The Opposition Thread

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The Opposition Thread

Post by maestegmafia on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 9:20 am

Hopefully a bit of fun

Which player in the opposing team do you:-

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?


This should be a highly competitive Six Nations Championship. Even Italy can take a big scalp, just look a bit more closely at how well Treviso are doing this season. French clubs are playing great rugby, they have all he right players, as do the Scots who had a brilliant tournament last year. The Welsh English and Irish are all in the top five of the World Rugby International Rankings.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by BamBam on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 9:31 am

Is this for the first game in the tournament or across all teams? I'll answer for both, firstly for Ireland as opposition then across the whole tournament

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?
For Ireland - Too many to pick from, but Ryan and Furlong the two I would most like to have
Across the tournament - Hogg would solve our current full back quandary, just an unreal player

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?
For Ireland - probably Kearney, but that's mainly because Larmour is so exciting to watch. I also would have had Beirne in the 2nd row with Ryan before he got injured
Across the tournament - I've never rated AWJ but its not like they are spoilt for choice. I'd have to go with whoever is playing ahead of Macalou for France

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?
Ireland - The vicious physicality at the gain line and breakdown for all 80 mins
Tournament - as above

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?
Ireland - not easy, I think we have the edge in terms of the outside backs individual threat if I have to pick one
Tournament - depth, ability to play multiple styles, Billy Vunipola

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 10:06 am

Well I'll go for this week's opposition.
POM. Though I'm bending the rules slightly here as I think there's more talented players in the Ireland team however none that will do more damage. Incredibly hard working good on the floor a master at killing us at the lineout. Furlong is more talented but we are better equipped to deal with him.

Toner is the nearest here for don't know why they select him.....but again I know why they do. Just feel henderson and Ryan are better players.

Pick apart lineout s. We're generally solid but haven't had a real go at the opposition in a while. This point contradicts my previous player choice I realise.

Impact from the bench. We have fewer injuries than I rmemebr for ages. Scrum will probably get stronger as the game goes on.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by tigertattie on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 11:19 am

I'll do it for the lot - in alphabetical order

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?
England - Billy V - scares the hell out of me and our lack of an 8 amplifies this.
France - Bastardau - Huge lump running at our (what could be) small centres is terrifying
Ireland - Stockdale - If he gets space outside our defense. Ouchies
Italy - Campagnaro - Best of the bunch
Wales - George North - Scores tries for fun


- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?
England - Dan Cole - He's just a lump and a penalty magnate
France - Antonio - As above
Ireland - Cian Healy - Just not as good as McGrath
Italy - Shock, but Sergio! He's just not the player he once was (Italy need to move on)
Wales - AWJ (see above)

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?
England - The ability to grind out a dirty affair and win
France - Physically dominate the other team
Ireland - Ability to control a game plan and execute it and adapt it if needed
Italy - Honestly dont think there's an aspect of the game that they do better than us
Wales - Defensive structure

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?
England - Completing at the breakdown
France - Counter Attacking
Ireland - Fullback - thats it
Italy - Each aspect of the game
Wales - Creative attacking
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by BamBam on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 11:43 am

tigertattie wrote:

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?
England - Dan Cole - He's just a lump and a penalty magnate

He's been out of favour for a while, Sinckler and Williams are probably the tightheads in the 23 angel

Apparently he's been far better this season though

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by maestegmafia on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 11:45 am

BamBam wrote:Is this for the first game in the tournament or across all teams? I'll answer for both, firstly for Ireland as opposition then across the whole tournament

I was thinking just the up coming match to be honest..!!

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 12:04 pm

Fear the most as an incredible talent?
Ireland - fear the most probably Murray, rising talent Ryan
Italy - Dave Sisi Wink
France - Fofana (if he is fit and in favour)
Scotland - Hogg
Wales - Liam Williams


Can’t understand why the opposition select him?
Ireland - I can see why all the players are selected, even if I think some are better.
Italy - Whoever the latest flavour of the month is at 10
France - Jefferson Poirot - unless it is to get Eddie Butler tied in knots trying to francify the first name.
Scotland - Chris Harris - probably will not play but still in squad and the most average of club players you can find.
Wales - Rob Evans


Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?
Ireland - ability to stay focused for the full 80 minutes
Italy - The natural joy they have when things go well
France - ability to attack the blindside with short passes and offloads
Scotland - breakdown
Wales - defensive organisation


The area you think your team will have an advantage?
Ireland - stronger bench?
Italy - pretty much everywhere
France - fitness up front
Scotland - physicality
Wales - genuine pace out wide

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by maestegmafia on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 9:08 pm

Wales playing France this weekend

- Fear the most as an incredible talent? Wesley Fofana

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him? Basteraud

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do? Scrum Power

- The area you think your team will have an advantage? Confidence

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by bluestonevedder on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 11:08 am

Great idea for a thread mafia.

England playing Ireland this weekend:

- Fear the most as an incredible talent? Tadhg Furlong. Simply outstanding player. I love the way he just lets his play do the talking rather than getting involved in all the niggly stuff.

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him? Tough question with Ireland as I genuinely think they have all earned their place. If my arm was twisted, I would say Rob Kearney.

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do? Defensive line speed. Very closely followed by their work at the breakdown.

- The area you think your team will have an advantage? Blimey. Depending on the team chosen, I would potentially say back 3.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by SecretFly on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 12:20 pm

Ireland v Wales
oops........................... England of course... Whistle
Fear the Most:  Well, all of them in their own way if they get their shark senses up.  But I suppose Nowell.  Very, very slippery player...one would think at times that he's made of baby oil.  Players think they have a good hold of him but he's already away into the next attempt at holding onto him... and he does it all and always at pace.  His fierce drive to not just play but always to make ground is obviously dangerous!

Can't Understand why the Opposition Select him: Not really one if I'm honest.  But to play the game, perhaps a surprise mention - Itoje.  Now let's face it, he could be the star of the show at the weekend.  But just from my instincts having watched him, perhaps rated higher than real impact in games?  But it's silly really even to pick him but it's the damn game.

Aspects of their Game you wish your team could Do:  Well England at their best always want to stretch and attack loosely, using high sprint activity matched to sharp support runs and slick passing.  It's a gamestyle I wish Ireland would release more of at times rather than always using the tanks to do phase after phase.  I understand Ireland's gameplan but England when they are fizzing is very watchable.

The Area you think your Team will have an Advantage:  The obvious sounding one would be breakdown.  But I'll go with perhaps lineout as the more effective advantage when it comes to points on the board (hopefully!)


Last edited by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by bsando on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 12:22 pm

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?
England - Lawes, he hits hard and dominates lineouts, a real dog eat dog sort of player who makes me nervous when he is playing
France - Huget, he had great feet and so dangerous when given a chance. Probably not as good as he was now but a great player.
Ireland - Murray - Always in the refs ear and kicks so well, always nervous when he’s involved
Italy - Allan - developing into a great FH who has a history playing for Scotland which makes him a slightly sore subject
Wales - North, he just seems to always find new ways of scoring and swatting off defenders

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?
England - Brown - I always wonder how he is England’s best FB with the player pool they have.
France - Basteraud - he’s big yes, but why not someone more skilful?
Ireland - I really don’t know haha Kearney maybe? But he’s a great defender
Italy - Probably Gori but he’s not selected this year. Zanni maybe
Wales - AWJ - I don’t really see what he does extra special apart from lead very well. A poor mans POC (don’t mean to sound so harsh, he’s obviously a great player).

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?
England - physicality
France - Physicality
Ireland - rolling mauls
Italy - Physicality
Wales - defence

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?
England - Footballing skills/open play
France - Fitness / Open play
Ireland - Creativity/ open play
Italy - Structure/ scrum
Wales - Goal kicking

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by robbo277 on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 12:50 pm

Ireland vs England

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?
Stockdale. Obviously? Should be obvious. Tries win games and he scores loads.

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?
Earls. Don't get it, what does he do? The Irish Mark Cueto. If he was English, he'd be about 8th on my list of wingers.

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?
The way the halfbacks control the game is enviable, but I'd have to say their intensity at the breakdown.

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?
Hopefully somewhere. I'd say our we have more guys in the pack who can carry defenders on their backs while they make yards. If we can win the battle of the gainline, we can make it easier for our guys at the breakdown and our backs. That could be key.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by rodders on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 1:26 pm

Which player in the opposing team (England) do you:-

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?

Has to be Billy V or Jack Nowell - both very dangerous players to defend against.

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?

Ben Youngs. Has decent skills but not the brain or temperament to use them at this level.  

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?

I think they probably have a bit more pace and strike threat.

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?

A number of areas but for me the key one is leadership from Best, POM,Sexton, Murray and Ringrose etc.
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by maestegmafia on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 11:51 pm

Great posts made a good read so far

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by Eejit on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:06 am

Some good answers so far, I'll try to mix it up a bit.

For this week's oppponents Italy
- Fear the most as an incredible talent? Let's go with Sebastian Negri as he looks an absolute unit, but special mention to Ian McKinley. Simply a class act with a truly inspiring story.
- Can’t understand why the opposition select him? Canna probably.
- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do? Tough one as its still not a great Italy side yet, but I'll cop out and say that they have the right coaching team in who aren't afraid to mix it up a bit.
- The area you think your team will have an advantage? Probably everywhere. If we control our propensity to do mad sh*t we'll be fine. If the panic sets in, they are no mugs and they'll turn us over.

Happy six nations by the way lads - its the most wonderful time of the year.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 8:33 am

It’s interesting how many opposition fans name AWJ as the player they can’t undertand why Wales select (perfectly entitled to that opinion of course!). Yet, I imagine for a lot of Welsh fans he’d be one of the first names on the team sheet (and not just because he’s captain or that there are no alternatives). He regularly wins man if the match awards and is a bit of a talisman for us, his work rate is immense, he gets over the gain line..... the question for me is always who should partner him rather than whether he should be first choice!

A case of ‘to each his own’ it think!
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 8:56 am

Just to add, not sure I can take part fully in this for Wales v France as my knowledge of the French players is truly shocking in comparison to my knowledge of the UK and Ireland nations Sorry

So here’s my limited view:

Fear the Most: really do not know. Fofana perhaps. Always a slippery customer. We’ll need to be at our best but we do have a pretty good defensive system so hoping he can keep him under wraps. But not sure if he’s in form at the moment?

Can't Understand why the Opposition Select him: Basteraud. Maybe it’s like the French version of the AWJ thing above, but I just see Basteraud as more of a hindrance than a help to France. I think I saw him get man of the match in a recent-ish French match but the French are best when they have the attacking flair and guile of old, and he is the opposite of that for me. Big crash ball centres don’t do it for me any more.

Aspects of their Game you wish your team could Do: I think the forward power is lacking for Wales and the French seem to be always up there. Scrum power, driving line out, mauls - the French are usually strong there. But for Wales we have only had brief spells where this is one of our strengths (think Adam Jones and the old scrum rules era...... and that’s about it in the recent past).


The Area you think your Team will have an Advantage: I think Wales have developed well in the contact area and on the ground, so I’m confident that we can win turnover ball quite well even with an arguably 2nd choice backrow. Navidi and Tipuric are decent jackallers. But this is part of a bigger thing - organisation and structure. I think that’s the main thing that Gatland has brought in (along with Edwards). At times we’ve been too structured such as in the Warrenball days. Before we arrived we had little structure which led to some exciting stuff but with little substance. Now we’re able to keep it structured, play the percentages when needed, our defensive organisation tends to be really good. I think (hope) that this is still an area where France have not quite developed. I don’t think they’ve settled on a consistent team or style of play and so at times they seem quite disorganised and I’m hoping that will play into Wales’ hands.
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by robbo277 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 9:30 am

The Oracle wrote:It’s interesting how many opposition fans name AWJ as the player they can’t undertand why Wales select (perfectly entitled to that opinion of course!). Yet, I imagine for a lot of Welsh fans he’d be one of the first names on the team sheet (and not just because he’s captain or that there are no alternatives). He regularly wins man if the match awards and is a bit of a talisman for us, his work rate is immense, he gets over the gain line..... the question for me is always who should partner him rather than whether he should be first choice!

A case of ‘to each his own’ it think!

It's the same with people calling Nowell out as our dangerman. Most, if not all, England fans on here would tell you it's May. Different perspectives I guess.

The impression I get with Jones is he's a bit like a John Terry (on the field at least). He's very, very good at the technical aspects of his job (tackling, heading, blocking, interceptions - Terry, not Jones) and a great leader but offers you no "extras" (passing ability). That skillset makes him very dependable and a very useful player to have in your team, but they won't do anything that's particularly eye-catching. If he plays out of his skin he'll get a "good game, 8 out of 10", despite the fact that what he did allows others to play. His tackles create someone else's turnover, his set piece proficiency and rucking ability creates quick ball for someone else to make the headline break. But without making the turnover, the break or a hollywood 30m pass, some people won't notice him, especially if they're not particularly paying attention to him.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:27 am

Yeah that could be it Robbo. I think consistency is the thing. He seems to be a consistent 7 or 8 out of 10 for Wales. Solid and consistent without ever getting the 9 or 10/10 accolades that some of the X factor players might get. But then he doesn’t have the stinkers down in the 4s or 5s that some players have either - so yeah, a consistent player who just does the basics well I think.
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by BamBam on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:34 am

The Oracle wrote:It’s interesting how many opposition fans name AWJ as the player they can’t undertand why Wales select (perfectly entitled to that opinion of course!). Yet, I imagine for a lot of Welsh fans he’d be one of the first names on the team sheet (and not just because he’s captain or that there are no alternatives). He regularly wins man if the match awards and is a bit of a talisman for us, his work rate is immense, he gets over the gain line..... the question for me is always who should partner him rather than whether he should be first choice!

A case of ‘to each his own’ it think!

As someone who named AWJ, my main reasons are that he just looks ineffective in everything he does. Rarely see him carrying and making any kind of yards, don't see him knocking back people in the tackle, doesn't seem to make much of an impact hitting tucks. He's decent in the line out, and does that thing in the maul where players look like they're working hard because they grab other players, but is that really effective?

I don't know enough about Wales other options at lock to say whether he shouldn't be selected, but I genuinely think he would be about the 10th best lock in the 6N for me

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 10:55 am

Not going to argue with that, BamBam, but you’re wrong Smile
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by BamBam on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:05 am

The Oracle wrote:Not going to argue with that, BamBam, but you’re wrong Smile

And I'm also not going to argue with you, but you're more wrong boxing

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:09 am

That's a different argument though Bam for me. I look at that question as is there someone else banging down the door and being ignored ie it could be a god awful player in a side, not that Jones is, but if there's no one else even challenging him I can see why he's picked. Alternatively a good player could be being picked but could be keeping someone in your opinion better out of the team.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:13 am

BamBam wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Not going to argue with that, BamBam, but you’re wrong Smile

And I'm also not going to argue with you, but you're more wrong boxing


Who you calling a moron?! boxing
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:29 am

I must admit I thought AWJ is a very strange choice. Considering he has nine lions caps I thought his ability was respected by everyone as a great of the game.


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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:37 am

Time catches up to us all.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by BamBam on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:48 am

Well it wasn't exactly unanimous support for him to be the starting lock for the Lions for the last two tours so it can't be that much of a surprise

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:50 am

maestegmafia wrote:I must admit I thought AWJ  is a very strange choice. Considering he has nine lions caps I thought his ability was respected by everyone as a great of the game.


Definitely not! Not sure I’ve ever seen another player get as much abuse as he did during the Lions tour. Some real nasty stuff more akin to football fans than rugby fans. Mainly on here though, I have to say!
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:52 am

BamBam wrote:Well it wasn't exactly unanimous support for him to be the starting lock for the Lions for the last two tours so it can't be that much of a surprise

And a starting lock in the two tours before. I am very surprised indeed. He is an absolutely superb lock, regularly regarded in the press as one of the best around and an all time welsh great.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:54 am

You're all discussing different things though! Asking whether he deserves his place in the Welsh team now is different to whether he did 4 years ago and different to whether he deserves a place on a lions tour and to whether he would get picked today.
Jones will go down as an extremely good player a level below the chat about all time greats for me.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by BamBam on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:17 pm

He's only been on three tours hasn't he? Just did some checking...

2009 - Jones was named as a starter in the first test, then Shaw took over in the 2nd and 3rd when we performed far better
2013 - no arguments for me there, he was the 2nd best lock in the squad after O'Connell and fully deserved his spot. edit - I remember strong arguments for keeping the Irish partnership with DOC but not for me
2017 - I'm not even going to start the argument again, think most people's views are entrenched

He may well be a great of Welsh rugby, through longevity and ability, but he is certainly no threat to the all time greats of the game.

I do acknowledge that I'm answering a question that wasn't being asked, as he may still be the best option for Wales!

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by lostinwales on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:22 pm

We all have those players who just seem to make the team tick and who are not appreciated outside of our own team. For England two obvious names are Robshaw and Brown. Brown is absolutely the kind of player who you love if he plays for your team, but find it easy to hate when hes on the other side.

Going back to AWJ - no I would not have him as a great. Very experienced, very competent with few if any weaknesses but nothing that makes you really fear seeing him on the other team. But absolutely a player who has been vital to Wales over the last few years - the backbone of the pack. The Lions selection must be coloured by who was managing the team on those tours - but then Gatland probably also wanted the leadership and reliability that AWJ offered (at least when POC was not available)

We are all a bit biased but which other home nation would pick him if they could?

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:27 pm

Yeah, this thread is not called ‘is AWJ an all time rugby great’! Just wondered what the beef was with us (Wales) picking him! I suppose the question this thread poses (though perhaps for a separate thread) is who should be picked instead, because to not undertand why he’s selected suggests he’s blocking someone else who should be picked instead.

Currently, I’m not sure who I’d have over him from Cory Hill, Charteris, Jake Ball, Big Bad Brad, Seb Davies, etc. Maybe Jake Ball, but then my personal preference would be AWJ and Ball together, with Beard (his partner today) the able understudy and one for the future.
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by The Oracle on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:30 pm

Good points Lostiwales - we are all coloured by our bias and I remember thinking in the past (around the lions tour) that there was absolutely no way I’d want or feel the need to have Brown, Rowbshaw, Kruis, et al. in the Wales squad. I just don’t see what they do, I guess.
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by BamBam on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:34 pm

I've always thought Charteris offered a lot, and he really offered a point of difference in the set piece with his maul work, but never really seemed like Wales fans rated him that highly

In that regard, maybe he was the antithesis to AWJ in that I saw Charteris on the team sheet and wondered what our side would do to counter his line out and maul work, whereas I've never had to think of anything I'd want us to do different tactically because of AWJ

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:59 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well I'll go for this week's opposition.
POM. Though I'm bending the rules slightly here as I think there's more talented players in the Ireland team however none that will do more damage. Incredibly hard working good on the floor a master at killing us at the lineout. Furlong is more talented but we are better equipped to deal with him.

Toner is the nearest here for don't know why they select him.....but again I know why they do. Just feel henderson and Ryan are better players.

Pick apart lineout s. We're generally solid but haven't had a real go at the opposition in a while. This point contradicts my previous player choice I realise.

Impact from the bench. We have fewer injuries than I rmemebr for ages. Scrum will probably get stronger as the game goes on.

Toner is always probably going to be Ireland's most polarising player. That said he is the guy Schmidt has selected more than any other player and that does say a lot.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by tigertattie on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 1:05 pm

AWJ is a good player but not as good as he was 4 years ago.

Maybe if he got rid of that dodgy beard (facial hair not his fellow 2nd row player), he'd not look as old and lumbering as he does.

Mike Brown is Mike Brown.

As for Robshaw, I think he's a very good player and a fantastic pack leader. He may not be a great fit as a 7 but I quite like him playing at 6.
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 1:24 pm

The Oracle wrote:It’s interesting how many opposition fans name AWJ as the player they can’t undertand why Wales select (perfectly entitled to that opinion of course!). Yet, I imagine for a lot of Welsh fans he’d be one of the first names on the team sheet (and not just because he’s captain or that there are no alternatives). He regularly wins man if the match awards and is a bit of a talisman for us, his work rate is immense, he gets over the gain line..... the question for me is always who should partner him rather than whether he should be first choice!

That's the very reason why the opposition can't understand why you pick him. It'd be easier for us if you didn't Wink

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 1:29 pm

Toner is virtually Ireland's only 'undroppable'. (nobody is but he's close to being) 
He's been a BIG part of Ireland's success and strategy and Schmidt don't pick dummies.  He's not the classic big guy with meat, muscle and gnashing teeth telling the opposition to *F**k off!*  But he's in the Leinster side and he's in Ireland.... players are settled when he's there.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 1:35 pm

SecretFly wrote:Toner is virtually Ireland's only 'undroppable'.  (nobody is but he's close to being) 
He's been a BIG part of Ireland's success and strategy and Schmidt don't pick dummies.  He's not the classic big guy with meat, muscle and gnashing teeth telling the opposition to *F**k off!*  But he's in the Leinster side and he's in Ireland.... players are settled when he's there.

Toner is a superb pack, you are right he doesn’t look like Matfield or Johnson but he is incredibly effective, he is also huge.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 2:16 pm

Ha. Which is I suppose why this thread exists. Partisan view vs outsider. I did add a heavy caveat that there's no one obvious to me but I simply prefer 2 guys that Ireland have available.


Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by SecretFly on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 2:21 pm

No problem with your pick at all, No7.  It's all opinion.  But I like to stand up for the Big lad whenever I see his name mentioned because I realise that's the man most people pick out as the "?".  I can't see how people think that way though when looking at how much of an anchor he is in the side.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 2:21 pm

Toner smashing Retallick and driving him backwards in the first quarter of the test v NZ in November just kind of summed up for me how good he is. It was no coincidence that that was Retallick's most quiet game in years.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by robbo277 on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 3:47 pm

England vs France

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?
All of them. But also none of them. They blow very hot and cold. However I think a centre partnership of Fofana and Fickou would be as good as any in Europe. If they'd picked it and stuck with it rather than missing about with one or the other on the wing, they could already be up there with the best we've seen in Europe this century.

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?
Bastareaud. See above. Keeps out some very talented players if/when he plays.

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?
Their devil-may-care attitude. Not all the time, as it undoes them more often than not. But when they get going they throw the ball around better than any other team in the Northern Hemisphere. Maybe other teams could, but don't, because of the risk.

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?
In the pack. Fitness, dynamism, mobility, call it what you want, our guys should be able to run them ragged. If we can run their big guys off their feet early, force Brunel to make early changes, then the second half should be one-way, as it was against Wales.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by dummy_half on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 4:20 pm

Interesting looking back on last week's comments, particularly the Ire v Eng ones, given England remembered how to ruck...

Anyway, on to Eng v France:
- Fear the most as an incredible talent? - Quite a few: Picamoles, Fofana, Fickou etc

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?: The big Basteraud. He does have some ability (size, hands) but too often looks lumbering as a centre. Oh, and the huge prop Atonio - all he seems to offer is someone who it is a long way to run round.

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do? The mad off the cuff spontaneity of a French XV playing with no fear.

- The area you think your team will have an advantage? Fitness, mental strength, consistency, recent ability to actually win games.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by rodders on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 4:36 pm

Which player in the opposing team (Scotland) do you:-

- Fear the most as an incredible talent?

Has to be Stuart Hogg.

- Can’t understand why the opposition select him?

No one really. Not a great fan of Maitland.

- Aspect of their game you wish your team could do?

I think their ability to counterattack and play off the cuff is a lot better than us due to the players they have - Kinghorn, Hogg Russell etc.

- The area you think your team will have an advantage?

Before last weekend I'd have said game control, Russell can blow hot and cold and defensively they aren't as solid.
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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by El Radar on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 4:41 pm

I also don't quite understand the acclaim AWJ has always received, when he came on the scene he seemed to be Wales' answer to POC without any point of difference, he's a good player don't get me wrong but I'd not have him in the England matchday 23 and his selection for the lions in '17 cost them dear in the first game.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 4:48 pm

Selecting Farrell at 10 and POM as captain were bigger mistakes for the first test IMO.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by lostinwales on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 4:50 pm

El Radar wrote:I also don't quite understand the acclaim AWJ has always received, when he came on the scene he seemed to be Wales' answer to POC without any point of difference, he's a good player don't get me wrong but I'd not have him in the England matchday 23 and his selection for the lions in '17 cost them dear in the first game.

Yeah don't worry. The AWJ saintly status in Wales vs what everybody else thinks of him has been done to death if you look around.

More than once.

In fact many many times.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 4:55 pm

Speak for yourself. I think he is a very good player.

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Re: The Opposition Thread

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