I posted an assessment of Eddie Jones’ 10/12 combination for the 1st Test last week and thought I should really follow it up.
I didn’t call it as a problem, I thought the Farrell/Burrell combination would be effective, but it really wasn’t.
In the first 20 minutes, on at least 3 occasions Burrell was slightly out of position, unable to play the defensive system effectively, allowing line breaks and tries.
Once the change was made and Ford/Farrell were working together Australia had fewer chances to target the outside of the 10/12 channel.
Despite his diminutive stature, Ford had the second highest tackle count on the pitch. I’m sure that’s in part because Australia targeted his channel, but he was up to the task.
The change in defensive stability was probably more to do with Farrell moving to 12 than Ford coming in at 10. Farrell knows that Saracens led defensive line as well as anyone and can tackle like a demon (a Wilko demon no less). The diminutive size of Ford/Farrell/Joseph won the Six Nations so I’m sure it can also bag us the test series.