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Times they are a changing

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Post by emack2 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:55 am

The RWC is over,but fall out continues,many players have retired,gone for pensions etc.most Countries have changes
to there coaching Staff.
The IRB paying for Coaches to Amateur sides like Namibia,Uruguay etc.meant there were no real blowouts,and conclusions
based on RWC.
May not follow through into 2016,for example the surprise side Japan is the first team to win 3games and not progress to
knockout stages.
Yet they were bottom in Pacific Championship,none of the Pacific island sides,Canada or USA had a good RWC,BUT the
American League.Also with entry of Japan and Argentina in Super 18 will be very interesting.
NZ the ITM is lumbered with experimental rules trials,Super 18 scoring changes means 3 separate laws to adjust to again.
ALL Super 18 sides are lumbered with the bonus change.
Some NH sides are involved in the experimental laws to but not Premier league or Top14 so I`ve read.
The relative failure of the NH sides is hard to quantify England certainly were not as bad as some media made out.
With new coaching setup ,and going on club form things look promising,first match was a solid unspectacular win.
Scotland may have been a little over rated and have a problem at 9,Laidlaw is a great goal kicker,BUT a very average
distributor of the ball ,far to slow.
Wales for all there great defensive work even,allowing for injuries and playing against 13 men and not having the wit to go wide
well?
Ireland until the injuries hit them the implosion against Argentina looked good,solid match by both sides on sunday,Scotland
must score some tries laughing
Italy/France not very good BUT Saturdays game was the pick of the 3 ,Italy were outstanding,WHEN France moved at speed
they look good.Picamoles loss was probably decisive,the ruling of only 11 non qualified players in match squads should aid
them long term.
Toulon especially will be hit 23 out of 40 in 2015 were non qualified hence the mad billionaire trying to join the premiers ship.
NZ for the first time since 2008 the Hurricanes back line missing,a new Captain and a 7 who`s hardly played a full test will
be severely tested.
Boks despite early loss finished well in dry conditions the NZ result might have been bigger but they have the basis of
a good team now
Australia for me the jury is out ,virtually every match this year they have had 14 or even 13 men to play against,Pocock
was always a great 7.BUT an 8 he is not and the 2 -7s means lack of lineout options[trialled with Hooper/Higgin botham]
Argentina are now firmly tier 1 and playing in S18 may well win it,Georgia as usual post RWC calls for expansion but
money means never happens.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 09 Feb 2016, 9:31 am

Nice piece. I think people are reading too much into Ireland's loss to Argentina. Obviously Argentina are a very good side and they were much the better team on the day but I do feel like it was the perfect storm for Argentina that day. Here's why:

The breakdown (the biggest difference):
A lot of people think Argentina beat Ireland because they are able to attack with ball in hand and Ireland aren't but that isn't the case. Argentina are better in attack but their attacking abilities just decided the score difference. The game was won at the breakdown.

Ireland lost three of their main breakdown operators in POC, SOB and POM. For the first time all year as a result we were unable to slow opposition ball down and with quick ball they were able to catch Ireland cold early on. No team against Ireland all year were as dominant at the breakdown as Argentina were that day including Argentina themselves who Ireland defeated twice in Argentina in Ireland's first series win in Argentina in the same year. Of the guys that came in as replacements, Henderson and Jordi Murphy are ball carries rather than breakdown specialists and the other two in the back row Heaslip and Henry aren't as strong at the breakdown either as the guys that were missing.

The fixture list and defence:
France absolutely pummelled Ireland physically the week before. Ireland as a result played without their usual tempo and looked sluggish. Their defence was not as organised. This was compounded by the loss of Jared Payne at 13 who is normally responsible for organising the back line defence. Ireland were uncharacteristically unorganised in defence but this was also down to Argentina's brilliance.

Also beating France at the WC was huge for us because in three previous world cup attempts we had always been hammered. This time France were hammered and I suspect that took a lot out of the Irish players.

The loss of Sexton and Paul O'Connell:
Argentina lost players to injury too. However, take your two biggest leaders and best players out of any team and they will struggle.

There is no doubt that Argentina were much the better team on the day and I know Ireland didn't step up when it mattered most however, unlike what people claim I don't think that one game means that there is a massive gap between Ireland and the southern hemisphere sides (not including NZ who are much better than everyone) especially when you consider that Ireland have 4 wins from the last 5 games against teams like SA, Australia and Argentina.

If anything the game v Argentina means to compete in the world cup Ireland need to build greater depth and become less reliant on guys like Sexton etc.


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Post by RubyGuby Tue 09 Feb 2016, 9:48 am

The only perfect storm that's brewing for me is the continuing influx of foreign mercenaries who arrive here or are financially coerced here in their 20's looking to play international rugby for a home nation. This for me is the thin end of the wedge and I fear for some teams who will not be able to keep up with this economic conscription and that very much includes Wales. There appear to be no measures in place to address this but as I have said on many occasions, if you don't know your nationality by the time your 16 then you have a significant identity crisis and for what its worth I maintain the same for any non-welsh player who arrives in Wales in their 20's seeking national recognition. I appreciate others might feel very different to me and that's your prerogative but watching our national teams full of Saffas, Fijians and Tongans etc. is for me just not the home nations - Furthermore I would not have them playing for the Lions, that is absolutely farcical. thumbsup

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:04 am

Yes I have never been a fan of imports and agree they shouldn't play for the Lions not any of the six nations. Still bitter about Flutey and Maitland getting selected. Think it was a joke.

France are the biggest offenders but at least the FRU seem to be addressing this now.

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Post by rodders Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:08 am

Totally agree Guns.
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Post by Cyril Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:14 am

I don't understand why it's more of a deal having 'imported' players representing the Lions than them turning out for a national side.

Surely it should be the other way around? The Lions is just an invitational side anyway.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:19 am

Cyril wrote:I don't understand why it's more of a deal having 'imported' players representing the Lions than them turning out for a national side.

Surely it should be the other way around? The Lions is just an invitational side anyway.

Its just as bad. However, over the years I can only think of two players Brian Smith and Michael Bent that were parachuted into the Ireland team without playing in the country for a few years like Maitland was parachuted into the Lions. They all irritated me.

With Flutey at least he had been here a few years however, he is the first project type player I can remember to play for the Lions so that's why it irritated me.

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:41 am

Cyril - The BRITISH & IRISH Lions might be a bit of a clue here - Going to NZ with a NZ coach and beating them with a try by a Fijian who received a pass from a Saffa after a break by a Kiwi is for me an absolute joke and any NZ fan would be laughing just at the prospect of that. Same goes for the national sides it really worry's me and trivialises and cheapens the national jerseys of each nation. If we can't get a Lions team to compete from our 4 Nations then we'd best give up. It would also be a good opportunity to give some "fringe" coaches a chance, perhaps, Baxter, Townsend, Connor O'Shea and Dai Young for example - Oh and RubyGuby of course!

thumbsup


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Post by LeinsterFan4life Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:58 am

Who are the British Lions? Has Ireland finally decided to not be apart of this?

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:00 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Who are the British Lions? Has Ireland finally decided to not be apart of this?

My Sincere apologies LF guinness thumbsup


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Post by LondonTiger Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:12 am

Anscombe
Maitland
Payne
Manu
Roku
??
??
Mako
Hartley
WP Nel
Huges
BillyV
CJ Stander
Hardie
Faletau


The makings of a non B&I Lions team

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:39 am

Ancombes mother is welsh LT and Hartleys family have English heritage


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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:47 am

RubyGuby wrote:Ancombes mother is welsh LT and Hartleys family have English heritage  


thumbsup

Hardie and Maitland also have Scottish relatives. They are not residency qualifiers.
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Post by MonkeyOwain12 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:50 am

Every single top Nation does it and has done it for years. Bar possibly South Africa...But I'm sure they must include some Namibians etc.

We have to realise that the World is a very small place now and globalisation isn't just for products now, it's for people too. I certainly hope that any future child of mine would have an affinity to Wales, despite living in Oz and having an Australian mother.

Whilst I agree that foreign 'mercenaries' are diabolical, there are a lot who will feel a genuine affiliation to an adopted country. I'd personally like to see the residential rule raised substantially to 6-8 years (Dependant on some circumstances). Some of these players are developed by their countries' system for years and have no compensation to show for it when a player leaves.

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:54 am

The mercenaries for me Owain are quite obvious, they come here in their 20's having failed to make the required standard for their own country - Age 16, make your mind up - Its becoming a farce and will only get worse. thumbsup

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:01 pm

MonkeyOwain12 wrote:Bar possibly South Africa...But I'm sure they must include some Namibians etc.

Tendai Mtawarira
Tonderai Chavhanga 

Those two were both from Zimbabwe, I cannot think of many more.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:03 pm

RubyGuby wrote:The mercenaries for me Owain are quite obvious, they come here in their 20's having failed to make the required standard for their own country - Age 16, make your mind up - Its becoming a farce and will only get worse. thumbsup


I agree with this 100%. It's becoming a joke, MOTM on Sunday between Ireland and Wales was not even British or Irish, FFS, come on.

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Post by MonkeyOwain12 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:10 pm

You could argue that for Maitland, despite having a Scottish heritage too.
Some cases are a little more 'fuzzy'.

The likes of Flutey, Vainikolo, Payne and Earle (Scarlets, who openly stated his intention) is unreal...I agree, three years isn't enough.

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Post by TJ Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:21 pm

The problem with imports is its often hard to see until after their playing career is over how committed to the country they are. Compare Sean Lineen who has made Scotland his home and remains a good servant to scottish rugby to this day to John Leslie who as soon as he stopped playing buggered off back to the antipodes.

Or Denton who came to scotland as soon as he left school having been taught by his family to treasure his scots side and made his home here ( altho he has now bugged off to bath) To Visser who originally wanted to play for england but didn't get the call so qualified for Scotland thru residency - he just wanted to play international rugby and he didn't care really who for

I have no issue with imports either qualifiying thru ancestors or residence who commit to the country and make it their home. I have great issue with those who are simply flying a flag of convenience. BUt how do youtell them apart during their playing careers. Maitland BTW I have no issue with.

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Post by Cyril Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:42 pm

RubyGuby wrote:Cyril - The BRITISH & IRISH Lions might be a bit of a clue here - Going to NZ with a NZ coach and beating them with a try by a Fijian who received a pass from a Saffa after a break by a Kiwi is for me an absolute joke and any NZ fan would be laughing just at the prospect of that. Same goes for the national sides it really worry's me and trivialises and cheapens the national jerseys of each nation. If we can't get a Lions team to compete from our 4 Nations then we'd best give up. It would also be a good opportunity to give some "fringe" coaches a chance, perhaps, Baxter, Townsend, Connor O'Shea and Dai Young for example - Oh and RubyGuby of course!

thumbsup
My point is, why do some see the Lions as more 'sacred' than a national side? I can understand it being an issue (not as much for me as for some) but the Lions is already a hotch-potch so not sure why you would get more 'offended' by this more than representing another nation.

Agree with TJ that it's nigh on impossible to judge how passionate or committed someone is to their adopted national side.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:26 pm

MonkeyOwain12 wrote:Every single top Nation does it and has done it for years. Bar possibly South Africa...But I'm sure they must include some Namibians etc.

To be fair, Wales do not have many time serving players either, not unless you count the one's from England that have lived in Wales all their lives and come through the system in Wales. Also, there are players Wales have who do have Welsh parents, Anscombe and Moriarty are the two.

So we are pretty good in that dept.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:39 pm

I accept that quite a few of the players I listed qualify via routes other than residency. Indeed some have been here for quite some time, including schooling.

Guess I was just trying to make a point that we have to be very careful about trying to draw some sort of moral line in the sand, especially when we apply it unevenly. The qualification rules are a pile of pap - but whatever they are should be enforced for the Lions in the exact same way as they are for the contributory nations.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:02 am

Cyril wrote:
RubyGuby wrote:Cyril - The BRITISH & IRISH Lions might be a bit of a clue here - Going to NZ with a NZ coach and beating them with a try by a Fijian who received a pass from a Saffa after a break by a Kiwi is for me an absolute joke and any NZ fan would be laughing just at the prospect of that. Same goes for the national sides it really worry's me and trivialises and cheapens the national jerseys of each nation. If we can't get a Lions team to compete from our 4 Nations then we'd best give up. It would also be a good opportunity to give some "fringe" coaches a chance, perhaps, Baxter, Townsend, Connor O'Shea and Dai Young for example - Oh and RubyGuby of course!

thumbsup
My point is, why do some see the Lions as more 'sacred' than a national side? I can understand it being an issue (not as much for me as for some) but the Lions is already a hotch-potch so not sure why you would get more 'offended' by this more than representing another nation.

Agree with TJ that it's nigh on impossible to judge how passionate or committed someone is to their adopted national side.
Agree with your point, and RubyGuby's too.  I agree there should be no difference between national qualification and Lions qualification.  Unless I am wrong, a player must be qualified for a Home Nations side to be eligible for Lions?  Not simply perched on a bar stool in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff for a few days, right?  If so, then this goes back to the old debate about defining residency/national allegiance.  If, for example, the qualification time was longer and let's say we drop the grandparent exemption, then we might have fewer transients qualifying for our national and Lions sides.  

I know some people disagree, but I also agree with RubyGuby about Lions coach.  For me, should be from the Home Nations, too (a Home Boy?). I would really like to see O'Shea and Dai Young coaching Lions.

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