The conundrum of Sam.

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The conundrum of Sam.

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 9:34 am

First topic message reminder :

This forum has gone a little bit daft over the last few days, so here is my attempt to make a sensible article.

Let me start by saying that based on his performance over the 2nd and 3rd test it is now my opinion that Sam Warburton is the best openside flanker in the world. I don't want to get into a willy waving exchange, that is my opinion.

He was showing that kind of form in the 6N before getting injured and the gamble Gatland made to bring him paid off big time, if only for his Jedi Mind trick on Poite to get him to downgrade what should have been a penalty to a scrum. If I was Ken Owens I'd find out what Sam likes and make sure he has an abundant supply of it for the rest of his life.

The conundrum comes in for when he plays for Wales.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/ditching-captaincy-gets-sam-warburton-12422744

I'm using Wales online as a reference because it is a very Welsh based publisher and I don't want this to be construed as a dig at anyone.

When Warburton was dropped as Wales captain and AWJ took over for the 6N I think we can all agree that it had a hugely positive impact on the way Warburton was playing. In a 6N where Wales were below their high standard Warburton was consistently good in every test he played in. Most importantly he was not the captain. Almost certainly a member of a leadership group within the squad but being unencumbered by the captaincy seemed to really make him perform much better.

Fast forward a few months and boom :

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/lionstour/british-and-irish-lions-2017-sam-warburton-new-zealand-all-blacks-a7832111.html

Sam Warburton, an all time great. No arguments here! As I said that Jedi Mind trick on Poite was actually terrifying. One minute it was a penalty, the next minute a scrum "this isn't the penalty you are looking for".

Now the conundrum. Will Warren Gatland name him Wales captain, or do you think AWJ will continue as Wales captain next season?
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by marty2086 on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:10 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:It happens with a lot of Wales front line players, Lee Byrne said in the run up to the Lions tour that you would see Warburton and some others miss club games through injury and it happened

I cannot recall any other player having Sam Warburton's record.

AWJ, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams, Rob Evans, well most of our Welsh players are ever present in their regional fixtures.

Im not saying its to the same extent but there is a frequency to players going down just before 6Ns, AIs, Summer Tours then being fit for Wales

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:15 pm

eirebilly wrote:He made a good call at the end of the 3rd test, I agree. My point is, I don't think he managed to compose the lads very well in the second test when they were giving away penalties at an alarming rate. That is what I deem to be the most important part of on field captaincy.

This is not a slight on the man as I think he is one of the best in the world but I feel he may not be as strong an on field captain as many would believe. Off the field, he is an excellent leader.

That school of thought belongs to the days before water carriers and physios wore headsets.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:17 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I like Warburton, as a person, and a player, but for me he is not even the best 7 at Cardiff.

Why?

Because he hardly ever plays for them. If he is not injured, he gets injured and has to come off. Then come the AI, 6N or a Lions tour, he is miraculously proclaiming himself to be in the best shape he has ever been.

If Warburton showed as much commitment to the Cardiff Blues jersey has he does for the Welsh jersey then he would command a hell of a lot more respect.

He played 14 games last season. Which games did he not play in that he was a) available for and b) not injured?
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Griff on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:19 pm

I think the other that stands out was Jamie Roberts when at the Blues. Possibly worse Club/International ratio than Warbs, but haven't looked it up! Just remember blues fans commenting on it a few years back.

Maybe it's a blues thing! Run

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:19 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Griff wrote:This season (just gone) he played 14 games for the blues, and 3 of those were less than 40 mins action. For Wales it was 7 games. And 3 tests for the Lions

That does not make for good reading. For some reason he can never get fully fit for Cardiff, but when international honours are up for grabs, he seems as right as rain. chin

He's on a 60/40 contract.

His game time was 14/7.

Think on that.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:21 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:It happens with a lot of Wales front line players, Lee Byrne said in the run up to the Lions tour that you would see Warburton and some others miss club games through injury and it happened

I cannot recall any other player having Sam Warburton's record.

AWJ, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams, Rob Evans, well most of our Welsh players are ever present in their regional fixtures.

Evans played one more club game than did Warburton last season.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:21 pm

Griff wrote:I think the other that stands out was Jamie Roberts when at the Blues. Possibly worse Club/International ratio than Warbs, but haven't looked it up! Just remember blues fans commenting on it a few years back.

Maybe it's a blues thing! Run

We are the club of Gareth Edwards, remember. This is nothing new.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:25 pm

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:It happens with a lot of Wales front line players, Lee Byrne said in the run up to the Lions tour that you would see Warburton and some others miss club games through injury and it happened

I cannot recall any other player having Sam Warburton's record.

AWJ, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams, Rob Evans, well most of our Welsh players are ever present in their regional fixtures.

Evans played one more club game than did Warburton last season.

Didn't Rob Evans have a serous injury last season ?

How many times has Rob Evans played for Wales compared to his region in his short career ?

I think the stats we need are, percentage of games played compared to fixtures. I bet Sam Warburton's percentage is higher for Wales than Cardiff.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:26 pm

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Griff wrote:This season (just gone) he played 14 games for the blues, and 3 of those were less than 40 mins action. For Wales it was 7 games. And 3 tests for the Lions

That does not make for good reading. For some reason he can never get fully fit for Cardiff, but when international honours are up for grabs, he seems as right as rain. chin

He's on a 60/40 contract.

His game time was 14/7.

Think on that.

Other players on the same contracts have played more.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by BamBam on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:47 pm

Warbs is a good captain, that much is obvious - the only criticism of him being named Lions captain was that it may mean a player not at full fitness and form being a guaranteed starter, we now know that was not the case

Where he plays for Wales is dependant on the style of rugby you want to play I guess.

Playing him with Tipuric would result in quicker ball and counter attacking opportunities off turnovers, but if Wales want to play an attritional style with the big backs and continue to kick away turnover ball, then better off having the stronger carrier in Moriarty


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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by beshocked on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:56 pm

Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:59 pm

Can't say I noticed huge differences in hartley captaincy against scotland than in the rest if the 6 nations and also the rest of his tenure as captain. What was it you saw beshocked?

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 1:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:

Didn't Rob Evans have a serous injury last season ?

How many times has Rob Evans played for Wales compared to his region in his short career ?

I think the stats we need are, percentage of games played compared to fixtures. I bet Sam Warburton's percentage is higher for Wales than Cardiff.

Warburton also had more than one serious injury last season. So why are you excusing Evans but not Warburton?

Warburton is a WRU employee, don't forget.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Griff on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 1:14 pm

BamBam wrote:Warbs is a good captain, that much is obvious - the only criticism of him being named Lions captain was that it may mean a player not at full fitness and form being a guaranteed starter, we now know that was not the case

Where he plays for Wales is dependant on the style of rugby you want to play I guess.

Playing him with Tipuric would result in quicker ball and counter attacking opportunities off turnovers, but if Wales want to play an attritional style with the big backs and continue to kick away turnover ball, then better off having the stronger carrier in Moriarty


Can't believe you've written a decent post. Is that your first? Kudos clap

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by BamBam on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 1:23 pm

Griff wrote:
BamBam wrote:Warbs is a good captain, that much is obvious - the only criticism of him being named Lions captain was that it may mean a player not at full fitness and form being a guaranteed starter, we now know that was not the case

Where he plays for Wales is dependant on the style of rugby you want to play I guess.

Playing him with Tipuric would result in quicker ball and counter attacking opportunities off turnovers, but if Wales want to play an attritional style with the big backs and continue to kick away turnover ball, then better off having the stronger carrier in Moriarty


Can't believe you've written a decent post. Is that your first? Kudos clap

Dammit, better return to normal, just need someone to post something ridiculous

Where's LD/wayne?

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Griff on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 1:27 pm

beshocked wrote:Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

I don't think it was a conscious thing that Wales pursued in the first place. I think it was more a case of coincidence/circumstance. Some big guys came along around the same time and they happened to be arguably the best in their position and before you know it you've got a number of big guys in the back line. From memory Roberts was already established in the back line, Phillips was there not long after and then along came North and Cutherbert at 6'4" and 6'6". The next players in line (Amos, Evans, Liam Williams I guess you could add) makes it look like we're moving away form the formula, but it's just that the next in line are not as big rather than a definite change of strategy, for me. Can't think of any massive backs that are missing out at the moment.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by cascough on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 1:35 pm

BamBam wrote:Warbs is a good captain, that much is obvious - the only criticism of him being named Lions captain was that it may mean a player not at full fitness and form being a guaranteed starter, we now know that was not the case

Where he plays for Wales is dependant on the style of rugby you want to play I guess.

Playing him with Tipuric would result in quicker ball and counter attacking opportunities off turnovers, but if Wales want to play an attritional style with the big backs and continue to kick away turnover ball, then better off having the stronger carrier in Moriarty


Disagree. You get quick ball by moving a defense backwards IMO. Dominant carries are the key to this. We saw as much when on the Eng tour to Aus. Their much vaunted backrow couldn't get a grip on the game at all because they were being blasted back.

Whatever you think Tipuric offers you at a defensive breakdown (and I'm skeptical about that, but it's irrelevant) I don't think he has much effect on an attacking breakdown. For me JT and SW just don't work together. I'd much rather have RM, TF and then pick one of JT or SW. I'd pick SW, but then even if I thought JT was on blinding form and deserved a start, I wouldn't be trying to shoehorn SW in on the blindside. It's one or the other for me.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by cascough on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 1:38 pm

Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

I don't think it was a conscious thing that Wales pursued in the first place. I think it was more a case of coincidence/circumstance. Some big guys came along around the same time and they happened to be arguably the best in their position and before you know it you've got a number of big guys in the back line. From memory Roberts was already established in the back line, Phillips was there not long after and then along came North and Cutherbert at 6'4" and 6'6". The next players in line (Amos, Evans, Liam Williams I guess you could add) makes it look like we're moving away form the formula, but it's just that the next in line are not as big rather than a definite change of strategy, for me. Can't think of any massive backs that are missing out at the moment.

Roberts went on the SA tour as a winger/fullback. It was Wales who converted him to an IC. Whenever Henson or Hook played alongside him it was they who were shunted to OC and Roberts retained at IC. I see what you're saying about players just happening to come along at once but IC is a pretty big player in Gatlands game plan. The size thing seems a little more contrived than just coincidence for me.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Griff on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:04 pm

cascough wrote:
Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

I don't think it was a conscious thing that Wales pursued in the first place. I think it was more a case of coincidence/circumstance. Some big guys came along around the same time and they happened to be arguably the best in their position and before you know it you've got a number of big guys in the back line. From memory Roberts was already established in the back line, Phillips was there not long after and then along came North and Cutherbert at 6'4" and 6'6". The next players in line (Amos, Evans, Liam Williams I guess you could add) makes it look like we're moving away form the formula, but it's just that the next in line are not as big rather than a definite change of strategy, for me. Can't think of any massive backs that are missing out at the moment.

Roberts went on the SA tour as a winger/fullback. It was Wales who converted him to an IC. Whenever Henson or Hook played alongside him it was they who were shunted to OC and Roberts retained at IC. I see what you're saying about players just happening to come along at once but IC is a pretty big player in Gatlands game plan. The size thing seems a little more contrived than just coincidence for me.

So name all of these massive Welsh backs (in comparison to other nations)? I can only think of Phillips, who was big for a scrum half, Roberts, Cuthbert and North. I know Gats doesn't like to drop players who are established, but when those players established themselves it was because they were the best for a good run, rather than just being the biggest. Yes Roberts fitted a game plan, but again I can't think of an awesome but tiny 12 he was keeping out of the team. Henson perhaps. Hook is not an inside centre. No way! And moving on I can't see any massive players being left out currently as evidence that we've moved away from that model. The boys coming through just aren't massive.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Scottrf on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:07 pm

cascough wrote:
BamBam wrote:Warbs is a good captain, that much is obvious - the only criticism of him being named Lions captain was that it may mean a player not at full fitness and form being a guaranteed starter, we now know that was not the case

Where he plays for Wales is dependant on the style of rugby you want to play I guess.

Playing him with Tipuric would result in quicker ball and counter attacking opportunities off turnovers, but if Wales want to play an attritional style with the big backs and continue to kick away turnover ball, then better off having the stronger carrier in Moriarty


Disagree. You get quick ball by moving a defense backwards IMO. Dominant carries are the key to this. We saw as much when on the Eng tour to Aus. Their much vaunted backrow couldn't get a grip on the game at all because they were being blasted back.

Whatever you think Tipuric offers you at a defensive breakdown (and I'm skeptical about that, but it's irrelevant) I don't think he has much effect on an attacking breakdown. For me JT and SW just don't work together. I'd much rather have RM, TF and then pick one of JT or SW. I'd pick SW, but then even if I thought JT was on blinding form and deserved a start, I wouldn't be trying to shoehorn SW in on the blindside. It's one or the other for me.
Moriarty is overrated as a carrier anyway. Tipuric had the same metres off about 10 fewer carries in the 6N.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:09 pm

Carries shouldn't only be measured in yards but also defenders tied in. Tipuric scores well on stats - like the myth that he didn't miss a tackle on this Lions tour - and well on the carrying stat because he carries in space. Moriarty carries in traffic.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:30 pm

I love the way Tipuric carries the ball. He is really quick and it's not just the top end, it's the acceleration that is phenomenal.

Wales do have some really good loose forwards.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by beshocked on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:32 pm

Griff wrote:
cascough wrote:
Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

I don't think it was a conscious thing that Wales pursued in the first place. I think it was more a case of coincidence/circumstance. Some big guys came along around the same time and they happened to be arguably the best in their position and before you know it you've got a number of big guys in the back line. From memory Roberts was already established in the back line, Phillips was there not long after and then along came North and Cutherbert at 6'4" and 6'6". The next players in line (Amos, Evans, Liam Williams I guess you could add) makes it look like we're moving away form the formula, but it's just that the next in line are not as big rather than a definite change of strategy, for me. Can't think of any massive backs that are missing out at the moment.

Roberts went on the SA tour as a winger/fullback. It was Wales who converted him to an IC. Whenever Henson or Hook played alongside him it was they who were shunted to OC and Roberts retained at IC. I see what you're saying about players just happening to come along at once but IC is a pretty big player in Gatlands game plan. The size thing seems a little more contrived than just coincidence for me.

So name all of these massive Welsh backs (in comparison to other nations)? I can only think of Phillips, who was big for a scrum half, Roberts, Cuthbert and North. I know Gats doesn't like to drop players who are established, but when those players established themselves it was because they were the best for a good run, rather than just being the biggest. Yes Roberts fitted a game plan, but again I can't think of an awesome but tiny 12 he was keeping out of the team. Henson perhaps. Hook is not an inside centre. No way! And moving on I can't see any massive players being left out currently as evidence that we've moved away from that model. The boys coming through just aren't massive.


Jonathan Davies at 16 and a half stone is pretty big too.

So when 5 of your 7 backs are big, you clearly have had a big backline.

Only at 10 did you have Halfpenny and Biggar not being heavy.

Gatlandball was originally built on

9.Phillips
10.Biggar/Priestland
11.North
12.Roberts
13.Davies
14.Cuthbert
15.Halfpenny


Now it looks more like

9.Webb
10.Biggar
11.North
12.Williams
13.Davies
14.Williams
15.Halfpenny

3 big players being taken out of the backline makes a big difference.



Agree scottrf. Moriarty is definitely overrated.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Griff on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:38 pm

beshocked wrote:
Griff wrote:
cascough wrote:
Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

I don't think it was a conscious thing that Wales pursued in the first place. I think it was more a case of coincidence/circumstance. Some big guys came along around the same time and they happened to be arguably the best in their position and before you know it you've got a number of big guys in the back line. From memory Roberts was already established in the back line, Phillips was there not long after and then along came North and Cutherbert at 6'4" and 6'6". The next players in line (Amos, Evans, Liam Williams I guess you could add) makes it look like we're moving away form the formula, but it's just that the next in line are not as big rather than a definite change of strategy, for me. Can't think of any massive backs that are missing out at the moment.

Roberts went on the SA tour as a winger/fullback. It was Wales who converted him to an IC. Whenever Henson or Hook played alongside him it was they who were shunted to OC and Roberts retained at IC. I see what you're saying about players just happening to come along at once but IC is a pretty big player in Gatlands game plan. The size thing seems a little more contrived than just coincidence for me.

So name all of these massive Welsh backs (in comparison to other nations)? I can only think of Phillips, who was big for a scrum half, Roberts, Cuthbert and North. I know Gats doesn't like to drop players who are established, but when those players established themselves it was because they were the best for a good run, rather than just being the biggest. Yes Roberts fitted a game plan, but again I can't think of an awesome but tiny 12 he was keeping out of the team. Henson perhaps. Hook is not an inside centre. No way! And moving on I can't see any massive players being left out currently as evidence that we've moved away from that model. The boys coming through just aren't massive.


Jonathan Davies at 16 and a half stone is pretty big too.

So when 5 of your 7 backs are big, you clearly have had a big backline.

Only at 10 did you have Halfpenny and Biggar not being heavy.

Gatlandball was originally built on

9.Phillips
10.Biggar/Priestland
11.North
12.Roberts
13.Davies
14.Cuthbert
15.Halfpenny


Now it looks more like

9.Webb
10.Biggar
11.North
12.Williams
13.Davies
14.Williams
15.Halfpenny

3 big players being taken out of the backline makes a big difference.



Agree scottrf. Moriarty is definitely overrated.

Again, Beshocked, is the change due to a change of strategy or a change in who is available and who is better? I say the latter. Phillips has retired, Cuthbert went gash, Roberts went gash. Surely we'd be scouring the leagues for big lumps to take their place, if that was the strategy?

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by beshocked on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:44 pm

Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:
Griff wrote:
cascough wrote:
Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

I don't think it was a conscious thing that Wales pursued in the first place. I think it was more a case of coincidence/circumstance. Some big guys came along around the same time and they happened to be arguably the best in their position and before you know it you've got a number of big guys in the back line. From memory Roberts was already established in the back line, Phillips was there not long after and then along came North and Cutherbert at 6'4" and 6'6". The next players in line (Amos, Evans, Liam Williams I guess you could add) makes it look like we're moving away form the formula, but it's just that the next in line are not as big rather than a definite change of strategy, for me. Can't think of any massive backs that are missing out at the moment.

Roberts went on the SA tour as a winger/fullback. It was Wales who converted him to an IC. Whenever Henson or Hook played alongside him it was they who were shunted to OC and Roberts retained at IC. I see what you're saying about players just happening to come along at once but IC is a pretty big player in Gatlands game plan. The size thing seems a little more contrived than just coincidence for me.

So name all of these massive Welsh backs (in comparison to other nations)? I can only think of Phillips, who was big for a scrum half, Roberts, Cuthbert and North. I know Gats doesn't like to drop players who are established, but when those players established themselves it was because they were the best for a good run, rather than just being the biggest. Yes Roberts fitted a game plan, but again I can't think of an awesome but tiny 12 he was keeping out of the team. Henson perhaps. Hook is not an inside centre. No way! And moving on I can't see any massive players being left out currently as evidence that we've moved away from that model. The boys coming through just aren't massive.


Jonathan Davies at 16 and a half stone is pretty big too.

So when 5 of your 7 backs are big, you clearly have had a big backline.

Only at 10 did you have Halfpenny and Biggar not being heavy.

Gatlandball was originally built on

9.Phillips
10.Biggar/Priestland
11.North
12.Roberts
13.Davies
14.Cuthbert
15.Halfpenny


Now it looks more like

9.Webb
10.Biggar
11.North
12.Williams
13.Davies
14.Williams
15.Halfpenny

3 big players being taken out of the backline makes a big difference.



Agree scottrf. Moriarty is definitely overrated.

Again, Beshocked, is the change due to a change of strategy or a change in who is available and who is better? I say the latter. Phillips has retired, Cuthbert went gash, Roberts went gash. Surely we'd be scouring the leagues for big lumps to take their place, if that was the strategy?


I am not saying it's the strategy anymore necessarily. If you don't have the lumps available you can't bring them in, though you did put Cuthbert onto the pitch vs England in this year's 6 nations..... OK

I am just saying the big monsters in the Welsh team are being phased out.

North could well be next if he doesn't up his game.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by BamBam on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:49 pm

cascough wrote:
BamBam wrote:Warbs is a good captain, that much is obvious - the only criticism of him being named Lions captain was that it may mean a player not at full fitness and form being a guaranteed starter, we now know that was not the case

Where he plays for Wales is dependant on the style of rugby you want to play I guess.

Playing him with Tipuric would result in quicker ball and counter attacking opportunities off turnovers, but if Wales want to play an attritional style with the big backs and continue to kick away turnover ball, then better off having the stronger carrier in Moriarty


Disagree. You get quick ball by moving a defense backwards IMO. Dominant carries are the key to this. We saw as much when on the Eng tour to Aus. Their much vaunted backrow couldn't get a grip on the game at all because they were being blasted back.

Whatever you think Tipuric offers you at a defensive breakdown (and I'm skeptical about that, but it's irrelevant) I don't think he has much effect on an attacking breakdown. For me JT and SW just don't work together. I'd much rather have RM, TF and then pick one of JT or SW. I'd pick SW, but then even if I thought JT was on blinding form and deserved a start, I wouldn't be trying to shoehorn SW in on the blindside. It's one or the other for me.

I agree dominant carries is part of this, but as others have said, Tipuric is great with ball in hand.

There's no way to measure this, but Tipuric is a more effective with ball in hand out wide than Moriarty is in the tight (to my eyes anyway). Added to this his impact at the breakdown and tackling ability, I'd start him every time even over Warburton if it was the only choice

I agree with beshocked that its the front 5 where Wales are lacking dynamism

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 2:53 pm

beshocked wrote:
Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:
Griff wrote:
cascough wrote:
Griff wrote:
beshocked wrote:Surely Wales are slowly moving away from monstrous big backs?

It's been a gradual transition but it's been happening.

Wales need more power and athleticism in that front five.

I don't think it was a conscious thing that Wales pursued in the first place. I think it was more a case of coincidence/circumstance. Some big guys came along around the same time and they happened to be arguably the best in their position and before you know it you've got a number of big guys in the back line. From memory Roberts was already established in the back line, Phillips was there not long after and then along came North and Cutherbert at 6'4" and 6'6". The next players in line (Amos, Evans, Liam Williams I guess you could add) makes it look like we're moving away form the formula, but it's just that the next in line are not as big rather than a definite change of strategy, for me. Can't think of any massive backs that are missing out at the moment.

Roberts went on the SA tour as a winger/fullback. It was Wales who converted him to an IC. Whenever Henson or Hook played alongside him it was they who were shunted to OC and Roberts retained at IC. I see what you're saying about players just happening to come along at once but IC is a pretty big player in Gatlands game plan. The size thing seems a little more contrived than just coincidence for me.

So name all of these massive Welsh backs (in comparison to other nations)? I can only think of Phillips, who was big for a scrum half, Roberts, Cuthbert and North. I know Gats doesn't like to drop players who are established, but when those players established themselves it was because they were the best for a good run, rather than just being the biggest. Yes Roberts fitted a game plan, but again I can't think of an awesome but tiny 12 he was keeping out of the team. Henson perhaps. Hook is not an inside centre. No way! And moving on I can't see any massive players being left out currently as evidence that we've moved away from that model. The boys coming through just aren't massive.


Jonathan Davies at 16 and a half stone is pretty big too.

So when 5 of your 7 backs are big, you clearly have had a big backline.

Only at 10 did you have Halfpenny and Biggar not being heavy.

Gatlandball was originally built on

9.Phillips
10.Biggar/Priestland
11.North
12.Roberts
13.Davies
14.Cuthbert
15.Halfpenny


Now it looks more like

9.Webb
10.Biggar
11.North
12.Williams
13.Davies
14.Williams
15.Halfpenny

3 big players being taken out of the backline makes a big difference.



Agree scottrf. Moriarty is definitely overrated.

Again, Beshocked, is the change due to a change of strategy or a change in who is available and who is better? I say the latter. Phillips has retired, Cuthbert went gash, Roberts went gash. Surely we'd be scouring the leagues for big lumps to take their place, if that was the strategy?


I am not saying it's the strategy anymore necessarily. If you don't have the lumps available you can't bring them in, though you did put Cuthbert onto the pitch vs England in this year's 6 nations..... OK

I am just saying the big monsters in the Welsh team are being phased out.

North could well be next if he doesn't up his game.

I like North, but currently Steff Evans is for me one of the best young players in the UK a phenomenal talent.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 3:04 pm

He scored a nice try in the pro12 final. Am looking forward to see if the Scarlets can challenge in the Champions cup next year. They have plenty of good players.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by carpet baboon on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 3:14 pm

Where do you Welsh gents rate young and Davis as 7s. Seeing Davis up close in the pro12 final he is a machine and a bloody quick one too

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 3:23 pm

The Scarlets are my team, in Wales anyway and I see Davies as a tremendous player, but I don't know if he fits the Wales style of play.

With Shingler and Barclay that Scarlets back row play with phenomenal tempo, however I don't know if Davies is physical enough for what Gatland wants for Wales.

If Tipuric is struggling to get into that Wales backrow at 6ft 2 and just over 16st, Jim Davies is even smaller and lighter at 6ft and just under 15st.

I rate him really highly though.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by BamBam on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 3:27 pm

Wales have no problem at 7 for the foreseeable

Young, Davies, Jenkins and Griffiths could all do a job at international level with some more development imo

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by wayne on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 4:35 pm

The selection of the Wales backrow is governed by the type of game that is required IMO, when the original Gatlandball was being played, the selection of Lydiate, Warburton and Faletau couldn't be bettered for me. The best performance to me in the last 5 or 6 years for them 3 positions was in the England 30-3 demolition when it was Tipuric in for the injured Lydiate. Those 3 have played a number of games together without the same effect. The lineout has to also be a consideration when selecting the back 3. This last years 6N in which prior to the final match against France the Welsh lineout statistics were shown by the BBC to be the best in the 6N, 99% and when Ken Owen was throwing 100%. IIRC Tipuric 13 and both Warburton and AWJ 5 or 6 each, whereas the previous season it was Faletau who was utilised in the Tipuric role.
To come down to the nitty gritty I would always have Tipuric over Warburton for the Ospreys, yet have to say Warburton totally justified his selection not only for the squad but as Captain, a really fine Tour.
As a few others have said we (Wales) are very well covered for the 7 for the short and medium term, both Jenkins and Griffiths are excellent prospects,  would love to have Griffiths with us.

Tips has played around 140 Senior games for us (Ospreys) and 52 Tests (51 Wales and 1 B&I Lions) since 2010


Last edited by wayne on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To add final sentence)

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 5:26 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:

I like North, but currently Steff Evans is for me one of the best young players in the UK a phenomenal talent.

Not if you go by the Wales summer tour. The term rabbit in the headlights sums those performances up.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 5:28 pm

I'd rather see Shingler back in the Wales team than Cubby Davies but that's just me.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Sin é on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 1:20 am

PhilBB wrote:People get confused about on field captaincy. They think it's all about emotion, shouting at players, encouraging team mates.

It isn't.

It's about managing the ref. Can anybody name me a better ref manager in world rugby than Warburton?

He didn't manage Alain Rolland very well in New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup Run
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 9:18 am

Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:People get confused about on field captaincy. They think it's all about emotion, shouting at players, encouraging team mates.

It isn't.

It's about managing the ref. Can anybody name me a better ref manager in world rugby than Warburton?

He didn't manage Alain Rolland very well in New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup Run

He usually manages Wayne Barnes pretty well though.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Sin é on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 11:58 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:People get confused about on field captaincy. They think it's all about emotion, shouting at players, encouraging team mates.

It isn't.

It's about managing the ref. Can anybody name me a better ref manager in world rugby than Warburton?

He didn't manage Alain Rolland very well in New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup Run

He usually manages Wayne Barnes pretty well though.

He has a lot in common with Wayne Barnes - both are Englishmen whose loyalty is to Wales.
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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 12:02 pm

Wayne Barnes 22 - 9 Ireland Smile.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Gwlad on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 8:57 pm

Sin é wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:People get confused about on field captaincy. They think it's all about emotion, shouting at players, encouraging team mates.

It isn't.

It's about managing the ref. Can anybody name me a better ref manager in world rugby than Warburton?

He didn't manage Alain Rolland very well in New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup Run

He usually manages Wayne Barnes pretty well though.

He has a lot in common with Wayne Barnes - both are Englishmen whose loyalty is to Wales.

Warburton is Welsh. He was born in Wales, educated there and has been Captain of our national rugby team. He is also probably the most consistently respected national Captain certainly in the NH and arguably world wide.


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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by cascough on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 8:56 am

PhilBB wrote:Carries shouldn't only be measured in yards but also defenders tied in. Tipuric scores well on stats - like the myth that he didn't miss a tackle on this Lions tour - and well on the carrying stat because he carries in space. Moriarty carries in traffic.

Absolutely.

They're called hard yards for a reason. And 1 is enough to get the offside line back and create a problem for defenders at the ruck.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 12:14 pm

Gwlad wrote:
Sin é wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:People get confused about on field captaincy. They think it's all about emotion, shouting at players, encouraging team mates.

It isn't.

It's about managing the ref. Can anybody name me a better ref manager in world rugby than Warburton?

He didn't manage Alain Rolland very well in New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup Run

He usually manages Wayne Barnes pretty well though.

He has a lot in common with Wayne Barnes - both are Englishmen whose loyalty is to Wales.

Warburton is Welsh. He was born in Wales, educated there and has been Captain of our national rugby team. He is also probably the most consistently respected national Captain certainly in the NH and arguably world wide.



Is he the national captain? I though that was AWJ.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by Sin é on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 12:41 pm

Gwlad wrote:
Sin é wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:People get confused about on field captaincy. They think it's all about emotion, shouting at players, encouraging team mates.

It isn't.

It's about managing the ref. Can anybody name me a better ref manager in world rugby than Warburton?

He didn't manage Alain Rolland very well in New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup Run

He usually manages Wayne Barnes pretty well though.

He has a lot in common with Wayne Barnes - both are Englishmen whose loyalty is to Wales.

Warburton is Welsh. He was born in Wales, educated there and has been Captain of our national rugby team. He is also probably the most consistently respected national Captain certainly in the NH and arguably world wide.


Both his parents are English.

I can't see any other country making him captain, outside of maybe Scotland. He lost the Welsh captaincy a few months ago by the way, which makes it all the more odd that he was made Lions Captain. I think Gats has a horror of national captains who might question his authority since the days he was coaching Ireland and Woody was captain (and basically got him fired because he was so resistent to change (like bringing in a Defence Coach).

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 12:53 pm

His mum's Welsh. He did support england duing the 03 world cup.

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Re: The conundrum of Sam.

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 18 Jul 2017, 1:09 pm

Sin é wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
Sin é wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:People get confused about on field captaincy. They think it's all about emotion, shouting at players, encouraging team mates.

It isn't.

It's about managing the ref. Can anybody name me a better ref manager in world rugby than Warburton?

He didn't manage Alain Rolland very well in New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup Run

He usually manages Wayne Barnes pretty well though.

He has a lot in common with Wayne Barnes - both are Englishmen whose loyalty is to Wales.

Warburton is Welsh. He was born in Wales, educated there and has been Captain of our national rugby team. He is also probably the most consistently respected national Captain certainly in the NH and arguably world wide.


Both his parents are English.

I can't see any other country making him captain, outside of maybe Scotland. He lost the Welsh captaincy a few months ago by the way, which makes it all the more odd that he was made Lions Captain. I think Gats has a  horror of national captains who might question his authority since the days he was coaching Ireland and Woody was captain (and basically got him fired because he was so resistent to change (like bringing in a Defence Coach).

Warburton is a far superior captain to O'Mahony. We seen just how poor a leader POM was in the Pro12 final and against the ABs in the first test. I'm glad he's not my captain. And since Gatland left Ireland he's gone on to achieve higher so Ireland were quite daft to get rid of him.

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