Most perfectly rated current international player.

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Post by wolfball on Thu 01 Dec 2016, 3:39 pm

First topic message reminder :

So, most players are under rated or over rated and that debate usually depends what country the fan and player is from. I am more fascinated by players that everyone regards as well rated by anyone. Now that rating might be low (every fan knows he is terrible) or might be high (every fan knows he's the best in the world (Mccaw at peak)) but which players would you say are currently perfectly rated?

I think heaslip is an example of a current perfectly rated player, with few if any over rating him, and after his great 2016 few underrating him...

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 2:59 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Guns has basically said that England will have a period when they're not doing as well as now, at some point in the future.

Gamble responsibly, young man Smile

England are quite prone to thinking they are better than they actually are. It is amusing when the reality check inevitably comes.
You shouldn't read too much into media waffle. Your own media has been disgusting re. the NZ games.

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Post by BamBam on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:01 pm

I do like when posters get their hyperbole thesaurus's out

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:03 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd be very suprised. We're inching ahead at the moment along with Ireland. Ireland have a very good chance of losing to England in Dublin as well after all.

Ireland's home record under Schmidt is very strong. We have only lost against Wales (once), Australia (once) and New Zealand (twice) at home. Only 4 losses in 19 games.

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:04 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd be very suprised. We're inching ahead at the moment along with Ireland. Ireland have a very good chance of losing to England in Dublin as well after all.

Ireland's home record under Schmidt is very strong. We have only lost against Wales (once), Australia (once) and New Zealand (twice) at home. Only 4 losses in 19 games.
So you tend to lose at home against sides higher in the rankings than you? Good good.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:04 pm

Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Guns has basically said that England will have a period when they're not doing as well as now, at some point in the future.

Gamble responsibly, young man Smile

England are quite prone to thinking they are better than they actually are. It is amusing when the reality check inevitably comes.
You shouldn't read too much into media waffle. Your own media has been disgusting re. the NZ games.

Haha cyril. You sound like the British media using words like disgusting.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:04 pm

And still have a very good chance of losing to this England side wouldn't you say? Where would you rate us?

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:05 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Guns has basically said that England will have a period when they're not doing as well as now, at some point in the future.

Gamble responsibly, young man Smile

England are quite prone to thinking they are better than they actually are. It is amusing when the reality check inevitably comes.
You shouldn't read too much into media waffle. Your own media has been disgusting re. the NZ games.

Haha cyril. You sound like the British media using words like disgusting.
Sorry, I meant to say reprehensible.

Yours disgracefully

Cyril

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:08 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:And still have a very good chance of losing to this England side wouldn't you say? Where would you rate us?

I rate you as every bit as dangerous on your day as NZ.... but then I'd also rate us as a big threat to England on our day.

I don't think there is a need to pummel each other verbally. Let the 6N take care of itself.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:10 pm

I'd agree for the first part but like a barny Fly. Just wondered where Guns rates us, and Ireland,

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:14 pm

beshocked wrote:lostinwales indeed. We thought it was the start of something great. Didn't work out like that.


Gunsgermsv2 No England still have a long way to go. 2nd in world is good but still work to be done.

I think it's great Ireland beat NZ and makes the 6 nations and Lions selection next year more interesting but doesn't mean Heaslip should have been nominated for world player of the year.

It's not just Ireland, generally a big win, whoever it's for can make people ignore their problems.

Look at Wales when they beat England in the RWC. Look at England vs NZ as LIW says. A big win can bring elation but a team must back it up.

Ireland are a good side but more work to be done.

It's funny how quickly things have changed in international rugby.

In the RWC, the SH sides dominated, England humiliated, Ireland humbled, France crushed, no NH side in the semis.

Fast forward a year later - SA humiliated,NZ humbled, Australia beaten in their backyard and losing to Ireland, Argentina being embarrassed.



Scotland and Italy are more likely to beat England in 2018 at their own grounds. Though I guess sometimes you never quite know.

In other words, Schidt happens? Agree.

What are we all supposed to debating here? That we all get touchy when the merit of our side is tut tutted to the sideline? We're human?! I'm disappointed; always thought I was a god.

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Post by dummy_half on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:15 pm

Back on thread, I'd suggest Billy Vunipola:

One of the most destructive ball carriers in the world, but with the rest of his game ranging from solid (defence, scrum) to non-existent (line-out). Basically a very good one-trick pony.

Oh, and Alex Cuthbert - fallen back from a promising debut to the point where the Welsh wish he'd never left England and we're glad he did ;-)

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:17 pm

Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd be very suprised. We're inching ahead at the moment along with Ireland. Ireland have a very good chance of losing to England in Dublin as well after all.

Ireland's home record under Schmidt is very strong. We have only lost against Wales (once), Australia (once) and New Zealand (twice) at home. Only 4 losses in 19 games.
So you tend to lose at home against sides higher in the rankings than you? Good good.

Not exactly no. Ireland have defeated lots of teams ranked higher than us in the rankings at home too.

England for example.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:18 pm

Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Guns has basically said that England will have a period when they're not doing as well as now, at some point in the future.

Gamble responsibly, young man Smile

England are quite prone to thinking they are better than they actually are. It is amusing when the reality check inevitably comes.
You shouldn't read too much into media waffle. Your own media has been disgusting re. the NZ games.

Haha cyril. You sound like the British media using words like disgusting.
Sorry, I meant to say reprehensible.

Yours disgracefully

Cyril

A bit dramatic.

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:18 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd be very suprised. We're inching ahead at the moment along with Ireland. Ireland have a very good chance of losing to England in Dublin as well after all.

Ireland's home record under Schmidt is very strong. We have only lost against Wales (once), Australia (once) and New Zealand (twice) at home. Only 4 losses in 19 games.
So you tend to lose at home against sides higher in the rankings than you? Good good.

Not exactly no. Ireland have defeated lots of teams ranked higher than us in the rankings at home too.

England for example.
That's because you've often been ranked quite low. Which, when you look at it, is cheating really.

Wink

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:20 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Guns has basically said that England will have a period when they're not doing as well as now, at some point in the future.

Gamble responsibly, young man Smile

England are quite prone to thinking they are better than they actually are. It is amusing when the reality check inevitably comes.
You shouldn't read too much into media waffle. Your own media has been disgusting re. the NZ games.

Haha cyril. You sound like the British media using words like disgusting.
Sorry, I meant to say reprehensible.

Yours disgracefully

Cyril

A bit dramatic.
Like Neil Francis, you mean?

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:20 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:And still have a very good chance of losing to this England side wouldn't you say? Where would you rate us?


England are in fairness definitely the 2nd best side in the world right now. However, a big part of that is based on their ability to beat Australia which is impressive but Australia is a team that England traditionally have a good record over.

we will have a better idea where everyone stands after the 6 nations.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:21 pm

Cyril wrote:

Like Neil Francis, you mean?

Ah christ Cyril, if you read Neil Francis' articles that's on you.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:23 pm

So definitely the best in the NH but once England have to play Ireland and Wales away in the 6Ns which recently has been the harder set of fixtures will be a better time to judge? I'd disagree myself. Think England will remain up there no matter what but it remains tight between England and Ireland with Wales dropping away slightly as some important players lose some form (and get older).

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:25 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:

Like Neil Francis, you mean?

Ah christ Cyril, if you read Neil Francis' articles that's on you.
He gets linked on here often enough by you lot!

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:34 pm

I wouldnt rule Wales out at all. They are usually crap in November and have won the six nations with Howley before. They will be up for it. Ireland by contrast are usually the best NH side in November.

Last 4 games vs each SH side:
Ireland 3 Aus 1
Ireland 2 SA 2
Ireland 3 Arg 1
Ireland 1 NZ 3

9 - 7

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:35 pm

Cyril wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:

Like Neil Francis, you mean?

Ah christ Cyril, if you read Neil Francis' articles that's on you.
He gets linked on here often enough by you lot!

Only if someone wants a laugh. Dont be daft Cyril.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:36 pm

Well I think we all agree then that Englnad are the 2nd best in the world, best in the NH but it's close. So who is rating England as best in the world?

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:37 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well I think we all agree then that Englnad are the 2nd best in the world, best in the NH but it's close. So who is rating England as best in the world?
emack?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:41 pm

Not sure he had enough time to rate us that highly while he's trying to follow a team the other side of the world.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:51 pm

Cyril wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Well I think we all agree then that Englnad are the 2nd best in the world, best in the NH but it's close. So who is rating England as best in the world?
emack?

Eddie Jones probably.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:52 pm

Thought he'd reiterated we need to get there but weren't at the moment.

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Post by wolfball on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 3:54 pm

I think the current rankings are about right, that England are favorites for the 6 Nations, that the Ireland/England match will be the decider (by definition!), that Ireland's media is vile and disgusting, especially that Murray Kinsella fella, and that I think it is absurd to think that English sporting chances would ever be over-egged by their media who have always been as calm as an asleep Buddha in its prouncements.


And that Thierry Dusautoir is a perfectly rated player.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 4:07 pm

wolfball wrote:I think the current rankings are about right, that England are favorites for the 6 Nations, that the Ireland/England match will be the decider (by definition!), that Ireland's media is vile and disgusting, especially that Murray Kinsella fella, and that I think it is absurd to think that English sporting chances would ever be over-egged by their media who have always been as calm as an asleep Buddha in its prouncements.


And that Thierry Dusautoir is a perfectly rated player.

Good call.

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 9:20 pm

Someone mentioned Dylan Hartley. I'd reckon there's a consensus view on him. Solid, all round player. Lacking a bit of x factor. Good leadership qualities, but is he even the best English hooker? Lions potential, but mainly because of the lack of other standout choices.

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Post by emack2 on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 10:14 pm

Oh Cyril you little troll they`ve let you out again laughing laughing
Purely on what I`ve read in the media some fans rate England number 1
others Ireland.NZ are dirty cheating thugs ,flat track bullies who haven't
beaten anyone this year there so poor[Wales the RC countries etc].
That they`ve peaked and are on a downward slide and were lucky to
scrape past Ireland,Italy,and France.
The only match of those that I was able to view was the Dublin match
which I thought was great by BOTH sides.
Since these same sides RC that England and Ireland have played how
do YOU rate them.
A team can only beat the side in front of them and factors like injuries
and squad depths have to taken into account.
England have had a good year and are probably the most advanced in
team rebuilding currently.
Wales looked dire against Australia and though improving don`t look
particularly good currently.Scotland are looking much better and should
have beaten Australia.
Ireland had a good AI`s but game management needs fine tuning keep
the scoreboard ticking.
France purely on results seem to have improved but since not having
seen them can`t really comment.
South Africa are in a mess and need to get a settled team can only
get better.Argentina don`t have the squad depth and seem naïve
but on there day can beat most teams.
Australia of all the Tier 1 sides are hardest to rate they look to be improving
but always seem to lose players injured during a match.
Reading some of the media comments England will win tomorrow[likely]
then it`s just a question of the 6N`s a grand slam,19 wins in a row etc.
My opinion NZ since 2011 have lost 1 match a season bar 2013 when
they were unbeaten.Have introduced a lot of new players with some
success.At full strength this squad fully fit would beat any team,anywhere
most of the time.Are still NUMBER 1.
Having said that IF the touring side was playing England tomorrow it`s
a 50/50 bet.
In 2018 IF The current NZ squad including injured Milner-Skudder,SBW,
Charlie Ngatai,plus one or to bolters in 2018 NZ by 10points plus away.

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Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 10:53 pm

emack, I know this has been asked many times before, but how are you authoring your content and why does it end up on my screen so crazy?

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Sat 03 Dec 2016, 1:51 am

I think the approximate rating for most players is not far off
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Post by emack2 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 5:08 pm

Cyril,currently running Windows 10. doubtless somewhere in its bowels
there are editing suites that spell check etc.
Can`t be bothered to learn,pointless my opinion here once respected is
now wummed or reviled.
Once thought this site friendly now it is hostile at least to me,just can`t
be bothered any more.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 5:39 pm

emack2 wrote:Cyril,currently running Windows 10. doubtless somewhere in its bowels
there are editing suites that spell check etc.
Can`t be bothered to learn,pointless my opinion here once respected is
now wummed or reviled.
Once thought this site friendly now it is hostile at least to me,just can`t
be bothered any more.

I don't think that's true at all, emack. The vast majority of posters I think get as much enjoyment from your posts as ever.

As a sites membership grows it's inevitably the case that the number of WUMs and less wanted posts will increase as well. I think the proportion of people on the site just wanting to discuss sport with like minded, friendly people is the same as ever though. It's just always harder to see the increase of genuine sports fans compared to WUMs who tend to be 'louder' shall we say.

The majority here are I think capable of respecting opposing opinions, and appreciating posts/threads for the content and information in them beyond opinion. Sadly a few online will always latch onto anything they can to cause argument whilst safely behind their keyboards.

For the many posters here still just wanting to discuss rugby I think your post are as appreciated and respected as ever. It's always good to read posts from someone with the depth of knowledge posters such as yourself have, especially in sport where interesting parallels to years gone by can usually be drawn.

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Post by wolfball on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 9:00 pm

king_carlos wrote:
emack2 wrote:Cyril,currently running Windows 10. doubtless somewhere in its bowels
there are editing suites that spell check etc.
Can`t be bothered to learn,pointless my opinion here once respected is
now wummed or reviled.
Once thought this site friendly now it is hostile at least to me,just can`t
be bothered any more.

I don't think that's true at all, emack. The vast majority of posters I think get as much enjoyment from your posts as ever.

As a sites membership grows it's inevitably the case that the number of WUMs and less wanted posts will increase as well. I think the proportion of people on the site just wanting to discuss sport with like minded, friendly people is the same as ever though. It's just always harder to see the increase of genuine sports fans compared to WUMs who tend to be 'louder' shall we say.

The majority here are I think capable of respecting opposing opinions, and appreciating posts/threads for the content and information in them beyond opinion. Sadly a few online will always latch onto anything they can to cause argument whilst safely behind their keyboards.

For the many posters here still just wanting to discuss rugby I think your post are as appreciated and respected as ever. It's always good to read posts from someone with the depth of knowledge posters such as yourself have, especially in sport where interesting parallels to years gone by can usually be drawn.

Fair enough, but honestly, the formatting of his posts are so messed up if they are longer than 3 lines they are too hard to read. Emack, try a different browse?

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 9:15 pm

Lads, will you all give emack a break.  He types out stuff as best he can and it might take a bit of effort but from memory he has quite a few years up on most of us and wasn't born into all this computer/smartphone software stuff.

He's kinda explained that over and over in his own way for years now and still gets the comments about his formatting.  He hasn't the patience or interest in learning new skills at this point in his life, and frankly, I don't blame him one bit.  Time is too important to be going back to 'school' a studying junk Cool

Enjoy your rugby, emack, and get your feelings out about it any way you want  OK Wink

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Post by Cyril on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 9:25 pm

He might be still using a steam-powered type-writer but he's mastered emoticons Laugh

Nah, emack and I get on fine really. He does like to strop off every now and again when he's not getting enough 'respect' though. Don't leave us emack Hug

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Post by miaow on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 11:03 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Phil Vickery

Not sure you can have Phil, can you, considering the last I heard he's dropped down the divisions and is playing at a very different level to that of his heyday?

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Post by miaow on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 11:05 pm

fES beat me to it...

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Post by miaow on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 11:40 pm

emack2 wrote:Cyril,currently running Windows 10. doubtless somewhere in its bowels
there are editing suites that spell check etc.
Can`t be bothered to learn,pointless my opinion here once respected is
now wummed or reviled.
Once thought this site friendly now it is hostile at least to me,just can`t
be bothered any more.

That's genuinely sad. Definitely worth trying to stay above the mud flinging, particularly if you derive pleasure and enjoyment from the community. If people are trying to express their opinion, however much someone else may disagree, they're adding to the forum, and that's constructive.

As mentioned above, I enjoy your posts, if not least because first hand experience of a longer period of time is often invaluable in talking about the history of the game, and the way in which patterns and events that occurred in the past, can crop up again in the present.

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Post by miaow on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 12:19 am

Of those mentioned frequently:

Hogg: Sadly he is definitely a little bit overrated, particularly (and understandably) in Scotland. Equally, overly criticised by some as a way of trying to level out what they perceive as his unfair status.

C Murray: Again, a little overrated. It's difficult with a player like Murray whose form has undulated over the years. You could say he's been underrated until recently, and now, perhaps, is nearing the flipside. Does all that level out and make him a perfectly rated player? Perhaps!

AWJ: For me, perfectly rated. One of our few 'World Class' players in that he can stand toe to toe with the best players in the world for the most part, but he's unlikely to best them. Can be outstanding when you just watch his workrate and strength, but then his (now infrequent) lapses in intensity probably temper peoples' temptation to classify him as better than he is, and rightly so.

Faletau: I'd say well rated in Wales in that no one really focuses on him because he's consistently one of/the best player in the team. But perhaps he's underrated outside Wales? And perhaps the fact he doesn't get the focus inside Wales makes him underrated there too? Still the most complete and able 8 available to the Lions for me, even if he can't do what Vunipola does. Underrated.  

Hartley: Underrated for a long time, particularly by the English, which I always found strange. I remember saying during the Lions Tour, or just before, to numerous English friends, that Tom Youngs didn't stand a chance of being the starting hooker come the RWC, and that it would/should be Hartley. As it was, we all know what happened. Whilst there are many in the team who get the hype/plaudits, and who can come under consideration for being overrated, Hartley has undoubted leadership qualities, and a brashness that is helping inspire the team. Add to that his general solidity in most facets of play, and I think he's pretty accurately perceived by most. His indiscretions certainly help to keep him out of the limelight; it's difficult to idolise and mythologise a man in the public sphere who has done what he has done. Far easier to (over)sell Itoje as the poster boy for the casual English rugby fans.

Hooper: Still a touch overrated.

Joseph: Underrated, if only by virtue of his injuries. He was in danger of being lauded for what was ostensibly a bit of stepping and pace, but now he's barely mentioned. His absence from the team at key times definitely seemed to play into this.

Launchbury: Overrated when he first came in (shelf stacker story...), underrated when you found Itoje and Kruis, now back playing due to injuries, and I think there's a greater appreciation of his abilities. This applies only to English perception, I think most people judged him accurately from the start, as far as I could tell, as a good player who had the capacity for growth. Underrated at winning man of the match awards.

Jonny Gray: Outside of Scotland, underrated. Still. I think this may change in the upcoming 6Ns, when he'll be given more air time and praise regardless of his form (Nicol doing his best to make sure he's on the plane to NZ), but generally I think the English press has overlooked him, precisely because of their own strength in depth at lock.

Heaslip: Almost identical to Murray in that has had varied form, often coinciding with how the team has played generally. Think it's probably fair to say he's fairly rated now, although the World Player of the Year nominee may sway things. Ignoring that, fairly rated.

Robshaw: Well rated. Too much expected of him when captain, too much attributed to him when England lost. Has found his feet. I think he's still on the brink of being overrated, but for now, just about well perceived. Also, Eddie Jones cutting him down is the perfect way of both showing a definitive break from the previous regime, as setting a new set of standards for England. With Andy Farrell coaching the team, by the end it seemed the English players had lost faith in Lancaster. Eddie Jones left no room for even the contemplation of that. If you pick a fight with the big man on your first day at a new school/prison, and win, who's going to question you (also partly luck, as he wouldn't have wanted to be that publicly critical of Robshaw...but I'll talk more about lucky conditions below)?

England: Sorry chaps, you're definitely a touch overrated. As is Eddie Jones. Just as you've now rewritten history and underrated Lancaster, his staff, and the players during that period, your media is guilty of blowing smoke up the team in the other direction. You're benefiting from a set of conditions that aligned to produce the team you have, many of which are out of Eddie's control (strengthening of Premiership in last 2-3 years, pre existing player base, defeat at the RWC was a wonderful individual motivator, much of World Rugby bar Wales (who steadily regressed) and the All Blacks (who they didn't play, and looked tired by the time they came up North) looked to rebuild after the RWC, thus making it an "easier" year for England to rebuild in). You're good, the most evident change is a mental one: you're not burdened by the hope of winning, which was Lancaster's failing, not really convincing the players they should go out there and be a bit nasty. Now you've got Eddie Jones to legitimise England's arrogance by being a parody of self belief, which is conducive to making you more likely winners. But Jones is a Jose Mourinho (of a few years ago) type manager. He saw the perfect melting pot in which he could jump in and succeed straight away for a short period of time, and fair play to him, he's done well with it. But that arrogance/confidence is also the fans'/media's downfall. As Guns said, this won't last. France are slowly hauling the tanker back around and finally look dangerous, Ireland are beginning to rival your player depth, Scotland are probably a few years from having the mentality to beat you, but in theory have the players, and frankly with Wales they have the talent but not the consistency, tactics, nor depth to challenge regularly (as well as fear of the SH). Add in Conor O'Shea's Italy, and it makes it more likely that those teams will all take points from one another come the Spring, you'll win another 6Ns, and again the bubble will be inflated further. England are good, they are currently the best team in Europe, just about...which seems strange to say considering their winning streak. But my issue is- as I'm sure is everyone else's outside England- you're just not quite as good as you think you are, and the foundations for longevity aren't quite as steady as you assume. So, overrated, in my honest opinion.

Alex Cuthbert: He keeps being selected for international rugby. Therefore, even if overrated solely by the Welsh management, that is enough to distort the mean perception of his prestige to the point where 3 million people think he should be sent to the glue factory, but 4 people rate him, and it drags him into the realms of overrated.

Thierry Dusautoir: Yes. Perfectly rated. Was a rare beacon just as the French tanker started going AWOL. Don't think many underappreciated his class.

I'll add some of my own, and stick to only contemporary players for now:

Kieran Read: I'm not sure this is up for debate, is it? It helps that he was bedded in slowly to the captaincy whilst Richie was still playing, and that he left with the ABs picking up the RWC, so Read isn't damned by his comparison to probably the greatest player so far of the professional game. That's the only way in which I think he could be underrated, or criticised. Are there any who think he's overrated?

Dane Coles: Everything, and I mean everything, screams of a man who should be overrated. A hooker, going mad in the wide channels? A hooker, getting compilation videos made of his footballing skills? A hooker, scoring and assisting tries for fun? Surely he can't throw? Or scrummage? Or ruck? Or has poor workrate? Or goes missing at key times? Or- the list could go on, but the man isn't overrated. Fantastic rugby player. He's left himself a huge aura to refill next season though if he isn't to fall into that category.

Bernard Folely: He seems like one of the more solid lumps of glue in what can be a pretty inconsistent Australian side. Sublime at key moments in the RWC, a bit shaky at times this season. Kicks well, directs play well, all without being a world beater. It helps that the Wallabies have had the most extreme under/over players at 10 in recent years (O'Connor, Quade Cooper, Beale etc.), or when their more solid playmakers just don't cut it (Barnes). I think most people take him for what he is, a competent international playmaker who can control a misfiring team pretty well. No one sees him as the messiah, but I'd be equally surprised if Australians/anyone else was overly critical of him?

Struggled to think of any more Australians. I think Pooper can be overrated, and someone like Stephen Moore is verging on underrated. Everyone else fits on that scale somewhere too, or isnt consistent/well known enough to have a general consensus of their ability.

Felt the same with the SA's. Impossible to choose from the current Boks. Willie Le Roux perhaps overrated? Or has he fallen from grace so far that he's now underrated? The team is in too much turmoil to judge, particularly as many from the most recent squad probably won't play again for a long time, if ever.

Argentina: As a team, fairly rated. I think most people see them as they are, a very good side. As individuals? Almost to a man underrated. Perhaps the only one would be Sanchez who seems to get consensus for how good he is? Maybe Hernandez, although in the past I think he could verge on being overrated (of no fault of his own, people were prone to singling him out as the star of the team, and therefore heaping praise on him because of this). Even the current stand outs like Landajo, Isa, and Creevy don't get enough credit however, making them underrated. Strange, really, how the team is really well respected, but the players don't seem to have the same presence- and therefore prestige- as individuals.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 11:21 am

miaow wrote:England are good, they are currently the best team in Europe, just about...which seems strange to say considering their winning streak. But my issue is- as I'm sure is everyone else's outside England- you're just not quite as good as you think you are, and the foundations for longevity aren't quite as steady as you assume. So, overrated, in my honest opinion.

Well, you're entitled to your opinion but the numbers say something quite different. As of this morning, England will have a world rugby ranking of about 90.4, if my calculations are correct. That's closer to New Zealand than it is to Ireland, albeit by a fraction. It also means that when they play at home they can only take points off 3 other sides (NZ, Australia and Ireland).

If you look at the aggregate scores from when top 10 nations played each other this year, only two teams emerge with a net positive score. New Zealand are top with an aggregate points difference of +283. England are second with +164. Next are Ireland on -6. That's a big difference. Even if you take England's 43 point margin over Fiji out of the equation, the margin in the remaining 10 games, half of them away from home, is still over 100.

miaow wrote:France are slowly hauling the tanker back around and finally look dangerous, Ireland are beginning to rival your player depth, Scotland are probably a few years from having the mentality to beat you, but in theory have the players, and frankly with Wales they have the talent but not the consistency, tactics, nor depth to challenge regularly (as well as fear of the SH).

Again, the hard facts don't seem to support you. France can show a 1 point margin over Ireland and 16 points over Argentina but small deficits to everyone else.

Ireland have done really well this autumn. Schmidt's tactical nous, allied to playing out of their skins and coping better than usually with injuries has given them a series to remember. They spotted a weakness in the All Blacks' lineup and exploited it mercilessly.

England haven't played that well this autumn. They've had seriously flaky periods in every game. We can all agree how much room for improvement there is. But at the points of comparison - against Australia, Argentina and South Africa - England won considerably more comfortably. 16 points over Australia vs Ireland's 3; 16 points over SA vs Wales's 13 (against a much more "experimental" side); 13 points (a man down) against Argentina over Wales's 4 and Scotland's 3.

I am also sure that they aren't rivalling England's player depth. England beat Australia without Itoje, Launchbury, Haskell, Clifford, (Williams, Jones, Underhill), B Vunipola, Watson, Nowell and Daly. An England 3rd XV today would be something like:

Mullan - Cowan-Dickie - Hill
Attwood - Ewels
Jones/Williams/Underhill - Hughes (*) - Wood
Robson - Cipriani
Yarde - Haley - Rokoduguni

(*Clifford has been Eddie's bench option whenever fit. You can swap or substitute Beaumont if you prefer)

There are some pretty inexperienced players there - but you wouldn't expect to have to field them all at once. Even so, I don't think Ireland 3rd XV would be able to live with them. That won't stop me being very worried if they go to Dublin carrying the same kind of injury list they had this autumn.

There is a long way to go before England can challenge the ABs with confidence. And it's possible that Eddie will burn them out (though I think, given the player pool at his disposal, it's much less likely than in his previous gigs). But I think most people would now agree that they are clearly the "best of the rest".
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Post by SecretFly on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 12:17 pm

Pourfour....  against Australia Ireland were playing with a good few 3rds - out of position too.  Did you recognise our 15 - young Carberry?  Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, he certainly didn't recognise the position he was asked to play at International level against Australia. Cool

So I'm not so certain you can say we coped ok with injuries when we lost our number one playmaker Sexton, our rough hewn battle axe O'Brien, our rampaging 12 Henshaw; lost Kearney at the back during the game, lost our usual 13, lost Trimble on the wing and put a scrum half there instead.

3 points of a win is a pretty good scoreline when facing Australia with those losses that in other years would have meant a guaranteed cricket score for Australia.

England are best of the rest.  They are a fine machine, now well oiled up with the confidence levels Jones imbues.  'Clearly' though?  Hmmm.  

Ireland have improved but they have a longer hill to climb in getting there than England have.  So we're starting from a lower point than England but have been rising back up pretty quickly.

Don't forget either that it was Ireland's efforts that helped England close the gap on New Zealand. Wink

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 12:50 pm

Fly, I know Ireland were short several players in the Australia game, but no more than England (as I've listed above), and I don't think Ireland had anything to quite compare with England's list of lost backrowers.

3 points is a pretty good scoreline when facing Australia with a bunch of injuries, I agree. But it's not as good as 16 when facing them with a similar list of injuries. And if you say that England could call on experience in the form of Wood, Lawes, Yarde and, erm, Hughes, doesn't that just prove the point about strength in depth?

My point is precisely that England aren't yet a well-oiled machine. They're a half-restored muscle car that still has some kinks in its fuel line and doesn't always start first time. But they're still getting over the line with room to spare.

So what would constitute "clearly" for you? How big a ranking points gap? How big a winning margin? How long an unbeaten streak?
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Post by Poorfour on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 12:59 pm

And yes, thanks for reining NZ in...

...though given it's a symmetric points exchange system, it wouldn't have made any difference to the relative distance between England and NZ vs England and Ireland. England would be further from NZ this morning, but Ireland would be further from England by the same amount.
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Post by miaow on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 1:37 pm

Poorfour wrote:Well, you're entitled to your opinion but the numbers say something quite different.

And statistics are only as good as the context they are in. You can prove anything with statistics.

How do you quantify the "post-RWC rebuilding" effect? How do you quantify the impact of the "right" new coach for a short term success on a group of dejected but competent players?

You can't just dismiss opinion- subjective context- as redundant, as somehow a lesser guage than the figures. Take England v Australia fixtures in the last 12 months: the Australia team that demolished England in the RWC was one firing at its best. The team that England beat 3-0 in the Summer was way off that level, and despite the impressive feat of winning three away from home, should be considered within that context. The Australia team that England beat last weekend had improved, but equally, it all has to be taken within context.

With that in mind, I'm happy to say that England are just about the best team in Europe. But forget the statistics if you're not willing to widen your scope and consider something more than just the rankings. Take statistics from the previous few seasons. Take a longer term view: a team isn't just created in twelve months, and if it is, you have to ask how/why has it improved so dramatically, and can it last?

Eddie Jones is not Joe Schmidt. He's not even Gatland. The bubble will burst. It doesn't mean you'll become significantly worse, merely than the 'bubble'- all the hype and expectation that is being bestowed on the team- will be tempered by a couple of losses. You cannot continue an upward trajectory like England have experienced since the World Cup, there will be a levelling off. In the short term, that bubble- that confidence- is undoubtedly helping you. It's psychological. But when you lose a few games as it becomes harder to give novel tactics to the players, as the other teams progress in their rebuilding process, you may well find that- just as Lancaster experienced- the external hype that once added a drive to your standards becomes suffocating, and hinders you.

It's when you get the media chirping up comparing the team to the 2003 RWC winners. When, having won one 6Ns, you have pundits declaring that England could go on and dominate European rugby for years to come. I'm not sure if this is a new thing, or whether it's some latent release of all the disappointment you suffered during the comedown post-'03, but no other nation- not even Wales- has the same levels of (let's call it) 'confidence' when they start winning. Whereas other nations seem to be better at compartmentalising the fanatics, the media tends to give validity to English exceptionalism.

In my opinion, even considering the statistics, going on what this topic is based on- perception of a rugby player/team- I believe England are overrated, yes. The sheer noise the team is now garnering in papers like The Times and The Mail should be a good signifier of that, the heartlands of casual and aspirational English rugby fans getting whipped up to start caring about their rugby team again now that they're winning.

You're good. I'm impressed that you've managed to win every game this calendar year. That's an impressive feat. However, since perhaps 08/09 there has been very little between England, Ireland, and Wales. There have been dips in form for all three sides of course during this period, but generally speaking, the talent, ability, and level of performance from all three teams has been largely similar. Each team has their own strengths and weaknesses, which makes it even more interesting, and part of the reason why it seems that they have hit their 'peaks' at different times. Even now, as England have the conditions conducive to success, I don't believe it has a longevity to it, that Eddie Jones has somehow found a secret forumal to get England playing (self belief and a solid and agressive pack!?). The Aviva Premiership is as much to thank for England's success as Eddie Jones, I believe. The standards have improved so dramatically in the last 2-3 years due to the influx of top talent that that has only driven the English players to improve, in order to just survive at club level. You may well win the 6Ns this year. If you did the GS, that would set you up to most likely break the All Blacks' winning streak, which would be emphatic. Even then, context is required: the All Blacks started that run before a RWC, and played the SH teams regularly. England won't have played the All Blacks if/when they do break that record.

In any case, I still don't see a significant difference between Ireland and England, even if Wales have slipped somewhat, and need to have a jumpstart rebuild having opted not to do so this time last year. Ireland's RWC was similarly disappointing, exiting early, and I think Schmidt's rejuvination of his team if frankly more impressive than Jones' of England. But there we go. It's all a matter of opinion, after all.

Would English fans be so quick to defend their team, and evoke statistics, if they were as comfortable that the success will last as they seem to attest to? I think it's probably more a matter of misunderstanding. English fans want to consider the wins as definitive markers of their ability: I'm looking at those games within context (nearly bottled it against France and Wales, poor Australian side in the Summer, rebuilding etc.) as well as what I think is coming in the near and medium term future. I don't believe Eddie Jones is setting you up for World Cup glory, which much of the media is tentatively starting to suggest/think about. That's what I mean by overrated, not that the winning streak in and of itself wasn't impressive. It's a fine line to tread, trying to be fair but critical of England and not come across as bitter.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 1:58 pm

Poorfour wrote:And yes, thanks for reining NZ in...

...though given it's a symmetric points exchange system, it wouldn't have made any difference to the relative distance between England and NZ vs England and Ireland. England would be further from NZ this morning, but Ireland would be further from England by the same amount.

Well the test of all that division of labour and disparity of distances will I'm sure come to a head early next year when England and Ireland meet. And both have a good few rising teams to meet before that date too. Plus of course, England being so high in the rankings now - they're nicely placed in the NH as a target to hunt for. Wink It'll be an interesting few months.

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Post by miaow on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 2:00 pm

Poorfour wrote:England haven't played that well this autumn. They've had seriously flaky periods in every game. We can all agree how much room for improvement there is. But at the points of comparison - against Australia, Argentina and South Africa - England won considerably more comfortably. 16 points over Australia vs Ireland's 3; 16 points over SA vs Wales's 13 (against a much more "experimental" side); 13 points (a man down) against Argentina over Wales's 4 and Scotland's 3.

This is a key marker of perspective for me. When you start winning, and regularly, you start looking at where you can improve. Strive harder, win better. It's what the All Blacks do, and what makes them so incredible, because they've seemingly institutionalised such a mentality. But what if you're peaking in many regards? What if there simply isn't the ability and time to improve all those things you notice are "wrong" with your game? And if you can/do improve them, what happens when the previously "good" elements of the game start being eroded by the mere fact that the teams you are playing against improve after the RWC, when they have a better grasp of the tactics England now employ, and can work on countering that in training?

I think such a mentality is revealing that you're a fan, and it's one of hope, and that's an opinion you're absolutely entitled to. My opinion is that perhaps that margin for improvement isn't as large as you think, by the sheer fact that- in the messy and often unquantifiable and nonsensical arena of sport- things don't always go to plan. England's player depth can be a benefit in driving standards and alleviating the impact of any injuries, but when it's 23 vs 23, the fact that Wales' depth is paltry in comparison may not matter in 80 minutes of rugby.

It's all well and good taking wins and scorelines as definitive comparisons of proof, but they're simply not worth very much on their own. The Grand Slam was nearly thrown away: had France found a reliable goal kicker, they may well have beaten you. Had North not been incorrectly adjudged to be out of play, and Wales gone on to score a try as they looked quite likely to, then they would have won the title (as, frankly, pre tournament you would have suggested they should, being the most experienced and settled side). What kind of context would that provide had England done won every other game as they had done, but lost against Wales, and not won the 6Ns? Or should the question be, had they not won the 6Ns, would they have gone on to win every other game without the confidence that brought?

Back to reality, however, when the small margins do start going against you, and you lose a game, what happens to the aura and success of the team? The ability doesn't change drastically in my opinion, but the aura and hype surrounding you evaporates significantly. Perhaps you stop looking at how you can "win better", and instead it's a shift in perspective to "how do we start winning again". You stop looking up at the All Blacks, and start seeing that the potential of every other 6Ns team bar Wales is improving rapidly, and even then Wales still pose a serious threat for England.

The danger is, when on top, you think you're there by default, and start to forget the very small margins of success that were down to luck- and context- that helped you get there. Focusing solely on what you can "improve", rather than considering where you have been fortunate as well, is a good sign for me that- despite all your good intentions at objectivity- you're just as subjective in your appraisal of England as I am.

SecretFly wrote:Don't forget either that it was Ireland's efforts that helped England close the gap on New Zealand. Wink

Neat demonstration for how useless statistics can be at times.

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Post by miaow on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 2:05 pm

Poorfour wrote:And yes, thanks for reining NZ in...

...though given it's a symmetric points exchange system, it wouldn't have made any difference to the relative distance between England and NZ vs England and Ireland. England would be further from NZ this morning, but Ireland would be further from England by the same amount.

I think the point isn't so much that Ireland have actually clipped NZ's wings, as the ranking slip for the All Blacks suggests. NZ are still quite comfortable astounding. It's more a mark of how well Ireland played and the potential they have when they really turn up, rather than a demonstration of a faltering NZ.

Forgetting the ranking system, Ireland are closer in ability to England, than England are to the All Blacks.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 11:58 pm

miaow wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Well, you're entitled to your opinion but the numbers say something quite different.

And statistics are only as good as the context they are in. You can prove anything with statistics.

How do you quantify the "post-RWC rebuilding" effect? How do you quantify the impact of the "right" new coach for a short term success on a group of dejected but competent players?

You can't just dismiss opinion- subjective context- as redundant, as somehow a lesser guage than the figures. Take England v Australia fixtures in the last 12 months: the Australia team that demolished England in the RWC was one firing at its best. The team that England beat 3-0 in the Summer was way off that level, and despite the impressive feat of winning three away from home, should be considered within that context. The Australia team that England beat last weekend had improved, but equally, it all has to be taken within context.

With that in mind, I'm happy to say that England are just about the best team in Europe. But forget the statistics if you're not willing to widen your scope and consider something more than just the rankings. Take statistics from the previous few seasons. Take a longer term view: a team isn't just created in twelve months, and if it is, you have to ask how/why has it improved so dramatically, and can it last?

Eddie Jones is not Joe Schmidt. He's not even Gatland. The bubble will burst. It doesn't mean you'll become significantly worse, merely than the 'bubble'- all the hype and expectation that is being bestowed on the team- will be tempered by a couple of losses. You cannot continue an upward trajectory like England have experienced since the World Cup, there will be a levelling off. In the short term, that bubble- that confidence- is undoubtedly helping you. It's psychological. But when you lose a few games as it becomes harder to give novel tactics to the players, as the other teams progress in their rebuilding process, you may well find that- just as Lancaster experienced- the external hype that once added a drive to your standards becomes suffocating, and hinders you.

It's when you get the media chirping up comparing the team to the 2003 RWC winners. When, having won one 6Ns, you have pundits declaring that England could go on and dominate European rugby for years to come. I'm not sure if this is a new thing, or whether it's some latent release of all the disappointment you suffered during the comedown post-'03, but no other nation- not even Wales- has the same levels of (let's call it) 'confidence' when they start winning. Whereas other nations seem to be better at compartmentalising the fanatics, the media tends to give validity to English exceptionalism.

In my opinion, even considering the statistics, going on what this topic is based on- perception of a rugby player/team- I believe England are overrated, yes. The sheer noise the team is now garnering in papers like The Times and The Mail should be a good signifier of that, the heartlands of casual and aspirational English rugby fans getting whipped up to start caring about their rugby team again now that they're winning.

You're good. I'm impressed that you've managed to win every game this calendar year. That's an impressive feat. However, since perhaps 08/09 there has been very little between England, Ireland, and Wales. There have been dips in form for all three sides of course during this period, but generally speaking, the talent, ability, and level of performance from all three teams has been largely similar. Each team has their own strengths and weaknesses, which makes it even more interesting, and part of the reason why it seems that they have hit their 'peaks' at different times. Even now, as England have the conditions conducive to success, I don't believe it has a longevity to it, that Eddie Jones has somehow found a secret forumal to get England playing (self belief and a solid and agressive pack!?). The Aviva Premiership is as much to thank for England's success as Eddie Jones, I believe. The standards have improved so dramatically in the last 2-3 years due to the influx of top talent that that has only driven the English players to improve, in order to just survive at club level. You may well win the 6Ns this year. If you did the GS, that would set you up to most likely break the All Blacks' winning streak, which would be emphatic. Even then, context is required: the All Blacks started that run before a RWC, and played the SH teams regularly. England won't have played the All Blacks if/when they do break that record.

In any case, I still don't see a significant difference between Ireland and England, even if Wales have slipped somewhat, and need to have a jumpstart rebuild having opted not to do so this time last year. Ireland's RWC was similarly disappointing, exiting early, and I think Schmidt's rejuvination of his team if frankly more impressive than Jones' of England. But there we go. It's all a matter of opinion, after all.

Would English fans be so quick to defend their team, and evoke statistics, if they were as comfortable that the success will last as they seem to attest to? I think it's probably more a matter of misunderstanding. English fans want to consider the wins as definitive markers of their ability: I'm looking at those games within context (nearly bottled it against France and Wales, poor Australian side in the Summer, rebuilding etc.) as well as what I think is coming in the near and medium term future. I don't believe Eddie Jones is setting you up for World Cup glory, which much of the media is tentatively starting to suggest/think about. That's what I mean by overrated, not that the winning streak in and of itself wasn't impressive. It's a fine line to tread, trying to be fair but critical of England and not come across as bitter.

I don't understand why England "have" to falter. I'm not saying they won't, but if you look at the All Blacks, they don't lose that many. I don't know why, now England are starting to get their act together, can't get to a similar stage where losing more than 2 matches in a given year is seen as a disappointment.

Firstly, the RFU have [s]thrown a lot of money at[/s] developed a good relationship with the Premiership clubs so that England can have proper access to their Elite players. It's not quite central contracts, which would be ideal from an International perspective, but it's closer than we've ever been before.

Secondly, we seem to have either got our "pathway" right, or at least had the incredible fortune of stumbling on a number of good youth players over the last 9 years. Looking at the Under-20 Championship, England got 3 runner-up finishes and one 4th place between 2008 and 2011 - and those players will now be 25 to 29 and making up the bulk of the England team; players like Youngs, Lawes, May, Marler, Vunipola, Yarde, Ford, Farrell and Daly all playing during this time.

More recently, in the last 4 years (2012 we didn't do so well), England have won the Championship 3 times and came runner-up once. This means that the next generation (of 20-24 year olds) are among the best in the world. Cowan-Dickie, Clifford, Slade, Watson, Nowell, Hill, Itoje and Ewels have already started breaking through, while others like Chisholm, Mallinder and Marchant will be leading the next lot looking to kick on. And this isn't just a list of names, these players have already proven they are at least equal to any other group in world rugby. In 5 years, most of these guys will be at their peak, and England won't be any weaker for losing Hartley, Cole, Haskell, Robshaw, Wood, Care and Brown out of the other end. If the transition can be managed well, and it will possibly require some good talent identification work to be done at flanker and full back to ensure time is given to the correct players, then there is no reason why England have to stumble here.

Finally, our coaches are just better than the last lot. Not loads better, but materially better. 1-5% improvements across the board has got us from 2nd place in the 6 Nations to a Grand Slam. From competing with the Southern Hemisphere and rarely being thrashed, to beating them. Yes, South Africa and to a lesser extent Australia may have problems at the moment, but England beat the comfortably each time, with only one of the 5 games against the traditionally second and third best teams in the world ending within a score. I don't think the coaches give off the air of resting on their laurels after this year either.

You never know, and England could very well go on to lose both away games in the Six Nations, a test in Argentina with their Lions in NZ and an Autumn International or two, and all of a sudden "13 in 13" follows on to "6 in 11" and all of a sudden everything doesn't look as rosy. Or England could conceivably win another Grand Slam (would be marginally harder than last year, but possible), get a whitewash in Argentina (especially as Argentina have in the past used the mid-year series to try players out ahead of the Championship) and a home sweep (again, possible at home, although not sure who the opposition is due to be) and still be unbeaten next year. The actual result is likely to lie somewhere in between, and if we knew how it would pan out then it wouldn't be as fun anyway!

My point however is that to say "the bubble will burst" is to my mind just as guilty of ignoring one side of the argument as saying something along the lines of that based on this year's performances, England will achieve a 90% win rate for the foreseeable future and topple the All Blacks.

robbo277

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