OTT wrote:I thought Sexton played well he was back attacking the line like he does so well which is why he took all those hits. Carbery looked like a super talented guy picked off the street who didn’t know any of the plays. He got by with a bit of individual brilliance for the Earls try but other then a loop off Rory Best just after he came on we looked like a back line who hadn’t met before the game in his time on the pitch.
I know what you mean about not knowing the plays but I don't think that only relates to Joey and his control at ten. I know we have done some good things (Stockdale's try was brilliant and Joey did put Rob away beautifully a couple of times) but I think we're making a scary number of errors off planned moves at the moment. I don't just mean poor passes or decisions, I mean players don't actually seem to know what they're meant to do or where they're meant to be. Remember last week when Earls and CJ (think it was them, might be wrong) ran into each other off one move? Or when Josh ran the wrong line? That actually led to Ringrose being turned over and England scored off the resulting scrum. How many kicks have we seen where we haven't had chasers? How many times has the first receiver looked up to make a pass but had tuck the ball under their arm and take it into contact because the players outside him are in the wrong place? I know a rush defence will have an impact there but we definitely haven't helped ourselves by being on our heels or too deep/flat etc. I was surprised it happened against England but every team has off days, I was shocked it happened again yesterday though.
Joey did do well overall but watching him made me think that I really want Ross Byrne in the World Cup squad. If Joey ends up starting a big World Cup game then there is no better option to have on the bench than Byrne. Whether Joe likes it or not Joey just isn't a solid presence out there 100% of the time and IMO Ross is just so solid and assured that he would be the perfect safety blanket.
Apropos of nothing, I know he's had very limited game time and both matches have been over by the time he came on but Cooney has looked really comfortable out there. Right now I would go with Sexton, Joey, Ross, Murray, and Cooney as the halfbacks for Japan.