Wales v England thread (6 Nations)

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

First topic message reminder :

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 Exiledinborders on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 11:39 am

RiscaGame wrote: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.
Hmm. The idea that Wales played poorly in two matches in order to not show their hand is a bit fanciful. After all it could easily have lost them the game against France. Wales have been poor so far but have won because they were playing two awful teams (if France can even be described as a team).

I fully expect Wales to be much better and expect a tight game but I do not buy the idea that they have been holding things back. They have had two poor games. That happens even to good teams.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 11:45 am

SecretFly wrote: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

They say that can happen with age.  Hug

Based on the first couple of rounds it's hard to be optimistic of a home win, but I think it's fair to say that Wales will be the happier of the sides to have a rest week this week. It gives the coaching team a bit longer to try and suss out how England will play, which won't necessarily be how they've played thus far, and it potentially slows England's momentum a bit.

It would be interesting from a neutral perspective (and I'm not pretending to be neutral) to see how England react to conceding an early try, rather than scoring one. They've got off to flyers so far, and good luck to them, but we've yet to see how they deal with their opponents doing so.

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 12:09 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
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.

Miaow

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

True, but it's not as if it's an exact science. You can't just say it's an either/or situation - England are quite clearly going for a title, and hoping the momentum/self belief will carry through to the RWC. Ireland perhaps holding a few things back. Wales even moreso - hopefully.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 12:35 pm

England are playing really well at the moment and there's not another team in the championship that can say the same.

Wales are stuttering. It took a French implosion to give them the win on the first night and they struggled to put away a really poor Italy team.

Ireland are just not in top gear and one could argue only won at the weekend because Scotland were so poor.

Scotland are infuriatingly inconsistent at the moment and are forcing things and committing far too many basic and often unforced errors.

France are just all at sea.

Italy are trying hard but failing to compete against the bigger nations.

So all in all, if Wales don't win in two weeks, I can't see anything but an English Grand Slam. Although there is always the chance that Scotland, with nothing to play for, could ruin the English party. That chance is very slim right now though!
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 12:44 pm

If England do win the Grand Slam with visits to Dublin and Cardiff then hats off to them. It doesn't hurt that they're good to watch at the moment too.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 1:08 pm

tigertattie wrote:England are playing really well at the moment and there's not another team in the championship that can say the same.

Wales are stuttering. It took a French implosion to give them the win on the first night and they struggled to put away a really poor Italy team.

Ireland are just not in top gear and one could argue only won at the weekend because Scotland were so poor.

Scotland are infuriatingly inconsistent at the moment and are forcing things and committing far too many basic and often unforced errors.

France are just all at sea.

Italy are trying hard but failing to compete against the bigger nations.

So all in all, if Wales don't win in two weeks, I can't see anything but an English Grand Slam. Although there is always the chance that Scotland, with nothing to play for, could ruin the English party. That chance is very slim right now though!

Most things that England have tried have come off, so far. I have not seen many of the handling errors which traditionally blight our back play. If the ball had not been consistently fumbled by Scotland that game could have been very different.

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 2:48 pm

Can't see us beating the best Welsh team in their history, what a run of games, lots of 'W's'.

Can only see us getting a try scoring and a losing bonus point to be honest. Wink
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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 2:49 pm

Greasy ball at the MS will play a part no doubt.
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 3:08 pm

Won't be any grease on the ball. The roof is never allowed to be closed.

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 3:13 pm

Roof open or shut makes little difference, the ball will be greasy either way from dew or humidity.
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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:07 pm

The ball will be greasy from English tears as Wales score 50 points in the 10 minutes.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:15 pm

miaow wrote:The ball will be greasy from English tears as Wales score 50 points in the 10 minutes.


Ha,ha,ha, Wales could not/did not score 50 points in ten minutes agianst Italy. So they have no chance against England. Hug

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Post by Scottrf on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:16 pm

miaow wrote:The ball will be greasy from English tears as Wales score 50 points in the 10 minutes.

If you even dream that you'd better wake up and apologise.

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Post by Hoonercat on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:21 pm

miaow wrote:The ball will be greasy from English tears as Wales score 50 points in the 10 minutes.

No one put 50 points on a Top 3 Elite team Wink

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Post by Afro on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:21 pm

With the start England have made to the championship so far, I'm sure they will go in as favourites.

I'm hesitant to get too hopeful because
1) Wales home advantage,
2) both games England have scored early - I want to see how this team reacts when they aren't front running and there is a bit more pressure on them,
3) they have picked a different gameplan for the first two games, that has worked to perfection - can they do it 3rd time in succession, and if not, can they adapt?

Really looking forward to it though!
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Post by Scottrf on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:26 pm

Afro wrote:2) both games England have scored early - I want to see how this team reacts when they aren't front running and there is a bit more pressure on them,

Little chance of that. Wales went in well behind basically a tier 2 team in France, with no tries against Italy (!!) until 54 minutes.

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Post by Afro on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:28 pm

Scottrf wrote:
Afro wrote:2) both games England have scored early - I want to see how this team reacts when they aren't front running and there is a bit more pressure on them,

Little chance of that. Wales went in well behind basically a tier 2 team in France, with no tries against Italy (!!) until 54 minutes.

The way we are playing on the edge, it wouldn't be a surprise for England to give away a few penalties and be 6/9 point behind
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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:35 pm

Agree with that. Welsh pressure is more likely going to come from holding onto the ball and exploiting England's ferocity to try and win it back. If Wales can convert that into points it's much more likely to be from the boot. The pressure will be if Wales can hold them out for as long as possible - as, by and large, they've done quite well over the years, but not well enough, last year conceding a very similar try to the first try yesterday.

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:40 pm

Cannot believe Jaco Peyper is the ref for this. Surely his time has been and gone. He'll favour England all day.

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Post by rodders on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:45 pm

Come on Gats, do your Irish pals a favour guinness
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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 4:46 pm

miaow wrote:Cannot believe Jaco Peyper is the ref for this. Surely his time has been and gone. He'll favour England all day.

I suppose there is a first time Smile

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Post by dummy_half on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 5:10 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
miaow wrote:Cannot believe Jaco Peyper is the ref for this. Surely his time has been and gone. He'll favour England all day.

I suppose there is a first time Smile

I hate us having Peyper as the ref - we never seem to play well or get decent results with him in charge. Not that he's biased of inconsistent, but we just don't seem to adjust to his interpretation of the laws.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 5:15 pm

Time will tell. Most of the recent games have been close, but with Wales rarely looking like they would actually score, other than via the boot. Welsh defense has been good though.

It will be interesting to see if they have much more this time around. If we get to 60 minutes and there is only a score in it then I'll get nervous, but otherwise I'd expect us to keep the steamroller running.

If we keep up the kicking game then I would expect North to get a hard time.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 5:31 pm

miaow wrote:Cannot believe Jaco Peyper is the ref for this. Surely his time has been and gone. He'll favour England all day.

I sometimes wonder how referees get reputations like this.

Peyper has only reffed England once in the last 4 tournaments, last year's loss to France. He has only reffed Wales once in that time, and they won away in France in 2015.

He did referee England's win against Australia in the autumn and I guess there was the Farrell incident with the no arms shot on Rodda. He also refereed England's win against Australia at Twickenham in 2016, but as far as I can recall there was no refereeing controversy in that game. He refereed England's win against Fiji in the World Cup, and I do remember a bit of noise about TMO usage there.

He hasn't refereed Wales in the autumn since the World Cup, but refereed an away win in Argentina last summer. In 2017 he refereed the first Lions test and in 2016 he refereed a test Wales lost, also against New Zealand.

So his record refereeing England is 3-1 and his record refereeing Wales is 2-1. None of the games England won I'd say we weren't favourites for, and I doubt he cost Wales the game against New Zealand. So while he may not be a great ref, I can't see how he has a perceived bias for or against either of these sides.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 5:35 pm

Jaco Peyper is awful, but then again he is a SH ref. The only positive thing you can say about him is that he’s not as bad as Joubert was...

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 5:36 pm

robbo277 wrote:
miaow wrote:Cannot believe Jaco Peyper is the ref for this. Surely his time has been and gone. He'll favour England all day.

He did referee England's win against Australia in the autumn and I guess there was the Farrell incident with the no arms shot on Rodda.

Does that mean he'll want to make amends if Farrell does it again? Whistle

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 5:43 pm

Robbo I think that team you picked yesterday is probably the best team Wales can put out... Its likely that all those not in the 23 against Italy will start, which means Parkes at 12 - I think that’s a bad idea as he’s been woefully off form. Watkin has been playing much better; him and JD2 both big guys and good attacking players but were standing way too deep against Italy. That was the plan I guess, so England would have seen it and then use their rush defence so we can chip it behind the oncoming white wall....

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 5:54 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Jaco Peyper is awful, but then again he is a SH ref. The only positive thing you can say about him is that he’s not as bad as Joubert was...

From an English perspective, he is Not Steve Walsh, and against Wales that's all we really want.

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

robbo277 wrote:
miaow wrote:Cannot believe Jaco Peyper is the ref for this. Surely his time has been and gone. He'll favour England all day.

I sometimes wonder how referees get reputations like this.

Peyper has only reffed England once in the last 4 tournaments, last year's loss to France. He has only reffed Wales once in that time, and they won away in France in 2015.

He did referee England's win against Australia in the autumn and I guess there was the Farrell incident with the no arms shot on Rodda. He also refereed England's win against Australia at Twickenham in 2016, but as far as I can recall there was no refereeing controversy in that game. He refereed England's win against Fiji in the World Cup, and I do remember a bit of noise about TMO usage there.

He hasn't refereed Wales in the autumn since the World Cup, but refereed an away win in Argentina last summer. In 2017 he refereed the first Lions test and in 2016 he refereed a test Wales lost, also against New Zealand.

So his record refereeing England is 3-1 and his record refereeing Wales is 2-1. None of the games England won I'd say we weren't favourites for, and I doubt he cost Wales the game against New Zealand. So while he may not be a great ref, I can't see how he has a perceived bias for or against either of these sides.

Several reasons. With SH refs, whether it's a case of reputation or interpretation, Wales tend to get the rough end of the stick. Not so the case in the NH - Wales' attempts to play squeaky clean at ruck time has been rewarded by Garces and Barnes. Glen Jackson was hugely beneficial to Ireland last 6Ns against Wales. Same goes for Joubert when he reffed Wales over the years, and Peyper. It never felt like Wales were rewarded - call it playing the ref if you want, but still. The trend seems to be that big packs are rewarded at scrum time despite shocking driving angles (and that includes England. Marler did it for YEARS and still, yesterday, Mako and Moon set up at 45 degrees half the time). Infringements at rucks are ignored, in both attack and defence, unless blatant, allowing sealing off on own ball and (haven't seen this so far this 6Ns so I hope it's finished as it's really poor) lots of binding onto the body and either dragging the player back or outright winning a penalty at a ruck, despite not being on the ball. Technical ruck offences (the kind Barnes lives for) are almost never penalised. I would say Poite is prone to this kind of 'dominance favouritism' as well. Garces has been good but not having a great season from what I've seen. Not hugely related but Ben O'Keefe had an absolute shocker against Wales in the autumn over Halfpenny's head clash - hope he has been seriously reprimanded/retrained because of that. But by and large I feel like Wales have to be a few % points 'better' than England or Ireland when reffed by a SH ref.

With the way Wales play, and the way England play, any marginal decisions going against Wales tend to hurt them a lot more as they're reliant on low error/penalty count, keeping hold of the ball, and hoping the other team cracks. England are much better at giving away a few penalties if it means they batter the other team - it's been that way since day 1 under EJ.

So this is why I think Peyper will be a net benefit for England. Not solely because of his relationship to England - I didn't really know about that. More styles of play.

The only SH ref who liked Wales (admittedly, a bit too much, probably on the drink with Phillsy and the boys after a game) was Steve Walsh. Other than that Wales don't get the rub of the green - just look at Angus Gardner's decision against SA to see how England fall the right side often enough where Halfpenny's injury wasn't correctly penalised by O'Keefe.

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

Joubert, Jackson, O’Keefe - all terrible ref’s and some awful one-sided officiating when we’ve been unlucky enough to have them. Surprised O’Keefe isn’t sacked yet.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 7:10 pm

Will his ever give over talking about Wayne Barnes! You Welsh lads are obsessed.with him! ........ Wink

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 7:29 pm

It was hard to lose Warburton. But to then lose Barnes so soon after? Wow...

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:06 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Roof open or shut makes little difference, the ball will be greasy either way from dew or humidity.

This is incorrect. The daffodil heads in the crowd absorb all the Principality Stadium moisture.
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Post by majesticimperialman on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:16 pm

Have Wales missed Warburton at all?

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Post by Recwatcher16 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:18 pm

Wales v England has always been the big game for me in the 5/6 Nations.
England's record away from home with SH refs speaks for itself i.e. consistently terrible.... I have always wondered about Steve Walsh's abrupt retirement....

The Welsh pack have a good scrum and workable lineout but having very few ball carriers, will count against them and only one hard tackler in Moriarty, which is all he is about really. In the backs, hopefully Gats will pick Biggar and the game is in the bag.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:36 pm

Workable = Shambles

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:41 pm

Not sure about it being in the bag. But the lack of a leader for the backline at 10 for Wales is an issue. I think Biggar is better overall than Anscombe and can do that leading job but not to the level Sexton, Farrell, or Russell can. Very good at what he does bring though.

The issue will be fluidity. Man for man, particularly in the backs, you could make a case for saying Wales have the better players. But collectively Wales have stuttered for a long time. If Wales play like they did in the game last year at Twickenham I actually think they'll win. But they had Patchell and Anscombe offering running threats in that game.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:44 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
miaow wrote:Cannot believe Jaco Peyper is the ref for this. Surely his time has been and gone. He'll favour England all day.

He did referee England's win against Australia in the autumn and I guess there was the Farrell incident with the no arms shot on Rodda.

Does that mean he'll want to make amends if Farrell does it again? Whistle

I'm sure this time if there's any doubt he'll go upstairs.

I missed the Australia match because I was playing. But from memory Peyper didn't even acknowledge the incident at all, let alone doubt his decision. Probably just completely missed what happened.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:48 pm

Was Patchell really a threat in that game? It’s a long time since I saw the game but seem to remember him having a tough time and not really doing much. Only when Anscombe moved to 10 did we start to see a different shape to Wales and we had two late-ish chances to score tries (I.e. last 10 mins).
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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:49 pm

No no, it was much worse than that.

"I thought your ball carrier also dropped the shoulder"

The first thing I learnt in playing Rugby was to drop the shoulder. The next thing was that you could get beneath a player's dropped shoulder to tackle them. Shocking from Peyper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gDtmZEpJxA

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:50 pm

The Oracle wrote:Was Patchell really a threat in that game? It’s a long time since I saw the game but seem to remember him having a tough time and not really doing much. Only when Anscombe moved to 10 did we start to see a different shape to Wales and we had two late-ish chances to score tries (I.e. last 10 mins).

By and large you're right. He didn't have a great game. But he did take it close to the line throughout even as he was taking a beating. Having England focus on him also helped Anscombe, no doubt, just as Slade/Farrell will find space as Wales go for either/or at times.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 8:58 pm

miaow wrote:No no, it was much worse than that.

"I thought your ball carrier also dropped the shoulder"

The first thing I learnt in playing Rugby was to drop the shoulder. The next thing was that you could get beneath a player's dropped shoulder to tackle them. Shocking from Peyper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gDtmZEpJxA

That's right, I remember now. I remember he didn't go upstairs, but now you say it I remember that comment. It was a shocker. I don't think he has any particular love for us, just might not be the best ref!

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:08 pm

Yeah, agree with that.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:29 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Workable = Shambles

Wouldn’t go that far, it was pretty good up until the France game, as was the driving line out. I think right now we’re missing Shingler more than ever, he was good in the lineout and pretty much everywhere else. Personally I wouldn’t pick Moriarty. Rather than defend and defend I think we need to improve our attack and that comes with intergtating more carriers into the pack. I’m not sure why Gats hasn’t tried Hill at 6 yet after he wanted the Dragons to play him there (he played well).

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:33 pm

miaow wrote:Not sure about it being in the bag. But the lack of a leader for the backline at 10 for Wales is an issue. I think Biggar is better overall than Anscombe and can do that leading job but not to the level Sexton, Farrell, or Russell can. Very good at what he does bring though.

The issue will be fluidity. Man for man, particularly in the backs, you could make a case for saying Wales have the better players. But collectively Wales have stuttered for a long time. If Wales play like they did in the game last year at Twickenham I actually think they'll win. But they had Patchell and Anscombe offering running threats in that game.

Well I’m not sure if 9,10,12 are nailed on for Wales & on that basis alone it’s tough to argue Wales are stronger in the backs. Personally I would, right now have Slade instead of JD2, May is probably one of the best wingers around & North has defensive frailties.
Daly & Williams are probably on a par if different types of players. Adams v Nowell or Ashton not much to choose right now on form.

I honestly see no comparison with our front 5 ( 5 Lions) & Wales, England’s back row are firing on all cylinders and are proving to be a great effective balance.

Right now in Gatlands words the teams are ‘ poles apart’.


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Post by lostinwales on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:50 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Workable = Shambles

Wouldn’t go that far, it was pretty good up until the France game, as was the driving line out. I think right now we’re missing Shingler more than ever, he was good in the lineout and pretty much everywhere else. Personally I wouldn’t pick Moriarty. Rather than defend and defend I think we need to improve our attack and that comes with intergtating more carriers into the pack. I’m not sure why Gats hasn’t tried Hill at 6 yet after he wanted the Dragons to play him there (he played well).

Playing locks at 6 has been done. Doesn't always go well

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Post by Cyril on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:25 pm

Did miaow just post that man-for-man it could be argued that Wales have better players than England?

Must be me reading it wrong. Surely?

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Post by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:31 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
miaow wrote:Not sure about it being in the bag. But the lack of a leader for the backline at 10 for Wales is an issue. I think Biggar is better overall than Anscombe and can do that leading job but not to the level Sexton, Farrell, or Russell can. Very good at what he does bring though.

The issue will be fluidity. Man for man, particularly in the backs, you could make a case for saying Wales have the better players. But collectively Wales have stuttered for a long time. If Wales play like they did in the game last year at Twickenham I actually think they'll win. But they had Patchell and Anscombe offering running threats in that game.

Well I’m not sure if 9,10,12 are nailed on for Wales & on that basis alone it’s tough to argue Wales are stronger in the backs. Personally I would, right now have Slade instead of JD2, May is probably one of the best wingers around & North has defensive frailties.
Daly & Williams are probably on a par if different types of players. Adams v Nowell or Ashton not much to choose right now on form.

I honestly see no comparison with our front 5 ( 5 Lions) & Wales, England’s  back row are firing on all cylinders and are proving to be a great effective balance.

Right now in Gatlands words the teams are ‘ poles apart’.


Fair enough, outside backs then.
1/2P/Liam Williams over Daly/Brown
North over Ashton/Nowell
JD2 over Slade
May is in great form but I'd say North has been more consistently 'good'. If May carries this form into the RWC you could make an argument maybe but he's yet to do it at the top level (RWC/Lions) so it's North for me. May also has deficiencies, let's not pretend otherwise.

I'd also take Wales' back-row over England's. Whether that's the current options (bar Vunipola) or when full fit (Faletau every time over BV). Tipuric is genuinely world class so not really a contest with Curry just yet. Underhill on the other hand...closer. Good clash of styles. Navidi and Wilson would be close. Both good well rounded clubmen, able to mix up some old style graft you'd expect from a flanker with a more modern approach to the game as well. Horses for courses between Faletau and Vunipola. If you play like England do you go for BV. Faletau is maybe the best 8 in Europe though. Fantastic player and if you're playing at any sort of high tempo/long ball in play time tactics, it's obvious who you go for.

No real argument over the tight 5 although I think Ken is a better player than J George, although not as powerful/strong so call it evens overall. I'd take Ken, I'm sure many would take George. Ben Youngs can be great but, honestly, I'd say Gareth Davies isn't far away from his standard. Tomos Williams looking likewise but at the start of his career. The 10/12 channel is the most obviously gap between the teams, as is whoever partners AWJ in the second row.

As I said somewhere else earlier, the issue isn't with personnel. Listening to Haskell talk about some of the Welsh players (singled out Tipuric) when training with the Lions was confirming what I thought. It's what we've seen in the Lions: you get the best Welsh players in a good environment, give them a solid tight 5 platform and they're up there with the best in Europe. This issue isn't head to head - it's collectively. England are better collectively than Wales at the moment and I think they'll look at the likes of Hill, Beard and even Ball and be rubbing their hands because they wouldn't get near the England camp, and that will drag AWJ and others' performances down.


Last edited by miaow on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BamBam on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:39 pm

miaow wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
miaow wrote:Not sure about it being in the bag. But the lack of a leader for the backline at 10 for Wales is an issue. I think Biggar is better overall than Anscombe and can do that leading job but not to the level Sexton, Farrell, or Russell can. Very good at what he does bring though.

The issue will be fluidity. Man for man, particularly in the backs, you could make a case for saying Wales have the better players. But collectively Wales have stuttered for a long time. If Wales play like they did in the game last year at Twickenham I actually think they'll win. But they had Patchell and Anscombe offering running threats in that game.

Well I’m not sure if 9,10,12 are nailed on for Wales & on that basis alone it’s tough to argue Wales are stronger in the backs. Personally I would, right now have Slade instead of JD2, May is probably one of the best wingers around & North has defensive frailties.
Daly & Williams are probably on a par if different types of players. Adams v Nowell or Ashton not much to choose right now on form.

I honestly see no comparison with our front 5 ( 5 Lions) & Wales, England’s  back row are firing on all cylinders and are proving to be a great effective balance.

Right now in Gatlands words the teams are ‘ poles apart’.


Fair enough, outside backs then.
1/2P/Liam Williams over Daly/Brown
North over Ashton/Nowell
JD2 over Slade
May is in great form but I'd say North has been more consistently 'good'. If May carries this form into the RWC you could make an argument maybe but he's yet to do it at the top level (RWC/Lions) so it's North for me. May also has deficiencies, let's not pretend otherwise.

I'd also take Wales' back-row over England's. Whether that's the current options (bar Vunipola) or when full fit (Faletau every time over BV).

No real argument over the tight 5 although I think Ken is a better player than J George, although not as powerful/strong so call it evens overall. I'd take Ken, I'm sure many would take George. Ben Youngs can be great but, honestly, I'd say Gareth Davies isn't far away from his standard. Tomos Williams looking likewise but at the start of his career. The 10/12 channel is the most obviously gap between the teams, as is whoever partners AWJ in the second row.

Don't even know why we're turning up. North is so good that he can be compared to (and be better than) all 3 of the wingers we've used so far

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Post by Scottrf on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 10:44 pm

Silly player vs player comparisons aside we have:
The fastest starting international team against one of the slowest.
The best defence against the bluntest attack.
A completely on-song team making minimal mistakes against one who aren’t putting a full 80 together.
How someone can watch the two France games and put Wales as favourites is beyond me.

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