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Rugby thread (6 Nations, Heineken Cup etc)


Rex Grossman
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South Africa brought the big hits, but delightful to see that quick rugby England played.

 

Steward finished that try so well, and Quirke must be on cloud nine after that debut.

 

But it was so close, those two missed Pollard kicks and two blown breaks could have told a different story...

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1 hour ago, Starbreaker said:

I'm sure Fra-NZ will be the absolute dead rubber it usually is too.


Was this a serious comment? You never know what a France v All Blacks game is going to bring but if any team is capable of humbling the All Blacks it’s Les Blues!

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I can’t be bothered to check but would be interesting to know how many minutes Wales have played against a full team since Pivac took over. Feels like almost every game they are against 14 men for long periods. 
 

I can’t work this welsh team out. I know there are a huge number of injuries but despite winning the 6 nations I can’t help but feel they are treating water.

 

I’m overseas so don’t follow the domestic scene as well as I used to but while there is some exciting talent around the game still seems screwed in Wales. 

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17 hours ago, g wings said:

 I can’t work this welsh team out. I know there are a huge number of injuries but despite winning the 6 nations I can’t help but feel they are treating water.

 

I’m overseas so don’t follow the domestic scene as well as I used to but while there is some exciting talent around the game still seems screwed in Wales. 

 

I agree, and am also not following domestic rugby (Prem or Pro14, especially the latter) as much as I used to. As you and Matts have both said, there's an injury gap in the Welsh squad at the moment - apart from Priestland, Francis and a few more I can't place many of them - but the game plan doesn't look settled either way. Half way between free flowing passing and attritional play. At least the ping pong seems to have died down though.

 

Interesting series and the most lucrative I can remember the NH being in a while. Anyone care to venture a few thoughts?

 

Wales - see above 

England - we look in good nick I reckon, but EJ does have a thing for playing exciting, explosive new talent who then have absolutely no time to settle before he shifts the squad around again. I don't bemoan the exclusion of Ford or Vunipola in the slightest, with a little bit of sympathy for Ford probably, but we can't hang on past 'glories' and seem to be adapting well to running rugby; some of the midfield play is brilliant (as an Exeter fan I obviously reckon Slade should get a lot of credit for that, silly haircut notwithstanding) and Manu needs a solid round of applause and then to be quietly shuffled off before he gets knee/chest/hammy/shoulder/tennis elbow injuries every time he walks down the stairs. FB looks excellent and even I know Marcus Smith is gonna be our FH for the next seven years or so. Probably time to shuffle the SH round a bit too and a good showing of that yesterday. Ben Youngs deserves a bit of a break and not for Danny Care. Same problem with the forwards a little - as much as I love Joe Marler he must be about 45 by now (although tbf we did have our own injury problems on that front

Scotland - in complete opposition to what I just said, the long timers are doing a fantastic job. Hogg and Russell together are basically unplayable, Watson and Fagerson have been great at the breakdown, the former especially. Inconsistency is still there and some clumsy mistakes in the backs make them look worse than they should but it's still probably the best pick of Scotland teams from the last 15 years of so. Real growth potential.

Ireland - Honestly can't really comment on this one as I've seen very little of them, bar the NZ game. Pack looks good, Sexton is still kicking well despite having the aforementioned Vunipola effect of getting injured by a slight waft. They're an unknown quantity (because as much as I love Ireland I don't watch the league most of their players are in)

France - Ntamack is such a stallion. Look at his lovely legs. Like England, they're getting the idea of SH running rugby, but unlike England, they've always had that nouse. Fikou is still in brilliant touch, his offloads are a thing of beauty.

Italy - Signs of growth, especially against NZ, but without Parisse they still look a bit lost

 

Now the much more fun bit, where I badly dissect the SH teams (again, despite knowing nothing about them)

 

Aus - Nic White aside (I will fight anyone who disparages him), I don't remember seeing them play so poorly. No invention, caught on the back foot far too often, rumbled over in the forwards. I know they beat South Africa twice but Christ knows how. Plus their kit is terrible.

SA - Still probably the best in the world, but it's really not a lot of fun to watch. Apart from Etzebeth leaping like a mammothfish, it's not the greatest spectacle is it? Bomb squad etc

NZ - Hey! They're vulnerable boys! Let's get em!...until they settle their squad in the next year and then massacre everyone, obviously. Still, that quick offloading seems to be hitting a bit of a bump which is nice to see. 

 

6N predictions specifically based on these games:

1. Eng

2. Fra

3. Ire

4. Wal

5. Sco

 

 

6. Ita

 

Top five is obviously subject to massive change depending on who has a good game though.

 

Sorry for the massive outpouring of rubbish; as someone who lives in Footballland this is my only vent for anything rugby.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ys, it's not cool and it's spreading. It's geat there's a dialogue between players and refs, courteously discussing something but the constant nagging over every decision, I really don't like from any team, but some are way worse than others

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well it's almost that time of year and France have to easily be the favourites right? Second place is a toss up between Ireland and England with Scotland looking close enough for an upset for third or possibly second place. As for Wales the regional games on the weekend against the Scottish sides don't bode well especially with us still having a large injury list carrying over from last year and I don't think it's controversial to suggest Italy in last place. 

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Who knows, I can understand why the WRU would want them moved across the border, the game is in a severe financial mess and the revenue brought in during the 6 nations is massive, not just for the WRU but for the city centre and pubs all around Wales. Coventry has been mentioned but it's not the millennium stadium, I'm not sure which is better really, played in a packed stadium elsewhere or an empty one at home. 

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I don't have much confidence in England if i'm honest, i'm travelling up to Murrayfield for the first game and I think it's going to be really tough. Saying that, the English league has been decent so far this year so I expect a few of the players will be coming in with confidence. I think most England fans will be waiting for the squad announcement before making any predictions though.

 

Has Wales performance ever been closely pegged to the regions? I just don't think you can write them off - although I agree that France and Ireland are probably the favourites. Could be some belting games though!

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