Six Nations Round 3 - The Grand Slam killer.

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Post by No9 on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 7:30 pm

Round 3, the Grand Slam killer and Wooden Spoon decider.

Italy v Scotland. A must win for Scotland, as lose this and wins against France and Wales will be a tough call to avoid taking a Wooden Spoon. Italy lose this and the Wooden Spoon is all but guaranteed with them facing Ireland and England. My prediction, going to be close, but can see Scotland just pinching it.

Wales v France. Must win game for Wales to keep their title hopes alive. France goes with saying will need to win to keep Grand Slam hopes alive. My prediction, another close game, but Wales at home will kill Frances Grand Slam hopes, lining them up for a must win game away to England.

England v Ireland. Again the obvious must win game for Ireland to keep the Grand Slam hopes alive, but I cant see anything than an England win at home in a very close mud bath of a battle.


So I reckon this is the round that kills all hopes of a Grand Slam, sets Italy up for another Wooden Spoon, but blows the title race open between England, France, Ireland and Wales.

No wonder we love this tournament so much...

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Post by hugehandoff on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 8:04 pm

one area you will be wrong for sure.....no mud bath at Twickers......very expensive desso pitch with great drainage and no one plays on it....will be a great surface even if wet on the day

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Post by Cyril on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 10:29 pm

Agreed. HQ will be an excellent surface. All the better for England. Ireland will want swirling winds and rain to help their kick chase and choke tackle tactics.

Is the Principality pitch decent these days or still a travesty to play on? France will hope it’s a good surface, Wales will probably hope for an arm wrestle.

Scotland should thrash Italy by 30 plus.

Agree that it’s a pivotal weekend.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 10:34 pm

I cant decide what France will want. Its probably going to be their choice to play in the dry or very windy wet conditions. That backline may very well struggle in those but they will get advantage with their forwards imo. Hard choice I'd say.

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 10:35 pm

Cyril wrote:Agreed. HQ will be an excellent surface. All the better for England. Ireland will want swirling winds and rain to help their kick chase and choke tackle tactics.

Is the Principality pitch decent these days or still a travesty to play on? France will hope it’s a good surface, Wales will probably hope for an arm wrestle.

Scotland should thrash Italy by 30 plus.

Agree that it’s a pivotal weekend.

Desso pitch, and no-one else plays on it. Should be fine.
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Post by Cyril on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 11:13 pm

Nice one Smile Thanks for the update, Oracle.

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Post by rodders on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:18 am

It's a good shout, I fear Ireland could be in for a rude awaking at Twickenham and be on the end of a real pasting, if we play as we did in the opening two rounds it will play into England's hands.

I'm not convinced by Wales under Pivauc, they were very poor defensively in Dublin, so I think France may turn them over at the Millenium to keep their GS on track.
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:13 am

Ireland are due a big game.  The Welsh game was merely a sleep walking event - enough to win and enough to warm up some new ideas. Third gear and sticky with it.
Stockdale will be given opportunities to be more effective.  England will play more like Scotland - zoom, zoom, probe, probe, buzz, buzz.

It'll be a hectic old runaround day for sure.  The lungs will be tested.  England mostly always tests out the lungs of its opposition.  And maybe Ireland will save their big game for France after all.... Cool
But maybe not.

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Post by rodders on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:23 am

Fly I think there have been positives under Farrell and Catt in the way Ireland are trying to play but we were allowed to look good against Wales as they lacked their usual physicality and line speed in defense.

I think against England we need to be much more pragmatic, as per the Joe Schmidt era and try and take the game physically to England - minus Billy V - use Sexton and Murray to control territory.

If we play similar to the previous 2 games, shipping the ball to the wings to go round England, we could end running into trouble, with the pace in England's back 3 I think we could pay the price on the scoreboard but hope I'm wrong.
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Post by lostinwales on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:31 am

Its hard to say because both teams are in flux. We still have Eddie but have new forwards and attack coaches. Ireland have better results to date.

I guess a great deal depends on how well the two teams will have used the 2 week break and we won't find out until the weekend.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 12:18 pm

A good Schmidt game is a very good foundation - for any side.  I agree, Rodders.  
But at this point in time, that's all it can be; as rugby has moved on - and the very best sides, when at their best, can dismantle it.  Elements of it have become obsolete.
At its best, the Schmidt game requires epic amounts of physical energy because in the end that's its modus operandi, to impose a physical dominance on a game both to maintaining possession and in reclaiming possession.  A big physical effort from 15 men combined, often forced on players that just didn't have the natural tools or bulk to play such an attritional game over and over and over again.  Servicing it also added to our tendency to become stretched and very vulnerable out wide when hit by fast and physical high ranked sides.
The best parts of Schmidt might be retained for a few months yet, for as long as the memory of it holds with players.  But inevitably, players will move on as the philosophy of new coaches becomes the norm.  

Pragmatism is good, and we've been mostly good at harnessing it but now it really does need a new injection - players playing more heads-up rugby, and accepting the risks of going for space rather than collison when and if it's available/created.  
Not all the time of course - as a high degree of variety is key.  But certainly we need to demonstrate to the opposition that we'll take a cut loose avenue if they leave such spaces available.  We threatened that with Wales and it made them sit up and take notice.  Changed their perspectives.  In the past, teams seldom had to fear about the gaps on the outside, Ireland seldom chanced them.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 3:11 pm

England should win but there is a cause for hope

France managed England fine except one player. No Jonny May what score would England have got. Against Scotland they looked poor in terms of brains.

Ireland have the brains and as Wales show wins are more important than performance in terms of six nations. Ireland were better for Wales and have had two more weeks to run some moves

Italy need to be the one in France not Wales. But again two more weeks together. Scotland seem to be the white line fever team of 5 years ago.

Wales and France should be the best running end to end game of the week.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 3:48 pm

Brendan wrote:England should win but there is a cause for hope

France managed England fine except one player.  No Jonny May what score would England have got.  Against Scotland they looked poor in terms of brains.

Ireland have the brains and as Wales show wins are more important than performance in terms of six nations.  Ireland were better for Wales and have had two more weeks to run some moves

Italy need to be the one in France not Wales.  But again two more weeks together.  Scotland seem to be the white line fever team of 5 years ago.

Wales and France should be the best running end to end game of the week.


Let’s see what storm Ellen has to say about that shall we?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 5:06 pm

Why, is the roof open?

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 5:27 pm

We'll need someone who lives in Cardiff to find out.  Is th roof open?  Use binoculars if you're too far away to judge without them.

BTW, just out of interest - how long does it take to close that roof?

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 6:08 pm

45 mins, 'Fly.
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 6:12 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Why, is the roof open?

Dunno, but........ outdoor sport, should be open to the elements, not meant to be played indoors, advantage over other games/teams played in the rain, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 6:15 pm

The Oracle wrote:45 mins, 'Fly.

Oops I was wrong. It's 20 mins.

Oh, and it costs £2.54 to open.
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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 7:39 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Brendan wrote:England should win but there is a cause for hope

France managed England fine except one player.  No Jonny May what score would England have got.  Against Scotland they looked poor in terms of brains.

Ireland have the brains and as Wales show wins are more important than performance in terms of six nations.  Ireland were better for Wales and have had two more weeks to run some moves

Italy need to be the one in France not Wales.  But again two more weeks together.  Scotland seem to be the white line fever team of 5 years ago.

Wales and France should be the best running end to end game of the week.


Let’s see what storm Ellen has to say about that shall we?

Yeah wonder why Wales have just been talking about the scrum

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