>> Goode: Ford-Cipri­ani must forge a friend­ship

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page - ANDY GOODE

The third Test in Cape Town was the first time we got to see the Danny Cipri­ani–Owen Far­rell axis in ac­tion, and while Eng­land stopped the rot with a back-to-ba­sics vic­tory I think it’s way too early to de­ter­mine whether the two can work to­gether ef­fec­tively for the team.

Both are al­pha males, dom­i­nant voices in the team, and when you’re play­ing at 10-12 plenty of chat isn’t a bad thing – if you’re both on the same wave­length. It was in­ter­est­ing to see Faz’s body lan­guage as Cips put in that su­perb kick through for Jonny May. He ap­peared to turn away, per­haps think­ing it was the wrong op­tion but I’m sure he’d have been one of the first to give him the ‘high fives’ once what seemed like a lost cause be­came the match-win­ning try.

Faz and Cips have just got to find the right bal­ance as a part­ner­ship, and that doesn’t come overnight. It’s go­ing to be a bit trial and er­ror with these two. Danny is more of an in­stinc­tive player whereas Faz is a bit more of a sys­tem­atic ‘this is how we play’ process type of player. It is a part­ner­ship that could work but it also needs time to de­velop. Hope­fully that will come at train­ing camps and dur­ing the Novem­ber In­ter­na­tion­als, as we build to­wards the World Cup.

As a fly-half, your 12 acts as an­other pair of eyes and ears and I was for­tu­nate, early on my Le­ices­ter ca­reer, to have Pat Howard out­side of me at in­side cen­tre, and then later on as coach. Riki Flutey was an­other who I de­vel­oped a good un­der­stand­ing with in a short pe­riod of time, at Brive and then briefly with Eng­land.

He was a big talker and a big or­gan­iser. As a 10, you only get a split-sec­ond to look at the de­fence and de­cide what you’re go­ing to do next be­fore a bloody-thirsty open­side piles into you. A good 12 will tell you if the de­fen­sive align­ment has changed or if what you’ve called needs to be slightly dif­fer­ent. If he is over-call­ing or over-rid­ing the 10, he is nor­mally do­ing it for a rea­son. Trust is the key word here.

The big thing for Ed­die Jones is where does he want to play Far­rell? Some peo­ple say he should play him in his best po­si­tion as fly-half, oth­ers say he should be picked at 12 with Cipri­ani or Ge­orge Ford in­side him at 10. Bar Ben Te’o, who hasn’t done enough yet to war­rant be­ing in the con­ver­sa­tion, there isn’t re­ally any­one else who has put their hand up to play there.

“If Jones is play­ing Far­rell at 12 then Cipri­ani starts at 10 ahead of Ford’

If Jones is go­ing down the line of play­ing Far­rell at 12, then, for me, on cur­rent form Cipri­ani has to start at 10.

That’s not to say that Ge­orge Ford can kiss good­bye to the jersey, he de­serves re­spect for what he has achieved with Eng­land and could still have a big role to play. When he is at­tack­ing the gain line, he is a fan­tas­tic player and he still pro­duced some mag­i­cal mo­ments in the first two Tests even though we were beaten by the Spring­boks. How­ever, he has been found want­ing at times when it comes to get­ting the big-game mo­ments right.

In the sec­ond Test, Ge­orge was very in­de­ci­sive in what he did in terms of re­turn­ing a kick and ended up giv­ing a costly penalty away. He needs to show more author­ity in those sit­u­a­tions. His abil­ity to man­age a game when Eng­land aren’t on the front foot has also been ques­tioned and he prob­a­bly needs to be more vo­cal in­stead of re­ly­ing on Far­rell in that re­gard.

De­fen­sively you’re not go­ing to lose any­thing with Cipri­ani in over Ford, if any­thing he is the phys­i­cally stronger of the two, as we saw when he helped to win a turnover by hold­ing an op­po­nent up in the air at Newlands. For me, de­fence is prob­a­bly a men­tal thing for Danny.

I’ve seen times over last few years where he’s not been that in­ter­ested in de­fend­ing at club level but has been ridicu­lously good with ball in hand. But he has worked hard on that side of his game, and he can do it. He is never go­ing to go around belt­ing peo­ple but, when he has got the bit be­tween his teeth, he puts his head in where it hurts and makes his tack­les.

Dom­i­nant voice: Owen Far­rell leads a post-match team talk

Oh no! Far­rell turns away as Cipri­ani’s kick heads for the cor­ner

PIC­TURE: Getty Images

Mo­ment of magic: Danny Cipri­ani kicks through for the Jonny May try

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.