6N 2017: Italy v Wales, 5 February

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Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jan 2017, 1:38 pm

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 6N 2017: Italy v Wales, 5 February - Page 3 Italee10 6N 2017: Italy v Wales, 5 February - Page 3 Wales_11
ITALY v WALES
5 February 2017
15:00 CET (14:00 GMT)
Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Live on DMAX, ITV, RTE, FR2, S4C, BBC (H)

Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Touch judges: Johnny Lacey (Ireland) & Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

A. Head to Head

24 Played 24
21 Won 2
1 Drawn 1
2 Lost 21
815 Points 400

B. Recent Form

19 March 2016
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
67 – 14 to Wales

5 September 2015
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
23 – 19 to Wales

21 March 2015
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
20 – 61 to Wales

1 February 2014
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
23 – 15 to Wales

23 February 2013
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
9 – 26 to Wales

10 March 2012
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
24 – 3 to Wales

C. Teams

ITALY
 6N 2017: Italy v Wales, 5 February - Page 3 Italy10
15-Edoardo Padovani; 14-Giulio Bisegni, 13-Tommaso Benvenuti, 12-Luke McLean 11-Giovanbattista Venditti; 10-Carlo Canna, 9-Edoardo Gori; 1-Andrea Lovotti, 2-Ornel Gega, 3-Lorenzo Cittadini, 4-Marco Fuser, 5-George Biagi, 6-Abraham Steyn, 7-Maxime Mata M'Banda, 8-Sergio Parisse (captain)

Replacements: 16-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17-Sami Panico, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-Joshua Furno, 20-Francesco Minto, 21-Giorgio Bronzini, 22-Tommaso Allan, 23-Michele Campagnaro

WALES
 6N 2017: Italy v Wales, 5 February - Page 3 Sheepy10
15-Leigh Halfpenny; 14-George North, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Scott Williams, 11-Liam Williams; 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Rhys Webb; 1-Nicky Smith, 2-Ken Owens, 3-Samson Lee, 4-Jake Ball, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain); 6-Sam Warburton, 7-Justin Tipuric, 8-Ross Moriarty

Replacements: 16-Scott Baldwin, 17-Rob Evans, 18-Tomas Francis, 19-Cory Hill, 20-James King, 21-Gareth Davies, 22-Sam Davies, 23-Jamie Roberts


Last edited by Griff on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 8:59 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 10:28 am

Griff wrote:Showing my ignorance now but has Owen Williams played much at 12 for Leicester? I'd be happy to give it a go. I agree that JD2 is looking poor. Centre generally is a real area of concern.

If not Owen Williams 12 and Scott Williams 13 (because Howley hasn't got the kahunas), which would be worse:

Roberts 12 and Scott Willaims 13, or
Scott Williams 12 and JD2 13?

A wider issue here in my opinion is the lack of experimentation in the autumn. I've droned on about this enough previously, but it's a huge thing. If we don't experiment in the autumn and try some new combos and players (e.g. Owen Williams as a centre) then we're perhaps forced to play out of form players like JD2 or Roberts, or we have to experiment in the 6 Nations instead which is ridiculous. Experimentation has to take place sometime. I'd much prefer it wasn't in the premier annual international tournament (in the NH).

We're running out of time to waste when it comes to experimentation. It should have started in last year's Six Nations, maximising the four years we had before the next World Cup.

Winning the World Cup has to be the goal. Six Nations titles are great, but we've been there, done that.

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Post by Guest on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 10:55 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Griff wrote:Showing my ignorance now but has Owen Williams played much at 12 for Leicester? I'd be happy to give it a go. I agree that JD2 is looking poor. Centre generally is a real area of concern.

If not Owen Williams 12 and Scott Williams 13 (because Howley hasn't got the kahunas), which would be worse:

Roberts 12 and Scott Willaims 13, or
Scott Williams 12 and JD2 13?

A wider issue here in my opinion is the lack of experimentation in the autumn. I've droned on about this enough previously, but it's a huge thing. If we don't experiment in the autumn and try some new combos and players (e.g. Owen Williams as a centre) then we're perhaps forced to play out of form players like JD2 or Roberts, or we have to experiment in the 6 Nations instead which is ridiculous. Experimentation has to take place sometime. I'd much prefer it wasn't in the premier annual international tournament (in the NH).

We're running out of time to waste when it comes to experimentation. It should have started in last year's Six Nations, maximising the four years we had before the next World Cup.

Winning the World Cup has to be the goal. Six Nations titles are great, but we've been there, done that.

Fair enough, each to their own, but for me the Autumn is the time.  And the summer tours of course.  When silverware is on the line then I think we need to go all out for it so I'd go full strength for the 6N and world cups (just my opinion Wink ).

Edit:  Just to be clear when I say experimentation, I'm not talking about a team full of rookies.  And I'm not talking about putting Gethin at centre and 1/2p at Hooker!  I just mean blooding some new guys in a relatively safe environment surrounded by mostly experienced guys when there's nothing of great value on the line apart from pride (and perhaps world cup seedings points).  The Japan game was a perfect example of a time to try someone new.  At least then we develop some more international experience and have more options.  Instead, we'll probably go with the likes of Cuthbert because he's experienced and others lack experience (vicious circle), and then all of a sudden we'll have a few injuries and will need to throw someone in for a first cap against England or Ireland and that's not fair either.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 11:28 am

I agree that of the two sets of matches, I'd rather see experimentation in the Autumn than in the Six Nations, mainly because I've always struggled to care about the Autumn internationals; but the question ultimately is - what are we trying to do? What's the aim? And surely the aim is to win the World Cup.

Eddie Jones didn't come in and just make do during his first Six Nations - and as it happened, England won the whole thing. Experimentation doesn't mean you're weakening your team, if you go about it the right way.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 11:37 am

Griff wrote:Showing my ignorance now but has Owen Williams played much at 12 for Leicester? I'd be happy to give it a go. I agree that JD2 is looking poor. Centre generally is a real area of concern.


He has played there quite a lot this season, and frankly Wales must have a better option in their squad than him at 12.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 11:56 am

In my opinion they do in Scott Williams, but the problem is that then means JD2 has to start.

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Post by George Carlin on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 11:58 am

I am probably being a bit thick but what is wrong with Dr Jamie at 12 and Scott Williams at 13?
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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:00 pm

I don't think Jamie Roberts is the man for us at 12 any more, especially if we are looking to move away from "Warrenball".

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:07 pm

This is the kind of thing I mean. Gatland should have known that Roberts was on the wane, and would be past it by 2019, and so started looking at the alternatives straightaway. But he's decided to flog some players for another four years instead.

Then again, I saw a stat that Wales's squad is the youngest in this year's tournament, so it's only a select few dinosaurs.

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Post by Guest on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:11 pm

George Carlin wrote:I am probably being a bit thick but what is wrong with Dr Jamie at 12 and Scott Williams at 13?

He is Warren Ball personified and unfortunately that has been worked out and stifled. Being the size of a lock I don't think he has it in him to change his style of play to a more fleet footed inside centre. There was some interesting analysis by Gwyn Jones on scrum v the other day. He was pointing to how the game has changed: there are much fewer lineouts, fewer scrums, more ball in play time, etc. One of the main ways we use/used Roberts was ball off the top of the lineout and on to Roberts to crash through, setting up the next phase. However, the move away from lineouts (and teams figuring out that Wales use lineouts as a tactic to get Roberts into the game so try to avoid giving them away) means that he has become a bit obsolete.

In other words Wales are trying to evolve away from Warrenball and Roberts is a hangover from that system. Plus he's now a lot slower which is not good for a back!

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Post by BamBam on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:14 pm

Williams is a better 12 than Roberts and a better 13 (on current form) than Davies .. which do you go with?

I'd have him as a better 12 than 13 personally

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Post by Guest on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:16 pm

BamBam wrote:Williams is a better 12 than Roberts and a better 13 (on current form) than Davies .. which do you go with?

I'd have him as a better 12 than 13 personally

Do you mean Scott Williams? Yes I agree. But then we're down to playing JD2, who is crap at the moment too. Has been for a long time actually. There is a real dearth of centre talent in Wales.

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Post by carpet baboon on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:22 pm

What's happened to Ashley beck?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 12:25 pm

He's fit and playing well for the Ospreys. They just haven't called him up.

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Post by carpet baboon on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 1:20 pm

Every time I've seen him looks like he could drop a good job at international level.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 1:35 pm

According to some, Club/Regional form should not mean progression to International level. This also includes Mr W Gatland and Mr R Howley.

Beck should've been called up. He has been playing well for Ospreys. But we should consider ourselves blessed that Howley has at least rewarded some form with squad places. The next step is rewarding them with start, but let's not ask too much too soon laughing

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Post by munkian on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 1:54 pm

Azzurri

Edoardo Padovani; Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Benvenuti, Luke McLean, Giovanbattista Venditti, Carlo Canna, Edoardo Gori; Andrea Lovotti, Ornel Gega, Lorenzo Cittadini, Marco Fuser, George Biagi, Abraham Steyn, Maxime Mata Mbanda, Sergio Parisse (C)

Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Sami Panico, Pietro Ceccarelli, Joshua Furno, Francesco Minto, Giorgio Bronzini, Tommaso Allan, Michele Campagnaro.
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Post by miaow on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 2:06 pm

Beck's an example of how ludicrous the "loyalty" selection policy can be at times. I understand it, to a point, but I also think it's now part of the problem in that you've got all this experience, but also an expectancy and complacency from a lot of key players who simply aren't good enough. It feels like a good 5-6 years since the team had anything close to an overhaul. It should have begun by blooding players 18 months before the last WC, post-Lions Tour, but I felt Gatland rested on his laurels/rewarded said Lions players. I see why you stick with the RWC squad/team for the 6Ns and Tour to NZ last year, but there should definitely have been an overhaul on the pitch rather than the coaching box in the AIs...but then we're at the behest of Gatland and his interview for the ABs job coming this Summer. So we're stuck with Howley having to play it safe and scrape games by the skin of his teeth.

I'd rather have sheet Jon Davies than sheet Jamie Roberts. How many good club players like him have been given an unfair shot at the jersey? It feels like a fair few. Anyway, Roberts is more of a drag on the rest of the team, positionally and just by force of character too. If that wasn't enough, it also means you play Wales's best centre out of position to accommodate Roberts. As Scott and Jon is feasibly a pairing that could go on to play for a number of years for club and country, I see no reason to pick Roberts in the 23, let alone start him.

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Post by True Raven on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 4:43 pm

If Wales cant get a comfortably bonus point against that Italian team, Howley and Alex King should be ashamed of themselves and Howley should realise hes not head coaching material.

Its a poor Italian team and I dont care who their coach is. Parisse aside, its full of Zebre and Treviso players who get destroyed on a regular basis

Ireland, England and Scotland will easily get bonus points against them and so should we.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 5:35 pm

Wales - guaranteed result. Off to a flying start.
Scotland, Ireland, England and France? Damn well have to start the real 6N a week early!

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Post by majesticimperialman on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 6:33 pm

Wales - guaranteed result. Off to a flying start.


SecreFly, If Wales was playing at home i would probably agree with you.

But they are not they are playing Italy ( away ) AND the most importing thing to remember , is this will be Wales first game of the 6ns. And Wales all ways struggle in their first game in the 6ns.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 6:42 pm

I was only giving them a pep talk, majestic Wink
I know all about the Welsh slow starts and how bloody hard Italy can be in their first game or two.

Still - I still think Wales have the highest predictive chance of starting off their campaign with a win

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 10:18 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Wales - guaranteed result. Off to a flying start.


SecreFly, If Wales was playing at home i would probably agree with you.

But they are not they are playing Italy ( away ) AND the most importing thing to remember , is this will be Wales first game of the 6ns. And Wales all ways struggle in their first game in the 6ns.

2005

2008

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Post by Gwlad on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 12:37 am

going to be Smith over Evans but the starters are as expected.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 5:52 am

Gwlad wrote:going to be Smith over Evans but the starters are as expected.

Yeah no shock in the overall team as most expected. Smith over Evans is bit surprise for me and Williams should be at XV Halfpenny on wing but like said it's to be expected.
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Post by George Carlin on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 5:59 am

True Raven wrote:If Wales cant get a comfortably bonus point against that Italian team, Howley and Alex King should be ashamed of themselves and Howley should realise hes not head coaching material.

Its a poor Italian team and I dont care who their coach is.  Parisse aside, its full of Zebre and Treviso players who get destroyed on a regular basis

Ireland, England and Scotland will easily get bonus points against them and so should we.
Woah there Raven. Did you watch Italy v South Africa? Those boys have kicked on a lot.

I don't think that they will be a pushover for anyone.
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Post by munkian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 7:57 am

George Carlin wrote:
True Raven wrote:If Wales cant get a comfortably bonus point against that Italian team, Howley and Alex King should be ashamed of themselves and Howley should realise hes not head coaching material.

Its a poor Italian team and I dont care who their coach is.  Parisse aside, its full of Zebre and Treviso players who get destroyed on a regular basis

Ireland, England and Scotland will easily get bonus points against them and so should we.
Woah there Raven. Did you watch Italy v South Africa? Those boys have kicked on a lot.

I don't think that they will be a pushover for anyone.

But even England managed their first win in 10 years over that SA team Shocked
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Post by True Raven on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 8:14 am

George Carlin wrote:
True Raven wrote:If Wales cant get a comfortably bonus point against that Italian team, Howley and Alex King should be ashamed of themselves and Howley should realise hes not head coaching material.

Its a poor Italian team and I dont care who their coach is.  Parisse aside, its full of Zebre and Treviso players who get destroyed on a regular basis

Ireland, England and Scotland will easily get bonus points against them and so should we.
Woah there Raven. Did you watch Italy v South Africa? Those boys have kicked on a lot.

I don't think that they will be a pushover for anyone.

And then lost to Tonga.

if the Welsh coaches want to take wales to the next step and be up there with England and Ireland then this should be a comfortable win. England will ruin this Italian team cos it's full of poor players.

If the selection is correct then we have the players who can run riot over this team and have done in previous years.

Conor o shea is a good coach but not a magician and towards the end of his quins reign had then languishing mid table.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 8:25 am

maestegmafia wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:Wales - guaranteed result. Off to a flying start.


SecreFly, If Wales was playing at home i would probably agree with you.

But they are not they are playing Italy ( away ) AND the most importing thing to remember , is this will be Wales first game of the 6ns. And Wales all ways struggle in their first game in the 6ns.

2005

2008


What as this got to do with 2017? picard

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Post by Guest on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 9:35 am

George Carlin wrote:
True Raven wrote:If Wales cant get a comfortably bonus point against that Italian team, Howley and Alex King should be ashamed of themselves and Howley should realise hes not head coaching material.

Its a poor Italian team and I dont care who their coach is.  Parisse aside, its full of Zebre and Treviso players who get destroyed on a regular basis

Ireland, England and Scotland will easily get bonus points against them and so should we.
Woah there Raven. Did you watch Italy v South Africa? Those boys have kicked on a lot.

I don't think that they will be a pushover for anyone.

I'm certainly not taking Italy lightly. When I first saw the Italy 20-18 South Africa score I thought 'schidt we've got them away'! But the ease with which Wales beat South Africa in the end a week later (something we can never usually do against any of the big 3 SH teams, and only the 3rd time in our history against SA), then I started to look at the Italy win in a different light. Especially as we actually were not that good against SA and played our tired old game plan. We always looked comfortable. And against SA that has never been the case before. If I remember they had to come from behind to beat SA, they were hammered 68-10 at home by NZ the week before, and then lost to Tonga a week later.

I'll always respect Italy (we've lost a few over the years), and we should not be talking about bonus point wins in my opinion, but I'm not convinced that the SA win for Italy was a sign of new times.

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Post by BamBam on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 9:45 am

Griff wrote:
BamBam wrote:Williams is a better 12 than Roberts and a better 13 (on current form) than Davies .. which do you go with?

I'd have him as a better 12 than 13 personally

Do you mean Scott Williams?  Yes I agree.  But then we're down to playing JD2, who is crap at the moment too.  Has been for a long time actually.  There is a real dearth of centre talent in Wales.  

Completely forgot to come back to the thread, but yes I meant Scott!

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 9:47 am

South Africa lost to every team they played in 2016. I wouldn't read too much into a win vs them.

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Post by munkian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 10:25 am

majesticimperialman wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:Wales - guaranteed result. Off to a flying start.


SecreFly, If Wales was playing at home i would probably agree with you.

But they are not they are playing Italy ( away ) AND the most importing thing to remember , is this will be Wales first game of the 6ns. And Wales all ways struggle in their first game in the 6ns.

2005

2008


What as this got to do with 2017? picard

He was pointing out the inaccuracy in your statement.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 10:29 am

True Raven wrote:Conor o shea is a good coach but not a magician and towards the end of his quins reign had then languishing mid table.

What I wouldn't give for the Dragons to languish mid table....

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Post by carpet baboon on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 10:31 am

Will there be any surprises in the welsh team?

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Post by munkian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 10:35 am

carpet baboon wrote:Will there be any surprises in the welsh team?

Selection wise ? Depends if hes picking a team to face whats infront of them or not I guess.

Id keep Roberts in myself just to run at Mclean all match.

I guess it also depends on who is fit.
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Post by munkian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:02 am

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Post by miaow on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:12 am

Interesting call at loosehead, don't really understand it based on form so he must have looked good in training. In any case, shouldn't be a problem. Hard to say as the team basically picks itself, but there is an air of a team looking to go for it from the start, make sure they get the bonus point win if not a massive points difference as well from the game.

On the other hand, if we don't deal with them cleverly in the first quarter, it could be a long, horrible game.

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Post by Guest on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:12 am

I think that's pretty much what I would have picked, but swap 1/2p and Liam Willaims' positions.  I also wonder whether Webb is being rushed back a bit too quick?  Might have gone for Gareth Davies at 9 with Webb on the bench.

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Post by George Carlin on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:16 am

I didn't think that Webb was fit to be honest, so I hope that he holds up.

Who would move out wide if there was a wing injury?
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Post by carpet baboon on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:17 am

George Carlin wrote:I didn't think that Webb was fit to be honest, so I hope that he holds up.

Who would move out wide if there was a wing injury?

Sam Davis to fullback penny to wing?

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Post by Guest on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:19 am

Yeah, I believe that Sam Davies has played quite a bit at fullback when Biggar has been at 10 for the Ospreys. A bit of a risk though. North is probably 50/50 to go off with a head injury.

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Post by munkian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:23 am

Bit poor there are 0 new caps but I guess King can cover the front and back row.

I guess they are giving Warburton a chance
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Post by Winzer on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:25 am

I agree Liam Williams should be at FB with 1/2p on the wing.

Disappointing to see the conservatism of the bench picks. If we don't see any of the new faces on the bench in this game, it's hard to see them featuring at all in the tournament, barring injuries. I can't see Cory Hill as an international quality lock, Howlers could have picked Thornton on the bench.

Odd choice of cover in the backs. I hope Howley isn't thinking of Sam Davies covering FB; it's one thing getting away with it in a very strong Ospreys side, international rugby something quite different. I know Jamie Roberts started out as a FB, but he can't have played there for years. I guess if one of the back 3 is injured they may put Roberts in at centre and move Scott Williams to wing, but that's hardly ideal. Picking Evans on the bench would have made more sense.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:29 am

Winzer wrote:Odd choice of cover in the backs.  I hope Howley isn't thinking of Sam Davies covering FB; it's one thing getting away with it in a very strong Ospreys side, international rugby something quite different.  I know Jamie Roberts started out as a FB, but he can't have played there for years.  I guess if one of the back 3 is injured they may put Roberts in at centre and move Scott Williams to wing, but that's hardly ideal.  Picking Evans on the bench would have made more sense.

They can't bring themselves to leave out Roberts entirely.

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Post by munkian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 11:31 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Winzer wrote:Odd choice of cover in the backs.  I hope Howley isn't thinking of Sam Davies covering FB; it's one thing getting away with it in a very strong Ospreys side, international rugby something quite different.  I know Jamie Roberts started out as a FB, but he can't have played there for years.  I guess if one of the back 3 is injured they may put Roberts in at centre and move Scott Williams to wing, but that's hardly ideal.  Picking Evans on the bench would have made more sense.

They can't bring themselves to leave out Roberts entirely.

I wouldn't either with Mclean in their team.
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Post by Winzer on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 1:45 pm

I get an awful feeling it's going to be same old, same old watching Wales this tournament. Most of this coaching set up have shown themselves incapable of innovation or adaptation beyond token gestures, and seem to mistake stubbornness for strength of mind. Am clinging to the hope that Alex King will shake it up a bit. Otherwise it's going to be a teeth-grinding experience.

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Post by exile jack on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 2:08 pm

Looking at this Mates of Howley XV,our Head Coach reminds me of ol' Tim Farron-no vision,no credibility and an absolute joke outside his immediate close circle.Would find it hard to see the XV losing but Howley's understanding of form and team and individual development remains as elusive as ever.Hope I do not hear the dreaded 'the boys went well in training'.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 2:09 pm

Awful, stale selection. It was inevitable he would call up form players and leave them on tackle bag duty though.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 2:15 pm

I've forgotten what it's like to be excited by a Wales team selection.

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Post by miaow on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 2:17 pm

Winzer, I also think the players have to take responsibility after a point. I do get the feeling that- under the 'proper' leader in the Welsh squad that is AWJ- there might be a bit more power back to the players, rather than deference to Gatland and the coaching team, which is what we got under Warburton, for good and bad.

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