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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 00:07 GMT 01:07 UK
Zinzan Brooke column
Zinzan Brooke
By Zinzan Brooke
All Blacks legend

I was at Twickenham last Saturday to see England thrash Wales.

I tried to find something encouraging about it, but the only thing you could say was they won the game and won it well.

There were signs of progress but you have to question how much they would want to take out of that.

I can't see them beating South Africa on that performance

I felt Wales were very poor. England were good enough to beat them, because they were better organised and had a decent enough game plan.

But if you look beyond the scoreline and think: "Are they actually going to win the World Cup again playing like that?" the answer is no.

The line-outs worked all right and the driving mauls were pretty good but they were very one-dimensional.

They have got no chance of beating New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France or Ireland playing like that.

Simon Shaw takes the ball forward against Wales
I can't believe a guy like Simon Shaw has been out of the side all this time

It was like the old-school England - a big, bolshy set of forwards trying to bulldoze the opposition into submission.

It worked against a weak Wales team, but you won't always win playing like that.

If a team can match that physicality, they can cut you up by making you chase the ball and moving all those big guys around the field.

The South Africa game is the big one they need to win in their pool at the World Cup but I can't see them winning it on that performance.

You are going to get a little bit of confidence from winning by such a margin, but it needs to be real.

It was good to see Simon Shaw back in the frame for England though.

For the last couple of years we have been asking 'where are the forwards who are runners and ball carriers, and can off-load in the tackle?'

I can't believe a guy like Shaw has been out of the side all this time when England have been struggling so badly.

There are others like Joe Worsley but he is not really a ball carrier because he can't off-load properly, as he showed against Wales.

It was pleasing to see Jonny Wilkinson back though and getting through the game unscathed.

Andy Farrell will also have been pleased to get a game but the jury is still out on him at the moment.

At least Brian Ashton could take some encouragement from a big victory and move forward from that.

I can't imagine what Wales would have been thinking when they got back into training on Monday morning.

They would just have to put that one in the file and forget all about it.

They took a couple of steps backward and now they have a big job to get the wagon moving forward again.

Zinzan Brooke was talking to Bryn Palmer



SEE ALSO
England ring changes for France
07 Aug 07 |  Rugby Union
Ashton praises 'balanced' England
04 Aug 07 |  Rugby Union
England 62-5 Wales
04 Aug 07 |  Rugby Union
Zinzan Brooke column
22 Jul 07 |  Rugby Union
Zinzan Brooke column
21 Jun 07 |  Rugby Union


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