Lan­caster’s cen­tral dilemma

The Daily Telegraph - Rugby World Cup - - Sport Rugby World Cup 2015 -

An even big­ger dilemma awaits Stu­art Lan­caster at in­side cen­tre. Of all the play­ers he must have wished had pro­duced a solid per­for­mance, it would have been Brad Bar­ritt. In­stead, the Sara­cen was dis­tinctly off colour. No player coughed up more than his three penal­ties – for not rolling away, seal­ing off and ob­struc­tion – and his usual de­fen­sive cer­tainty was ab­sent in the face of mon­strous Fi­jian run­ners. Which begs the ques­tion: what’s the point of a safety blan­ket if it doesn’t of­fer se­cu­rity and re­as­sur­ance? Sam Burgess’s im­pres­sive im­pact as a re­place­ment – a won­der­ful off­load nearly cre­ated a hat-trick try for Mike Brown – will only in­crease the vol­ume of a de­bate Lan­caster must dread each and ev­ery time it raises its head.

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