Probably the most essential issues we did as a crew within the build-up to the 2003 World Cup was spend two weeks with the Royal Marines.
It was invaluable for each the gamers and workers when it comes to what we took from them forward of the event in Australia.
There are two issues that matter on the planet of the Marines — getting the job achieved and everybody coming again alive. They instructed us that you simply do every thing in your energy to get the outcome you require. Rugby isn’t life and demise, however the first of the Marines’ classes definitely applies to sport.
To that extent, Joe Marler is totally proper. After England’s win over Japan — which made it back-to-back victories for Steve Borthwick’s facet — Marler stated that, on the most important stage, it is just successful that counts.
That’s totally appropriate.
Prop Joe Marler has defended England’s kick-heavy taking part in model at Rugby World Cup
Marler stated England received ‘ugly’ so much on their technique to successful the Rugby World Cup in 2003
Marler stated: ‘You’ve simply bought to win, haven’t you? What did England do 20 years in the past? Discover a technique to win the World Cup. You discuss model of play. Lots of people do.
‘They received ugly for lots of that event. However we don’t discuss that now, will we? Outcomes are all that matter. Performances are secondary.’
I’ve bought completely no concern with Marler’s views. I take pleasure in listening to him and I agree together with his feedback on the entire. However I additionally assume they mirror the very fact England might be lacking a trick. Generally, you haven’t any selection apart from to win ugly. However — and that is the important thing — you can not go right into a recreation planning to take action.
In my time as England head coach, I prided myself on my crew’s means to exit and get 80,000 folks at Twickenham off their ft and going loopy with pleasure.
It was my No1 aim as a coach. It was not based mostly round some romantic or philosophical method. I knew if we did that, it will vastly enhance our probabilities of success.
Earlier than each match, the crew was chosen and coached to win however equally as essential was to play in a manner which no different facet might reside with. In fact, there are occasions when that’s not attainable and it’s important to adapt your recreation accordingly. Generally, issues simply don’t click on.
On different events, accidents, playing cards or the opposition cease you taking part in your greatest recreation.
The 2003 World Cup semi-final win over France — performed in terrible circumstances — was instance. We knew the rain that day would restrict how a lot rugby we might play. So we opted for a sensible, forward-dominated recreation and Jonny Wilkinson’s boot did the remainder.
England No 10 George Ford is the competitors’s main factors scorer with 41 factors
Paradoxically, it was our most dominant efficiency. The crew have been sensational and hammered France, nevertheless it was an unsightly win. We performed nicely in opposition to South Africa within the group, however in what was a higher-pressure recreation, it wasn’t free-flowing rugby.
The primary half of the ultimate in opposition to Australia was in all probability our greatest 40 minutes of the event. We led 14-5 on the break, however bought pegged again within the second half. Additional-time was wanted earlier than we ultimately bought on prime.
Between 2001 and 2003, we might play each manner attainable.
We might run groups off their ft with attacking rugby. That’s how we pressured groups to cough up penalties for Wilkinson to kick. If drop objectives have been required, we might try this too.
Within the run-up to that event, we grew to become No1 on the planet by beating each New Zealand and Australia away. In each Six Nations between 2000 and 2003, we scored essentially the most tries and most factors, successful three of 4 Championships alongside the way in which.
We went into each recreation believing the one technique to win was by scoring 4 tries.
Profitable ‘ugly’ is a comparative phrase that ought to apply to groups that may additionally win ‘fairly’. In any other case, it’s simply their establishment.
This isn’t a criticism of the present set-up in any form or type. However they need to not get lulled into the concept they will go all the way in which on the 2023 World Cup by solely taking part in the rugby now we have seen from them to this point. They might nicely go all the way in which successful ‘ugly’, however they need to not go into the sport making an attempt to take action.
The win over the Pumas was 10 out of 10. The way in which England managed the sport after Tom Curry’s sending off was sensational. There was nothing ugly about that. The Royal Marines would have liked it.
The category of ’23 can be hoping to emulate Martin Johnson’s heroes of the 2003 World Cup
In George Ford, England have a participant on the prime of his recreation. However Ford and Co must plan to attain tries if they’ll beat the very best groups like Eire, South Africa and France.
To this point, England have performed middle-of-the-road groups. Larger assessments will come and, if we’re trustworthy, England are behind the very best on the planet proper now.
Saturday’s recreation with Chile is an opportunity for England to get some confidence and momentum into their attacking recreation.
Borthwick’s facet did file a bonus level by scoring 4 tries in opposition to Japan and a repeat of that’s the minimal requirement this weekend.