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Wales - 2019/20 - Pivac, Grand Slams, and beyond - Post-RWC '19 and 2020 6Ns build up

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 7:11 pm

First topic message reminder :

Wales' 2020 Six Nations Squad:

Forwards (21)

Rhys Carre (Saracens) (6 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (36 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (22 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (29 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (9 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (73 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (6 Caps)
WillGriff John (Sale) (*uncapped)
Dillon Lewis (Blues) (22 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (42 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (20 Caps)
Seb Davies (Blues) (7 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (134 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
Will Rowlands (Wasps) (*uncapped)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (24 Caps)
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (26 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (72 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (41 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Blues) (23 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Osprey) (72 Caps)

Backs (17)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (51 Caps)
Rhys Webb (Toulon) (31 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Blues) (16 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton) (79 Caps)
Owen Williams (Gloucester) (3 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Blues) (3 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (25 Caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens) (*uncapped)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (22 Caps)
George North (Ospreys) (91 Caps)
Josh Adams (Blues) (21 Caps)
Owen Lane (Blues) (2 Caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (*uncapped)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (*uncapped)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers) (3 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (85 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (62 Caps)

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 10:03 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:

The argument that the third place game is a bit pointless is fair enough. But I do think the "poor dears being expected to play an extra game" is a bit overegged, imagine what its like for those who have to play in the final and actually try. Theres many games in the season that are a bit pointless, including part of the group stages. Yes Pot 4 teams are pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things, yet all we hear is clamours for more teams and more games. And that players are overworked. The that Australia and New Zealand are playing 16 extra tests in Hong Kong and Japan.




My problem is this pointless dead rubber counts as double points and then only 12 months later world cup seeding takes place. It punishes a team that reaches the semi final but then might struggle the season after, as you'd expect touring New Zealand. It's now very unlikely Wales will be top seeds again because England are on a development tour, Ireland play Australia who are beatable etc. The IRU will never stop  it being double points because they will be admitting it's a nothing game when instead they want it to be a big corporate event. That's my issue. Double points and doubling up losing so close to the seeding for next time. Wales will probably have to beat two tier 1 teams in the autumn to seed now. Seems harsh.

But...,  

Well, firstly, ranking does matter for... well let's all be honest here, kudos.  

Knowing you are first, second or third in the world rankings is better than being aware that you are tenth, fifteenth or twentieth.  It just does.  Most fans seem to deny this and outwardly downgrade the ranking system but honestly - they much prefer being higher than lower.
So ranking has emotional meaning in its own right and being a little annoyed with ranking is a legit fan emotion - but seeding?  
Seeding is a more meaningless concept than ranking.  

If you go to a WC with genuine (I emphasise Genuine) thoughts of winning it then what does it matter who you play in a pool?  
Form is transitory.
And just because you might be a lower seeded side going into a WC based on official number crunching that might come all the way from a 3rd place playoff game in the preceding WC, that doesn't automatically mean you are a lower quality side at the actual event.  (Hello Japan!)
You might at that point be recognised as the strongest side in your pool - despite having one or two sides officially ranked above you.  
If you think you can win a WC then you think you can beat the best.  When you meet them shouldn't matter.

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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 8:02 pm

I have to disagree Fly. Who you play in the pool means everything, particularly for teams that aren't New Zealand and South Africa.

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Post by Guest on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 9:08 pm

There was some very good rugby on show by Wales today. Three big issues though, defence in general, the breakdown and the scrums. Scrums are hit and miss these days but Ireland will suffocate us if we concede penalties again like that. The breakdown and defence looks like a work in progress. Stephen Jones is 10x the attack coach that Rob Howley was, sorry. Some of those moves were beautiful. Nice way to start the tournament with Italy and a grand slam isn't out of the question, but need to be tougher up front.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 9:05 pm

Glenn Delney set to replace Mooar at Wales' prime Region. Seems like laziness tbh a la Clarke with 'spreys.

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Post by Guest on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 10:32 am

Warren Gatland's Chiefs have beaten the Crusaders e.g. the best club team in the world by 25-15. Gatland v Robertson for the All Blacks job. An early win for Gatland.

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Post by Guest on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 7:54 am

Pivac is talking about handling errors. The worry as I see it is that Wales will lose their toughness now and can't win ugly anymore like Gatland prioritised. Pivac's tactics rely on the best players being at their best. Gatland was about making the most out of ordinary players and making the most talented players play within themselves until they really needed to. I can see Pivac's tactics leading to Wales beating the All Blacks in a one off game but I don't think Wales will win a six nations under him as all it takes is one bad game and that's it. A bit like New Zealand learned in the world cup. It's about getting the job done not outplaying the opposition.

Are Wales going to be the new Scotland?

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:01 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:Warren Gatland's Chiefs have beaten the Crusaders e.g. the best club team in the world by 25-15. Gatland v Robertson for the All Blacks job. An early win for Gatland.

Yes Gats has started well, but then again the Crusaders are well used to slow starts and timing the finals runs better than anyone. Gats is using his ABs well off the bench, winning both matches from behind so far. Saders will get stronger. They always do.

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Post by Guest on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:18 am

That is classic Gatland. Grind them down and win the final quarter. Drop goals and tries from mauls. I wonder what the NZ press will have to say if he wins Super Rugby.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:48 am

The Oracle wrote:Why don't the quarter final losers play off also, to determine 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th?  Makes no sense!  If it's so important to determine 3rd and 4th then why not 5th and beyond?! Headscratch  Wink

The third place match is for a Bronze medal, the rest don’t get medals Hug

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:51 am

Old Man wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Why don't the quarter final losers play off also, to determine 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th?  Makes no sense!  If it's so important to determine 3rd and 4th then why not 5th and beyond?! Headscratch  Wink

The third place match is for a Bronze medal, the rest don’t get medals Hug

Things is easy when you think about them long enough.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:56 am

yup

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:06 am

Still haven't convinced me that it's not a monumental waste of time, sorry.
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Post by Old Man on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:07 am

If a Bronze medal dosn’t convince you, then I doubt anything else will. Wink

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:10 am

Old Man wrote:If a Bronze medal dosn’t convince you, then I doubt anything else will. Wink


No, it really doesn't. Yay I got a bronze medal. For playing rugby?! Leave that for athletics.
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Post by Old Man on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:12 am

Well Wales last won a Bronze medal in 1987, so I suspect the players wouldn’t mind a momento.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:14 am

They'd probably prefer getting home to family and getting a bit of rest ahead of club games, rather than playing a dead rubber 'best losers' match!  They'll have plenty of mementos from the tournament anyway, as will those who made the quarters!
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Post by Old Man on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:18 am

I get the feeling you are speaking on behalf of Professional players, doubt all of them see it the way you do

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:24 am

Old Man wrote:I get the feeling you are speaking on behalf of Professional players, doubt all of them see it the way you do


You seem to be speaking for them too.  Do you know they were all super pumped up to play the 3rd place place off?
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Post by Old Man on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:53 am

The Oracle wrote:
Old Man wrote:I get the feeling you are speaking on behalf of Professional players, doubt all of them see it the way you do


You seem to be speaking for them too.  Do you know they were all super pumped up to play the 3rd place place off?

You are deflecting mate, I am not speaking for anyone, I merely pointed out it is for the Bronze medal

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:02 am

We'll never agree on this so I'm happy to leave it otherwise it just becomes a heated argument Hug  It's like the arguments over on the Lions thread - some people either see the value of it or they don't.  I personally don't see the value in the 3rd place place off.  It's a money spinner for the sponsors to milk another game on TV and another crowd in a stadium.  The season is long enough, it's a pointless match (in my opinion), the team finishing 4th doesn't get anything out of it (no mementos!)........just let them go home like the rest of the teams who didn't make the final! BUT......if there is worth in deciding 3rd and 4th because of world rankings, etc. then for me we shouldn't stop at 3rd and 4th, we should do like they do in 7s and have bowl and plate matches to determine the rest.  Anything else is just half-ars*d!
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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:04 am

3rd place play off is a waste of time and effort imo. We do not talk about gold or silver medals in the World
Cup - just winners and then the best losers.

It is a money exercise pure and simple.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:09 am

To be blunt, it really doesn't matter what the players want.  And I'm not being raw with your opinion, Oracle.  I'm just being raw with the fact that if they want to be Internationals then they play the games given to them.

It's the Unions that decide the overall structure of the competition between them - as in agreeing terms through negotiations through the years.  And let's face it, for now that collective is largely controlled by the influential opinions of the 6N sides plus the three big SH sides.

So someone wants the third placed games to continue - the majority of Unions it would appear.  And so who knows for example what the direct opinion is of the WRU about those 3rd place games?

One suspects all Unions consider the money.  These games still make money and get their TV audience.  That money adds to the overall income coming to the Host Nation.  And that in turn adds to their negotiating positions when it comes to those all important Hosting Proposals, Offers, Battles and Voting *cough - Ireland v France.*

Unions want money.  They want more and more of it.  They might even be listening to your suggestion of other play off games with arched eyebrows of "maybe he's on to something".  Players are loose change in the overall profitability project.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:19 am

Sure, but if we're not to comment on message boards about tournament structures, competition numbers, pool numbers, player welfare, etc., etc. then we may as well shut the boards now, yes? This is the place to debate all of this. If you're saying that the unions decide everything so the rest is not up for debate then we'll have to get access to the Union run internal message boards (they've got them, right?!) and just merely watch from afar and not take part in such discussions. Wink Would't that be boring.
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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:26 am

Do you get medals for third place in the six nations? I fancy that's what Wales are playing for now.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:32 am

No Oracle, we're engaging in that very debating richness with different views on show.  We are evidence of this being a healthy debating chamber... Wink

But my point about players v fans v Unions in terms of that third place game.  I don't need that game.  I usually don't really watch it.  But then I've never needed to watch it as I didn't ever have a vested interest in it.  But the same people who might be against that third place game are sometimes the people who defend their Unions looking for every drop of money from all avenues that might offer if up.  It's a Professional game - no time for sentiment and all that stuff.

The fans don't seem to have much time for the third place game although I'm certain Welsh fans would still be ready to take a win there into their cherished record books.  
Fans don't want the games - it seems - but their Unions do.  Cold, functional, money professionalism.  And in the end, more money Does actually assist Welsh teams, as an example, to actually do well in the competitions.  So it goes round and round.

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Post by Guest on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 11:42 am

I think the bronze medal match will not be looked forward to by players at the time but if that is the highest success a player has in his career then as an old man he will value the medal in a way memories just don't compare. Not saying one is better than the other but it has its place. If England don't win the world cup then Itoje will be proud of that silver medal in time even if he was disappointed on the day.

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Post by Guest on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 11:54 am

Anyway I am srry to say that everything about that game was what I and two friends of mine discussed at length when Pivac got the job last year. I just wonder if Pivac's philosophy with Shaun Edward's defensive attitude might not have been the perfect middle ground needed after Gatland. But the effort and game awareness on show yesterday, particularly once Biggar went off, was very poor. It was very basic rugby from Ireland and we've seen it all before. Kick to the corner and pressure the set piece. Wales obliged with weak defence allowing them tries within a few phases. What a sliding doors moment not hiring Shaun Edwards might prove to be. The WRU should have kept him at all costs. Wales without discipline and fear are a second rate team.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:44 pm

Good news Matt Protheroe of Brizzle and Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell are said to be on Ospreys’ radar both out of contract end of season

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:59 pm

I didn't think Reffell would move on but yes that's good news for Ospreys. Their 7's behind Tipuric aren't very good. Reffell will be able to slot right in given his number of first team appearances for Tigers, not so sure about Protheroe though but he has to be better than Price.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:13 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote:That is classic Gatland. Grind them down and win the final quarter. Drop goals and tries from mauls. I wonder what the NZ press will have to say if he wins Super Rugby.

I'm picking him to win 3rd/4th playoff...no wait...we don't have one... Doh

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:35 pm

Wouldn't surprise me if Chiefs won three titles during the next four years, the NZRU are probably hoping for at least two (from Gatland's Chiefs).

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Post by Old Man on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:37 pm

Taylorman wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:That is classic Gatland. Grind them down and win the final quarter. Drop goals and tries from mauls. I wonder what the NZ press will have to say if he wins Super Rugby.

I'm picking him to win 3rd/4th playoff...no wait...we don't have one... Doh

Its a shame though, isn’t it? laughing

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 7:44 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Wouldn't surprise me if Chiefs won three titles during the next four years, the NZRU are probably hoping for at least two (from Gatland's Chiefs).

Why? I’m sure they’d prefer the Blues as a sign that the strongest grassroots region is back to full strength.

Chiefs are looking good, Boshier looks AB destined. Gats has a long way to go and being down both times at half time will be a concern, especially if injuries hit, and with the Chiefs, that is usually more likely for some reason. They’ve had awful years with injuries.

Anyway, Pivac like Gats have a way to go before they can be assessed more reliably.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 7:53 am

So 2 from Chiefs and 2 from Blues then.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 8:03 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I didn't think Reffell would move on but yes that's good news for Ospreys. Their 7's behind Tipuric aren't very good. Reffell will be able to slot right in given his number of first team appearances for Tigers, not so sure about Protheroe though but he has to be better than Price.

He’s a raw talent a bit like a young Sam Davies but he has the skills and pace. Been playing well at Brizzle

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 11:38 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:So 2 from Chiefs and 2 from Blues then.

Sold to that man there... thumbsup

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Post by Guest on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 7:13 pm

Eventhough he might be right I am not the only one who is worried about Pivac criticising referees in the post match press conferences. He does not have the respect and leeway Gatland did to use referees this way and the media will quickly turn on him if he overdoes it. He is learning what it is like to be in the spotlight and at the moment Wales don't look up to test rugby under him. A bit more honesty about why Wales have dominated possession and field position for the second game running and repeatedly failed to score tries is the bigger issue than refs at the moment. Apart from the yellow card penalty try, whcih was the touch judge's mistake, I thought the referee was excellent particularly in his first game at this level.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:22 am

Gats Chiefs just got pummeled by an oz side so jury's still out I guess. Can't win em all I guess.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:45 am

Taylorman wrote:Gats Chiefs just got pummeled by an oz side so jury's still out I guess. Can't win em all I guess.

His facial acrobatics must have been good for that one; - that classic Mafia boss expression he pulls when the boss learns he's been doublecrossed by his sister's husband and has decided a car boot holiday for the schmuck as the only solution.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 11:37 am

SecretFly wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Gats Chiefs just got pummeled by an oz side so jury's still out I guess. Can't win em all I guess.

His facial acrobatics must have been good for that one; - that classic Mafia boss expression he pulls when the boss learns he's been doublecrossed by his sister's husband and has decided a car boot holiday for the schmuck as the only solution.


"Say hello to my little friend" (Shane Williams!) - That was the mafia 'hit' he used to pull on his foes at the start of his Wales tenure.
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 1:37 pm

Laugh

Yeah, the smiling assassin. "First I gonna keel you, but only a little bit; then I'm gonna........."

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Post by Guest on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 2:33 pm

Taylorman wrote:Gats Chiefs just got pummeled by an oz side so jury's still out I guess. Can't win em all I guess.

He's a Kiwi again now. Although you really should know he wins the big games and loses the small games.

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Post by Taylorman on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:32 am

Yes, I really should...like the 3 BIG world cups matches, the BIG Lions decider in 2017...oh, there was the BIG Oz Lions decider. Can't recall any other BIG matches. thumbsup

Anyway, its all a learning curve. I mentioned here earlier that getting behind early every match will be an issue even if he manages to get the strong bench scoring late. Well, here they got 26-0 down, sides know theyre more likely to win if they pile the points on early, so he'll have to balance things better.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:50 am

To be fair the Brumbies put 54 points on the Chiefs last season so the recent loss is a big improvement on that.

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Post by Taylorman on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 9:38 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:To be fair the Brumbies put 54 points on the Chiefs last season so the recent loss is a big improvement on that.

Yes a lot of improvements on last year, its just this need for heavy finishing thats a bit out of whack, all four matches have had it, two needed it. Getting DMac back is definitely the big plus and Cruden has slotted in nicvely as well.

Good to see Gats insisting DMac is a fullback and for me a Beaudy / Mo'unga 10 DMac at 15 is the best option.

After everythings settled I'd prefer gats at ABs now ahead of Foster and all ego's aside would have Razor, Joseph and Tony Brown as assistants of some sort. Gats giving way to one of the 3 after next world cup.

Instead we have this tall poppy thing where we end up with 'the establishment' taking charge. For me the knockout selections although supported by most at the time while winning, reflected a knee jerk and over confident attitude that was based on a couple of months of highlights rather than sound planning. It hinted at a need for a new direction, not a regurgitation of the same.

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Post by Cyril on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 10:14 pm

That’s a bit of a 180!

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Post by Taylorman on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 11:58 pm

yeah well look what we ended up with. I was never big Foster fan and we dont have Rennie nor Joseph nor razor so if its back up All Blacks coach with not a great Super record or a head coach who could bring something new why not.

Just odd we end up with what we have when we have so many with far more potential. Gats isnt in that group but I think would be a better option for the next four years.

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Post by Cyril on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 12:09 am

Good luck with that. Like you say, Taylor, defence is the new king.

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Post by Guest on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 4:21 pm

I think a question many people asked this time last year was 'would Pivac have got the job if we waited until the end of the season'?

My question would now be 'if Pivac isn't up to the job who is'? At the moment the only possible Welsh coach who is in any way qualified for the job is Dai Young.

None of the regions have a Welsh head coach and that will be true again next season as 2 new coaches come in. We have several good assistants by the looks of things but there is a real lack of quality at the head coach level.

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Post by Taylorman on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 10:08 pm

Early days. Gats lost his first 9 tests to tier one sides with Ireland before he won one and finished on nearly 50% with a team that had few highlights. With Wales Gats has been fortunate to have many very good World class players.

Gats was very uninspiring early on but he grew on people. Pivac enteres a much more competitive environment so will have his challenges so its simply a matter of wait and see while he tries things until he finds his formula...or doesnt.

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