"Can't pass, can't catch..." - Brian Moore lays into England and reveals the horrendous stat that sums up their plight - Ruck

“Can’t pass, can’t catch…” – Brian Moore lays into England and reveals the horrendous stat that sums up their plight

Former England star Brian Moore opines on England’s persistent handling errors and the absence of ball-carrying in their attack.

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With only two rounds remaining and a lackluster record of six tries in three games, time is of the essence.

Despite efforts to emulate South Africa’s blitz defence under new coach Felix Jones, England’s performance at Murrayfield showed glimpses of promise with George Furbank’s opening score.

Yet, their attack lacked cohesion, resulting in 24 handling errors and their fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup defeat.

Moore began his column by saying: “You can often make statistics mean what you want but this time England cannot claim what follows is taken out of context or is capable of different interpretation. When you make 25 handling errors and commit 22 turnovers in a game you will not beat any half decent Test team.”

He continued: “I fully admit to being unable to offer a precise explanation or remedy for England’s handling profligacy. What can you practically do, other than to express extreme displeasure and ask players to look honestly at their performances and to ensure it is not repeated?

“Maro Itoje said that the players will be holding an honesty meeting about this. If so, good – and it should be bloody. The ultimate disciplinary measure is to drop a player, but England’s confidence, whatever the players say to the media, is wafer-thin, as their vulnerability under pressure shows.

“Coaches cannot come on to the field and play for players, but they can design systems that give players the best chance of being effective. If you read this column regularly you must now be exclaiming ‘He’s not going on about ball-carrying again, is he?’

“I would like to report that England had developed a more sophisticated ball-carrying game, that repeatedly challenged defences in different ways. But I cannot do so and many other, better qualified rugby commentators, have repeatedly highlighted this seminal deficiency in England’s attack.”

Read Brian Moore’s full column for The Telegraph by clicking here.

Check out Greenwood’s TikTok account: Rugby Mates.

Will Greenwood’s Six Nations team of the week:

Greenwood’s Honourable mentions: Ange Capuozzo (Italy), Blair Kinghorn (Scotland), Ben Earl (England, Ollie Chessum (England)

1. Andrew Porter (Ireland)

2. Dan Sheehan (Ireland)

3. Zander Fagerson (Scotland)

4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)

5. Niccolo Cannone Italy)