- Hodgson won 38 caps for England
- Fly-half is Premiership Rugby's leading points scorer
- The Vault: England v Argentina
Guinness England Rugby legend Charlie Hodgson previews this weekend's second Test of the Old Mutual Wealth Series with Australia the visitors to Twickenham on Saturday.
Considering the team haven’t played a game together for a long time, it was obvious there would be a few teething issues. A win is a win though and it is crucial the team continues this run of form but no doubt Eddie will look at that performance with a hint of frustration.
Argentina are a stubborn team and their try at the end is evidence of that but things just didn’t quite click. There were some good individual performances and both Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph are very talented players so it would be wrong to pass judgement on their partnership in midfield given that they have played one match together.
I hope Owen Farrell is back at fly half with Eddie sticking to the same centre partnership so these guys can start to create some sort of understanding. I’m sure Eddie has a masterplan but I do know from a player’s point of view, to be chopped and changed is not the easiest thing to deal with, especially when making decisions and settling into the speed of a game.
I just want to give a special mention to my old teammate, Mako Vunipola. His ability to draw in defenders around him, while offloading in and out of contact is something many backs would be proud of and given he made an astonishing 19 tackles in 67 minutes, he is truly showing what an important role he plays within this team.
England go into the game against Australia this weekend off the back of four amazing wins from four matches against each other in 2016. The series win during the June tour was a massive moment in the development of this English team and no doubt they will be feeling confident about another great result on Saturday.
A memorable occasion
However, Australia themselves will definitely have something to say about that, particularly after their recent victory over the All Blacks. They arrive at Twickenham unbeaten in the last seven games. Granted they drew with South Africa twice and only played the All Blacks once but a win against the world champions is a fantastic achievement, regardless of the team they had selected.
09.01.1909, Blackheath— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 13, 2017
From the birth of "The Wallabies" to a carpet snake called "Bertie", @JoeEdwardHall revisits the first ever rugby match between England and Australia
➡️ https://t.co/S9LlWYhJrV pic.twitter.com/yfPnX5IeJk
There is obviously a huge amount of history between these two teams and the tension and atmosphere that is created around the ground always makes it a memorable occasion.
Looking back at those games in 2016, there was a real mixture of tight, defensive orientated displays and open, free-flowing ones. One thing Eddie Jones has spoken about is how this team must adapt to different circumstances and be able to play this ‘all-court game’.
Ultimately though, it’s about winning and being able to win against all opposition and all styles of play. One thing’s for sure when playing Australian teams is that they are very attack focussed and as such, you need to be very good defensively.
They showed once more against Wales that if they have a sniff of the try line, they will take it. They are clinical, they are very good at punishing mistakes and it is crucial that everyone understands their responsibility within that defensive line."A sign of a good team if they continue to win, even when they don’t play so well."
It is often said that it is a sign of a good team if they continue to win, even when they don’t play so well.
England have had the first match of the series to get rid of the cobwebs, so I am really looking forward to a much-improved display. The match this weekend is set to be a cracker, I will be in the stadium cheering the boys on and I sincerely hope they can make it a fifth win in as many matches against the Aussies.
Best of luck,