Good 6 Nations..

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Good 6 Nations..

Post by No9 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 1:46 pm

If Wales win with a BP on Saturday, and Scotland don't get a Try BP and put a big points diff on Italy, assuming that England get a Grand Slam. Wales could finish 2nd in the table. However, everything go the other way, and Wales could finish 5th.

So if Wales pull off the great escape finishing 2nd, would that be seen as a good 6 nations.

My thoughts, would be:-

1. Against Italy, Wales should have put them to the sword and come away with a Try BP.
2. Against England, we lost it, with a bad kick and even worse defending. A game we should have and could have won Sad
3. Against Scotland, we won the first half, but I reckon the half time oranges must have been spiked, because we didn't show up for the second half. (Joking - Scotland showed us how to play, and deserved the win).
4. Against Ireland, we showed what we can do.
5. Against France .... lets see..

So, with the games so far, I think it shows, Wales are still a major NH force, but I do fear that we could be on the verge of slipping. Why, because against Italy we didn't have the killer instinct, against England concentration was last in the last 10 mins and against Scotland we where sh!te (2nd half). Ireland, we showed what we can do.

My concern is, finish 2nd and it will be glossed over as a good 6 nations, finish 5th and I think it will be the end for some.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Griff on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 1:54 pm

I think overall this 6N thus far has shown how inconsistent Wales are.  A perfect example of it is described by the OP above.  Inconsistency will always lead to mid-table mediocrity.  We're mediocre, in my opinion, because we blow so hot and cold.  Sadly it takes a stinging loss to make us come out firing.  You can't be serious contenders with an attitude like that.

I know we always seem to get better as a tournament progresses but for me a win away to a much improved France will be a very tall order, let alone a bonus point win.  Somewhere between a 'close' and a 'medium sized' loss is my prediction, as is the Wales up 'n down rollercoaster way!

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Shifty on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 6:41 pm

All the 6 NAtions has showed is Italy are way behind. Wales, Ireland, Scotland and France are pretty much all the same. While England can play terribly and still beat us all.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by robbo277 on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 7:48 pm

Shifty wrote:All the 6 NAtions has showed is Italy are way behind.  Wales, Ireland, Scotland and France are pretty much all the same.  While England can play terribly and still beat us all.  

I only saw bits of Italy vs Wales, but why do you think Wales failed to take the bonus point? Do you think the coaches thought it wouldn't be important? Or did they just not execute well enough?

I think your analysis is spot on. In the games so far between the middle group, no-one has won away (exclude Italy) for the last two campaigns. Wales have come closest with a draw in Ireland. Wales also have one more shot at it with the game against France. So win that and it's not a complete write-off for Wales over the last couple of years, although there have obviously been disappointments this year.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 9:23 pm

We've been in this position (finishing 2nd/3rd) for several years now whilst our opponents have notably improved. If it takes a 5th place finish this year for the union to wake up then so be it.

Like it or not Cardiff fans but the difference against England was Alex Cuthbert as he was against South Africa in the world cup and your former boyo Howley must be held accountable.

I agree that we'll win against France with a TBP though. Come on Wales!

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Poorfour on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 10:38 pm

Harsh on Cuthbert, Mikey. England were in the red zone and looked likely to get a score one way or another. J Davies is more at fault, for the poor kick, if you ask me.

But please, hang on to your current coaching staff, because the rest of us will find it easier to win...

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 10:46 pm

Poorfour wrote:Harsh on Cuthbert, Mikey. England were in the red zone and looked likely to get a score one way or another. J Davies is more at fault, for the poor kick, if you ask me.

But please, hang on to your current coaching staff, because the rest of us will find it easier to win...

It's not harsh, the abuse he gets on social media is. The fact is at pivotal moments in both games I mentioned his errors cost Wales the match. And against Japan he was worth about -14 points. I don't disagree with the rest of what you've said though... apart from the bit about our coaches. Fresh impetus is badly required.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by majesticimperialman on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 10:48 pm

Mikey. Why blame Cuthbert?...Surely some of the blame should fall on AWJ,  Johnathon Davies. 

AWJ for turning down two kicks at goal.

And JD for not kicking to touch.

Not just Cuthbert who was at felt.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Steve_rugby on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 11:07 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:We've been in this position (finishing 2nd/3rd) for several years now whilst our opponents have notably improved. If it takes a 5th place finish this year for the union to wake up then so be it.

Like it or not Cardiff fans but the difference against England was Alex Cuthbert as he was against South Africa in the world cup and your former boyo Howley must be held accountable.

I agree that we'll win against France with a TBP though. Come on Wales!

Of course you will. laughing

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 7:03 am

Out of the 'chasing pack' I would say Wales probably have the hardest task in the last game.
Scotland & Wales have the same number of points & would you rather have Italy at home or France away?

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Griff on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 8:55 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Out of the 'chasing pack' I would say Wales probably have the hardest task in the last game.
Scotland & Wales have the same number of points & would you rather have Italy at home or France away?

Does it matter though? The thing is regardless of whether Scotland finish above us or we finish above them, for Wales this tournament will be considered a disappointment and a failure but for Scotland it will be considered a success (I imagine). I don't really care if Scotland finish above us as it has been a poor and consistent campaign from us overall (Ireland game was the highlight). So 'chasing pack' means nothing really.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 9:15 am

With one week left I think we have learned that the 6N (aside from Italy) has become a lot more competative.

Home advantage is now just that, and advantage. With the Exception of England noone has taken what could be seen as a major scalp in an away fixture this year.

Obviously England have a very tough away fixture to finish on, as do Wales. What I see is that this is a return to very difficult away fixtures in the 6N which is IMO what it should be, and will lead to grand slams becoming far rarer, and the bonus point system really becoming important.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by TightHEAD on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 9:34 am

Why is everyone obsessed with Grand Slams, winning the Championship is all that matters, 2nd place is failure.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by BigGee on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 9:35 am

I think the bonus point system is working out well at sorting out the rest of the table. England will come top, with or without a GS, which is fair enough but it will give a more realistic feel to the rest of the table now.

I am happy for them to stay and I think that they will.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by munkian on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:11 am

Italy are always up for it first game, Wales are always slow.

If we played them 3rd/4th or 5th game we would've easily got the TBP
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:11 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:With one week left I think we have learned that the 6N (aside from Italy) has become a lot more competative.

Home advantage is now just that, and advantage. With the Exception of England noone has taken what could be seen as a major scalp in an away fixture this year.

Obviously England have a very tough away fixture to finish on, as do Wales. What I see is that this is a return to very difficult away fixtures in the 6N which is IMO what it should be, and will lead to grand slams becoming far rarer, and the bonus point system really becoming important.

Bang on. Every team is strong and getting stronger. I honestly think O'Shea has a VERY good coaching team under him with Italy...and I think he'll turn them round as well.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Griff on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:14 am

Not a fan of the bonus point system, and I think it might hamper Wales' league position this tournament. If Wales somehow manage to sneak a win in France it will put us on 14. Assuming Scotland thump Italy and get a BP it I'll put them on 14, but crucially they will get that extra BP in the final game taking their tally to 2 vs 1 for Wales. That despite getting an absolute tonking vs England and having a much poorer (so far) points for/against than Wales.

Them's the breaks I suppose!

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by tigertattie on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:22 am

Griff wrote:Not a fan of the bonus point system, and I think it might hamper Wales' league position this tournament. If Wales somehow manage to sneak a win in France it will put us on 14. Assuming Scotland thump Italy and get a BP it I'll put them on 14, but crucially they will get that extra BP in the final game taking their tally to 2 vs 1 for Wales. That despite getting an absolute tonking vs England and having a much poorer (so far) points for/against than Wales.

Them's the breaks I suppose!

So rather than despite (potentially) the same number of games won, you'd rather have Wales above Scotland in the table even though Scotland beat Wales?
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by beshocked on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:25 am

Italy's biggest problem has been playing for 80 minutes.

Competitive with Wales,France and England for a period but then overwhelmed.

I wouldn't assume Scotland will just roll over Italy, afterall only Ireland have beaten Italy with no issues.

Italy have been shown by England that if you can get to Scotland early, rattle them, there is a softer underbelly.

Though saying that it will likely pan out like most of the other games, Italy competitive in the first 40 but not good enough in the 2nd 40.

Overpower Scotland physically and they become more vulnerable. Just didn't have enough power vs France and England.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Scottrf on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:28 am

The problem with the format is that home advantage makes head to head tie breaking unfair, which I would otherwise favour. I still feel it's probably more palatable than other methods.

I don't think a 4 tries to 3 win is better than a 3 try to 0 win. So I'm not particularly comfortable with bonus points. But points difference doesn't seem a lot better as it seems mainly to do with how well you hammer Italy.

Maybe if the 'LBP' went to the winning team if they were over 7 ahead, I'd prefer it to TBPs.

Also, losing a close game and scoring 4 tries is clearly not as good as a draw. Silly system really.


Last edited by Scottrf on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by TightHEAD on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:30 am

Italy's problem is Sergio, yes he is a very good player but he can't do it all and it seems the other players look to get him the ball rather than taking on the responsibility themselves. Plus he turns the Refs against them by his endless moaning and sad face. Crying or Very sad
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Exiledinborders on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:45 am

munkian wrote:Italy are always up for it first game, Wales are always slow.

If we played them 3rd/4th or 5th game we would've easily got the TBP
Okay swap the Italy and Ireland fixtures. If Wales are slow starters let's assume they would have lost to Ireland but got a bonus point against Italy. That loses them three points.


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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Exiledinborders on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:47 am

Griff wrote:Not a fan of the bonus point system, and I think it might hamper Wales' league position this tournament. If Wales somehow manage to sneak a win in France it will put us on 14. Assuming Scotland thump Italy and get a BP it I'll put them on 14, but crucially they will get that extra BP in the final game taking their tally to 2 vs 1 for Wales. That despite getting an absolute tonking vs England and having a much poorer (so far) points for/against than Wales.

Them's the breaks I suppose!
Not so much the breaks as the rules. Rules which all the teams knew in advance.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Griff on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:52 am

tigertattie wrote:
Griff wrote:Not a fan of the bonus point system, and I think it might hamper Wales' league position this tournament. If Wales somehow manage to sneak a win in France it will put us on 14. Assuming Scotland thump Italy and get a BP it I'll put them on 14, but crucially they will get that extra BP in the final game taking their tally to 2 vs 1 for Wales. That despite getting an absolute tonking vs England and having a much poorer (so far) points for/against than Wales.

Them's the breaks I suppose!

So rather than despite (potentially) the same number of games won, you'd rather have Wales above Scotland in the table even though Scotland beat Wales?

It might look that way, but no! I'm just having another whinge about the bonus point system. I just don't see that it's needed when we still have points difference displayed AND used to separate teams on the same championship points and bonus points. That it happens to be Scotland who might finish above us in the above scenario is purely coincidental.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Griff on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:56 am

Exiledinborders wrote:
Griff wrote:Not a fan of the bonus point system, and I think it might hamper Wales' league position this tournament. If Wales somehow manage to sneak a win in France it will put us on 14. Assuming Scotland thump Italy and get a BP it I'll put them on 14, but crucially they will get that extra BP in the final game taking their tally to 2 vs 1 for Wales. That despite getting an absolute tonking vs England and having a much poorer (so far) points for/against than Wales.

Them's the breaks I suppose!
Not so much the breaks as the rules. Rules which all the teams knew in advance.

New rules. And in their debut season, so worthy of discussion IMO. Rules not needed either, IMO. Check my posting history if you want. I whinged about BPs long before the tournament started, in case you think I'm complaining solely as Wales might (big might) finish below Scotland.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:59 am

It has been an interesting six nations thus far rather than high quality and France and Scotland being more competitive has added to the interest.

Both Ireland and France have in general relied on a forward pack to bludgeon their opponents and have simply not scored enough tries.
Wales and Scotland do not have the ball carriers and so have relied on their wings but if the supply of front foot ball dries up, there is no plan B.
O'Shea/Catt simply have a big job on all facets of italian play.

Jones has stolen a march on his rivals, despite the glut of usual injuries at the start of the tournament. The set piece, phase play and pressure defence have all held up well.

There is a distinct lack of SH refs this season which has also had an impact on the matches being pretty consistent.

Scotland and France should win their last home games and there should be a new record on tournament points this season too.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:19 am

Scotland's Injuries have been I'd say the worst in the tournament. England missed Vunipola and Robshaw but that's it. The rediculous strength and depth England have has been obvious from the start. Lawes and Launchberry were amazing, so you didn't miss Kruis at all.

Wheras Scotland missing their 2 first choice props have been on the backfoot in every scrum. On the other side of the coin, it's been great to see Dell and Fagerson getting this level of exposure. At 24 and 21 respectively those two will be instrumental for Scotland once Dickinson and Nel (who are both in their prime as props) move on.

Although the loss of Laidlaw has been a difficult one for Scotland to cope with. We missed him badly at the weekend.

However I do believe that the standard of rugby has been generally pretty good. All of the teams at some point in the tournament have played some very good rugby.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by beshocked on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:31 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Scotland's Injuries have been I'd say the worst in the tournament. England missed Vunipola and Robshaw but that's it. The rediculous strength and depth England have has been obvious from the start. Lawes and Launchberry were amazing, so you didn't miss Kruis at all.

Wheras Scotland missing their 2 first choice props have been on the backfoot in every scrum. On the other side of the coin, it's been great to see Dell and Fagerson getting this level of exposure. At 24 and 21 respectively those two will be instrumental for Scotland once Dickinson and Nel (who are both in their prime as props) move on.

Although the loss of Laidlaw has been a difficult one for Scotland to cope with. We missed him badly at the weekend.

However I do believe that the standard of rugby has been generally pretty good. All of the teams at some point in the tournament have played some very good rugby.

Ruggerradge what difference do you actually think Laidlaw would have made? Goalkicking wasn't an issue for Scotland. The issue was mainly in the pack.

Not as if Laidlaw would give Scotland a better platform. He's not even a backrower who thinks he's a 9 like Mike Phillips. Physically Laidlaw is not imposing at 5,9 1/2 and less than 13st.

Being physically overpowered and out thought it not something I see Laidlaw fixing.

Wouldn't strengthen the midfield either.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:36 am

beshocked wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Scotland's Injuries have been I'd say the worst in the tournament. England missed Vunipola and Robshaw but that's it. The rediculous strength and depth England have has been obvious from the start. Lawes and Launchberry were amazing, so you didn't miss Kruis at all.

Wheras Scotland missing their 2 first choice props have been on the backfoot in every scrum. On the other side of the coin, it's been great to see Dell and Fagerson getting this level of exposure. At 24 and 21 respectively those two will be instrumental for Scotland once Dickinson and Nel (who are both in their prime as props) move on.

Although the loss of Laidlaw has been a difficult one for Scotland to cope with. We missed him badly at the weekend.

However I do believe that the standard of rugby has been generally pretty good. All of the teams at some point in the tournament have played some very good rugby.

Ruggerradge what difference do you actually think Laidlaw would have made?
Goalkicking wasn't an issue for Scotland. The issue was mainly in the pack.

Not as if Laidlaw would give Scotland a better platform. He's not even a backrower who thinks he's a 9 like Mike Phillips. Physically Laidlaw is not imposing at 5,9 1/2 and less than 13st.

Being physically overpowered and out thought it not something I see Laidlaw fixing.

Calmness.

That is what Laidlaw would have brought. Calmness and composure. For what it's worth I don't think we could have won. Laidlaw couldn't have stopped Hogg or Bennett getting injured.

However he would have brought a cool head to the party especially when we were properly under siege in the first 30 minutes.

To ask what he would have brought shows how little you know of Scottish rugby, Beshocked and I mean no offence by that. Laidlaw would have kept Russell calmer, marshalled the pack better, especially whilst going backwards far better than Price or Pyrgos and would have got us playing in the right areas of the pitch.

England would have still won as I said but I doubt it would have been so one sided.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:39 am

Scottrf wrote:The problem with the format is that home advantage makes head to head tie breaking unfair, which I would otherwise favour. I still feel it's probably more palatable than other methods.

I don't think a 4 tries to 3 win is better than a 3 try to 0 win. So I'm not particularly comfortable with bonus points. But points difference doesn't seem a lot better as it seems mainly to do with how well you hammer Italy.

Maybe if the 'LBP' went to the winning team if they were over 7 ahead, I'd prefer it to TBPs.

Also, losing a close game and scoring 4 tries is clearly not as good as a draw. Silly system really.

That's one of my problems with bonus points; some games award 4 points, some award 7 points, and you can have anything in between. I prefer it to points difference though, and think points difference suffers just as bad with home advantage. The only way to "fix" that would be to play home and away.

The only way I could fix my gripe with bonus points would be to award 6 points a game. The winner gets 4. There are then 2 bonus points on offer.

If the winning team wins by more than 7, they get the margin bonus point.
If a winning team wins by 7 or less, the opposition gets the margin bonus point.

If the winning team scores 2 tries more than the losing team, they get the try bonus point.
If the winning team scores 2 or less more tries than the losing team, the opposition gets the try bonus point.

A draw would be simply 3 points each.

Not sure if that's better or worse tbh. But at least it's a zero-sum game.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by Scottrf on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:42 am

robbo277 wrote:
Scottrf wrote:The problem with the format is that home advantage makes head to head tie breaking unfair, which I would otherwise favour. I still feel it's probably more palatable than other methods.

I don't think a 4 tries to 3 win is better than a 3 try to 0 win. So I'm not particularly comfortable with bonus points. But points difference doesn't seem a lot better as it seems mainly to do with how well you hammer Italy.

Maybe if the 'LBP' went to the winning team if they were over 7 ahead, I'd prefer it to TBPs.

Also, losing a close game and scoring 4 tries is clearly not as good as a draw. Silly system really.

That's one of my problems with bonus points; some games award 4 points, some award 7 points, and you can have anything in between. I prefer it to points difference though, and think points difference suffers just as bad with home advantage. The only way to "fix" that would be to play home and away.

The only way I could fix my gripe with bonus points would be to award 6 points a game. The winner gets 4. There are then 2 bonus points on offer.

If the winning team wins by more than 7, they get the margin bonus point.
If a winning team wins by 7 or less, the opposition gets the margin bonus point.

If the winning team scores 2 tries more than the losing team, they get the try bonus point.
If the winning team scores 2 or less more tries than the losing team, the opposition gets the try bonus point.

A draw would be simply 3 points each.

Not sure if that's better or worse tbh. But at least it's a zero-sum game.
Still don't like the idea of awarding 2 points for a close loss or 2 extra for a big win. That's as many as a draw. Just the margin BP is better IMO.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by beshocked on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:54 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
beshocked wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Scotland's Injuries have been I'd say the worst in the tournament. England missed Vunipola and Robshaw but that's it. The rediculous strength and depth England have has been obvious from the start. Lawes and Launchberry were amazing, so you didn't miss Kruis at all.

Wheras Scotland missing their 2 first choice props have been on the backfoot in every scrum. On the other side of the coin, it's been great to see Dell and Fagerson getting this level of exposure. At 24 and 21 respectively those two will be instrumental for Scotland once Dickinson and Nel (who are both in their prime as props) move on.

Although the loss of Laidlaw has been a difficult one for Scotland to cope with. We missed him badly at the weekend.

However I do believe that the standard of rugby has been generally pretty good. All of the teams at some point in the tournament have played some very good rugby.

Ruggerradge what difference do you actually think Laidlaw would have made?
Goalkicking wasn't an issue for Scotland. The issue was mainly in the pack.

Not as if Laidlaw would give Scotland a better platform. He's not even a backrower who thinks he's a 9 like Mike Phillips. Physically Laidlaw is not imposing at 5,9 1/2 and less than 13st.

Being physically overpowered and out thought it not something I see Laidlaw fixing.

Calmness.

That is what Laidlaw would have brought. Calmness and composure. For what it's worth I don't think we could have won. Laidlaw couldn't have stopped Hogg or Bennett getting injured.

However he would have brought a cool head to the party especially when we were properly under siege in the first 30 minutes.

To ask what he would have brought shows how little you know of Scottish rugby, Beshocked and I mean no offence by that. Laidlaw would have kept Russell calmer, marshalled the pack better, especially whilst going backwards far better than Price or Pyrgos and would have got us playing in the right areas of the pitch.

England would have still won as I said but I doubt it would have been so one sided.

I am not completely sure to be honest. I know Laidlaw supposedly gives leadership and calmness but he's not actually that good a 9 compared to the likes of Webb,Youngs,Murray and Care. Talking about playing ability.

It won't be a shock if Laidlaw doesn't make the Lions even if fit.

Not as if you needed Laidlaw to beat Wales. Also Laidlaw might well have lost his head too.

No guarantee he would have improved Scotland that much, England would have just targeted him.

I think Laidlaw's importance is overstated. Scotland needed more IMO than a little 9 who isn't even one of the best in his position in the 6 nations.

Scotland needed more steel in the forwards and some leadership in the midfield.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by TightHEAD on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:55 am

Scotland needed more Balls as they lack big game experience.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 12:18 pm

Let's address these in turn,

P.S. I am not wanting to derail this thread so apologies in advance.

beshocked wrote:
Talking about playing ability.

I didn't once mention playing ability, Laidlaw is a limited player, by his own admission. However he is one of the most intelligent rugby players in the world, and as a captain he always has a tremendous relationship when dealing with the ref. One thing that Saturday exposed is that for all of his strengths, Barclay, in this game got on the wrong side of the ref pretty quickly and did not adapt well to his interpretation of the breakdown.

beshocked wrote:
It won't be a shock if Laidlaw doesn't make the Lions even if fit.

I agree, I don't remember even saying he was in the running. However I don't think it would be a surprise if he did tour. He has been seen by pundits and rugby commentators as a central figure in Scotland's revival over the last couple of years. Add the fact that he is one of the few Scottish players that casual rugby fans know the name of means he must be doing something right.

beshocked wrote:
Not as if you needed Laidlaw to beat Wales.
Granted, but Wales were not putting us under the kind of pressure England were. Laidlaw is the sort of person who as I said instills calmness and clarity when we are going backwards. If the pack is in the ascendancy that's when the pacey service of a guy like Price comes in handy.

beshocked wrote:
No guarantee he would have improved Scotland that much, England would have just targeted him.

Unlikely I'd say, the injures we sustained meant that whoever was playing in the backfield would have been the sensible target. It's no coincidence that's exaclty what England did when we had a flyhalf at full back and a scrum half on the wing. Why England would continue to target Laidlaw under these circumstances is again a bit strange.

beshocked wrote:
I think Laidlaw's importance is overstated. Scotland needed more IMO than a little 9 who isn't even one of the best in his position in the 6 nations.

Why does he need to be the best in his position across 6 teams to be important? I'd argue that Billy V is better than Sergio Parisee and I'd also argue Picamoles is too, but that doesn't mean Sergio isn't important to Italy so that comment makes no sense.

beshocked wrote:Scotland needed more steel in the forwards and some leadership in the midfield.

The leadership wasn't the problem in the midfield, as I have already said England's attack was insanely good.

it really made no differance who we had in the midfield when you look at how devastating the England attack was. England's lineout tries were caused by feigning a maul (i'm giving Borthwick 100% credit for this tactic because it has his M.O. all over it) which in turn forced our backrow to commit to the maul.

The ball then got spun out so fast our backrow could not get into the midfield and disrupt the 10-12 axis like they have done all 6N. This in turn made Russel rush up to try and tackle Ford, by the time it went past first reciever Dunbar had 4 players in his channel to defend and Jones had 2 in his. Hence he was having to make split second decisions based on the superb attacking play of England.

It's also worth remembering Dunbar and Jones defence has been outstanding all 6N until this game. England scored more tries in 50 minutes (5) than we leaked in the whole championship 3(ire) 1(fra) 1(wal).
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by TightHEAD on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 12:30 pm

I feel the last post has de-railed the thread.
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by beshocked on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 12:34 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Let's address these in turn,

P.S. I am not wanting to derail this thread so apologies in advance.

beshocked wrote:
Talking about playing ability.

I didn't once mention playing ability, Laidlaw is a limited player, by his own admission. However he is one of the most intelligent rugby players in the world, and as a captain he always has a tremendous relationship when dealing with the ref. One thing that Saturday exposed is that for all of his strengths, Barclay, in this game got on the wrong side of the ref pretty quickly and did not adapt well to his interpretation of the breakdown.

beshocked wrote:
It won't be a shock if Laidlaw doesn't make the Lions even if fit.

I agree, I don't remember even saying he was in the running. However I don't think it would be a surprise if he did tour. He has been seen by pundits and rugby commentators as a central figure in Scotland's revival over the last couple of years. Add the fact that he is one of the few Scottish players that casual rugby fans know the name of means he must be doing something right.

beshocked wrote:
Not as if you needed Laidlaw to beat Wales.
Granted, but Wales were not putting us under the kind of pressure England were. Laidlaw is the sort of person who as I said instills calmness and clarity when we are going backwards. If the pack is in the ascendancy that's when the pacey service of a guy like Price comes in handy.

beshocked wrote:
No guarantee he would have improved Scotland that much, England would have just targeted him.

Unlikely I'd say, the injures we sustained meant that whoever was playing in the backfield would have been the sensible target. It's no coincidence that's exaclty what England did when we had a flyhalf at full back and a scrum half on the wing. Why England would continue to target Laidlaw under these circumstances is again a bit strange.

beshocked wrote:
I think Laidlaw's importance is overstated. Scotland needed more IMO than a little 9 who isn't even one of the best in his position in the 6 nations.

Why does he need to be the best in his position across 6 teams to be important? I'd argue that Billy V is better than Sergio Parisee and I'd also argue Picamoles is too, but that doesn't mean Sergio isn't important to Italy so that comment makes no sense.

beshocked wrote:Scotland needed more steel in the forwards and some leadership in the midfield.

The leadership wasn't the problem in the midfield, as I have already said England's attack was insanely good.

it really made no differance who we had in the midfield when you look at how devastating the England attack was. England's lineout tries were caused by feigning a maul (i'm giving Borthwick 100% credit for this tactic because it has his M.O. all over it) which in turn forced our backrow to commit to the maul.

The ball then got spun out so fast our backrow could not get into the midfield and disrupt the 10-12 axis like they have done all 6N. This in turn made Russel rush up to try and tackle Ford, by the time it went past first reciever Dunbar had 4 players in his channel to defend and Jones had 2 in his. Hence he was having to make split second decisions based on the superb attacking play of England.

It's also worth remembering Dunbar and Jones defence has been outstanding all 6N until this game. England scored more tries in 50 minutes (5) than we leaked in the whole championship 3(ire) 1(fra) 1(wal).

ruggerradge fair point about ref but then again would Laidlaw really help transform Scottish fortunes at the breakdown? Not convinced.

I am not saying Laidlaw is a non entity, just when Scotland are being physically overpowered, Laidlaw is not the man who will change that. He has strengths but physicality is not one.

Now maybe some more composure might have taken away some pressure but England were exerting a lot through the forwards, something Laidlaw wouldn't be able to control.

England had a lot of players they could target. Scottish backs are hardly famed for their defence. Even before the injuries.

Sending some of the big men at Laidlaw wouldn't have helped him.

Well I think Parisse and Picamoles are two of the best players in their team whilst I'd say Laidlaw's biggest advantages aren't from his playing ability. I'd say he's a merely a mediocre international 9 whilst Picamoles and Parisse are strong no 8s. They are a rallying point for a team.

England's attack was good because the backs had an excellent platform. The attacking platform from the lineout in particular where 5 of the tries started from.

Laidlaw wouldn't have been able to prevent this platform.

Scotland in general failed to stop English momentum which was relentless throughout the 80 minutes.

Sure Scotland scored 3 tries but England were always able to respond.

England were in complete control and Laidlaw wouldn't have been able to stop this.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by tigertattie on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 12:43 pm

Laidlaw may not have stopped it but he'd certainly have made a difference in making the game less one sided!

Just as an example, in the first half we were trying to exit from our own try line. Ali Price gets the ball at the back of the ruck, see Finn Russell standing flat on the try line and passes him the ball. Russell then floats a loopy miss pass to the wing which is very nearly intercepted by England but thy knock it on. Scrum on the 5m line and England pressure our scrum which is to be expected.

Had Laidlaw been playing, he'd have looked at Russell standing flat and would not have passed to him. He'd either box kick it up the line or pass to it to someone standing deeper to hoof the ball up the park. He'd also have then gone over to Russell and told him not to be an utter numpty that stands on this own try line only 2 metres away form the defensive line!
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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by cascough on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 1:27 pm

munkian wrote:Italy are always up for it first game, Wales are always slow.

If we played them 3rd/4th or 5th game we would've easily got the TBP

Thought Wales were poor in execution and thought in the first half. Instead of kicking 3 early doors (multiple times) Wales went for the set piece. Their execution was poor and it backfired. The result was the score was still close at half time. Wales eventually got on top and as Italy do, they fell away. Only continued poor execution from Wales mean they din't pick up the bonus point in the second half. I reckon had Wales built a score like you should always do in international Rugby then they get in front sooner and Italy capitulate sooner.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by cascough on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 1:40 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:It has been an interesting six nations thus far rather than high quality and France and Scotland being more competitive has added to the interest.


I'm not sure about this.

Have France been more competitive? The England game was seemingly the catalyst for all this "France much improved" talk and they still lost. All I seem to read is just how poor England were in that game so I'm struggling to see how this would signify an improvement for France. Have they been any good besides that? They still look absolutely bereft of any sort of plan or direction and their execution has been poor throughout.

Scotland will likely finish with 3 wins which I think equals their best ever 6n return. But yet on the flip side of this all I'm reading on these boards is people bemoaning the lack of progress Wales and Ireland have made and lamenting their lack of consistency. Again, is this really indicative of Scotland progression, or more of Wales/Irelands regression? The England game seems to point to the latter.

All in all, the truth is probably somewhere in between. The tournament has been okay, I don't think bonus points have made any difference to any teams approach to a game. The win is still king. If bonus points were to have an effect on future tournaments I think it would be more accident than design. I'd like to see them gone.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 3:50 pm

cascough wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:It has been an interesting six nations thus far rather than high quality and France and Scotland being more competitive has added to the interest.


I'm not sure about this.

Have France been more competitive? The England game was seemingly the catalyst for all this "France much improved" talk and they still lost. All I seem to read is just how poor England were in that game so I'm struggling to see how this would signify an improvement for France. Have they been any good besides that? They still look absolutely bereft of any sort of plan or direction and their execution has been poor throughout.

Scotland will likely finish with 3 wins which I think equals their best ever 6n return. But yet on the flip side of this all I'm reading on these boards is people bemoaning the lack of progress Wales and Ireland have made and lamenting their lack of consistency. Again, is this really indicative of Scotland progression, or more of Wales/Irelands regression? The England game seems to point to the latter.

All in all, the truth is probably somewhere in between. The tournament has been okay, I don't think bonus points have made any difference to any teams approach to a game. The win is still king. If bonus points were to have an effect on future tournaments I think it would be more accident than design. I'd like to see them gone.

I guess the question is, relative to what? As the Six Nations is overall zero-sum, one time getting more wins will mean bad things for another team.

Over the last two seasons, no-one other than England has beaten a country other than Italy away from home. Which sounds like Wales, Ireland, Scotland and France are all evenly matched.

Wales and Ireland, who won all the Championships in between World Cups, will see this as regression. Whether this is an actual regression or just standing still as England went up a level is up for debate, but I'd suggest the latter. Ireland and Wales don't have worse records against the Southern Hemisphere teams than before, implying they are at the same level as before, but England's have improved, implying they have improved.

Scotland and France could be shooting out for second place if they both win at home and England close a Grand Slam, and they'll definitely see it as in improvement, certainly having caught up ground on Wales and Ireland. Both will have beaten Italy home and away in the last two years (in this scenario), which wasn't always a given for those teams in 2012-2015 tournaments.

The fact that the 6 Nations have 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th in the World suggests we're doing much better than the "5th placed play-off" we were dubbed after the World Cup, although Ireland and Wales won't be overly happy with their 4th and 6th placed rankings spots (respectively) given their recent history.

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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by rhepneil on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 4:43 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Scotland needed more Balls as they lack big game experience.

Young team, learning away from home and will be better for the mauling - just like England after the 76-0 loss to the Aussies on their tour in 1998 with Woodward at the helm and Jonny W at 10. Notice they didn't cough that one up in their post match gloating on ITV on Saturday.....


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Re: Good 6 Nations..

Post by fa0019 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 7:22 pm

A few sides look like they have taken a step back in terms of their attack game. They concentrated so hard to work on defence and given they've won games off the back its like they've forgotten they have to score points of their own.

Take Italy out of the equation and the outlook in terms of tries scored looks a little different then actual

England 10 in 3 matches (3.3 per match)
Scotland 10 in 4 matches (2.5 per match)
Wales  5 in 3 matches   (1.6 per match)
Ireland 4 in 3 matches  (1.3 per match)
France 2 in 3 matches  (0.7 per match)

Its not that the players are bad they've become so ingrained with standardized plays and drills that they've become robots. Take Scott Williams for instance or Robbie Henshaw.... they were once very good attacking players, today its like they've got hands filled with lead.

The tournament has been enjoyable but not a classic as many teams look a little stale in attack although England look the best I've ever seen attack wise and Scotland seem to have rolled back the years to the late 90s when Townsend and co were running the show. Teams are very evenly matched but they will only do so much from having a stubborn last line.

Its not about teams outscoring the opposition 7 tries to 5 but 11 tries for Wales, Ireland and France combined is frankly not good enough. Scotland and England have been equally guilty in the past so this isn't a go at the other 3... they have good attacking players all 5 of them... its just that some are pushing it to one side.

Thank god the lions attack is being run by Rob "the man with 1000 plays" howley. Shocked

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