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Post by RubyGuby Tue 16 Feb 2016, 3:12 pm


No one is denying that Gareth Davies had a good RWC but he has been a bit pedestrian in the last 2 matches - Having watched Rhys Webb make his return I think it won't be long before we seem him back as first choice. Lloyd Williams made an error in Dublin which was unfortunate but he also has his strengths. The thing that's confusing me is the elevation of young Aled to the welsh squad. Now don't get me wrong, he's a decent little player but for me (and here's the point really) - WHY is no one mentioning Rhodri Williams who for me is possibly the 2nd best 9 in Wales. I can't believe he's off to Bristol next year. Is there anyone else who sees Rhodri as one of the best around. Aled came on v Edinburgh recently and almost cost the Scarlets the game, he was woeful. Interested to hear from Scarlets fans

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Post by munkian Tue 16 Feb 2016, 3:46 pm

It doesn't help our ruck defense is off - missing Lydiate and Gethin there I feel.

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 16 Feb 2016, 3:55 pm

I think we have missed Lydiate but at least the romantics have seen the two 7's underperform so that should keep them quiet for a while.

By the way I know Gareth Davies is a class scrum half, maybe trying a bit too hard at the moment. Rhodri anyone? He was SH when we put 50 on Scotland 2 years ago - ok probably an easy ride but he played well. thumbsup

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Post by Knowsit17 Tue 16 Feb 2016, 5:03 pm

I rate Gareth Davies highly overall. He's got pace and can score tries from multiple positions. He's adapted to big games better than many could have hoped given he was somewhat rushed in for an injured Webb.

But we desperately need to see his performance pick up significantly from what it's been in the first two games. His passing speed from the ruck has been completely sub-par for a SH, as has his kicking game. He botched countless box-kick attempts vs Ireland as well as a couple vs Scotland. Wales will not win the title with the opposition pressure those sort of mistakes invite.

Saying that, the ruck and defensive formation are two other areas in dire need of improvement. Two areas where Wales have been competitive in the past but seem mysteriously rusty so far this year. The defensive line has parted like the Red Sea more than once already.

The set piece is the only area which has so far looked relatively solid for Wales.

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Post by offload Tue 16 Feb 2016, 5:10 pm

Davies is a quality 9, he hasn't just become a bad player. The last two games have hardly been top team performances.

Webb will likely gain the shirt with Davies a very able option. IMO Lloyd Williams is nowhere near test level and we certainly need to develop a few more scrumies soon.
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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 16 Feb 2016, 5:43 pm

Hasn't Webb been ruled out agin after his head injury on the weekend?

Before injury struck Davies himself he was slightly ahead of Webb then when he had his chance Webb took, likewise then during the WC Davies took his chance but as has been mentioned he's been a bit slow in the last two games.

Once Webb comes back then hopefully they will keep each other on their toes and for me they are a pair as they offer something a little bit different to each other. Webb is the more skillful I feel and has a quicker pass but Davies is a bit more aggressive and has that niggly streak a No9 needs.

I think both could work on their box kicking as feel thats the one area where both get caught out a fair bit.
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Post by True Raven Tue 16 Feb 2016, 6:02 pm

I think it's great that the next four years we have some quality scrum halves that aren't called Mike Phillips!

Webb though oozed class in his thirty minutes or so but he shouldn't be rushed back and I'm happy with g Davies seeing out the remainder of the 6 nations.

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 16 Feb 2016, 10:12 pm

The main reason for writing was to ask people's opinions about the merits of Rhodri Williams who I think is a mercurial and intelligent 9 Headscratch Any thoughts here

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 16 Feb 2016, 10:59 pm

I agree with you on GD but I'm confident he will come good. Whilst he's been a bit pedestrian he is still playing pretty well. Brynmoor V2 was and still average.

I couldn't agree with you more on Aled Davies, I've no idea why he's even rated. Rhodri Williams is certainly the better player, but hasn't lived up to his early promise; mind you he won't at the Scarlets seeing as they actually rate 9's like Aled and Tavis Knoyle. Hopefully the move to a 'promoted' Bristol does him good.

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Post by exile jack Wed 17 Feb 2016, 9:01 am

Don't know why Rhodri fell out of favour at the Scarlets.Was it form,fitness,attitude or some other reason.Always struck me as being in the mode of a SH 9 but NH rugby seems often to prefer a less rapid service from the base.Going to Bristol seems courageous if Bristol don't yet again get promotion to the Aviva P.They should do which will be great for Rhodri unless Bristol have a London Welsh experience.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 17 Feb 2016, 10:10 am

So far some agreement on Rhodri and the surprise that Aled has somehow been elevated thumbsup - Davies and Webb are both class I think we all know that thumbsup

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Post by maestegmafia Wed 17 Feb 2016, 10:14 am

Gareth Davies has a superb pass, add to that his speed and he has all the basics for greatness.

Not really sure why Scarlets have preferred Aled over rhodri and Gareth in so many games..? Of the three Aled is my least favourite.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 17 Feb 2016, 10:23 am

It's a nice position to be in. For what it's worth, all players being fit and on form, I would start the game with Rhys Webb and use Gareth Davies for impact.

Webb strikes me as the cleverer player and better suited when the game is tight and defences are full of beans. Davies strikes me as the better option once the game is openning up, and his pace can really come to the fore.

I deride the Welsh fans on a frequent basis for overrating their players, but both these guys are class and would be inked in to my Lions squad next year.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 17 Feb 2016, 10:34 am

The Scarlets have (well for the rest of the season) Gareth, Aled and Rhodri. So unfortunately that means one of them is always going to miss out.

Gareth is the better sniping, attacking type of scrum half. He is a bit of a terrier, and a bit abrasive. Of the three he is unarguably the best in of the bunch for that type of play. Aled is more of a distributing scrum half, who is there to whip the ball out as fast as possible and leave the fly half and centres to play, and again of the three he is the best at that style of play. Rhodri is more of a jack of all trades, master of none. He is better at the pain in the ring style scrum half stuff than Aled, and better at the faster delivery than Cawdor, but sadly not the best at either (compared to the other too). So he has been the player to miss out as when we turn to the bench for a player to change up the style, Rhodri doesn't offer as much of a variation in style.

I am really sad to see him go. It seems that Rhodri is going to be the latest Scarlet scrum half to have been hit by the curse of getting capped when not featuring for Wales too regulrly (like Martun Roberts, and Tavis Knoyle before him). What makes me really sad about him leaving is that over the last month or so I would have him above Aled in the pecking order.
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Post by LordDowlais Wed 17 Feb 2016, 11:03 am

One of the most promising scrum halves in Wales was left to go to Bath, tragic, how or why he was not offered a DC, or extra to either stay is beggars belief, I watched him single handily rip Ulster apart at Rodney Parade last season, it's a shame is now warming the bench in England.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 17 Feb 2016, 11:45 am

LordDowlais wrote:One of the most promising scrum halves in Wales was left to go to Bath, tragic, how or why he was not offered a DC, or extra to either stay is beggars belief, I watched him single handily rip Ulster apart at Rodney Parade last season, it's a shame is now warming the bench in England.

Are you talking about Jonny Evans? He was down the pecking order, fourth or fifth choice, hence not offered a NDC (plus he was playing for the wrong region). He was about 1-2 years off being capable of Wales duty too. It's just a shame you don't watch more rugby otherwise you would have known this.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 17 Feb 2016, 11:51 am

Mikey - You are to Diplomacy what the English are to Humility Yahoo Yahoo laughing thumbsup

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 17 Feb 2016, 12:02 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:One of the most promising scrum halves in Wales was left to go to Bath, tragic, how or why he was not offered a DC, or extra to either stay is beggars belief, I watched him single handily rip Ulster apart at Rodney Parade last season, it's a shame is now warming the bench in England.

Are you talking about Jonny Evans? He was down the pecking order, fourth or fifth choice, hence not offered a NDC (plus he was playing for the wrong region). He was about 1-2 years off being capable of Wales duty too. It's just a shame you don't watch more rugby otherwise you would have known this.


Give it a rest Mikey, he was 22yrs old when he signed for Bath and he was batter at that age when Webb was 22. Webb was also down the pecking order at Ospreys but look how he has blossomed, and what is this "wrong region" rubbish ? Dragons would have done well to keep hold of him and develop him, at about 26yrs old he would have been knocking on the door. 

I was at the Ulster game last season and was talking to the fans down there, and they were saying how gutted they were that he was going at the end of the season as he had the potential to be a very good player for Dragons and Wales, so perhaps your very own fans do not watch a lot of rugby either then ?

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 17 Feb 2016, 12:07 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:One of the most promising scrum halves in Wales was left to go to Bath, tragic, how or why he was not offered a DC, or extra to either stay is beggars belief, I watched him single handily rip Ulster apart at Rodney Parade last season, it's a shame is now warming the bench in England.

Are you talking about Jonny Evans? He was down the pecking order, fourth or fifth choice, hence not offered a NDC (plus he was playing for the wrong region). He was about 1-2 years off being capable of Wales duty too. It's just a shame you don't watch more rugby otherwise you would have known this.

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Post by Shifty Fri 26 Feb 2016, 4:20 pm

Wales ALWAYS produce a shed load of scrum halves, so don't worry.
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Post by RubyGuby Mon 29 Feb 2016, 3:16 pm

Shifty wrote:Wales ALWAYS produce a shed load of scrum halves, so don't worry.  

Yeah but it depends on which shed you get them from Shifty - There's a shed full of Tavis Knoyles, Lloyd Williams's and Gareth Cooper's and another shed full of Rhys Webb's, Gareth Davies's and Mike Phillip's. Sometimes they send Howley out to the shed in the dark before a game to pick one thumbsup

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 29 Feb 2016, 11:27 pm

Davies has improved as I expected, but I'd like to see Webb come back into the squad and take the place of Williams.

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Post by Gwlad Tue 01 Mar 2016, 12:51 am

Agree we need Webb back….at the other end of the spectrum is Charteris likely to be fit?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 01 Mar 2016, 12:13 pm

LordDowlais wrote:One of the most promising scrum halves in Wales was left to go to Bath, tragic, how or why he was not offered a DC, or extra to either stay is beggars belief

Who says he wasn't offered more to stay?

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Post by munkian Tue 01 Mar 2016, 1:48 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:One of the most promising scrum halves in Wales was left to go to Bath, tragic, how or why he was not offered a DC, or extra to either stay is beggars belief

Who says he wasn't offered more to stay?

Exactly, maybe he saw more chance for silverware at Bath - obviously he got that one wrong laughing
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Post by Shifty Wed 02 Mar 2016, 8:07 am

RubyGuby wrote:
Shifty wrote:Wales ALWAYS produce a shed load of scrum halves, so don't worry.  

Yeah but it depends on which shed you get them from Shifty - There's a shed full of Tavis Knoyles, Lloyd Williams's and Gareth Cooper's and another shed full of Rhys Webb's, Gareth Davies's and Mike Phillip's. Sometimes they send Howley out to the shed in the dark before a game to pick one thumbsup

That' fair but we do seem to produce an inordinate amount of world class scrum halves, certainly when compared to any other position on the field. It's not unusual to have at least 2 quality ones fighting it out. Even during the 90's we had Robert Jones, Robert Howley, Paul John, Andy Moore, and Rupert Moon fighting it out. Each of them had their merits. I can't ever see a situation where Wales are going to be struggling to find a decent scrum half.
Even Tavis Knoyle has come off the bench and put a good game together, he just doesn't do it when he stars, he's an impact player.
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Post by RubyGuby Wed 02 Mar 2016, 9:57 am

Tavis is a Glynneath product they always produce class players Very Happy angel

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Post by Shifty Wed 02 Mar 2016, 10:54 am

RubyGuby wrote:Tavis is a Glynneath product they always produce class players Very Happy angel

And Max Boyce too Hug
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Mar 2016, 10:58 am

Shifty wrote:
RubyGuby wrote:
Shifty wrote:Wales ALWAYS produce a shed load of scrum halves, so don't worry.  

Yeah but it depends on which shed you get them from Shifty - There's a shed full of Tavis Knoyles, Lloyd Williams's and Gareth Cooper's and another shed full of Rhys Webb's, Gareth Davies's and Mike Phillip's. Sometimes they send Howley out to the shed in the dark before a game to pick one thumbsup

That' fair but we do seem to produce an inordinate amount of world class scrum halves, certainly when compared to any other position on the field.  It's not unusual to have at least 2 quality ones fighting it out.  Even during the 90's we had Robert Jones, Robert Howley, Paul John, Andy Moore, and Rupert Moon fighting it out.  Each of them had their merits.   I can't ever see a situation where Wales are going to be struggling to find a decent scrum half.  
Even Tavis Knoyle has come off the bench and put a good game together, he just doesn't do it when he stars, he's an impact player.

A few have been world class, but not many.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:26 am

Even Tavis Knoyle.... Oh dear picard

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Post by Shifty Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:33 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Shifty wrote:
RubyGuby wrote:
Shifty wrote:Wales ALWAYS produce a shed load of scrum halves, so don't worry.  

Yeah but it depends on which shed you get them from Shifty - There's a shed full of Tavis Knoyles, Lloyd Williams's and Gareth Cooper's and another shed full of Rhys Webb's, Gareth Davies's and Mike Phillip's. Sometimes they send Howley out to the shed in the dark before a game to pick one thumbsup

That' fair but we do seem to produce an inordinate amount of world class scrum halves, certainly when compared to any other position on the field.  It's not unusual to have at least 2 quality ones fighting it out.  Even during the 90's we had Robert Jones, Robert Howley, Paul John, Andy Moore, and Rupert Moon fighting it out.  Each of them had their merits.   I can't ever see a situation where Wales are going to be struggling to find a decent scrum half.  
Even Tavis Knoyle has come off the bench and put a good game together, he just doesn't do it when he stars, he's an impact player.

A few have been world class, but not many.

A few have been legendary, lots have been world class.  
Dwayne Peel, Robert Howley, Robert Jones, Terry Holmes, Mike Phillips.  

Put it this way, look at every Lions tour since the 70's.  How many of the first choice scrum halves, have not been Welsh?
Dewi Morris in 1993?  Though again he's as English as a Welsh cake!    laughing
Matt Dawson 1997? Fair point but Howley was nailed on and he had a shoulder injury on that tour.

2013 - Mike Phillips 2 tests.
2009 - Mike Phillips 3 tests
2005 - Dwayne Peel 3 tests
2001 - Robert Howley - played 2 tests, then injured
1997 - Robert Howley injured before first test, Dawson replaces him
1993 - Dewi Morris 3 tests
1989 - Robert Jones 3 tests
1983 - Terry Holmes - started first test, suffered injury which put him out of tour
1980 - Patterson of Ireland started all the games.
1977 - Brynmor Williams first 3 tests, injured in 4th test
1974 - Gareth Edwards
1971 - Gareth Edwards
1968 - Gareth Edwards
1966 Allan Lewis 3 tests
 
Well you kinds get the idea...

Even Dai Llewellyn of Ebbw Vale was asked if he wanted to make himself available for New Zealand when he went to play out there in the off season.  Not bad really!

Surely only the tri nations team are the competition and it's fair to say if your a test Lion your amongst the top few players in the world in that position?  It's fair isn't it, because in theory your already above the other 4 British teams.


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:43 am

Okay, seven world-class scrum halves since 1968. I'm not sure that counts as an inordinate number.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:49 am

Agreed - 9 has never been an issue for Wales and the Lions record neatly demonstrates that. I strongly suspect that both Webb and Davies will make the next tour as well.

Of course 9 has been a position of rare strength in Scottish rugby as well. Even one of our worst scrum halves of the last 20 years, Andy Nicol, made a Lions tour and won the European Cup.

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Post by Blueschief Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:54 am

Speaking of classy scrum halves, Dwayne Peel has announced his retirement due to a shoulder injury and has gone into coaching at Bristol. Now there's a fine rugby brain which will add to the admittedly poor choice of Welsh coaches.

Good luck Mr Peel thumbsup

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Post by Shifty Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:58 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Okay, seven world-class scrum halves since 1968. I'm not sure that counts as an inordinate number.

inordinate - I meant the term in comparison to other positions on the field, Can you think of lots of World Class lock forwards we have produced for example? You can't pick Alun Wyn Jones (too easy), so name me two more of real world class quality.
Certainly Wales produces Scrum Halves, Fly Halves, and Wings of quality, but forwards were pretty low on frankly.
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Post by Shifty Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:59 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Agreed - 9 has never been an issue for Wales and the Lions record neatly demonstrates that. I strongly suspect that both Webb and Davies will make the next tour as well.

Of course 9 has been a position of rare strength in Scottish rugby as well. Even one of our worst scrum halves of the last 20 years, Andy Nicol, made a Lions tour and won the European Cup.

Arguing with my compatriots and getting support off a Scot! Hug
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:01 pm

Shifty wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Okay, seven world-class scrum halves since 1968. I'm not sure that counts as an inordinate number.

inordinate - I meant the term in comparison to other positions on the field, Can you think of lots of World Class lock forwards we have produced for example?  You can't pick Alun Wyn Jones (too easy), so name me two more of real world class quality.  
Certainly Wales produces Scrum Halves, Fly Halves, and Wings of quality, but forwards were pretty low on frankly.    

We could do with more strength in depth at wing at the moment. Thanks for the clarification, though Smile


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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:01 pm

Shifty wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Okay, seven world-class scrum halves since 1968. I'm not sure that counts as an inordinate number.

inordinate - I meant the term in comparison to other positions on the field, Can you think of lots of World Class lock forwards we have produced for example?  You can't pick Alun Wyn Jones (too easy), so name me two more of real world class quality.  
Certainly Wales produces Scrum Halves, Fly Halves, and Wings of quality, but forwards were pretty low on frankly.    

Hmmm, as a neutral I'd opt for Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins as the two best examples in recent times who could lay claim to belonging in that rarified category.

I thought about Scott Quinnell as well, but in the company of Brooke, Dallaglio, Parisse et al I'd stop short of going that far.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:03 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Okay, seven world-class scrum halves since 1968. I'm not sure that counts as an inordinate number.

inordinate - I meant the term in comparison to other positions on the field, Can you think of lots of World Class lock forwards we have produced for example?  You can't pick Alun Wyn Jones (too easy), so name me two more of real world class quality.  
Certainly Wales produces Scrum Halves, Fly Halves, and Wings of quality, but forwards were pretty low on frankly.    

Hmmm, as a neutral I'd opt for Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins as the two best examples in recent times who could lay claim to belonging in that rarified category.

I thought about Scott Quinnell as well, but in the company of Brooke, Dallaglio, Parisse et al I'd stop short of going that far.

Sorry, just realised you were talking about locks. In which case, other than arguments to be made for AMJ, I'd say zero.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:04 pm

**Just seen it has been posted already**


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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:07 pm

Blueschief wrote:Speaking of classy scrum halves, Dwayne Peel has announced his retirement due to a shoulder injury and has gone into coaching at Bristol. Now there's a fine rugby brain which will add to the admittedly poor choice of Welsh coaches.

Good luck Mr Peel thumbsup

He really should have seen far more rugby for Wales. He has been coaching at the Scarlets age grade (I believe U16s) this season, so hopefully he will be given some time to learn the trade and then get his chance higher up, because as you say he has a brilliant rugby brain.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:15 pm

I always rated Peel highly. I like scrum halves who do the basics of the role really well, and Peel was one of those. Lovely kicking game from the base as well.

Agree with ScarletSpiderman - you'd think he'd be tailor made for coaching.

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Post by chris_501 Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:25 pm

One of my all time favourites. Never seemed to make poor decisions (apart from moving to England). Could easily have won over 100 caps, and relegated Phillips to an impact sub.

I can see it now, Peel and Stephen Jones in tandem again at the Scarlets, win the Champions Cup in 2017,2018 and 2019, just in time to take over Team Wales from Gats after the World Cup........

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Post by Blueschief Wed 02 Mar 2016, 12:45 pm

According to the BBC article I read, he's staying at Bristol helping with coaching duties til the end of the season, so I assume he's seeing out his contract. Glad he's already involved at the Scarlets, would be a shame to waste such a talent. Scarlets will be a great side next season, already showing signs of it this season.

He should have had 100+ caps for Wales, it's a travesty.

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Post by exile jack Wed 02 Mar 2016, 1:01 pm

Blueschief wrote:According to the BBC article I read, he's staying at Bristol helping with coaching duties til the end of the season, so I assume he's seeing out his contract. Glad he's already involved at the Scarlets, would be a shame to waste such a talent. Scarlets will be a great side next season, already showing signs of it this season.

He should have had 100+ caps for Wales, it's a travesty.

Well said Blueschief,DP should have been treated much better by the Wales coaching team.Best wishes to DP for the future and,thanks.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 02 Mar 2016, 1:25 pm

Another example of a player making a wrong move to develop his career - great shame as there was so much he could have offered. Young players beware you're next move thumbsup

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Mar 2016, 2:02 pm

chris_501 wrote:One of my all time favourites. Never seemed to make poor decisions (apart from moving to England). Could easily have won over 100 caps, and relegated Phillips to an impact sub.

I can see it now, Peel and Stephen Jones in tandem again at the Scarlets, win the Champions Cup in 2017,2018 and 2019, just in time to take over Team Wales from Gats after the World Cup........

Hang on, Dai Young's next in line!

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 02 Mar 2016, 2:41 pm

RubyGuby wrote:Another example of a player making a wrong move to develop his career - great shame as there was so much he could have offered. Young players beware you're next move thumbsup

Yeah he should have sold himself out and join Kerdiff like Howler wanted.
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Post by Shifty Thu 03 Mar 2016, 11:10 am

We probably need a definition of World Class to solve the debate. Shall we say World class is being in the top 3-5 players in that position currently playing in the world?
In which case it's fair to say that if your the current Lions first choice scrum half your probably in the top 5 at the very least.
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