Six Nations 2016

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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 11:53

It's a decent selection. †I'm surprised at some omissions: Launchbury, the Grays (esp Jonny), Visser, Greig Laidlaw are surprising, to me. Prop Vunipola, instead of Cole?

"Instead of whom?" Well, I'm fully aware that the Lions have a wealth of possibilities at lock. But, say, Lawes has been a bit slow of late. Whereas Launchbury's massive physicality and rampaging style ...

Youngs can be excellent, but is very inconsistent. Whereas Laidlaw Jr is canny as the devil, quick and good with the boot (either for goal, for touch or cannily into open space). Maybe his injuries have worked against him.

Visser? Well, he has the strength and power combination - and general accuracy, and also massive tackling force - that, again, the All-Blacks fear. For whom? Odd as it is for me to say so, perhaps Nowell. He is my favourite England player, thrilling in speed and unflinching effort. (He is like a pocket Brian Moore - fleeter of foot of course.) But I am not sure his defence is his strongest asset - and NZ will know that.

No problems at all with Warburton as skipper. He is not the fastest - in NZ, a worry - but he has everything else you would want from a leader and #6.

Hartley unlucky not to go to the land of his birth (and local knowledge), perhaps. But he is a firebrand who could be a liability. And whenever George has come on, it's seemed like an improvement. Not least in the throw-in to the lineout!

Having said all of that ... it's a 23-player game. (Well, potentially more in the course of a series.) I think there is a lot of hard-grafting, high-kicking spirit in the squad. O'Mahony, O'Brien, Itoje, George, Joseph and all, Farrell of course ... if such options are on the bench, they could have a decisive impact in New Zealand. Study the referee interpretations in advance, though.

We'll see in due course whether taipan's Cassandra forecast is well-founded. Maybe so. The ABs are always the toughest nut of all, esp on home soil.

My fear is that Gatland will trust his instinct again to play a slow, overconservative, grind-it-out game, seeking phase after phase after phase after phase. No, it's not a game for light-footed oh-what-jolly-fellows-are-we dashing deer - but as Gopperth points out (video above), you need something different, unexpected, hard but also more resourceful, faster, to break through against such mighty opponents.

This is Guscott's starting XV (BBC Rugby pages), which seems sound to me.
Bearing in mind you will need those fresh impact players to add some to that mix, during the match.

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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 12:18

Pete, the Lions have only won one series in NZ, in 1971.

That team had one of the greatest coaches of all time, and had ATG players littered all over the park.

I don't see many if any ATG players in this team. I also fear that Warburton is past his best and might struggle to make the test XV on merit.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 14:16

taipan wrote:Pete, the Lions have only won one series in NZ, in 1971.

That team had one of the greatest coaches of all time, and had ATG players littered all over the park.

I don't see many if any ATG players in this team. I also fear that Warburton is past his best and might struggle to make the test XV on merit.

Looking at the 1971 team 10 players plus the coach are already in the rugby Hall of Fame. I can think of at least another 3 that must be close to selection.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 11:57

Well, "nobody said it would be easy...." ... certainly not me.

But some have claimed this was a weak All-Black squad, in the last World Cup (never my view).

I don't take previous history as a conclusive guide to any coming series, though. Just do it better. Gatland's supposed to be good at thoroughness - I hope he is. ... He should also know New Zealand, anyway.

We'll see ... could be tasty, .... in one way or another. AB 68 Lions 0 ...?

I forgot Halfpenny as an option from the bench. ... Talk of heart. I hope he's properly "back". He had a poor comeback 6N, esp by his own standards.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 12:02

Re Alan Wyn Jones.

I suppose if Wales had won more than 2 games in the 6N, he might have been prime candidate to go as skipper?
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 13:14

PeterCS wrote:Well, "nobody said it would be easy...." ... certainly not me.

But some have claimed this was a weak All-Black squad, in the last World Cup (never my view).

I don't take previous history as a conclusive guide to any coming series, though. Just do it better. Gatland's supposed to be good at thoroughness - I hope he is. ... He should also know New Zealand, anyway.

We'll see ... could be tasty, .... in one way or another. AB 68 Lions 0 ...?

I forgot Halfpenny as an option from the bench. ... Talk of heart. I hope he's properly "back". He had a poor comeback 6N, esp by his own standards.

Well I hope the Lions are prepared to fight fire with with fire. This has the potential to be a dirty series and I fully expect a couple of Lion's players to be taken out by the Super Rugby teams.

I remember a chat I had with Tom Van Vollenhoven a few years back about Kevin Skinner and the 56 Bok tour.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:16

Lions struggling in first game, which should be the easiest game of the tour.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by Big Dog on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:20

taipan wrote:Lions struggling in first game, which should be the easiest game of the tour.

I thought they might. I've tipped the BaBa's
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:25

So much for the strongest Lions team of all time.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by Big Dog on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 21:28

13-7 win to the Lions
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Sun 04 Jun 2017, 16:27

"Never in doubt, mate."
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Sun 04 Jun 2017, 16:31

PeterCS wrote:"Never in doubt, mate."

It never has been.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Sun 04 Jun 2017, 16:44

But the classic pretend-cool tongue-in-cheek these days ... by anyone who's just dodged a bullet

(or one bullet - before the shelling of your trenches & the chattering of enemy machine-guns start ...).
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by beamer on Sat 24 Feb 2018, 18:42

First win in a decade for Scotland over England... not even a losing bonus point, which could eventually cost England the title, not that they will be thinking about that right now. A long time since weíve lost anywhere but Dublin in the 6N. The Scots will be thinking, if only we hadnít imploded against Wales...

Looks like the finale will now be England trying to scupper Irelandís Grand Slam hopes, while perhaps sneaking the championship. I need to get the calculator out to see if Scotland, Wales or France are still in the title mix...

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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by Big Dog on Sat 24 Feb 2018, 22:29

beamer wrote:First win in a decade for Scotland over England... not even a losing bonus point, which could eventually cost England the title, not that they will be thinking about that right now. A long time since weíve lost anywhere but Dublin in the 6N. The Scots will be thinking, if only we hadnít imploded against Wales...

Looks like the finale will now be England trying to scupper Irelandís Grand Slam hopes, while perhaps sneaking the championship. I need to get the calculator out to see if Scotland, Wales or France are still in the title mix...

Bugger. I was tipping 100% before that.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by beamer on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 00:02

Trying to work out the permutations now... Ireland will have it in their own hands going into the final game regardless.

If Scotland win in Dublin theyíre in the picture. France and Wales need very unlikely combinations of results to challenge for the title, but itís possible someone could win it with a 3-2 record.

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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 22:17

Roll on the Six nations 2016 ...

THAT ... was the worst half I remember England playing. And I've seen some dire halves. Including that - for the white shirts - infamous second half against Wales' Second XV in the last WC.

Ireland for sure for the Championship.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 22:20

I should add - well played Scotland. The potential they've been building on came to full flower (of Scotland) against the Auld Enemy. And they played not only with skill and heart, but with decent strategy and brain.

Which latter is more than can be said of Jones' men (esp the half backs).
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by horace on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 22:49

So Is Eddie in the gun as the fall guy?

Arguably the Pomgolians over achieved under his stewardship much as the Brumbies did. The nobs running Oz rugger have treated him poorly esp when compared with Chubby.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 23:13

Personally, I don't know the answer to the question. I suspect it might be the players (to be more exact, a couple of key ones) more than the coaching. Seeing as the Olde English Vice 1/2, dead-slow transmission from scrum, ruck & maul (letting the opposition line up in full perfect pre-tackle defensive formation, when not actually shoving England off ball they've won, or ripping it away) - and a brain-dead kicking away of possession (the exact opposite of, e.g., Gareth Edwards shrewd kicking at apt times, with good height & weight, to pretty much the best, challengeable areas) - are two things Eddie would hardly programme his players to do, and I doubt would abide. ... Heads may roll?

And then of course, England losing their rag and giving away penalty after penalty. Old England Vice 2/2.

But who knows.

Even the sometimes derided Wrigglesworth (or is it Wigglesworth - never get that right) proved up to the task, and made 200% improvement once he finally, too late, replaced Care. (Nowell really had to come on earlier too, but let's not pursue other points of a debacle.)

Regarding fast transmission/recycling of the ball. Conor Murray, the Ireland Number 9, is currently the best in the 6N at that (well, he is generally the best scrum half in the Six Nations at the mo), and he showed it again against Wales. With results anyone can note. No, you don't always recycle/keep it going as rapidly as possible (see the note on G Edwards above - he often took a second before, say, kicking it over his shoulder). But it can bloody help. And there's no excuse - except perhaps to run the clock down - for taking what feels like 5 minutes to get the ball going and the opposition on the hop/in disarray from won possession. Even the old penalty-cadging bluff of pretending to pass (selling the dummy) in such situations wears thin, after trying it once. You can't assume the opposition are dummies.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 03:17

Basically all the British nations have been much of a muchness this season
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Re: Six Nations 2016

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