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The Wales squad - Scotland, Autumn Nations Cup, and beyond

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

Wayne Pivac will announce the squad on October 6th, likely to be a Scarlet-heavy selection and rightly so. I would also like to see new players come in so we can see what they have to offer. 

Wales might play France on October 24th in warm-up, but there is currently some doubt on whether this will go ahead. Next up is the re-arranged 6N match with Scotland on October 31st. In the autumn nations cup Wales will face-off against Ireland, England, Georgia and either France, Fiji, Italy or Scotland. 

Venues to be announced.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:03 pm

PhilBB wrote:That'll provide some competition for Wainwright (who has been playing like a man who needs a change of scenery, so let's hope this international window brings that)

He seems to divide opinion nowadays. Great player who slotted in from nowhere and did well, imo. I will be honest though it seems these guys who were not in a pro academy growing up only tend to go so far.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:39 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Fair play, I thought France were supposed to be weakened. That's some side they've named.

Ours is good too. There has been the usual pee boiling about North starting, but it was always going to happen. Good to see Hill back as first choice. Maybe a little surprised to see Wainwright start, but I guess that would've been Navidi, if he was available. Good to see Lee back. Gives me more hope for our scrum.

Just seen a video where Pivac talked about his selection. JD2 might not play a full 80, he hasn’t looked sharp in the first 2 games of the season tbh. North is ‘very fit’ and will slot into 13 if needs be. Tompkins and North was a good centre partnership.

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Post by PhilBB on Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:47 am

PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Decent French team but it's by no means their strongest. That said, I'd be surprised if Wales win this. I expect a relatively low quality game due to how little rugby has been played over the last year. Both teams will probably play pretty similar rugby, lots of handling errors to be expected and  I wouldn't rule out a number of stoppages due to injuries.

France to win this due to home advantage and less rust.

Who is missing from the "strongest" French team?

No answer? Shame. There's 1 change from the last French team to play Wales, isn't there?
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Post by PhilBB on Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:49 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:It also feels like a relatively small and weak team for Wales, physically speaking. From 1 to 15. There's a real loss of size and strength compared to peak Gatland. No Roberts, no Warburton, no Hibbard, no Ian Evans. The sooner we get a lack at Rowlands in a Welsh shirt the better. As much as Wales are moving back towards a more natural gameplan, you can't concede the game before it starts by being so underpowered. Moriarty will be a loss in that sense, does dog work that belies his size. I think Moriarty and Tipuric could make an excellent yin and yang flanker pairing.

I think Ian Evans last started a test match in 2013. Are you thinking that 2013 was 'peak Gatland'? Or 2015 when Hibbard last started a test match? Or 2017 when Roberts last started a test match?
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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:30 pm

PhilBB wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Decent French team but it's by no means their strongest. That said, I'd be surprised if Wales win this. I expect a relatively low quality game due to how little rugby has been played over the last year. Both teams will probably play pretty similar rugby, lots of handling errors to be expected and  I wouldn't rule out a number of stoppages due to injuries.

France to win this due to home advantage and less rust.

Who is missing from the "strongest" French team?

No answer? Shame. There's 1 change from the last French team to play Wales, isn't there?

I'm not obliged to answer you, dear. Particularly not on a dead end question like that. If you don't understand my assertion due to the players not picked then that's a you problem. Ultimately we'd then be arguing over whether or not a player is deemed 'the best' option. Not a chance I'm giving you the pleasure of that...

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:31 pm

PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:It also feels like a relatively small and weak team for Wales, physically speaking. From 1 to 15. There's a real loss of size and strength compared to peak Gatland. No Roberts, no Warburton, no Hibbard, no Ian Evans. The sooner we get a lack at Rowlands in a Welsh shirt the better. As much as Wales are moving back towards a more natural gameplan, you can't concede the game before it starts by being so underpowered. Moriarty will be a loss in that sense, does dog work that belies his size. I think Moriarty and Tipuric could make an excellent yin and yang flanker pairing.

I think Ian Evans last started a test match in 2013. Are you thinking that 2013 was 'peak Gatland'? Or 2015 when Hibbard last started a test match? Or 2017 when Roberts last started a test match?

What a truly odd, pointless, desperate question. It doesn't even make sense.

Man, get a life, seriously.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:54 pm

Physicality proving the difference between the two sides so far. Wales look decent in defence until suddenly they don't. They're getting caught out in the transitions. However, they simply can't slow down, turn over, or smash back the French possession. Lack of bulk proving costly in both attack and defence. Should look to get North more involved. The try was lovely but it's all been France after the opening 5 minutes.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:52 pm

Load of crap from Wales tbh, even I didn’t expect it to be that bad. The poor and unorganised defence just about sums it up - cheers Hayward. Why didn’t Biggar come off sooner? He clearly wasn’t right and missed 8 points through kicks he can usually do with his eyes closed. Poor poor, no improvement from the last time we played.

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Post by JDizzle on Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:53 pm

Pretty dire really from Wales. That’s 24, 27, 33, 38 conceded now in consecutive games. Won’t win many games if your defence is going to be that porous.

Thought Carre had a good game and Tomkins came into it a bit more in the second half. Apart from that, not much to write home about.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:59 pm

I'm a huge fan of both Tipuric and Faletau, but both went missing tonight (apart from classic Tipuric skill for the first try). I'm also not at all sure about the hype over Wainwright. Looks short of quality at this level.

Still, I'm nervous about next week. We haven't done well in Wales historically, and some of the top quality Welsh players owe Pivac a performance.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:00 pm

Disappointing result. Scoreline flatters France but not the result. Wales should have been leading when Ollivon scored. 2 easy kicks missed by Biggar and one turned down bang in front of the posts would have put them in a 1 point lead.

Weird game. Plenty there to like in the second half, first half they were completely outmuscled.

French discipline at the breakdown nearly handed Wales a win but, oddly, Biggar's kicking let them down. That's easy enough to fix.

What looks like a fundamental flaw is their scramble defence and transitioning from attack to defence. I'm sure that 3 tries came from the ball bobbling about and then just running through the broken Welsh backfield. Not sure how they fix that one given how they play.

Attack looks good. We've swapped punching above our weight with Gatlandball for playing great in the backs but being soft up front. That said, better in the second half as the French team tired. It's a shame they were able to pick up points so, so easily - the exact same story as in the Six Nations v France, Ireland, and even England.

That needs to change over time. Wales need to be tougher to score against.

Not sure about individuals. Tompkins looks a lot bigger than he was 6 months ago and made an impact on the crashball twice, albeit running at Ntamack. But he's still panicky. Nice grubbers in behind but also overplaying at times. Dillon Lewis did the same when the tryline was begging. Plenty of tryscoring chances in that second half but none finished off, lack of composure and power out wide to keep possession.

Positive play but flawed is the take away. Kicking is an easy fix. Could have snuck a win but it wouldn't have been deserved.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:01 pm

Also worth saying that Dupont was world class tonight, and France were extremely good in attack.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:03 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:I'm a huge fan of both Tipuric and Faletau, but both went missing tonight (apart from classic Tipuric skill for the first try). I'm also not at all sure about the hype over Wainwright. Looks short of quality at this level.

Still, I'm nervous about next week. We haven't done well in Wales historically, and some of the top quality Welsh players owe Pivac a performance.

Agree about Wainwright but also think it was a tough game for individuals. Faletau did decently I thought, Tipuric did really well in attack, he's constantly involved as the key man.

In defenc,e the whole team went backwards for the first 50 minutes or so. No one looked good. Particularly, very few players offered a turnover threat but France were messy at the breakdown and the penalty count was very heavily swayed against them. Probably could have been higher and tbh I think they should have picked up a yellow card had it been a competitive international.

Should be a ding dong v Scotland next week. Neither team strong up front, both like to throw it around. Looks like mistakes will decide who wins.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:05 pm

France looked stronger but error prone

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:05 pm

Overall, I think the whole Welsh bench looked decent. James Davies looked good but I also think the way Wales play now it rewards mobility and skill and basically 'free' roles. The game also rewarded that. Against a team like Ireland, other players will look decent.

The only real negative was Samson Lee clearly not considered up to scratch for international rugby. Pulled off on 33 mins, Adam Jones esque.

I think there were a lot of 5 and 6/10 performances there. The vast majority for Wales in fact.

France top notch first half, poor second, but touches of skill and the ability to play broken field and score won them the game.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:07 pm

Totally agree on the Welsh needing to improve on the transition from attack to defence. There seemed to be a lack of defensive awareness tonight, whereas France were extremely opportunistic. The good news is that Scotland doesn't have the vast array of artillery of the French, however with Ali Price and, God willing, Finn Russell at 10, Wales will need to be alert to unpredictable attacks.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:14 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:I'm a huge fan of both Tipuric and Faletau, but both went missing tonight (apart from classic Tipuric skill for the first try). I'm also not at all sure about the hype over Wainwright. Looks short of quality at this level.

Still, I'm nervous about next week. We haven't done well in Wales historically, and some of the top quality Welsh players owe Pivac a performance.

The time is long gone from where you can fill your back-row with 7’s. Need more bulk there and we also need Ball and Rowlands in the 23. Webb was particularly slow at everything today. Ollivon, DuPont and Ntmack aside I thought France were okay, nothing special but just a bit smarter here and there, allowed to get away with playing basketball, seemingly just going through the motions. I guess that’s more than enough to beat Wales these days. If Scotland aren’t favourites I think they should be.


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Post by JDizzle on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:15 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Overall, I think the whole Welsh bench looked decent. James Davies looked good but I also think the way Wales play now it rewards mobility and skill and basically 'free' roles. The game also rewarded that. Against a team like Ireland, other players will look decent.

The only real negative was Samson Lee clearly not considered up to scratch for international rugby. Pulled off on 33 mins, Adam Jones esque.

I think there were a lot of 5 and 6/10 performances there. The vast majority for Wales in fact.

France top notch first half, poor second, but touches of skill and the ability to play broken field and score won them the game.

I thought Samson took a knock to the head. Saw him down during one phase of play and the doctor hauled him off not long after, but the comms didn't seem to mention it. The scrum was holding very steady with the starting three too.

Thought Webb looked tidy enough for Wales, super slick service as expected - but as has been said, Dupont, what a player he is. Absolute magic. Did frustrate me Wales kept letting him run from the base to kick to touch rather than forcing a box kick from him though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:16 pm

JDizzle, we just looked too slow. Slow in attack, defence and always second to arrive at the breakdown. It’s a good thing that we didn’t tour NZ this year....

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:19 pm

JDizzle wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Overall, I think the whole Welsh bench looked decent. James Davies looked good but I also think the way Wales play now it rewards mobility and skill and basically 'free' roles. The game also rewarded that. Against a team like Ireland, other players will look decent.

The only real negative was Samson Lee clearly not considered up to scratch for international rugby. Pulled off on 33 mins, Adam Jones esque.

I think there were a lot of 5 and 6/10 performances there. The vast majority for Wales in fact.

France top notch first half, poor second, but touches of skill and the ability to play broken field and score won them the game.

I thought Samson took a knock to the head. Saw him down during one phase of play and the doctor hauled him off not long after, but the comms didn't seem to mention it. The scrum was holding very steady with the starting three too.

Thought Webb looked tidy enough for Wales, super slick service as expected - but as has been said, Dupont, what a player he is. Absolute magic. Did frustrate me Wales kept letting him run from the base to kick to touch rather than forcing a box kick from him though.

Yeah good point there, I saw the ref checking it out as well but I thought he was just knackered and having a rest. It could have been a head knock though and that would explain why he looked so unhappy coming off. Good spot.

Yeah, Webb's class. Lions tourist nailed on if he stays fit. I also think Wales are significantly better by having Webb and G Davies in the 23. Both seem to push each other on. Best of both worlds being able to turn to G Davies from the bench rather than rely on him from the start (and having Aled or Tomos replacing). Tomos Williams needs to work on sorting out his weaknesses, he's had a taste and should make the grade but needs to improve. There's plenty of room for that third choice 9, from Rhodri Williams to Rueben Morgan Williams to Kieran Hardy. Lots of depth for Wales but Webb is great.

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Post by JDizzle on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:21 pm

Not sure I entirely agree we were too slow in attack.The French just mauled us at the breakdown in the second half was more of the concern for me.

Defensively we just were so weak/naive - most of the French tries were all so easy was the frustrating thing.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:27 pm

Agree on Webb. Class act and for me the starting 9 for the Lions. Still, pity we can't also claim Dupont as British/Irish.

Also nice to see JD2 back in action.

I think there were just too many 5/10 and 6/10 performances for Wales, whereas France were mainly 7/10, with Dupont MOTM at 9/10.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:27 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Totally agree on the Welsh needing to improve on the transition from attack to defence. There seemed to be a lack of defensive awareness tonight, whereas France were extremely opportunistic. The good news is that Scotland doesn't have the vast array of artillery of the French, however with Ali Price and, God willing, Finn Russell at 10, Wales will need to be alert to unpredictable attacks.

In 'defence' of the defence, it's hard going from expecting Wales to employ Shaun Edwards' systems for the last 12 years to a new system built on something entirely different. It's much more about absorbing rather than defending the gainline. In defence of Wainwright as well, I do think he looked poor under Gatlandball because he lacks that power for his position (looked like boys v men against PSDT, his opposite number for SA) but in this more 'open' defensive system, he could end up being decent. He reminds me a bit like a flanker version of Jonny Gray: he's never going to boss the game but he could be an accurate grafter who can also add a bit of skill in attack. The biggest issue for Wales, by far, is that this sytem is totally reliant on competing and winning the ball at the breakdown - basically, what France did to Wales. Get the ball, turn it over, attack at unstructured defence and score tries. In a way, France showed them how Wales need to play in the future. For the Scarlets, there was Beirne, Barclay, James Davies, and Rob Evans all offering a huge breakdown threat. For Wales, Tipuric hasn't really been that man since his early years and looks more important in attack. Wainwright could, potentially, justify his inclusion if he becomes an asset there: a solid all rounder as opposed to Moriarty's defensive dog. However, you can see how Wales are building: it's Navidi and Tipuric going forward, they're the two breakdown threats. We could do with finding two more, ideally on in the front row one in the second row, to really make this sytem work. But at the moment, yeah...without that breakdown threat it was basically just getting hammered by the French for 50 minutes. Not good. That needs to change. Not sure Wainwright is the man but he's still young, probably still growing. Long term I'd like to see him at 8, but on some bulk and try to be a bit more powerful.

Not quite sure why Wales were so crap in the transition and scramble defence. France are quality tbf but the bobbling ball did cause havoc in the defence and the size/skill/speed difference proved costly once the first French attacker just ran with the ball and broke the line.

I can see a niggly game v Scotland. Moments of magic, moments of idiocy, plenty of mistakes. I think it's evens as it stands. Wales could and maybe will look to bully Scotland up front but I'm not sure that will work.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:28 pm

JDizzle wrote:Not sure I entirely agree we were too slow in attack.The French just mauled us at the breakdown in the second half was more of the concern for me.

Defensively we just were so weak/naive - most of the French tries were all so easy was the frustrating thing.

The forwards and Webb were. I thought we did okay in the mauls, but we were second best there before the game kicked off anyway. Yes France always had more guys at the breakdown, that’s a concern. Would agree with you on defence. All of it is a sign of below par coaching.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:36 pm

JDizzle wrote:Defensively we just were so weak/naive - most of the French tries were all so easy was the frustrating thing.

This has been a consistent concern in every game under Pivac so far.

On the one hand, I 'get' it. It's better to concede with minimal effort put in to defence so you can put that effort in to attack. No point flogging yourself in defence and not having the energy and sharpness to pass, run, catch the ball in attack - which is what this Welsh team is obviously now primarily set up to do.

That said, eventually, they need to become harder to score against. It's not much good if they're conceding soft tries every single game but also not responding ball in hand.

It seems like this method of conceding is half a feature and half a bug of the current Welsh gameplan. When it works, it should mean that Wales aren't flogging themselves for 10 minutes trapped in their own 22 and then having nothing to offer in attack because they're too gassed and battered and broken from defending for so long. On the other hand, they can't keep letting in tries from 30m or more with no one getting a hand on the man because they knocked the ball on and turned it over and that means they concede a try.

It's the growing pains of the Welsh gameplan but it's incredibly frustrating to watch.

I didn't think the French defence was very good second half, though. Shaun Edwards won't have been best pleased. They got away with a lot at the breakdown and, as mentioned, ought to have picked up a yellow card for repeated offences.

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Post by George Carlin on Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:34 am

Surely in the circumstances it's absolutely reasonable to stick with the same Welsh 23 next week and just tell them to play better? It's the first full international for these Welsh players in 7 months, the build-up cannot have been ideal and France (currently ranked a place above Wales in the WR table, albeit by the proverbial testicular follicle) were playing at home.

I really rate Pivac and whilst I understand that losing 6 out of your last 7 matches isn't acceptable to a team that is used to regularly winning - what would you really want to change in terms of fundemental structure or systems? I think that they'll bounce back strongly next week.
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Post by TightHEAD on Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:13 am

That was a good old thrashing
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:38 am

George Carlin wrote:Surely in the circumstances it's absolutely reasonable to stick with the same Welsh 23 next week and just tell them to play better? It's the first full international for these Welsh players in 7 months, the build-up cannot have been ideal and France (currently ranked a place above Wales in the WR table, albeit by the proverbial testicular follicle) were playing at home.

I really rate Pivac and whilst I understand that losing 6 out of your last 7 matches isn't acceptable to a team that is used to regularly winning - what would you really want to change in terms of fundemental structure or systems? I think that they'll bounce back strongly next week.

If he sticks the same 23 then he’s lost his mind. I don’t buy into this “Covid made us rusty”. We didn’t look rusty we just can’t defend and hardly play under the current regime.

Change the back 5 of the pack, swap the halfbacks, find a new defence coach.
Pivac might not get his extra 2 years at this rate anyway. The WRU have already spoken to Pat Lam....

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:19 am

I did wonder whether France were close to a yellow for their penalty count. They also should have had a red card, for the assault on AWJ. These things may have made a difference, particularly with the red that should've come at 20 mins in. Clearly the TMO wasn't watching all that closely, as if nothing else the choke beforehand was obvious and should've warranted a check to see if it could've been penalised.

Hard to know whether we will be better for that game, in terms of next week. In theory we should be more battle hardened than Scotland, but I don't really think it'll make a difference. I would expect him to go with the same side, with perhaps Williams coming in for Halfpenny. I'll be interested to see who is available. I would love Navidi to be ready. Would probably bring Rowlands straight into the 23 too. I kind of feel Scotland should be slight favourites, but the bookies will still favour us. Be interesting to see how we adapt to playing a home game at PYS too.

Lastly, it was incredibly poor to leave Biggar on, especially when he started missing kicks. Hardly a vote of confidence for Patchell.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:37 am

Aren't most of the conditioning team the same? Maybe we have over trained again, in advance of next week. I will cling to that.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:38 am

RiscaGame wrote:I did wonder whether France were close to a yellow for their penalty count. They also should have had a red card, for the assault on AWJ. These things may have made a difference, particularly with the red that should've come at 20 mins in. Clearly the TMO wasn't watching all that closely, as if nothing else the choke beforehand was obvious and should've warranted a check to see if it could've been penalised.

Hard to know whether we will be better for that game, in terms of next week. In theory we should be more battle hardened than Scotland, but I don't really think it'll make a difference. I would expect him to go with the same side, with perhaps Williams coming in for Halfpenny. I'll be interested to see who is available. I would love Navidi to be ready. Would probably bring Rowlands straight into the 23 too. I kind of feel Scotland should be slight favourites, but the bookies will still favour us. Be interesting to see how we adapt to playing a home game at PYS too.

Lastly, it was incredibly poor to leave Biggar on, especially when he started missing kicks. Hardly a vote of confidence for Patchell.

Interesting when you think of all that actually. But still we kept fluffing it up, their 22, near our 22... France just pounced and scored off it. Scoreline probably did flatter them a little, but not taking anything away from Les Bleus. Good to see that they're actually good again after all those years of mediocrity.

Interesting call on Halfpenny, seeing as he was one of a few to cover himself in glory - he rarely has a bad game though. But yeah he probably won't be first choice going forward anyway. I feel Navidi is better than Tipuric at the breakdown, but it's difficult to select a back-row with the amount of open-sides available. Based upon yesterday's game it is clear that we could benefit from a bigger blind-side. If the ref isn't going to manage the breakdown then we need to send big guys flying into the ruck. Rowlands, Ball/AWJ, Hill should be in the starting pack. Where on earth is WillGriff John when you need a big lump and when your reserve TH starts to get demolished - seems like a very poor decision now.

Webb and Biggar would be better coming off the bench IMO. Davies and Patchell looked a bit flashy when they came on, which is something else that was missing yesterday.


Last edited by mikey_dragon on Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:40 am

RiscaGame wrote:Aren't most of the conditioning team the same? Maybe we have over trained again, in advance of next week. I will cling to that.

Maybe an issue with strength and conditioning within the Regions? Gatland was always wasting time getting the players up to scratch, whilst every other nation has their clubs do it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:15 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I did wonder whether France were close to a yellow for their penalty count. They also should have had a red card, for the assault on AWJ. These things may have made a difference, particularly with the red that should've come at 20 mins in. Clearly the TMO wasn't watching all that closely, as if nothing else the choke beforehand was obvious and should've warranted a check to see if it could've been penalised.

Hard to know whether we will be better for that game, in terms of next week. In theory we should be more battle hardened than Scotland, but I don't really think it'll make a difference. I would expect him to go with the same side, with perhaps Williams coming in for Halfpenny. I'll be interested to see who is available. I would love Navidi to be ready. Would probably bring Rowlands straight into the 23 too. I kind of feel Scotland should be slight favourites, but the bookies will still favour us. Be interesting to see how we adapt to playing a home game at PYS too.

Lastly, it was incredibly poor to leave Biggar on, especially when he started missing kicks. Hardly a vote of confidence for Patchell.

Cited now though it doesnt make it better than it wasnt looked at more closely at the time. Didn't look good.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:52 am

What will be the Welsh national strategy throughout the autumn/winter series?

Won't they continue to try and bring younger players forward? Whom should we look out for?
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Post by PhilBB on Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:41 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Decent French team but it's by no means their strongest. That said, I'd be surprised if Wales win this. I expect a relatively low quality game due to how little rugby has been played over the last year. Both teams will probably play pretty similar rugby, lots of handling errors to be expected and  I wouldn't rule out a number of stoppages due to injuries.

France to win this due to home advantage and less rust.

Who is missing from the "strongest" French team?

No answer? Shame. There's 1 change from the last French team to play Wales, isn't there?

I'm not obliged to answer you, dear. Particularly not on a dead end question like that. If you don't understand my assertion due to the players not picked then that's a you problem. Ultimately we'd then be arguing over whether or not a player is deemed 'the best' option. Not a chance I'm giving you the pleasure of that...

That's all very true. You don't have to justify anything you write but, you see, when you refuse to justify your opinion then it looks like you're a bit empty headed. When you don't offer better alternatives that you think exist, it makes you look like you can't justify your opinion, that you just made it up on the spot and that your opinion is worthless.
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Post by PhilBB on Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:42 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:It also feels like a relatively small and weak team for Wales, physically speaking. From 1 to 15. There's a real loss of size and strength compared to peak Gatland. No Roberts, no Warburton, no Hibbard, no Ian Evans. The sooner we get a lack at Rowlands in a Welsh shirt the better. As much as Wales are moving back towards a more natural gameplan, you can't concede the game before it starts by being so underpowered. Moriarty will be a loss in that sense, does dog work that belies his size. I think Moriarty and Tipuric could make an excellent yin and yang flanker pairing.

I think Ian Evans last started a test match in 2013. Are you thinking that 2013 was 'peak Gatland'? Or 2015 when Hibbard last started a test match? Or 2017 when Roberts last started a test match?

What a truly odd, pointless, desperate question. It doesn't even make sense.

Man, get a life, seriously.

The point of the question was to highlight the stupidity of your post.

"Peak Gatland" was when, in your eyes? 2019? 2017? 2015? or 2013? Because the players you mentioned haven't been around for years.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:12 am

George Carlin wrote:What will be the Welsh national strategy throughout the autumn/winter series?

Won't they continue to try and bring younger players forward? Whom should we look out for?

We should use the Scotland game for that. Any other time would depend who the opposition is during the series. Italy and Georgia we can probably do it and still win.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:16 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/54685465

Le Roux cited. A pal I was watching with spotted that in real time and we waited for the replay which never came so rewound the TV. AWJ and Le Roux seemed to be having a bit of niggle at the ruck, then after AWJ was cleared out Le Roux seemed to unnecessarily dive over the ruck leading with his forearm/elbow. As no replay from another angle was shown it was impossible to see if/where he made contact.

If he made contact with the neck or head then it will probably be a decent ban.

Completely unnecessary and must be so frustrating from the France coaches perspective given that the Willemse and Le Roux have been forming a strong partnership. Taofifenua isn't a bad replacement for the Ireland game but just unnecessary from Le Roux.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:39 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
George Carlin wrote:What will be the Welsh national strategy throughout the autumn/winter series?

Won't they continue to try and bring younger players forward? Whom should we look out for?

We should use the Scotland game for that. Any other time would depend who the opposition is during the series. Italy and Georgia we can probably do it and still win.

Given we have Ireland away and England home and the pressure Pivac is already under by the Rugby Mad Welsh Public, we are only likely to experiment against Georgia.

The obvious players to cap would be the new caps (SLH, Hardy, Sheedy, Williams and Lloyd left?), but for me he should also go strong to give the newer players a fair chance. So for example, play Sheedy alongside a strong 9 and his first choice 12 for a degree of continuity.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:53 am

RiscaGame wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
George Carlin wrote:What will be the Welsh national strategy throughout the autumn/winter series?

Won't they continue to try and bring younger players forward? Whom should we look out for?

We should use the Scotland game for that. Any other time would depend who the opposition is during the series. Italy and Georgia we can probably do it and still win.

Given we have Ireland away and England home and the pressure Pivac is already under by the Rugby Mad Welsh Public, we are only likely to experiment against Georgia.

The obvious players to cap would be the new caps (SLH, Hardy, Sheedy, Williams and Lloyd left?), but for me he should also go strong to give the newer players a fair chance. So for example, play Sheedy alongside a strong 9 and his first choice 12 for a degree of continuity.

I'd just like Wales to have a working game plan. Call me old fashioned but I don't care who executes it.
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:20 pm

Well aye, that would be lovely.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:45 pm

Poor reaction by the English online though, saying AWJ deserved an elbow, etc. Still salty over the fact that it wasn't on for Marler to grope his 10 incher Rolling Eyes. Not sure he did deserve it tbh. le Roux did everything right, up to the elbow.

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Post by BigGee on Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:04 pm


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:28 am

Le Roux was cleared. Looked pretty deliberate to me.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:55 am

Nothing surprises me with citings anymore.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:58 am

Bit weird with all the citings lately. Welsh players get banned. Attacks on Welsh players go unpunished.

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:03 am

Has anyone seen the Welsh defence, went missing in Paris. Laugh

Edwards is irreplaceable.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:56 am

JJ Williams - rugby legend and one of the Welsh Wizards has passed away aged 72. Sad news, but will remain part of a legacy that will live on.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:15 pm

On reflection, I think a big issue with Wales - one of many - is the change has taken away a big part of the emotional motivation for Wales. Having thrived on a ruthless defence for literally several generations of players under Gatland and Edwards, the team is now being asked to change and accept a less aggressive, less punishing, and less miserly defence that prided itself on not conceding tries.

Tied in to that is Biggar. While tactiaclly speaking the team is potentially better suited with a Patchell or Jarod Evans starting the game, Biggar is such a key leader and vocal and emotional needle within the side that losing him in the second half marked a changing of the game and took away one of their key men from an emotional perspective. Until Wales improve, and if/when the gameplan starts to click, they need to hold on to players like Biggar who drive standards just by virtue of their own personalities and performances. AWJ was quiet today, particularly second half, and as much as is made of him in the media etc he's always been one of several, with Biggar typically being a key man. To lose Warburton, Roberts, and Lydiate in the last 3 years, and to be without Ken Owens and Tipuric, and to lose Biggar in the second half today, there's a real leadership issue from the 'old guard' that leaves AWJ on his own. And that's not a good thing. Players like Ross Moriarty clearly help when they're on the field but at the moment Wales need a new generation to come through and start putting a marker down by replacing the players who have left the squad recently. I'm not sure I see too many of them from the new players coming through tbh; from those who are there, they're in the outside backs like Josh Adams and Sanjay and Halfpenny, all great players but they're not the kind to dictate a game.

And with that in mind, I think we've just seen two 'golden generations' of Welsh teams: from 2004ish to 2010/11, and from 2011 to 2019. The regions are in trouble and I think it's finally going to catch up with the national team.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:12 pm

Think Pivac will be given until the end of the Autumn nations cup. Only winning every game will save his bacon. I can see us winning one or two, and getting well beaten elsewhere - then he’ll be gone. I just hope he stays coaching and gets a role elsewhere as I think he still has something to offer. He’s just not the right fit for us and it was a premature move by the WRU.

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