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Post by captain carrantuohil on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:07 am

Do think that Ireland have a more than legitimate shot at turning over England in Dublin, particularly an England that is not going to have a balanced back row, whatever combination they select. If I'm right, we have five plausible winners of the 6N at this stage. However, I just can't see Scotland having the ammunition to overcome an extremely tough England plus their own appalling record at Twickenham this year, which would basically rule them out of contention.

Can't help thinking that Wales are going to regret bitterly their inability to grab that bonus point against Italy. It's quite possible that they COULD secure wins against Scotland at Murrayfield, France in Paris and Ireland in Cardiff, but it's very difficult to imagine them scoring more than three tries in doing so in any one match. You'd think that England will manage the bonus point trick against Italy at Twickers and that, plus a win of any kind for England against Scotland may well be enough to eliminate Wales from overall contention.

If England are to be stopped from winning this tournament, realistically I feel that the source will be the winner of France against Ireland next round. The French look to me to be on their way back and while I'd like to think that we'll beat them in Dublin, it won't be easy. Eight points against France and Wales would be enough for us to have a really good chance of depriving England of the championship, even if England manage a losing bonus point. The points difference racked up in Rome may well yet be a critical factor in the final analysis.

It will be scarily tight in a number of games, but I'll stick my neck out and suggest that Ireland will squeak home on points difference, having accumulated 18 match points, the same number as England. Wales to finish third, just about, and whichever of France and Scotland can bury Italy by more to come next. Where's that bookies....?

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Post by rodders on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:16 am

I agree but think Ireland might win a bit more comfortably, I think we're scoring tries so at least one bonus is on offer over the next 3 games, probably against France.

England looked vulnerable in defence as well so we could finish on 20.
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Post by captain carrantuohil on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:21 am

Like the optimism, rodders, but France aren't shipping that many tries and vulnerable or not, England aren't conceding many tries or points at this stage. Would be lovely to pick up just one more bonus point but both history and the first two rounds of matches tell us how hard that is likely to be.

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Post by Scottrf on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:24 am

Think you're probably right. Ireland slight favourites at home but could go either way.

Although what is interesting is that by going all out vs Scotland could leave a situation where a LBP is enough for the title. Scotland have looked better than conceding 4 tries but it's a possibility.

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Post by rodders on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:29 am

Well we scored 3 against Scotland who conceded 1 against France who in turn conceded 2 despite only letting in only 1 against England at Twickenham.

All the stats point to us whupping the remaining teams angel .
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Post by cascough on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:30 am

rodders wrote:I agree but think Ireland might win a bit more comfortably, I think we're scoring tries so at least one bonus is on offer over the next 3 games, probably against France.

England looked vulnerable in defence as well so we could finish on 20.

Oh yeah, 2 tries conceded in what have been extremely high pressure matches, really vulnerable.

i won't start worrying until we ship 3 against Scotland and 1 in a training run. Wink

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:33 am

It's still very much England's to lose.

Ireland are in with a shout but still need to overcome France, Wales and then England. Big ask!
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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:33 am

England are very beatable at the moment, frankly they've rode their luck in both games so far. But they should have Vunipola and Watson back fully operational by then.
Ireland have been hot and cold for some time, having proven they can "beat anyone on their day" whilst also getting kippered by Scotland.

I'm calling it 50/50 at the moment. I'm being arrogant and assuming England will beat Italy and even the improved Scotland relatively easily.  
Ireland still have a tough game against France, and whilst I'd tag them as slight favourites it's no given. Wales too could go either way ...it's just one of those fixtures.  
Equally it's a tough ask for Wales to win all their games now.  

So there's a fair chance England could lose to Ireland but still end up as the only 4-1 team. Ireland are the only team with a realistic chance of stopping them winning the title unless Scotland really turn up a shock result.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 12:31 pm

England aren't beatable! They are hot favourites! They have all the players - both starters and then benchers! They are almost guaranteed the Slam. Good luck to them!

Have I said enough to offset the jinx effect of this Captain Carrantuohil thread? I'm panicked that maybe it's not enough.

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Post by captain carrantuohil on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 12:37 pm

The reverse jinx has failed me lately, Secret, and I'm therefore taking the unprecedented step of suggesting that we're good enough to win this thing despite what happened at Murrayfield.

Revolutionary, eh? There are a few caveats and maybes and what ifs attached, naturally, but I don't think that appealing to the spirit of 2001 and 2011 alone is going to do it against this English mob.

Up and batter 'em, lads!

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 12:38 pm

Well nobody has beaten England for a long time. The defense bends but very rarely breaks. And the discipline is very special at the moment.

Maybe with a referee with a point to prove we might have more problems but a huge feature of the Saturday game was that we gave up one penalty kick all 2nd half. I don't know if there were other penalties I missed but as we gave away a few in the 1st half (6 all game). The discipline meant that 1/2p had no chance to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 12:41 pm

lostinwales wrote:Well nobody has beaten England for a long time. The defense bends but very rarely breaks. And the discipline is very special at the moment.

Maybe with a referee with a point to prove we might have more problems but a huge feature of the Saturday game was that we gave up one penalty kick all 2nd half. I don't know if there were other penalties I missed but as we gave away a few in the 1st half (6 all game). The discipline meant that 1/2p had no chance to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

To parphrase ye olde maxim that is used about the ABs; to win against the English, you gotta score tries.....

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Post by Presuming Ed on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 8:36 pm

England are looking vulnerable a shadow of their 2016 form .Scotland look sttong unlucky against France. I can't see England beating Scotland at the moment.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 8:41 pm

If Scotland beat Wales (hope not) then they'll certainly go to Twickenham with lots of confidence and a triple Crown in their sights.

England will go into the Jock game unbeaten and most probably on the back of a very big score against Italy so they won't fear Scotland coming to Twickenham.
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Post by Scottrf on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 8:58 pm

Presuming Ed wrote:England are looking vulnerable a shadow of their 2016 form .Scotland look sttong unlucky against France. I can't see England beating Scotland at the moment.
You really have to ignore a lot of previous rugby matches to think Scotland are most likely to win.

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Post by catchweight on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 9:13 pm

No Grand Slam was being offered at even money at the start of the tournament which I though was good value this year.

Even as it stands after only 2 rounds there is only one team capable and I would have Ireland as a slight favourite with home advantage to beat England at the moment.

Worst case scenario you can hedge it by backing Engalnd to beat Ireland in the final game.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 9:20 pm

Presuming Ed wrote:England are looking vulnerable a shadow of their 2016 form .Scotland look sttong unlucky against France. I can't see England beating Scotland at the moment.

Good luck with that. England despite their issues are just a little bit tougher and a hell of a lot sharper than France- and look what happened against France. If it had been a 40 minute game.... The current English version doesn't self destruct.

I think the old rock paper scissors thing will kick in again. I think Scotland will score one, maybe even two really good tries. I think that when Scotland make mistakes they'll lose points almost every time. And I think come the last 20 minutes when the English heavy brigade come on they'll run over some very tired scots and score tries.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 9:52 pm

Presuming Ed wrote:England are looking vulnerable a shadow of their 2016 form .Scotland look sttong unlucky against France. I can't see England beating Scotland at the moment.

England have played a France team that ran the All Blacks close and a Wales team that, by common agreement, played their best game in several years. All while missing one of their top two looseheads, one of their top two locks, their first choice blindside and first choice Number 8. They started with their seventh choice openside in one game and a back row combination with fewer than 20 caps in total and none as a unit in the second. And still won both games.

Neither win was easy, but vulnerable? England have conceded the second fewest points total of the tournament, only 4 points more than Wales. If you exclude the two games played against Italy, England have conceded 16 points a game vs 21 for Wales, 22 for Ireland, 22 for Scotland and 17.5 for France. Which means they've also played against the next two meanest defences in the tournament.

I expect a comfortable win against Italy but perhaps not a BP, depending on how experimental Eddie gets, and a narrow win on home turf against a Scotland team who will have had a bruising game against Wales. History and form says beating Ireland in Dublin would be a real achievement, but it would be great to see England going for a back-to-back Grand Slam against an Ireland team knowing they could snatch the Championship with a win.
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Post by Scottrf on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 9:57 pm

England will get a BP vs Italy no matter the team he puts out.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 10:03 pm

Scottrf wrote:England will get a BP vs Italy no matter the team he puts out.

Not counting chickens. England have never lost to Italy and I don't think they're going to start now, but they've had some embarrassingly poor wins. Especially when they are light on first choice back rows.
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Post by Scottrf on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 10:05 pm

1 chicken, 2 chickens, 3 chickens, 4 chickens...

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Post by catchweight on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 10:39 pm

Italy are a shambles. I fully expect a route.

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 10:50 pm

Bristol would beat Italy.

Unless Eddie plays Marler at No9, only fields 12 players or Steve Walsh is The Ref with Jiffy and Gatland as touch judges and maestegmafia as TMO then England will win.
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Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 11:16 pm

Gooseberry wrote:England are very beatable at the moment
And yet no one beats them. Odd isn't it?

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 7:29 am

catchweight wrote:No Grand Slam was being offered at even money at the start of the tournament which I though was good value this year.

Even as it stands after only 2 rounds there is only one team capable and I would have Ireland as a slight favourite with home advantage to beat England at the moment.

Worst case scenario you can hedge it by backing Engalnd to beat Ireland in the final game.

It's still even money as is an England slam with 3 games to go.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 7:30 am

Exiledinborders wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:England are very beatable at the moment
And yet no one beats them. Odd isn't it?



AT Least not for 16 games any way.

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Post by rodders on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 10:49 am

SecretFly wrote:England aren't beatable!  They are hot favourites!  They have all the players - both starters and then benchers!  They are almost guaranteed the Slam.  Good luck to them!

Have I said enough to offset the jinx effect of this Captain Carrantuohil thread?  I'm panicked that maybe it's not enough.

Nonsense fly, Eddie has been avoiding the ABs like the plague, apart from a poor wallabies and predictable Welsh side, they've beaten no one of note outside Twickenham, where they get decisions so one sided even Wayne Barnes goes rosey cheeked at the audacity.

Not since old Mick kept Rocky Balboa away from Clubber Lang has a sports team had such a padded out record. But the chickens will be coming to roost in Dublin....
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Post by lostinwales on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 7:14 pm

rodders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:England aren't beatable!  They are hot favourites!  They have all the players - both starters and then benchers!  They are almost guaranteed the Slam.  Good luck to them!

Have I said enough to offset the jinx effect of this Captain Carrantuohil thread?  I'm panicked that maybe it's not enough.

Nonsense fly, Eddie has been avoiding the ABs like the plague, apart from a poor wallabies and predictable Welsh side, they've beaten no one of note outside Twickenham, where they get decisions so one sided even Wayne Barnes goes rosey cheeked at the audacity.

Not since old Mick kept Rocky Balboa away from Clubber Lang has a sports team had such a padded out record. But the chickens will be coming to roost in Dublin....

Maybe - but then we can't help it if the AB's are dodging us either...

This run of games does include victories against the might of Uraguay, but then across this last year we have played and found a way to beat everyone else in the top tier except for NZ - and that is why we are 2nd in the world rankings. Simple.

Ireland can play at a different level at home and I wouldn't be surprised if they did manage to beat us. But it won't be easy for them, not at all. They'll have to find that different level to do so.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 7:32 pm

The 'different level' happened in New York last year - just saying. And of course, it was us that allowed England to chase down that 'consecutive victory' record during this very 6N. There's the thanks we get Wink

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 7:53 pm

rodders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:England aren't beatable!  They are hot favourites!  They have all the players - both starters and then benchers!  They are almost guaranteed the Slam.  Good luck to them!

Have I said enough to offset the jinx effect of this Captain Carrantuohil thread?  I'm panicked that maybe it's not enough.

Nonsense fly, Eddie has been avoiding the ABs like the plague, apart from a poor wallabies and predictable Welsh side, they've beaten no one of note outside Twickenham, where they get decisions so one sided even Wayne Barnes goes rosey cheeked at the audacity.

Not since old Mick kept Rocky Balboa away from Clubber Lang has a sports team had such a padded out record. But the chickens will be coming to roost in Dublin....

It's not Eddie's call and never was. The schedule is decided by the administrators and I am pretty sure was set before Eddie even took up the role, because matches are decided in 4 year cycles.

The only reason England aren't playing the All Blacks for a while is money. The ABs want more cash to play England at Twickenham than the RFU think is reasonable, and the RFU have told them to go forth and multiply the number of seats in their own stadia.

I am pretty sure that Eddie would be delighted to have a crack at New Zealand early in the RWC cycle to give him a better sense of how big the gap is. As Sir Clive put it, the only way you learn to beat the best is by playing them.

It's fine to argue that England have only beaten less than impressive teams away from home, but England have won 6 from 6 away from home, whereas Ireland are 3 from 8, including mighty Italy, a Bok team on the slide (but only 1 of 3) and an All Blacks team disrupted by losing their 3 top locks and having to play Read out of position.

The win against the ABs was a fine moment and no mistake, but viewed in an historical context, beating the ABs is a more frequent event than winning a series away from home, especially 3-0.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 8:01 pm

EJ cannot change the schedule, games were organised well before he came along. England have beaten everything that the world could throw at them bar the AB in the last 16 games, some have been a bit squeaky, but they have done it despite rarely having a full team out, the team looks like it is full of regulars now, but a year ago, a number of players were not around the squad or either untried, Daly, Sinkler, George, or thought past it, Haskell, Lawes, Wood, May. Plus it was either Ford or Farrell, not both.

Jones has taken a squad, plus a few ex-squad members, given them a purpose and drive not seen since 2003, no matter what problems they have, they have a faith and spirt that just does not countenance defeat. That is worth 10 points a game.

Add that to the depth of talent England have produced and the talent coming through that looks like a perfect fit for EJs game plan and I see a very rosy future for England.

I still have the collywobbles about the trip to Dublin though, one of the Irish guys at work thinks that if Ireland have a championship to play for, they will lose. If they have nothing to play for and can just go out to stop England they will win. The thought of stopping the English is a greater incentive to which he fully subscribes (couldn't think of a better word)

As an Englishman, I have never understood this attitude. If you dislike England and the English so much, errrrrrrrrr   go home.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 8:25 pm

I think the conclusion here is that of course England is capable of beating the ABs - but Ireland proved it.  Now that means two things.  First - we got beaten the second game so we ain't exactly unbeatable Wink (and Scotland had to reprove the point, the **&^*ers!)
...but secondly - the fear of our own limits is gone.  There was always a level we felt we just couldn't reach and New Zealand's record over us kept that self-doubt going.
England could beat us and might even get a surge against us and make the scoreline bad (anything can happen) - but there'll be no Irish player doubting their ability to get stuck in or to play to impose themselves on the game rather than simply soak up pressure.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 8:30 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:

As an Englishman, I have never understood this attitude. If you dislike England and the English so much, errrrrrrrrr   go home.

That's what the Irish used to say to the English colonists, planters, soldiers and landlords.  They never listened. Wink  History.  Keeps repeating itself, PAST IT.

But then again, I wouldn't take it too personally either.  You're big, you got a lot of teams, you got a lot of players, you got a lot of great players...why the hell shouldn't any side want to beat you?  You're the classic tall poppy in sporting terms Wink

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Post by rodders on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 9:41 am

SecretFly wrote:I think the conclusion here is that of course England is capable of beating the ABs - but Ireland proved it.

Really fly? I thought the conclusion was that Eddie has been riding his luck thus far and his bubble is about about to burst?
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Post by TrailApe on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 9:58 am

You're the classic tall poppy in sporting terms

I'd rather be a Hollyhock if you don't mind ...
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 11:43 am

rodders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:I think the conclusion here is that of course England is capable of beating the ABs - but Ireland proved it.

Really fly? I thought the conclusion was that Eddie has been riding his luck thus far and his bubble is about about to burst?

Jesus rodders! Be quiet. Someone muzzle this man until April!

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 12:35 pm

captain carrantuohil wrote:  No grand slam a fair bet now - so who wins the title?

Why? England can still do it....and they've played two tough test matches and come through them despite not playing well?

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 12:37 pm

Sure none of us played well yet Wink Whistle

We all love that angle.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 12:41 pm

I prefer the angle that we've won 2/2
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 12:50 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:I prefer the angle that we've won 2/2

Well it's more honest. Wink

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 12:55 pm

SecretFly wrote:Sure none of us played well yet Wink Whistle

We all love that angle.

Well all the gushing over Ireland beating Italy would dispute that Wink

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 1:01 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Sure none of us played well yet Wink Whistle

We all love that angle.

Well all the gushing over Ireland beating Italy would dispute that Wink

That's from the pink cowboy hat boys who know nothing...... :whistle.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 1:06 pm

Laugh thumbsup

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Post by No9 on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 1:20 pm

Crying or Very sad Whether we like it or not, its in England's hands. They keep winning and its theirs. They lose one game, and it will be between France, Scotland, Ireland and of course England. Wales have blown it, not taking a BP against Italy, as the remaining sides to play Italy will take a BP (May sound disrespectful, not meant, just worse Italian side for ages) and have also taken losing BP on the games they've lost.

Really puts the last 10 mins of the Wal v Eng game into perspective... For Wales to win now, have to win all games with BP and hope others slip up when they lose and don't get losing BPs...

England's to lose... and Ireland to have the last word on whether it will be a Grand Slam or not (Sorry Scotland - played really well so far, but cant see you beating England in Twickenham - not yet).

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 11:14 pm

I'm not sure anyone else bar England will win 4 matches, so still going England for now
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