Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by LaurazRed, Feb 15, 2015.
Like you said you didn't see the game!
As I said!
Yep Italy are improving, they have a very good coach now.. Their main problem is they have what 2 teams in Italy you would say are at a decent level, which means their players are spread all around, you lose that continuity of players knowing eachother through club rugby and their player pool is really small compared to the other nations.
France,the sublime to the ridiculous in 80 minutes it's unbelievable,they have talent no doubt but their composure goes missing too much but I suppose that's the classic French way,Scotland getting better but lack depth,the try being judged a knock on in the second half was interesting decision and I feel unfair, France we're unfortunate on the score board but a win and plucky Scotland get a bonus losing point for staying within seven,crazy game really.
I couldn't believe the Finn Russell conversion miss right in front of the posts, he rushed it badly.
Those need to be 'rushed'. Technically it was atrocious. Have to go for height not direction for those.
I thought I would come back to this. Just wondering why you said it really, don't/didn't you rate Jacques Brunel or is it that you don't/didn't know much about him.
He is a very competent coach and considered one of the best technical coaches in France. Also a wonderful, likable man though that could also be his weakness at international level. He put everything he had into improving Italy the problem is/was that he was just playing catch up all the time (I can not see that changing soon though I think that Ireland and England will probably peak in the next 4 years which might give some 'relief' to Italy's plight).
The whole new bonus-points approach is making for some very confusing stuff about predicting an eventual winner here. Ireland for example picked up a bonus point for only losing by less than 7 points ...as did all-of France, Wales and Scotland too. Another bonus point for scoring 4 tries as well.
Anybody's championship atm within this new system IMO. You gain an extra point by losing ugly and mean while you also gain by scoring freely too - and both on a very situational basis. It's crazy to see 5 teams almost neck-and-neck, when England should be clearly ahead already with their narrow 2 wins. Maybe it makes it more exciting though.
I don't think it's sustainable. Foe 2 reason's it makes no sense. Firstly in the 6 nations is not a home and away league, secondly there's not enough teams in the competition to make it viable.
Certainly it is going to make it interesting. What I ask is is it now possible for a team to win the Grand Slam but not win the 6 nations?
For me the bonus "losing point" should be when you're away from home and you lose by no more than a try conversion,maybe relegation will be next to spice it up a bit as I wouldn't have minded Argentina being included but they chose southern hemisphere tournament,maybe Romania,Canada,Bulgaria or Russia is an option.
Georgia is another one here. They have some very tough players. Romania also a nice shout too.
Ireland v France should be good,both struggling really so interesting to see who takes the bull by the horns,France look impressive at times like Ireland but a bit disjointed and capable of something ridiculous in skill or mistake,I think the Welsh will have too much for the Scottish unfortunately for England as I see Wales as England's biggest threat.
Wales have played a shocking game,reminded me of our loss to Burnley with all the dominating of the game,attacking,possession and getting nothing,a sniff for them and they nail it,ridiculous game and Scotland deserved it in a way.
I thought Scotland dominated the the stats the only stat where Wales had a significant greater number was tackles which isn't one that counts on the score board. Wales showed better technical skills most of the match however when Scotland managed to raise their technical skills they scored. In any case it was the best game of the weekend the rest were pretty to very poor in comparison.
I couldn't stop laughing at England. Clueless tactically and so bloody slow, technical dinosaurs.
I feel asleep during the France Ireland fiasco. Just wasn't worth watching.
I have Scottish friends and refuse to acknowledge them playing well,,but England certainly looked foolish for the whole of the first and some of the second half but Italy always fall short in the latter stage of the game,
It was so very strange to see England players (or any full professionals) reduced to just asking the Ref how exactly to counter Italy's ruckless stuff on tackles and thus no offside in this type of play. The French Ref then gave several classic (Nigel Owens type) responses, as-in "I'm the Referee, not your coach", "No, if you are pulling someone in, it's still not a ruck. Ask your coach".
It's certainly not something you'd like to see repeated too often on a Rugby pitch, as it's almost spoiling tactics in a way. But fair play to Italy here to make the game a real contest this way all first-half. Where they took it maybe too far, was to keep doing it too long. A good surprise tactic ...but the simple response here is to just run pick-and-goes through the middle or just set up strong mauls to counter it.
RBS 6 nations is now setting up nicely, for a possible finale in Dublin between England and Ireland there -assuming that both do beat Scotland and Wales in the next round, while will surely both be pretty close encounters too.
Both England and Ireland now Top 4 ranked sides too, ahead of the Japan World Cup rankings draw in early May here. Lions places up-for-grabs as well. England also now on a 17-match winning run!!
I think it was a good lesson and I hope teams continue to do such things. Italy did it to counter a very slow but structured game that relies on power. They wouldn't do it against any other 6 nation team imo as the others would just pick the ball up and run (as we saw when England did this and moved the ball quickly they ran rampage).
The fact that England needed the 1/2 time to find just 1/2 a solution was pitiful. It asks questions of what the coach is putting in place. Yes he might have got the mentality right but the lack of noos and leadership once the game plan is found out asks some serious questions.
As the Scotland Wales game showed when you get the technical side right you create chances. England don't seem to have the coaches to get this done.
There is no forward leadership at all, especially with Robshaw out. Look at that front 7 and I see just a bunch of extreme athletes, hulks of men with good technical skills.. What Eddie Jones pulls out of them is to make them play to their strengths but to a very specific plan, yet there are very few good thinkers or innovative players. So if they execute their game plan they will beat most teams, but if it starts to go wrong or they make unforced errors it soon falls apart. Their saving grace is their defence is simply unreal, they are very hard to get past, so even if they are playing shit in attack they don't conceed many points in general.
Imagine Johnson, Hill, Dallagilo etc. in that situation.. they'd have it worked out quickly, or taken the time out as Woodward suggested at half time, had a quick chat and picked a plan to combat it. Proper thinkers/leaders, v's the likes of Haskell who showed how thick he was in all the sound bites.
As you've both said the answer was simple, pick and go.. Quickly Italy had multiple people miles behind the game line and out of the defensive line, and you had massive gaps to exploit. Embarrassing it took the coaches to tell them to do it.
Without taking anything away from Scotland who are far more organised than they have been for quite a while Wales have gone backwards and become predictable. Ironic when you consider that Roberts can't get a start because he is 'predictable'. Then to have two top rate goalkickers choosing to kick to touch instead of at goal and Warburton over-ruling captain AWJ and you have the shambles that a very talented Wales side has become.
Howley should be sacked. He hung his players out to dry after the England match when it was clear that the players were playing to strict tactical instructions including not taking kickable penalties and not kicking to touch. That is what cost them against England and prevented them from setting up any sort of dominance against Scotland. And his substitutions, particularly the timing, are highly questionable.
The WRU have their work cut out because Gatland is well and truly the past now and God forbid that Howley is the future!
Seeing England playing fast furious rugby had me shocked. I know it's been done by jones before but the way they had been up until the Scotland clash just made it a big surprise.
I thought Farrel was immense the way he delayed passes drew defenders and essentially controlled things was impressive. I also think that having Watson and Nowell makes this style for England possible, they are both top class wingers (I do wonder if Nowell will continue his career on the wing as he isn't a finisher however he is so strong). I also thought Launchbury had a better game and helped make the difference.
Fickou, who was a prodige of Toulon's academy, really showed some wonderful stuff against Italy. He's been tipped for a great future for years now but not really hit the heights. If he can continue performances like that he will push Fofana down the pecking order (Fofana for me is a great player however he has a tendency to take things on himself too much ).
I was expecting more from Ireland hey seem to be in a bit of an up and down trend at the moment. Wales were good, Halfpenny stood out for me. I wish he would make such an impact for Toulon coming into the back line like he did for Wales. I can see why some welsh fans are impatient with the coaching set up though, it's not really as dynamic as it was or could be is it?
I have been surprised at how many tries have been scored from the first phase this season.
I think that we have seen enough to start our predictions for the Lions tour.
From England Ithink Farrell and Joseph can not be overlooked then there's Launchbury, Marler and Cole with very good prospects. Watson and Nowell should also get in the mix.
My prefered hooker Goerge should get in the mix despite being a replacement for England. Of course Lawes and Itodje have played well however I don't believe that Gatland will have them high enough up the list we have to consider that Kruis fits Gatlands ideas better and there's others from other nations who fit that bill as well.
Wales well AWJ for captain, Webb and Biggar should be dead certs imo. Then J Davies and North from the backs Warburton, Tipuric and what about Moriarty and Faletau?
Halfpenny played very well against Ireland (has been struggling with his come back from injury) if he keeps his form up with Toulon he could get in the mix.
Ireland have a great back row when on fire but only Strander has been consistent so will O'Maloney and Ferris also be considered. Best looks like captain material for the second team at a minimum. Ryan is a monster (I predict either he or Launchbury to partner AWJ. Murry and Sexton get in the mix for me as well. For the rest I think it's been a disappointing tournament for Ireland perhaps Henshaw but Zebo for example has been poor as has Kearney however Kearney will probably go and Zebo considered..
Scotland have the Gray brothers and I think Jonny will be considered. I also feel Visser will be considered as he's a 'real' finisher. Hogg for me is a dead cert and I liked their center Huw Jones.
Not an exhaustive list but a start. I am having problems picking Front rows, centers and wingers. Hopefully others can help. On the other hand there are many second rows and flankers who could make the mix.
It's going to be interesting especially to see where Farrell will fit in (center or Fly half) and the type of wingers Gatland goes for.
Further players from England that will definitely go are Dan Cole, Billy Vunipola, Ben Youngs, Danny Care, Anthony Watson and Mike Brown. I think Jonny Gray will definitely go as will Hamish Watson and Justin Tipuric. Hartley will probably lead the team, imo.
Billy Vunipola will be considered but from 6 nations appearances one can not say for sure. Only one of Youngs and Care will go imo as Webb and Murry are superior players. Brown has a chance but then again Kearney and Hogg are better players.
As for Hartley that boils down to what Gatland is thinking, he won't be Captain imo that goes to AWJ.
We're still lacking props.
Insane,confusing and ridiculous finish to the France v Wales,not a good advert at all however i did enjoy it very much.
I thought that Wayne Barnes may just as well have pulled on a blue shirt. Brian Moore pointed out quite rightly that a French forward stood up in the previous scrum and irrespective of who is moving forward that's a penalty to the other side unless he can be sure that it was down to a Welsh player which he couldn't. France were clearly playing for the penalty try because they kept hounding Barnes about it. It is far more likely that knowing that the French were going forward on the scrum that the French player stood up hoping for the easy 7 points.
And Barnes didn't even go to the TMO for the try even though he wasn't in a position to see the ball grounded. In fact he turned around immediately the French forwards went over and walked away with his arm aloft. And he didn't look that pleased when they had to look into the bite incident and even suggested that it could be self inflicted which even shocked Pitbull. I've got no problem with France winning that so long as the referee doesn't help them in the process.
Wales were pushing it to the boundaries and beyond during that last passage of play and they quite rightly had two players binned and a shedload of penalties against them. But Barnes would still have had them all out there at midnight if it meant the French scored the winning try. He's a complete tosser and shouldn't be refereeing at this level. He's on a par with Rolland and Joubert so the IRB no doubt love him.
The French commentary was quite the opposite. It was not understood how Barnes didn't give a penalty try.
Good win for France it will boost their morale.
For Wales I think they have to understand that they need to find their old dynamism. I find them a bit stodgy at the moment.
England were poor against Ireland. Their kicking is just so shit one has to ask the question, how does Ford remain at fly half?
Even more so when there's Farrell and Slade who could do a much better job all round.
Thought the Irish pack were great and they deserved the win.
Agree about the penalty try EXCEPT that an accumulation of penalties doesn't automatically equate to a penalty try. I think that the real surprise there was that Barnes didn't award one because he, the French party and the French crowd would have gone home happy much earlier. And lets just be clear - France deserved to win!
Barnes' very public comment about a self-inflicted bite is quite frankly scandalous and unacceptable and he should be absolutely slammed for that. That would probably be picked up anyway during the review and should have been left to the TMO. Unfortunately it revealed something about Barnes that should bring his impartiality into question.
The irony about Wales is that dynamism is what Howley is supposed to be trying to introduce and is failing miserably. They had got into the habit of winning games by wearing the opposition down and then finishing them off. Now I don't really know what they are trying to do. I suspect they are caught somewhere between the old approach and whatever it is that Howley is trying to introduce and failing as a result of that!
Howley should now be living on borrowed time in terms of any involvement in the Wales coaching set up. He's either Gatland's clear and obvious successor or he isn't and IMO he isn't so there's no point in keeping him in that set up. Time to bring in somebody else!
England were due a poor game and Ireland a good one. That's probably all it was in the end. Two very fine sides and on the day Ireland were better. A great year for England though.
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