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6 Nations 2016....

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Post by Guest Wed 09 Dec 2015, 2:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

....well, why not!  It's only about 8 weeks away:

Week 1

6 February 2016
France v Italy 15:25 CET (UTC+1)
Stade de France, Paris
Referee: JP Doyle (England)

Scotland v England 16:50 GMT (UTC+0)
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

7 February 2016
Ireland v Wales 15:00 GMT (UTC+0)
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)

Some good grudge matches in that lot!

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Post by eirebilly Thu 17 Dec 2015, 9:55 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:

Ireland, in my opinion, have regressed - been found out for their limited tactics, France under a new coach could play well or equally dire and Scotland are finally playing like Scotland should be (not playing to contain sides) under Cotter.

Italy

Regressed from what, might I ask? The Kidney era?

Nobody mentioned Kidney Rory, its an opinion and if you have nothing constructive to add to the debate then may I suggest you refrain from commenting? thumbsup

I asked a genuine question, there is no need to be so rude. What have they regressed from?

I am aware what you are going for and trying to do. I wont grace you with a response, either counter with an intelligent response or just simply ignore my opinions. thumbsup
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Thu 17 Dec 2015, 10:10 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:

Ireland, in my opinion, have regressed - been found out for their limited tactics, France under a new coach could play well or equally dire and Scotland are finally playing like Scotland should be (not playing to contain sides) under Cotter.

Italy

Regressed from what, might I ask? The Kidney era?

Nobody mentioned Kidney Rory, its an opinion and if you have nothing constructive to add to the debate then may I suggest you refrain from commenting? thumbsup

I asked a genuine question, there is no need to be so rude. What have they regressed from?

I am aware what you are going for and trying to do. I wont grace you with a response, either counter with an intelligent response or just simply ignore my opinions. thumbsup

How can I counter anything when you are the one not answering the question?? It is a totally legitimate and reasonable question! If you answer then we can discuss. My intent is to know what you meant by your statement, so please do not imply that I am trying to be malicious when I am not.

This is my last attempt at having a discussion, are you going to "counter with an intelligent response" or not?

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Post by Student-A1 Thu 17 Dec 2015, 11:17 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:

Ireland, in my opinion, have regressed - been found out for their limited tactics, France under a new coach could play well or equally dire and Scotland are finally playing like Scotland should be (not playing to contain sides) under Cotter.

Italy

Regressed from what, might I ask? The Kidney era?

Nobody mentioned Kidney Rory, its an opinion and if you have nothing constructive to add to the debate then may I suggest you refrain from commenting? thumbsup

I asked a genuine question, there is no need to be so rude. What have they regressed from?

I am aware what you are going for and trying to do. I wont grace you with a response, either counter with an intelligent response or just simply ignore my opinions. thumbsup

How can I counter anything when you are the one not answering the question?? It is a totally legitimate and reasonable question! If you answer then we can discuss. My intent is to know what you meant by your statement, so please do not imply that I am trying to be malicious when I am not.

This is my last attempt at having a discussion, are you going to "counter with an intelligent response" or not?

eirebilly - I do think Rory was being completely genuine. I would ask a simialr question too, Schmidt found a fair bit of success but based on a very limited game plan. Do you think they have regressed from this?? I do not I just believe that it caught up with them at the world cup and to a lesser extent against Wales in the 6N. I think it is fair to say that they did lose their two longest serving centres, but from the time Schmidt took over they have not played a different way, or do you believe they have?? I think that Rory may have been asking his question along these lines. Apologies if wrong Rory.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Thu 17 Dec 2015, 11:54 pm

Yeah, I am interested in hearing at which point we have supposedly regressed and what we apparently were before. We went from having virtually no game plan and lacklustre results under Declan Kidney to having a very structured game which has been key to our recent success. I think there has been concern from the beginning regarding our capabilities with ball in hand but we have massively improved from before. We have also won the past two Six Nations tournaments for goodness sake. It will be much easier to see where we are after this one, though even then it is going to be much tougher than before as we will still be without many of our best players due to injury. This will be a huge test for Joe Schmidt.

The Argentina game is not a good representation of where Ireland are at presently. No team would have fared much better after losing five integral players against a very well organised Argentinian contingent, who deserve a lot of credit. Our defensive system was evidently shot to pieces and our attack was mostly nullified. The centre partnership that Schmidt had been building for the past year (which was improving with every game) had one game together in the RWC, and we all know who they were replacing. It was by no means an easy feat to replace such a high calibre and experienced unit, and I think Schmidt and the players deserve tremendous credit for what they achieved.

The main fault here would therefore be the lack of a Plan B. However as I have asked before, what team would have been able to deal with such a huge loss of key personnel? I think that England struggled hugely when they lost the likes of Joseph who had been instrumental in their wider attacking game. Wales did a great job despite the injuries inflicted upon them but one could argue that it was a depth issue mainly concerning three positions. Ireland lost five of their most important players.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 17 Dec 2015, 11:59 pm

Perhaps Ireland have regressed from the 6N?

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Post by bedfordwelsh Fri 18 Dec 2015, 6:45 am

Rory_Gallagher wrote:Yeah, I am interested in hearing at which point we have supposedly regressed and what we apparently were before. We went from having virtually no game plan and lacklustre results under Declan Kidney to having a very structured game which has been key to our recent success. I think there has been concern from the beginning regarding our capabilities with ball in hand but we have massively improved from before. We have also won the past two Six Nations tournaments for goodness sake. It will be much easier to see where we are after this one, though even then it is going to be much tougher than before as we will still be without many of our best players due to injury. This will be a huge test for Joe Schmidt.

The Argentina game is not a good representation of where Ireland are at presently. No team would have fared much better after losing five integral players against a very well organised Argentinian contingent, who deserve a lot of credit. Our defensive system was evidently shot to pieces and our attack was mostly nullified. The centre partnership that Schmidt had been building for the past year (which was improving with every game) had one game together in the RWC, and we all know who they were replacing. It was by no means an easy feat to replace such a high calibre and experienced unit, and I think Schmidt and the players deserve tremendous credit for what they achieved.

The main fault here would therefore be the lack of a Plan B. However as I have asked before, what team would have been able to deal with such a huge loss of key personnel? I think that England struggled hugely when they lost the likes of Joseph who had been instrumental in their wider attacking game. Wales did a great job despite the injuries inflicted upon them but one could argue that it was a depth issue mainly concerning three positions. Ireland lost five of their most important players.

Agree with that Rory, our (Wales) injuries seemed to all be in 1 or 2 positions centre and wing/XV and fair play the lads who came through stepped up. However with the exception of JD and Halfpenny none of them would be considered as hugely important.

I wonder how well we would have done if say we lost AWJ, Faleatu, Biggar and Roberts?
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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:26 am

bedfordwelsh wrote:I wonder how well we would have done if say we lost AWJ, Faleatu, Biggar and Roberts?
You would probably hope you could play England in another RWC...........

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Post by beshocked Fri 18 Dec 2015, 10:42 am

Rory gallagher if you think it's only the Argentina game where Ireland performed poorly then you are entitled to that but I think you are wrong.

Ireland have been one dimensional and predictable this year but they haven't needed to add more to their game when playing against poor sides like Italy and France, you lost to Wales and you beat a tactically poor England who didn't make the quarter finals.

Both England and NZ have stuck 50+ points on France this year - showing how far the French have fallen. You scraped past a poor Italy who are likely to be wooden spooners next year.

Ireland were blown away by the only half decent side they faced in the RWC. Keeping up the home nations record of losing to all the tri nations and Argentina.


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Post by lostinwales Fri 18 Dec 2015, 10:47 am

beshocked wrote:Rory gallagher if you think it's only the Argentina game where Ireland performed poorly then you are entitled to that but I think you are wrong.

Ireland have been one dimensional and predictable this year but they haven't needed to add more to their game when playing against poor sides like Italy and France, you lost to Wales and you beat a tactically poor England who didn't make the quarter finals.

Both England and NZ have stuck 50+ points on France this year - showing how far the French have fallen. You scraped past a poor Italy who are likely to be wooden spooners next year.

Ireland were blown away by the only half decent side they faced in the RWC. Keeping up the home nations record of losing to all the tri nations and Argentina.


England beat Ireland in the RWC warm up

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 18 Dec 2015, 11:00 am

beshocked wrote:Rory gallagher if you think it's only the Argentina game where Ireland performed poorly then you are entitled to that but I think you are wrong.

Ireland have been one dimensional and predictable this year but they haven't needed to add more to their game when playing against poor sides like Italy and France, you lost to Wales and you beat a tactically poor England who didn't make the quarter finals.

Both England and NZ have stuck 50+ points on France this year - showing how far the French have fallen. You scraped past a poor Italy who are likely to be wooden spooners next year.

Ireland were blown away by the only half decent side they faced in the RWC. Keeping up the home nations record of losing to all the tri nations and Argentina.


I said that the Argentina game isn't a good representation of where Ireland are at right now. I didn't say it was the only game where we have performed badly. We have had some great games and some not-so-great games throughout the year. Could you please point me to a team that hasn't? Regarding the home nations record, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that we won the November tests last year against SA and Australia. So yet again I wouldn't say that our loss to Argentina has suddenly put us in the same bracket. We will need to wait and see when we play those teams again.

Also, I am not trying to claim that Ireland are currently a great team. We had a disappointing RWC and we were well and truly thrown out of the competition by a fiercely passionate Argentina. But I do think we have done exceedingly well compared to where we were before. Of course we will clearly need to adapt and improve if we wish to progress.

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Post by beshocked Fri 18 Dec 2015, 11:40 am

lostinwales I was talking about the 6 nations Ireland-England game not the warm up match but you are right England did beat Ireland in the warm up.

rory gallagher I am ignoring Wales and Englands' wins in the AIs too - it did them no good in the RWC. The RWC was a poor return for the home nations.

Done exceeding well compared to where you were before? Again Ireland did not reach a semi final. Thumped in the quarter finals by the 4th best SH side.

The home nations were given a rugby lesson by the tri nations and Argentina. Australia were fortunate to beat Scotland admittedly but Australia do what is natural to them - doing well in the RWC.

The NH sides main standard bearers have been England and France but with both off colour, Ireland and Wales needed to up their game, Scotland almost pulled off an incredible win over Australia but it's the same old story for Scotland. Plucky losers.

Scotland need to get some 6 nations wins under their belt to back up the promise shown.

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Post by eirebilly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 11:50 am

Rory_Gallagher wrote:

How can I counter anything when you are the one not answering the question?? It is a totally legitimate and reasonable question! If you answer then we can discuss. My intent is to know what you meant by your statement, so please do not imply that I am trying to be malicious when I am not.

This is my last attempt at having a discussion, are you going to "counter with an intelligent response" or not?



My apologies but after so many times of you twisting comments and accusing me of supposed Munster bias I get a bit edgy with you Rory.

Under Schmidt, Ireland started very well and were looking very good. In the last year I see Ireland failing to adapt to in game situations relying solely on a very limited game plan. This has been found out and as such Ireland have regressed after a great start under Schmidt. Ireland are now a team which others can counter and adjust their tactics to.
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Post by beshocked Fri 18 Dec 2015, 12:23 pm

rory gallagher don't assume it's just a pop at Ireland.

England were poor and have plenty of soul searching to do.

Wales - will be pleased with beating England but again they failed in the big games vs Australia and SA. It shouldn't be enough to beat England. England aren't the benchmark. NZ are.

Scotland will be pleased to make the quarter finals and push Australia to the limit but a final was possible!

As for Ireland as eirebilly says Ireland just don't adapt, you are far too predictable. Don't paper over the cracks that are there.

Every 6 nations side has a lot of work to do in my opinion.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 18 Dec 2015, 1:39 pm

beshocked wrote:
Wales - will be pleased with beating England but again they failed in the big games vs Australia and SA. It shouldn't be enough to beat England. England aren't the benchmark. NZ are.

Maybe England should try harder in the big games as well then.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Dec 2015, 1:44 pm

To be fair Wales and Scotland came out of the WC pretty happy and England Ireland pretty depressed. They all won the same. This 6 Nations all four will be looking to make a big impression for different reasons.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 18 Dec 2015, 1:52 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:To be fair Wales and Scotland came out of the WC pretty happy and England Ireland pretty depressed. They all won the same. This 6 Nations all four will be looking to make a big impression for different reasons.

I was disappointed when we lost late on versus SA. What got me though, is people convinced that Scotland played awesome and nearly won whilst Wales never looked like winning, despite leading for most of the game folk as usual were saying we should have lost by 50 points. I thought Scotland were only good in patches, but letting in 5 tries isn't that good a performance. Ireland got spanked by Argentina after doing well to top their group and England... All four should be very disappointed. This 6 Nations might feature more grudge matches than per usual.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 1:56 pm

I can't see how any NH team bar Scotland can be happy with their performance at the WC.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 18 Dec 2015, 1:59 pm

But what do you think Scotland should be happy about - their performance in general or the slight improvements they've made? Most people seem to think it's the former when although better than previously it wasn't particularly great - and I don't agree that they were the standout NH team which is from comments I've previously read. This 6 Nations will be an interesting one for them.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 2:08 pm

I don't think they were the standout NH team but they performed at a level which they've previously struggled to reach.

They were a kick away from a semi final spot, I'm sure they'd have took that before the WC.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 18 Dec 2015, 2:19 pm

Who was the standout NH team at the RWC then? (Other than England who were obviously standout for other reasons...)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Dec 2015, 2:23 pm

Japan?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 2:41 pm

lostinwales wrote:Who was the standout NH team at the RWC then? (Other than England who were obviously standout for other reasons...)

Was there a standout team?

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 18 Dec 2015, 2:44 pm

France were pretty standout.

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Post by offload Fri 18 Dec 2015, 3:46 pm

Japan were the only NH team to punch above their weight and exceed expectations. For the rest is was poor. Scotland were not as good as their close result suggested. France and Italy were dire, Ireland looked stuck in second gear. Wales yet again failed against SH opposition and were lucky that England were clueless when it mattered most.

The were some stand out games throughout and no doubt the best 4 teams made the semis, but my lasting memory will be the skill and power of NZ and the very ordinary NH quality.
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Post by IanBru Fri 18 Dec 2015, 3:58 pm

Scotland's minimum acceptable target was a quarter final, Ireland and Wales' were the semi finals, and England's was the final - feel free to disagree with those points, as I'm making a supposition.

On the basis of the above, only Scotland actually met their target.

So if the conversation is about which set of supporters can be the happiest, then it is surely the Scots.

However, if the question is which team performed best, it's a bit tougher.
England - sorry, but you'll understand if we discount them.
Ireland - were brilliant against France, then injuries choked them against Argentina
Wales - held South Africa before fading in the final 10 minutes.
Scotland - Were leading against Australia with 90 seconds remaining before a refereeing mistake altered the outcome.

I understand if Welsh supporters are happy to have come so close to South Africa, but there's a fundamental difference between losing because a winger makes a critical error in defence and losing because the referee makes a critical error in adjudication.
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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 18 Dec 2015, 4:12 pm

IanBru wrote:Scotland's minimum acceptable target was a quarter final, Ireland and Wales' were the semi finals, and England's was the final - feel free to disagree with those points, as I'm making a supposition.

On the basis of the above, only Scotland actually met their target.

Depends on how you decided those targets, as I reckon England, Ireland and Wales were targeting more. You get the impression Scotland were targeting second place in their pool and then whatever next. Refereeing mistakes happen often in this game and Wales have often been on the receiving end in the past. If we dare discuss it amongst ourselves fans from opposing nations wade in and tell us we're bitter - don't really see anyone doing that to Scotland so I mention that it's strange. I think they did alright and are better than when Cotter first took over so there's a positive I guess. It's also a good time to be playing England first up because this year more odds will be stacked in Scotland's favour - anything less than a win could be surmised as a backwards step, would supporters agree with that?

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Post by GavinDragon Fri 18 Dec 2015, 4:43 pm

England to win, convincingly.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 18 Dec 2015, 5:17 pm

beshocked wrote:

Done exceeding well compared to where you were before? Again Ireland did not reach a semi final. Thumped in the quarter finals by the 4th best SH side.

The timing of that phrase was poor on my part. I was not referring to the RWC which I have already said was a disappointment. I meant that Schmidt took a very poor Irish team and transformed them into genuine contenders for the World Cup. I genuinely think that if those players we lost were fit then it would have been an entirely different story. Payne, O'Mahony and O'Connell are hugely important in our defensive patterns, and Sexton is obviously our main orchestrator in the back line.

The challenge this Six Nations will be dealing with the retirement of POC and replacing the likes of Payne and O'Mahony who are injured. Iain Henderson is also a huge loss and would have been the right man to replace POC. Alas, he is probably going to be injured for the majority of the season.

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Post by kunu Fri 18 Dec 2015, 6:31 pm

Absolutely agree with Rory. We haven't regressed at all. To put it better, we have stalled. We have played in 3 tournaments, We won 2 of them. The WC involved the loss of players which pundits pretty universally marked as essential to that team- all in the 1 game!

The loss to Arg was disappointing. But aside from that game, the rest of the WC games appear to have been twisted by some of the media as failures for Ireland. Makes no sense to me. For example, we were being talked about as the underdogs- because of our performances in the pools- before the French game, despite the fact that we were in front of France on points difference. Don't know why that was, but it was fairly universal.

In my opinion people put too much emphasis on the last game each team played in the WC. Scotland are being hyped as a newly reformed team, yet aside from their Aus game, they were lacklustre- far more so than Ireland- during their group games.
I'd have 1- Eng (due a win), 2 IRE, 3 Wales, 4 France, 5 Scotland, 6 Italy
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Post by eirebilly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 6:48 pm

Kunu, I see the stalling (as you refer to it) as a regression. Ireland have not developed their game after a promising start under Schmidt.

I was not focussing on the Argentinian game in particular, I was focussing on the warm-up games and the all the games in the group stages. Against an incredibly poor French team, Ireland won but that, to me, was papering the cracks that had been earlier shown and Argentina re-opened them.

Yes Ireland lost some key players and of course it would hurt any team but teams are setup for championships and coaches accept that there will be injuries. Ireland did not have a game plan in pace to cover injuries.

No matter which way I look at things, Ireland are going backwards after a great start under Schmidt (sound familiar?). This impending 6N will see just how Ireland are in relation to others.
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 18 Dec 2015, 7:25 pm

No international team is going to have an effective game plan that accommodates losing a third of the starting team. Especially if those players are instrumental to your original game plan. There just isn't enough time to train a second team to be as effective as your first. Obviously you want players who can come in and do the same job if need be, but generally there will be a drop in quality and they will be less effective as they will not have had as much time practicing the calls/tactics/set piece as the first team.

An example would be if Australia did not have David Pocock during the World Cup. One player, but he has been a huge factor in their recent success. They just aren't the same side without him.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Fri 18 Dec 2015, 7:40 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:No international team is going to have an effective game plan that accommodates losing a third of the starting team. Especially if those players are instrumental to your original game plan. There just isn't enough time to train a second team to be as effective as your first. Obviously you want players who can come in and do the same job if need be, but generally there will be a drop in quality and they will be less effective as they will not have had as much time practicing the calls/tactics/set piece as the first team.

An example would be if Australia did not have David Pocock during the World Cup. One player, but he has been a huge factor in their recent success. They just aren't the same side without him.

See the Scotland game for what 2 injuries to key players can do to Australia.

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Post by eirebilly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:04 pm

And yet Australia didn't implode, why? Because they are a team that have plans in place across the board should injuries happen.

Wales are another excellent example, they were ravaged with injuries but had a coaching plan in place to adapt,
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Post by asoreleftshoulder Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:16 pm

eirebilly wrote:And yet Australia didn't implode, why? Because they are a team that have plans in place across the board should injuries happen.

Wales are another excellent example, they were ravaged with injuries but had a coaching plan in place to adapt,

Wales only had 2 key injuries,Ireland had 5.

Wales were playing Scotland,Ireland were playing Argentina.

These are not insignificant differences.

Did the Australian coaching plan involve hoping that the ref would make a blunder in the last seconds of the game to give them a shot at winning the match?


Last edited by asoreleftshoulder on Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:17 pm

eirebilly wrote:And yet Australia didn't implode, why? Because they are a team that have plans in place across the board should injuries happen.

Wales are another excellent example, they were ravaged with injuries but had a coaching plan in place to adapt,

This has already been explained though. Wales had a lot of injuries concerning mostly 2 positions. The lack of depth was exposed, but as I said it was really only 2 positions that were affected. As for Australia, they probably should have lost that game for a start (Craig Joubert) but losing 2 key players is still not as bad as losing 5.

We should have been much better than we were against Argentina but it is obvious that we would have been an entirely different side if we had our new centre partnership starting and POC, POM, SOB and Sexton.

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Post by eirebilly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:21 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:And yet Australia didn't implode, why? Because they are a team that have plans in place across the board should injuries happen.

Wales are another excellent example, they were ravaged with injuries but had a coaching plan in place to adapt,

This has already been explained though. Wales had a lot of injuries concerning mostly 2 positions. The lack of depth was exposed, but as I said it was really only 2 positions that were affected. As for Australia, they probably should have lost that game for a start (Craig Joubert) but losing 2 key players is still not as bad as losing 5.

We should have been much better than we were against Argentina but it is obvious that we would have been an entirely different side if we had our new centre partnership starting and POC, POM, SOB and Sexton.

Yes you explained it Rory but that does not mean that I have to agree with you does it?
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:24 pm

picard

Can we not have a simple discussion without it resorting to pettiness?

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Post by eirebilly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:29 pm

Jaysus, get over yourself Rory.
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:31 pm

Apparently not.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:32 pm

People say our lack of depth was exposed but I think the players that came in for the injured didn't look out of their depth.

Against Australia there were a few wrong calls by experienced players not the youngsters.
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Post by eirebilly Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:35 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:People say our lack of depth was exposed but I think the players that came in for the injured didn't look out of their depth.

Against Australia there were a few wrong calls by experienced players not the youngsters.

Exactly Bedford the players you guys brought in to cover excelled because, in my opinion, they were coached well and mentally prepared. Strength in depth is one thing but proper coaching helps players integrate much more easily.
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Post by 123456789 Sun 20 Dec 2015, 1:55 am

For me the Ireland debate is not a simple one, they've found a gameplan that beats the six nations teams but is ineffective against Southern Hemisphere, is that not what Wales have done for the last seven years? Ireland did not particularly impress during last years Six Nations but they won it, the only team you can point at and guarantee has improved is Scotland simply because results wise we quite literally could not do worse. Similarly if you take out the best players from any team then they'll struggle especially when those players are Paul O'Connell, who has been the lifeblood of the team since O'Driscoll retired and the rock from which the pack has built for so much longer, and Sexton who has dominated the Six Nations for two or three years now; the thing is O'Connell is not coming back and, from the admittedly very little that I have seen, Sexton has not looked the same player.
Wales looked good and I'd make them favourites, the longer Gatland spends with Wales the better they seem to get, if you're looking for stregth in depth I think you'd struggle to find a better international side in the Northern Hemisphere, from 9-15 they've two-three good players in every position except perhaps fly-half and there's a similar story in the pack albeit it not to the same extent and I'd say they're somewhat lacking in the front row.
England there's no point discussing, they've won the Junior World Cup two out of the last three years if I remember correctly, they have more money than anyone else and the amongst the largest and wealthiest population of any tier one side. If they could get their house in order when it come to the crucial 18-23 development stage, appoint a half decent coach and somehow stop their clubs acting like petulant children then it is scary what they could achieve, I don't believe it'll be this year mind you, it is nearly time to select a squad and England do not have a captain or assistant coaches.
Scotland arguably did the best of the home nations in the World Cup but forgetting that it was a world cup year in the games that really mattered we played poorly against South Africa, beat a pacific nation side and played very well against Australia and were unlucky not to win, that seems to be the standard Autumn performance for Scotland; the only difference is that we seem to have a decent set of players and the coaching staff are fairly settled. Nonetheless we've not beaten England since 2008, Wales since 2007 or France since 2006 in that time we've beaten Australia twice and nearly beat them once, we've beaten South Africa once and nearly turned them over on their home turf and we're unbeaten against Argentina since the last world cup when we, rather predictably, nearly beat them. The real tester for Scotland will be when England come at them on February the 6th, they'll come with a point to prove and will really go for it the first 20 if Scotland can weather that and be within three by twenty minutes minimum and then build on that I can not see England coming back into it, if they lose I fear it'll be the perennial wooden spoon decider against Italy. Richie Gray made his debut in 2010 so did Greig Laidlaw and Ruaridh Jackson, Dave Denton in 2011, Matt Scott, Stuart Hogg and Rob Harley in 2012, Duncan Weir, Alex Dunbar and Maitland in 2013 and Sean Lamont in about 42AD, these guys shouldn't really be "promising youngsters" anymore and we shouldn't judge nearly beating the best when it matters and sometimes when it doesn't as a success many of them have more than 20 caps some of them more than 50 and one, somehow, has more than 100.
Italy will try very, very hard as soon as they have a head coach.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 20 Dec 2015, 2:10 am

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
eirebilly wrote:And yet Australia didn't implode, why? Because they are a team that have plans in place across the board should injuries happen.

Wales are another excellent example, they were ravaged with injuries but had a coaching plan in place to adapt,

Wales only had 2 key injuries,Ireland had 5.

Wales were playing Scotland,Ireland were playing Argentina.

These are not insignificant differences.

Did the Australian coaching plan involve hoping that the ref would make a blunder in the last seconds of the game to give them a shot at winning the match?

Ireland fans always think they have more injuries than everyone else for some reason. Our key players out injured were JD2, Webb, Halfpenny, Williams and Williams. The guys who stepped in and became key players to only then get injured were Allen, Walker, Amos - all in the backs which isn't great. Apart from Paulie and SOB I didn't really notice who Ireland were missing, though you tend to have a fair few players able to play at the same level anyway.

Wales weren't playing Scotland, I'm not sure where you got that from? We were playing SA who proved to still be a step up from Argentina.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 20 Dec 2015, 10:45 am

123456789 wrote:For me the Ireland debate is not a simple one, they've found a gameplan that beats the six nations teams but is ineffective against Southern Hemisphere, is that not what Wales have done for the last seven years? Ireland did not particularly impress during last years Six Nations but they won it, the only team you can point at and guarantee has improved is Scotland simply because results wise we quite literally could not do worse. Similarly if you take out the best players from any team then they'll struggle especially when those players are Paul O'Connell, who has been the lifeblood of the team since O'Driscoll retired and the rock from which the pack has built for so much longer, and Sexton who has dominated the Six Nations for two or three years now; the thing is O'Connell is not coming back and, from the admittedly very little that I have seen, Sexton has not looked the same player.

But we beat Australia and South Africa on the same tour last season. Where is the evidence that we are ineffective against the SH teams?

It is clear our attack is rather ineffective against everyone. That is our biggest weakness.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Sun 20 Dec 2015, 2:39 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:
eirebilly wrote:And yet Australia didn't implode, why? Because they are a team that have plans in place across the board should injuries happen.

Wales are another excellent example, they were ravaged with injuries but had a coaching plan in place to adapt,

Wales only had 2 key injuries,Ireland had 5.

Wales were playing Scotland,Ireland were playing Argentina.

These are not insignificant differences.

Did the Australian coaching plan involve hoping that the ref would make a blunder in the last seconds of the game to give them a shot at winning the match?

Ireland fans always think they have more injuries than everyone else for some reason. Our key players out injured were JD2, Webb, Halfpenny, Williams and Williams. The guys who stepped in and became key players to only then get injured were Allen, Walker, Amos - all in the backs which isn't great. Apart from Paulie and SOB I didn't really notice who Ireland were missing, though you tend to have a fair few players able to play at the same level anyway.

Wales weren't playing Scotland, I'm not sure where you got that from? We were playing SA who proved to still be a step up from Argentina.

Doh,substitute Australia for Wales,no idea why I typed it that way.

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Post by gregortree Sun 20 Dec 2015, 2:40 pm

OP.....please edit the title to:

Ireland 2016 Six Nations.

Save other fans from being misled into trying to read it.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 20 Dec 2015, 4:44 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:
eirebilly wrote:And yet Australia didn't implode, why? Because they are a team that have plans in place across the board should injuries happen.

Wales are another excellent example, they were ravaged with injuries but had a coaching plan in place to adapt,

Wales only had 2 key injuries,Ireland had 5.

Wales were playing Scotland,Ireland were playing Argentina.

These are not insignificant differences.

Did the Australian coaching plan involve hoping that the ref would make a blunder in the last seconds of the game to give them a shot at winning the match?

Ireland fans always think they have more injuries than everyone else for some reason. Our key players out injured were JD2, Webb, Halfpenny, Williams and Williams. The guys who stepped in and became key players to only then get injured were Allen, Walker, Amos - all in the backs which isn't great. Apart from Paulie and SOB I didn't really notice who Ireland were missing, though you tend to have a fair few players able to play at the same level anyway.

Wales weren't playing Scotland, I'm not sure where you got that from? We were playing SA who proved to still be a step up from Argentina.

Add Sexton, O'Mahony, Payne and Bowe to that list. Wales had a large injury list, but it was mostly surrounding two positions. Ireland lost six players, five of whom are integral to our structure and style of play. Payne and O'Mahony especially were hugely missed in defence. O'Mahony defends in the wider channels and helps to slow down opposition ball at key moments; a clear tactic that Ireland have been utilising for the past few years. Payne has been physically robust and he is also a great defensive organiser.

Obviously Jonathan Sexton is one of the most important players we have both in attack and defence. His reading of the game is world class and Ian Madigan isn't close to the same level. Throw in the names you have already mentioned and not many teams are going to be able to deal with such a huge loss of personnel.

This may all look like one big excuse but it is the reality. Anyone who thinks that Argentina would have had the same game with those players fit are kidding themselves.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 20 Dec 2015, 4:44 pm

gregortree wrote:OP.....please edit the title to:

Ireland 2016 Six Nations.

Save other fans from being misled into trying to read it.

Apologies, the thread has been hijacked somewhat. However I just want people to know that they shouldn't write us off just yet. Wink

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Post by gregortree Sun 20 Dec 2015, 5:10 pm

Lol Rory, I ain't complaining, just teasing. My fellow English fans have been very quiet on 606 since RWC so have not a lot to say, even on the Eddie Jones thread. And anyway, while I am here, a Merry Christmas to all my Irish friends.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 20 Dec 2015, 5:14 pm

Same to you sir! Hug

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