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Six nations final standings predictions?

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:10 am

So how do you think your beloved nation will fair this time round. We have already had a few predictions on the boards this week. Let’s see people nail their colours to the mast for the opening weekend is not far away now. I’ve managed to find a few quotes by different posters from the different nations on their thoughts of their own team or their opponents.

It’s not easy to find many posts where people lay down their cards, hence wanting to see where people’s thoughts on the final standings might be.

First up we have Wales welcoming Italy to Cardiff. The bookies have Wales picked to come third overall and Italy to grab another wooden spoon but both teams have new coaches and there are a few elements of change ahead in their squads and their philosophies. The fans are a mix in wales on the prospective good fortune of a new rugby ethos and the limitation of being a tiny nation fighting against giants. “That's what Pivac will be dealing with in the next 2-3 years as Jon Davies, Biggar, AWJ, Halfpenny etc. wind down and retire. There are some good prospects coming through, but particularly in the midfield, we look weak...” Wales  and their coaches will need to make an impressive start to this campaign, while Italy have nothing to lose and a growing pool of talent.

Next we have Ireland entertaining Scotland in Dublin. After both nations fans likely feel a little underwhelmed post RWC2019, maybe now is the time to set the record straight. Ireland have changed their head coach, will they change their squad...? Scotland have some exciting players but can they get them enough ball to do the damage they need to win....? The bookies have Ireland to come second Scotland to come fourth. There is some jubilant wise old Irish heads stating “I'm calling it, 2020 will be a good year ..” the Scots are off to Spain for a pre six nations training camp maybe They can rectify a few faults as one fan said “This squad has a soft underbelly which has been exposed time and again. It needs mentally tough individuals who refuse to lie down to anyone / thing.”

England make the trip to Paris first up on Sunday the 2nd of February. It all depends which French team turns up for any encounter against the French but in this case they have new coaches 19 new players all uncapped as well as new kit and a new pair of boots. There is plenty to ponder on. Though it looks like they are being written off. One young upstart has already written off the French on these boards stating “4th/5th finish for them in the 6Ns. They’re just lucky that Italy are utterly dire and getting worse year on year.”...! Will his words ring true or may Monday the third of February see un peu des oeuf sur son visage...?


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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:19 am

If Scotland get fourth I think we'd be doing surprisingly well. This could well be a spoon year depending on whether Italy decide to have a good crack as this is the weakest we've looked in a long time, plus new coaching staff = unsettled camp.

I did initially think England but they may have a bit of a world cup hangover. Plus the uncertainty around EJ's future won't help. Should have enough for 2nd though but really should be aiming to win it.

I really think France will win it this year. They are still relatively under the radar but have enough power in the bank to snatch it. They looked good pre and during the world cup and will be a very tough side to beat. Bar one stupid mistake they should have got past Wales in the WC, who knows, they may have even beaten SA given the chance.  

Talking of Wales... Another dark horse. Will be interesting to see Pivac's impact, whether they go towards a more freeflowing style or stick with Gatland's plan until he's more settled. Either way they could do well, as they usually do, this 6Ns.

Ireland will put in a solid tournament but I can't see them getting higher than third unless Farrell has a trick up his sleeve.
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Post by maestegmafia on Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:11 am

I agree I think France are an interesting prospect, the sleeping Giant of the six nations. Many reasons why it’s not clicked. New coaches could, should be, just what the players need to play to their potential. Shaun Edwards and Fabienne Galthie have a good record.
Their first opponents on the back of making it to the RWC final also have a number of changes to their back room staff, Jones and Mitchell are there but not for a full RWC cycle and RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has said the union are in no rush to extend it and will be evaluating his performance accordingly. There is no backs coach yet two weeks before the championship starts. Then there’s the forwards coach heading to Tigers, there is quite a bit up in the air.

So much pessimism from the Scots post RWC but there are some exciting elements in their squad. With a great deal of change in all their opponents squads consistency and a flavour of endeavour and creativity in their back play could see the Scots turn the tide finally.

Ireland wales new coaching teams though I imagine that there are not many retirements, despite some injuries we are likely to see some consistency in selection but maybe some changes in their game plan. This could be refreshing for fans but I think it will result in a couple of losses.

Italian teams Zebre and Treviso have had some good moments, Italy played well in the RWC, their u20s team has been in god form for a few seasons a new temporary coach in Franco Smith.. I think we will see some good play promising performances in parts but five losses in the end.

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Post by profitius on Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:29 am

Hard to call this seasons 6N.


Will England continue their good form? Did the world cup final leave any lasting damage? Will Saracens controversy have an effect on england in the short term? Long term it will I would say because they've a good thing going on at the moment.


France have 19 uncapped players. They'll be as mad as ever.


I think ireland will be good if Farrell freshens things up. Usually a new coach gives squads a boost. There's plenty of competition for places. Mike Catt is the new attack coach and he is a lot different than Schmidt so I think we'll see ireland play a more creative, attacking game, taking more risks etc.


In Wales' case it's hard to know. They're just off a very good 2019 so Pivac will be under pressure to keep the performances going. Under Pivac I think Wales will become less of a force. Gatland/Edward's had the ability to win most of the tight arm wrestles. I think Pivac is a different style coach and will play more attractive rugby but they won't win as many tight games.


Townsend has gotten some harsh criticism, a bit too harsh imo. He made mistakes but he's still a young coach. I think they can pull off a big result, just hoping it's not in the first match.


Italy is much changed too. O'Shea talked a good game but didn't give them the killer instinct so a change is no harm. I would be surprised if they do not finish bottom again.


My predicted table after the final round.

1. England
2. Ireland
3. France
4. Wales
5. Scotland
6. Italy

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Post by Cyril on Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:39 am

Italy beat Namibia and Canada and were thrashed by SA. I don’t see how it as a good World Cup for them. A very poor side, getting worse.

England to win the tournament. France, Ireland and Wales to be between 2-4 with Scotland and Italy for the final two spots.

Maestegmafia, please change the opening post so the quotes are attributed to the posters. It’s very bad form to leave them as they are. Unless it’s just a WUM? Thanks.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:44 pm

profitius wrote:Hard to call this seasons 6N.


Will England continue their good form? Did the world cup final leave any lasting damage? Will Saracens controversy have an effect on england in the short term? Long term it will I would say because they've a good thing going on at the moment.


France have 19 uncapped players. They'll be as mad as ever.


I think ireland will be good if Farrell freshens things up. Usually a new coach gives squads a boost. There's plenty of competition  for places. Mike Catt is the new attack coach and he is a lot different than Schmidt so I think we'll see ireland play a more creative, attacking game, taking more risks etc.


In Wales' case it's hard to know. They're just off a very good 2019 so Pivac will be under pressure to keep the performances going. Under Pivac I think Wales will become less of a force. Gatland/Edward's had the ability to win most of the tight arm wrestles. I think Pivac is a different style coach and will play more attractive rugby but they won't win as many tight games.


Townsend has gotten some harsh criticism, a bit too harsh imo. He made mistakes but he's still a young coach. I think they can pull off a big result, just hoping it's not in the first match.


Italy is much changed too. O'Shea talked a good game but didn't give them the killer instinct so a change is no harm. I would be surprised if they do not finish bottom again.


My predicted table after the final round.

1. England
2. Ireland
3. France
4. Wales
5. Scotland
6. Italy


Hard to call is no understatement. All teams have plenty in their favour going into the championship, even Italy..! Likewise there are plenty of negatives and unknowns that we can pick holes in.

I think the transition between coaches in Ireland and Wales should be relatively seamless as the change of hands has overlapped hopefully onwards and upwards for both.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:40 pm

I know we say this every year but it feels wide open with it being a post world cup transitional tournament.

That said Scotland and Italy are rubbish and youd be on crack to back them.
In theory France are getting better but havent tried in the 6 nations for years and are hampered by the difficulties in elite player management there.

Ireland are having a mini crisis at fly half and a few key retirees, new team new style bedding in era.
Wales are picking people off the back of cereal boxes to play for them due to their injuries, also new team in charge.

For me England are the team with the most continuity from the previous world cup cycle and the closest to knowing what their best team looks like and being able to select most of it. There will be some shake up but nothing as drastic or as forced as with the other teams.

They were the strongest NH team at the world cup and I dont see that's changed so should be favourites. But they always manage to lose to someone.

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Post by bsando on Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:27 pm

Nice post maestegmafia, I am happy to nail my colours to the mast.

Prior to France's squad announcement, I was expecting them and England to top the 6N this year, probably with England winning a GS overall. However, Galthié and his new team have selected a very young 42 man squad. Therefore, I think one of Wales or Ireland will pip them to 2nd and France will place 3rd.

England seem like the ones to beat. At their best they look incredible but they do seem to have a problem with switching off at times as a team. The contrast between their RWC Semi final and the final was quite telling. Regardless, I think they have the personnel to win a GS in 2020 and should be favourites.

Ireland could have a Fly half problem but will that impact on their game? I don't think so. They don't depend on their 10 to win games and don't play an overly elaborate attacking style of rugby. Also, they may not have a problem as Sexton seems to be nearing a return to fitness. Is he getting on though? Guess we'll find out.

Wales do look a little weak in the midfield due to injuries. However, like Ireland they have big abrasive ball carriers who can defend well and dominate up front. As GS defending champions I won't be writing them off, but think they'll place 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

Scotland, my team, I can only see doing well if they address their issues in defence and up front. Ireland away is a difficult match first up, England at home next no easier. Another 5th place finish I suspect.

Italy, I can only see them placing last, that is unless Franco Smith can find a way to get Italy playing more consistently and not leaking easy scores.

1. Eng
2. Wal
3. Fra
4. Ire
5. Sco
6. Ita


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Post by maestegmafia on Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:54 pm

Cheers Brando, interesting read mate. Thanks for the post

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Post by Mr Bounce on Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:57 pm

I think it's England's to lose this year. They have a pretty young squad who are well-drilled and know each other well. I am expecting them to start like last year's first couple of games but will this time continue the intensity throughout. France could give England a scare in the first match as they'll have little or no fear but I have a feeling that it'll take a few games for them to hit their straps. Ireland and Wales are currently troubled by injury in key positions and may struggle but Wales always up their game at this time of year.

Going by their RWC19 form, I really can't see the Scots having anything but a disappointing 6 Nations, and Italy will once again be struggling. I really think that Parisse should have hung them up after the World Cup rather than state he's only doing the home games. I get that he's a legend in Italian rugby but he's a long way from the player he once was.

My 6 Nations final standings is as follows:

1. England will still be smarting from the RWC final and will want to prove a point.
2. France (think they'll do well and surprise a few people)
3. Wales (they'll struggle with injury problems but will have their moments)
4. Ireland (injuries will hit them hard too)
5. Scotland - Townsend will step down after another poor 6 Nations
6. Italy will have their occasional moments but won't be cohesive enough.

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Post by Taylorman on Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:51 pm

Picked England, simple... by far the best 6N side in the World Cup, and knocked out the favourites. Problem with that though is, Ireland beat NZ before the last one. And flopped. England beat NZ in 2012, and badly flopped. So going against the grain here. Seems sides rise up so NZ, then forget others can also play rugby. Third time lucky?

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Post by tigertattie on Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:18 pm

England to win but no GS
Wales 2nd
Ireland 3rd
France 4th
Scotland 5th
Italy 6th

Townsend will cling on though.

Pundits will again call for Italy to be dropped for Georgia. Parisse to put in a man of the match performance in his last match but his side still lose
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Post by SecretFly on Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:35 am

Hmmm.  Crystal Ball time?  Why not - we can only be wrong - something we're experts at on 606..... Whistle Wink

So, well - I don't think France will be as convincing as some predict.  They might become more disciplined with so many uncapped players wanting to obey orders....even for the first 15 minutes of the first game at least!  
But yes, they might be a more synchronised, disciplined side but still, I think Top14 remains a big distracting shadow now in French exploits at 6N.  Do they really take 6N seriously enough as a Nation anymore?  Is there enough kudos in it for them to give full focus even if games slip away from them?  
Everyone seems to be always surprised at the upstep in performances from France at WCs.  I never am.  They do focus genuine intent on that competition.  6N, if they're good enough, might happen for them but I see too many other less disinterested sides in the competition with too much quality to just let France have it casually.  France will give one or two sides full attention, but if results don't reflect early effort, they'll probably write the competition off early and save their better selves for Top14.

Wales - I think Profitius gave a good analysis of it.  Wales have lost more than Gatland.  They've also lost another central driver of intensity in Edwards.  Beautiful rugby might be more frequent now but it's often the personality of coaches that either drives aggressive intensity through the squad or is responsible for it lacking.  Losing two long term influential coaches at once might take some time to getting used to.  But who knows, maybe a full-on beauty assault from Wales will be enough to win a Slam even easier than in the Gat years.  But like France, has Pivac enough personality punch to get Wales out of tight going-away-from-us games?

Ireland - bit like Wales.  Allegedly, by coded inferences, to be set up to perhaps be a more 'beautiful' side than in the Schmidt years but Schmidt achieved quite a lot by actually 'dumbing down' the overview.  Was he right to be more pragmatic than offering the World shallow and ineffective runaround stuff?  We're meant to get the answers during Farrell's time.  Lingering Concern might be that the team becomes visually appealing but lacking in the personnel to actually grind a game over the line when necessary.

England haven't become a bad side overnight but there are perhaps more blueprints available now to opposition coaches for gameplans that might beat them.  They'll still take a lot of energy to box in and hold off but there are seeds of hope in that SA performance.  But England still have to be favourites.  If Jones can get their smoothest and fastest rhythms going, they'll be a handful.

Scotland - has Townsend finally learned his lesson?  Well one thing is certain, he can't even attempt to throw out any media lines about 'fastest rugby' this time.  So even psychologically knowing that the media will eat him alive if he tries to pretend the WC never happened might indeed make him a dangerous beast.  He might be ready to finally admit that there is a place for boring, incremental phase play and slow-down rugby in 80 hard minutes against quality sides.  If Scotland becomes a less flighty side through 80 then I think their actual buzz periods of high intensity high jinx stuff potentially becomes more explosive and unstoppable.  Scotland have to make sides think more and try to lull teams into relaxation phases more.  But if Scotland are always on then opposition are always on too.  Cat and mouse.  Scotland have the ability to win big games.  But Townsend has to allow more guile into smart timing and pacing through 80.

So for me, I'll go
England (no Slam)
Ireland
Wales
Scotland
.....Scotland
......Wales?
France
Italy

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:51 am

SecretFly wrote:
Wales - I think Profitius gave a good analysis of it.  Wales have lost more than Gatland.  They've also lost another central driver of intensity in Edwards.  Beautiful rugby might be more frequent now but it's often the personality of coaches that either drives aggressive intensity through the squad or is responsible for it lacking.  Losing two long term influential coaches at once might take some time to getting used to.  But who knows, maybe a full-on beauty assault from Wales will be enough to win a Slam even easier than in the Gat years.  But like France, has Pivac enough personality punch to get Wales out of tight going-away-from-us games?

I agree it’s like a change of legacy but the transition has been handled well there has been a huge amount of work between the new and the old to try to make this change smoother.

Hoping for good things.

Should be similar be other Ireland?

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Post by Noble-Surfer on Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:07 pm

maetegmafia wrote:    
SecretFly wrote:

   Wales - I think Profitius gave a good analysis of it.  Wales have lost more than Gatland.  They've also lost another central driver of intensity in Edwards.  Beautiful rugby might be more frequent now but it's often the personality of coaches that either drives aggressive intensity through the squad or is responsible for it lacking.  Losing two long term influential coaches at once might take some time to getting used to.  But who knows, maybe a full-on beauty assault from Wales will be enough to win a Slam even easier than in the Gat years.  But like France, has Pivac enough personality punch to get Wales out of tight going-away-from-us games?


I agree it’s like a change of legacy but the transition has been handled well there has been a huge amount of work between the new and the old to try to make this change smoother.

Hoping for good things.

Should be similar be other Ireland?

While there will undoubtedly be changes, I am hoping that Pivac will build on the foundations laid by Gatland & Edwards, and that this will be an evolution of style, rather than a complete 'start from scratch'. If we can keep the defensive intensity that Edwards has brought, but add a wider/ faster offloading side to our game, as well the physical power game Gatland brought, it will give us the ability to switch things up when one gameplan isn't working, and hopefully make us less predictable.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:23 pm

Gatland and Edwards showed time and again that they could take players who were in struggling club sides and at times low on form themselves and mould them into a team that could compete with all but the very best (ie everyone but NZ). They introduced a winning mentality into players.

Under the departed regime Wales overachieved based on regional performances, it will be interesting to see if Pivac can do the same.


For Farrell he has the opposite problem. Leinster have a 100% record while the other 3 sides combined have won more than they have lost. For all Schmidt's achievements, and despite the one GS, I always got the feeling that Ireland were unable to deliver on the promise from the Provinces. Farrell needs to put his own stamp on theteam and perhaps start to include the players like Cooney who have been excellent this season in the XV.


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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:59 pm

tigertattie wrote:England to win but no GS
Wales 2nd
Ireland 3rd
France 4th
Scotland 5th
Italy 6th

Townsend will cling on though.

Pundits will again call for Italy to be dropped for Georgia. Parisse to put in a man of the match performance in his last match but his side still lose

That table makes the most sense. But when has the six nations been decided on what makes sense? I can only think of two tournaments that the pre tournament winner actually won in the lat decade, and that was 2012 with Wales and 2017 with England.

It all points to England, doesn't it, with Wales and Ireland at home. But I will predict Ireland will beat England, Wales will beat Ireland, and England will beat Wales. It'll be down to bonus points. Also France might just shock a few teams, particularly Ireland who rely on forward dominance. They won't get it against the French.

Predicting feels like a fools game as I think it will be a bit like the world cup - it seems to make lots of sense who the favourite is...until the game gets played, and upsets occur. England haven't strung a consistent tournament together for decades, even under Woodward they kept losing the grand slam game. If they repeat that it opens the door for other teams. Scotland could easily cause an upset or two. I don't think Italy will be up to much, unfortunately.

Just a guess...

1. Wales
2. England
3. France
4. Ireland
5. Scotland
6. Italy

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Post by BigGee on Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:00 pm

For Scotland, the start is going to be everything, if we can win at least one of our first two games and gain some confidence, then we could be in the mix. I don't expect us to win, but could be respectable mid table with 2 or 3 wins.

Lose our first 2 games to Ireland and England, which is entirely possible, even if we play well and then we are looking down the barrel of a gun again.

The early promise of the Toonie years has faded a little bit and he needs to discover that pragmatic edge that all good international teams require to go with the stardust.

Expect a few changes in the Scotland squad, a few have retired and a few more, who have not chosen to fall on their swords, won't get picked.

If you come back from the WC the way we did, then some changes are required, we have seen it with the coaches and the head mans fortunes will surely be judged a bit more harshly if he does not steady the ship very soon.

Still with so many changes to coaches and a world cup hangover in the air, it may well turn out to be an unpredictable tournament. That may be to our advantage.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:00 pm

Noble-Surfer wrote:
maetegmafia wrote:    
SecretFly wrote:

   Wales - I think Profitius gave a good analysis of it.  Wales have lost more than Gatland.  They've also lost another central driver of intensity in Edwards.  Beautiful rugby might be more frequent now but it's often the personality of coaches that either drives aggressive intensity through the squad or is responsible for it lacking.  Losing two long term influential coaches at once might take some time to getting used to.  But who knows, maybe a full-on beauty assault from Wales will be enough to win a Slam even easier than in the Gat years.  But like France, has Pivac enough personality punch to get Wales out of tight going-away-from-us games?


I agree it’s like a change of legacy but the transition has been handled well there has been a huge amount of work between the new and the old to try to make this change smoother.

Hoping for good things.

Should be similar be other Ireland?

While there will undoubtedly be changes, I am hoping that Pivac will build on the foundations laid by Gatland & Edwards, and that this will be an evolution of style, rather than a complete 'start from scratch'. If we can keep the defensive intensity that Edwards has brought, but add a wider/ faster offloading side to our game, as well the physical power game Gatland brought, it will give us the ability to switch things up when one gameplan isn't working, and hopefully make us less predictable.


Hes certainly talked up the idea of being able to implement a faster more expansive attacking style. That may require some changes in players beyond those forced on him by injury. 

I dont think you can underestimate the difference a change in coaches can make to unsettling a squad though. There are plenty of cases of a new international coach coming in and getting a bounce of course, Gatland himself won his first 6 nations. But thats more common where (as per Gatland) the coach is coming into a side thats had a bad run and off field issues. Wales are coming off a pretty successful couple of years and a very stable environment with a squad who seemed very bought into the leadership. 
The danger is there for Pivac that as a pretty inexperienced coach (compared to the likes of AWJ whos one of the top 10 greatest players ever and invented sliced bread) who's biggest credit is coaching a mediocre club side to one trophy just wont have the authority to impose himself on the team if they dont get off to a good start.

Do you know what the handover period actually entailed? It sounds great on paper but its not like they had the squad together and Gatland introduced him to the players as their new Mum. Was he just given a few months to read through the gambling regulations? Shown where the toilets are? Shown videos of when the Ospreys players weren't rubbish? 

Anyway we will see come 6 nations. I certainly wouldn't write Wales off, but i think theres some wilful optimism from some Welsh folk here. 
Its a hell of an act to follow Gatland, not quite on the scale of David Moyes but being the next man in is not going to be easy. I hope the fans don't turn on him if they don't get off to a winning start.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:51 pm

A lot of the beauty of the 6N lies in its unpredictability, and that largely stems from the range of conditions it is played in. If a team is playing a handling game in lashing rain, they could easily lose to a team that kicks them possession at every opportunity.

Despite England's tactical astuteness being exposed by Italy in 2017, they should now have enough players with nous to adapt to on-field problems (although that wasn't that apparent in the RWC final). The only thing that is predictable is that the journey to the title won't be the procession the English papers are predicting!

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:25 pm

Referees for Six Nations

Round one
Wales v Italy Luke Pearce (Eng)
Ireland v Scotland Mathieu Raynal (Fr)
France v England Nigel Owens (Wales)

Round two
Ireland v Wales Romain Poite (Fr)
Scotland v England Pascal Gaüzère (Fr)
France v Italy Andrew Brace (Ire)

Round three
Italy v Scotland Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)
Wales v France Matthew Carley (Eng)
England v Ireland Jaco Peyper (SA)

Round four
Ireland v Italy Nic Berry (Aus)
England v Wales Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)
Scotland v France Paul Williams (NZ)

Round five
Wales v Scotland Angus Gardner (Aus)
Italy v England Pascal Gaüzère (Fr)
France v Ireland Wayne Barnes (Eng)

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Post by BigGee on Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:21 pm

French refs for the first two rounds for Scotland, not sure that will do us any favours, then antipodeans for the rest of the comp!

Is Le Crunch first up going to Be Nigel's swansong?

Barnes is signing off with France v Ireland on the last day.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:23 pm

I'll wait until all the squads are announced.

I'd imagine both Wales and Ireland head coaches will stick with tried and tested players largely (with the occasional form new cap). Both coaches have massive jobs on their hands as the fans wont be happy if they don't have a good 6 nations.

France have just started a total overhaul. That lack of experience could seriously hurt them this 6 Nations. However in terms of WC2023 preparations they could end up ahead of Wales and Ireland who both will need to bring in new players as quite a few of their current top players won't make it to the next world cup.

Italy, Scotland & England could go either either route (short term or long term planning). I'll wait till I see those squads before predicting results.

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Post by Noble-Surfer on Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:31 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
Noble-Surfer wrote:
maetegmafia wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
              Wales - I think Profitius gave a good analysis of it.  Wales have lost more than Gatland.  They've also lost another central driver of intensity in Edwards.  Beautiful rugby might be more frequent now but it's often the personality of coaches that either drives aggressive intensity through the squad or is responsible for it lacking.  Losing two long term influential coaches at once might take some time to getting used to.  But who knows, maybe a full-on beauty assault from Wales will be enough to win a Slam even easier than in the Gat years.  But like France, has Pivac enough personality punch to get Wales out of tight going-away-from-us games?

       I agree it’s like a change of legacy but the transition has been handled well there has been a huge amount of work between the new and the old to try to make this change smoother.

       Hoping for good things.

       Should be similar be other Ireland?

   While there will undoubtedly be changes, I am hoping that Pivac will build on the foundations laid by Gatland & Edwards, and that this will be an evolution of style, rather than a complete 'start from scratch'. If we can keep the defensive intensity that Edwards has brought, but add a wider/ faster offloading side to our game, as well the physical power game Gatland brought, it will give us the ability to switch things up when one gameplan isn't working, and hopefully make us less predictable.

Hes certainly talked up the idea of being able to implement a faster more expansive attacking style. That may require some changes in players beyond those forced on him by injury.

I dont think you can underestimate the difference a change in coaches can make to unsettling a squad though. There are plenty of cases of a new international coach coming in and getting a bounce of course, Gatland himself won his first 6 nations. But thats more common where (as per Gatland) the coach is coming into a side thats had a bad run and off field issues. Wales are coming off a pretty successful couple of years and a very stable environment with a squad who seemed very bought into the leadership.
The danger is there for Pivac that as a pretty inexperienced coach (compared to the likes of AWJ whos one of the top 10 greatest players ever and invented sliced bread) who's biggest credit is coaching a mediocre club side to one trophy just wont have the authority to impose himself on the team if they dont get off to a good start.

Do you know what the handover period actually entailed? It sounds great on paper but its not like they had the squad together and Gatland introduced him to the players as their new Mum. Was he just given a few months to read through the gambling regulations? Shown where the toilets are? Shown videos of when the Ospreys players weren't rubbish?

Anyway we will see come 6 nations. I certainly wouldn't write Wales off, but i think theres some wilful optimism from some Welsh folk here.
Its a hell of an act to follow Gatland, not quite on the scale of David Moyes but being the next man in is not going to be easy. I hope the fans don't turn on him if they don't get off to a winning start.

I agree, Gatland's gameplan (for the most part) fitted the players he played- hard to say how much it was a case of gameplan being dictated by the players at his disposal, versus the players being picked to fit his gameplan though. I definitely think there was a subtle change in this over the years...

Yes, you can't underestimate the difference a change in coaches can make to a squad (both positive & negative). However one big difference I see now, with Gatland leaving & Pivac coming in, compared to when Gatland first joined Wales, is the change in mindset/ attitude- the level of professionalism. The Wales set up was a shambles in this respect when Gatland was appointed- players egos got too big after their first successful tournament in years under Ruddock- leading to his resignation, then Gareth Jenkins' appointment (the less said, the better), before the WRU got it right with Gatland & Edwards.

With Gatland & Edwards having been there so long, and having had a good level of success there, I get the impression that the whole ethos within the Welsh setup has become more professional, and that will hopefully be their lasting legacy.

That absolutely does not guarantee success, and I am not 'expecting' that Wales will win the six nations. However, I do believe we have the ability & mentality to, and I am hopeful that Pivac, Jones et al will be able to build on the success that Gatland & Edwards had- keeping the strengths they built, and improving the weaker areas of our game.

It's a new chapter, and we can be optimistic without being unrealistic.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:59 pm

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's tipped France to win the tournament, but then I tip France every year based on nothing more concrete than childhood memories of Sella and Blanco and Lagisquet.

If Shaun Edwards can do his thing and make them very hard to score against, then this time I really do see them having a shot. Galthie was apparently running things during the World Cup anyway so there's continuity there.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:44 pm

Wales for the Grand Slam, Ireland for the Wooden Spoon, and then the rest in whatever order.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:50 pm

Having said that, Poite for Ireland vs Wales. Ireland will just cheat at the scrum and breakdown because they'll get away with it. Poite shouldn't be reffing at this level.

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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:51 pm

I thought Paul Williams was the best ref at the world cup. Hope he replaces Ben O'Keefe who really let rugby down over the Halfpenny incident against Australia.

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Post by Guest on Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:53 pm

Noble-Surfer wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Noble-Surfer wrote:
maetegmafia wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
              Wales - I think Profitius gave a good analysis of it.  Wales have lost more than Gatland.  They've also lost another central driver of intensity in Edwards.  Beautiful rugby might be more frequent now but it's often the personality of coaches that either drives aggressive intensity through the squad or is responsible for it lacking.  Losing two long term influential coaches at once might take some time to getting used to.  But who knows, maybe a full-on beauty assault from Wales will be enough to win a Slam even easier than in the Gat years.  But like France, has Pivac enough personality punch to get Wales out of tight going-away-from-us games?

       I agree it’s like a change of legacy but the transition has been handled well there has been a huge amount of work between the new and the old to try to make this change smoother.

       Hoping for good things.

       Should be similar be other Ireland?

   While there will undoubtedly be changes, I am hoping that Pivac will build on the foundations laid by Gatland & Edwards, and that this will be an evolution of style, rather than a complete 'start from scratch'. If we can keep the defensive intensity that Edwards has brought, but add a wider/ faster offloading side to our game, as well the physical power game Gatland brought, it will give us the ability to switch things up when one gameplan isn't working, and hopefully make us less predictable.

Hes certainly talked up the idea of being able to implement a faster more expansive attacking style. That may require some changes in players beyond those forced on him by injury.

I dont think you can underestimate the difference a change in coaches can make to unsettling a squad though. There are plenty of cases of a new international coach coming in and getting a bounce of course, Gatland himself won his first 6 nations. But thats more common where (as per Gatland) the coach is coming into a side thats had a bad run and off field issues. Wales are coming off a pretty successful couple of years and a very stable environment with a squad who seemed very bought into the leadership.
The danger is there for Pivac that as a pretty inexperienced coach (compared to the likes of AWJ whos one of the top 10 greatest players ever and invented sliced bread) who's biggest credit is coaching a mediocre club side to one trophy just wont have the authority to impose himself on the team if they dont get off to a good start.

Do you know what the handover period actually entailed? It sounds great on paper but its not like they had the squad together and Gatland introduced him to the players as their new Mum. Was he just given a few months to read through the gambling regulations? Shown where the toilets are? Shown videos of when the Ospreys players weren't rubbish?

Anyway we will see come 6 nations. I certainly wouldn't write Wales off, but i think theres some wilful optimism from some Welsh folk here.
Its a hell of an act to follow Gatland, not quite on the scale of David Moyes but being the next man in is not going to be easy. I hope the fans don't turn on him if they don't get off to a winning start.

I agree, Gatland's gameplan (for the most part) fitted the players he played- hard to say how much it was a case of gameplan being dictated by the players at his disposal, versus the players being picked to fit his gameplan though. I definitely think there was a subtle change in this over the years...

Yes, you can't underestimate the difference a change in coaches can make to a squad (both positive & negative). However one big difference I see now, with Gatland leaving & Pivac coming in, compared to when Gatland first joined Wales, is the change in mindset/ attitude- the level of professionalism. The Wales set up was a shambles in this respect when Gatland was appointed- players egos got too big after their first successful tournament in years under Ruddock- leading to his resignation, then Gareth Jenkins' appointment (the less said, the better), before the WRU got it right with Gatland & Edwards.

With Gatland & Edwards having been there so long, and having had a good level of success there, I get the impression that the whole ethos within the Welsh setup has become more professional, and that will hopefully be their lasting legacy.

That absolutely does not guarantee success, and I am not 'expecting' that Wales will win the six nations. However, I do believe we have the ability & mentality to, and I am hopeful that Pivac, Jones et al will be able to build on the success that Gatland & Edwards had- keeping the strengths they built, and improving the weaker areas of our game.

It's a new chapter, and we can be optimistic without being unrealistic.

clap

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:52 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'm glad I'm not the only one who's tipped France to win the tournament, but then I tip France every year based on nothing more concrete than childhood memories of Sella and Blanco and Lagisquet.

If Shaun Edwards can do his thing and make them very hard to score against, then this time I really do see them having a shot. Galthie was apparently running things during the World Cup anyway so there's continuity there.

As Gatland said, win the first game and it could well be a grandslam

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Post by Recwatcher16 on Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:49 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Referees for Six Nations

Round one
Wales v Italy Luke Pearce (Eng)
Ireland v Scotland Mathieu Raynal (Fr)
France v England Nigel Owens (Wales)

Round two
Ireland v Wales Romain Poite (Fr)
Scotland v England Pascal Gaüzère (Fr)
France v Italy Andrew Brace (Ire)

Round three
Italy v Scotland Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)
Wales v France Matthew Carley (Eng)
England v Ireland Jaco Peyper (SA)

Round four
Ireland v Italy Nic Berry (Aus)
England v Wales Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)
Scotland v France Paul Williams (NZ)

Round five
Wales v Scotland Angus Gardner (Aus)
Italy v England Pascal Gaüzère (Fr)
France v Ireland Wayne Barnes (Eng)

Pretty unusual for one ref to get two games with the same side, Gauzere having two England matches. Jaco Peyper at Twickenham, given his performance in Cardiff last year, will be interesting - but clearly wasnt going to get French or Welsh game. The younger refs all appear to be from the SH too, which could be significant at the next RWC.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:34 am

Welshmushroom wrote:I'll wait until all the squads are announced.

I'd imagine both Wales and Ireland head coaches will stick with tried and tested players largely (with the occasional form new cap).  Both coaches have massive jobs on their hands as the fans wont be happy if they don't have a good 6 nations.

France have just started a total overhaul.  That lack of experience could seriously hurt them this 6 Nations.  However in terms of WC2023 preparations they could end up ahead of Wales and Ireland who both will need to bring in new players as quite a few of their current top players won't make it to the next world cup.

Italy, Scotland & England could go either either route (short term or long term planning).  I'll wait till I see those squads before predicting results.

France and Italy squads are out and Wales are announcing theirs on Wednesday. Not sure when the others are announcing?????

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:36 am

England's squad out on Monday once the injury updates can be completed following the last round of Europe.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:37 am

maestegmafia wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'm glad I'm not the only one who's tipped France to win the tournament, but then I tip France every year based on nothing more concrete than childhood memories of Sella and Blanco and Lagisquet.

If Shaun Edwards can do his thing and make them very hard to score against, then this time I really do see them having a shot. Galthie was apparently running things during the World Cup anyway so there's continuity there.

As Gatland said, win the first game and it could well be a grandslam

They're overdue a win in Cardiff!

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:51 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'm glad I'm not the only one who's tipped France to win the tournament, but then I tip France every year based on nothing more concrete than childhood memories of Sella and Blanco and Lagisquet.

If Shaun Edwards can do his thing and make them very hard to score against, then this time I really do see them having a shot. Galthie was apparently running things during the World Cup anyway so there's continuity there.

As Gatland said, win the first game and it could well be a grandslam

They're overdue a win in Cardiff!

This could well be there Year. Last two games were close

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:39 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Having said that, Poite for Ireland vs Wales. Ireland will just cheat at the scrum and breakdown because they'll get away with it. Poite shouldn't be reffing at this level.

Do you believe that other teams don’t do this, or just Ireland are better at it and it annoys you?
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Post by Pot Hale on Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:41 pm

Ireland will beat Italy - just.

Farrell is going to have start from scratch and dump a lot of the oldies. No one over 29 should be in the team.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:51 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Having said that, Poite for Ireland vs Wales. Ireland will just cheat at the scrum and breakdown because they'll get away with it. Poite shouldn't be reffing at this level.

Do you believe that other teams don’t do this, or just Ireland are better at it and it annoys you?

Almost all teams do it, but not usually to the ridiculous extent that Ireland had been allowed to do it on certain occasions vs Wales. I don’t believe ireland were much better than us during the two World Cup warms ups with French refs, and the time when Glen Jackson (now chased out and retired) reffed us at Dublin - hard to begrudge ireland that year though as they were the champs. 
Ireland were hyped but very limited and I pointed it out before the World Cup, just my opinion. It will be interesting to see where they go with Farrell.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:52 pm

Another interesting point, surely Farrell won’t pick O’Mahony Rolling Eyes

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Post by SecretFly on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:41 am

Ireland were limited by design.  People keep trying to forget that.  The design was limiting.  But it was mostly effective in giving sequences of wins, plus some notable wins, plus consistent high ranking positions through Schmidt's tenure.  Gotta be a collection of some very good players to adhere to such a restraining, limiting design and still make it achieve the things it did achieve against some of the very best sides in the world.
Hats off to Joe Schmidt, master of limited rugby.  But time is time and the younger showy whippersnappers hankered for that famous word - 'change', I suppose.  There was talk about Schmidt not being liked by some of the youngsters who wanted to express themselves, innit... and stay up late  Whistle

So be it, Farrell might give them their opportunity to play more PlayStation into the midnight hours and offload more balls.  But how they play better not be balls!

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:55 am

Oh I know it was by design. You know that by watching Leinster and then Ireland. Certainly effective yes, but relied on dominating possession for long periods and that can come unstuck against a team that is good defensively. The French refs and Irish mate Jackson wrongfully gifted Ireland possession in the games I referred to.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:36 am

Ireland's fate depends upon how the transition to Farrell's regime goes but hopefully, playing with a little more freedom will suit and we'll see what talents were being stifled by Schmidt's more formulaic approach. The squad announcement might enlighten us a little to the new approach but I for one hope there's no concessions given regarding provincial bias. Select the best players (or best suited players) and forget which province they are from. What I really mean is I hope Farrell empties the Leinster squad and lets them at it Smile

Anyway my (usually inaccurate) prediction is:

1. England
2. Wales
3. Ireland
4. France
5. Scotland
6. Italy


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Post by 123456789. on Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:32 pm

I'm going to take Scotland out of my prediction as I find myself swinging violently between the positions of it's our year, we're going to win the Grand Slam and we're going to do it in style and the more realistic, Townsend is a busted flush and we're only a few injuries away from playing quite bad rugby players so wooden spoon it is.

Of the remaining five:

1. England
2. France
3. Wales
4. Ireland
5. Italy

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:25 pm

Cyril wrote:Italy beat Namibia and Canada and were thrashed by SA. I don’t see how it as a good World Cup for them. A very poor side, getting worse.

England to win the tournament. France, Ireland and Wales to be between 2-4 with Scotland and Italy for the final two spots.

Maestegmafia, please change the opening post so the quotes are attributed to the posters. It’s very bad form to leave them as they are. Unless it’s just a WUM? Thanks.

They (Italy) were doing well v SA before they got a red card. Most teams are guarenteed to lose when the get a red against a good side.

England were also thrashed by SA to be fair with 15 men so thats a harsh enough criticism of Italy in my view.

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Post by Cyril on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:07 pm

There’s a bit of a difference between 49-3 and 32-12.

A thrashing is what NZ handed out to Ireland.

Italy are just poor. Plain as day. They’re probably as bad now (if not worse) as they were when they joined the 6Ns.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:16 pm

Cyril wrote:There’s a bit of a difference between 49-3 and 32-12.

A thrashing is what NZ handed out to Ireland.

Italy are just poor. Plain as day. They’re probably as bad now (if not worse) as they were when they joined the 6Ns.

The only real difference is England had an extra man. Both hammerings. Was at the Italy SA game, Italy were quite competitive before the red.

Its a shame though that Italy havent improved much and to be fair O'Shea seemed to make zero difference.


Last edited by Collapse2005 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:30 pm

Bottle job. Probably worse than being italy. Though I'd say with Daly as he was I disagree we played with 15.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:32 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Bottle job. Probably worse than being italy. Though I'd say with Daly as he was I disagree we played with 15.

Sh1t happens, England underperformed but they are still a good side.

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Post by Cyril on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:39 pm

Aye, still best in the NH. Disappointing final for England but smashed the other two SH sides and that performance against NZ was probably the best NH performance against NZ ever. Certainly since France in the World Cup and England in the early 2000s.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:48 pm

Yeah I immensely enjoyed England thrash NZ. Great memory. Not sure why though but I think the game NZ lost v France in 99 is more memorable. Maybe cause I was younger.

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