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Italy

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Morgannwg
HammerofThunor
Shifty
thebluesmancometh
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Cyril
George Carlin
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formerly known as Sam
aqualung
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Post by bsando Fri 11 Jan 2013, 2:40 pm

I thought i'd do a semi brief analysis of the Italian team. They have become a bogey team for Scotland, thrashing them at Murrayfield in 2007 and I can't remember the last time we beat them away in Italy. Australia have had several close encounters with Italy as have Wales, England and Ireland (6-3 half time, Italian try with hardly any time to go, O'Gara saves the day at 77mins). We all know Italy beat France in 2011 so they are by no means an easy team to overcome. So I think its safe to say every team in the 6 Nations has had some nervy encounters with Italy.

By simply looking at their squad of players you can see many points of interest. Firstly their Forwards average age is 28 years old and their backs is 26.5 years old. There is experience in their ranks. The forwards are perhaps the most impressive aspect of their squad. I think any country would be happy to have legendary prop Castrogiovani or Sergio Parisse in their team. They may be a little older now but they are still incredibly good.

The thing about Italy and there forwards is they're bloody tough to break down. Therefore they use this to their advantage allowing there FH, SH and backs time for well placed kicks into touch, or forcing penalties as the opposition get frustrated. For example…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0j8nTQ9EpE&t=49m50s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2QL8j2Rw1g&t=9m0s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2QL8j2Rw1g&t=6m53s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17yl36vUxDs&t=18m37s

However, Italy can be broken down. When teams manage this it can spell disaster for Italy. Faced with a mountain to climb they have to try and score tries which subsequently results in less emphasis on the forwards and more on the backs. Italy also love to keep the opposition off the scoreboard and thus it is a common sight to have a score line of 3-3 or less at HT. Therefore it is imperative to get points on the board early to prevent them building confidence, as England did so very well in 2011...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPuZEdgmKz8&t=1m38s

So who should we look out for? Well my eye is on Edoardo Gori, (SH). He is a quick fella and had great game vs Aus and was good in last years 6 nations and in autumn internationals.

Andrea Masi is another fantastic Italian player who is a big boy and capable of playing in several positions. I'm sure Wasps fans will know more about him than I do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y-HxaoYjBA&t=23m30s

Other players of note include Francesco Minto, had a cracking game vs Aus last year and is a decent lock IMO. At 25 he is young and close to his prime, definitely a threat this 6 Nations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y-HxaoYjBA&t=19m40s.

There is also experience. Such as Zanni in the backrow and Canale (another interchange player) who plays his rugby at Clermont. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2QL8j2Rw1g&t=3m36s

Finally, I think Italy should be feared this 6 Nations. They're not a push over team at all and could easily surprise a few people this 6 nations. I am expecting a fierce and gritty contest at Murrayfiel. I doubt very much that France will feel comfortable returning to Rome this year and I doubt very much that Welsh and Irish fans are looking forward to their teams games in Rome either. Therefore, I think Italy may well be the Dark horse of the tournament this year and will slay a giant or two!

Hee Talia!! cake (Tiramisu)

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Post by Brendan Fri 11 Jan 2013, 2:55 pm

I think the last bit is tongue in check but I do think that only England will be looking to put 4 tries pst them as a minium. The rest will be about getting the win and then seeing what happens.

In the game that Italy beat france in France were under presure but scored a try on their first break. With Italy you get breaks as we saw France last year with 2 attacks get 2 tries while Italy had the upper hand and were running all over but got nothing.

THe one thing that has cost Italy at least one game in every 6 nations it is a goal kicker.
Last year it was England, they missed about 4 esay kicks and had a clear out charged down.
the year before it was Ireland. Until they sort this they will not be a threat in 80-90% of the games not including Scotland. yes they will be close but not win.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 11 Jan 2013, 3:05 pm

Hopefully we should see the Italian national side improve over the next few years with their new club Zebre. Zebre are placing more an emphasis on developing Italian players. Only 3 players in the entire Zebre squad are not elegible for Italy.



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Post by dallym Sat 12 Jan 2013, 3:13 am

Italy put up a great performance against the ABs, then nearly beat the convicts. Hopefully they can keep improving

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Post by Scrumpy Sat 12 Jan 2013, 7:31 am

I fancy Italy to win two games this year, their performances this autumn shows they are making progress.
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Post by TJ1 Sat 12 Jan 2013, 9:01 am

Indeed. This could be a good year for as they have a settled experienced team and some of the others are in various amounts of disarrray

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Post by aqualung Tue 15 Jan 2013, 3:35 pm

as I said in another thread, I think, for the first time, the class is there to cause troubles to any other side. it's a simple point: before, on a given day, if the opponent underperformed, we could have taken a scalp.Now (just look at what Treviso is doing), we simply can compete and play to win vs everyone, I'm realizing we reached the level required. All we need to do is playing our game, like we did vs Australia and NZ, trying to impose it without just thinking of keeping the score close.
The players are there, mentality is coming and Brunel is doing very well, we just need to build a killer istinct (gotta win matches to do it), but for sure the realization we put NZ on a rope for 60' playing open rugby and we definitely bitchslapped Australia for an entire half (watched again the match, 2nd half was truly embarassing for them) prove we have the skills to do it. But we are not the AB's suddenly: if we play again terrified by the score, then another wooden spoon is on the way

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Post by Brendan Tue 15 Jan 2013, 5:21 pm

I think that the italian players will be less awed byt the irish welsh and Scottish due to how many times they have played the same players in the Pro12.

Italy will still be strong at home but weak away. At half time now though Italy do usually seem to be within touch of the teams they play.

I will worry with ireland as I am sure the Welsh will esp with all their injuries

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 15 Jan 2013, 9:12 pm

If Italy can find a 10 that can kick 80% of the goals and move the ball to their decent backs and they could challenge the bigger teams. Italy have always had the pack but the 9/10 axis hasn't been the same since Domingo and Truncon retired.

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Post by aqualung Wed 16 Jan 2013, 7:48 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:If Italy can find a 10 that can kick 80% of the goals and move the ball to their decent backs and they could challenge the bigger teams. Italy have always had the pack but the 9/10 axis hasn't been the same since Domingo and Truncon retired.
well, I'd say we already challenge the bigger teams and often we come inches from beating them. I think we already found 2 good SH's, and above all Gori in a couple of years could turn into a real class act. FH is a problem tough, but anyway Orquera isn't that bad in moving the ball and often has a good kicking game. You're absolutely right about the kicking at the post percentuage. With a decent kicker-I mean decent, not top-class-, in 2012 we would have beaten Australia and England, and, sorry, this already goes much further than simply challenging them

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Post by EnglandRose Wed 16 Jan 2013, 8:08 am

Fussel is going to become Wales' best uncapped back like Steve Tandy was for an forward.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 16 Jan 2013, 8:22 am

Barbieri has scored something like 6 tries in the Rabo this season which is pretty good going for a loose forward.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 16 Jan 2013, 9:50 am

aqualung wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:If Italy can find a 10 that can kick 80% of the goals and move the ball to their decent backs and they could challenge the bigger teams. Italy have always had the pack but the 9/10 axis hasn't been the same since Domingo and Truncon retired.
well, I'd say we already challenge the bigger teams and often we come inches from beating them. I think we already found 2 good SH's, and above all Gori in a couple of years could turn into a real class act. FH is a problem tough, but anyway Orquera isn't that bad in moving the ball and often has a good kicking game. You're absolutely right about the kicking at the post percentuage. With a decent kicker-I mean decent, not top-class-, in 2012 we would have beaten Australia and England, and, sorry, this already goes much further than simply challenging them
What do you think of Tebalde? I thought he was playing very well with Zebre but doesn't seem to be able to get into the italian squad.

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Post by Cyril Wed 16 Jan 2013, 10:03 am

To be honest, I'm not really sure that Italy have kicked on. They can be a stubborn side to beat at home and will get one-off wins occasionally against sides like Scotland and Wales (and an off-colour France) but I'm not sure they're any better than when they joined the 6Ns. They're generally dreadful away from home.

I can't see them finishing any higher than 5th and that probably relies on either Scotland or Wales being poorer than them.

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Post by aqualung Wed 16 Jan 2013, 10:13 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
aqualung wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:If Italy can find a 10 that can kick 80% of the goals and move the ball to their decent backs and they could challenge the bigger teams. Italy have always had the pack but the 9/10 axis hasn't been the same since Domingo and Truncon retired.
well, I'd say we already challenge the bigger teams and often we come inches from beating them. I think we already found 2 good SH's, and above all Gori in a couple of years could turn into a real class act. FH is a problem tough, but anyway Orquera isn't that bad in moving the ball and often has a good kicking game. You're absolutely right about the kicking at the post percentuage. With a decent kicker-I mean decent, not top-class-, in 2012 we would have beaten Australia and England, and, sorry, this already goes much further than simply challenging them
What do you think of Tebalde? I thought he was playing very well with Zebre but doesn't seem to be able to get into the italian squad.
believe me, Tebaldi is utter crap

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Post by aqualung Wed 16 Jan 2013, 10:20 am

Cyril on 606v2 wrote:To be honest, I'm not really sure that Italy have kicked on. They can be a stubborn side to beat at home and will get one-off wins occasionally against sides like Scotland and Wales (and an off-colour France) but I'm not sure they're any better than when they joined the 6Ns. They're generally dreadful away from home.

I can't see them finishing any higher than 5th and that probably relies on either Scotland or Wales being poorer than them.
of course you have the right to your opinion but I don't agree too much, at least considering what I've seen in November. This team is able to play rugby and not any longer 10 men rugby. What is direspectful is when we win is just because is poorer or off-colour, wrong! the same Australia who has been given - as Fox said during the match - a rugby lesson in November was the same one who won in England one week before and tied with the AB's. Simply, we are playing better rugby since we have better players with better attitude.
As already said above, a less bad kicker would have given us the matches vs England and Australia.
You're right when we play away, but that's part of that winning attitude we need to develop, and only wins can help us to gain it

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Post by Brendan Sat 19 Jan 2013, 11:21 am

aqualung - how many wins would hope be expecting this year. Your b team struggled against Tonga but you still win so that make s you better then scotland.

I expect you to be within 7 pts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland and get one win. France and England not so sure. England will either have won by half time or just at the end.

I do worry for your result v France.

What are the Italians views on Zebre this year

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Post by johnpartle Sat 19 Jan 2013, 2:14 pm

Italy have really come on leaps and bounds in quality options throught the XV, it's great to see quite a few promising young players emerging, particularly in the backs, obviously products of the newer academies. The one crucial area they still seem to be lacking real quality in developing though is FH. A Dominguez or Pez would really be able to make the most of this current and emerging crop of players.

I haven't seen anything of Treviso or Zebre's young understudies, what are Alberto Benettin, Alberto Chiesa and the former Aussie U20 James Ambrosini (speaks fluent Italian and nephew of the Italy and AC Milan footballer Massimo Ambrosini) looking like as future 10s?

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Post by aqualung Sat 19 Jan 2013, 5:07 pm

Brendan wrote:aqualung - how many wins would hope be expecting this year. Your b team struggled against Tonga but you still win so that make s you better then scotland.

I expect you to be within 7 pts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland and get one win. France and England not so sure. England will either have won by half time or just at the end.

I do worry for your result v France.

What are the Italians views on Zebre this year
Zebre have some good prospects but they must sign at least 5 first-rank players to be competitive as well as to get rid of some fellas who are clearly downhill or not of this level. you are wrong if you understate Tonga, ask France.
it will depend a lot on our opening performance to boost the spirit, and if we'll go to Scotland hungry and with the right attitude instead of targetting only the home matches. Anyway I'd tell we'll rack up 2 wins, with 1 more at our reach. not more, but 3 would be history

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Post by TJ1 Sat 19 Jan 2013, 5:14 pm

Cyril on 606v2 wrote:To be honest, I'm not really sure that Italy have kicked on. They can be a stubborn side to beat at home and will get one-off wins occasionally against sides like Scotland and Wales (and an off-colour France) but I'm not sure they're any better than when they joined the 6Ns. They're generally dreadful away from home.

I can't see them finishing any higher than 5th and that probably relies on either Scotland or Wales being poorer than them.

Well when they first joined the 6N this was true - but no longer. while England and France are above the rest there is very little to chose between the other 4 sides. They have got better and better and gone from regular thrashings and occasional wins to regular wins and occasional thrashings.

One off wins? Look at the record.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Sat 19 Jan 2013, 5:16 pm

Have to agree with Tj, except if England and France finished 3rd and 4th behind Ireland and Wales I wouldn't be too shocked

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Post by bsando Sat 19 Jan 2013, 5:27 pm

thebluesmancometh wrote:Have to agree with Tj, except if England and France finished 3rd and 4th behind Ireland and Wales I wouldn't be too shocked

Now I know you're the undisputed winner of the 'Best England vs Wales argument award" bluesman but this is no place to be starting a new one Very Happy

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Post by Shifty Sat 19 Jan 2013, 5:36 pm

The longer you let Italy stay in the game, the more confident they get and the more they start to believe in themselves.

Teams that kick their goals and take their chances will beat Italy, thats why Scotland lose quite often. their not clinical and don't take their chances.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 19 Jan 2013, 5:38 pm

aqualung wrote:
Brendan wrote:aqualung - how many wins would hope be expecting this year. Your b team struggled against Tonga but you still win so that make s you better then scotland.

I expect you to be within 7 pts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland and get one win. France and England not so sure. England will either have won by half time or just at the end.

I do worry for your result v France.

What are the Italians views on Zebre this year
Zebre have some good prospects but they must sign at least 5 first-rank players to be competitive as well as to get rid of some fellas who are clearly downhill or not of this level. you are wrong if you understate Tonga, ask France.
it will depend a lot on our opening performance to boost the spirit, and if we'll go to Scotland hungry and with the right attitude instead of targetting only the home matches. Anyway I'd tell we'll rack up 2 wins, with 1 more at our reach. not more, but 3 would be history
Are you a treviso fan? I think a lot of Italy's improvement can be credited to Treviso who have had a rapid improvement over the last 2 seasons because now italian players are playing for team that is winning games and is performing quite well in Europe.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Sat 19 Jan 2013, 5:41 pm

bsando

I am in the middle of refuting that award, of which that thread is still going without my input!!!!

My point was I have England as slight favouritres over France, but Ireland and Wales are well capable of beating both, and IMHO this 6N could be a very tight 3/4 horse race!

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Post by aqualung Sat 19 Jan 2013, 7:00 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
aqualung wrote:
Brendan wrote:aqualung - how many wins would hope be expecting this year. Your b team struggled against Tonga but you still win so that make s you better then scotland.

I expect you to be within 7 pts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland and get one win. France and England not so sure. England will either have won by half time or just at the end.

I do worry for your result v France.

What are the Italians views on Zebre this year
Zebre have some good prospects but they must sign at least 5 first-rank players to be competitive as well as to get rid of some fellas who are clearly downhill or not of this level. you are wrong if you understate Tonga, ask France.
it will depend a lot on our opening performance to boost the spirit, and if we'll go to Scotland hungry and with the right attitude instead of targetting only the home matches. Anyway I'd tell we'll rack up 2 wins, with 1 more at our reach. not more, but 3 would be history
Are you a treviso fan? I think a lot of Italy's improvement can be credited to Treviso who have had a rapid improvement over the last 2 seasons because now italian players are playing for team that is winning games and is performing quite well in Europe.
not in particular But I appreciate what Treviso is doing and the game is trying to play

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Post by aqualung Sat 19 Jan 2013, 7:01 pm

thebluesmancometh wrote:bsando

I am in the middle of refuting that award, of which that thread is still going without my input!!!!

My point was I have England as slight favouritres over France, but Ireland and Wales are well capable of beating both, and IMHO this 6N could be a very tight 3/4 horse race!
I might be arrogant but I don't consider this italian side far from Wales level

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Post by HammerofThunor Sat 19 Jan 2013, 7:25 pm

aqualung wrote:
thebluesmancometh wrote:bsando

I am in the middle of refuting that award, of which that thread is still going without my input!!!!

My point was I have England as slight favouritres over France, but Ireland and Wales are well capable of beating both, and IMHO this 6N could be a very tight 3/4 horse race!
I might be arrogant but I don't consider this italian side far from Wales level

Are you English? If not you will not be considered arrogant. Maybe overconfident but not arrogant.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Sat 19 Jan 2013, 8:01 pm

aqualung

And so you shouldn't! Why go into the 6N anything other than optimistic, especially with our lock crisis!!!

But if your arogant then so am I because I see wales as better than Aus and SA!

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 20 Jan 2013, 12:53 am

No. That's delusion Whistle

Capable of beating, definitely. Better? Purely subjective so why not? Based on results, etc, I doubt many would agree

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Post by bsando Sun 20 Jan 2013, 1:06 am

You can refute it all you like blues man, but the people of 606 have spoken haha. To be fair you did tie that award with two other members.

I think you're right about a tight 6N though, I reckon there'll be a few upsets.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Sun 20 Jan 2013, 5:22 am

A formal complaint is winging it's way to the powers that be, to be put on par with the likes of view? Nearly had me quit the forum alltogether!!!!!

Hammer, I think your the wrong way round, are we better yes. Capable of beating them right now probably not!

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Post by TJ1 Sun 20 Jan 2013, 9:12 am

aqualung wrote:
thebluesmancometh wrote:bsando

I am in the middle of refuting that award, of which that thread is still going without my input!!!!

My point was I have England as slight favouritres over France, but Ireland and Wales are well capable of beating both, and IMHO this 6N could be a very tight 3/4 horse race!
I might be arrogant but I don't consider this italian side far from Wales level

Not arrogant - realistic. There is not much between them at all. Wales ahead right now and have the potential to be well ahead - but potential is all it is.

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Post by aqualung Sun 20 Jan 2013, 10:04 am

I think the only area where Wales is superior are the back 3 and FH

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Post by aqualung Sun 20 Jan 2013, 10:05 am

while I think Italy has a better backrow, the rest pretty even

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Post by Cyril Sun 20 Jan 2013, 11:43 am

To clear up some of the confusion above...

Wales are quite a lot better than Italy.

SA and Aus are quite a lot better than Wales.

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Post by TJ1 Sun 20 Jan 2013, 2:22 pm

Cyril on 606v2 wrote:To clear up some of the confusion above...

Wales are quite a lot better than Italy.


Really? Merely your opinion and many of us see it differently as does the IRB rankings and recent results
9(9) WALES 78.39
10(10) ITALY 76.24

Wales are better than Italy but its by no means clear cut. Wales are 2 pts ahead of Italy, SA and Aus are 8 pts ahead of Wales. So actually SA and Aus are a lot better than Wales, Wales are a small amount better than Italy

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Post by thebluesmancometh Sun 20 Jan 2013, 3:15 pm

So we know the results of the 6N already then TJ, by whoever is on top in the rankings?

Wanna bet that at least 1 team who are 5 ranking points below another win?

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Post by Cyril Sun 20 Jan 2013, 3:35 pm

I can't believe I'm defending Wales Shocked

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Post by Morgannwg Sun 20 Jan 2013, 3:41 pm

TJ wrote:
Cyril on 606v2 wrote:To clear up some of the confusion above...

Wales are quite a lot better than Italy.


Really? Merely your opinion and many of us see it differently as does the IRB rankings and recent results
9(9) WALES 78.39
10(10) ITALY 76.24

Wales are better than Italy but its by no means clear cut. Wales are 2 pts ahead of Italy, SA and Aus are 8 pts ahead of Wales. So actually SA and Aus are a lot better than Wales, Wales are a small amount better than Italy

The truth is that the only other 6 Nations team on Italy's level is Scotland. Wales have beaten both Italy and Scotland home and away regulary for a number of years now. I expect Wales to beat both teams again this year.
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Post by TJ1 Sun 20 Jan 2013, 3:56 pm

Italy and Scotland on a level, Wales a tad above. However its clear it is not much of a difference to anyone who can see with both eyes hence the rankings. Wales are not the team they were a year or two ago - Italy are improving, Wales are not.

So the truth as the stats show is that Wales are only a small amount better - an barely significant difference.

If the Wales management are as overconfident and complacent as their fans then its going to be a long 6N for Wales fans

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Post by Morgannwg Sun 20 Jan 2013, 4:25 pm

Italy are improving? Who have they beat in the past two years apart from Scotland... Unless something drastic happens in Scottish and Italian rugby they won't threaten the other 4 teams. Hence Wales being comfortably above both, as the last few seasons 6 Nations shows.
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Italy Empty Re: Italy

Post by TJ1 Sun 20 Jan 2013, 6:15 pm

Rankings Morgan - rankings. This is the nearest to objective truth
1(1) NZLNEW ZEALAND 90.08
2(2) RSASOUTH AFRICA 86.94
3(3) AUSAUSTRALIA 86.87
4(4) FRAFRANCE 85.07
5(5) ENGENGLAND 83.90
6(6) IREIRELAND 80.22
7(7) SAMSAMOA 78.71
8(8) ARGARGENTINA 78.71
9(9) WALWALES 78.39
10(10) ITAITALY 76.24
11(11) TGATONGA 76.10
12(12) SCOSCOTLAND 75.83

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Italy Empty Re: Italy

Post by thebluesmancometh Sun 20 Jan 2013, 6:18 pm

In that case TJ how do you fancy a little wager, your beloved rankings will order exactly how the 6N will finish or you change your name to whatever I want it to be?

If the 6N table finishes exactly how the rankings suggest I change my username to whatever you fancy?

I did lose a similar bet recently but couldn't force them to come up with a name for me! But In my eyes I did say NZ would be beat in the AI's which was ridiculed, it was specifying Wales as the ones to do so that fried me!

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Italy Empty Re: Italy

Post by thebluesmancometh Sun 20 Jan 2013, 6:19 pm

The rankings didn't do much use last 6N mind did it?

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Italy Empty Re: Italy

Post by TJ1 Sun 20 Jan 2013, 6:28 pm

Above there was someone attempting to make out the gulf between Wales and Italy was the same as that between Wales and SA - just nonsense. Its clear what the relative differences are.

Personally I won't take your bet as I think Wales might well do worse than their rankings - I bet Scotland don't do any worse than their rankings Whistle Run

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Italy Empty Re: Italy

Post by thebluesmancometh Sun 20 Jan 2013, 6:34 pm

I disagree too, I don't think theres much between Wales and SA at all, IMHO Wales have the better squad but so many other problems. Italy aren't that far behind Wales and Wales are certainly capable of lowering their game to where Italy could beat them.

But then again a good Wales performance could see another GS, and IMHO that can't be said of Ireland or England this year.

IMHO the 6N will depend on a thousand things, France ability to perform at Twickers, the Irish ball carriers, the Welsh set peice without 4/5 locks, and the English ability to step up.

Wales have the backline to dominate any they come against, but without a set peice and platform it means diddly squat!

The Irish ball carriers in Healy, SOB, Heaslip and back 3 are capable of putting Ireland in the right places to beat any of us.

Farrells boot may turn out to be Englands saviour, coupled with a good set peice and Tuilagi's ability to carry his backline.

France can be devastating, but for all the talk of concistency I remain unconvinced.

IMHO any one of these teams could win it, with England and France slight favourites but if England and France finish 3rd and 4th I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest!!!

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Post by aqualung Sun 20 Jan 2013, 7:27 pm

I said Wales is better but their level isn't too far from ours. to us stepping up our level will mean winning the matches we deserve and occasionally winning se matches we'd deserve to lose, like England, Wales, Ireland and Australia have done vs us in the last couple of years. when I say we've improved I mean we actually come so close to beat almost everyone on regular basis, now it's up to us reaching the winning level

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Post by thebluesmancometh Sun 20 Jan 2013, 8:19 pm

aqua lung

I'd add NZ in with that lot too mate OK

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Italy Empty Re: Italy

Post by aqualung Mon 21 Jan 2013, 7:55 am

thebluesmancometh wrote:aqua lung

I'd add NZ in with that lot too mate OK
nahh, matches last 80', the last 15' they murdered us

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