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 The Oracle on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:02 am

I get that the Wales coaches do stuff at the regions, Maes. But it’s not working is it! The regions are worse than ever!!!

But seriously though, I’m just trying to put my finger on why we looked so poor and out of sorts in that first half (and not much better in the last quarter of an hour of the game either). France really should have won that game by about 20 points. We didn’t create two of those tries, although I appreciate that we took the chances well. Maybe it was the weather, but it was the same for France and they managed to hold on to the ball. In that first half Wales looked like they’d just been thrown together an hour before kick off! So I’m just trying to guess/hypothesise as to why we so often turn up late/slow to tournaments?
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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:07 am

It is a little sad that what was Barnes last 6Ns game was quite possibly his worst.

Both sides were consistently offside in defence and in kick chase, and this just seemed to be ignored. Both sides seemed to get away with over physical challenges and the scrums were at time a lottery.

Even then the players still made more mistakes, often helped by the conditions. However Williams losing the ball forward just before the line, Huget doing similar to gift a try, North coming of his man in defence and Ntamack's intercepted pass were not caused by the conditions.

It was a weird old game that in turn was exciting and infuriating.

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Post by Scarpia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:34 am

LondonTiger wrote:It is a little sad that what was Barnes last 6Ns game was quite possibly his worst.

I won't be sorry when he finishes. When he first appeared I thought he was very good. But I think he began to believe all the reports that labelled him as the best. That's when he started his downward slide to being a liability.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:36 am

The theory that Wales would come good later in the game as their fitness and mobility showed panned out. But really its the French kicking that let them down, although they only left one more point on the field than Wales did.
The better team won, and Wales are now well placed to make the best of their home fixtures.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:46 am

Watching the game last night i am very surprised that North got man of the match.

Nividi did more than North did. He would of been my choice.

But to the game it's self did Wales win because they was the better team in  the second half? or did France gift them the game by being over confident and throwing stupid passes?

Still the result says it all and Wales won the game in the end.

Lets see how there next game goes.

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Post by RDW on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:51 am

Dammit picked Williams over North on fantasy 6N  Rolling Eyes

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:53 am

LondonTiger wrote:It is a little sad that what was Barnes last 6Ns game was quite possibly his worst.

Both sides were consistently offside in defence and in kick chase, and this just seemed to be ignored. Both sides seemed to get away with over physical challenges and the scrums were at time a lottery.

Even then the players still made more mistakes, often helped by the conditions. However Williams losing the ball forward just before the line, Huget doing similar to gift a try, North coming of his man in defence and Ntamack's intercepted pass were not caused by the conditions.

It was a weird old game that in turn was exciting and infuriating.

It was Sebastien Vahaamahina who’s pass was intercepted. The only thing Ntamack did was get tackled poor lad. A much better player than last night showed, I’m looking forward to Fofana and Ntamack growing as a partnership.

France have a lot of positives to take from the game. Back three look very very dangerous. Fast, strong, can step can take high balls chase well good defence, bar Hugets slip up for north’s first try.

Centers had a tough game but both players are incredibly talented and creative.

Halfbacks? Lopez and Parra looked comfortable but not assertive, skilled but not creative. Again could have been weather influenced, both players are better than that

Back row looks very good, Itturia and Picamoles powerful great hands fast, Laurent was a bit anonymous. Maybe Camara should come in.

Despite Vahaamahina‘s pass getting intercepted by north he had a good game. Huge unit but didn’t look s unfit as Wlliemse and Antonio thought the young ginger tyro Felix Lambey was superb. He has been great for Lyon and caused a few turnovers, steals and sand bagged Biggar when he came on.

The front row in the second half was far better than the first. Antonio is useless, Rob Evans beat him in the scrum easily and not for the first time either. Briso should replace him for the next match.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 10:14 am

LondonTiger wrote:It is a little sad that what was Barnes last 6Ns game was quite possibly his worst.

Both sides were consistently offside in defence and in kick chase, and this just seemed to be ignored. Both sides seemed to get away with over physical challenges and the scrums were at time a lottery.

Even then the players still made more mistakes, often helped by the conditions. However Williams losing the ball forward just before the line, Huget doing similar to gift a try, North coming of his man in defence and Ntamack's intercepted pass were not caused by the conditions.

It was a weird old game that in turn was exciting and infuriating.

He has had many games like that one. Desperatly incinsistent referee.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 10:15 am

The young Irish lad playing for France looked good

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Post by sensisball on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 10:20 am

I dont think Bamba is ready to be a starting 3, he is only 20 but he looked much better as an attacking force than Atonio, which admittedly isn't very difficult to do.

Complacency (the game is won lads just take it easy!) at the start of the second half combined with three individual errors plus Parra missing the 2 conversions (the penalty was never on - should have gone to the corner) handed the game on a plate to Wales.

Actually thought Willemse was ok (apart from the missed tackle): carried well, cleared out a few rucks and added grunt to the surprisingly few french mauls. Obviously tired in second half and Lambey made a great impact with his pace and skill.Not  sure he is physical enough to start yet but if the scrum is getting nowhere with the amount of grunt in it then there is a good case to be made for picking a lighter, quicker player over a behemoth.
When the wheels fell off i would have taken Ntamack off and moved Fofana back to 12 with either Penaud (outstanding) or Fickou at 13. Cant recall if Penaud was a tactical substitution or an injury?

The Toulouse youngster had a decent game but i thought he looked a bit lost towards the end when things were falling apart for Les Bleus.

Felt sorry for big Vahaamahina who until he thress the intercept pass washaving acracking game. At a mere  125 Kg his mobility and fitness levels are way ahead of Willemse and in a different galaxy from Atonio.

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Post by chris_501 on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 10:45 am

My view on the game is this.

The conditions played a huge part, but rain is part of our winter sport, and France were far quicker to adapt to it. Their handling 1st half was fantastic, kicking was incredibly smart, really piled the pressure onto Wales. Picamoles looked back to the player he was 3 or 4 years ago.

However, the second half showed what top level sport is about, the head. As soon as the Welsh comeback gathered pace, France lost their composure. Biggar had 30 minutes to show why, especially in those conditions, he's confident and clear headed enough to play smart rugby.

The back row was dominant in defence, although Faletau was definitely missed clearing up from a retreating scrum. Line out was a worry, even into the last minute we couldn't secure the ball. On the whole, there is a large amount of improvement needed to win games 3,4 and 5 in this tournament, however it's far better to learn from victories rather than defeats!

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 10:57 am

Credit also has to go to the French pack for negating Wales jackling specialists. Very few turn overs at the tackle breakdown.

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Post by Scottrf on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:11 am

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.....


http://www.606v2.com/t67137p50-six-nations-competition-week-5#3670313

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:16 am

Just watching the second half now and the French pack look so much better than starting eight.

I would start next weeks game with that pack except keeping the Hooker captain Guilhem Guirado and maybe swap Laurent for Camara at blindside. The back line missed a number of tackles in the match but they look good. No changes there going forward.

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Post by Cyril on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:22 am

Disappointing game, but maybe partially due to the weather. Hopefully the remaining games will be better spectacles this weekend. Barnes tried to keep the game flowing.

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Post by Goosestepper on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:23 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
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.

Glad you agree on the scrum feeds (so no bias there then)

Both teams constantly off side without being pinged, however the last ten minutes when France were having a crack Wales were pretty blatant with it(and why not if Barnes is allowing it...) France gifted Wales the second half, they were lucky to get out with a win (not unlike Ireland last year).

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:38 am

Goosestepper wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
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.

Glad you agree on the scrum feeds (so no bias there then)

Both teams constantly off side without being pinged, however the last ten minutes when France were having a crack Wales were pretty blatant with it(and why not if Barnes is allowing it...) France gifted Wales the second half, they were lucky to get out with a win (not unlike Ireland last year).

I don’t think you can discredit the welsh performance that much GS. They weren’t lucky they adapted to the game and knew the French would tire. Thus Wales grew into the game.

A few decisions went against both sides, the refereeing was not immaculate but neither were the conditions. Torrential rain and minus temperatures have a huge impact on both the teams and the referee.

Underestimating either team on a game played in those weather conditions would be a big mistake.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:44 am

Too right. Filthy conditions. All you can really ask is a win no matter the style.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:49 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Too right. Filthy conditions. All you can really ask is a win no matter the style.

I was chatting to a French friend who was going to the game to wish him well yesterday afternoon and the mood in the crowd was that it was going to be a 9-3 shocker of a match. Glad it turned out to be more entertaining.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 11:51 am

I know as you get older, time seems to go faster, but this year it is getting ridiculous, Christmas again already!

Only saw the last 10 of the first half and all the second half so I cannot comment on how well France played for the first thirty, but the pundits seem to think they got it right and dominated the Welsh.

The second half, the Welsh pack came back into it, but they did not look that dangerous and seemed to be quite well contained by France, a lot of ball but not much field position. Williams scored a good try, although tthe tacking will be looked at very closely, it should never have got as far as Williams, then Christmas arrived, Huget gave North a Christmas present he will never forget and it was followed by an even bigger present from Vahaamahina, with a full line of backs, a lock forward tries to throw a long loopy pass over the top, and ends up passing into space which allows North to just run onto it.

Even then, France should have won it, the number of dropped passes and knock ons that they made when they had breached the first line and could have flooded through was astounding.

Well done Wales for taking the game, but I cannot help but think that France lost that one, not Wales won it.

From and English and Irish perspective, I saw nothing that would worry me.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:06 pm

I thought the comments regarding the weights of the players, the French in particular were amusing, the Inverdale going on about the massive 21 stone Willemse I think, whilst showing a shield with his stats on it stating 19 stone. I think a lot of the weights bandied about are just hot air as no one really knows what the players weight is as it depends on when they were weighed, before the game, pre-season.

Just being very large does not make you a good prop or lock, technique is better than another stone in weight Ian McLauchlan proved that. 20 -30 lbs across a pack is nothing.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:06 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I know as you get older, time seems to go faster, but this year it is getting ridiculous, Christmas again already!

Only saw the last 10 of the first half and all the second half so I cannot comment on how well France played for the first thirty, but the pundits seem to think they got it right and dominated the Welsh.

The second half, the Welsh pack came back into it, but they did not look that dangerous and seemed to be quite well contained by France, a lot of ball but not much field position. Williams scored a good try, although tthe tacking will be looked at very closely, it should never have got as far as Williams, then Christmas arrived, Huget gave North a Christmas present he will never forget and it was followed by an even bigger present from Vahaamahina, with a full line of backs, a lock forward tries to throw a long loopy pass over the top, and ends up passing into space which allows North to just run onto it.

Even then, France should have won it, the number of dropped passes and knock ons that they made when they had breached the first line and could have flooded through was astounding.

Well done Wales for taking the game, but I cannot help but think that France lost that one, not Wales won it.

From and English and Irish perspective, I saw nothing that would worry me.

Wales crossed the ry line five times two tries disallowed both on rather subjective decisions and that was agreed by impartial Paul O’Connell.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:08 pm

Only saw 2nd half but the disallowed try for taking a man who wasn't in the ruck was the correct decision. Even POC agreed on that when reminded of the law.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:20 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Only saw 2nd half but the disallowed try for taking a man who wasn't in the ruck was the correct decision. Even POC agreed on that when reminded of the law.

Both POC and Jiffy called it a tough call when it happened. Many many people have gotten away with such before.

Point being that it is harsh to say Wales were lucky to win, that France let them win. Certainly far too early in a championship to judge whether there is anything too positive or negative to judge on two teams and a ref in atrocious conditions

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:22 pm

Absolutely people have got away with before.
Agree with the rest of your points based on second 40. We all get the bounce of the ball sometimes but you still need to take advantage.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:28 pm

And in those conditions to take anything is remarkable whether it was Itturia’s beautiful pass to Houget or George Norths pounce on Hougets fumble or the juggled interception he took home later in the game that all takes skill, great to see Wales seizing opportunities rather than fumble them.

Thankfully for all of us fans the weather in Dublin and Edinburgh may be a touch chilly but the sleeting rain will hold off this afternoon

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Post by Cyril on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:32 pm

Would agree with the posts saying little to worry England or Ireland based on last night’s game. France will feel terrible this morning though and see this as a game they somehow managed to throw away. Plenty of work to be done by both the French and Welsh coaches to ensure this isn’t a tournament to forget. Hopefully in better conditions, both sides can provide a bit more entertainment for the fans.

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Post by LordDowlais on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:40 pm

Firstly, I did not mean to upset Oracle last night, I just found his comments amusing.

Sorry Oracle. Very Happy

Secondly, I think there could be a few citings from the game last night particulary the French forwards, and in particular Picamoles, for both his late hit on Liam Williams, and his nonsense after he scored his try, I will have to wait until I get home to see the hi-lights though.

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Post by Eejit on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:41 pm

I think you're all being a bit negative, and as fans that is natural - we're exactly the same on the Scotland threads though the difference is our team is still a bit crap. Gatland's post-match forgetting how to lose comments is an intentionally crass soundbite for the media circus to write about. But there is truth to it in that this Wales team has a mental strength that perhaps wasn't there last year, and boy is it a good time to develop that a few months out from a world cup.

Good teams are born out of playing badly and winning games, and I still reckon Wales are going to win the Six Nations this year.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:47 pm

Eejit wrote:I think you're all being a bit negative, and as fans that is natural - we're exactly the same on the Scotland threads though the difference is our team is still a bit crap. Gatland's post-match forgetting how to lose comments is an intentionally crass soundbite for the media circus to write about. But there is truth to it in that this Wales team has a mental strength that perhaps wasn't there last year, and boy is it a good time to develop that a few months out from a world cup.

Good teams are born out of playing badly and winning games, and I still reckon Wales are going to win the Six Nations this year.

Just watched the Eddie Butler interview with Gatland where they discuss his comments prior to the match about if Wales beat France that they will win the six nations and he explains yes he firmly believes it, but he says it because he wants all the players to know he believes it.


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Post by Eejit on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:49 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
Eejit wrote:I think you're all being a bit negative, and as fans that is natural - we're exactly the same on the Scotland threads though the difference is our team is still a bit crap. Gatland's post-match forgetting how to lose comments is an intentionally crass soundbite for the media circus to write about. But there is truth to it in that this Wales team has a mental strength that perhaps wasn't there last year, and boy is it a good time to develop that a few months out from a world cup.

Good teams are born out of playing badly and winning games, and I still reckon Wales are going to win the Six Nations this year.

Just watched the Eddie Butler interview with Gatland where they discuss his comments prior to the match about if Wales beat France that they will win the six nations and he explains yes he firmly believes it, but he says it because he wants all the players to know he believes it.


The guy is an world class coach and an equally good motivator. He's a real shrewd operator and if they made another season of Breaking Bad he might have been the villain!

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Post by BigGee on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:51 pm

Gatland got the sound bite in, but in the rest of his interview he was actually quite honest about the Wales performance, openly saying that they used the get out of jail card. You don't want to be doing that to often, but Wales are unlikely to play as badly again , they usually only improve as the tournament goes on.

Gatland will have an easier job than Brunel in lifting his players up for the next round. I really can't imagine what he is going to say to them to make them feel any better. They just need to chanel that sense of frustration and embarrassment into something positive, but that is easier said than done, trying to hard to over compensate rarely works at this level.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 12:56 pm

You can see why the French public can’t fill out their stadia for international games anymore.
Another game thrown away with stupid avoidable errors.

Wales depite their inadequacies are eeking out wins where in the past they would have lost. Will have to play a lot better against all other sides bar Italy but have the capability to do so.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:00 pm

There were a lot of empty seats in the Stad, which was a shame.

Maybe the Friday night game thing needs to be looked at again, but the weather and the fact that France have been poor for a while now certainly won't help.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:01 pm

Eejit wrote:The guy is an world class coach and an equally good motivator. He's a real shrewd operator and if they made another season of Breaking Bad he might have been the villain!

Hilarious but yes could be true... I heard a rumour that he was approached for Lord of the rings.. ha ha ha

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:02 pm

BigGee wrote:There were a lot of empty seats in the Stad, which was a shame.

Maybe the Friday night game thing needs to be looked at again, but the weather and the fact that France have been poor for a while now certainly won't help.

Lots of disruption with travel due to weather. Cardiff and bristol closed most of the day and a number of French aero ports and train lines too.

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Post by compelling and rich on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:07 pm

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


was given to north. very kind imo. he was gifted two tries and that was about it. id have gone with tipiric. although i thought moriaty and picamoles played very well also

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Post by compelling and rich on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:09 pm

RDW wrote:Dammit picked Williams over North on fantasy 6N  Rolling Eyes

same mad

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:11 pm

compelling and rich wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:Who got man of the match? Had too turn over after North got the last try. so did not her who it was.


was given to north. very kind imo. he was gifted two tries and that was about it. id have gone with tipiric. although i thought moriaty and picamoles played very well also

Nalvidi and Itturia were superb too. The French broadcasters aren’t great at MOM awards and often offer some bizarre suggestions.

Two tries are hard to argue with but personally I though Eith Itturia, Nalvidi or Picamoles deserved the award.

Very impressed with Lambey though

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Post by compelling and rich on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:19 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
compelling and rich wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:Who got man of the match? Had too turn over after North got the last try. so did not her who it was.


was given to north. very kind imo. he was gifted two tries and that was about it. id have gone with tipiric. although i thought moriaty and picamoles played very well also

Nalvidi and Itturia were superb too. The French broadcasters aren’t great at MOM awards and often offer some bizarre suggestions.

Two tries are hard to argue with but personally I though Eith Itturia, Nalvidi or Picamoles deserved the award.

Very impressed with Lambey though

thought it was bbc who gave the award? cant argue with two tries and you have to be there to dive on or catch the interception. just other than that i thought he was very quiet. liam williams was doing much more while on (despite his blunder for the try).

difficult one to pick out as for large parts wales were awful and france somehow manged not to win. wales back row or the other names you mentioned id be happy with

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:20 pm

A lot of harsh criticism against Wales here. Notoriously slow starters and yet managed to win. Wales will get better, but regardless of that it’s results that matter and not style or performance. Well done Sir Warren.


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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:21 pm

The Oracle wrote:I get that the Wales coaches do stuff at the regions, Maes. But it’s not working is it! The regions are worse than ever!!!

But seriously though, I’m just trying to put my finger on why we looked so poor and out of sorts in that first half (and not much better in the last quarter of an hour of the game either). France really should have won that game by about 20 points. We didn’t create two of those tries, although I appreciate that we took the chances well. Maybe it was the weather, but it was the same for France and they managed to hold on to the ball. In that first half Wales looked like they’d just been thrown together an hour before kick off! So I’m just trying to guess/hypothesise as to why we so often turn up late/slow to tournaments?

Cos we put more Dragons players on Wink

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:27 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I get that the Wales coaches do stuff at the regions, Maes. But it’s not working is it! The regions are worse than ever!!!

But seriously though, I’m just trying to put my finger on why we looked so poor and out of sorts in that first half (and not much better in the last quarter of an hour of the game either). France really should have won that game by about 20 points. We didn’t create two of those tries, although I appreciate that we took the chances well. Maybe it was the weather, but it was the same for France and they managed to hold on to the ball. In that first half Wales looked like they’d just been thrown together an hour before kick off! So I’m just trying to guess/hypothesise as to why we so often turn up late/slow to tournaments?

Cos we put more Dragons players on Wink

Wainwright Dee and Hill didn’t get much game time but were superb when they appeared.

I hope all three and Amos get a run next weekend in Rome

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Post by miaow on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 1:43 pm

Two things. Someone mentioning bringing in Camara in the backrow. This is one big problem for France - where most test teams are now like glorified clubs, with a proper core and a largely consistent supporting cast, France have basically no consistency whatsoever. Particularly in the key positions bar Guirado at 2. Kevin 'Chicken Goujon' Gourdon was superb for France in 16/17 yet is no longer considered. It's just a weird situation for France. They haven't adapted to professionalism in the way the Home Nations, and even Italy, have with structures and training. But they're still potent, as they showed last night. It's a nightmare job for the Head Coach - basically dealing with the wealthiest league in the world that doesn't value French talent nor does it prepare players well for test rugby/care about it. Things might be changing with the u20s winning but I can't help think France won't do anything until they actually have a team, rather than a good group of players. Camille Lopez, for instance, looked clueless at times; at other times quite good. But that's not good enough.

Onto Wales again. Specifically Wales' second try. It's lucky, of course. But just as Moriarty's try was in a great position had Wales moved it wide/gone through the phases, so too was North's first. Penalty advantage on halfway from a scrum. France reeling. Either 3 points or a kick to the corner - but the speculative kick goes in, and the chase results in a try. Is it lucky? Yes. But there's also something else going on: precedent. Specifically against France.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y8RXYshluk

https://youtu.be/-WtucyaWWmY?t=140

And Italy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgSvi7vmr00

Now luck plays a part in all of these. But if you've also had good success in this area it suggests a bit more than luck - it's pressure.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 2:08 pm

Wales applied pressure but they lacked any quality ball in hand. The Wales centres couldn't find a hole for a break or an offload. Anscombe offered next to nothing and was lucky to make it past half time. Huget's error was purely down to the conditions, it was a poor kick with North nowhere near it until the spilled ball. Biggar's introduction was crucial for Wales, he added some much needed control.

The only bit of quality attacking play for Wales was Adams for the first try. Great vision to spot that gap and skip past the tackle.

France looked lethal in the first half. If they'd got a decision or two towards the end of the half then the game could have been out of reach for Wales before half time. A dryer day could see more of the French offloads that ripped Wales open in the first half and there are some more young players to come in from Tolouse, why Ramos and Dupont were not included I have no idea. Dupont is the form scrum half in Europe and can score from nothing, looking forward to seeing more from him (hopefully not against England).

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Post by Collapse2005 on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 2:12 pm

Wales were poor, totally gifted the win by hopeless France and a bit of help from their guardian angel Barnes.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 2:15 pm

Intesting to see so many people writing Wales and France’s performance and chances off this morning.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 2:20 pm

Just a mention about North’s interception try. Thinking about it, that bid by him to catch the interception took some massive balls! In the first half he made a mistake by coming in off his wing and targeting the wrong man, and that let the man past for the try. So I’m guessing Gats would have had a harsh word with him at half time, and Gats said post match that he was disappointed with that defensive lapse. So to go for that intercept, knowing full well that if it just goes out of his reach and over his hands it will end up in French hands on the wing and for a likely score themselves, that took some balls I think. A calculated risk but one that could have gone horribly wrong too clap


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Post by The Oracle on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 2:21 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I get that the Wales coaches do stuff at the regions, Maes. But it’s not working is it! The regions are worse than ever!!!

But seriously though, I’m just trying to put my finger on why we looked so poor and out of sorts in that first half (and not much better in the last quarter of an hour of the game either). France really should have won that game by about 20 points. We didn’t create two of those tries, although I appreciate that we took the chances well. Maybe it was the weather, but it was the same for France and they managed to hold on to the ball. In that first half Wales looked like they’d just been thrown together an hour before kick off! So I’m just trying to guess/hypothesise as to why we so often turn up late/slow to tournaments?

Cos we put more Dragons players on Wink


Spot on Risca! Not sure how I missed that! Wink
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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 02 Feb 2019, 2:22 pm

The Oracle wrote:Just a mention about North’s interception try. Thinking about it that bid by him to catch the interception took some massive balls! In the first half he made a mistake by coming in off his wing and targeting the wrong man, and that let the man past for the try. So I’m guessing Gats would have had a harsh word with him at half time, and Gats said post match that he was disappointed with that defensive lapse. So to go for that intercept, knowing full well that if it just goes out of his reach and over his hands it will end up in French hands on the wing and for a likely score themselves, that took some balls I think. A calculated risk but one that could have gone horribly wrong too clap

In those conditions not an easy catch either, he juggled it a bit as he raced away.

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