Six Nations 2018

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Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 22:24

In other words:



Even if the title sounds more like the Red Hand of Ulster. ....
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 22:33

Or, for traditionalists. The best-known version by the great O'Riada & the Chieftains (before they were called that):

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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by skully on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 04:22

Wotz happening in 2018??
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 13:28

Skulls - see currently last page of thread "Six Nations 2016" (despite its now confusing title).
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by beamer on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 20:55

Still a five-way battle (though Wales and France require some unlikely combinations of results), bonus points likely to be crucial unless Ireland win the Grand Slam.

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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by skully on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 22:27

I don't like Rugby. It's become too much like American football with it's chess-like rules.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by beamer on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 19:11

Farrell out for the rest of the tournament...

...no, not that one. The latest Ireland centre to break down. Fancy a comeback, BOD?

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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 19:29

Especially as first choice Robbie Henshaw is out too.

But Gazza Ringrose, impressive last season, must be about due back any time?
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by Big Dog on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 07:03

France beat England?...WTF!!
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by taipan on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 07:19

Basically home ground advantage has proved crucial. If the Italians are excluded, only Ireland has managed an away victory
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 12:41

True, but ... another dismal, brainless performance by England. Learning nothing from the brainless, dismal performance on their last outing. Scotland thumped by everyone else, crush England. Then France, beaten by one and all, defeat England.

(Excluding Italy in the above.)

How far England have slumped this season from a promising base (with the odd hiccup, and one egregious loss) in previous under Eddie. As noted before, not sure which of them exactly has lost the plot, head coach, other coaches or players. But Care for one is a lost cause.

Ireland go from strength to strength, under Schmidt. The standout squad, with a standout strategy, playing with brains and hearts, and very worthy winners.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by beamer on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 20:10

Well, we’ve clearly missed Youngs, Billy Vunipola, and this week Hartley, among a few others. But injuries aren’t an excuse, everyone has them in this sport.

England could yet finish fifth (the “old wooden spoon”) if we lose to Ireland. That can’t have happened for a while. It’s been ponderous and indisciplined, and we’ve lost that habit of winning close games when not playing well.

Scrum-half is a real worry, if 34-year-old Wigglesworth is next cab off the rank after the struggling Care. We’re weak at the breakdown, with converted second-rowers in the back row. The back line shows flashes of brilliance but too rarely, the likes of May and Daly are “highlights players” really. Farrell will run, tackle and kick goals all day long but we need more than that.

It was never going to be plain sailing all the way to the World Cup, but Eddie Jones needs to prove he can get through his first real crisis. Beating Ireland would be a statement as well as a consolation prize, if the Irish win they have a strong claim on the world number 2 ranking.

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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by Big Dog on Mon 12 Mar 2018, 20:18

I'm tipping Scotland, Ireland, Wales for round five.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by horace on Mon 12 Mar 2018, 20:54

skully wrote:I don't like Rugby. It's become too much like American football with it's chess-like rules.

Rugger is a bit technical and arguably overly officiated. Running Rugger is a joy to watch, especially against the Pomgolians! It is 'leagues' ahead of Rugby League.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Mon 12 Mar 2018, 23:37

Can you elucidate, Horace?

Union & League are certainly different, though they have converged noticeably in the last 15-20 years. Not merely in the sense of "professional" at the higher levels.

What do you consider far better?
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by horace on Mon 12 Mar 2018, 23:59

League is easier to understand as someone who only started watching the two codes 25 years ago. However I came to appreciate the intricacies of Union at the same time as I found League rather predictable. Nonetheless I enjoy both codes, despite my allegiance to and preference for Australian Rules footy.

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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by Growler on Wed 14 Mar 2018, 02:08

taipan wrote:Basically home ground advantage has proved crucial. If the Italians are excluded, only Ireland has managed an away victory

Whilst that is true taips, Scotland and France have brutally exposed a fundamental flaw in the English game which will not be a quick fix, as the problem is there at club level. It's because of the amendments to the law following last years England/Italy game with their "no-rucking" tactic.

Remember how in WC 2015, Hooper & Pocock destroyed us at the breakdown? Eddie J famously said that we didn't have a proper openside, and that Chris Robshaw and the Hask were a pair of 6.5's. Well, the defensive system England developed was based on a rush defence, spread wide - rather than throwing bodies into the ruck. With our own ball, our support runners could secure it after the tackle, as most referees didn't allow too much contest. To allow that spread defence, our forwards tended to work in pairs rather than the more usual pods of three.

That was fine, until the law changes I mentioned. They essentially allowed much more contest at the  ruck. The Top 14 (French clubs) and Pro 15 (Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Italian and SA clubs), and their referees adapted accordingly. English clubs didn't - at least not to the same extent, and so our referees had no real need to change their habits either.

Now, when England had Billy V fully fit, he was virtually unstoppable 1-on-1 .... if opposition defence didn't throw three men at him, he was 2, 3 or 4m over the gainline, and a support runner could get over the ball. When he wasn't available, the alternatives weren't quite so effective - but we kept winning anyway, so we continued playing the same way even when it was plain in the Autumn games that something wasn't quite right.

Another factor is the Lions Tour. Scotland didn't have anyone play the tests, the Irish Union - because they essentially control the provincial sides - did not play their Lions until a month or so into the new season. The Welsh also rested some of theirs. Mako V, Itoje and Farrell, to name but 3 have been on the pitch almost twice as many minutes as any Irish Lion ...... and we wonder why they look so slow and shattered.

OK, back to the ruck, v Scotland. Townsend did his homework well. We never really contest the ruck, so no problems when they have possession. When we have the ball into contact, our one support runner rolls the tackler off (rather than driving him backwards) and the next player goes to secure the ball, he's too slow getting there, and their back row is all over him and turning us over. Alternatively, we concede the penalty for holding on to the ball too long (that's where the AV Prem referees differ from Pro/Top 14 refs, you see?)

Because our forwards are so slow now, we don't have the support close to the ball carrier so can't secure it, and end up with the ridiculous sight of 5 foot 9. 14 stone George Ford trying to dislodge 6 foot 19 stone plus Mattieu Basteraud crouched over the ball.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Wed 14 Mar 2018, 20:30

Personally, I think the core of it is still as I indicated above, Growls! Very Happy
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Wed 14 Mar 2018, 21:39

horace wrote:League is easier to understand as someone who only started watching the two codes 25 years ago. However I came to appreciate the intricacies of Union at the same time as I found League rather predictable. Nonetheless I enjoy both codes, despite my allegiance to and preference for Australian Rules footy.

Not quite the sort of answer I was expecting, H!

You came down more in the middle than I thought you would.

FWIW some thoughts on why I prefer Union to League. It's just a personal view. For what it is.

Extended ... so I'll put it under a cowl, so as not to clutter up the current page of FB.

Views on Union vs League:
It boils down to 2 essential differences, to me

1) more range/variety in Union - which is also partly related to:

2) (however much they've been eroded), (a) differences in the implications of a tackle, and as an add-on (b) in what constitutes an acceptable put-in at the scrum.

1) Lineouts (problematic as they may be in the many borderline cases, such as crooked throw-in? or not, offside? judged or not, interference in the air? or just competing for the ball, etc), the incidence of rucks and mauls, are some examples that add to Union's variety - whereas League always seems more of a head-down-and-charge sport, with scrums resorted to almost as a last resort, when all else has broken down Very Happy  

2) (a) The question of the tackle, and its implications.

This is almost the key thing, for me. Traditionally in Union, if you were tackled, you had to either pass the ball (true, a lot of twisted muscles and spines and legs in the process, not so good), or immediately release the ball, with no fiddling about.

That again adds to the variety and ebb-and-flow of the game. Keeping it open, and possession in doubt.

Whereas in League, the damned 6-tackle law means a team is encouraged to bulldoze away for five, knowing it's at liberty to pass back under the foot each time, and then at long last chip and charge (or do something a bit more creative) before the sixth. A bit industrial. Or rustic. Or is the word boring.

As I said, it's been a bit eroded in Union. e.g. The allowance to "place" the ball behind you on the ground - usu with massively outstretched arms, if you can get them free, has converged the code with League to an extent. And some of the interpretation of that allowance has been liberal, to say the least.Also, shrewd players seem very often seem to get away with feeding the ball back after being tackled, as long as they don't make that insultingly obvious.

(It's interesting here how the term "offload" has come into the Union code. It used to be a League term, as far as I recall. In League, the player with the ball, when tackled or about-to-be-tackled, did not (5/6 of the time) actually have to pass the ball on - he could just get up, brush himself off, and paw back the ball with his studs. (YAWWWN, when it goes on that way.) But the use of the TERM has come into Union, as the tackle has become - in practice if not in law - less binding on the player with the ball (as long as he's fast or cunning enough to avoid incurring the ref's wrath for taking the piss & either making use of the ball or hanging on to the ball, basically). So the "offload", which used to be standard practice in Union and so in no need of any special term, is now a commonly-used term in Union too.)

With the bulldozing/battering ram element of League goes - hand in hand - a slightly depressing virility cult. (Or is that a cult of bulls?)

You wouldn't get far with the crowds in the traditional Northern heartlands of League in England - even today's relatively wealthier crowds, and among the dispersed fans watching on satellite because actually the vast bulk of the money comes from broadcasting and sponsorship - by pussyfooting and pratting around with posh, fancy skills. ... You've got to get those donkey-sized balls out of your shorts and show them off to the crowd, preferably bouncing up and down like filled beachballs, as you butt, smash and crash into the opposition for the n.th time in that half.

Maybe that's just another part of elements 1) and 2) as mentioned above: a difference in general variety in the game, and a difference related to the demands of the tackle.

But it's almost element 3) in its own right. It seems like a sort of (desperately) puritan-suppressed gay porn. Thomas of Finland plays rugby.

That last bit was a joke, but with a serious satirical point too.

Anyway, Union is full enough of physical application, sinew and muscle effort for me. And has a bit more resourcefulness, ebb-and-flow, seat-of-pants and variety added.

2) (b): Collapso-shambolic as the scrum can too often be in Union - a continuing headache - it's rarely the bad joke it can be in League, where scrum-halves get away with bouncing the ball off their loose-head's thigh at times.

........

Okay, so it may now seem I hate League. Far from it. In spite of the criticisms of sexually-displaced excess and peremptory play above. it shares many of the virtues of Union. And with professionalisation in Union, came the very serious training, punishing conditioning to be expected from full-time players earning a good living .... and those types and routines of training came straight from League.

Some of the more effective tactics Union has developed in the last 15 years - dipping and lunging into tackles in the attempt to break them, for example - still seem very "League" to me. And good for the game. As long as there is more. As long as competitive throwing your weight around is not the basic sum total of the game.

One further thing I wonder Union might also take from League is going down to 13 players?

Would hit the broad variety in the line-out, true. Would not meet with the approval of flankers worldwide, true. But locks have been trained up to be much more like flankers in recent years. And if you took the wing forwards out of the equation, you might get slightly less congested, clustered play on the field. And free the locks (and ex-flankers becoming locks) to run that much more ... like flankers, in other words. And less knotting-up in the wheeling crush of scrums - errr, provided those scrums are not officiated like the worst of League, of course....
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by Growler on Wed 14 Mar 2018, 22:46

PeterCS wrote:Personally, I think the core of it is still as I indicated above, Growls! Very Happy

aye, Peter - you sum it up well in a couple of sentences, it was dismal - and not very bright either ..... 'specially v France.

However - the players should have made more effort at the ruck v Scotland - and EJ should have explained how it went wrong and changed the approach to it for last weekend.

Your pithy appraisal isn't wrong, but doesn't explain why it's not simply a case of taips' (also correct) observation of home advantage. The lack of a jackal isn't a disaster (we haven't had one since Neil Back) - but not protecting our own ball is. The penalties conceded are what have been doing the real damage.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by taipan on Thu 15 Mar 2018, 11:02

http://www.rugby365.com/tournaments/six-nations/83795-video-jones-foul-mouthed-tirade-against-rivals

Let's see if England and Wales win this weekend
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by PeterCS on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 17:30

Well battled Ireland - too fast to the ball, and too much strategy, for this now sorry-looking England setup.

England also seem to have an unerring strategy for the last two decades of getting the ref's hackles up. They at least won that tussle.

To think Ireland have gone undefeated in a season without e.g. O'Brien & Henshaw ... must be World #2 at this stage.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by beamer on Sat 09 Jun 2018, 11:27

So, now for some testing encounters in the southern hemisphere. Ireland taking on the Wobblies this morning, before England face the Yarps, both sides with a lot to prove.

Siya Kolisi... sounds like something one of Daenerys Targaryen’s allies might say before heading off into battle, but is actually SA’s new captain, their first officially appointed black captain I believe. Will be interesting to see how their new era is taking shape, after they clung onto the Class of ‘07 for so long.

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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by taipan on Sat 09 Jun 2018, 11:38

beamer wrote:So, now for some testing encounters in the southern hemisphere. Ireland taking on the Wobblies this morning, before England face the Yarps, both sides with a lot to prove.

Siya Kolisi... sounds like something one of Daenerys Targaryen’s allies might say before heading off into battle, but is actually SA’s new captain, their first officially appointed black captain I believe. Will be interesting to see how their new era is taking shape, after they clung onto the Class of ‘07 for so long.

The class of '07 is not quite dead. Bismarck and Frans Steyn have just been brought back.

The Springbok selections have been quite baffling for some time now with provincialism and old allegiances ruling the roost. The Lions have been SA's top franchise for 4 years now, reaching the Super Rugby final for the past 2 years now, and lead the SA conference this year. However they only have 5 players in a squad of 42.

It is impossible to rationally debate Kolisi's captaincy in SA. IMHO he is not an automatic choice at openside flank and tends to disappear when the going gets tough. However any criticism immediately gets dismissed as racist.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

Post by Bradman on Sat 09 Jun 2018, 11:45

The ref is holding the scrum too long.
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Re: Six Nations 2018

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