldn’t keep up in the playoff, and an unimaginably strong South African team wiped them out in the final.
England is not in the reckoning for the current Six Nations. After losing to Scotland at home, England’s first in 38 years, there was another major reassessment. Jones was « overrated » again
There is a school of thought that Jones plays a longer game than anyone here, that the team paces up and down, holds back a little, sacrifices the immediate and focuses on the bigger prizes – The World Cup, of course – across the board.
The 2018 evidence suggests that Jones may be in shape on this one, which could lead us to interpret what we see in the Six Nations by 2021 see, be careful.
As Ugo Monye said this week, « To believe that no international team will endure trouble in a World Cup cycle … What world do you live in?
» Wales had last year this terrible year, winning three games, two against Italy, one against Georgia. They have had some of that pain, now they are bearing some of that fruit to shake things up.
« England are at this difficult time now and I hope it makes them a better team. »
The 2018 evidence suggests that Jones may have shape in this regard, which could lead us to be cautious about interpreting what we see in the Six Nations of 2021.
Jones is not getting an easy one Ride from the media in England. According to his quote from 2016, the culture above the water assumes that England should win every trophy. Still, he’s managed to garner Six Nations titles while keeping an eye on the bigger picture of the World Cup.
Ireland, with our thinner resources, may not have the same luxury. On this side of the water there are problems that have caused Ireland’s reluctance to stop and breathe during the World Cup cycle, the main cause of our failure at the tournament itself.
The 2019 World Cup debacle after an all-conquering 2018 season has drawn some and made them question the evidence to their own eyes mid-cycle.
Ireland had a mediocre Six Nations, but worse, the current troubles do not seem to be at the service of any longer-term plan.
ominously, there were even signs against Wales that England’s defense was starting to roll again. In particular, Ben Youngs’ attempt to improve the game last quarter was beautifully set up. He showed serious backline fizz and gave a glimpse of what they’re trying to do.
While they were overshadowed in the flamboyance stakes last Saturday, they themselves showed ample flair as they dominated for much of the first half .
Immediately after the game, Jones spoke baldly about the World Cup, making it clear that England had set a marker against France in the 2023 race for Webb Ellis.
« They’re not really close to the standard back where they were at the World Cup, « Eddie O’Sullivan commented on Monday Against the Head.
» And they’re still not there. But I think last weekend was hugely important to them. Now feel it Jones, that things are changing. The team is getting more confident. They are building on the World Cup. As is France. «
» These teams are still tinkering. But you can see them progress. You can see , What they are trying. You can see how the plan starts after two years. «
Ireland had a good record against England last weekend in Dublin. Based on current trends, they will have to stop their work to keep this run going on Saturday.
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