Australia Blow England Off The Park In The World Cups Biggest Mismatch

Australia have secured the top spot in Group A with a crushing 52-4 win over England.

As usual England come out playing physically and they were helped along when Australia played terribly for about ten minutes.

However from that point on it was all one way traffic and to be honest, England were lucky a few little extra plays didn’t stick otherwise the scoreline could have been even bigger.

So lets look at both teams…

It took about 25 minutes for Darren Lockyer and Scott Prince to work out their halfback combination, but once they were sorted, they looked very, very good.

Prince is an outstanding halfback and is a real streadying influence on any side he plays in. He is probably shaded by Thurston who can break a game open from no where with his passing and running game, but when you consider Prince is Australia’s second choice halfback, its just an embarrassment of riches.

I though Australia tried to play a bit to wide early on. The forwards seemed to want to run too wide and they really crowded the likes of Folau and Inglis who really should have everyone get out of their way, get them the ball and watch them dominate.

Lockyer as always was brilliant. He hardly played in the second half however by then he had already dismantled England and the game was already won.

Cameron Smith was once again a bit quiet in the first half but he started to find his form in the second half. He gives great service out of dummy half but I think he needs to run more, Australia should be showing more danger out of dummy half than they have been in their last few tests.

I thought Anthony Laffranchi was the pick of the Aussie forwards. He showed great mobility, his work rate was high and his foot work really was too much for England to handle. He is really cementing his place in the side and I think that’s probably a challenge to Paul Gallens place in the side.

Israel Folau wasn’t used enough in my opinion, and like I said, I think he was crowded a bit much. You need to get him the ball early and let him use his side and power. As for Greg Inglis, he is 21 years old and I’m struggling to think of a player who has been this good at such a young age.

I would like to have seen him play some five-eight when Lockyer went off, but then again why would you toy with a combination you’re probably not going to use again in this tournament.

Then there was Billy Slater who was incredible. Its just how he plays every week! England must have shit when they saw some of the things he was doing.

Over all I thought the first half was dissapointing but they made up for it with a good second half performance. They will need to improve thought because if they play poorly for any length of time against New Zealand or even the likes of Samoa, they will be punished for it a whole lot more.

Australia will probably look to get a few of their squad same game time in the next game against PNG and use their semi final in Sydney as a warm up for the Final in Brisbane.

Well, where do you start with England? They started off trying to play physically but as usually that was long gone by the 20 minute mark. What helped them was the fact Australia started playing some terrible football and England managed to get a lot of possession.

They couldn’t make anything of it though with a lack of halves just killing England.

The English forwards really are on a hiding to nothing. They try hard, they haven’t got the skill, mobility or endurance of Australia and the way the interchange bench is used for them really kills any effectiveness they would have left.

The halves were once again a disgrace. Burrow has no passing game, no kicking game and no ability to organize an attack. In defense he is such a liability that he was played out wide, and it was a master stroke by Tony Smith to play the smallest player in the World Cup opposite Israel Folau…

The one thing you might say Burrow has is a running game, but against a decent defense its completely negated. The sum total of Burrows effect on the game was a half break made from dummy half that saw England gain five meters. Hardly enough to consider ever picking his again at this level.

Pryce offered nothing either but I’m not going to get on his case too much. He isn’t at standoff, he is a winger and would probably play better as a fullback for England.

The fact that Kevin Sinfield is forced to take over the kicking duties says it all as far as the English halves go.

Gleeson was all at sea, he was completely out of his depth. He offered nothing in attack and in defense and was played for a fool. Senior played OK, he didn’t do much in attack but his experience shone through in defense.

I thought Ade Gardner played his best game ever, when Paul Wellens wasn’t knocking him off his feet, while Mark Calderwood did his best despite looking out of his depth.

Paul Wellens is a good 20 point handicap to England. He is no where to be seen when it comes to cover defense, covering a kick or or positional play. He does nothing to organize the defense, he is non existent in attack and on the rare occasion that he lucks out and finds an opposition attacker near him, he is brushed off like he isn’t even there.

Compare his game to Billy Slater and its complete involvement in all areas of the game compared to a big black hole of nothingness.

Little tricks will not work against Australia, so things like short kickoffs, expecting Maurie Fasavalu to break through a weak defense….it just doesn’t work.

As for the future for England, they have built up for this game for well over 18 months. They have put all their faith in Tony Smith and his idea’s, and its been a complete failure.

Where do they go from here? Is this enough to convince the English where they really stand in the Rugby League world?

Sadly, I don’t think so.

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