Wales vs Ireland - Round 5

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 6:12 pm

First topic message reminder :

SAT 16 MAR 2019
GUINNESS SIX NATIONS
Kick Off 14:45
Principality Stadium

Teams TBA Thursday the 14th March

Referee Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant 1 Ben O'Keeffe (New Zelaand)
Assistant 2 Karl Dickson (England)
TMO Marius Jonker (South Africa)


Wales:

L Williams (Saracens); North (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets), Parkes (Scarlets), Adams (Worcester); Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), G Davies (Scarlets); R Evans (Scarlets), Owens (Scarlets), Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Beard (Ospreys), AW Jones (Ospreys, capt), Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Tipuric (Ospreys), Moriarty (Dragons).

Replacements: Dee (Dragons), Smith (Ospreys), D Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Ball (Scarlets), Wainwright (Dragons), A Davies (Ospreys), Biggar (Northampton), Watkin (Ospreys).



Ireland:


Kearney; Earls, Ringrose, Aki, Stockdale; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best (capt), Furlong, Beirne, Ryan, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Stander.

Replacements: Scannell, Kilcoyne, Porter, Roux, Conan, Marmion, Carty, Larmour.


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Post by The Oracle on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 10:48 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Part of me wishes we didn’t have semi-fake grass either but, you know, progression, etc.

It's the 'will they, won't they' every time I find tedious. I don't have a problem with roofs!

Ah right, well yes I agree with your there!
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Post by SecretFly on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 10:49 am

No, well now Gatland has often spoken about fitness levels in his own right, Oracle. He isn't shy of claiming he's one of the best in the biz at getting to the right levels - and indeed, his record kinda heads that way in agreeing with him.
But curious soull that I am, I just express a desire to know how he manages it given many players from the other Nations have trained under him. Surely, they are shouting at their coaches and telling them all the secrets?
BTW, Jones was thinking he had the fittest crew earlier in the season and by heck, the way those guys play every week..... seems he's found Gatland's secret milkshake recipe Wink


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Post by BamBam on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 10:49 am

No opposition coach is going to agree to something that Wales thinks gives them an advantage, I'm not sure why there is such surprise every time it comes up

For whoever mentioned the size of the in goal area etc, if the opposition coach had an opportunity to decide that, you can pretty much guarantee they would!

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 10:50 am

The Oracle wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:If Ireland do win can we take the Tiny Rebel pub home as a prize? Im quite fond of that place

You should try the Tiny Rebel brewery (with bar) in Newport. Lovely venue, although it’s out on an industrial estate!

I shall make a point of visiting next time I'm that way. They do make some good beer

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 10:52 am

I expect we’ll see more stadia with roofs going forward. But while we’re the only one at international level we’re going to get the flak as people don’t like minorities or differences from the norm. ‘Roofism’ will exist until having a roof becomes more normal, and then it will be the ‘have nots’ who are the minority group persecuted for being different. ‘You sad w****ers with no roof. Couldn’t your union afford one’ will be the taunts from the terraces! Smile
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Post by stevetynant on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 10:58 am

My only disappointment with this game is its not the last one on Saturday - can anyone see Scotland pulling it off? Nope :0)

Wales- Back line looks more threatening especially out wide where Irelands defence is weakest
Ireland - More Ball Carriers in the pack
Wales - faster to the breakdown
Ireland - More Turnover exponents in the pack
Line out - both having their problems
Wales Defence - Excellent
Ireland - Best possession retention team in the tournament
Coaches - both up there with the best in the World

Advantage Wales- Home Crowd

Lets forget the politics, the weather - this is going to be awesome

Haven't got a ticket but in the pub by 12 pm to warm up

Have a great day all

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:00 am

I don't mind a roofed stadium.... it's the can't-make-up-our-mind expensive closing and opening mechanism that I find Infuriatung! Do yis want a stadium with a roof or not? Like I always say there is always an easily conceived excuse that Wales could use to keep the roof closed for the duration of the entire Six Nations ----- rust.

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Post by munkian on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:01 am

stevetynant wrote:My only disappointment with this game is its not the last one on Saturday - can anyone see Scotland pulling it off? Nope :0)

Wales- Back line looks more threatening especially out wide where Irelands defence is weakest
Ireland - More Ball Carriers in the pack
Wales - faster to the breakdown
Ireland - More Turnover exponents in the pack
Line out - both having their problems
Wales Defence - Excellent
Ireland - Best possession retention team in the tournament
Coaches - both up there with the best in the World

Advantage Wales- Home Crowd

Lets forget the politics, the weather - this is going to be awesome

Haven't got a ticket but in the pub by 12 pm to warm up

Have a great day all

You may need to get in earlier - I was at Wales v England and you could barely get into any pub before the game - let alone afterwards.

Several pubs had run out of Guinness half way through the Scotland match.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:03 am

Are any Wales fans planning to cut their balls off if then win the slam?

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/rugby-fan-cut-off-his-own-testicles-7271864.html

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Post by rodders on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:11 am

The Oracle wrote:
rodders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Anyway, Gats is still saying he thinks he's being written off... but enjoys that sensation even more.  Well, in his fantasy world we'll allow him the indulgence of thinking the world don't rate him or his team.  Meanwhile both he and Jamie Roberts think Wales have the extra gears necessary to take the Slam.

Well they are hoping they have, also the claims about being the fittest side have come out again.

If you ask me Gats is feeling the heat, Schmidt has pulled a master stroke over the roof. I expect the 6N to overturn the decision but the psychological damage is done.    


What do you mean by overturn the decision? There has been no decision. There has been a request by Wales and then Ireland get to decide. That’s how it always is. Thems the rules. No decision has been made.

Nope Ireland asked for it to be open. Gats has launched an appeal with the 6N committee to have it closed.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wales-ireland-roof-grand-slam-15975228
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Post by munkian on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:17 am

rodders wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
rodders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Anyway, Gats is still saying he thinks he's being written off... but enjoys that sensation even more.  Well, in his fantasy world we'll allow him the indulgence of thinking the world don't rate him or his team.  Meanwhile both he and Jamie Roberts think Wales have the extra gears necessary to take the Slam.

Well they are hoping they have, also the claims about being the fittest side have come out again.

If you ask me Gats is feeling the heat, Schmidt has pulled a master stroke over the roof. I expect the 6N to overturn the decision but the psychological damage is done.    


What do you mean by overturn the decision? There has been no decision. There has been a request by Wales and then Ireland get to decide. That’s how it always is. Thems the rules. No decision has been made.

Nope Ireland asked for it to be open. Gats has launched an appeal with the 6N committee to have it closed.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wales-ireland-roof-grand-slam-15975228

So he wants it open but complained the pitch was too wet last time ? Erm
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Post by SecretFly on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:24 am

No he was more specific, he said it was strange to want a roof closed then excessively water a pitch. He wants to take his chances of slippy ground with the rain Wink

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Post by Scottrf on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:26 am

I think honestly it's an easier decision the more Gatland complains.


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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:35 am

Apparently Gatland didn't complain now.

Such a load of tiresome nonsense.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:36 am

Here is an awesome Irish song to cheer you up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmpk4dYJRNk

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:42 am

Let me guess - The Coors?

EDIT - It's The Corrs, isn't it?

I was going to say Coors goes down easier, but that might not be true....


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Post by rodders on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:44 am

A rainy night in Soho?
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Post by SecretFly on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:46 am

It's not the Coors but it's a right Coor doing the 'singing'.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:47 am

No its chicken talk by Richie Kavanagh

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 12:16 pm

Why would any visiting Coach want the roof closed?

A closed roof amplifies the atmosphere, and keeps the crowd warm and happy.
An open roof exposes the crowd to the elements, especially on a wet and windy day and they might not just be as tolerant of their own team's mistakes or be as fervent trying to influence the Ref. Speaking of which - if the Ref is cold and wet he might not be as tuned-in to hearing the home fans and be more reliant on his own judgement so the away team might get a fairer match.

OTOH needing the shelter to stop the match being a washout (or whiteout) makes for better rugby and better TV, so the decision should be based on science rather than tactics. The MET office should publish their weather predictions leading up to the game, and the roof would only be closed if their figures justified it.

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 12:22 pm

If Ireland ( I meam Lansdowne) had a roof it would have been busy last week. Rain, sun, snow, wind, sun, rain, snow. But that was only the few minutes before the game.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 1:07 pm

Average score in last 5 games wales 20 ireland 19. 2 wins each and a draw.

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 1:17 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Are any Wales fans planning to cut their balls off if then win the slam?

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/rugby-fan-cut-off-his-own-testicles-7271864.html


Yes, but last time was enough. They still haven’t grown back Sad
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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 1:30 pm

Ballsy move

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Post by Scottrf on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 1:45 pm

Glad my NHS contribution is going to good use.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 1:47 pm

Haha. Anyone know who the last team to beat Wales was?

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 1:56 pm

Albania?

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 2:03 pm

SecretFly wrote:Albania?

It would appear so.

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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 2:31 pm

The Oracle wrote:Ireland v Wales, 6N 2018. That was a good game of running rugby, from memory. Both sides chucking it about and running in some good tries.

Not what I remember. Wales played wide, and scored two of their tries simply by getting the ball beyond Ireland's narrow defence. Ireland choked the ball and scored their tries by grinding it over the line. Particularly second half.

No issue though. As the Irish posters have said, Ireland do run the ball, it's just not a high percentage of their game. And it's not particularly risky.

I'm thinking more specifically last 10 minutes kind of stuff though. If the game really breaks up - and of course the weather plays a factor here - players like Carbery (not playing) and Larmour (not starting) would be key for Ireland, as of course Stockdale and Ringrose are (why I make this Ireland team very strong, don't see too much weakness in any 'style' the game is played in) but Wales have some of the best broken field players in the NH: Tipuric, Gareth Davies, Liam Williams, George North etc. We haven't seen these players shine with ball in hand because they haven't had to - but I think the point Gatland/others might be making is that the potential to really open up is there. Hopefully it doesn't come as a result of trailing going in to the last 10 minutes, and is controlled in its own way - but I think Wales have to have periods where the game is broken up enough so these players can shine.

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 2:36 pm

But in the last ten Wales will prob have Aled Davies on. And that gives Ireland the edge. ( To be honest not seen much of him I'm taking the almost unified opinion from the majority of Welsh posters on here who don't rate him)

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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 2:41 pm

SecretFly wrote:Just how Does one team get to be fitter / or 'train harder' than another at this level?  I don't doubt it that in some years, some of these higher ranking sides DO look fresher after heavy duty games than other teams... but how do you do that if everyone knows the science of being fittest/training hard... and players from England, Ireland and to a lesser extent, Scotland, know how Gatland's fitness system operates given he's been Lions coach a few times now?
So how does a team pull these fast ones and become the blue ribboned side of fitness just when they want and need to be?

Answers on the back of a matchbox because I know the grunts will be brief and guarded Wink,

See, this is something that's been one of Gatland's standard media soundbites. Players bought into it in a big way in 08, and subsequent years as well.

The issue is, as Gatland's been lightening up a bit, he's done quite a bit of media work in the last few years - Off The Ball, The 1014 etc. And he's been quite open and honest. One of the things he's mentioned is how the Welsh players needed belief and the physchological strength he could give them from convincing them they were the fittest, training the hardest etc. to the point where the players would be self-disciplining themselves, and self-motivating.

"We're the fittest."
"No team is training as hard as this etc."

And maybe there's some truth to that. One of SoB's criticisms post-Lions tour was that the team trained too hard in the week of the tests, particularly on the Thursday before.

But the issue is Gatland's come out and said, in all these interviews, that he has absolutely no idea how hard other teams train. It's all motivation, it's all psychological (maybe with a hint of truth). And once the cat is out of the bag, so to speak...can you really 'use' this sort of motivational tactic again? When you've admitted one of you key facets of motivation is, effectively, bullocks...will it really rub off on players?

That said, I thought Wales dealt with the tempo of the England game perfectly. Does it mean they're fitter? No...or at least, it's impossible to tell. England couldn't deal with the tempo Wales played, and there's probably something relevant to the training, but many pro athletes can adapt. Some, like Jamie George, just look fat and unfit, but the likes of Wilson and Curry were still going strong. I've seen Wales flag massively against SA in recent yars - even when winning. They were spent in the RWC quarter final game against them and had no response once SA nicked ahead late on. Likewise, last year, SA looked 'fitter' towards the end of the game. If Ireland can hold the ball, and keep Wales tackling/on the backfoot in a physical battle, then you may see similar fitness issues.

But yeah - I don't see how he can come out with this once he's admitted it's just guesswork. Unless of course he's using his Lions experience and insight - or saying he is - to imply to other players weren't as fit as the Welsh boys. Anyway...there's a game tomorrow...

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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 2:43 pm

carpet baboon wrote:But in the last ten Wales will prob have Aled Davies on. And that gives Ireland the edge. ( To be honest not seen much of him I'm taking the almost unified opinion from the majority of Welsh posters on here who don't rate him)

Yeah, good point. Tomos Williams is streets ahead unfortunately. I can only see Aled coming on post 70 minutes - if it's an arm wrestle, he's not the worst 9 in the world. Gareth Davies is just as prone to brain fades and charged down box kicks, and Tomos is obviously very inexperienced - less than 12 months as a test player - so hasn't been rumbled yet. Not as if missing him is like missing the solidity and quality of Rhys Webb. Hopefully he'll have a positive impact if he does play.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:04 pm

miaow wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Ireland v Wales, 6N 2018. That was a good game of running rugby, from memory. Both sides chucking it about and running in some good tries.

Not what I remember. Wales played wide, and scored two of their tries simply by getting the ball beyond Ireland's narrow defence. Ireland choked the ball and scored their tries by grinding it over the line. Particularly second half.

No issue though. As the Irish posters have said, Ireland do run the ball, it's just not a high percentage of their game. And it's not particularly risky.

I'm thinking more specifically last 10 minutes kind of stuff though. If the game really breaks up - and of course the weather plays a factor here - players like Carbery (not playing) and Larmour (not starting) would be key for Ireland, as of course Stockdale and Ringrose are (why I make this Ireland team very strong, don't see too much weakness in any 'style' the game is played in) but Wales have some of the best broken field players in the NH: Tipuric, Gareth Davies, Liam Williams, George North etc. We haven't seen these players shine with ball in hand because they haven't had to - but I think the point Gatland/others might be making is that the potential to really open up is there. Hopefully it doesn't come as a result of trailing going in to the last 10 minutes, and is controlled in its own way - but I think Wales have to have periods where the game is broken up enough so these players can shine.

Two of Irelands tries were scored by Stockdale. The first from a skip pass from Sexton and the second an intercept. Ireland's second try was from Aki bulldozing over. Ireland's third try was Leavy from short range. Ireland's 4th was Healy from short range. Three backs tries 2 forwards.

Bit of a mixed bag there.

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:15 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
miaow wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Ireland v Wales, 6N 2018. That was a good game of running rugby, from memory. Both sides chucking it about and running in some good tries.

Not what I remember. Wales played wide, and scored two of their tries simply by getting the ball beyond Ireland's narrow defence. Ireland choked the ball and scored their tries by grinding it over the line. Particularly second half.

No issue though. As the Irish posters have said, Ireland do run the ball, it's just not a high percentage of their game. And it's not particularly risky.

I'm thinking more specifically last 10 minutes kind of stuff though. If the game really breaks up - and of course the weather plays a factor here - players like Carbery (not playing) and Larmour (not starting) would be key for Ireland, as of course Stockdale and Ringrose are (why I make this Ireland team very strong, don't see too much weakness in any 'style' the game is played in) but Wales have some of the best broken field players in the NH: Tipuric, Gareth Davies, Liam Williams, George North etc. We haven't seen these players shine with ball in hand because they haven't had to - but I think the point Gatland/others might be making is that the potential to really open up is there. Hopefully it doesn't come as a result of trailing going in to the last 10 minutes, and is controlled in its own way - but I think Wales have to have periods where the game is broken up enough so these players can shine.

Two of Irelands tries were scored by Stockdale. The first from a skip pass from Sexton and the second an intercept. Ireland's second try was from Aki bulldozing over. Ireland's third try was Leavy from short range. Ireland's 4th was Healy from short range. Three backs tries 2 forwards.

Bit of a mixed bag there.

Yes you’re both right. Just watched the highlights. Wales with the running rugby and Ireland with the short driving bulldozer stuff from short range, with the intercept at the end by Stockdale the ‘running rugby’ that I remembered. Haha!
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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:20 pm

Maybe if Wales were more direct they might have won?

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:28 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Maybe if Wales were more direct they might have won?

Maybe, but we were playing the Best Team In The World (arguably) so would have been a tall order away from home.

All ifs and buts, I know. But I’d love to see what would have happened had that pass gone to hand at the end with two players out wide in space. Could have been a match winning try. We had to roll the dice. But Anscombe passed like a 5 year old and the history books will show forever more a 5 try to 3 comfortable win rather than what might have been a 4 tries apiece Wales win. C’est la vie.
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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:29 pm

Wouldn't call it a mixed bag personally. The two 'non grinding' tries were from Welsh mistakes.

1. Stockdale: Sexton penalty hits the post. Welsh don't recover ball. Welsh don't get their numbers right in scramble defence - penalty advantage and Sexton uses similar cut out pass to the one Farrell and May used against them this year. Overlap; try. The 'best' try, though, and a sign of how/when Ireland do play it wide. Still conditional on big Welsh mistakes.

2. Aki. Mistake at Welsh lineout/clearing kick just before half-time gave Ireland field position. Aki drives over from close range.

3. Leavy. Pick and drive under the posts. Rory Best blatantly offside, clearing Welsh players out beyond the ball, but not given.

4. Healy. Pick and drive in the corner.

5. Stockdale. Intercept after 80 minutes with Wales chasing the match winning try.

A few things to take from this - firstly, as I said, not really a mixed bag per se. The tries Ireland worked were all very, very similar, and Wales didn't really have an answer to them. Giving Ireland field position within the 22 is lethal and Wales have to avoid that. Two main things to work on then: stupid mistakes, like switching off and misreading defensive numbers. And the kicking/lineout game - basically, territory. The lineout has been atrocious this year and Ireland will capitalise.

The second point is Ireland's other two tries. As I said, players like Stockdale are dangerous in broken field/if Wales move it wide. Just as Wales avoided moving the ball wide for fear of giving the likes of May, Daly and Slade turnover ball, they'll be wary of Stockdale and Ringrose tomorrow. But, again, there's a big difference between Stockdale's tries in this game and the other 3.

It's a sign that Ireland can be ruthless, and certainly Sexton's pass to Stockdale was excellent and is an obvious example of how/when Ireland can move the ball well. But it's all conditional - not just penalty advantage, but several big Welsh errors in the lead up. Many unforced. The fact is, though, so many Welsh players kept tight to the ruck expecting the pick and go. It's a testament to Sexton and Ireland that, with advantage, and with Wales expecting a series of tight carries, they adapted and got the score.

Also, who knows how important that try was in enabling the 3 'worked' tries to be scored later in the game? Did Wales stand a bit wider as a result, to avoid being sucked in to the breakdown and being beaten out wide? Not really sure on that one.

Anyway, it's not a criticism of Ireland. It's just a very clear observation of that way they play(ed). I feel like Wales could very easily have won that game last year but for some stupid mistakes, all the way up until the penalty in the last 10 minutes that Murray kicked. Wales were making good ground against them with ball in hand, and obviously scored 3 good tries - one from broken field/dropped ball, and then 2 from outflanking the defence. They were also controlling the game and the scoreboard until Aki's try and that felt like a game-changer as Ireland then squeezed the life out of the game in the 3rd quarter and got well ahead on the scoreboard.

The biggest threat for Wales tomorrow is a repeat of that third quarter: Ireland dominating the ball in the Welsh 22. I'd expect both teams to play much more similar rugby than we saw last year, which should make it...interesting...in the forecasted weather conditions.

This game is absoluely 50:50 for me. Ireland deserve the accolades and ranking position and all that - they've not become a poor side overnight, and although I see weaknesses, Schmidt can absolutely get them 'up' for a one-off game and destroy Wales if everything clicks. Likewise, if Wales get the MS momentum behind them as they did against England, they're becoming a difficult team to beat and I don't doubt Gatland has his own plans to counter Schmidt as well.

Welsh mistakes will be the difference, for me. Can they hold on to the ball well enough in the weather conditions - and if not, can they play the territorial game well enough against and Irish team that prides itself on that aspect of the game. Again, Beirne, POM, SOB all going to be key - if Wales can stop them turning the ball over they stand a great chance.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:34 pm

miaow wrote:Wouldn't call it a mixed bag personally. The two 'non grinding' tries were from Welsh mistakes.

1. Stockdale: Sexton penalty hits the post. Welsh don't recover ball. Welsh don't get their numbers right in scramble defence - penalty advantage and Sexton uses similar cut out pass to the one Farrell and May used against them this year. Overlap; try. The 'best' try, though, and a sign of how/when Ireland do play it wide. Still conditional on big Welsh mistakes.

2. Aki. Mistake at Welsh lineout/clearing kick just before half-time gave Ireland field position. Aki drives over from close range.

3. Leavy. Pick and drive under the posts. Rory Best blatantly offside, clearing Welsh players out beyond the ball, but not given.

4. Healy. Pick and drive in the corner.

5. Stockdale. Intercept after 80 minutes with Wales chasing the match winning try.

A few things to take from this - firstly, as I said, not really a mixed bag per se. The tries Ireland worked were all very, very similar, and Wales didn't really have an answer to them. Giving Ireland field position within the 22 is lethal and Wales have to avoid that. Two main things to work on then: stupid mistakes, like switching off and misreading defensive numbers. And the kicking/lineout game - basically, territory. The lineout has been atrocious this year and Ireland will capitalise.

The second point is Ireland's other two tries. As I said, players like Stockdale are dangerous in broken field/if Wales move it wide. Just as Wales avoided moving the ball wide for fear of giving the likes of May, Daly and Slade turnover ball, they'll be wary of Stockdale and Ringrose tomorrow. But, again, there's a big difference between Stockdale's tries in this game and the other 3.

It's a sign that Ireland can be ruthless, and certainly Sexton's pass to Stockdale was excellent and is an obvious example of how/when Ireland can move the ball well. But it's all conditional - not just penalty advantage, but several big Welsh errors in the lead up. Many unforced. The fact is, though, so many Welsh players kept tight to the ruck expecting the pick and go. It's a testament to Sexton and Ireland that, with advantage, and with Wales expecting a series of tight carries, they adapted and got the score.

Also, who knows how important that try was in enabling the 3 'worked' tries to be scored later in the game? Did Wales stand a bit wider as a result, to avoid being sucked in to the breakdown and being beaten out wide? Not really sure on that one.

Anyway, it's not a criticism of Ireland. It's just a very clear observation of that way they play(ed). I feel like Wales could very easily have won that game last year but for some stupid mistakes, all the way up until the penalty in the last 10 minutes that Murray kicked. Wales were making good ground against them with ball in hand, and obviously scored 3 good tries - one from broken field/dropped ball, and then 2 from outflanking the defence. They were also controlling the game and the scoreboard until Aki's try and that felt like a game-changer as Ireland then squeezed the life out of the game in the 3rd quarter and got well ahead on the scoreboard.

The biggest threat for Wales tomorrow is a repeat of that third quarter: Ireland dominating the ball in the Welsh 22. I'd expect both teams to play much more similar rugby than we saw last year, which should make it...interesting...in the forecasted weather conditions.

This game is absoluely 50:50 for me. Ireland deserve the accolades and ranking position and all that - they've not become a poor side overnight, and although I see weaknesses, Schmidt can absolutely get them 'up' for a one-off game and destroy Wales if everything clicks. Likewise, if Wales get the MS momentum behind them as they did against England, they're becoming a difficult team to beat and I don't doubt Gatland has his own plans to counter Schmidt as well.

Welsh mistakes will be the difference, for me. Can they hold on to the ball well enough in the weather conditions - and if not, can they play the territorial game well enough against and Irish team that prides itself on that aspect of the game. Again, Beirne, POM, SOB all going to be key - if Wales can stop them turning the ball over they stand a great chance.

Long post, disagree.

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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:35 pm

Haha, ok...

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:38 pm

Just kidding I didn't read it.

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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:41 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Just kidding I didn't can't read it.

Fixed thumbsup

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:52 pm

cant be arsed maybe

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:53 pm

Four punch drunk, dead legged, sweat soaked boring as feck tries from Ireland's forwards, after 35 phases each, would do me fine if they won us the game...with just a handy bonus point thrown in to make it look better Wink
Honestly, I've always wanted Ireland to play more like Leinster but the guy that made Leinster purr decided he wanted Ireland to play like classic Munster. And who can knock him, he's taken Ireland to second more than once in his time with us.
We'll see where Farrell wants to take us next, but for now I'm satisfied enough with grunt cancelling out pizazz if we can manage it. Grunt has its own beauty especially when you support the side doing it.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:56 pm

Ireland definitely don't play like classic Munster. Kick for the corners and maul? Nah.

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 3:59 pm

It will be 0-3 to Ireland. Most of the game played between the two ten meter lines.
Brutal stuff

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Post by munkian on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 4:00 pm

Why are only Welsh handling mistakes being brought up as a weakness ? Most sides have had cack have had cack handed horror shows at somepoint this weekend ?

Ireland improved against France but they were under very little if no pressure.
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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 4:12 pm

Back to the game...

We had lots of fun on the Wales England thread talking about combined teams - basically, head to heads. Some English posters picked an almost full XV of their own players. No doubt many Irish and Welsh posters might do likewise. We also had this discussion before the Ireland England game in the first week - with a similar result.

For me, this is where Ireland prove to be a bit stronger than Wales - physically, as much as anything.


15. Liam Williams v Kearney: Kearney's been a great player, and will be excellent tomorrow I would have thought. Arguably better in the air than LW, although it's close, and a better kicking game too. But the attacking abilities are stark. Kearney makes up some ground through experience, nous...all those things that are hard to quantify but will be important tomorrow. But LW - no doubt really.

14. North v Earls. Very different players. Earls is tidy but unremarkable. I also think he has a 'level' where he looks very good, but go above that (quality, intensity of game) and he starts looking a bit average. He's a bit like a poor man's Halfpenny in that he's a very tidy player. North has improved his all round game immensely - support play, aerial, breakdown, carrying in the tight. Also one of the best runners in the game. Clearly North, but if the game goes a certain way (kicking), it becomes close.

13. JD2 v Ringrose. Very close for me. Again, quite different players. Ringrose more to his game than JD2 in terms of ball in hand, better vision and passing. JD2 one of the best defenders in the world, certainly at 13. Also devastating carrying at an outside shoulder. JD2...but it's close.

12. Parkes v Aki. Very clearly Aki. Parkes has his strengths but, a bit like Earls, you go beyond a certain level and he can be caught out. Showed against England he's lacking the pace. Aki isn't as effective as Tuilagi but he's not a million miles away. I make this Aki by some margin, although Parkes has a better all round game. If Aki makes headway over the gainline he's a potential game-changer.

11. Adams v Stockdale. Evens. Can't split it. I'm erring on the side of Stockdale just because he's physically so impressive and, like North, one of the best broken field runners/finishers in the NH, perhaps the world. That 'extra' bit of pace separates him and turns him from good to potentially world class. Adams, though, is in unbelievable form, has a much better all round game, is scoring tries, and has no apparent weaknesses. If had to pick I'd go Stockdale due to potential gamewinning ability, but think evens is fair.

10. Anscombe v Sexton. I think Anscombe is actually very underrated and is starting to feel at home in the test 10 shirt now. Despite Sexton's poor form, this one's pretty clear.

9. G Davies v Murray. Fairly easy. Murray's good at what he does, but if the game opens up, there's no better 9 in the 6Ns than Gareth Davies. His try last year in Dublin showed what he's good at. Overall game and experience, decision making, leadership etc. - Murray by quite some margin. In reality, there might not too much difference in terms of performances between the two 9s tomorrow.

8. Moriarty v Stander. Tough one. I'll give it to Stander but it's close. Moriarty one of the best defenders in the 6Ns, but is being asked to do more of a ball carrying job, where Stander is obviously one of the best. Experience in the position gives this to Stander.

7. Tipuric v SOB. A bit like with Kearney, SOB is past his best. But it's still fairly close. In a physical encounter SOB is still a force - but can he keep up with Tipuric, who's also deceptively strong? Tipuric just has 'more' to his game in almost every respect than SOB.

6. Navidi v POM. POM, although very different players. Navidi a versatile back rower who seems to slot into any shirt equally well. POM a traditional Irish forward in that he is expceptional at what he does. Hard call due to stylistic differences but POM due to experience, leadership etc.

5. AWJ v Ryan. Evens. Tricky. Ryan obviously has pedigree and is starting off on his career, while AWJ is winding down (don't tell him...). Leadership, nous, experience offsets any physicality AWJ might be giving up to Ryan, although that's perhaps not the most noticeable difference. This is too hard to call though. Ryan soon, but evens for now.

4. Beard v Beirne. Beirne. No doubt. Beard's a decent, tidy player but not in the same calibre as Beirne. Perhaps the easiest decision to make out of the XV.

3. Francis v Furlong. Francis is another underrated player. Playing well, too. Offers himself as something of a lightweight Furlong carrying option and performs well in the scrum. But is there a better tighthead than Furlong in the world in the last 3 years?

2. Ken v Best. Best's another whose best days are behind him, but that experience and quality can all come out on a one-off game, where he winds back the clock and puts in a 9/10 performance. Both having issues at the lineout but I make this Ken due to work in the loose.

1. Evans v Healy. Not sure about this one. Healy hasn't really performed that well for a while but he's a tank, has test match quality, and has obviously hit a higher level than Rob has for Wales. For that reason I give it to Healy but I think, in practice, Rob Evans might get the upper hand/be the better player of the 2 tomorrow. Generously...Healy.

Wales: 5
Ireland:8

In a combined bench, I'd take: Dee, Smith, Kilcoyne, Ball/Roux (evens), Wainwright, Marmion, Biggar, Larmour. 4 to Wales, 3 to Ireland.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 4:50 pm

Jeez Liam Williams is good. Savage girlfriend too

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 5:08 pm

Id take Best any day of the week over Owens. All day every day. 24/7/365.

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Post by miaow on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 5:09 pm

No chance. Ken and Guirado are the best hookers in the tournament. Best is probably beneath McInally and George now.

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