Consistently Inconsistent

England seem to have taken on the phrase "your own worst enemy" as somewhat of playing style in the last couple of weeks. England go through really good patches in a game in which they look like the world class side that they are.

This is however quickly followed by a period of play littered with poor handling and even worse decision making. The basics are just as important in these games as the flashy line moves and the creative kicking game, without the basics any team will struggle to get anywhere, and is most likely to spend large portions of the game defending in their own half.

A couple of examples to highlight my point. The first 20 minutes of England's game against France was an attacking masterclass, piercing runs, creative plays and 3 tries, it looked like England would just put the game in cruise control and settle it down.

Not the case though, what followed instead was 20 minutes of England inviting the French to lay siege to the English line, by the end of the half England had come up with 8 handling errors. Against a better side England would have been punished.

It was exactly the same case in the Lebanon and Papua New Guinea games. A brilliant period of play resulting in plenty of points, followed by 3 runs and a handling error. England need to be consistent, this is not about being better, it's about being consistent.

England have shown just how good they are going forward but it has to be like that for the entire game, not just brief spells of brilliance. To finish a quarterfinal with a completion rate of less than 50%, and still be on the winning side is nothing short of a miracle. England are going to have to sharpen up this week, as Tonga are going to be substantially less forgiving than the Kumuls were.



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