"Welcome to Fazball" - Brian Moore slams dour and turgid England performance - Ruck

“Welcome to Fazball” – Brian Moore slams dour and turgid England performance

Brian Moore, a revered figure in English rugby, has strongly criticized the strategic choices made by Steve Borthwick’s Red Rose team.

He has also raised concerns about the optimistic reception of a lackluster display against a makeshift Wales XV.

In his Telegraph column titled ‘Dour, Turgid, No Ambition: Welcome to Fazball,’ the former England hooker delves into the tactics implemented by Owen Farrell’s squad.

“In the light of this, the fact that Wales, for big periods, looked the more fluent was as baffling as it was disappointing. The most sobering statistic is that England’s record over the last four games is tries scored, three; tries conceded, 15,” writes Moore.

“If Fazball is to be all about winning, and winning however you can, then fine. The only problem is that you have to keep doing so and only by doing so will you be excused the periods in games where your ambition is, for practical purposes, absent.”

Moore added: “Furthermore, England’s Fazball kick-and-chase game is nowhere near the equal of say, Ireland in 2018, or the early days of Saracens’ Premiership hegemony.

“Even when this style of play was preeminent it is a fact that both Ireland, under Mr Farrell senior, and Saracens, under Mr McCall, learned that to beat better organised defences you have to develop your gameplan continually to test them by asking more difficult questions with ball in hand.

“What is the point of picking Ollie Lawrence and Henry Arundell if you do not seek to involve them in a more positive fashion and more often?

“The fact that we saw another centre partnership fail to spark, and then saw Farrell move back to that position, remains the single most egregious selection failure since 2003. Borthwick’s culpability in this failure is minimal, but it is still a key issue and one that will continue to undermine any good work that is achieved at half-back and within the back three.”

Five England players who flopped against Wales on Saturday

Below, we delve into the performances of five England players who failed to meet expectations on the field.

#1. Owen Farrell

Farrell’s overall outing at Twickenham has understandably been overshadowed in his second half sending off. The Saracen looks set to miss the opening match of England’s Rugby World Cup campaign against Argentina, if he is handed a three match ban for his shoulder-charge to the head of Taine Basham.

Evening Standard 5/10: “His tackle technique will come under renewed scrutiny after a poor red card.”

Planet Rugby 3/10: “Kicked well at goal, but the elephant in the room is the skipper’s tackle technique that, again, earned him a red card and possibly a suspension putting the beginning of his Rugby World Cup at risk. A Test he would like to forget.”

Telegraph 4/10: “Started well but there was a strange choice to pass back inside on one attack. Then his problematic tackle technique reared its head again, sent off after being reviewed by the TMO bunker. A ban looms.”

Rugby Pass 0/10: “Farrell couldn’t help himself, his ugly shoulder contact to the head of Basham rightly upgraded to a red card after TMO bunker review of the yellow he initially received. Now faces missing England important pool opener versus Argentina. Had started well, with good variety in his game but doesn’t matter a whit now.”

Replacement: George Ford or Marcus Smith