zzzz wrote:Don't get all this "we got turned over at the breakdown, so need a proper 7" nonsense.
A good 7 can't defend your own ball. That's about changing your pod system and playing narrower.
That's just wrong really.
Check out around 29.48 in the Scotland game. Scrum, ball goes to Ford who sees space and attacks. Barclay (who was playing openside a the time), gets off the scrum, tackles Ford, get's back to his feet, clear release and latches on, then Robshaw get's there and fails to move him. A proper 7 preferably just gets to Ford first, preventing any hands in the ruck, or at worst, actually clears Barclay out whilst he's getting back to his feet, Scotland win an easy pen. Similar from set piece at around 36.27, though not sure if that was a pen in the end. Robshaw just isn't quick enough. Put him at 6 where it's far less of an issue, and his strengths are supported far more.
A good 7 should not only be doing this for set piece, but for breaks as well, reading the play and getting into position. Hask had a good example of this for the lions, when the Lions broke, made 60m, and the opposition 7 got over the ball, but Hask basically cleared out the 7 and the tackled player in one huge hit. Hask is far from rounded, and we should be looking to move on, but he's an absolutely fabulous example of how a 7 can be influential in winning your own ball consistently at key times.
Should the rest of the pack be working well? Of course, but Lawes is not good at the breakdown, and putting him in the loose forwards just makes that even more noticeable, since it denies England of what would normally be a more accomplished breakdown worker there.
Can the system be adapted to make up for our lack of ability and poor selection? To a degree yes, but not for those set pieces or scrums!