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Autumn internationals

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Post by Dontheman Wed 01 Aug 2012, 7:38 am

Wales meets Australia again on Dec 1st at home. What worries me is that it's outside the IRB window and that means we are going to be deprived of a whole load of top players like Gethin Paul James, Phillips Hook etc. We badly need to end this run of 5 close defeats by Oz but may struggle for manpower unless some of our much vaunted strength-in-depth comes through.

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Post by maestegmafia Wed 01 Aug 2012, 7:47 am

Luckily we have a few games to test some of the lads who haven't gone abroad.


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Post by Biltong Wed 01 Aug 2012, 7:51 am

Well there is the little matter of the Rugby Championship to get through first, perhaps that will provide some insight into the respective SH teams, I think Argentina will gain a lot form this and might be very dangerous come the Autumn.
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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 01 Aug 2012, 9:07 am

Instead of Geth and Paul James we will have to go with Bevington and R Jones, who will both be first choice at their regions this season (I assume).

Instead of Charteris there will be Ian Evans, Brad Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, and Lou Reed.

Instead of Phillips there will be Lloyd Williams, Rhys Webb and Tavis Knoyle

Instead of Hook there will be Dan Biggar and Jason Tovey (FH), Ashley Beck, Scott Williams (centre), Liam Williams (fullback)

So really we will miss Geth, and maybe Phillips, but the others are not really first choice in their positions. That said I have a feeling if we do lose the 'player' drain will be used as the excuse.
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Post by Geordie Wed 01 Aug 2012, 9:31 am

I dont think Phillips missing is a bad thing.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 01 Aug 2012, 9:36 am

Geordie - I think it will be a hefty loss for Wales, however to be honest there are numerous welsh fans (on here) would not feild Phillips as a first choice, and would rather see Webb or Williams starting there normally.
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Post by Dontheman Wed 01 Aug 2012, 10:33 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Geordie - I think it will be a hefty loss for Wales, however to be honest there are numerous welsh fans (on here) would not feild Phillips as a first choice, and would rather see Webb or Williams starting there normally.
I'd love to see one of those guys step up and take the mantle off Phillips like RP has done for Stepen Jones though that has been a baptism of fire. Don't get me wrong Phillips has been a great servant for Wales and will continue to be so. Keeping Genia quiet particularly alongside Barnes or O'Connor will be a top challenge. I'd like to see them played in through the AIs not just when MP is unavailable.

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Post by Geordie Wed 01 Aug 2012, 12:21 pm

Scarlets, maybe losing a guy of his experience and aggression and size will be a loss right enough.

I just think Wales could do with a new guy with skills acustomed to a scrum half...not a flanker. It would give them a new angle....

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 01 Aug 2012, 12:26 pm

The problem is people seem to focus on Phillips being big and not able to pass. Then they see Lloyd Williams is little and think yep there is our scrum half. The problem is he can't pass that much better and he gets tackled easier. Then Tavis Knoyle is another lump, who is better at sniping around rucks, but possibly worse passing than Phillips, and finally there is Webb, who seems to be better at passing and sniping, but IMO can't really put boot to ball too well.

So I think that of the lot Phillips' strengths out weigh his weaknesses, in comparision to the other scrum halves anyway.
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Post by Geordie Wed 01 Aug 2012, 12:32 pm

Aw yes your right...you shouldnt just throw someone else in if their skills arent good enough.

Im not totally up to date with welsh Sh's at the moment...

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 01 Aug 2012, 12:34 pm

Geordie - that is just my take on them. If you ask otehr people Lloyd Williams has very slick service and is a brilliant attacking scrum half.
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Post by Geordie Wed 01 Aug 2012, 12:39 pm

Yeah i guess it just boils down to personal preferance and opinions...

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Post by anotherworldofpain Wed 01 Aug 2012, 1:04 pm

Dontheman wrote:Wales meets Australia again on Dec 1st at home. What worries me is that it's outside the IRB window and that means we are going to be deprived of a whole load of top players like Gethin Paul James, Phillips Hook etc. We badly need to end this run of 5 close defeats by Oz but may struggle for manpower unless some of our much vaunted strength-in-depth comes through.

So you can ending the run of 5 close defeats with a not close defeat!

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Post by Morgannwg Wed 01 Aug 2012, 3:42 pm

What are you talking about now??
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Post by Comfort Wed 01 Aug 2012, 3:50 pm

Problem with Phillips is when hes on form, Wales are a different team in attack. When hes off-form (more and more so these days) Wales seem to struggle.

They haven't learnt to play without Phillips, I think thats the problem, not Phillips as a player at all, you know what he brings, but when hes on form hes near unstoppable and WILL win you big games with big plays. When hes not on form, well, you saw for yourself.

ps. I think Webb is the next in line. he wasnt ready this season, hopefully he can mature slightly and become the other option to Phillips/ a viable plan B.


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Post by anotherworldofpain Wed 01 Aug 2012, 3:59 pm

Morgannwg wrote:What are you talking about now??

You say is important to end the run of close defeats, and you worry about not have the top player available. I am saying to relax, because you can always end the run with a big defeat!

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Post by maestegmafia Wed 01 Aug 2012, 6:09 pm

Comfort wrote:Problem with Phillips is when hes on form, Wales are a different team in attack. When hes off-form (more and more so these days) Wales seem to struggle.

They haven't learnt to play without Phillips, I think thats the problem, not Phillips as a player at all, you know what he brings, but when hes on form hes near unstoppable and WILL win you big games with big plays. When hes not on form, well, you saw for yourself.

ps. I think Webb is the next in line. he wasnt ready this season, hopefully he can mature slightly and become the other option to Phillips/ a viable plan B.


I agree that a scrum half on form makes a huge difference and Phillips is the man who makes us click when he is on form.

I think though it will be less certain which of the bunch of youngsters wins the shirt. There are five lads in contention.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Wed 01 Aug 2012, 9:21 pm

The French teams have been generally been more understanding than the English with regards releasing players so we might be able to get some of them.

If not then its great chance to test some of the others

Jenkins & James - Replace with Bevington & Jones

Charteris - Replace with Evans

Phillips - Replace with Williams

Hook - Priestland, Biggar and Tovey
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Post by maestegmafia Wed 01 Aug 2012, 9:24 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:The French teams have been generally been more understanding than the English with regards releasing players so we might be able to get some of them.

If not then its great chance to test some of the others

Jenkins & James - Replace with Bevington & Jones

Charteris - Replace with Evans

Phillips - Replace with Williams

Hook - Priestland, Biggar and Tovey

Yes there are plenty of options and I am sure more to come this new season..

How about your old mate/nemesis (depending on form) Huw Bennett? Who will replace him?

Hibbard, Owens, myhill, Rees maybe Baldwin too will be in contention.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 07 Aug 2012, 10:12 am

Maes,

You old tinker, Bennett for me was the surprise package of the WC and in the end was one of our go to men and I hope he enjoys his time in France but for me I hope Owens, Rees, Hibbard and Myhill are the ones in contention this season.
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Post by gowales Tue 07 Aug 2012, 1:04 pm

Bennett's still only 29 so i'd hope that Gatland doesn't completely cast him aside.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Tue 07 Aug 2012, 1:32 pm

gowales wrote:Bennett's still only 29 so i'd hope that Gatland doesn't completely cast him aside.

I hope he isn't over looked, that said I don't thin he will be amongst the top three or four welsh hookers.
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Post by Smirnoffpriest Wed 08 Aug 2012, 11:27 am

Is it guarenteed we won't have access to the France based players? Didn't they play in the December Oz game last year?

Bennets problem, besides his alarming inconsistency, is that he'll be playing for a League 2 French side, so will struggle to convince Gats that he's playing and competing better than Owens, Rees and Hibbert who are right under Gats nose.

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Post by whocares Wed 08 Aug 2012, 12:08 pm

Toulon playing Grenoble on the 1st of dec : they wont need Gethin for that game Wink

also they will be just resuming the top 14 after 2 weeks break so it's not like they will have to deal with lack of rest and rotating the squad.

when are Wales AIs games btw?




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Post by maestegmafia Wed 08 Aug 2012, 12:29 pm

Smirnoffpriest wrote:Is it guarenteed we won't have access to the France based players? Didn't they play in the December Oz game last year?

Bennets problem, besides his alarming inconsistency, is that he'll be playing for a League 2 French side, so will struggle to convince Gats that he's playing and competing better than Owens, Rees and Hibbert who are right under Gats nose.

He was lucky to be ospreys first team season prior to RWC and still made the squad. And he was an asset to Wales.


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Post by Dontheman Wed 08 Aug 2012, 4:16 pm

whocares wrote:Toulon playing Grenoble on the 1st of dec : they wont need Gethin for that game Wink

also they will be just resuming the top 14 after 2 weeks break so it's not like they will have to deal with lack of rest and rotating the squad.

when are Wales AIs games btw?
argentina 10th Nov Sat 2.30
Samoa 16th Nov (Fri, 7.30)
New Zealand 24th Nov Sat 2.30
Australia 1st Dec Sat 2.30

is Gats back in charge? Some posters seem to think so





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Post by propdavid_london Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:10 am

Saturday, 10 November 2012
England v Fiji, 14:30
Ireland v South Africa
Italy v Tonga
Wales v Argentina, 14:30

Sunday, 11 November 2012
Scotland v New Zealand, 14:30

Friday, 16 November 2012
Wales v Samoa, 19:30

Saturday, 17 November 2012
Argentina v France
England v Australia, 14:30
Italy v New Zealand
Scotland v South Africa, 14:30

Saturday, 24 November 2012
England v South Africa, 14:30
Ireland v Argentina
Italy v Australia
Scotland v Tonga, 15:00
Wales v New Zealand, 17:15

Saturday, 1 December 2012
England v New Zealand, 14:30
Wales v Australia, 14:30

I'm seriously looking forward to all the AI's

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:14 am

Here are my predicitions (Injury permiting)

1st Weekend

England v Fiji - ENG
Ireland v South Africa - IRE
Italy v Tonga - ITA
Wales v Argentina - WAL
Scotland v New Zealand - NZ

2nd Weekend

Wales v Samoa - WAL (hopefully)
Argentina v France - FRA
England v Australia - ENG
Italy v New Zealand - NZ
Scotland v South Africa - SA

3rd Weekend

England v South Africa - ENG
Ireland v Argentina - IRE
Italy v Australia - AUS
Scotland v Tonga - SCO
Wales v New Zealand - WAL (cough cough)

4th Weekend
England v New Zealand - NZ
Wales v Australia - WAL
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Post by propdavid_london Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:29 am

Games with extra spice -
Wales v Samoa - always interesting, hope Samoa have their strongest side.
England v Oz - always an interesting encounter
Wales v Oz - 3 narrow losses for Wales recently - they will be desperate for a result
France v Argentina - Great rivalry, lots of history between 2 sides.
Scotland v Samoa - Samoa narrowly lost at home, if they have their big names it could be a cracker.
England v SA - needs to show progress from last tour.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:31 am

Prop david - yeah those matches you mentioned do seem to be grudge matches (with the exception of Scotland v Samoa) that you wouldn't be able to predict even if one team was really on the fire and the others were really off form.
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Post by propdavid_london Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:33 am

scarlet - I agree with most.
But what makes you think IRE will beat SA on the 1st W/E?

I think Argentina will take a few scalps in November - they will be geared up and hardened after their 1st Championship.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:37 am

It is one of those matches (thinking about it it would be on the list of grudge matches). Ireland seem to have the edge over South Africa in the AIs of late, and I can't see it changing.
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Post by Biltong Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:47 am

You need to consider a few facts here though Scarletspiderman.

Ireand last beat SA in 2009. The Springboks will have a total new look to it by then.

From the front row only Beast remains, the lock pairing is different, the back row is different, hlaf back is different, Morne Steyn might not be there by then, Centre paring is different, only Jd Villiers is there, Habana and JP Pietersen is still there.

So you are looking at a new team, new coach, and a new philosophy of winning every match and not seeing AI's as just a development tour.

The Irish on the other hand has lost form, retained most of the players of 2009.

And the three wins that the Irish got has all been at home.

I have a feeling the tide is going to turn hard, and stay there for some time to come.
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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:52 am

Biltong wrote:You need to consider a few facts here though Scarletspiderman.

Ireand last beat SA in 2009. The Springboks will have a total new look to it by then.
From the front row only Beast remains, the lock pairing is different, the back row is different, hlaf back is different, Morne Steyn might not be there by then, Centre paring is different, only Jd Villiers is there, Habana and JP Pietersen is still there.

So you are looking at a new team, new coach, and a new philosophy of winning every match and not seeing AI's as just a development tour.

The Irish on the other hand has lost form, retained most of the players of 2009.

And the three wins that the Irish got has all been at home.

I have a feeling the tide is going to turn hard, and stay there for some time to come.

Well I must be getting old, it doesn't feel like that long ago!!!
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Post by westisbest Wed 15 Aug 2012, 11:56 am

I hate to say it, But think the Springboks will be to strong for us on the 10th.

Was impressed with their players from what I saw in the super 15's.

Home advantage pouring with rain, howling winds, be tricky for the Boks, but think they will win.

If they score early, and we're playing catch up, going to be difficult for us.

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Post by maestegmafia Thu 16 Aug 2012, 7:28 am

I am really looking forward to the rugby Championship to see the developments in the SH teams...

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Post by Biltong Thu 16 Aug 2012, 7:37 am

Yeah, me too.

I am both excited and worried at the same time for the Boks.

We have a two way situation at this stage.

The injured players have left us digging deep for replacements. Our backrow has been decimated.

Burger
Juan Smith
Heinrich Brussow
Duane Vermeulen
Pierre Spies

Then those not available becuase they have gone to overseas clubs.

Ryan Kankowski
Ashley Johnson
Francois Louw

So the question is how strong is the back row for this Tournament?

Willem Alberts
Marcell Coetzee
Keegan Daniels

Subs available
Kolisi (Shows promise, but a small lad for a backrower)
Potgieter (I don't rate him much at all)

JP Pietersen (big loss)

Then the new kids on the block who couldhave made an impact that are injured
Goosen
Oosthuizen
Jaco Taute

Then those that must be knocking on the door to get a shot.
Louis Ludick
Paul Jordaan
Jan Serfontein
Sarel Pretorius
William Small Smith
Willemse

The good thing though is most of these youngsters are promising back line players and they should infuse excitement in our attacking play.

Question is when will this all come to fruition.
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Post by maestegmafia Thu 16 Aug 2012, 7:55 am

Sounds like SA are in no different a situation to any of us, though you have the advantage of naturally producing very big talented backrowers where as we naturally produce light weight wingers and scrum halves.

The buying power of club rugby in England, France and Japan is taking its toll on all international teams.

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Post by Biltong Thu 16 Aug 2012, 8:00 am

Yes, International rugby is suffering because of privately owned clubs.

I was thinking about this the other day. The schedule players face today combined with the chase after money is really putting International teams behind the 8ball, how often does one see the first XV on the field, it rarely happens, injuries and non availability plays a big part in teams fielding depleted strength teams.

These days it seems a national coach needs 3 players of equal quality and exposure per position to stand any chance of really putting it out there.

How many countries have 3 top class players per position?
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Post by westisbest Thu 16 Aug 2012, 8:07 am

Ludick & Jordaan from what I have seen, look very good players.

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Post by Biltong Thu 16 Aug 2012, 8:11 am

Yep, I think those two will definitely become Boks sooner rather than later.

We do need a back full back and in my view Jaco Taute is the biggest potential there.

He is only 21 and an exciting prospect. Unfortunately also injured.
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Post by maestegmafia Thu 16 Aug 2012, 8:53 am

Biltong wrote:Yes, International rugby is suffering because of privately owned clubs.


How many countries have 3 top class players per position?

To true.

Three per position is a massive ask on any nation. Kiwis are closest and possibly the French. SA have a huge pool of players too.

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Post by sugarNspikes Thu 16 Aug 2012, 9:36 am

International rugby isn't the be-all and end-all.

I know some people only watch internationals, but the club game is more important week in week out.

Some nations have regions that act as feeders to the international side whereas other nations have a more competitive club system.

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Post by Biltong Thu 16 Aug 2012, 9:44 am

Club/provincial/frnachise rugby will never be more important to me than test rugby
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Post by sugarNspikes Thu 16 Aug 2012, 9:47 am

Biltong wrote:Club/provincial/frnachise rugby will never be more important to me than test rugby
That's fine. Each to their own, of course Smile

I actually find international rugby often gets in the way of the club games.

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Post by gowales Fri 17 Aug 2012, 8:41 am

maestegmafia wrote:Sounds like SA are in no different a situation to any of us, though you have the advantage of naturally producing very big talented backrowers where as we naturally produce light weight wingers and scrum halves.

The buying power of club rugby in England, France and Japan is taking its toll on all international teams.

The Scarlets and Edinburgh seem to be buying up South African talent as well Wink

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Post by maestegmafia Thu 23 Aug 2012, 10:19 pm

gowales wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:Sounds like SA are in no different a situation to any of us, though you have the advantage of naturally producing very big talented backrowers where as we naturally produce light weight wingers and scrum halves.

The buying power of club rugby in England, France and Japan is taking its toll on all international teams.

The Scarlets and Edinburgh seem to be buying up South African talent as well Wink

Scarlets dont have any South Africans, what are you talking about...?

Three NWQs a Fijian a Tongan and a new Argie for the new season.

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Post by Smirnoffpriest Thu 23 Aug 2012, 10:22 pm

We've got George Earle, and are apparently signing Adriaanse and Syman who are SA (I believe)

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Post by maestegmafia Thu 23 Aug 2012, 10:45 pm

Smirnoffpriest wrote:We've got George Earle, and are apparently signing Adriaanse and Syman who are SA (I believe)

There you go...!

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Post by Taylorman Thu 23 Aug 2012, 11:50 pm

All Blacks will lose the England match...

1 After 20 consecutive Home Union wins we can't possibly keep that record intact forever

2 We usually lose to England at home every 10 years- the match at twickers on 1 Dec 2012 represents 10 years and 22 days from the last loss on 9 November 2002 at twickers.

3 Its in the tea leaves... ghost


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