Wales v England thread (6 Nations)

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 7:49 pm

Date: 23rd Feb 2019
Time: 9:45 am (Mountain Time)
Venue: MILLENIUM Stadium, Cardiff
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)


Teams:

Wales: Wales: Liam Williams (Saracens); George North (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Josh Adams (Worcester); Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter), Cory Hill (Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, captain), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Dragons).

Replacements: Elliot Dee (Dragons), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Aled Davies (Ospreys), Dan Biggar (Northampton), Owen Watkin (Ospreys).


England: Daly; Nowell, Slade, Tuilagi, May; Farrell, Youngs; Moon, George, Sinckler, Lawes, Kruis, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Williams, Launchbury, Shields, Robson, Ford, Cokanasiga.





LondonTiger wrote:ANY personal attacks will be a ban. No warnings.


Last edited by mikey_dragon on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 4:28 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 7:51 pm

England looking very good right now so I guess I’m a little excited for this one. I’ve started the thread now to discuss the upcoming game, selection, etc; rather than chat about it via the England v France thread.

This is also BS-free zone. Gentlemanly conduct only otherwise I expect bans will ensue.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:00 pm

Sorry for the addition to your OP, but to echo your last point it would be great if we could have debate that doesn't descent into name calling.


Wales to win by 4.

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Post by stub on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:03 pm

It’s going to be immense! Looking forward to it as well!

I hope England can keep up their momentum but I’m sure Wales will do their best to bring England down to earth again.

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Post by stub on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:04 pm

England by 3....

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:07 pm

I guess it could come down to who is kicking the goals  for Wales.

Will halfpenny be fit enough to start the game? if not Biggar/Anscome not sure who is best out of those 2.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:11 pm

stub wrote:England by 3....

Before the star of the France v England game, i would of said that.

But because of the result today, i will stick my neck out and say England by 20. Fingers Crossed

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:11 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Sorry for the addition to your OP, but to echo your last point it would be great if we could have debate that doesn't descent into name calling.


Wales to win by 4.

Definitely. This weekend was a good one for discussion, I think we can keep it up.

king Wales by 20.

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Post by The Oracle on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:25 pm

It’s going to be monumentally difficult for Wales. I know form often goes out the window for Wales v England, and home advantage might/could be a factor, but I think England are just playing much better rugby than Wales at the moment, regardless of Wales’ 11 game unbeaten run. Wales need to improve massively on the last few showings. Even in the AIs we didn’t look good in beating Aus and SA. Who knows? But I think the odds are stacked against Wales.
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Post by Duty281 on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:29 pm

England by 10, but it won't be easy.

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Post by Presuming Ed on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:32 pm

I think England still suffer from headless chicken syndrome when things don't go there way. If Wales can get on top of England early on I still think we lack the cool heads to wrest it back. If England can dominate early on and are in the right frame of mind, then I think they are pretty unplayable at the moment. Wales by 8.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:39 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I guess it could come down to who is kicking the goals  for Wales.

Will halfpenny be fit enough to start the game? if not Biggar/Anscome not sure who is best out of those 2.

Doubtful of it coming down to just that.

Halfpenny is unlikely to play and the team is probably identical to that which we seen against SA and then France. My pick would be to start with both Biggar and Anscombe...

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:40 pm

Something to get you in the mood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHOjNdrdOJ0

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:40 pm

It is never ever going to be easy. And Wales are capable of finding some great performances at home, but I do wonder where the danger is going to come from. Welsh defense will be well organised. Better than Ireland? we'll see - but they will have a 15 at 15 for once.

England will also have to keep up the intensity (and we are going to be waiting on Mako's ankle for a few days - maybe others. ) But if we do we should be able to beat Wales with a little to spare.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:42 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I guess it could come down to who is kicking the goals  for Wales.

Will halfpenny be fit enough to start the game? if not Biggar/Anscome not sure who is best out of those 2.

I've been more impressed with Biggar so far.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:44 pm

I don’t think we lost anything by shifting Williams to wing and having Anscombe at 15; he’s a great kicker, very good under the high ball, has good awareness - all that worries me is his defence...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:45 pm

Heaf wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I guess it could come down to who is kicking the goals  for Wales.

Will halfpenny be fit enough to start the game? if not Biggar/Anscome not sure who is best out of those 2.

I've been more impressed with Biggar so far.

If it’s either or, then yeah Biggar for me too. We’ll need him under the high ball.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:47 pm

LW is class too ...

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Post by Scottrf on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:50 pm

I know there’s Home advantage but England just man-shamed a team that Wales made look good after dominating away in Dublin. There’s really only one logical winner.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 8:56 pm

miaow wrote:Something to get you in the mood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHOjNdrdOJ0

I suggest watching it without sound

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:00 pm

Presuming Ed wrote:I think England still suffer from headless chicken syndrome when things don't go there way. If Wales can get on top of England early on I still think we lack the cool heads to wrest it back. If England can dominate early on and are in the right frame of mind, then I think they are pretty unplayable at the moment. Wales by 8.

Interesting point and by and large I agree. However, I'm not sure if it's about Wales getting on top per se - more just keeping England at bay in those opening 2, then 5, then 20 minutes. If England get a lead, and Wales have to 'chase' the game with 3 points, it'll become tricky.

If Wales can do what they did against Italy (i.e. build a healthy lead through kicks because they held onto the ball well at tempo) then that's ideal. They're never going to dominate them though, in my opinion. England are too strong and, when on form, fired up - you'd expect them to be for this game. But there has to be a time where they cut England apart - they did it in 2017 with Liam Williams exploiting Jospeh, but botched two opportunities when AWJ opted for a lineout and then a scrum in that first half. I think Wales lost both set-pieces in quick succession of each other. That's the key difference - Wales cannot dominate the game like England can because England are so physical. What they have to do is get points and stay in touch/ahead of England.

A fast start by England - a try or two in the first half hour - and I think England win. Even with Wales' notorious ability to come back into games late on. I don't think England are as flaky/headless as you think. You saw the wobbles in 2016, the nerves, but that was because of 2013 and then 2015 RWC games. That's a long time ago - Wales haven't beaten England in the 6Ns for 6 years. That mental block that England definitely had when facing Wales for a period of time has vanished, for sure. I think the English players certainly respect the Welsh players as individuals - 1/2P, Tipuric, JD2 etc. - because of playing with them for the Lions. But as a team? I'm not sure England individually and collectively rate or fear them. We'll see if that's unfounded soon enough.

Without Faletau, a potent and reliable 10/12 that can run the backline, and, at this point, a functional lineout there are too many issues for Wales that England can exploit/benefit from even if that momentum switch does occur late on through Liam Williams, Tipuric, Adams etc. running the ball. Wales simply have to get used to scoring tries - there were 2 years at the Scarlets where a good bulk of the Welsh team were playing scintillating rugby but by and large it's not happening at the regions and that doesn't help. Shingler was excellent at Twickenham last year but is absent. Navidi is a great all-rounder but doesn't bring the attacking prowess and genuine ability to spark a turnover attack like Shingler. Hadleigh Parkes is having second season syndrome and up against Tuilagi could be in for a very rough day. Watkin looks too slight to come in at 12.

I'm looking at the Welsh side that will likely play (Evans, Owens, Francis; AWJ, ??; Navidi, Moriarty, Tipuric; T Williams, Anscombe; North, Parkes, J Davies, Adams; L Williams) and there are threats in the side. Adams has been one of Wales' best players over the last 12 months. North and JD2 rise to the big stage and can be deadly. Sanjay obviously the most mercurial talent in the backs. But there's weaknesses - the 9, 10, 12 is either inexperienced or severly deficient in some key traits. Whoever pairs AWJ in the 2nd row isn't a top drawer option in any facet. Tight 5 could be in for a long day in the scrum - lineout almost certainly going to struggle against Kruis + whoever else England pick.

England have to be firm favourites. They've hit a run of form and have found a style of play that marries the aggression they showed in 16/17 with a more disciplined, tactical approach. It has taken Ireland, France, and to an extent NZ and SA, apart. England will exploit Wales' weaknesses as they did last year - putting bombs up for Patchell and Steff Evans to deal with. This year, I would expect Anscombe, Parkes and the tight 5 to have a tough time. Wales have more weaknesses than England and I don't think they have a good alternative plan if they start getting hammered in those areas.

England by 12-15 but I hope I'm wrong.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:00 pm

Hhmmm I give it till next Friday before this one is locked Laugh Laugh

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:07 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Hhmmm I give it till next Friday before this one is locked Laugh Laugh

With that attitude it will for sure.

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Post by Presuming Ed on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:18 pm

miaow wrote:
Presuming Ed wrote:I think England still suffer from headless chicken syndrome when things don't go there way. If Wales can get on top of England early on I still think we lack the cool heads to wrest it back. If England can dominate early on and are in the right frame of mind, then I think they are pretty unplayable at the moment. Wales by 8.

Interesting point and by and large I agree. However, I'm not sure if it's about Wales getting on top per se - more just keeping England at bay in those opening 2, then 5, then 20 minutes. If England get a lead, and Wales have to 'chase' the game with 3 points, it'll become tricky.

If Wales can do what they did against Italy (i.e. build a healthy lead through kicks because they held onto the ball well at tempo) then that's ideal. They're never going to dominate them though, in my opinion. England are too strong and, when on form, fired up - you'd expect them to be for this game. But there has to be a time where they cut England apart - they did it in 2017 with Liam Williams exploiting Jospeh, but botched two opportunities when AWJ opted for a lineout and then a scrum in that first half. I think Wales lost both set-pieces in quick succession of each other. That's the key difference - Wales cannot dominate the game like England can because England are so physical. What they have to do is get points and stay in touch/ahead of England.

A fast start by England - a try or two in the first half hour - and I think England win. Even with Wales' notorious ability to come back into games late on. I don't think England are as flaky/headless as you think. You saw the wobbles in 2016, the nerves, but that was because of 2013 and then 2015 RWC games. That's a long time ago - Wales haven't beaten England in the 6Ns for 6 years. That mental block that England definitely had when facing Wales for a period of time has vanished, for sure. I think the English players certainly respect the Welsh players as individuals - 1/2P, Tipuric, JD2 etc. - because of playing with them for the Lions. But as a team? I'm not sure England individually and collectively rate or fear them. We'll see if that's unfounded soon enough.

Without Faletau, a potent and reliable 10/12 that can run the backline, and, at this point, a functional lineout there are too many issues for Wales that England can exploit/benefit from even if that momentum switch does occur late on through Liam Williams, Tipuric, Adams etc. running the ball.  Wales simply have to get used to scoring tries - there were 2 years at the Scarlets where a good bulk of the Welsh team were playing scintillating rugby but by and large it's not happening at the regions and that doesn't help. Shingler was excellent at Twickenham last year but is absent. Navidi is a great all-rounder but doesn't bring the attacking prowess and genuine ability to spark a turnover attack like Shingler. Hadleigh Parkes is having second season syndrome and up against Tuilagi could be in for a very rough day. Watkin looks too slight to come in at 12.

I'm looking at the Welsh side that will likely play (Evans, Owens, Francis; AWJ, ??; Navidi, Moriarty, Tipuric; T Williams, Anscombe; North, Parkes, J Davies, Adams; L Williams) and there are threats in the side. Adams has been one of Wales' best players over the last 12 months. North and JD2 rise to the big stage and can be deadly. Sanjay obviously the most mercurial talent in the backs. But there's weaknesses - the 9, 10, 12 is either inexperienced or severly deficient in some key traits. Whoever pairs AWJ in the 2nd row isn't a top drawer option in any facet. Tight 5 could be in for a long day in the scrum - lineout almost certainly going to struggle against Kruis + whoever else England pick.

England have to be firm favourites. They've hit a run of form and have found a style of play that marries the aggression they showed in 16/17 with a more disciplined, tactical approach. It has taken Ireland, France, and to an extent NZ and SA, apart. England will exploit Wales' weaknesses as they did last year - putting bombs up for Patchell and Steff Evans to deal with. This year, I would expect Anscombe, Parkes and the tight 5 to have a tough time. Wales have more weaknesses than England and I don't think they have a good alternative plan if they start getting hammered in those areas.

England by 12-15 but I hope I'm wrong.


Ah well, your hunches may be right as may mine. That's why we keep watching isn't it? Should be a cracker whatever way it goes.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:18 pm

I'll be avoiding it Wink Laugh

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Post by The Oracle on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:21 pm

Scottrf wrote:I know there’s Home advantage but England just man-shamed a team that Wales made look good after dominating away in Dublin. There’s really only one logical winner.

Logic works most of the time. But not always......! Here’s hoping anyway boxing
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Post by robbo277 on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:22 pm

How do we think Wales will play it? One of my Welsh friends dropped an angry message into the group chat, asking why France weren't dropping a second player into the backfield. Ireland and France have both played one back and been taken apart by kicks in behind. Will Wales stick someone back to help their 15?

Part of me hope they do, even if it does mean we lose our most potent attacking weapon of the opening rounds. I'd like to see this England team forced to vary their game. Once they've forced that man back we can attack the line and try to create overlaps. If we could win doing that, we would send out a real message before the World Cup that this England team can beat the top teams regardless of how people try to play against them.

I think the Welsh team I'd least like to face next gameweek is: Evans, Owens, Francis, Jones, Ball, Navidi, Tipuric, Moriarty, Davies, Biggar, North, Watkins, Davies, Adams, Williams, so you should probably go ahead and pick those guys!

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:25 pm

robbo277 wrote:How do we think Wales will play it? One of my Welsh friends dropped an angry message into the group chat, asking why France weren't dropping a second player into the backfield. Ireland and France have both played one back and been taken apart by kicks in behind. Will Wales stick someone back to help their 15?

Part of me hope they do, even if it does mean we lose our most potent attacking weapon of the opening rounds. I'd like to see this England team forced to vary their game. Once they've forced that man back we can attack the line and try to create overlaps. If we could win doing that, we would send out a real message before the World Cup that this England team can beat the top teams regardless of how people try to play against them.

I think the Welsh team I'd least like to face next gameweek is: Evans, Owens, Francis, Jones, Ball, Navidi, Tipuric, Moriarty, Davies, Biggar, North, Watkins, Davies, Adams, Williams, so you should probably go ahead and pick those guys!

Interview with Eddie at the end of the game - he was asked about the kicking and intimated that that is how the game is being played at the moment, but that if teams pull more players back to defend the kicks it will make opportunities elsewhere.

Right now it feels as if England will mix things up depending on what is in front of them. We do have fast runners and power players and a cute kicking game. Oppositions that try to focus on one aspect can be exploited in another.

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Post by Hoonercat on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:27 pm

I think it will be a very close game, Wales usually start the 6 Nations slow so I don't think you can take too much from their first 2 games this year. If England drop the intensity in the second half, as they seemed to do today, I think the Welsh will find an extra gear and sneak the win. England will need to put in the same level of intensity as they did against Ireland to take a win.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:34 pm

Hoonercat wrote:I think it will be a very close game, Wales usually start the 6 Nations slow so I don't think you can take too much from their first 2 games this year. If England drop the intensity in the second half, as they seemed to do today, I think the Welsh will find an extra gear and sneak the win. England will need to put in the same level of intensity as they did against Ireland to take a win.

That is always a danger but there is a very obvious reason why the intensity dropped, and we still won the 2nd half 14 -0

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:35 pm

Hoonercat wrote:I think it will be a very close game, Wales usually start the 6 Nations slow so I don't think you can take too much from their first 2 games this year. If England drop the intensity in the second half, as they seemed to do today, I think the Welsh will find an extra gear and sneak the win. England will need to put in the same level of intensity as they did against Ireland to take a win.

The intensity in  attack dropped because they were out of site. It did not drop in defence however, as they ensured France went scoreless in the second half.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:37 pm

I think that this game will have classic written all over it. Wales ALWAYS rise up to the challenge of England and will massively have the crowd on their side with home advantage. Their tails will also be up with winning so many games in a row.

Let's also not forget though that England also destroyed an Ireland side that few gave them a chance of beating, and had scored 4 tries against a French side in 40 minutes, whereas the Welsh team scored precisely nothing in the same period. This England side has shown a new level of intensity and accuracy I have not seen before. The forwards are so much faster than before, the breakdown work is excellent and the tackling from all players has been pretty impressive. The tactical kicking is top drawer. The midfield of Tuilagi and Slade is a breath of fresh air offering brutal no nonsense offerings from Manu and superb kicking and try-scoring from Henry. May is on fire.

I think Wales will be kidding themselves if they think they're favourites for this one; however, they always raise their game massively for England. However, injuries permitting, I can see much the same happening as happened in England's first two games, just not quite to the extent. England by 8-10 points after some massive Welsh pressure.


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Post by robbo277 on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 9:48 pm

lostinwales wrote:
robbo277 wrote:How do we think Wales will play it? One of my Welsh friends dropped an angry message into the group chat, asking why France weren't dropping a second player into the backfield. Ireland and France have both played one back and been taken apart by kicks in behind. Will Wales stick someone back to help their 15?

Part of me hope they do, even if it does mean we lose our most potent attacking weapon of the opening rounds. I'd like to see this England team forced to vary their game. Once they've forced that man back we can attack the line and try to create overlaps. If we could win doing that, we would send out a real message before the World Cup that this England team can beat the top teams regardless of how people try to play against them.

I think the Welsh team I'd least like to face next gameweek is: Evans, Owens, Francis, Jones, Ball, Navidi, Tipuric, Moriarty, Davies, Biggar, North, Watkins, Davies, Adams, Williams, so you should probably go ahead and pick those guys!

Interview with Eddie at the end of the game - he was asked about the kicking and intimated that that is how the game is being played at the moment, but that if teams pull more players back to defend the kicks it will make opportunities elsewhere.

Right now it feels as if England will mix things up depending on what is in front of them. We do have fast runners and power players and a cute kicking game. Oppositions that try to focus on one aspect can be exploited in another.

There's a difference in saying "we will adapt" and actually adapting though. I agree, there is a balance and more teams are trying to push more players into the front line of defence, and backfield is the space to exploit.

After being "foxed" by Italy a couple of years ago, it would be good to see England adapt to a team in real time.

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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 10:08 pm

robbo277 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
robbo277 wrote:How do we think Wales will play it? One of my Welsh friends dropped an angry message into the group chat, asking why France weren't dropping a second player into the backfield. Ireland and France have both played one back and been taken apart by kicks in behind. Will Wales stick someone back to help their 15?

Part of me hope they do, even if it does mean we lose our most potent attacking weapon of the opening rounds. I'd like to see this England team forced to vary their game. Once they've forced that man back we can attack the line and try to create overlaps. If we could win doing that, we would send out a real message before the World Cup that this England team can beat the top teams regardless of how people try to play against them.

I think the Welsh team I'd least like to face next gameweek is: Evans, Owens, Francis, Jones, Ball, Navidi, Tipuric, Moriarty, Davies, Biggar, North, Watkins, Davies, Adams, Williams, so you should probably go ahead and pick those guys!

Interview with Eddie at the end of the game - he was asked about the kicking and intimated that that is how the game is being played at the moment, but that if teams pull more players back to defend the kicks it will make opportunities elsewhere.

Right now it feels as if England will mix things up depending on what is in front of them. We do have fast runners and power players and a cute kicking game. Oppositions that try to focus on one aspect can be exploited in another.

There's a difference in saying "we will adapt" and actually adapting though. I agree, there is a balance and more teams are trying to push more players into the front line of defence, and backfield is the space to exploit.

After being "foxed" by Italy a couple of years ago, it would be good to see England adapt to a team in real time.

I think Ireland's lack of adaptation shows that, even among some of the best teams, that can be a hard/rare thing when the game is close. Ireland were still well in the game with 15 minutes to go and could have nicked it - even if underservedly. When they held the ball for a few phases they actually played well/made headway. But they couldn't do it often enough.

The problem with adapting on the fly is 1. who decides? 2. what do you decide? 3. does the game suggest it's worth the risk? 4. will it come off?

For a team like Ireland, heavily reliant on Sexton and Murray (who actually played alright I thought against England) against the top teams, asking them to play a different style to the one they're most comfortable/successful with would be weird. Now, Sexton has obviously run the Leinster backline when it's played great attacking rugby, even under Schmidt - but would it work for Ireland? Perhaps. Murray? I think there are better 9s even in the NH depending on style of play, particularly if you want to play it quicker/looser.

All told, apparently Schmidt is not the kind of coach to look kindly on maverick performances. It's the system that works not individual brilliance. For Ireland, that was an achilles heel, as they had a potent player like Larmour on the pitch but never really utilised him against England (arguably, never were allowed to as well).

I feel like we're living in an American Football-lite version of Rugby at the moment. Lots of the game is prescripted. It's practically unrecognisable to the same sport 15 years ago in a tactical sense. There are moves for just about every situation; calls and plays that can be whipped out by the key player (9/10) as and when necessary. But we don't have the kind of play by play situation of AF - the coach isn't there in the ear of the 10 giving instructions until the last few seconds. It's not a game of chess in the way AF can be. Rugby is halfway between the old game and the tactical approach of gridiron and, for some teams, adaptation can be seen as risky/potentially career-ending thing if it goes wrong.

France are useless. They're still playing Rugby under the old tactics, that's why they're getting hammered (and will continue to until they adapt). They haven't accepted that the game has moved on - each coach has been met with cultural resistance to any change/modernisation as well, which will have made things hard. In terms of 'adapting' to the fact they were getting ruined by England's kicking game is probably neither here nor there to them. France are like a cartoon trying to fix a leaky roof - plugging 1 with a cork when there are 49 other holes flooding the room.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 10:33 pm

Might some of the Welsh players who were rested yesterday be a little undercooked in 2 weeks time?

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Post by The Oracle on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 10:44 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Might some of the Welsh players who were rested yesterday be a little undercooked in 2 weeks time?

That’s what I said on the Italy v Wales match thread. The risk of making the changes wasn’t just about the risk of losing or not getting the try BP. It was also the risk that you go into the England game with a large number of players having only played 1 game in a month (my thinking being the players had 2 weeks off before the France game?). So 1 game in a month and facing England who will be battle hardened after two physical hit outs against Ireland and France. There’s a fine line between being fresh and rested and being rusty and not match fit. Helluva risk from Gatland.
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Post by miaow on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 10:52 pm

Same situation in the RWC though isn't it? Domestic season ends months before the start of the tournament. Beastly summer camp, a few warm-up games that rarely get out of third gear - more about staying fit, getting a bit of match sharpness, and trying out a few combinations/tactics. Even then, those occur a few weeks before the start of the tournament itself.

But then you're into the tournament proper and have to 'find' match fitness/sharpnes very quickly.

Think it was SecretFly who said earlier - Gatland looks after himself, and I agree. He'd like to win the title but, clearly, he'd love another semi-final or beyond at the RWC a lot more. Put him in the global spotlight. This tournament is about weeding out the weak links and playing like it's a dry run for the autumn.

That said, I think he'll still have a few tricks for the England game. He won't want to get hammered. But expect the intensity to be in house in the next fortnight - i.e. expect a few injuries in the lead up as well. A few players are really making the 31 man RWC squad a tricky issue. Someone like Jonah Holmes - a complete non-entity this time last year - is really threatening someone like Amos, Steff Evans, and even Patchell for a place. Same in the forwards. Healthy competition should help the training - whether it helps for England is, of course, not a guarantee.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 12:23 am

miaow wrote:Same situation in the RWC though isn't it? Domestic season ends months before the start of the tournament. Beastly summer camp, a few warm-up games that rarely get out of third gear - more about staying fit, getting a bit of match sharpness, and trying out a few combinations/tactics. Even then, those occur a few weeks before the start of the tournament itself.

But then you're into the tournament proper and have to 'find' match fitness/sharpnes very quickly.

Think it was SecretFly who said earlier - Gatland looks after himself, and I agree. He'd like to win the title but, clearly, he'd love another semi-final or beyond at the RWC a lot more. Put him in the global spotlight. This tournament is about weeding out the weak links and playing like it's a dry run for the autumn.

That said, I think he'll still have a few tricks for the England game. He won't want to get hammered. But expect the intensity to be in house in the next fortnight - i.e. expect a few injuries in the lead up as well. A few players are really making the 31 man RWC squad a tricky issue. Someone like Jonah Holmes - a complete non-entity this time last year - is really threatening someone like Amos, Steff Evans, and even Patchell for a place. Same in the forwards. Healthy competition should help the training - whether it helps for England is, of course, not a guarantee.

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There is no one in this championship that wouldn’t give up a granslam for Rwc final.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 6:52 am

But equally, history has shown that the best preparation for winning the RWC is winning your home championship.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 7:04 am

6 nations championship is not in anyone's grasp yet let alone a world cup final. I'd take a win in the next game first and foremost.
Both sets of coaches have 2 weeks to spot chinks and try to smother the others plans. At present you'd have to fancy England to win it the strategy has been perfect and the players not far away. Things can change quickly of course.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:01 am

This should be an absolute cracker!

England are playing some of the best/most precise/tactically aware rugby I've seen for years. We're just not making many mistakes.....the handling is excellent, the defence - physical and intimidating, we're making sides pay for mistakes. It's like something has just clicked.

If Wales try and play our way and match us toe to toe...we'll win. If they cut loose (as we all know they can), this could be a hell of a test for us. This one really could go down to the wire.

If we win and we win well, the WC will be starting to look a distinct possibility rather than just a hope.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:05 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:This should be an absolute cracker!

England are playing some of the best/most precise/tactically aware rugby I've seen for years. We're just not making many mistakes.....the handling is excellent, the defence - physical and intimidating, we're making sides pay for mistakes. It's like something has just clicked.

If Wales try and play our way and match us toe to toe...we'll win. If they cut loose (as we all know they can), this could be a hell of a test for us. This one really could go down to the wire.

If we win and we win well, the WC will be starting to look a distinct possibility rather than just a hope.

I think you have summed up the game perfectly. England have looked impressive in all aspects so far. The welsh analysis team are going to be putting in some long shifts trying how to crack this one.

It is building up to be a fantastic match.

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Post by EnglishReign on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:07 am

I know this’ll come back to bite me but based on the AIs and this competition so far, I’m just not worried yet. Ask me at half time.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:35 am

EnglishReign wrote:I know this’ll come back to bite me but based on the AIs and this competition so far, I’m just not worried yet. Ask me at half time.

Wales had their best ever Autumn series and have won two from two so far, albeit less convincingly than England. And they will definitely be up for this one. The firepower is all there in the side - they just haven't managed to put it together yet.

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Post by compelling and rich on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:12 am

going to this one and i cant wait. last three ive been to have been scotland away, ireland home and nz. all loses Sad so im hoping i can watch us win for a change.

not been overly impressed with wales so far but cant read too much into the second string against italy and winning while not playing particularly well isn't exactly a bad sign. if we play like we have done so far can only see us winning. but i do expect a improved wales to make it tough for us.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:16 am

England have to have the same focus on the game that Wales will, there's no point thinking about Grand Slams or thinking about how we can take learnings from this game into the World Cup.

Wales treat this as their world cup final, that's not meant as a dig, they step up their game against us every year and this will be no different. I think we are a better team and are currently in better form, but as the cliche goes, form goes out the window in a game like this.

We have to match the passion and intensity they'll bring, if we do that I think we have the carrying game to get them onto the back foot, the defence to smother them and the backs to take advantage

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:34 am

Gatland and Howley etc like to make a big thing about not showing all their aces. They had enough to win both games thus far, so in a sense there's nothing to worry about from the first two games. Our line speed will be better than France's was yesterday too, although May against North does worry me a little.

I hope they don't hook Moriarty too early this time Wink

I would expect us to draw England into an arm wrestle, but them to win by about 8.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:38 am

I expect that Wales will really try to target and isolate Daly in a way which Ireland and france failed to do. Still to win a high ball since he moved to full back and Biggar isn't exactly lacking at chaos g his own kicks!

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:53 am

Poorfour wrote:But equally, history has shown that the best preparation for winning the RWC is winning your home championship.

I think there may be a slight correlation, but that doesn't mean there's a causation. I think it's more likely that winning the World Cup and winning your home championship are dependent on the quality of your team.

England won in 2011 and were a whisker away from winning in 2015. Neither World Cup campaign was particularly memorable. Our surprise 2007 campaign was off the back of a 3rd placed finish in the Six Nations.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 11:03 am

On current visible form, England should win - but the by-how-much is still the unknowable. England's form and execution just can't get much better. Every kick is landing wher it's needed, every hit is crunching but legal, it's just a very smooth beast right now in all departments. Wales do have room for tightening up though. They can choose their momeknts more carefully against such top notch opponents - they'll undoubtedly be more alert mentally and will have seen some of England's best bits in advance. So Wales have room to improve, England will have the pressure now of keeping the machine running smoothly. The more highly tuned the engine, the greater the risk of catastrophe if something breaks. So a yellow card or an injury in the wrong place and Wales are a side to exploit it like sharks in bloody water.
This far out, my imagination sees a tight fought contest but England with enough of a lead to be content enough to play conservatively enough to ensure a win..... but in the final quarter the game coming alive as Wales do the usual late game hunting with the wild eyed passion that few teams can match. But will it be enough to steal the game from Jones in the end? ...... oh me crystal balls have gone foggy Wink

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