SIX NATIONS OPENING MATCH - France vs Wales Stade de France - 1st February 2019

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 02 Jan 2019, 9:47 am

First topic message reminder :

France: Maxime Medard; Damian Penaud, Wesley Fofana, Romain Ntamack, Yohann Huget; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado, Uini Atonio; Sébastien Vahaamahina, Paul Willemse, Wenceslas Lauret, Arthur Itturia, Louis Picamoles.

Reps: Julien Marchand, Dany Priso, Demba Bamba, Felix Lambey, Gregory Alldritt, Baptiste Serin, Gael Fickou, Geoffrey Doumayrou.



Wales: Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones; Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Reps: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Cory Hill, Aaron Wainwright, Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.



Last edited by maestegmafia on Wed 30 Jan 2019, 11:57 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:01 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Eejit wrote:
BamBam wrote:It's a shame Jiffy isn't in some alternate universe where Wales lost, he's unbearable to listen to commentate on their games

I understand it's an emotive game and that's what you want to hear in commentators, but he's just plain unprofessional sometimes.

Your own national bias is blinding you - there’s no difference between him and Nicol.

In what they say, Nicol is worse. However Jiffy has that whiny high pitched shriek.

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Post by Heaf on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:01 pm

SecretFly wrote:Wales allowed France to play it their way in the first half.  Now I'm not saying France didn't have a part in that.  But any coach that allows his players to think that Wales will just play it the same way in the second half being so far behind.... it's just shoddy coaching to let his players come out thinking they'd won the thing.

Congrats to Wales  OK .... being bloody Wales huh?  Who'd a thought? Wink  Not the French.

Maybe - but I doubt he said throw a long loopy pass across the pitch with a few minutes to go when you're in the lead either - that was the most stupidy stupid thing on national stupid day to do ...

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:02 pm

Eejit wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Eejit wrote:
BamBam wrote:It's a shame Jiffy isn't in some alternate universe where Wales lost, he's unbearable to listen to commentate on their games

I understand it's an emotive game and that's what you want to hear in commentators, but he's just plain unprofessional sometimes.

Your own national bias is blinding you - there’s no difference between him and Nicol.

I agree that they're cut from the same cloth. No need to be unpleasant big man, we're all friends here. thumbsup

Unpleasant?! Do you mean the ‘blind’ bit? Didn’t mean it literally. Just that it colours our vision. All of us. Apologies for the upset thumbsup
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Post by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:08 pm

Heaf wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Wales allowed France to play it their way in the first half.  Now I'm not saying France didn't have a part in that.  But any coach that allows his players to think that Wales will just play it the same way in the second half being so far behind.... it's just shoddy coaching to let his players come out thinking they'd won the thing.

Congrats to Wales  OK .... being bloody Wales huh?  Who'd a thought? Wink  Not the French.

Maybe - but I doubt he said throw a long loopy pass across the pitch with a few minutes to go when you're in the lead either - that was the most stupidy stupid thing on national stupid day to do ...

It was much more than that - indeed trying it is more evidence of the team talk.
Coaches let their players think it was an easyish game if they just kept going.  I've said it often enough here so it's not hindsight intelligence on my part - always always keep tight in the mind and alert when playing Wales...always.  Never turn your back on them.  Those French players came out with relaxed shoulders.  That's a coaching fault.  The lack of intensity allowed Wales the foothold and adrenaline push they needed-  and they are a team that thrive on that adrenaline surge.

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Post by Heaf on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:10 pm

You could be right ...

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:13 pm

A great result in horrid conditions, minus temperatures and lots of rain, but both teams managed to put on a bit of running rugby.

France have more to come, they had some superb moments and some fantastic power play.


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Post by TightHEAD on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:14 pm

Well played Wales, good entertainment
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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:26 pm

The Oracle wrote:It’s interesting watching the French defensive line. Obviously I’m a little biased but they seem to be well ahead of the back foot when the ball is played by the Welsh scrum half, without sanction. One to watch throughout the game.

Offside practically all game other than when they were too tired to actually get up to the line at all.

Would like to see the knock-on try again - looked like Picamloes kneed the ball rather than LW knocked it on. Also Picamoles' tackle on LW, and its non-showing by the ever biased and utterly f'ing incompetent French broadcasters, was at the very least a penalty for reckless tackle to the head. He's split his head in a tackle by connecting his shoulder into the back/side of LW's head - how is that not a card irrespective of the fact LW is falling?! Shocking. First Halfpenny's non decision, now this. Don't blame Barnes here necessarily due to the inaction of the TMO, but surely, as he's seen the injury to LW, and must have been told to check by Welsh players, he might have had a word upstairs to check. Add Moriarty's try, which was marginal at best, and you can't help but feel Wayne Barnes helped France out in the big decisions. Fortunately, I don't think either team were particularly 'favoured' in terms of anything persistent, other than the offside line of France's defence. No big issues at ruck time etc.

Ultimately, though, scrappy game. Always thought Wales looked fairly comfortable and would come back into it; the only decent piece of possession they had, TW scored from. From two other semi-decent phase plays, they got over the whitewash but both were ruled out.

Barely out of third gear and got the win, deservedly. France still look pretty atrocious - transitions and tactical kicking is useless. Still a threat though, but everyone should be putting them away if they play like that. The only issue would be Wales' lineout, which struggled a bit. Everything else looked comfortable.

Honestly, I think that's a 4-try bonus point gone missing. Wales should've gone for the throat around the 65th minute mark. Instead, the mentality seems to be to contain. It's not the kind of thing that will beat Australia or SA in the RWC. For once, I'd like to see Wales leading by less the 7 points and go for another try, particularly when they've already got 2 or 3. Go an win the game through 5 and 7 pointers rather than 3.

Biggar excellent, perfect bench player. Adams brilliant too. The back row looked brilliant too, Navidi and Tipuric were everywhere, and Moriarty tackled brutally all game. The only negative would be Gareth Davies' passing - a noticeable difference when he came on. He did a few things well - box kicking was good, brilliant blitz defender in the dying minutes, and also offered a decent running threat - but all of that is undone when he does what he did at the scrum that led to France scoring their final 3 points. It was almost Mike Phillips esque. Otherwise the make up of the team looks great - the replacements really complement the starting 15.

Anyway, probably a decent game for the neutral. Nice mix of physicality and calamitous flair from both teams.

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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:29 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Barnes hates giving yellow cards to wales

What was the yellow card he should've given?

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:32 pm

Miaow, I don’t think there was anything wrong with Piccamoles on Liam Williams (the injury). It was Liam Williams head into sternum, from the angles I saw. And Williams was bent at the knees. As they said in commentary, it was just a normal rugby collision. They just happen sometimes.
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Post by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:34 pm

After the first day of 6N only one team is in the running for a Slam! That's pathetic from the rest. Pull your socks up the rest of you Wink

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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:36 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Ah well, tournament over. Let’s concentrate on the World Cup instead!
10 points can be recovered in a flash

Nah, you can tell a lot by the opening 25mins of a tournament. Wales are done!

Typical Welsh pessimissm!

I'm not knocking your honesty/despair, because it's genuine, but honestly the first half wasn't that bad. It wasn't like a Georgia or Japan performance where they're simply atrocious; you have to look at it in contect.

Wales simply didn't adapt to the conditions. The way France were kicking in open play, knocking the ball on, and throwing it around loosely showed that Wales would always be in with a chance, and when they did manage to string phases together, they got over the whitewash through LW and also looked generally pretty good. It just didn't happen often enough in the first half - far too many dropped balls and mistakes in the first few phases. But it was always there: they just needed to kick better in open play and rely on French mistakes a bit more. The first half went as well for France as it possibly could have done, but I never felt like they were battering Wales or anything like that - surely no-one else does!?

The fact it stopped raining so heavily helped Wales massively. But Wales always had that second-half in the locker; it's easy to call this a game of two halves, or use the cliches etc., but honestly think the 'comeback' was always going to happen. I think it was just a case of Wales being able to hold the ball and then exploit the same French disorganisation that was there in the first half, but wasn't exploited because of the way the game went - which was as much to do with luck as anything (same in the second half with Huget's drop etc).

I was genuinely never worried Wales wouldn't win the game - it looked close at times in the second half before the intercept, but once that happened it was game over. Plenty more to come for Wales; the big(ish) worries are the lineout was the only consistently shaky element of the game, and the fact they didn't show the ruthlessness to take apart a fairly disorganised French team and pack in the last 20, particularly when they seemed to have the better of them in the scrum.

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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:42 pm

The Oracle wrote:Miaow, I don’t think there was anything wrong with Piccamoles on Liam Williams (the injury). It was Liam Williams head into sternum, from the angles I saw. And Williams was bent at the knees. As they said in commentary, it was just a normal rugby collision. They just happen sometimes.

I know what they said in commentary, but I also think they're talking b0ll0cks. Picamoles has ran full pelt into LW who is catching the ball. The impact/action of bracing to catch is such that he lowers in height; the responsibility is with the tackler. It makes it a yellow, rather than a red, but genuinely that is a penalty. It's foul play because he's put his shoulder and chest into a player's head in the tackle. It's split the players' head open and forced him from the field of play. The game's changed - you can't just say 'that happens sometimes' to that sort of incident anymore: the laws have tightened so much in the last 4-5 years about touching the player in the air. This is the same situation.

To compare - when Tomos Williams was chasing back to his own tryline, fields the ball, and then slides over the line followed by 2 French players, he ducks down, in part to slide and in part to avoid the tackle. That, to me, mitigates the tackling player; had TW been tackled around the head, it wouldn't be a penalty (unless swinging arm or reckless). This is a different situation; it's not a intentional last minute change to avoid the tackle. Picamoles has lined him up from a distance and timed his 'hit' to coincide with LW catching the ball. The fact LW loses height catching it should be taken into account, but it doesn't stop it being foul play - because it's avoidable. Penalty and possibly a yellow card if it's shoulder to head. If it's chest to head then a penalty.

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Post by Scottrf on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:42 pm

3rd time in history a team has comeback from 16 down in international and away from home but of course a gimme, surely nobody expected them to lose. Shame you didn’t vocalise it.

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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:45 pm

Scottrf wrote:Antonio 24 stone and carried for 24cm today.

That's surely just half his gut in profile, isn't it?

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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:50 pm

Scottrf wrote:3rd time in history a team has comeback from 16 down in international and away from home but of course a gimme, surely nobody expected them to lose. Shame you didn’t vocalise it.

Sorry, too busy enjoying the game!

I do get what you're saying - it wasn't a gimme by any means. But I, personally, was confident Wales would get back in the game to a stage where something like luck, or an injury, or a piece of genius could turn the game either way. As, arguably, it did with North's second try. Or, if Wales played really well, go on and score 4 tries and put it to bed before the final 10 minutes. The game was there for that to happen, but then mentality/psychology and the rain all plays a part there in wanting to hold back a bit. But even if the tries hadn't come from mistakes, I think Wales would have kept going and got back into it - might have had to scrape it a bit more with drop goals or penalties, but the team they are, and the team France are, that was always a strong likelihood.

But yeah, people who don't watch Wales enough/know the gameplan might think this was something out of the ordinary. It really isn't. Great result though, and good performance to step up and quell the French attack. That was the big plus second half. France are dangerous with ball in hand and will score tries against the best teams. They just don't have a complete game(plan) and can't keep it together for 80 minutes. Their kicking in play, and their general decision making, was atrocious at times.

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Post by Yoda on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:51 pm

His beard grew further! He was an invisible lump surely France can do better?

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Post by Scottrf on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:55 pm

To be fair I expected It to be a Wales dominated second half from the start. Just took exception to it being made out like only one result was possible - a couple of really awful pieces of play were needed to swing it. The first half felt swung by a lot of mistakes and that’s the sort of thing that won’t often persist half to half with a world class team.
Wales have the hardest games at home this year so have a chance, but will need a lot more.

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Post by LordDowlais on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:56 pm

After getting back to my hotel room and perusing this thread, I cannot help and laugh my head off at some of oracles comments, hes like a kid with a tantrum.

The emogis are not working on this French wi-fi otherwise there would be some apt emogis on here.

Never mind I will take this win, even though reckless tackles against Wales seem unpunishable these days.

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:59 pm

LD, this has been a really positive thread. In fact, since the new Mods have been announced this has been a really positive forum in general (the rugby one I mean. I don’t read the other sports). Please, please, please do not try to spoil it once again with your childish comments. Cheers.
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Post by LordDowlais on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:01 pm

Not spoiling anything... never was my intention either... OK

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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:03 pm

No issue with Oracle's comments. Don't agree ith the specifics as I've said but it's heart on the sleeve stuff - what the forum's for, surely? And match threads in particular - putting up a brief, in-the-moment expression of how you're feeling about the game?

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Post by miaow on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:14 pm

Scottrf wrote:To be fair I expected It to be a Wales dominated second half from the start. Just took exception to it being made out like only one result was possible - a couple of really awful pieces of play were needed to swing it. The first half felt swung by a lot of mistakes and that’s the sort of thing that won’t often persist half to half with a world class team.
Wales have the hardest games at home this year so have a chance, but will need a lot more.

Not at all. France absolutely could've won that game - obviously. Wales still aren't the finished article in attack by any means, and will always be a bit weak mentally, although France are one of the few teams Wales clearly do believe they can beat consistently, unlike, say, Australia.

I think, in dry weather, that Welsh team - and particularly the combinations: Tipuric-Navidi-Moriarty and Adams-North-Liam Williams, and even Tomos Williams and Anscombe - looks really good and showed it in glimpses today. Of the 6 games they've played against England and Ireland since the last RWC, they've pushed them close in all 6. Different situations each time (should've won in Dublin 2016 but lacked 'fire', dreadful start at Twickenham same year but were playing to win it in the last play - etc. etc.) but, although they've only won 1 of the 6 (lost 4, drawn 1), I think they are still going a little bit under the radar with opposition fans, probably because they're not putting in 80 minute performances, like tonight.

A good performance against Italy, perhaps taking a look at Watkin at 12, and maybe a few other changes, and Wales should be gunning for England.

Hope LW is alright - broken fingers and now a brutal knock to the head. Might not see him for a while, which is bad for Wales but also refereeing and player welfare.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:44 pm

Scottrf wrote:3rd time in history a team has comeback from 16 down in international and away from home but of course a gimme, surely nobody expected them to lose. Shame you didn’t vocalise it.

You’ve been gone since... this time last year when you said Scotland would beat Wales.....


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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:48 pm

Some thoughts... we were absolutely shocking in the first half, but I felt Barnes contributed by not policing France ie; big blokes off their feet at most breakdowns (continued into the 2nd half), interfering with our 9 at the ruck (Willemse got away with it and we didn’t 5 mins later), offsid often because their front 5 are fat and lazy (like we were offside in the last 3 minutes). Also, I didn’t see a straight feed into the scrum from Wales - it’s just poor officiating, but that what I’ve mentioned certainly helped France.

I’m glad we got the win but it wasn’t good for the heart. Our defence won it again. I do feel if France keep this team together then they might finally move forward.

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Post by clivemcl on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:56 pm

Sorry if it’s already been mentioned, but well played to the welsh player who stayed down and tried to help/comfort the french player at the end rather than celebrating. Looked like a bad very painful injury as he lost the ball in the last play. Couldn’t see who the welsh player was but he put aside any thought of celebrating as he could tell the french player was in serious pain. Very classy clap

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:57 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Some thoughts... we were absolutely shocking in the first half, but I felt Barnes contributed by not policing France ie; big blokes off their feet at most breakdowns (continued into the 2nd half), interring with our 9 at the ruck (Willemse got away with it), offside a few times (like we were in the last 3 minutes). Also, I didn’t see a straight feed into the scrum from Wales - it’s just poor officiating but that what I’ve mentioned certainly helped France.

I’m glad we got the win but it wasn’t good for the heart. Our defence won it again. I do feel if France keep this team together then they might finally move forward.

They'll have to get out of reverse first... someone should tell them that.  Brunel has been given his settle-in time.  I don't know - thought he might be a surprise Trump card for them after knowing so much about giving it a shot with a much less skilled Italian side.  It all looks great for a while but still, even then.... the unstructured instincts kills them

Give France a no-nonsense SH coach to hoover up the high antics wackiness and then - well, there might be something there.  

They'll probably go on and win the damn thing now.... Cool

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:58 pm

Oh and Williams’ grounding looked the same as the one from Huget. I thought it was strange not to award it at the time anyway, due to game-empathy and Barnes lack of refereeing.

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:59 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Scottrf wrote:3rd time in history a team has comeback from 16 down in international and away from home but of course a gimme, surely nobody expected them to lose. Shame you didn’t vocalise it.

You’ve been gone since... this time last year when you said Scotland would beat Wales.....

.................. he's a smart man, the absence means he could be right................................... Let's wait and see.

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Post by SecretFly on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:01 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Oh and Williams’ grounding looked the same as the one from Huget. I thought it was strange not to award it at the time anyway, due to game-empathy and Barnes lack of refereeing.

? He refereed Wales once (for that try) and you're still giving out to him. Give the man a break. He did his bit.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:09 am

The Oracle wrote:Gareth Davies was held back at that scrum!

Don’t be silly, nobody is allowed to mention foul play if it happens to a Wales player.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:12 am

Goosestepper wrote:My god that was the most biased referee display I have ever seen.... Scrum feeds, off sides, taking players out before they were in the ruck, the entire Welsh team should go buy lotto tickets right now

Scrum feeds yes. I assume with the offsides and constant fouls around the ruck you mean France? Funny how every one of our threads has this anti-welsh biased garbage all over it.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:13 am

SecretFly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Oh and Williams’ grounding looked the same as the one from Huget. I thought it was strange not to award it at the time anyway, due to game-empathy and Barnes lack of refereeing.

?  He refereed Wales once (for that try) and you're still giving out to him.  Give the man a break.  He did his bit.

Don’t know wtf it is with you Irish and Barnes, but I’ve already said he was poor all round. I’ve got two words for ya; Glen Jackson. Give him a share in the Guinness factory already.

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Post by SecretFly on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:18 am

mikey_dragon wrote:

Don’t know wtf it is with you Irish and Barnes, but I’ve already said he was poor all round. I’ve got two words for ya; Glen Jackson. Give him a share in the Guinness factory already.

You brought him up, mikey. Go have another celebratory drink...I'm still biting my fingernails here. Too nervous about tomorrow to be jabbering about Anti Walesism... it would disrupt my sleep patterns.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:18 am

Warren Gatland “Winning is a habit and we have it at the moment.”

Wonder how many get triggered by that statement.

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Post by SecretFly on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:19 am

The arrogant cur!

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:21 am

SecretFly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Don’t know wtf it is with you Irish and Barnes, but I’ve already said he was poor all round. I’ve got two words for ya; Glen Jackson. Give him a share in the Guinness factory already.

You brought him up, mikey.  Go have another celebratory drink...I'm still biting my fingernails here.  Too nervous about tomorrow to be jabbering about Anti Walesism... it would disrupt my sleep patterns.

Just wondering why one was given and not the other, they looked identical. You Irish always keep on about Barnes, not I. 5:20pm here, gonna head downtown soon and spend my usual $250. I’ll be back tomorrow to read more crying from the We Hates Wales crowd OK.

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Post by SecretFly on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:28 am

mikey_dragon wrote:You Irish always keep on about Barnes.

People are people, Mikey. Nigel likes Ireland.... even you would have to concur. We tend to admit it. We like having him coz he likes the way we play.
Barnes likes Wales. It's as obvious to me as it is obvious Nigel likes us.
You still had to win the game...good work. I think I praise your guys enough over the years. But Barnes - he likes you. He used to not like us. Think that's changing, though. Thank God OK

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:10 am

Well done Wales for winning. Game plan success. Blow the big lumps out and win second half. France wanted their lumps to muller us in scrums etc and they didn’t. Homer ref, but we did enough.

I will never understand why Anscombe went for kicks that were always out of his range.

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Post by Pie on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 3:00 am

I am not sure if Wales roper doped France or France just bent over and offered it to Wales but I dont think I have ever seen the fortunes swap so clearly in a game. Anscombe showed his level; absolute shocker and has no kicking game from tee or from hand. Biggar might be less punchy but he is definitely more solid than Anscombe who looked as if even the weather affected him. And thats another issue, too many games played in perfect conditions Wales cant handle the wet at all. Fair play took 3/4 chances they had but this was a complete farce for 40 minutes and I am not sure they deserved the escape. Tomos isn't ready, Beard isn't physical enough - Ball, Young must now get a chance at 6 and Parkes needs to decide if he wants that shirt or not. As for north that guy needs to toughen up and smarten up; schoolboy for the try. Adams superb, likewise Liam Williams.

Italy I expect to see Lee for Francis, Jones or Smith for Evans, Ball, Youngs and Wainwright. And give Watkin a run at 12.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 7:17 am

Congratulation's Wales a good win last night.

Got really schooled in the first half, Wales not being able to keep hold on to the ball for any period of time.
But a bit of luck in the second half, Huget loosing the ball on his own line.
George north collecting the intercept pass. But if it had not been for Wales putting pressure on France like they did. It might of been a different story.

But a very well done first game in the bag.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 7:21 am

Too many games played in perfect conditions, Pie? You’re not referring to the roof at at MS are you?! C’mon, the players play all of their club rugby without a roof and the vast majority of the Welsh squad play in Wales where it rains a helluva lot more than in France. I’m pretty sure our players have more experience of the rain than the French!
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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 7:26 am

Who got man of the match? Had too turn over after North got the last try. so did not her who it was.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 7:54 am

North, but his game was mixed to say the least. Did well for the two tries obviously, but was at fault for France’s 2nd try and looked weak defensively.
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Post by The Oracle on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 8:00 am

Just reading a tweet by someone online - saying that Wales need a month together to get up to speed due to the deficiencies of the regions. I think there might be some mileage in that, and perhaps explains why we start the tournaments slowly. We certainly didn’t look at the races in the first half yesterday. While there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between Wales’ 6N tournament results (I.e. by the end of the tournament) and the regional results (with Wales previously winning the tournament and grand slams while the regions have bombed in the league and Europe), there must be some impact from playing in teams and environments that are struggling domestically.
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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 8:26 am

There’s no mileage in that for me. Gatland says things about fitness etc, but surely he’s the man to have a say at how the pro teams play and/or train? There must be a reason why Amos plays 13 and things like that? It’s a convenient excuse for him, when like I said surely he could act upon it.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 8:31 am

How do you mean, Risca? Gatland can’t improve the regions. My point really was that, by and large, our players go into this tournament from sides performing poorly domestically. In comparison to Ireland, for example, whose players are coming in from sides used to winning and playing good rugby. That must have some bearing? At least at the start of the tournament?

Just to add - the Leinster players are probably playing at a level not too dissimilar to international level when in the Euro comps. Such is their high standard of play. The players are not, are they? So I guess I’m saying that for them (Ireland) it’s not too much work to get them going in the 6N, but for Gatland and Wales it’s a lot more. Massively generalising, I appreciate. But I think there must be some effect from coming from sides playing not so good rugby to step up then to the demands of international.
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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 8:38 am

Reading through the thread and gathering everyone’s frustrations from the impartial and from the welsh point of view.

Very frustrating game to watch, bad performances by both teams at times, brilliance at others, the pass from Iturria for Hugets try was gorgeous, Norths defencive decision making for that try was awful, Liam Williams scything through the French and crossing with a fumble was a joy to watch, the referees decision questionable.

There was a lot of good and some downright awful in the hosts the visitors and the ref.

The weather was a massive factor. It was in minus temperatures and heavy rain all match and with that maybe a few faults have to be largely forgiven.

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Post by carpet baboon on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 8:42 am

maestegmafia wrote:Reading through the thread and gathering everyone’s frustrations from the impartial and from the welsh point of view.

Very frustrating game to watch, bad performances by both teams at times, brilliance at others, the pass from Iturria for Hugets try was gorgeous, Norths defencive decision making for that try was awful, Liam Williams scything through the French and crossing with a fumble was a joy to watch, the referees decision questionable.

There was a lot of good and some downright awful in the hosts the visitors and the ref.

The weather was a massive factor. It was in minus temperatures and heavy rain all match and with that maybe a few faults have to be largely forgiven.

I agree fully with this. Both teams took turns to hand the game to the opposition, and both took full advantage of some poor officiating

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 8:47 am

The Oracle wrote:How do you mean, Risca? Gatland can’t improve the regions. My point really was that, by and large, our players go into this tournament from sides performing poorly domestically. In comparison to Ireland, for example, whose players are coming in from sides used to winning and playing good rugby. That must have some bearing? At least at the start of the tournament?

Gatland and the Coaches do as much as they can for the regions, Gatland holds sessions with each region during various periods in the season, Jenks Howley and mcBride all take specialist sessions and skills sessions with players, the conditioning team monitor through the regions, Shaun Edwards actually was Blues defence coach last season and Ospreys this season.

There is only so much they are allowed to do.

Rumour has it that Edwards might not take the role at Wigan, he could make something of the dragons after the RWC....?


The Oracle wrote:Just to add - the Leinster players are probably playing at a level not too dissimilar to international level when in the Euro comps. Such is their high standard of play. The players are not, are they? So I guess I’m saying that for them (Ireland) it’s not too much work to get them going in the 6N, but for Gatland and Wales it’s a lot more. Massively generalising, I appreciate. But I think there must be some effect from coming from sides playing not so good rugby to step up then to the demands of international.

It’s an interesting point and I certainly agree that was the case at the start of Gatlands tenure but these days I don’t think players coming in look quite so under prepared. Their regions may not be as great as Leinster but they as individuals are playing at a higher level than non welsh squad players.

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