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 Peter Stringer on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 9:09 pm

miaow wrote:Hits?

...after hit after hit after...?

That’s the sound that POM makes hitting ruck after ruck after ruck after ruck after ruck like a machine.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 9:09 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Im fairly sure he was being ironic or a pastiche/parody of a Munster fan.

That said for all his failures Kidney still won a alam and world coach of the year in 09 so he wasnt completely hopeless at all.

Yes well that was farcical. PDV won a Lions series and beat the ABs three from three in 2009. Beats a 6N win every day of the week, and some.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 9:17 pm

Yeah well PDV wasnt as bad as some oeople made out but like Kidney he inherited a good swuad which he beld dry.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 9:24 pm

Yep, fair comment.

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Post by Geen sport voor watjes on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 10:53 pm

rodders wrote:I'll sit in the fence in this one. POM has been ok at times in the championship but not great.

I think the same could be said for a number of players but given his status as a talisman and leader, he's been disappointing.  

I agree completely. The whole team have played like drains esp the leaders. The joke is that POM is becoming undropable like a number of players because of how Schmidt expects the team to play. First of all Pom topped the turnover count for us and the lineout. He won 30 lineout the next closest being Henderson with 6. This is crazy and shows the complete dependence on toner and Pom. This is replicated across the team in certain areas

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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 9:58 am

I think it is a difficult one, every successful team has it's spine of key players. The difficulty comes if all or most are out of form at the same time.

If your back row and half backs are a bit off the pace then it is difficult for the rest of the team to function.

Our set piece did ok bar the line out against Italy, the big issues were the inability to retain and/or provide quick ball from the ruck, and our ball carriers struggling to get across the gain line.  

Then once you factor in the sub par form of Murray and Sexton you have a bit of a perfect storm to deal with, as when the ruck ball is slow you need good decisions and execution from the half backs which a lot of times in the championship we didn't get.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 10:53 am

So what is it? That's the question that needs answers. How did such a perfect storm hit us just when we were presumably going to consolidate the position we were in last year?

On the face of it, if you didn't look at the games but just the table, you'd think Ireland did an ok job in terms of sustaining quality on the eve of the WC. I don't think many expected us to get another Slam. The year is just too loaded to expect the players to be focused enough to throw everything at it. 'Wales did', we might hear. But they were on a different journey. They needed to keep proving their growth. We felt we could take the peddle off the accelerator a little.
But it was the nature of our performances across the board that shocked. How could so many players look so off? How could nobody stand up, take the pressure and lead? Why was the body language so negative? Players looked almost resigned to being second best. There was little in the way of groups going into a huddle and talking defiance and a different mood needed. Players just seemed to go through the motions... with little emotion - except heart on sleeve Johnny of course, who showed too much of it.
So, were we programmed to underperform, take the gas off, go easy on the competition and that was our best shot at it? Schmidt hinted a tiny bit that he might not have been demanding an all out attack on the 6N when he said something about 'not wanting to say we didn't give 100% BUT..... '. I forget what he added but the inference was it was never intended to be a 100% challenge.
The problem is that we don't seem capable of taking the 'physicality' and perpetual hard edged phase play style down a notch and still look like a competent International side. We fall apart when we try to cruise, and it's an old habit, not just from Schmidt's time.
We survived with a little respect on the table if not in the performances. I do think players and coaches know that the WC will give us no down time to save our exertions for 'special' games. Scotland will be hot and hungry. Japan will be in a high paced WC mood. Irish players have had their downtime, and their 'walking rugby' rest period. From here to the end of the year, it'll have to be 100% effort and cohesiveness.

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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:24 am

Well that is the question fly. Can we adapt and play on the back foot if we are losing collisions and struggling at the breakdown?

Last year I'd have said yes, I thought Australia got the better of us physically in the summer for example but we were able to grind out the results but on this 6N evidence it looks like we can't find solutions when it isn't going our way.

Has an element of complacency set in, were we are so used to sides crumbling that we just persist with a plan that isn't working?

It's vital to have belief in the game plan but sometimes you need to kick the 3 points where they are on offer and use a tactical kicking game not keep bashing away.

A long kicking seems to be something we don't have as well, when our exit strategy isn't working we seem to just run our selves into trouble around the half way line. Sexton for all his strengths doesn't get great distance anymore from hand and we can't always rely on a good box kick and chase to get out of trouble.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:37 am

They didn't even chase hard enough for this level, rodders. Everything was slow motion when you compare them to high energy England and Wales. We went through the motions - but nothing had the intensity needed. Catching balls at standstill and hoping to still make a hole somewhere is Not International rugby at the highest level.
Like I say, my only hope is that Schmidt, Farrell and the other coaches know this. I can understand taking the foot off (2018 was a good but tough year to keep those standards up). But still, when the players start running into each other, throw dumb hospital passes to each other, throw balls into areas with no players. The meltdown aspect of Ireland when they don't play well is always more comical and frightening than other sides of the same calibre having an off day.
That's the one thing I can never understand and it's decades old now - absolute breakdown of all skills when having a bad game.

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:39 am

I think that some Irish supporters are over analysing things a little. Lets not forget, Schmidt is a grand slam winning coach after all.

If you look at things pragmatically, there was only one maybe two shock results in this 6N, before a ball had been kicked, we would not have expected England to win in Dublin, and Scotland to draw in London.

All the other games went with form. Lets take Wales for example, France away, Scotland away, where as they were close calls before they kicked off, we were not surprised Wales won them. We all know about Italy.

The only game Ireland need to look at under the microscope, in my opinion, is the England game, but I did not really see another performance at home like that from Ireland, or away really.

No need for knee jerk reactions for me.

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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:42 am

I think when Stander tried to take a quick tap from the free kick off a dominant scrum, right in front of Wales sticks and then knocks it on summed up the whole campaign.
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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:48 am

LordDowlais wrote:
All the other games went with form. Lets take Wales for example, France away, Scotland away, where as they were close calls before they kicked off, we were not surprised Wales won them. We all know about Italy.

No one was surprised Wales won but there was nothing in the form book to suggest they could go 25-0 up. It was a complete capitulation by Ireland, albeit the referee didn't help that isn't an excuse.  

And with respect to Wales, this isn't the best side they've had in recent history, player wise they are average enough (bar some obvious examples). Gatland has done a great job to get them performing so well but on paper Ireland should have put up a much better challenge.
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Post by Peter Stringer on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:53 am

SecretFly wrote:So what is it?  That's the question that needs answers.  How did such a perfect storm hit us just when we were presumably going to consolidate the position we were in last year?

On the face of it, if you didn't look at the games but just the table, you'd think Ireland did an ok job in terms of sustaining quality on the eve of the WC.  I don't think many expected us to get another Slam.  The year is just too loaded to expect the players to be focused enough to throw everything at it.  'Wales did', we might hear.  But they were on a different journey.  They needed to keep proving their growth.  We felt we could take the peddle off the accelerator a little.
But it was the nature of our performances across the board that shocked.  How could so many players look so off?  How could nobody stand up, take the pressure and lead?  Why was the body language so negative? Players looked almost resigned to being second best.  There was little in the way of groups going into a huddle and talking defiance and a different mood needed.  Players just seemed to go through the motions... with little emotion - except heart on sleeve Johnny of course, who showed too much of it.
So, were we programmed to underperform, take the gas off, go easy on the competition and that was our best shot at it?  Schmidt hinted a tiny bit that he might not have been demanding an all out attack on the 6N when he said something about 'not wanting to say we didn't give 100% BUT..... '. I forget what he added but the inference was it was never intended to be a 100% challenge.
The problem is that we don't seem capable of taking the 'physicality' and perpetual hard edged phase play style down a notch and still look like a competent International side.  We fall apart when we try to cruise, and it's an old habit, not just from Schmidt's time.  
We survived with a little respect on the table if not in the performances.  I do think players and coaches know that the WC will give us no down time to save our exertions for 'special' games.  Scotland will be hot and hungry.  Japan will be in a high paced WC mood.  Irish players have had their downtime, and their 'walking rugby' rest period.  From here to the end of the year, it'll have to be 100% effort and cohesiveness.

Everyone knows that in any other normal job giving less than 100% would not be acceptable. Look at our effective and efficient public services- they work because all public sector staff work tirelessly. Anyone who doesn’t is sacked, if not summarily flogged.

We aren’t going to win the World Cup. The suggestion that we threw the Six Nations for a crack at ungraspable glory is disgusting and symptomatic of the weakness of your own Irish identity. You are used to being the victim. “Oh perfidious Albion, please don’t hurt me” as you lie curled up in a foetal ball in the lie that is your life. Well this croppy won’t lie down. What happened to Irish spirt? What happened to Come out ye Black and Tans why don’t you fight me like a man? Fight like a man, bare chested, to the death. That’s what I demand of true Irishmen. We rolled over against England and Wales like timid little beasts. Oh please Mr Saxon, come pillage us again, loot our culture and defile our women. Pathetic.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:53 am

25-7is no ordinary day for Ireland, Lord...even in Wales on a Slam Hunt.

Against England we were hit first by their intention to do it all in a fireworks first half. We were hit with the shock of it and didn't recover ( but still managed 20). But that game allowed others to more fully understand what was coming their way from England and prepare better. So Ireland were just unlucky to be hit first and undoubtedly allowed Gats to prepare better for England.

But what happened on that last day. Wales hit us with the same early time firestorm as England and again Ireland didn't' react positively. So the Welsh game is the more serious one for us to analyse.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:56 am

I like Peter even more as a 606 poster than I did as a jack Russel biting the legs of his pack to keep them going forward....

Oops, we're back to Murray........

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 12:09 pm

rodders wrote:I think when Stander tried to take a quick tap from the free kick off a dominant scrum, right in front of Wales sticks and then knocks it on summed up the whole campaign.

Ha yeah that was horrific.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 12:11 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I think that some Irish supporters are over analysing things a little. Lets not forget, Schmidt is a grand slam winning coach after all.

If you look at things pragmatically, there was only one maybe two shock results in this 6N, before a ball had been kicked, we would not have expected England to win in Dublin, and Scotland to draw in London.

All the other games went with form. Lets take Wales for example, France away, Scotland away, where as they were close calls before they kicked off, we were not surprised Wales won them. We all know about Italy.

The only game Ireland need to look at under the microscope, in my opinion, is the England game, but I did not really see another performance at home like that from Ireland, or away really.

No need for knee jerk reactions for me.

My view is England Ireland and Wales are all good sides that are all good enough to win the title. Wales had Ireland and England at home this year so were favourites and as it turn out the best side this year. Its not like we didn't already know they were good.

Not too worried about it.


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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 12:23 pm

Anyway. That's the Six Nations. See you boys back here maybe for the warmups but more likely the WC itself.

Peter, stick around. This place has been lacking in the history, poetry and fun departments. You cater for all three.

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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 1:26 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I think that some Irish supporters are over analysing things a little. Lets not forget, Schmidt is a grand slam winning coach after all.

If you look at things pragmatically, there was only one maybe two shock results in this 6N, before a ball had been kicked, we would not have expected England to win in Dublin, and Scotland to draw in London.

All the other games went with form. Lets take Wales for example, France away, Scotland away, where as they were close calls before they kicked off, we were not surprised Wales won them. We all know about Italy.

The only game Ireland need to look at under the microscope, in my opinion, is the England game, but I did not really see another performance at home like that from Ireland, or away really.

No need for knee jerk reactions for me.

My view is England Ireland and Wales are all good sides that are all good enough to win the title. Wales had Ireland and England at home this year so were favourites and as it turn out the best side this year. Its not like we didn't already know they were good.

Not too worried about it.

I agree but the manner of the defeats definitely was out of character.

Aside from the AB game in November 2016 you need to go back to Argentina in the RWC QF to find another performance where we were so badly dismantled and then probably Schmidt's first game against Australia, and now it has happened twice in a number of weeks.

We've had some difficult patches under Schmidt before but generally where we've lost it has been by one score.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 1:30 pm

That's true alright. Though we do always bounce back fairly well.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 1:59 pm

One real weakness in our gameplan is that we find it really tough to play in the wet.That doesn't lend itself to 6N rugby but should hopefully be less of an issue in Japan. Look at how poor we were v France in Paris the last 2 times we played them. It's something we really should have a better handle on but ever since the last WC when we changed from kick/chase to a possession retention team we have mot done very well if the ball isn't dry.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 2:10 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:One real weakness in our gameplan is that we find it really tough to play in the wet.That doesn't lend itself to 6N rugby but should hopefully be less of an issue in Japan. Look at how poor we were v France in Paris the last 2 times we played them. It's something we really should have a better handle on but ever since the last WC when we changed from kick/chase  to a possession retention team we have mot done very well if the ball isn't dry.

I don't buy it. it wasn't just "wet" in Paris last year it was absolutely freezing, there was snow, sleet and rain and bitter cold winds. I know cause I was there.

All Irish players are fairly used to playing in the rain and it was also horrible conditions in Twickenham last year when we won a grand slam.

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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 2:30 pm

I just think we struggle when we don't control the speed at the ruck.

It's a flaw in these multi phase power plays we use. If the opposition is controlling the contact and the ruck we end up trying these moves further behind the gain line.

Occasionally someone will reluctantly step up and kick but our kicking game has not been good and we've found ourselves under pressure to get out of our half.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 2:49 pm

rodders wrote:I just think we struggle when we don't control the speed at the ruck.

It's a flaw in these multi phase power plays we use. If the opposition is controlling the contact and the ruck we end up trying these moves further behind the gain line.

Occasionally someone will reluctantly step up and kick but our kicking game has not been good and we've found ourselves under pressure to get out of our half.

I have to say I agree with that. In the last RWC Argentina destroyed us at the ruck and that was the basis for their quick ball out to the wide channels.

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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 3:01 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:I just think we struggle when we don't control the speed at the ruck.

It's a flaw in these multi phase power plays we use. If the opposition is controlling the contact and the ruck we end up trying these moves further behind the gain line.

Occasionally someone will reluctantly step up and kick but our kicking game has not been good and we've found ourselves under pressure to get out of our half.

I have to say I agree with that. In the last RWC Argentina destroyed us at the ruck and that was the basis for their quick ball out to the wide channels.

Yeah I mean it is common sense really, I'm just surprised we haven't found a better way to deal with it.

You could say the same about Leinster but they seem to be able to adapt better than Ireland.
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Post by Scarpia on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 3:11 pm

Fact: The top teams are all so close that it just depends how you play on the day. Predictions are useless. Form is meaningless.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 4:17 pm

rodders wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:I just think we struggle when we don't control the speed at the ruck.

It's a flaw in these multi phase power plays we use. If the opposition is controlling the contact and the ruck we end up trying these moves further behind the gain line.

Occasionally someone will reluctantly step up and kick but our kicking game has not been good and we've found ourselves under pressure to get out of our half.

I have to say I agree with that. In the last RWC Argentina destroyed us at the ruck and that was the basis for their quick ball out to the wide channels.

Yeah I mean it is common sense really, I'm just surprised we haven't found a better way to deal with it.

You could say the same about Leinster but they seem to be able to adapt better than Ireland.

Provincial/club rugby is definitely a step down from International rugby in general but Leinster probably have the resources and personnel of an international side.

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Post by Geen sport voor watjes on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 12:16 am

Guns actually thinks we were on the same level as wales and England and asls is worried about the rain and wet. Yup. That just about sums it up.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 12:55 am

You think Schmidt has been found out,you also thought the same way in 2015 and 2016 and were fairly grudging with any respect for our 6N wins in 2013 and 2014. We showed in the AI's that we can go from a bang average team to world class very quickly. Once the big show comes round we'll be back so swallow that bile and just be thankful we finally found a coach who knows what he's doing.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 11:37 am

Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Guns actually thinks we were on the same level as wales and England and asls is worried about the rain and wet. Yup. That just about sums it up.

I literally didnt say anything like that at all. You sound like a kid telling tales to their teacher.  Wierdo.

Each time wales and england won I said they were much better than us on the day. When Wales won I said the weather had nothing to do with the loss. You literally couldnt have been any more inaccurate.


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Post by Collapse2005 on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 11:40 am

asoreleftshoulder wrote:You think Schmidt has been found out,you  also thought the same way in 2015 and 2016 and were fairly grudging with any respect for our 6N wins in 2013 and 2014. We showed in the AI's that we can go from a bang average team to world class very quickly. Once the big show comes round we'll be back so swallow that bile and just be thankful we finally found a coach who knows what he's doing.

Exactly, its been one whinge after another. To people really expect Ireland to win every single game?

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Post by Taylorman on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 8:53 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:You think Schmidt has been found out,you  also thought the same way in 2015 and 2016 and were fairly grudging with any respect for our 6N wins in 2013 and 2014. We showed in the AI's that we can go from a bang average team to world class very quickly. Once the big show comes round we'll be back so swallow that bile and just be thankful we finally found a coach who knows what he's doing.

Exactly, its been one whinge after another. To people really expect Ireland to win every single game?

Welcome to our world...well, sort of...
Whats also showed is you can go from world class to bang average. Both England and Ireland have experienced both and it illustrates just how tough it is at the top.

While we were talking about Ireland (and England) not having an A game, that they'd have trouble scoring when they're down...few were having it, yet that's exactly what happened.

Now we have a 6N where AWJ, bless his old soul, is considered the best player in the tournament...in a world cup year.

This is starting to look like 2015 all over again.

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Post by rodders on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 9:50 am

Taylorman wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:You think Schmidt has been found out,you  also thought the same way in 2015 and 2016 and were fairly grudging with any respect for our 6N wins in 2013 and 2014. We showed in the AI's that we can go from a bang average team to world class very quickly. Once the big show comes round we'll be back so swallow that bile and just be thankful we finally found a coach who knows what he's doing.

Exactly, its been one whinge after another. To people really expect Ireland to win every single game?

Welcome to our world...well, sort of...
Whats also showed is you can go from world class to bang average. Both England and Ireland have experienced both and it illustrates just how tough it is at the top.

While we were talking about Ireland (and England) not having an A game, that they'd have trouble scoring when they're down...few were having it, yet that's exactly what happened.

Now we have a 6N where AWJ, bless his old soul, is considered the best player in the tournament...in a world cup year.

This is starting to look like 2015 all over again.

I agree a bit with this actually. Firstly it shows how unique the all blacks are that they are able to sustain such motivation and high levels year in year out, whereas other teams tend to struggle to build when they've had a period of success to keep it going.

The other thing is Ireland struggling once they've gone a couple of scores behind. That has been an Achilles heal we've had under Schmidt but one that looked to have been addressed... seems like it is still a big problem for us.
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Post by asoreleftshoulder on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 1:26 pm

It's exacerbated by our refusal to take points unless we're in front of the posts.We could have crept back into the game v Wales or at least kept in touch by kicking a few penalties. In good weather with our set piece humming that's fair enough but when it's wet and we're missing our 1st and 2nd choice lineout callers we should think about just taking 3 and if we miss they have to kick it to us,not the end of the world.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 1:52 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:It's exacerbated by our refusal to take points unless we're in front of the posts.We could have crept back into the game v Wales or  at least kept in touch by kicking a few penalties. In good weather with our set piece humming that's fair enough but when it's wet and we're missing our 1st and 2nd choice lineout callers we should think about just taking 3 and if we miss they have to kick it to us,not the end of the world.

Good point.

Teams think that by kicking to the corner they are keeping the pressure on, but all it takes is one fumble or a missed infringement to turn the ball over. The defenders can get away with at least a couple of pens before the Ref will reach for a card so if the say three penalties had been kicked the attacking team would be more than a converted try up anyway - as you say play the conditions.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 5:19 pm

Taylorman wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:You think Schmidt has been found out,you  also thought the same way in 2015 and 2016 and were fairly grudging with any respect for our 6N wins in 2013 and 2014. We showed in the AI's that we can go from a bang average team to world class very quickly. Once the big show comes round we'll be back so swallow that bile and just be thankful we finally found a coach who knows what he's doing.

Exactly, its been one whinge after another. To people really expect Ireland to win every single game?

Welcome to our world...well, sort of...
Whats also showed is you can go from world class to bang average. Both England and Ireland have experienced both and it illustrates just how tough it is at the top.

While we were talking about Ireland (and England) not having an A game, that they'd have trouble scoring when they're down...few were having it, yet that's exactly what happened.

Now we have a 6N where AWJ, bless his old soul, is considered the best player in the tournament...in a world cup year.

This is starting to look like 2015 all over again.

Lol triggered. The fact is Aus, SA and NZ all lost when they were last here. Arg never really trouble the NH teams either. Ireland, England and Wales (the world's top teams) face each other before the world cup so will be ready to continue their dominance over the SH.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 7:15 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:You think Schmidt has been found out,you  also thought the same way in 2015 and 2016 and were fairly grudging with any respect for our 6N wins in 2013 and 2014. We showed in the AI's that we can go from a bang average team to world class very quickly. Once the big show comes round we'll be back so swallow that bile and just be thankful we finally found a coach who knows what he's doing.

Exactly, its been one whinge after another. To people really expect Ireland to win every single game?

Welcome to our world...well, sort of...
Whats also showed is you can go from world class to bang average. Both England and Ireland have experienced both and it illustrates just how tough it is at the top.

While we were talking about Ireland (and England) not having an A game, that they'd have trouble scoring when they're down...few were having it, yet that's exactly what happened.

Now we have a 6N where AWJ, bless his old soul, is considered the best player in the tournament...in a world cup year.

This is starting to look like 2015 all over again.

Lol triggered. The fact is Aus, SA and NZ all lost when they were last here. Arg never really trouble the NH teams either. Ireland, England and Wales (the world's top teams) face each other before the world cup so will be ready to continue their dominance over the SH.

True Mikey, and without the AIs you wouldnt have the wins, the rankings etc. The draining of ourcswamps makes it harder every year to make the AIs a priority with players we could call on hidden in your clubs somewhere. Take those away and what does Wales for example have? Not a lot. Certainly not this way.

So NH rugby gets considered better than it actually is. “Beat the ABs then... well, nothing really”. Just an over confident side and disappointed fans.

Argie will certainly again be underestimated by the north... again... and someone will pay for that, again, as Ireland did last Wcup. Theres really not a lot of understanding about how these things work up there. Thats why sides always come back to earth with a thump.

Youll find Wales will be next Im afraid. Winnings Runs by sides who dont usually have them dont know how to find the motivation that a loss they havent had in a while can give them so usually get ‘ambushed’ with a thud. And in the case of the northern sides take many matches to recover their mojo. To establish a true winning run you need to be building the confidence of back up players even while the firsts are fit and ready to go...only then can you build true test match depth.

Endland last year and Ireland this. From kings to chumps over night. Schmidt goes from the saviour to ‘no idea’ for some in three months.

Being unbeaten at this point is the worst case scenario for Wales chances in Japan, because the pressure of the streak on their back is something they wont be able to shake mentally,  while managing everything else.That was the case for Ireland going into the 6N.

And when Wales lose, everything will fall apart. Doubts about how they've even won at all will dominate their minds. Then the rot sets in over crucial matches as they try to recover mentally. Other sides will go 'Well if they can beat them, so can we'

Think you'll find the southern teams will be much stronger in September, mainly due to the focus on the occasion and not ust...another tour north to parochial crowds. The venue and timing also serves to get the NH sides out of the comfort zones, back into unfamiliarity where they struggle to put campaigns together. At least all our Super sides play in Japan every so often.

Anyway, thats my positive thoughts for the day. Enjoy thumbsup

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 9:19 pm

Who are you referring to exactly? We don't have that many overseas players in the welsh teams; of the ones in the international team, Anscombe and Parkes both have a couple able replacements anyway.

NH rugby is better right now, rankings and recent form shows all that. You're really obsessed with that Arg vs Ireland game; how many times have the NH teams played and convincingly beat Arg since then? These results are recent and irrefutable, where-as you're full of supposition.

I'm aware our winning streak has to and will come to an end, it's just rugby. It happens to everyone; it happened to England, Ireland, and New Zealand. You haven't been paying attention much either as Wales have been building their depth - if you want to call them our 2nd team then they are undefeated against Italy twice, Arg twice, SA and Tonga. I'm hopeful that we keep all our players fit however and can bring back the likes of Faletau, Jenkins, Shingler, Webb, Patchell and Halfpenny. It's not on par with NZs depth, nobody is, but it's the depth you referred to and we have it now. I'm aware that some overreacted to England losing, and Ireland losing, but saying a team is under pressure because they're winning is some of the dumbest BS I've heard; surely a team who is losing is under pressure and not a team who's winning?

You need not worry as the top NH teams will be well prepared. Each of them will have improved by September! Gatland is the best in the world at preparing teams by the way Wink.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 10:40 pm

Not saying Wales have the overseas players though theyre not without them, coaches as well, but as a whole, players from the four SH sides are in the five main 6N sides and Japan in 'massive' numbers. That inevitably leads to de-prioritization and that means AI's get less focus than the others. Too far, too hard for little gain, no trophies etc and end of season, usually after loads of players have gone north after the rugby championship or World cup.

World cup year is different. Focus is there, players return etc.

Agree Gats is good at preparing sides, its just Wales are short of top notch players, and that's always been Gats problem when going away, the better Lions results reflect that. They're still largely the same players from 2015 mainly, and probably better for it, so who knows.

Not sure they'll all be well prepared, as to date they never have been. Whats changed? Coulda said that in 2015, and that was nearer to home, but that wasn't the case either.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 12:03 am

Perhaps I'm unnecessarily hard on NH teams prospects, but someone needs to be. I didn't see anything close to a World cup winning side in the 6N, and if you take the AI's as a measure, a surprise awaits, where it shouldnt. Argentina particularly is the side that cannot be underestimated as the north consistently do.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 2:39 am

Quite often there is a requirement for expertise from overseas, it happens. We were shone of some players ourselves but played and convincingly (for the most part) beat what was in front of us - them just the facts and it's all pretty recent (world cup year).

Yeah Gats is probably the best at it, and he will have had more time with the squad when preparing for the world cup. It's hard to break a duck, whether it's a winning streak or losing streak, but the pressure is certainly with the latter there hence we've been losing to the likes of Aus and NZ for so long (a big contributing factor but not the only one). We don't have many world class players but we have a few IMO and some of them are set to come back in after missing most or all of the season. I doubt you'd know who they are and if you did you probably wouldn't rate them - you're a kiwi.

Why do you think anyone was underprepared? I didn't see any signs of it; perhaps Schmidt with Ireland as he didn't really manage the loss of certain players before the Arg game and couldn't change the tactics when they fell behind - they certainly got a good beating for it. I don't think it's been that often in the last few world cups where the final 4 were NZ, SA, Aus and Arg; but you certainly seem to think it's the case in every world cup. You were stating that the SH would be well prepared, I also stated the NH would be well prepared, especially a Gatland-coached team.

You can be of that opinion of course but if you're going to base it on supposition, BS, and a single Ireland-Argentina game, then you can expect people to call you out on it.
On a side note Gatland predicted Wales to win the world cup. He also predicted Wales would win the Grand Slam Wink. #FakeNews

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 5:33 pm

Gatland predicted Wales would win the world cup? I guess he should. My take on the sequence stands. Youll see it when it turns to mush. And it will. Because so far, every NH side with a sequence has collapsed. England after 03, Ireland, England again last year. Seen so many AB sequence runs and theres a stark comparison between how theyre managed after a loss. We’ll see how that goes but I maintain Wales needs to lose sooner than later. They face going under so much pressure that if they remain unbeaten to knockout time they fave a HEAVY defeat.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 6:20 pm

Hasn't the sequence in the SH also turned to mush then?

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 10:53 pm

Only the Abs have had sequences, and they usually turn into anomalies. They get hit, then resume winning immediately. Last time the Abs lost two consecutive tests was 8 years ago, to SA and Oz immediately prior to the world cup, and have had runs of I think 9,17 and 18 or something like that.

England in lost 5 of their next 8 after 03, 5 straight after their 2017 run and Ireland have had less drama only losing two but clearly out of sorts based on the manner of the Welsh loss.

With a long run of wins, especially one Wales have had the pressure to maintain it turns players into even more of a mess when the run stops. What bound them for so long previously is exactly what fragments them in the same way after a loss. They get told that whats worked to date wont work anymore and 'suddenly' they're in a position where one, they need to do something different, and two, everyone else has found their Achilles- at least that's what everyone will think, and that is sometimes all it takes.

AB's have experience in quick turnaround on that scenario because as you say they have the depth but they also manage their overall wins and losses the same way.

Look at England and Ireland, many saying they've lost their way. Best thing that can happen to them with the World cup still 6 months away. Wales have yet to experience that and are on a high. They need to get off it asap.

Sounds silly, but time will tell...

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 11:33 pm

Taylorman wrote:Perhaps I'm unnecessarily hard on NH teams prospects, but someone needs to be. I didn't see anything close to a World cup winning side in the 6N, and if you take the AI's as a measure, a surprise awaits, where it shouldnt. Argentina particularly is the side that cannot be underestimated as the north consistently do.

Aside from NZ have you seen anything close to a WC winning side in the rugby championship? Australia, SA and Argentina have all been weak (thats being diplomatic). Of those three Id agree Argentina possibly are the biggest threat which is odd given Argentina only have 1 pro side.

Speaking of which Im in Argentina at the moment to see the Jaguares play the chiefs. Expecting a comfortable Jaguares win.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 12:01 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Perhaps I'm unnecessarily hard on NH teams prospects, but someone needs to be. I didn't see anything close to a World cup winning side in the 6N, and if you take the AI's as a measure, a surprise awaits, where it shouldnt. Argentina particularly is the side that cannot be underestimated as the north consistently do.

Aside from NZ have you seen anything close to a WC winning side in the rugby championship? Australia, SA and Argentina have all been weak (thats being diplomatic). Of those three Id agree Argentina possibly are the biggest threat which is odd given Argentina only have 1 pro side.

Speaking of which Im in Argentina at the moment to see the Jaguares play the chiefs. Expecting a comfortable Jaguares win.

I thought the Boks win in NZ, something four of the six nations in the 6N have NEVER done, and their 'how on earth did they not win in SA' return match, added to the series win over England were more impressive than anything I saw from the NH in either the AI's or the 6N. They had close losses to Wales and England for sure, but like everyone else they're not going to win them all. Who does?

They'll be much better at World cup time and right now I'd back them to knock Ireland out comfortably, assuming they meet.

Jaguares? They should win at home I guess but the Chiefs just pulled off one of the biggest wins and surprises in SR for a while now with 50 plus vs the Bulls at altitude, and a lot of that due to DMac going to fullback, he was brilliant.

Chiefs may be jaded with the travel after SA but the win in Pretoria will concern the Jaguares I'd say.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 12:24 am

SA won 7 games from 14 in 2018. The only impressive win was v NZ in NZ. Sorry but their form in 2018 was not good in general. SA have played about 10 times the matches in NZ than most 6n sides so its hardly surprising they fluke an odd win.

Cant remember the last time SA won comfortably v Ireland. Can you?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 1:09 am

Taylorman wrote:Only the Abs have had sequences, and they usually turn into anomalies. They get hit, then resume winning immediately. Last time the Abs lost two consecutive tests was 8 years ago, to SA and Oz immediately prior to the world cup, and have had runs of I think 9,17 and 18 or something like that.


True, the ABs are pretty special. But discounting them as I have been, I literally used your argument and applied it to teams like Aus, SA and Arg as you're soooo keen on bigging them up beyond the sum of their parts. They're all losing right now. I seriously don't understand how you're so convinced they're this good, I've literally shown you they're mush (your argument against NH teams) and it's like we keep going around in circles. You're such an oddball.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 1:38 am

Wasnt what you asked, did I see close to a WC winning side in the RC. I answered yes.

Looking at the Bok losses theyre not that bad and for me as players depart in ever increasing numbers the SH test sides simply have to prioritise.

I think that means more losses at AI time and 'the odd' loss in the southern tours, the north still generally well behind there.

SA beat NZ and lead something like 30-17 with less than ten to play in SA. And this is IN season, when both NZ AND SA should be at peak.

Last time SA beat Ireland? Last 2 from 3 of course, a stat often selected by Irish fans over NZ. Number of times Ireland have won away vs SA? One from 10.

is the Japan event away from Ireland? Yes
Did Ireland perform well in season? (6N time). No.

Enough there to suggest SA will more than compete with Ireland, particularly with the timing and location.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 1:43 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Only the Abs have had sequences, and they usually turn into anomalies. They get hit, then resume winning immediately. Last time the Abs lost two consecutive tests was 8 years ago, to SA and Oz immediately prior to the world cup, and have had runs of I think 9,17 and 18 or something like that.


True, the ABs are pretty special. But discounting them as I have been, I literally used your argument and applied it to teams like Aus, SA and Arg as you're soooo keen on bigging them up beyond the sum of their parts. They're all losing right now. I seriously don't understand how you're so convinced they're this good, I've literally shown you they're mush (your argument against NH teams) and it's like we keep going around in circles. You're such an oddball.

And why are they mush? Primarily, albeit not only, because they're depleted . By whom? The north. Are you actually beating them, or strangling them? I think its both. Am I seeing a class above the usual NH standard these days? Nope.

Reason I say the World cup will be different is because it will get the focus they are unable to apply at say AI time that they used to. But all good. Refer to them as mush. We'll see how that goes. lets remember, last WCup there was only one set of mush...the entire 6N. thumbsup

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