Wales RWC 2019 thread Number II

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 18 Sep 2019, 11:46 am

First topic message reminder :

WALES’ 2019 RWC SQUAD:

Forwards: Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Rhys Carre, James Davies, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Ken Owens, Aaron Shingler, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright.

Backs: Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams.

Pool D

AUSTRALIA, WALES, GEORGIA, FIJI, URUGUAY

Match 1

Australia vs Fiji... Sapporo Dome... Saturday, September 21... 5.45am BST... (ITV)

Match 2

Wales vs Georgia... City of Toyota Stadium... Monday, September 23... 11.15am BST... (ITV)

Match 3

Fiji vs Uruguay... Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium... Wednesday, September 25... 6.15am BST... (ITV 4)

Match 4

Georgia vs Uruguay... Kumagaya Rugby Stadium... Sunday, September 29... 6.15am BST... (ITV)

Match 5

Australia vs Wales... Tokyo Stadium... Sunday, September 29... 8.45am BST... (ITV)

Match 6

Georgia vs Fiji... Hanazono Rugby Stadium... Thursday, October 3... 6.15am BST... (ITV 4)

Match 7

Australia vs Uruguay... Oita Stadium... Saturday, October 5... 6.15am BST... (ITV)

Match 8

Wales vs Fiji... Oita Stadium... Wednesday, October 9... 10.45am BST... (ITV)

Match 9

Australia vs Georgia... Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa... Friday, October 11... 11.15am BST... (ITV 4)

Match 10

Wales vs Uruguay... Kumamoto Stadium... Sunday, October 13... 9.15am BST... (ITV)


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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:19 pm

Dang it. I had a really funny (well mildly amusing to me, dull to anyone else) response to a post that someone has self deleted.


So Josh Navidi. Real shame for him to miss out on the chance of a WC semi, and maybe a final. At 32 come 2023 this may have been his one shot.

Who will get called up? The backs look light on numbers.

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:21 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
miaow wrote:
Anyway, Grand Slam, SF of the RWC - it does feel the missing ingredient to this side is there.

I don’t think england, SA or the AB fan care about how they win so why should we. Not losing is all that counts.

The regional game in wales is a different entity to the national side. Wales haven’t developed the infrastructure other nations have, how can e we don’t have the wealth of the nations we are competing against.

Compare Leicester to Swansea, both have top rugby and football teams! In Leicester there are enough sports fans to be able to fill both home teams games and more. Most equivalent fans in Wales couldn’t afford either.

I think the wider point about rugby is one for another time - I was having this discussion over the weekend about NZ, and the key thing, for me, is schools rugby and the way communities in Wales (and the UK as well) are just culturally/economically etc. bereft compared to other parts of the world. State schooling is really up and down in this country, and sport is an afterthought in many - you get the odd one, like the school in Cardiff where Bale, Warburton, Geraint Thomas are from, but by and large if you want to understand the difference in culture and competitiveness, it's not money in the pro game, it's money at a society-wide level and education and community, that doesn't actually invest in people and places and doesn't even really care. That's just life for most of Wales, and there are more important things than rugby, but if we want to improve health and community across the country, sport should be at the heart of that. Sadly it seems that villages, and even towns, are dying - basically everyone I know has moved and is either in Cardiff, England, or somewhere overseas. City life is the modern way.

As for the missing ingredient, can't remember what context it was said in, but I just feel it's a bit of game awareness and desire to go out and actually dominate a game on the scoreboard. Put it to bed. When was the last time that happened against a top side? We've tended to just grind our way past SA and Oz recently (less so in this RWC), and maybe we dominated Ireland in the 6Ns, but you would have hoped for a few more tries, some execution of the dominance and really rubbing it in. In spite of the success - and yeah, winning is all that counts - the missing ingredient could cost us when iti really counts. It's the muscle memory of winning games and *really* winning them - not just limping over the line. Wales really ought to have put the game to bed around the hour mark yesterday, because France didn't really offer much more than hoofing it over the tryline in the final quarter. Everything Wales did to build pressure, to run straight, to try and work the position through hands, was almost immediately turned over. The one that stands out was Liam Williams around halfway, with a big overlap, running in to contact and Poirot winninng the penalty. Nowhere near good enough. Every other team left in the competition executes those situations with ease. It's all the elements of rugby adding up - physical power, pace, technical skills, mentality. I do think Wales can raise their game, but when you add in the likes of North botching the overlap in the 22, Dillon Lewis knocking the ball on under the posts - just don't think Wales show the fundamentals that take their gameplan to the next level. We don't have a good enough attacking game in between strike plays/set moves,, and desperate, chaotic, manic offloading and running it from everywhere to try and stage a comeback. We look better than Ireland, but that's not saying much. I just think it's tragic that our 10-12 options are Biggar and Parkes - take one of those out and replace with a footballer, ideally Parkes tbh as Biggar is great, and we'd become a much better team. But that's probably the missing ingredient - Anscombe. His running game opened space immediately outside, instead, defences rush up knowing our 10 and 12 are highly unlikely to run through a gap, putting huge pressure on 13 and anyone else outside them.

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:22 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Josh Navidi ruled out of the last two games. Replacement is probably going to be a back.

Gutted, but not a surprise. Scott Williams should obviously be called up. Get him in the team.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:25 pm

Depends on whether JD2 is fit. If he’s looking unlikely then I think he’ll have to call a centre up. Or, as someone has said we could move North to 13 and call up a wing. I’d be happy with that but North isn’t a great defender, especially not at 13. But if they did then I’d call up Lane with North to 13. If not then Scott Williams to cover 12 and 13. Haven’t been that impressed with Watkin when he’s come on.

Going forward if we can work on North’s defence I’d like to see him more at 13. I think he’s losing a yard or two of pace (did you see him struggle to make ground on the French flanker for that try?!), but think he’s got the right build for an explosive centre, he runs good angles and it’s always good when he gets his hands on the ball more when he comes in off his wing. And then perhaps we get another wing in who’s got the gas.
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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:27 pm

Shingler now comes on to the bench and Moriarty starts at 8. It's not really rocket science as there's simply no other option. It's not the worst back row in the world, but when you consider the talent we've lost...

Warburton, Faletau, Ellis Jenkins, Navidi.

...that's some defecit to be playing a SF with.

Gutted, because Navidi does pick up knocks but he's also one of the naturally fittest in the team by the looks of things. To suffer a hamstring tear - ofc it can happen - but you wonder if that's a conditioning issue, something about not adapting to the environment, the pitch, the warm up. Just very disappointing and it puts us now at a huge disadvantage. Moriarty and Wainwright aren't complete rugby players yet, and I imagine the latter will get another targeting from the physical Boks.

Shingler could be key. I hope he comes good.

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:34 pm

The Oracle wrote:Depends on whether JD2 is fit. If he’s looking unlikely then I think he’ll have to call a centre up. Or, as someone has said we could move North to 13 and call up a wing. I’d be happy with that but North isn’t a great defender, especially not at 13. But if they did then I’d call up Lane with North to 13. If not then Scott Williams to cover 12 and 13. Haven’t been that impressed with Watkin when he’s come on.

Going forward if we can work on North’s defence I’d like to see him more at 13. I think he’s losing a yard or two of pace (did you see him struggle to make ground on the French flanker for that try?!), but think he’s got the right build for an explosive centre, he runs good angles and it’s always good when he gets his hands on the ball more when he comes in off his wing. And then perhaps we get another wing in who’s got the gas.

North's not a centre, he's not a 13. He doesn't have the defence for it. Why would we call up a winger at this stage? Halfpenny isn't even in the 23. If it's not a back rower - who else could we call up, genuinly? who's next in line - then it's obviously a centre as JD2 is (as I suspected) harbouring a fairly serious injury that might keep him out of the SF as well, and Parkes looks absolutely knackered. Putting North at 13 would be a disaster in defence. He's doing ok. Not sure why there's such a furore about him - no-one looked good yesterday with ball in hand. We barely played rugby. He's a much, much improved winger over the last 2 years, and teams know he's a threat and prepare for him, which leaves space and options for others, like Josh Adams, to shine. I hate this 'single them out' culture in rugby, like football, that doesn't understand it's a team game. He's not letting the team down, he's just not getting the ball in open space...because that's an issue that starts in the pack/the coaching box.

The issue with North - and a few others - is that Gatland 'stuck' 12 months ago. Had he kept rotating, kept a bit of jeoprdy, and maybe not won the 6Ns as a result, I think some players would be fresher and more motivated. It feels certain positions are back to being guaranteed, and it doesn't help if there's no culpability. It's now too late, but Parkes really needed to answer to a poor 12 months with the Scarlets, and with Wales, and he hasn't. JD2 was actually underperforming with injury, and I imagine we might not see him again this tournament, but he cannot be undroppable. It's not just Scott Williams, Watkin should have had more minutes against top teams.

Anyway, feels like we're limping in to another SA'n defeat like 4 years ago unfortunately. Hope I'm wrong, but Navidi being out is a big blow. We have James Davies in the squad, we're not desperate for back rowers, and with Shingler having world class potential and a recent Indian summer, you have to hope Moriarty and Wainwright have the games of their lives, and Shingler comes on and adds the extra touches of class.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:44 pm

Not singling him out, Miaow. Just discussing options.

It will be interesting to hear what world rugby say. Gats says they have to run this replacement by them. Will be interesting to hear whether they’re happy to sanction a back repacking a forward, rather than like for like. Because obviously if we’re replacing a flanker with a back then we’re not actually ‘replacing’ the injury.
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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:52 pm

Yeah fair play Oracle, just think fans overlook the obvious for the ridiculous sometimes. Navidi being out is just a 'shift up one' situation with Shingler and Moriarty. Frankly, I'm almost glad that there is a huge up side to this, as Shingler is such a good player.

It would be harsh to deny the call up tbh. Archaic rule - understand the issue of a player being swapped out with an "injury" for tactical reasons, but clearly Navidi is done and there is a worry in the centre. Seems stupid not to allow you to call up whoever you want for squad balance tbh - maybe special rules for front rowers, but that should be it.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:55 pm

The Oracle wrote:Not singling him out, Miaow. Just discussing options.

It will be interesting to hear what world rugby say. Gats says they have to run this replacement by them. Will be interesting to hear whether they’re happy to sanction a back repacking a forward, rather than like for like. Because obviously if we’re replacing a flanker with a back then we’re not actually ‘replacing’ the injury.

There is nothing in the rules that state you must make a LFL replacement. The important thing is the injured player has to be signed off as genuinely injured, and then the papers for the replacement have to be lodged and approved. The replacement cannot have been named in the squad as of the original cutoff date (10th Sept?) nor have been in Japan.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:58 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Not singling him out, Miaow. Just discussing options.

It will be interesting to hear what world rugby say. Gats says they have to run this replacement by them. Will be interesting to hear whether they’re happy to sanction a back repacking a forward, rather than like for like. Because obviously if we’re replacing a flanker with a back then we’re not actually ‘replacing’ the injury.

There is nothing in the rules that state you must make a LFL replacement. The important thing is the injured player has to be signed off as genuinely injured, and then the papers for the replacement have to be lodged and approved. The replacement cannot have been named in the squad as of the original cutoff date (10th Sept?) nor have been in Japan.

That’s good news Very Happy
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 2:59 pm

The Oracle wrote:Not singling him out, Miaow. Just discussing options.

It will be interesting to hear what world rugby say. Gats says they have to run this replacement by them. Will be interesting to hear whether they’re happy to sanction a back repacking a forward, rather than like for like. Because obviously if we’re replacing a flanker with a back then we’re not actually ‘replacing’ the injury.

Oracle I'm with you on that one. North has been good at 13 whenever he's played there - that's a fact even though some will disagree with it. He's been underperforming on the wing for a while, with the occasional good game. We know he's a good finisher and good in space, but that's the same as all wingers really. I like how the French, English and NZ wingers are quick on their feet and come into the backline to be the extra link man looking for gaps. North just doesn't do that any more. Williams does is it. Adams does it.

I guess it's a good time to have more back 5 forwards now available in the squad. Our backs, midfielders especially have been taking a real bruising. For that reason alone I think whoever is coming in needs to cover more than one position. We already have some 'utility backs' so we can call up a wing, centre or fly-half I guess. I just don't see it with Scott Williams right now; he was poor in the last games for Wales I remember seeing him in, and poor for the Ospreys this season.

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:03 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Oracle I'm with you on that one. North has been good at 13 whenever he's played there - that's a fact even though some will disagree with it.

It's literally not. Opinions aren't facts. Doh

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:07 pm

Just a reminder of North at 13, in case anyone forgot: https://youtu.be/JJksK4U2nLM?t=175

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:07 pm

Happy to disagree about North as a 13. Yes, his defence is not up to it currently and I’ve said as much myself. Just think that as he’s advancing through his career there may be be a role for him there if and when he’s ousted from the wing by a better, faster more in form youngster. So perhaps now isn’t the time! But I don’t think he’s the worst option there. Not as outrageous as suggesting, say, AWJ as 13 cover Wink

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:08 pm

miaow wrote:Just a reminder of North at 13, in case anyone forgot: https://youtu.be/JJksK4U2nLM?t=175

Now THAT is singling someone out!
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:09 pm

miaow wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Oracle I'm with you on that one. North has been good at 13 whenever he's played there - that's a fact even though some will disagree with it.

It's literally not. Opinions aren't facts. Doh

food for thought then eh?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:12 pm

The Oracle wrote:
miaow wrote:Just a reminder of North at 13, in case anyone forgot: https://youtu.be/JJksK4U2nLM?t=175

Now THAT is singling someone out!

Yeah that is literally like the sh*t*est singling out of someone that I've ever seen Rolling Eyes. North got tackled whilst in the 13 channel = awful player Rolling Eyes. I couldn't remember him playing 13 in that game, but I do remember two autumn tests where North played 13 against Australia and he had a stormer in each one.

Edit, here are the games btw:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/29918631
Moved to 13 during the match: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/wales/10486241/Wales-26-Australia-30-match-report.html


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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:16 pm

The Oracle wrote:
miaow wrote:Just a reminder of North at 13, in case anyone forgot: https://youtu.be/JJksK4U2nLM?t=175

Now THAT is singling someone out!

Yeah based on a clear lack of skills etc. Not for generally not being world class. Big difference. Fair enough to call out Cuthbert etc. for his clear lack of ability, same for North in terms of handling and defence. We literally saw it again v France as Huget intercepted his pass. Pretty simple stuff really!

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:18 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
miaow wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Oracle I'm with you on that one. North has been good at 13 whenever he's played there - that's a fact even though some will disagree with it.

It's literally not. Opinions aren't facts. Doh

food for thought then eh?

Some opinions are more equal than others, Meici

Pretty simple stuff. North taking the ball too flat, too static, from first phase, v 13 men. Gets smashed and turned over. He needs space to execute, and is an infinitely better winger than 13 who has improved his aerial game a lot, and his wide defence quite a bit.

Simple understanding of rugby basics, tbh.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 3:43 pm

More equal than others?

He's a good 13, having seen him play there a few times and he played pretty well. North isn't the only one with inconsistent performances but I've already alluded to that in the previous weeks. I can't see Gatland changing things up too much because it's not often that he does. How does someone who believes what they see not have an understanding of rugby basics, as it seems that's what you're alluding to? You've literally cited one example from an 80 minute game to say he's not a 13 - there are more things that would suggest the opposite to what you're suggesting. Now let's keep in mind that for a few years you persisted with the idea that James Davies was the best 7 in Wales, and Navidi was crap, and wouldn't allow people to disagree with you. Also, there is you literally crying WUM to the MODs when somebody alludes to the fact that Priestland isn't good enough to play for Wales any more with numerous performances in and out of the Wales jersey spanning across a few seasons to back that up. Perhaps a little one-eyed and delusional there - and it's something to be considered when you go on another one of your boring and accusational rants against people who disagree with you.

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 4:13 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:More equal than others?

Haha, yes.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 6:12 pm

Owen Lane in. He's a better option than Amos but will either even come into the 23 at this point? Unless a winger gets injured I can't see it. It should have been a fly-half or centre, unless of course North is cover for 13.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 6:33 pm

Hmmm. Owen Lane to wing, North to fullback, Amos to 13, Beard to starting lock and AWJ to cover wing and fullback from the bench! Very Happy
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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 6:35 pm

Isn’t Lane centre cover as well as a winger?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 6:41 pm

I'm not sure if Lane has played centre, unless it was at Sevens.

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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 6:44 pm

I might be wrong, but my first thought was he would cover both positions.

Still prefer to see North moved to 13 where he has done well in the past.
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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 6:56 pm

Disappointed but not surprised to not see Scott Williams.

Would pick Lane over Amos is an further injury happens before Saturday, just has more raw ability and attributes than Amos - but who knows.

Presumably it's just to hold tackle bags either way. A succession of poor luck and poor decisions - starting with a bad run of form and fitness around the birth of his child - that led to him deciding to leave the Scarlets to try and nail down the Welsh #12 shirt has now seen him totally out of the picture. Shame. He has exactly what this Welsh team needs - pace, power, aggression, and decent skills. Just a more natural rugby player than many, and rarely lets the team down.

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Post by miaow on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:05 pm

Afro wrote:I might be wrong, but my first thought was he would cover both positions.

Still prefer to see North moved to 13 where he has done well in the past.

Yes, he's played 13 for the Blues, and is probably a better shout there than North. Generally seen as a long term option at 13 for some Blues fans, but I'm not so sure, still looks like a winger to me.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:26 pm

Watkin is the Ospreys 12, so that was another bad decision by Scott.

Afro wrote:I might be wrong, but my first thought was he would cover both positions.

Still prefer to see North moved to 13 where he has done well in the past.

It would be news to me. How English or Welsh are you?


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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:31 pm

Born in Somerset, university in Wales, married a Welsh girl 15 years ago and have lived in the welsh English borders ever since. Mostly welsh side, but last few years just on the English side.

Spent many years going to watch Bedwas with my late father in law, so although I support England first and foremost, I have been to the PS far, far more than Twickenham, and have come to support Wales in all games except England (and when England need Wales to lose like v Ireland this year)
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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:32 pm

miaow wrote:
Afro wrote:I might be wrong, but my first thought was he would cover both positions.

Still prefer to see North moved to 13 where he has done well in the past.

Yes, he's played 13 for the Blues, and is probably a better shout there than North. Generally seen as a long term option at 13 for some Blues fans, but I'm not so sure, still looks like a winger to me.

Did he come up to Blues from Cardiff RFC? Have a vague recollection of seeing him play at Bedwas a few years ago.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:37 pm

Afro wrote:Born in Somerset, university in Wales, married a Welsh girl 15 years ago and have lived in the welsh English borders ever since. Mostly welsh side, but last few years just on the English side.

Spent many years going to watch Bedwas with my late father in law, so although I support England first and foremost, I have been to the PS far, far more than Twickenham, and have come to support Wales in all games except England (and when England need Wales to lose like v Ireland this year)

Interesting. Not the first English guy on 606 to come here and steal the women, certainly not the last... Very Happy If you're living on the Welsh-English borders then that has to be Chepstow or Monmouth town (Wales side). Perhaps Lydney or something on the 'other' side. Played against all of them as a teen and always won. I haven't noticed you before, but you've been prominent on Wales and England threads during the world cup, so I thought I should ask!

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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:40 pm

Yak to start with, now Monmouth. Well just north of Monmouth near Symonds yat
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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:42 pm

Usk not Yak!
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:49 pm

All of them quite posh though.

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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:49 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Afro wrote:Born in Somerset, university in Wales, married a Welsh girl 15 years ago and have lived in the welsh English borders ever since. Mostly welsh side, but last few years just on the English side.

Spent many years going to watch Bedwas with my late father in law, so although I support England first and foremost, I have been to the PS far, far more than Twickenham, and have come to support Wales in all games except England (and when England need Wales to lose like v Ireland this year)

Interesting. Not the first English guy on 606 to come here and steal the women, certainly not the last... Very Happy If you're living on the Welsh-English borders then that has to be Chepstow or Monmouth town (Wales side). Perhaps Lydney or something on the 'other' side. Played against all of them as a teen and always won. I haven't noticed you before, but you've been prominent on Wales and England threads during the world cup, so I thought I should ask!

Spent most of my time on Sports Gaming with Hero, Bam etc pretending to be a manager!!!! A fair bit of time on the cricket section too.

Always on the rugby section but given a large proportion of the time it’s England and Wales fans banging heads, it’s not my bag, so it’s been more reading than posting. But agreed with RDW to help keep an eye on things from a mod perspective, so have ended posting more too.
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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:50 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:All of them quite posh though.

Usk, yes. But couldn’t afford to buy there so moved to Monmouth. Monmouth not as posh as appears at face value.
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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:53 pm

Afro wrote:Yak to start with, now Monmouth. Well just north of Monmouth near Symonds yat

A lovely part of the world! I do a lot of cycling around Usk (Yak!), Abergavenny, etc. The Wye Valley is stunning.
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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 7:55 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Afro wrote:Yak to start with, now Monmouth. Well just north of Monmouth near Symonds yat

A lovely part of the world! I do a lot of cycling around Usk (Yak!), Abergavenny, etc. The Wye Valley is stunning.

It is indeed!

I’ve probably driven past you cussing about cyclists at some point Laugh
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Post by The Oracle on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 8:02 pm

Afro wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Afro wrote:Yak to start with, now Monmouth. Well just north of Monmouth near Symonds yat

A lovely part of the world! I do a lot of cycling around Usk (Yak!), Abergavenny, etc. The Wye Valley is stunning.

It is indeed!

I’ve probably driven past you cussing about cyclists at some point Laugh

I like to think I’m one of the better ones Smile I like to stick to the quieter country lanes where cars rarely go!
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Post by Afro on Mon 21 Oct 2019, 8:05 pm

Laugh
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Post by Pie on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:57 am

Lane has oodles of experience at OS centre....just not in internationals. I expect plan is if necessary to bring North to OS centre and Lan covers wings. Amos having retired himself with his ridiculous antics.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 9:11 am

The Oracle wrote:
Afro wrote:Yak to start with, now Monmouth. Well just north of Monmouth near Symonds yat

A lovely part of the world! I do a lot of cycling around Usk (Yak!), Abergavenny, etc. The Wye Valley is stunning.

The in-laws used to live in Llandogo, just past Tintern. The drive there was a pleasure in all seasons.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:09 pm

Welsh injuries and/or unavailable players at full time today:
Pre tournament
- Warburton (retired 12 months out)
- Rhys Webb (unavailable)
- Ellis Jenkins (long term injury)
- Gareth Anscombe (long term)
- Toby Faletau (long term)
- Cory Hill (mid term)

During tournament
- Josh Navidi (mid term)
- Liam Williams (mid term)
- George North (mid to long term)
- Tomas Francis (unsure - possibly mid to long term)

10 players - excluding Sam 9, excluding Rhys Webb 8.

No team comes close to that. Few teams could probably cope, either.

What that says to me is we do punch way, way above our weight to make this sort of stage of the RWC - but that we also suffer the consequences of that punching. It's not even the attritional injuries like Tomas or Ellis. It's the fact we're suddenly having to play to a level we're not used to at the regions - and with hamstring injuries to both North and Navidi after sprint bursts from fairly static periods, you have to question general toughness (and possibly conditioning) as well. But, again, it's testament that the gap between regional rugby and the rugby Wales play is probably bigger than any other nation's in the world.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:17 pm

So one pasting against the All Blacks is how Gatland finishes his tenure.

I hope we go out and move the ball like we did in 2016. It's going to be a rough old game though, NZ will probably score close to 50 I imagine. Wales hardly have anyone to pick from either. Lane presumably gets a start on the wing over Amos. But I think he'll still reward the first team options for the most part - he won't want to be humiliated by the ABs.

And it's onwards and, hopefully, maybe, upwards with Pivac.

If there's one crumb of comfort, I'm hoping to see Wales play some attacking, progressive, running rugby again - moreso than in the last 8-10 years (we still did ok in the early years and when Shane was still playing). I don't think it's a guarantee with Pivac - people think we'll play ike the Scarlets, but when he came in, he made us play a forward oriented, fairly mundane style before opening up. We went back to that last season when things were going wrong - Parkes at 10? Over Patchell and Dan Jones? There's on guarantees we'll not just play a similar style but worse, but I HOPE we see the likes of North and Liam running the ball again, even if it means our win % is likely to drop a bit.

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Post by JDizzle on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:52 pm

Just looking through the squad, and there is plenty of young, talented players who will still be there in four years time.

Guys like Owens, AWJ, Tipuric (possibly?), Gareth Davies (maybe?), Biggar, JD, Parkes, Halfpenny are probably playing in their last WC, but we seem to have replacements lined up for most those guys. Second row and centre probably where the biggest dearth of talent is. It's not like we completely have to blow things up and start again.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:20 pm

Yes, lots of talent. I wouldn't put it past AWJ to make the next WC, but doing a job like Schalk Brits did for the Boks this year. But who knows, maybe I'm wrong - I just think the game is increasingly becomingan attritional, fast paced, young man's sport and he won't have the added conitioning to make it.

But by and large, you're correct. Harri Millard and Rhun Williams at the Blues are two prospects I'd like to see brought through now as they've shown promise. It'll be interesting to see if Lane can develop properly in to the player Cuthbert wasn't as, despite the criticism, North needs the threat of dropping like 1/2P and Liam and Biggar and Ancombe did to make him better.

We look strong at 9. Tomos is probably the best 9 we've had since Peel and could surpass him in my opinion. Kieran Hardy looks a tidy back up to bring through, and with Gareth Davies there to add experience over the next 2-3 years as well, that's a real area of strength.

Patchell needs to step up. He looks the standout 10 but at 26 time is against him. I'm not sure if he has what it takes. This feels a bit like England between 2004-2007ish. Lots of middling 10s behind Wilkinson, no one really good enough: Sam Davies, Dan Jones hasn't lived up to the promise, Jarod Evans. None really stand out as obviously good enough for test level, so hope has to rely on Patchell - although Anscombe will stick around for a while you'd think.

I look at England and I think the talent and size of the players in their development systems...they should blow Wales away over the next 10 years.

One good sized player is the Welsh second row who I think has just left the Blues to go to England, maybe Saracens. Several joining Sarries atm - a prop as well. There's talent in our U20s systems and it seems English clubs are enjoying lapping them up, to the detriment of the regions unless they're brought back like Adams.

We've also now got to bring on the likes of Wainwright, Carre, Dillon Lewis etc. For all the praise of Wainwright, saying he's better than Warburton, he does lack physicality for the modern game and up against duToit today...like a mini me, unfortunately. Playing in Saracens will help Carre you'd think, he missed the tackle on Pollard in the lead up to the try and looks about 12-18 months away from being a test starter, but Saracens will toughen him up even if it delays that development in to an experienced player slightly. Hopefully it works.

There is depth there, it's just a shame that injuries probably killed us in the end, and took away what had been a really successful planning period by Gatland to get the likes of Ellis Jenkins and Cory Hill in to the team as leaders.

One shining light all tournament was Jake Ball, for me. On par with Charteris in 2011 - in a different style. Just put his body on the line game after game. I like Cory Hill, think he proved me wrong that he's a battler and fit for test level, but Jake Ball has something no other Welsh player has, and that's the very top level bulk and power to smash people out of the way. Good to see him stay injury free.

Hooker looks good with Elias and Dee. LH prop has options and Rob Evans will definitely be back, he just needs to show a bit more grit and grunt like Wyn Jones does. TH prop's a worry.

But other than that you're probably right. It's lock and centre. 12 in particular. Scott Williams could easily make another WC, he's only just turned 29 this month, so I'd like to see him involved, but obviously lots of hopes on Watkin. The U20s always seem to produce quality players, it's just about bringing those boys forwards now. Not too many in recent years have shown the quality we saw maybe 10 years ago with JD2, Halfpenny etc. But the team around 2014-15 was quality and this team has already called up a few of those boys - Adams, Watkin, Tomos Williams. It's mostly about translating the promise among the forwards in to proper, gruelling, bruising pro players - and I hope we manage that at the regions.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:24 pm

Also perhaps two residency players to come in - Willis Haloholo and Johnny McNicholl. Both pretty decent.

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Post by miaow on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:29 pm

Perhaps I'd ask one final question - was the Grand Slam worth this?

But where England were in development mode - with one game against Ireland like they showed against NZ: ruthless and all tactical preparations to nullify their game - Wales kept things samey, simple, countering and spoling and doing enough to grind out wins v Italy, England, Scotland, and even Ireland in the end. Was it worth risking one final 6Ns title - a title we hadn't held in 6 years? - to go without playing different tactics, different players, different priorities?

Maybe it was.

At least we have that title, at least Gatland won one more having marginally missed out in 15, 17, 18, and even 09.

Just wonder if we did get the prep right this time, as in the end a fairly ordinary SA got past us on physicality alone.

Perhaps another question - was the game against England at Twickenham, where we played it like a must win game, worth it for the top spot?

Just wonder if Gatland stuck rather than twisted in the final 6 months when before that everything had looked pretty good, building towards the WC with intent.

Maybe in the end it's irrelevant as the players weren't there.

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Post by JDizzle on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:43 pm

I can't see AWJ making it. Although his game is build on top tier athleticism, so it's not as though that will suddenly go. Stranger things have happened.

Owen Lane certainly is the great hope. So fingers crossed he can translate. Although we are well stocked in the back three anyway with Sanjay, North, Adams and Amos (I guess) there, so no need to rush him. McNicholl definitely an interesting option, always been impressed by him.

Tomos is an excellent player. Can't see him not making himself first choice 9 now, with Davies reduced to an impact sub role - which is probably what he is best suited to. We always seem to churn out 9s - Peel, Phillips and Webb have all been superb for Wales so no worries there.

Patchell will be likely to get his run at 10 now under Pivac. He should get a shot to establish himself. Biggar and Anscombe aren't going into retirement though, so we have options if he doesn't. Would be nice to see Jarrod kick on though.

The key is can we find some dynamic ball carriers in the pack to punch themselves over the mainline against the more physical teams. Then we won't need to stack our backline with huge units to provide the muscle. Our front rowers always seem to be more 'old school' than the Sinckler's, George's etc. of this world. Carre could be an animal and Sarries will instil some discipline in him or he won't last - but today could have just been the case of a forward missing a tackle on a back in some space, it happens.

I wonder if we will finally find Seb Davies best position in the nest 18 months. I like Beard's game, but he needs to add more than being a line out option and a nuisance defending mauls.

I guess it comes down to the fact it is extremely rare to find 18/19 stone guys who can move like Sinckler etc. and when your player pool is as small as Wales' it makes it even harder.

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