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Forget Plan B, now we need Plan C.

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charliehesketh
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Post by Scratch Thu 13 Mar 2014, 6:45 pm

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/rugby-union/26505365

So with our metronome out of action until next season Wales will be forced to confront their game plan issues head on.

Half's world class kicking has kept us competitive in many games and he has kept defenders out, which has finally cost him and us.

This should cement Biggar as 10 at least as he is by far the better place kicker, but Wales will have to have a complete rethink for South Africa.

This is an opportunity for Liam Williams but who then steps in on the bench….Hook?

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Post by slartibartfast Thu 13 Mar 2014, 6:47 pm

I think we leave the old guard at home. Take an A side to SA

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Post by Scratch Thu 13 Mar 2014, 6:54 pm

slartibartfast wrote:I think we leave the old guard at home. Take an A side to SA


Why would we do that?

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Post by Knowsit17 Thu 13 Mar 2014, 7:15 pm

I think the problem with having a prolific goalkicker in the bracket of Halfpenny is that, as a result, the backline probably feels disinclined from attacking with genuine intensity. They just try to barge through defenders with an eye on earning the penalty and will almost always take it when it works. I feel like tearing out my hair when I see this strategy repeated for 60-70 mins. They'll do so unless they absolutely need a try to win the game, at which point they'll change tact and run their socks off. It's sad that it takes exceptional desperation to actually get them running it, that they don't naturally look to keep the ball and maintain meaningful possession in opposition territory.

Maybe the change at fullback will be enough to spark a radical change in approach. That's not an optimistic prediction, just a lowbeat maybe. Sadly something tells me Wales won't deviate from their stiff, predictable structure. They haven't in the last 10+ times of asking so why would they do so now? Playing for title-contention wasn't enough to fire up this group of schoolboys, why should playing for pride be any different?

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Post by Scratch Thu 13 Mar 2014, 7:28 pm

I don''t think Half's kicking skills affect the backs but they do affect the game plan..but what you say about absolutely need a try to win a game rings true, sometimes i watch them up the instnesity and ask why that we don't get this from the 1st minute?

Wihtout Half's 15 points a game we have to have a grassroots rethink and in some ways it may help us let lose a bit more.

As for pride Knowsit, i used to think Passion was an intangible Welsh facet that added a player and 9 points to a game…now i just don;t know what it means anymore as i haven't really seen it since France in 2012 i think

We used to have to play backs to the wall, chasing agame, a psychological state we haven't had to face as Gatland has progressed the side. We need to find a way back to that hunger

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Post by bedfordwelsh Thu 13 Mar 2014, 7:40 pm

slartibartfast wrote:I think we leave the old guard at home. Take an A side to SA


Wales don't have a A Side that's why the record books show Wales have a loss against Japan to their record when in all honesty it was a development side.

If we go there with anything other than a fullt strength side then god helps, that said we need to start developing some players on that tour but not wholesale changes.
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Post by electronaut Thu 13 Mar 2014, 8:54 pm

I agree that 1/2p is a world class kicker, but how many points a game do you think he scored that an "average" international kicker would have missed or not attempted, England scored a lot of points via the boot of JW but he was also playing behind a generally dominate pack so lots of penalty opportunities came his way too

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Post by Biltong Thu 13 Mar 2014, 8:59 pm

Unless Gatland find a kicker as prolific as Halfpenny, Wales are going to play under more pressure than usual, he showed again this past weekend what he can do with 6 penalty kicks.
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Post by Scrumpy Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:03 pm

What happened to the guy you had at No10 during the 2011 RWC?

He looked useful and should have been given more games.
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Post by Knowsit17 Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:10 pm

electronaut wrote:I  agree  that 1/2p  is a  world  class  kicker,  but  how  many  points a  game  do  you  think  he  scored  that  an "average"  international  kicker  would  have  missed  or  not attempted,  England  scored a  lot  of  points  via  the  boot  of JW  but  he  was  also  playing  behind a generally dominate  pack   so  lots  of  penalty opportunities  came  his  way  too

Against England I don't think a single kick he attempted could be called easy by anyone. Nearly all were near or behind the halfway line and some combined distance with an excessive angle... he didn't miss anything. Most facets of the game were hopeless from a Welsh perspective but props to Halfpenny, that was a masterclass with the boot and for a long time kept us in touch.

Bilt, I'd welcome pressure at this stage tbh. Wales have played with so little real intensity this tournament (I saw more intensity in the final fixture last year than I have in every game this year combined) so if pressure is what it takes to flick the switch...

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Post by englandglory4ever Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:15 pm

Wales became a one-man team. They will need to dig deep now.

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Post by Taffineastbourne Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:18 pm

[quote="Biltong"]Unless Gatland find a kicker as prolific as Halfpenny, Wales are going to play under more pressure than usual, he showed again this past weekend what he can do with 6 penalty kicks.[/quote
Bigger is more than useful.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:19 pm

Bigger doesn't have the distance Halfpenny has but over the average distance he has as good a record as Halfpenny.
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Post by quinsforever Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:25 pm

no-one in rugby has as good a record as 1/2P's kicking in % terms. Especially when you add in distance.

reality is, if wales can't generate penalties from scrums reliably going forwards they were going to have to adapt their gameplan anyway. Any kicker other than 1/2P just makes it a bit more urgent.

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Post by No9 Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:32 pm

 
Scrumpy wrote:What happened to the guy you had at No10 during the 2011 RWC?

He looked useful and should have been given more games.

 Doh 

This confirms that all you want to do is find Welsh topics and WUM away.... either that or you haven't a clue (which I suspect isn't the case... you maybe a grape short of a bunch, but I just know you know who played 10 at the 2011 RWC.... Rolling Eyes ).

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Post by Guest Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:34 pm

The future is having a go at positive rugby. None of the top sides celebrate their kickers as much as Halfpenny is celebrated (for kicking). It's old fashioned like the dinosaurs are old fashioned (ie dead).

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Post by Scrumpy Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:41 pm

No9 wrote: 
Scrumpy wrote:What happened to the guy you had at No10 during the 2011 RWC?

He looked useful and should have been given more games.

 Doh 

This confirms that all you want to do is find Welsh topics and WUM away.... either that or you haven't a clue (which I suspect isn't the case... you maybe a grape short of a bunch, but I just know you know who played 10 at the 2011 RWC.... Rolling Eyes ).

 How is that a wum???? Erm 

It's a light hearted comment (learne to tell the difference!) he was on fire, full of confidence at the top of his game and full of potential for the future, what happened to him as it appears to be more than just an injury, his heads gone!
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Post by Knowsit17 Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:45 pm

No9 wrote: 
Scrumpy wrote:What happened to the guy you had at No10 during the 2011 RWC?

He looked useful and should have been given more games.

 Doh 

This confirms that all you want to do is find Welsh topics and WUM away.... either that or you haven't a clue (which I suspect isn't the case... you maybe a grape short of a bunch, but I just know you know who played 10 at the 2011 RWC.... Rolling Eyes ).

He has a point though sadly. In 2011 many who are now central to the Welsh setup looked like different players compared to now, Priestland included. In fact his positional kicking during the RWC was excellent whereas now it's almost beyond terrible. Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton and Jamie Roberts (to name a few more) were making 10 times more of an impact less than three years ago. The team in general looked more fearless, less cautious and executed a much more efficient gameplan back then. The foundation of much of the current squad was established precisely because of their form at the time. The core appears to have gone rotten at some point since though.

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Post by Scrumpy Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:51 pm

Thank you knowsit17 thumbsup 
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Post by Scratch Fri 14 Mar 2014, 5:36 am

Knowsit17 wrote:
No9 wrote: 
Scrumpy wrote:What happened to the guy you had at No10 during the 2011 RWC?

He looked useful and should have been given more games.

 Doh 

This confirms that all you want to do is find Welsh topics and WUM away.... either that or you haven't a clue (which I suspect isn't the case... you maybe a grape short of a bunch, but I just know you know who played 10 at the 2011 RWC.... Rolling Eyes ).

He has a point though sadly. In 2011 many who are now central to the Welsh setup looked like different players compared to now, Priestland included. In fact his positional kicking during the RWC was excellent whereas now it's almost beyond terrible. Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton and Jamie Roberts (to name a few more) were making 10 times more of an impact less than three years ago. The team in general looked more fearless, less cautious and executed a much more efficient gameplan back then. The foundation of much of the current squad was established precisely because of their form at the time. The core appears to have gone rotten at some point since though.

Something is rotten in the state of somewhere but it isn't in Wales.

It is because we have achieved so much in this tournament that we now hold ourselves under such intense scrutiny and so do others who envy our achievement.

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Post by englandglory4ever Fri 14 Mar 2014, 8:42 am

Wales used to bask in the flair style of play. Scoring tries was what counted. Now Wales celebrates their kicker as if he was Jesus. Wales have turned into a one-man band and now he's gone what on earth will Wales do?

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Post by Jimpy Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:10 am

englandglory4ever wrote:Wales used to bask in the flair style of play. Scoring tries was what counted. Now Wales celebrates their kicker as if he was Jesus. Wales have turned into a one-man band and now he's gone what on earth will Wales do?

 
I might be wrong, but to arrive at Plan C, first one must start at Plan A, then progress via Plan B. And therein lies the problem as I think most would agree, there hasn't been a Plan B. Or did we miss it? Anyway, SA is a tough win for any team at the moment, so Gatland is between a rock and a hard place.

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Post by SecretFly Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:20 am

englandglory4ever wrote:Wales used to bask in the flair style of play. Scoring tries was what counted. Now Wales celebrates their kicker as if he was Jesus. Wales have turned into a one-man band and now he's gone what on earth will Wales do?

Score tries? Wink

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Post by SecretFly Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:29 am

And let's not forget the significant role that Confidence plays in any Plan - whether it's Plan A, Plan B or Plan X

Confidence is premium.  When it's there, passes stick, prepared moves come off, knock-ons are less frequent etc.  Confidence allows muscles and brains to relax and rugby becomes easier.

Welsh players will now be at a stage where they're beginning to doubt themselves and each other.  They have little to fix confidence to now - things they tried against England didn't come off, they couldn't even find a footing in the Ireland game.

So, will a good win over Scotland be enough to raise the confidence levels again?  I'm not so sure this time.  Gatland will need all his coaching skills now to pull Wales up out of their depression and have players physically ready and mentally able to challenge South Africa.

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Post by Guest Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:45 am

Does having a former forward as a coach restrict a teams flair? No offense to the forwards out there, you do a job Smile But seriously, although there is a backs coach, do they really call the shots when it comes to the big decisions?

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Post by Scrumpy Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:47 am

ebop wrote:Does having a former forward as a coach restrict a teams flair?


PSA!


Last edited by Scrumpy on Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Guest Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:48 am

Biggar can kick just fine, but if he's not as confident from fifty odd metres, we go to touch. No big deal. I have more faith in Sheriff at hooker too, so might work in our favour.

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Post by Guest Fri 14 Mar 2014, 10:00 am

What's the guts there scrumpy? Lievermont!!

I have to admit though, I don't know much about French rugby and the relative merits of a Lievermont v PSA.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 14 Mar 2014, 10:52 am

Wales just need to keep hold of the ball and attempt to score a try.

Yes they haven't look like doing so in 160mins of rugby against the top sides (England & Ireland) but they just need to believe in their abilty.

Wales have some top draw players, it's just top teams seem to have figured out how to play against you.

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Post by Jimpy Fri 14 Mar 2014, 11:00 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wales just need to keep hold of the ball and attempt to score a try.
Yes they haven't look like doing so in 160mins of rugby against the top sides (England & Ireland) but they just need to believe in their abilty.

Wales have some top draw players, it's just top teams seem to have figured out how to play against you.

With the ball in hand, otherwise it doesn't really count.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 14 Mar 2014, 11:04 am

Jimpy wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wales just need to keep hold of the ball and attempt to score a try.
Yes they haven't look like doing so in 160mins of rugby against the top sides (England & Ireland) but they just need to believe in their abilty.

Wales have some top draw players, it's just top teams seem to have figured out how to play against you.

With the ball in hand, otherwise it doesn't really count.

Haha.....of course it has to be "ball in hand".

They just seem to lack ideas, it's either pass to North or pass to North. If he can't do something theres nothing else going on.

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Post by beshocked Fri 14 Mar 2014, 11:59 am

Cannot underestimate the importance of the lineout. Wales need to get to the position where they feel comfortable kicking for touch.

I feel that sometimes the lineout's importance is overshadowed by that of the scrum.

Is it a coincidence that the two best performing sides in the 6 nations have the best lineouts?

They have that platform which they have used to build a period of sustainable pressure.

Clean ball from the lineout also increases your attacking options.

Wales effectively coughed up 7 points to England because of one lost lineout.

It's an obvious thing but if you do the basics well you generally win.

Teams will target an opposition's weaknesses and that's what England did vs Wales - the halfbacks and lineout. Win the territory battle, pour the pressure on Wales. Hammer home where England had the clear advantage.

Most team have weaknesses. You just need to identify and exploit.

Wales need to strengthen their halfbacks and lineout.

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Post by BlueNote Fri 14 Mar 2014, 12:37 pm

I agree with beshocked, the lineout has been the elephant in the room for Wales for ages - pretty much as long as I can remember, subject to a few relatively brief phases where it has functioned okay (Bob Norster, Derwyn Jones, Chris Wyatt, Gareth Llewellyn, but all of them only for a while). It changes the way the other team can play against you if they know they've a chance of winning your lineout ball. Ireland used to do it to us all the time - pin us back with kicks to touch and then put us under pressure on our lineout ball.

Also agree re the half-backs; there are people coming through but the incumbents are limited.

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Post by Guest Fri 14 Mar 2014, 12:56 pm

I believe Owens is a better thrower and Charteris provides more of an option in the lineout too (as a dummy if nothing else). I think we'll do well enough in it.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 14 Mar 2014, 1:22 pm

What is Scotland's place kicking like? Jenkins is playing although Jones and Hibbard are dropped.

What is Garces like, does he penalise the illegal scrimmage like Poite? If so he is going to be watching Jenkins like a hawk. No advantage from questionable scrummaging tomorrow.

Biggar is going to have a hard time of it, Phillips is playing. The Scots backrow are going to have a field day if he is as slow as his cameo against England. I can imaging Kelly Brown liking his lips seeing the selection.

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Post by Jimpy Fri 14 Mar 2014, 1:29 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:What is Scotland's place kicking like? Jenkins is playing although Jones and Hibbard are dropped.

What is Garces like, does he penalise the illegal scrimmage like Poite? If so he is going to be watching Jenkins like a hawk. No advantage from questionable scrummaging tomorrow.

Biggar is going to have a hard time of it, Phillips is playing. The Scots backrow are going to have a field day if he is as slow as his cameo against England. I can imaging Kelly Brown liking his lips seeing the selection.


Yes, if only Scotland weren't complete rubbish and the match wasn't being played at the Millenium Stadium. Just my opinion of course.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 14 Mar 2014, 1:52 pm

Think about it... Tom Youngs was preferred to Hibbard for 2 out of 3 Lions tests (and Tom Youngs is one of the worst lineout throwers in the game).

Hibbard is a magnificent player outside of his throwing but like Youngs struggles to hit a barn door half the time.... he needs to spend a few hours less a day grinding the axe on his next opponent (well it seems that way given the way he pulverises his opposite numbers) and more on his aim.

The one thing otherwise is that Wales need to be be a bit more streetwise. You can't approach each game, each opponent the same way.... they're not NZ (i.e. one whose skills in near every department are superior to the opposition).

What beats France doesn't work against Ireland, what beats England, doesn't work against South Africa.
The boks can kick, they can run, they can maul... thats what makes them difficult and they mix their game up well. Brutal upfront but finesse in the backs.

This welsh team reminds me a little of the England team in 1995. Big and powerful but a little limited and unsure what to do if their power game is matched or bettered.

Anyhow without Halfpenny they don't have a chance against the boks, not a chance. His kicking yes but his defence is huge and it would be needed against the biggest lumps in the game. Worst thing you can do is bring back Hook into 15... the guy is a 10 and isn't the greatest tackler.

Can Roberts do a job at 15? A bit too heavy now I think.

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Post by beshocked Fri 14 Mar 2014, 3:06 pm

To be fair to T.Youngs he is one of the worst lineout throwers at international level but for Tigers he's pretty good.

Fa0019 I think it's variation that Wales lack. Wales are too predictable.

Plus their execution is poor. The kick chase against England was poor allowing the England players to collect the ball with not much pressure. It could have been a potentially effective tactic if utilised properly because May and Nowell are inexperienced wingers. In contrast when England kicked they found space to kick into or had players ready to pressure Wales, e.g. the restarts were generally very good from England.

There seemed to be the tendency to kick the ball too much - two examples Jonathan Davies and George North squandered potential opportunities by kicking the ball away in good attacking oppositions. If you do that the execution must be there.

Is that poor decision making by the players or Gatland's coaching at work?

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Post by Brendan Fri 14 Mar 2014, 5:18 pm

One thing i've noticed this 6N is even against Italy and France they had one try more or less gifted (but good chase work) and from nothing.

That is the problem i see. Biggar is fine at kicking and i'm sure if Priestland kicked the easy ones he would be more confident but going forward Wales have been creating nothing.

As someone said are the starting 15 for wales the form 15 or are they akin to the welsh players they replaced before the world cup who were picked regardless.

It is crazy to think that the blues have so many players in the squad when they are doing so poorly

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 14 Mar 2014, 7:01 pm

fa0019 wrote:Anyhow without Halfpenny they don't have a chance against the boks, not a chance. His kicking yes but his defence is huge and it would be needed against the biggest lumps in the game. Worst thing you can do is bring back Hook into 15... the guy is a 10 and isn't the greatest tackler.

Can Roberts do a job at 15? A bit too heavy now I think.

Lee Byrne!

He's no spring chicken but still in good form. He didn't too too badly for the Lions down in South Africa either.

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Post by Scratch Fri 14 Mar 2014, 7:08 pm

I agree about Byrne but its a backward step even though i think his career finished too early and i loved his lines. Hook as a fill in?

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 14 Mar 2014, 7:42 pm

Scratch wrote:I agree about Byrne but its a backward step even though i think his career finished too early and i loved his lines. Hook as a fill in?

Byrne regularly gets selected at 15 in the Top 14 team of the week. The other day, he was the only Clermont player to be included.

There aren't as many active players who experienced South Africa on the 2008 Wales tour or with the 2009 Lions. At a rough count: Hook, Hibbard, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn, Ryan Jones, Mike Phillips and Jamie Roberts are in the running for this year. I think it would make enormous sense to at least have such a seasoned pro as Byrne in the squad down there.

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Post by Scratch Fri 14 Mar 2014, 7:48 pm

agree again…but i think there is another reason why he was dropped from Gats plans and i have no tricking clue what that is, just a hunch

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Post by charliehesketh Fri 14 Mar 2014, 7:53 pm

Easy to say from the sidelines, but some sympathy from here, as every team goes through a bit of a lull, change of heart and re-building phase.  Surely better to do it now than closer to/during the next WC ?

Perhaps not having 1/2p will encourage the development of the game, and when you're developing at any age or level, doesn't the performance, not the result(s) matter more.  That's not just a "fan" sentiment, but coaching ethos these days.

Wales are still a quality team - best of luck and stick in there.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 14 Mar 2014, 9:15 pm

fa0019 wrote:...This welsh team reminds me a little of the England team in 1995. Big and powerful but a little limited and unsure what to do if their power game is matched or bettered...

Jack Rowell only took the reins in June 1994, and his first matches were a couple of second tier nations at the end of that year. Perhaps a bit more understandable the team wasn't as settled as the 1991 vintage. He still won a Grand Slam at the first attempt, and then knocked defending champions Australia out of the World Cup (before getting Lomu'd)


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Post by Guest Sat 15 Mar 2014, 12:04 am

Gatland loves his strong runners, so it's weird how Byrne is cast aside. I know we have to play Pence at 15 (or somewhere anyway) for his kicking, but imagine having a back three of strong runners who can pick great lines. Halfpenny can run, but I did want Byrne at 15 before last year's tournament and Pence on the wing. Then Cuffbutt had a great tournament (bar the Ireland game defensively) and it all changed. Hopefully Byrne will flourish at Dave next season and be right under Gats' nose so he makes the squad at least. What maybe cost him was his shoulder injury.

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Post by samuraidragon Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:55 am

Risca Rev wrote:Gatland loves his strong runners, so it's weird how Byrne is cast aside. I know we have to play Pence at 15 (or somewhere anyway) for his kicking, but imagine having a back three of strong runners who can pick great lines. Halfpenny can run, but I did want Byrne at 15 before last year's tournament and Pence on the wing. Then Cuffbutt had a great tournament (bar the Ireland game defensively) and it all changed. Hopefully Byrne will flourish at Dave next season and be right under Gats' nose so he makes the squad at least. What maybe cost him was his shoulder injury.

Gatland has favourites - like RP, Gethin these days - who get chance after chance, regardless of form. There are others - Byrne, Hook, Richie Rees - who either get 5 minute cameos off the bench or are consigned to outer darkness. Byrne has been in good form for years and starts for one of the top teams in Europe. Liam Williams has never even appeared in a Heineken Cup quarter final.

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Post by TrailApe Mon 17 Mar 2014, 11:29 am

Apparently you are not getting a plan B but a plan A v1.1 – if Gatland has been accurately quoted in the Western Mail


Warren has admitted Wales will have to make changes to the way they play ahead of the summer tour to South Africa, despite finishing the Six Nations on a high with a 51-3 thumping of Scotland

Gatland explains why plan A didn’t work this campaign


Reflecting on this year’s tournament, Gatland insisted the lack of ambition Wales’ opposition have shown will force a re-think on his part.

He said: “What we learned is that a lot of teams aren’t playing any rugby against us so we are going to have to change and deal with that.

“They’ve employed pretty successful kicking strategies.

“The two games we lost, both teams kicked more than we did, particularly Ireland, who played a lot of one-pass rugby and tried to negate a lot of our strengths.

So plan A will work when teams play rugby against Wales, I’m assuming we all agree that the Boks can play rugby and therefore you will see plan A this summer.

It’s going to be a very interesting tour.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 17 Mar 2014, 11:59 am

Is that really Gatlands quotes? Wales kicked more than England but the last time I checked you didn't have to run everything for it be classed as rugby.

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Post by TrailApe Mon 17 Mar 2014, 12:38 pm

Is that really Gatlands quotes? Wales kicked more than England but the last time I checked you didn't have to run everything for it be classed as rugby.


According to the Western mail they are;

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/warren-gatland-admits-wales-need-6838963


Although as all fans of every nation knows, the media can put a 'spin' on anything.
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