6N 2019: Scotland v Ireland, 9 February

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 8:42 am

First topic message reminder :

6N 2019: Scotland v Ireland, 9 February - Page 10 Scot_f10     6N 2019: Scotland v Ireland, 9 February - Page 10 Irelan10 
SCOTLAND IRELAND 
9 February 2019
KO: 14:15
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Touch judges: Pascal Gaüzère (France) and Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

Live on [paddy TV and jock TV]

A. Head to Head

134 Played 134
67 Won 62
6 Drawn 6
62 Lost 67
1,415 Points 1,525

B. Recent Form

10 March 2018
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
28–8 to Ireland

4 February 2017
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
27–22 to Scotland

19 March 2016
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
35 – 25 to Ireland

15 August 2015
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
28 – 22 to Ireland

21 March 2015
BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
10 – 40 to Ireland

2 February 2014
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
28 – 6 to Ireland

24 February 2013
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
12 – 8 to Scotland

10 March 2012
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
32 – 14 to Ireland

6 August 2011
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
10 – 6 to Scotland

27 February 2011
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
18 – 21 to Ireland

20 March 2010
Croke Park, Dublin
20 – 23 to Scotland

C. Teams

SCOTLAND
6N 2019: Scotland v Ireland, 9 February - Page 10 Scotla10

[TBC]

IRELAND 
6N 2019: Scotland v Ireland, 9 February - Page 10 Irelan10

[TBC]
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Post by Collapse2005 on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 4:07 pm

RDW wrote:Huge tackling stats from Scotland

Mark Palmer:

The updated official match stats now show Josh Strauss making 29 tackles yesterday, a new Scottish record for a single 6N match. Gilchrist made 28, Dell and Gray 25, Ritchie 23.

Exactly. Pom made 13 tackles. For me Strauss played much better than Pom.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 4:38 pm

Commiserations to Scotland rugby fans.
Firstly because Scotland lost the game but secondly because the Murrayfield crowd have lost their traditional sportsmanship.
Jamie Ritchie was the standout player and should have been the MOTM. Schmidt certainly wouldn't have been disappointed if it had went his way - Joe's ethos is to produce a team performance rather than rely on individual genius.
Ireland won because they made fewer mistakes (especially handling) and it might not be exciting enough for some but it's how Ireland are competitive with such a tiny player pool.

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Post by theslosty on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 4:40 pm

I would say that Ireland under Schmidt have a habit of enabling their opposition to set tackle stats records, check some of the games from last year
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Post by RDW on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 4:46 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Commiserations to Scotland rugby fans.
Firstly because Scotland lost the game but secondly because the Murrayfield crowd have lost their traditional sportsmanship.
Jamie Ritchie was the standout player and should have been the MOTM. Schmidt certainly wouldn't have been disappointed if it had went his way - Joe's ethos is to produce a team performance rather than rely on individual genius.
Ireland won because they made fewer mistakes (especially handling) and it might not be exciting enough for some but it's how Ireland are competitive with such a tiny player pool.

Headscratch

Maybe in terms of total numbers compared to the likes of England and SA, but they have 4 top class well supported club teams, established academies and depending on which source you look at between 4-5 times as many senior male rugby players as Scotland (one source cites Malaysia as having more players than Scotland!). If it was down to playing number England should win every game they play by a landslide.

Germany have a tiny player pool - I don't think you can reasonably claim Ireland do! Especially in a thread involving Scotland and their 2 pro teams and not much else past that...

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 5:30 pm

'Tiny' is not a quantitative term. Ireland have about 120 pro players to pick from and Joe has tried half of them. Going that deep into the player pool means he has to come up with a game strategy that relies on systems rather than individuals. He cannot repeat the mistakes of 2015 where a run of injuries destroyed the team. The down side is that opposition can make their own plans to dismantle the machine.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 5:44 pm

theslosty wrote:I would say that Ireland under Schmidt have a habit of enabling their opposition to set tackle stats records, check some of the games from last year

That's a fair point.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 5:50 pm

RDW wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Commiserations to Scotland rugby fans.
Firstly because Scotland lost the game but secondly because the Murrayfield crowd have lost their traditional sportsmanship.
Jamie Ritchie was the standout player and should have been the MOTM. Schmidt certainly wouldn't have been disappointed if it had went his way - Joe's ethos is to produce a team performance rather than rely on individual genius.
Ireland won because they made fewer mistakes (especially handling) and it might not be exciting enough for some but it's how Ireland are competitive with such a tiny player pool.

Headscratch

Maybe in terms of total numbers compared to the likes of England and SA, but they have 4 top class well supported club teams, established academies and depending on which source you look at between 4-5 times as many senior male rugby players as Scotland (one source cites Malaysia as having more players than Scotland!). If it was down to playing number England should win every game they play by a landslide.

Germany have a tiny player pool - I don't think you can reasonably claim Ireland do! Especially in a thread involving Scotland and their 2 pro teams and not much else past that...

Rugby is their tenth choice sport in Ireland though, “look ut us wee lads punching above eir weight”....

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 5:50 pm

You might always try to argue that Ireland struggle for consistency because of playing numbers when compared to England but then what is France's excuse? What I won!t accept though is a notion that Ireland's style of play at International (the boring stuff as it were) is somehow informed by those same 'playing numbers'. Scotland doesn't play a 'boring' game at International... neither does Wales. We have easily the same numbers of naturally skilled athletes in Ireland as in those two Nations. The difference is the coaching philosophy. Now, who is to say Joe Schmidt's philosophy is wrong. It has been proven to be effective for long enough. But it just shows how quickly a coaching philosophy impacts on the image of the players themselves chosen to play it.
We have talent enough to play an open, expansive, offloading opportunistic game if such a game plan was given the green light. But then, maybe we wouldn't have reached 2nd in the World a few times since Schmidt came onboard. But it is frustrating at times to see talented individuals running directly into contact over and over and over again with only one or two little tricks per game. It's painful because it impacts on the individual reputation of these players - boring.

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Post by bsando on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 6:11 pm

Frustrating game yesterday. However, considering how poor France were today the next fixture might be a really good one again for the neutral.

I was disappointed with Scotland’s lack of drive in that second half. The mistakes crept in and didn’t go away which was quite frustrating. Ireland knew they could choke Scotland out of the game and that was what I really hoped wouldn’t happen. Or at least, Scotland would have a solution.

On a positivé note though, the half time stats were really good! Scotland were on top but just unlucky to have leaked that first try and unlucky to have butchered the 2 on 1. Poor Seymour, not a great game for him.

Watching France today was tragic. So much talent and absolutely no idea. Scotland France in 2 weeks could be a wonderful game of running rugby. Can’t wait!

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 6:20 pm

I think there's a case to be had that there's an optimum number of pro players rather than the more the better. I imagine that England and France have potentially upward of a 1000 each once you factor in their second (or even third tiers). England seem to have a settled squad now, but in their four year cycle they always self-destruct or get in a muddle about which players to choose at one point. The continual debate about centre partnership being the case in point. Between kind of 2003 and 2011 it's staggering the sheer number of players England played in certain positions. At fly-half England had Grayson, Hodgson, Barkley, Flood, Geraghty, Goode, Cipriani and Wilkinson all jostling for position. If one of them was Scottish they would probably have been first choice in that era and had a more settle career as a consequence. France get it even worse, they have arguably the most talented players in the Six Nations and yet somehow possibly the worst team.
Scotland are the opposite, a run of injuries in a certain position and we're struggling big time. If this group of players win a Grand Slam/ a Six Nations it will be come down to luck and having as many fit players on the pitch as possible. I would say Ireland are at almost the optimal position. They have enough quality players that they can suffer almost all but the worst run of injuries now without too big a dip. Wales are coming up to that point too. I think 4/5 teams is the magic number. Three teams playing at the top and one that acts as a safety net for those players who might have fallen off. Quin Roux being the perfect example, he evidently wasn't up to Leinster standard, if he'd been a Glasgow player he would have gone elsewhere and we'd have never heard of him again. But because he stayed in the Irish system he stayed on their radar. Similarly Wales in theory have the Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys who should be competing in the Champions cup and the Dragons who are a bit further behind. In Scotland we have Edinburgh and Glasgow who are both amongst the best teams in Europe this season, but in theory that leaves a maximum of 4 players who play regularly in each position, obviously it's a bit complicated with Scottish players abroad and foreign players in Scotland.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 7:33 pm

123456789. wrote:I think there's a case to be had that there's an optimum number of pro players rather than the more the better. I imagine that England and France have potentially upward of a 1000 each once you factor in their second (or even third tiers). England seem to have a settled squad now, but in their four year cycle they always self-destruct or get in a muddle about which players to choose at one point. The continual debate about centre partnership being the case in point.  Between kind of 2003 and 2011 it's staggering the sheer number of players England played in certain positions. At fly-half England had Grayson, Hodgson, Barkley, Flood, Geraghty, Goode, Cipriani and Wilkinson all jostling for position. If one of them was Scottish they would probably have been first choice in that era and had a more settle career as a consequence. France get it even worse, they have arguably the most talented players in the Six Nations and yet somehow possibly the worst team.
Scotland are the opposite, a run of injuries in a certain position and we're struggling big time. If this group of players win a Grand Slam/ a Six Nations it will be come down to luck and having as many fit players on the pitch as possible. I would say Ireland are at almost the optimal position. They have enough quality players that they can suffer almost all but the worst run of injuries now without too big a dip. Wales are coming up to that point too. I think 4/5 teams is the magic number. Three teams playing at the top and one that acts as a safety net for those players who might have fallen off. Quin Roux being the perfect example, he evidently wasn't up to Leinster standard, if he'd been a Glasgow player he would have gone elsewhere and we'd have never heard of him again. But because he stayed in the Irish system he stayed on their radar. Similarly Wales in theory have the Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys who should be competing in the Champions cup and the Dragons who are a bit further behind. In Scotland we have Edinburgh and Glasgow who are both amongst the best teams in Europe this season, but in theory that leaves a maximum of 4 players who play regularly in each position, obviously it's a bit complicated with Scottish players abroad and foreign players in Scotland.
Well written post but I would strongly disagree with this. They have some good young players coming through like Lambey and Bemba but I wouldn't swap any of them or their first choice players for the ones we have here. A first choice France were beaten by a Fijian team at home a couple of months ago who totally deserved to win that day, it wasn't a fluke or anything Fiji were simply better. They also have a draw at home to Japan to their name. Like all tier 1 teams (bar maybe Italy) they can "win on their day" but this is simply a poor french team.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:27 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
123456789. wrote:I think there's a case to be had that there's an optimum number of pro players rather than the more the better. I imagine that England and France have potentially upward of a 1000 each once you factor in their second (or even third tiers). England seem to have a settled squad now, but in their four year cycle they always self-destruct or get in a muddle about which players to choose at one point. The continual debate about centre partnership being the case in point.  Between kind of 2003 and 2011 it's staggering the sheer number of players England played in certain positions. At fly-half England had Grayson, Hodgson, Barkley, Flood, Geraghty, Goode, Cipriani and Wilkinson all jostling for position. If one of them was Scottish they would probably have been first choice in that era and had a more settle career as a consequence. France get it even worse, they have arguably the most talented players in the Six Nations and yet somehow possibly the worst team.
Scotland are the opposite, a run of injuries in a certain position and we're struggling big time. If this group of players win a Grand Slam/ a Six Nations it will be come down to luck and having as many fit players on the pitch as possible. I would say Ireland are at almost the optimal position. They have enough quality players that they can suffer almost all but the worst run of injuries now without too big a dip. Wales are coming up to that point too. I think 4/5 teams is the magic number. Three teams playing at the top and one that acts as a safety net for those players who might have fallen off. Quin Roux being the perfect example, he evidently wasn't up to Leinster standard, if he'd been a Glasgow player he would have gone elsewhere and we'd have never heard of him again. But because he stayed in the Irish system he stayed on their radar. Similarly Wales in theory have the Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys who should be competing in the Champions cup and the Dragons who are a bit further behind. In Scotland we have Edinburgh and Glasgow who are both amongst the best teams in Europe this season, but in theory that leaves a maximum of 4 players who play regularly in each position, obviously it's a bit complicated with Scottish players abroad and foreign players in Scotland.
Well written post but I would strongly disagree with this. They have some good young players coming through like Lambey and Bemba but I wouldn't swap any of them or their first choice players for the ones we have here. A first choice France were beaten by a Fijian team at home a couple of months ago who totally deserved to win that day, it wasn't a fluke or anything Fiji were simply better. They also have a draw at home to Japan to their name. Like all tier 1 teams (bar maybe Italy) they can "win on their day" but this is simply a poor french team.
Don't get me wrong, Ireland have better players but are they more talented? Of course there's no objective measurement of talent but I'd say the Irish system and the Irish coaches do a brilliant job at squeezing the absolute best out of their players, the French system the opposite. Fickou made his debut aged 18, and did not look out of place. Fofana was brilliant when he burst through. Machenaud and Teddy Thomas are mainstays of a brilliant Racing team. Huget is a petulant arsewipe but is he more talented than Keith Earls? Probably. You then consider that of the Six Nations teams, Picamoles is the only first choice number 8 to be born and brought up in the country he represents, te others have all had to look elsewhere to find a barnstorming modern number 8. I would say Ireland's main strength lies in their system, they have very, very good players but an even better strategy that gets the absolute best out of them when it works. Look to yesterday for example, Ireland misfired and so did Scotland yet when three or four Scotland players (let alone the 10+ we saw yesterday) go off the boil they struggle in a big way whereas Ireland were able to see out the game comfortably.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:35 pm

SecretFly wrote:You might always try to argue that Ireland struggle for consistency because of playing numbers when compared to England but then what is France's excuse?  What I won!t accept though is a notion that Ireland's style of play at International (the boring stuff as it were) is somehow informed by those same 'playing numbers'.  Scotland doesn't play a 'boring' game at International... neither does Wales.  We have easily the same numbers of naturally skilled athletes in Ireland as in those two Nations.  The difference is the coaching philosophy.  Now, who is to say Joe Schmidt's philosophy is wrong.  It has been proven to be effective for long enough.  But it just shows how quickly a coaching philosophy impacts on the image of the players themselves chosen to play it.
We have talent enough to play an open, expansive, offloading opportunistic game if such a game plan was given the green light.  But then, maybe we wouldn't have reached 2nd in the World a few times since Schmidt came onboard.  But it is frustrating at times to see talented individuals running directly into contact over and over and over again with only one or two little tricks per game.  It's painful because it impacts on the individual reputation of these players - boring.
Ireland have shown at the last RWC that they can't rely on calling the next cab on the rank if they've never travelled with them before.
Eddie O'S showed in 2007 that Ireland can't sustain an exciting game plan with only a few players who can play it. Ireland WON (next to) nothing playing the exciting gameplan, they simply didn't have a replacement for BOD who was increasingly injured.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:17 am

Very frustrating second half. We were ok in the 1st 40 mins, despite Seymour gifting Ireland a try, but the 2nd half was a complete mess. So so many unforced errors. We won't beat anyone with those handling stats, let alone a clinical Ireland side. Blaming Poite is a complete side show for me. Too many players developed "Denton hands" in the 2nd 40.

On the plus side, I thought Gilchrist was once again solid, Dell put in a shift and Ritchie and Strauss were good in the back row. Probably Strauss' best game for Scotland, and for me the 8 jersey is his for the next game. Huw Jones has gone missing in two games now, and I didn't think much of Seymour and Maitland. Question marks over the back three for the France game, with both Graham and Kinghorn with hands firmly in the air. Hope Hogg is fit.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:22 am

As for Ireland, any away win in the 6 Nations is decent and whilst not fully in full flow, the Stockdale try was straight out of the Irish box of tricks. I thought it was a solid performance from them with some nice touches thrown in. Aki is going well at the moment and despite the intercept pass, Carberry looks the business at this level. Not sure about SOB at 8 though. Didn't think the back row really fired. Still, an away win and deprived Scotland of a losing bonus point at home: decent response after the England battering.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:55 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Very frustrating second half. We were ok in the 1st 40 mins, despite Seymour gifting Ireland a try, but the 2nd half was a complete mess. So so many unforced errors. We won't beat anyone with those handling stats, let alone a clinical Ireland side. Blaming Poite is a complete side show for me. Too many players developed "Denton hands" in the 2nd 40.

On the plus side, I thought Gilchrist was once again solid, Dell put in a shift and Ritchie and Strauss were good in the back row. Probably Strauss' best game for Scotland, and for me the 8 jersey is his for the next game. Huw Jones has gone missing in two games now, and I didn't think much of Seymour and Maitland. Question marks over the back three for the France game, with both Graham and Kinghorn with hands firmly in the air. Hope Hogg is fit.

I think people are being harsh on Maitland and Seymour, they didn't have their best game but the Scotland mistakes were a whole team affair, though yes, it would be good to see what Graham could do off the bench perhaps. Don't know what's going on with Jones but feel like it's a continuation of second season syndrome. He seems to have lost a lot of focus, which is a shame as when he's flying he's easily one of the most exciting players on the pitch. I think a dropping would do him good as we need a response, really, which makes it all the more frustrating that Bennett got injured... again. We don't really have anyone who is a dedicated 13 who can step up and do a better job, that's my concern. Certainly Harris isn't the answer, Grigg will put in a lot of heart but he remains a good club player rather than international. The only person who springs to mind is Johnstone but he's not in the squad! Him and Johnson would be a solid centre pairing.

The main takeaway from this game has been that if we want to play fast we have to remember the basics. Something that was horribly lacking, particularly in the second half. Blown opportunities seem to be a recurring theme with Toonie's Scotland, and I remain skeptical whether he is the right man for the job or whether he's just riding on the back of a coach who drilled the team well and the highly talented individuals within the squad.

Blaming the referee for the performance did not impress me in the slightest. Australia QF 2015, yes, I get why then, comprehensive defeat from Ireland through their dominance and our error count, no.
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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:03 am

I think we're putting Maitland and Seymour under extra scrutiny due to the dropping of Kinghorn - that's what all the pre-match chat was about so there was a lot of focus on them. They were both picked for their greater experience but they failed to deliver - both made mistakes and didn't do anything else standout to make up for it. For what it's worth I don't think Maitland looked match fit.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:08 am

RDW wrote:I think we're putting Maitland and Seymour under extra scrutiny due to the dropping of Kinghorn - that's what all the pre-match chat was about so there was a lot of focus on them. They were both picked for their greater experience but they failed to deliver - both made mistakes and didn't do anything else standout to make up for it. For what it's worth I don't think Maitland looked match fit.

Arguably one of the Blair Kinghorn errors lead to an Ireland score. Both Seymour and Maitland also made some exceptional takes from the air. I think this performance showed squad immaturity similar to the Italy game. It's an odd state of affairs when Russell looks like one of the sensible ones on the pitch!

As is said every season, Scotland's issues are also largely psychological. In that respect they are miles behind the likes of Wales, England and Ireland.
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Post by BigGee on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:23 am

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:I think we're putting Maitland and Seymour under extra scrutiny due to the dropping of Kinghorn - that's what all the pre-match chat was about so there was a lot of focus on them. They were both picked for their greater experience but they failed to deliver - both made mistakes and didn't do anything else standout to make up for it. For what it's worth I don't think Maitland looked match fit.

Arguably one of the Blair Kinghorn errors lead to an Ireland score. Both Seymour and Maitland also made some exceptional takes from the air. I think this performance showed squad immaturity similar to the Italy game. It's an odd state of affairs when Russell looks like one of the sensible ones on the pitch!

As is said every season, Scotland's issues are also largely psychological. In that respect they are miles behind the likes of Wales, England and Ireland.

Completely agree with that, they have got to get the heads right to win these games. That is where the Irish were miles ahead of us, they never thought they were going to lose.

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Post by EST on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:52 am

I was lucky enough to be at the game on the weekend, and at half time i was convinced we would go on to win....fairly standard then that we managed to shoot ourselves in the foot at almost every opportunity. Error compounded error, which drained the buzz from the crowd, and from about 50 mins I think most people knew we were going to lose.

MoM for me was Ritchie, he was everywhere, and I thought from a Scotland perspective that Russell, Johnson, Gilchrist and Strauss were very strong. Delighted that Strauss played so well - have we found our starting 8?

Regarding Ireland, I thought they played OK and defended well, but some of the attacking play seemed to be very limited (Stockdale try aside) - i'm not sure what to make of their performances this 6N, given just how good they have been of late.

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Post by rodders on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:55 am

Not sure what to make of that game.

From an Ireland perspective I suppose there is relief to get any sort of win, that was a tricky fixture and a second loss on the bounce could have undid a lot of the great work over the past few seasons to get Ireland to where they are at. Schmidt won't be pleased at all with the performance but sometimes it is just about the result.  

On the positives, our set piece was excellent despite missing Toner and Henderson and we did will to see the game out without Sexton - so our depth has stood up well to scrutiny again. Stockdales try was very well executed and Kearney made a big difference at the back.  

On the less positive side, missing out on the 4 try bonus point could prove crucial in the final standings and we did struggle to create opportunities despite having a lot of ball and a solid platform up front.

Overall away wins aren't easy in the 6N and Scotland have been in good form. A good win in Italy and at home against France we can head into what looks to be a 2nd place decider against Wales so there is a lot still to play for in terms of building for the RWC.

For Scotland, they just seem to lack a bit of patience and tend to over play when they don't need to, they have all the talent to do well. Hopefully they can pick off Wales and England for us and open the championship up a bit but England seem to be way ahead at the minute...


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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:59 am

Wilson ruled out of the 6N, Hogg and Jones have ligament injuries and need further assessment.

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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:01 am

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:I think we're putting Maitland and Seymour under extra scrutiny due to the dropping of Kinghorn - that's what all the pre-match chat was about so there was a lot of focus on them. They were both picked for their greater experience but they failed to deliver - both made mistakes and didn't do anything else standout to make up for it. For what it's worth I don't think Maitland looked match fit.

Arguably one of the Blair Kinghorn errors lead to an Ireland score. Both Seymour and Maitland also made some exceptional takes from the air. I think this performance showed squad immaturity similar to the Italy game. It's an odd state of affairs when Russell looks like one of the sensible ones on the pitch!

As is said every season, Scotland's issues are also largely psychological. In that respect they are miles behind the likes of Wales, England and Ireland.

Saying Maitland and Seymour weren't great doesn't mean that I'm saying Kinghorn was - his dropped ball under no pressure was inexcusable.

My point is Maitland and Seymour were picked for their big game experience and they didn't follow through with their performance.

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Post by EST on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:06 am

RDW wrote:Wilson ruled out of the 6N, Hogg and Jones have ligament injuries and need further assessment.

We are unbelievably stretched at BR now - I've been critical of Wilson but there is no doubt he has played well over the last two games.  I think 6 is his best position at international level, and he has benefited from Strauss ball carrying at 8.

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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:08 am

So basically we have:

Fit - Ritchie, Strauss, Harley, Graham
Doubtful - Watson, Skinner, Hardie
Injured - Wilson plus everyone else

Wonder if we'll see Fraser Brown at 7??

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:11 am

Luke Crosbie may get an earlier debut than expected...

Graham probably will be in at 6 v France I suspect.
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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:12 am

Feck me I hope Sale don't play Strauss this weekend

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Post by EST on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:13 am

RDW wrote:So basically we have:

Fit - Ritchie, Strauss, Harley, Graham
Doubtful - Watson, Skinner, Hardie
Injured - Wilson plus everyone else

Wonder if we'll see Fraser Brown at 7??

Could well do - he has shown he can do a job there in the past.

Do we know if Bradbury could play this weekend for Edinburgh? Hopefully Hardie's injury isn't too severe.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:17 am

EST wrote:
RDW wrote:So basically we have:

Fit - Ritchie, Strauss, Harley, Graham
Doubtful - Watson, Skinner, Hardie
Injured - Wilson plus everyone else

Wonder if we'll see Fraser Brown at 7??

Could well do - he has shown he can do a job there in the past.

Do we know if Bradbury could play this weekend for Edinburgh?  Hopefully Hardie's injury isn't too severe.

I hope not, Kerr is too wet behind the ears for me, we need Fraser in his best position imo.
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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:17 am

There's been no word at all on Bradbury since his injury so it's hard to know. He was in SA with the squad so hopefully isn't far away. Would be a huge boost to have him back, but I would be wary of throwing him straight back into the 6N. If he does return this week he could maybe make an appearance for the last two games.

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Post by EST on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:22 am

RDW wrote:There's been no word at all on Bradbury since his injury so it's hard to know. He was in SA with the squad so hopefully isn't far away. Would be a huge boost to have him back, but I would be wary of throwing him straight back into the 6N. If he does return this week he could maybe make an appearance for the last two games.

Yeah, it would be tough on him to come straight in for the France game...we might not have a choice though. I think we have just about managed to keep our head above water this far, but if we don't get any BR players back before the French game we are going to be really weak there.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:23 am

Watson may be back for the France game and if he is then i would imagine it will be a Watson/Strauss/Ritchie combo, probably with Graham on the bench. If he is not back, then you would imagine that Graham will start. Whatever Bradbury's state of health is, he is not going to be match fit for this one. Maybe there is an outside chance of Skinner being back, but that also seems a long shot.

Hard to see Hoggy or Jones being fit as well, Kinghorn can cover FB okay, but not sure about outside centre?

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Post by RDW on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:30 am

You'd think Chris Harris would come in. Not the most spectacular choice but he is reasonably solid at least - Nick Grigg's defence has been shown up at the highest level for club and country.

Worth saying that Ritchie Gray should be back too - Gray x2 plus Gilchrist is a very good set of locks, and I bet whoever is on the bench won't stay on the bench this time!

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Post by Eejit on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:32 am

Grigg is due a big game in a Scotland shirt, he’s been yards ahead of Jones at club level all season.

Not sure what to expect from the possibility of him vs Bastareaud. Offensively you’d expect the Pocket Battleship to have him on toast but he’s 5 stone lighter!

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Post by jimbopip on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:54 am

Watching Bastareaud yesterday was quite confusing; I wasn't sure if I should laugh out loud or be embarrassed for him. Asking someone that fat to plod around a rugby field is only acceptable if he is playing tight-head. he may be 5 stone heavier than the pocket rocket but by the time he shuffles up to the gainline hopefully there would be support for Grigg. As for support for the most mobile menhir in France: an RSJ might just do the job.

The France display against England was unbelievably poor. Fickou must go back into the centres. If Fofana is fit I'd have him in as well. Penaud looked very good with the ball in hand; bit meh defensively. France being France, they will put in a world class performance against us. Then lose to Italy.


Back Row chin

6. Big Red Crayon (just to see him and Lambie competing at the breakdown)
7. Ritchie (having a great tournament)
8. Bluto

Centres chin

12. Johnson
13. Grigg? Dunbar? GC's mildly racist Uncle Dougie??

Back Three

11. No Maits
14. Seymour? See yon pass!
15 King Hornblare, but only if he promises to pass the ball occasionally.

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Post by Eejit on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:56 am

jimbopip wrote:Watching Bastareaud yesterday was quite confusing; I wasn't sure if I should laugh out loud or be embarrassed for him. Asking someone that fat to plod around a rugby field is only acceptable if he is playing tight-head. he may be 5 stone heavier than the pocket rocket but by the time he shuffles up to the gainline hopefully there would be support for Grigg. As for support for the most mobile menhir in France: an RSJ might just do the job.

The France display against England was unbelievably poor. Fickou must go back into the centres. If Fofana is fit I'd have him in as well. Penaud looked very good with the ball in hand; bit meh defensively. France being France, they will put in a world class performance against us. Then lose to Italy.


Back Row chin

6. Big Red Crayon (just to see him and Lambie competing at the breakdown)
7. Ritchie (having a great tournament)
8. Bluto

Centres chin

12. Johnson
13. Grigg? Dunbar? GC's mildly racist Uncle Dougie??

Back Three

11. No Maits
14. Seymour? See yon pass!
15  King Hornblare, but only if he promises to pass the ball occasionally.

And maybe try to not let the ball bounce off his head this time.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 11:01 am

Dont think Quinn Roux got enough credit for coming in and calling the Irish line with a 100% record for the day against a good Scotland lineout.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 1:20 pm

Outside centre is a worry. I just don't rate Harris and neither Grigg nor Johnstone are international quality players in my book.

These injuries are completely crippling us. Ordinarily we'd have Jones, Bennett, Taylor, Scott and Dunbar too choose from.

Could Pete Horne play at 13 with SJ at 12?

I'm a big fan of Chris Dean these days, but he's a 12 and never a 13.

If Hogg were fit would he play 13 with Kinghorn at 15?

In the 2000s if we'd had this many players injured, we'd actually have semi-pro players starting. It's a wonder that we are able to compete at all!

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Post by rodders on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 2:13 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Dont think Quinn Roux got enough credit for coming in and calling the Irish line with a 100% record for the day against a good Scotland lineout.

Yup he was very good, one one the biggest positives for Ireland considering how far down the pecking order he is.

Dillane looked good of the bench as well, didn't he steal one Scottish lineout and win a penalty on the deck?
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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 2:15 pm

rodders wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Dont think Quinn Roux got enough credit for coming in and calling the Irish line with a 100% record for the day against a good Scotland lineout.

Yup he was very good, one one the biggest positives for Ireland considering how far down the pecking order he is.

Dillane looked good of the bench as well, didn't he steal one Scottish lineout and win a penalty on the deck?  

Yep he did. Ryan got one steal too. Irelands lineout work was really good.

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Post by rodders on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 2:24 pm

Yeah I thought it was solid enough, in another year we'd probably be happy enough but it just feels a bit flat compared to the standards we've set ourselves recently... and as much as I hate to say it, the level England are at right now....
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Post by Taylorman on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 2:37 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
SecretFly wrote:You might always try to argue that Ireland struggle for consistency because of playing numbers when compared to England but then what is France's excuse?  What I won!t accept though is a notion that Ireland's style of play at International (the boring stuff as it were) is somehow informed by those same 'playing numbers'.  Scotland doesn't play a 'boring' game at International... neither does Wales.  We have easily the same numbers of naturally skilled athletes in Ireland as in those two Nations.  The difference is the coaching philosophy.  Now, who is to say Joe Schmidt's philosophy is wrong.  It has been proven to be effective for long enough.  But it just shows how quickly a coaching philosophy impacts on the image of the players themselves chosen to play it.
We have talent enough to play an open, expansive, offloading opportunistic game if such a game plan was given the green light.  But then, maybe we wouldn't have reached 2nd in the World a few times since Schmidt came onboard.  But it is frustrating at times to see talented individuals running directly into contact over and over and over again with only one or two little tricks per game.  It's painful because it impacts on the individual reputation of these players - boring.
Ireland have shown at the last RWC that they can't rely on calling the next cab on the rank if they've never travelled with them before.
Eddie O'S showed in 2007 that Ireland can't sustain an exciting game plan with only a few players who can play it. Ireland WON (next to) nothing playing the exciting gameplan, they simply didn't have a replacement for BOD who was increasingly injured.

Good point. Irelands gameplan of heavy contact, defence and reliance on defence, not getting behind on the scoreboard demands better player management in a world cup year than what they have at the moment, which looks to be none.

And already they have a slew of injuries. A september world cup needed a 45-50 wide squad for 2019 to rest key players and Ireland face going into japan flat and injured at the current rate of attrition. The other sides are similar but Irelands gameplan of high contact requirements demands it more.

So with the recent injuries theyre already starting to get behind. SH sides have a huge advantage from a timing perspective. Many wont even front Super rugby for a couple more months yet. So an April to sept run is ideal.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 2:50 pm

Stop talking shoite Taylorman. All teams get injuries. Irelands player management is absolutely fine. Schmidt is very conservative re picking players who arent fully fit. Yet when we do get injuries our deputies generally do very well.

Marmion and VdF v NZ
Roux  and Carbery v Scotland
Jackson v SA a couple of years ago
Murphy v Australia in the summer
Madigan v France in the last RWC

There are way more examples of subs coming in and making a mark than the other way round.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 3:06 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Outside centre is a worry. I just don't rate Harris and neither Grigg nor Johnstone are international quality players in my book.

These injuries are completely crippling us. Ordinarily we'd have Jones, Bennett, Taylor, Scott and Dunbar too choose from.

Could Pete Horne play at 13 with SJ at 12?

I'm a big fan of Chris Dean these days, but he's a 12 and never a 13.

If Hogg were fit would he play 13 with Kinghorn at 15?

In the 2000s if we'd had this many players injured, we'd actually have semi-pro players starting. It's a wonder that we are able to compete at all!

I think you might have stumbled across a cracking idea. Hogg one on one with Bastareaud now might be very lucrative for us. Jones needs something to change. From a Scotland perspective perhaps it would have been better for him to have left Glasgow. Although that's obviously a gamble, at Glasgow he'll be given every opportunity to turn things around, he mightn't get that if he's at a Premiership club. Especially when you consider that all bar two are still under threat of relegation. I though throughout the whole season that he wasn't quite doing it for Glasgow but would click for Scotland. There was always the talk that he couldn't transfer his Scotland form to Glasgow, no one suspected he might do the opposite. I am starting to wonder if the Glasgow coaching department might need to be looked at, none of our key Scotland players have moved forwards under Rennie. Jonny Gray and Huw Jones the prime examples. It's a tough one though as it would be very hard to criticise a coach that has Glasgow near the top of its conference and in the last eight of the champions cup. But ultimately, Glasgow and Edinburgh exist to serve the national side.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 6:01 pm

123456789. wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
123456789. wrote:I think there's a case to be had that there's an optimum number of pro players rather than the more the better. I imagine that England and France have potentially upward of a 1000 each once you factor in their second (or even third tiers). England seem to have a settled squad now, but in their four year cycle they always self-destruct or get in a muddle about which players to choose at one point. The continual debate about centre partnership being the case in point.  Between kind of 2003 and 2011 it's staggering the sheer number of players England played in certain positions. At fly-half England had Grayson, Hodgson, Barkley, Flood, Geraghty, Goode, Cipriani and Wilkinson all jostling for position. If one of them was Scottish they would probably have been first choice in that era and had a more settle career as a consequence. France get it even worse, they have arguably the most talented players in the Six Nations and yet somehow possibly the worst team.
Scotland are the opposite, a run of injuries in a certain position and we're struggling big time. If this group of players win a Grand Slam/ a Six Nations it will be come down to luck and having as many fit players on the pitch as possible. I would say Ireland are at almost the optimal position. They have enough quality players that they can suffer almost all but the worst run of injuries now without too big a dip. Wales are coming up to that point too. I think 4/5 teams is the magic number. Three teams playing at the top and one that acts as a safety net for those players who might have fallen off. Quin Roux being the perfect example, he evidently wasn't up to Leinster standard, if he'd been a Glasgow player he would have gone elsewhere and we'd have never heard of him again. But because he stayed in the Irish system he stayed on their radar. Similarly Wales in theory have the Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys who should be competing in the Champions cup and the Dragons who are a bit further behind. In Scotland we have Edinburgh and Glasgow who are both amongst the best teams in Europe this season, but in theory that leaves a maximum of 4 players who play regularly in each position, obviously it's a bit complicated with Scottish players abroad and foreign players in Scotland.
Well written post but I would strongly disagree with this. They have some good young players coming through like Lambey and Bemba but I wouldn't swap any of them or their first choice players for the ones we have here. A first choice France were beaten by a Fijian team at home a couple of months ago who totally deserved to win that day, it wasn't a fluke or anything Fiji were simply better. They also have a draw at home to Japan to their name. Like all tier 1 teams (bar maybe Italy) they can "win on their day" but this is simply a poor french team.
Don't get me wrong, Ireland have better players but are they more talented? Of course there's no objective measurement of talent but I'd say the Irish system and the Irish coaches do a brilliant job at squeezing the absolute best out of their players, the French system the opposite. Fickou made his debut aged 18, and did not look out of place. Fofana was brilliant when he burst through. Machenaud and Teddy Thomas are mainstays of a brilliant Racing team. Huget is a petulant arsewipe but is he more talented than Keith Earls? Probably. You then consider that of the Six Nations teams, Picamoles is the only first choice number 8 to be born and brought up in the country he represents, te others have all had to look elsewhere to find a barnstorming modern number 8. I would say Ireland's main strength lies in their system, they have very, very good players but an even better strategy that gets the absolute best out of them when it works. Look to yesterday for example, Ireland misfired and so did Scotland yet when three or four Scotland players (let alone the 10+ we saw yesterday) go off the boil they struggle in a big way whereas Ireland were able to see out the game comfortably.
It is frustrating seeing what looks to be wasted talent. I've always wondered do their young forwards bulk up too much? I remember watching someone like Camera light up Thomand park when he was 19 with his athleticism, now he almost looks chubby and doesn't have the same flair. Still a good player but perhaps not fulfilling his potential.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 6:27 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Stop talking shoite Taylorman. All teams get injuries. Irelands player management is absolutely fine. Schmidt is very conservative re picking players who arent fully fit. Yet when we do get injuries our deputies generally do very well.

Marmion and VdF v NZ
Roux  and Carbery v Scotland
Jackson v SA a couple of years ago
Murphy v Australia in the summer
Madigan v France in the last RWC

There are way more examples of subs coming in and making a mark than the other way round.

Still not getting it huh? Its not about not playing players when theyre not fully fit. Thats commonnsense. Its about spreading the match load... all matches... across a wider group of players. Not playing players when they are fully fit. Why do you think ireland had so many injuries when they hit quarters time in 2015. Luck? All teams have injuries? Nah, they had far too many. So what was the learning from that? 6N is nothing compared to the WCup so Schmidt should ne backing the full scope of his depth for the remainder of the tournament.

we rested players like McCaw and carter for half to a full season before the world cup. Fit players cant play all year, they need to be managed so theyre not just fit, but at peak. Sexton didnt need to play vs Scotland, yet went off injured. What part of this six nations gives you evidence that this is world cup year? None? Yet we already have players that wont play super rugby at all for at least a couple of months, some more.

And how much would you, or Schmidt really know about preparing a side for a successful world cup campaign? which should have started this time last year. Already Ireland look like theyre headed down the tired slippery rope england did last year and ireland did in 15.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 6:36 pm

Didn't mccaw play through at least a couple of world cup games with a broken foot?

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 6:46 pm

Yeah but he's an exceptional player, innit. He's just unlucky that he played for a very bad team..........

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 7:05 pm

Anyway, I wouldn't go writing off Ireland yet. Whilst I was obviously disappointed by the manner of the loss to a rampant England,
I didn't then and don't now feel it's the beginning of the end. I felt and said here that I didn't feel we'd be up for a defence of the title - the odds were against it and too many other distractions now in the minds of coaches and players. In a sense, England needed to perform to high standards in this contest. They didn't have a choice. For their own confidence levels, they needed to keep up the pace of November. Yet, had they been in Ireland's position from last year, would they be giving this contest everything now or taking the foot off for a while to better manage resources towards the WC?
Nobody runs out to lose but Irish player mindset is at a different place to the English mindset... and just look at English form and luck last February in contrast to the resurgent November. The WC takes place in the Autumn and there is plenty of time for Ireland to stoke up the engine again and get to the WC in a much more menacing mood. I think back to something Sexton said in November. He kinda knows he's beginning the end stage of his career. He said one more goal on the horizon - and it's doubtful if he meant another European title or another Slam. He may not even get to the WC, but if he does, you can bet he and the others will be putting everything on the line for a shot at one more goal.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 7:08 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
123456789. wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
123456789. wrote:I think there's a case to be had that there's an optimum number of pro players rather than the more the better. I imagine that England and France have potentially upward of a 1000 each once you factor in their second (or even third tiers). England seem to have a settled squad now, but in their four year cycle they always self-destruct or get in a muddle about which players to choose at one point. The continual debate about centre partnership being the case in point.  Between kind of 2003 and 2011 it's staggering the sheer number of players England played in certain positions. At fly-half England had Grayson, Hodgson, Barkley, Flood, Geraghty, Goode, Cipriani and Wilkinson all jostling for position. If one of them was Scottish they would probably have been first choice in that era and had a more settle career as a consequence. France get it even worse, they have arguably the most talented players in the Six Nations and yet somehow possibly the worst team.
Scotland are the opposite, a run of injuries in a certain position and we're struggling big time. If this group of players win a Grand Slam/ a Six Nations it will be come down to luck and having as many fit players on the pitch as possible. I would say Ireland are at almost the optimal position. They have enough quality players that they can suffer almost all but the worst run of injuries now without too big a dip. Wales are coming up to that point too. I think 4/5 teams is the magic number. Three teams playing at the top and one that acts as a safety net for those players who might have fallen off. Quin Roux being the perfect example, he evidently wasn't up to Leinster standard, if he'd been a Glasgow player he would have gone elsewhere and we'd have never heard of him again. But because he stayed in the Irish system he stayed on their radar. Similarly Wales in theory have the Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys who should be competing in the Champions cup and the Dragons who are a bit further behind. In Scotland we have Edinburgh and Glasgow who are both amongst the best teams in Europe this season, but in theory that leaves a maximum of 4 players who play regularly in each position, obviously it's a bit complicated with Scottish players abroad and foreign players in Scotland.
Well written post but I would strongly disagree with this. They have some good young players coming through like Lambey and Bemba but I wouldn't swap any of them or their first choice players for the ones we have here. A first choice France were beaten by a Fijian team at home a couple of months ago who totally deserved to win that day, it wasn't a fluke or anything Fiji were simply better. They also have a draw at home to Japan to their name. Like all tier 1 teams (bar maybe Italy) they can "win on their day" but this is simply a poor french team.
Don't get me wrong, Ireland have better players but are they more talented? Of course there's no objective measurement of talent but I'd say the Irish system and the Irish coaches do a brilliant job at squeezing the absolute best out of their players, the French system the opposite. Fickou made his debut aged 18, and did not look out of place. Fofana was brilliant when he burst through. Machenaud and Teddy Thomas are mainstays of a brilliant Racing team. Huget is a petulant arsewipe but is he more talented than Keith Earls? Probably. You then consider that of the Six Nations teams, Picamoles is the only first choice number 8 to be born and brought up in the country he represents, te others have all had to look elsewhere to find a barnstorming modern number 8. I would say Ireland's main strength lies in their system, they have very, very good players but an even better strategy that gets the absolute best out of them when it works. Look to yesterday for example, Ireland misfired and so did Scotland yet when three or four Scotland players (let alone the 10+ we saw yesterday) go off the boil they struggle in a big way whereas Ireland were able to see out the game comfortably.
It is frustrating seeing what looks to be wasted talent. I've always wondered do their young forwards bulk up too much? I remember watching someone like Camera light up Thomand park when he was 19 with his athleticism, now he almost looks chubby and doesn't have the same flair. Still a good player but perhaps not fulfilling his potential.
I suspect it's conditioning as much as anything else, one thing almost every British player that goes out to play says when they come back is the S&C over in France isn't up to standard and the fitness levels aren't as high. I think Tom Varndell said recently that when he was out playing just last year training sessions would be called early so players could have wine and cheese (he was playing Second Division). It's hard to imagine Bastaraeud reaching the size he has at a British or Irish side. It's bizarre because it would be tempting to say they haven't got professionalism right but then if you look at the late 90s, early 2000s all the suggestions were that they (along with England) absolutely had it spot on. They were the mainstays of the early champions cup and it looked like England and France would dominate the 6 Nations for years. They won the Six Nations in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010, which would be considered a golden era by any other team. But since 2010 they have got progressively worse; it's hard to think why. In France it seems you get "French teams" and "Import teams"; I suspect the likes of Racing and Toulouse have adopted similar programmes to the top teams in the rest of Europe but the national team doesn't benefit as there aren't so many French players there. The truth probably lies in a combination of structure and culture. They don't seem to have the right balance between the national team and club teams so players don't get the same level of preparation that the other sides get and then culturally they seem to resist modernisation.
The answer for them could lie in a Vern Cotter type figure, when he came to Scotland he asked the players how they felt a Scotland team should play and then adapted his structure and style to fit that. French rugby seems to be stuck between two traditions, big lumpy forwards winning the physical battle and a backline full of flair and ambition. If a coach came in with the diplomatic skills to negotiate with the clubs and the tactical nous to sew together the two facets of French rugby tradition it's very hard to see how they wouldn't improve drastically. Unfortunately, I'm not sure diplomacy is at the top of the French national virtues. It takes one small slight and they're manning the barricades.

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