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

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 22 Sep 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 Gooseberry Wed 03 Feb 2021, 8:30 pm

Wasn't just breaching the team protocols but also the lockdown restrictions in Wales. For a flipping gender reveal party of all things, did he really need to inspect a childs genitals in person? At least in the old days chaps like Henson and Powell used to get in trouble having fun.

No suggestion its going to affect the match but he wont be able to play until round 3.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 03 Feb 2021, 10:11 pm

Wish it was Elias that breached protocol instead...

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 03 Feb 2021, 10:13 pm

I think it’s a given that LRZ will now start instead, the selectors like him. When LRZ matures, Williams is back, and if North remains in good form then that’s a good back 3...

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Post by chris_501 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 9:50 am

We looked pretty well stocked in the back 3. Halfpenny is in as good a form as he has been since he came back from Toulon, I still think Amos is an exciting player to have in the squad. Add in Lloyd, Hewitt, Lane, Protheroe and Conbeer and there is plenty of good performers pushing with their club form.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:14 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Wasn't just breaching the team protocols but also the lockdown restrictions in Wales. For a flipping gender reveal party of all things, did he really need to inspect a childs genitals in person? At least in the old days chaps like Henson and Powell used to get in trouble having fun.

No suggestion its going to affect the match but he wont be able to play until round 3.

Really infuriating, stuff like this. What makes some people think the rules don't apply to them?

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:24 pm

Rumour is Amos is starting, I believe LRZ is the better option though.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:28 pm

The more I read about it, the more it annoys me. As I said, Adams was well aware of his responsibilities but then reading more into what Pivac said about player release etc, he said he would be speaking to the players' families too. So the guidelines were clear from the WRU point of view alone, yet alone the National guidelines.

I think it's a stupid thing to do anyway, but then to broadcast what you're doing on social media is even duller.


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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Rumour is Amos is starting, I believe LRZ is the better option though.

Rumour seems to be both starting, with North centre. Simon Thomas alluded to it yesterday and I see that WOL are now running with it.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Feb 2021, 3:13 pm

I don't see Tompkins at 12, maybe bench. I imagine it's Williams at 12, North at 13. Nothing to worry about as they've apparently "been training very well."

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Post by chris_501 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 5:04 pm

What do you guys see as a result in the tournament that means Pivac should lose his job?

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Feb 2021, 5:11 pm

He should have already lost it.

As far as this tournament goes, I think we're battling it out with Italy for the Wooden Spoon, and no fourth place isn't a result.

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Post by chris_501 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 5:21 pm

So if we win a Grand Slam, you sack him?

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Feb 2021, 6:23 pm

Realistically, we have to finish top three to save him (for me).

I guess anything higher than fifth is an improvement though. Maybe even if there were performances this tournament that could at least hint we are on the right track.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Feb 2021, 7:00 pm

chris_501 wrote:So if we win a Grand Slam, you sack him?

Be real...

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Feb 2021, 9:21 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
chris_501 wrote:So if we win a Grand Slam, you sack him?

Be real...

Ok so I’m not expecting a Grand Slam, but I just wanted to make the point, that he’s our coach for this tournament, so surely we want him to succeed don’t we? If he succeeds, the team succeeds?

3 wins would be a good result for me, 2 and some very strong performances in losses will still be ok. We won’t be losing to Italy, it’s not really a wooden spoon decider. What is for sure is that Sunday is huge, it’s the type of game a Gatland side would sneak past on the way to a Grand Slam.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Feb 2021, 9:24 am

2 wins and good performances would be okay for me.

I do think we will only get one and that will probably be pretty ugly too.

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Post by Noble-Surfer Fri 05 Feb 2021, 9:48 am

RiscaGame wrote:2 wins and good performances would be okay for me.

I do think we will only get one and that will probably be pretty ugly too.

I accept that performances have been pretty dire since Pivac took over, and that we arguably over achieved with some of the highs of Gatland's reign, but I hate that this mentality is considered acceptable... I thought that Gatland had managed to change that mentality during his tenure, but if we Welsh fans are going back to the mindset we had before he arrived then it could be a while before we get back to being competitive.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Feb 2021, 10:14 am

It depends how much we, as fans, feel like we influence the team. I would suggest very little, unless we are at the stadium. I would definitely expect the team to be aiming for, and believing that they can win the Grand Slam.

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Post by LordDowlais Fri 05 Feb 2021, 10:28 am

If Pivac goes, who would we have to replace him ?

Is there anybody out there ? None of the regional coaches are pulling up trees. Another foreigner ?

I get it, Pivac is not really up to the task, and neither are his coaches if stories are to be believed. But who else is there ?

Dai Young perhaps, but he has only just taken on the Blues job.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 05 Feb 2021, 10:39 am

RiscaGame wrote:2 wins and good performances would be okay for me.

I do think we will only get one and that will probably be pretty ugly too.

Yep. The only game I'd make us favourites for is the one in Rome, and that's by no means a given. If we're not careful we could get a few hidings, and then surely the writing's on the wall.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Feb 2021, 11:37 am

Noble-Surfer wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:2 wins and good performances would be okay for me.

I do think we will only get one and that will probably be pretty ugly too.

I accept that performances have been pretty dire since Pivac took over, and that we arguably over achieved with some of the highs of Gatland's reign, but I hate that this mentality is considered acceptable... I thought that Gatland had managed to change that mentality during his tenure, but if we Welsh fans are going back to the mindset we had before he arrived then it could be a while before we get back to being competitive.

I don't know. Just after the AN's Cup, I just feel flat about it all. It isn't what I want obviously, but maybe my expectations are lowered now with how we have played in the Autumn. I would obviously love us to rip up trees, but I just have no faith in Pivac at all now.

I think it will take a while to become competitive, no matter if his break clause is activated. Though I do think we wouldn't be short of coaches who would be interested in the job, albeit none immediately spring to mind. If only we had gone for Rennie Wink

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Feb 2021, 11:38 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:2 wins and good performances would be okay for me.

I do think we will only get one and that will probably be pretty ugly too.

Yep. The only game I'd make us favourites for is the one in Rome, and that's by no means a given. If we're not careful we could get a few hidings, and then surely the writing's on the wall.

I can't speak for all bookmakers, but mine seem to suggest they fancy us beating Scotland and Italy. I am not sure I would make us favourites for a trip to Murrayfield, at this moment in time.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Feb 2021, 11:39 am

LordDowlais wrote:If Pivac goes, who would we have to replace him ?

Is there anybody out there ? None of the regional coaches are pulling up trees. Another foreigner ?

I get it, Pivac is not really up to the task, and neither are his coaches if stories are to be believed. But who else is there ?

Dai Young perhaps, but he has only just taken on the Blues job.

To be fair, Toby Booth is doing a good job at Ospreys.

But I think we wouldn't be short of interest, if Pivac was to go.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Feb 2021, 12:10 pm

Wales: 15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. George North, 12. Johnny Williams, 11. Hallam Amos, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Tomos Williams, 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee, 17. Rhodri Jones, 18. Leon Brown, 19. Will Rowlands, 20. Josh Navidi, 21. Gareth Davies, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Nick Tompkins.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Feb 2021, 12:42 pm

I like that team, if Navidi had a few minutes under his belt for the Blues then I would have started him, but I'm sure he'll get a run out to set him up to start against Scotland.

Tomos Williams starting is exciting, front row is the best we can put out, the replacement front row are the best set piece players from the rest. A bit of bulk in Rowlands on the bench who has been playing well.

I also like the Beard call, he was out of form before the Autumn, told what to go away and work on, has been playing really well for the Ospreys, and rewarded with a starting spot.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Feb 2021, 3:19 pm

chris_501 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
chris_501 wrote:So if we win a Grand Slam, you sack him?

Be real...

Ok so I’m not expecting a Grand Slam, but I just wanted to make the point, that he’s our coach for this tournament, so surely we want him to succeed don’t we? If he succeeds, the team succeeds?

3 wins would be a good result for me, 2 and some very strong performances in losses will still be ok. We won’t be losing to Italy, it’s not really a wooden spoon decider. What is for sure is that Sunday is huge, it’s the type of game a Gatland  side would sneak past on the way to a Grand Slam.

I don't know, I'm more than happy for him to exit immediately. Yes it would take another poor tournament unfortunately.

I still don't think 3 wins would be enough given what's already gone on - I think I made it clear that I had seen enough though Smile. But if we're on course to finish 5 then really it's only us and Italy in it for the Wooden Spoon. I expect us to beat Italy anyway. All our wins under Pivac have come against minnows Italy and Georgia (we struggled in this one).

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Feb 2021, 3:21 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Wales: 15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. George North, 12. Johnny Williams, 11. Hallam Amos, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Tomos Williams, 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee, 17. Rhodri Jones, 18. Leon Brown, 19. Will Rowlands, 20. Josh Navidi, 21. Gareth Davies, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Nick Tompkins.

Ireland have put out a good team. I don't think Pivac could put out a much better team, but it's possible the bench would be stronger with the right players. Glad Elias and Lewis are nowhere to be seen (only a matter of time before they train really well though), now let's give Dee and Brown as many chances as they had. Not sure about Rhodri Jones, unless we're just going for size on the replacements bench.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 05 Feb 2021, 3:29 pm

What do you think a new coach would fix? What changes do you want to see?

At a very superficial level it looks like almost exactly the same team as you could have put out any time over the last 5 years +, but being asked to play in a different way.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Feb 2021, 3:45 pm

There is a level of freshness in there with Johnny Williams, LRZ, Sheedy, Tompkins and Brown all included, it's that maybe the likes of Owens, AWJ, Tipuric, Biggar and Halfpenny are no longer performing at their best. The issue we have is that there aren't the players who are consistently putting in the performances to oust them.

While I hope that Pivac gets his team to perform better than the autumn, (he's a good honest guy, I like him), we don't have a divine right to be winning Grand Slams just because that's what we did regularly with Gatland. What I feel we've lost from those days is a watertight defence, (the Shaun Edwards effect is obvious) and a pack that really matched teams physically (McBryde has shown to have done a good job with them now that he's gone). The return of Navidi and Owens will help the second of those issues.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Feb 2021, 8:32 pm

lostinwales wrote:What do you think a new coach would fix? What changes do you want to see?

At a very superficial level it looks like almost exactly the same team as you could have put out any time over the last 5 years +, but being asked to play in a different way.

They were playing a lot better under Gats, it’s that simple. Pivac also hired a complete dud for a defence coach and look where it got us, getting battered by Ireland and France. I’m not sure if a new coach could fix it all, but you would think so, right? I mean the supposed favourites are Pat Lam and Scott Robertson. Take a look at the pedigree on both. Pivac was too premature a signing, he should have stayed in the club game a bit longer.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Feb 2021, 8:35 pm

chris_501 wrote:There is a level of freshness in there with Johnny Williams, LRZ, Sheedy, Tompkins and Brown all included, it's that maybe the likes of Owens, AWJ, Tipuric, Biggar and Halfpenny are no longer performing at their best. The issue we have is that there aren't the players who are consistently putting in the performances to oust them.

While I hope that Pivac gets his team to perform better than the autumn, (he's a good honest guy, I like him), we don't have a divine right to be winning Grand Slams just because that's what we did regularly with Gatland. What I feel we've lost from those days is a watertight defence, (the Shaun Edwards effect is obvious) and a pack that really matched teams physically (McBryde has shown to have done a good job with them now that he's gone). The return of Navidi and Owens will help the second of those issues.

With Owens you can ask Parry to step up. AWJ should be phased out anyway but we have Ball (until Morgan Jones comes in) and Rowlands. Tipuric, well take your pick of the available open-sides. Biggar, again, take your pick as there are a few good fly-halves for Wales now. Halfpenny won’t be around for much longer either but still does a great job to be fair, but up step Ioan Lloyd. There’s definitely replacements for these guys.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:22 pm

Changes for next week? Admittedly we’d all probably like to change the coaching team, but that won’t happen next week.

Tips and Faletau are playing well, but I wouldn’t start Navidi at 6 - either at 7 or on the bench but it is hard to leave him out. Maybe Hill to 6 if Lydiate is unavailable, Pivac clearly doesn’t like Hill though.

AWJ was superb, but can’t he play just 60 mins and then be brought off? We need to be thinking ahead with this one. The only other lock to come in would be Ball even though he’s off next year.

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Post by BigGee Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:29 pm

I would be very surprised to see any of Lydgate or the two Williams back again next week, the 6 day turnaround will make it almost impossible for anyone failing a HIA and Lydgate unfortunately looked like he took a bad one.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:34 pm

The four injuries seem like they’re out. The two HIAs are because of the 6 day turnaround. Lydiate’s injury is bad, but awaiting scan. Pivac hinted at ACL injury  Crying or Very sad . Williams’ injury didn’t look like something they could sort in six days either.

Tompkins went ok today, but I think he may go for Watkin just for defence. I think they have to go Navidi to try and counter the two Scottish flankers. Liam Williams straight in on the left wing obviously, although he’s pretty lucky.

I think AWJ was Wales’ best player. Good to see him making dominant tackles.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:36 pm

Just read that Tompkins took a shoulder knock too.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:42 pm

AWJ is a mountain, I wish he had another 10 years in him...

Regardless of injury I think Tompkins needs to go as he doesn’t look like an international player. He can’t defend and so far has only showed up against Italy, once. Given that’s two centres out, and JD is knackered and injured, it would make sense to plug the gap with a big ball carrying centre, Jamie Roberts for example... Wonder if Webb might also get the nod too, you never know with Pivac.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:46 pm

You gave to feel sorry for Lydate he was doing so well,

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Post by George Carlin Mon 08 Feb 2021, 7:15 am

Great win against Ireland - it doesn't matter why - a win is a win and you play the guys in front of you.

Who is still fit for the Scotland game though? Thompkins and North have quite nasty injury reports, the main 4 guys mentioned above are already out and Josh Adams was already suspended.
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Post by RiscaGame Mon 08 Feb 2021, 7:51 am

North losing sight for a while doesn’t sound great. I could see that he was struggling, before the one kick off. I imagine he will be fit though, however his one eye in particular didn’t look good.




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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 14 Feb 2021, 2:01 pm

Hey guys, and dolls. I didn’t think it was great yet again, and there is a lot to work on. Somehow we are 2 from 2 but I do believe the red cards had a lot to do with that... That said I think we have improved since the autumn.

Going forward I think we need to change the backline. There’s no creativity with Biggar and he put in some very poor kicks yesterday. Sheedy or Evans for me.

Never thought I’d be saying it but we need to bench or drop Gareth Davies too, based on yesterday’s performance. He had a bit of a shocker. If only Webb was in the squad, he’d likely be in the 23 now. I haven’t been greatly impressed with Tomos Williams but he usually shows up well against minnow opposition.

Tompkins isn’t an international player for me. He’s had little game time with Dragons and he didn’t look great anyway. If we want a good attacking threat in midfield then it has to be Halaholo and North. Next in line Johnny and Kieran Williams - I don’t think the JD2 we all know will be coming back.

Credit to Wyn Jones and Beard who had decent games. Wainwright seemed to bring limited impact - so I don’t see the need for much change up front unless it’s to bring in Navidi, or experiment with someone else at blindside. Credit to Pivac for benching AWJ, but I fully expect him to make more selection blunders in 2 weeks time. I hope I’m wrong.

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Post by LordDowlais Sun 14 Feb 2021, 2:38 pm

Isn't Josh Adams back in the fold for the next game ?

I would like to see Liam Williams back at fullback for the next game, Halfpenny has been poor as of late, I would be tempted to drop Biggar and Gareth Davies as well, but I think we will need their experience against England, also England tend to target the 9/10/12 area and Dan Biggar is a bit of a beast in defence.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 14 Feb 2021, 2:43 pm

I agree with all of that Mikey. Yeah, I haven’t been impressed with Gareth Davies either and I’m usually one of his biggest fans. A poor decision with the kick last week, poor passing and decision making at times this week. Just not quite at the high standard that he usually sets. No breaks from him either from memory, and that attacking threat is one of the main things he brings to the game.

Tomkins looks a little lost at this level. I think he needs much more space to do his thing, and there just isn’t that at this level. Not the way Wales play at the moment anyway. The way Scotland play might suit his game a bit more as they seem to run from deeper and come onto the ball at pace and from different angles. With Wales he’s often getting the ball quite flat and he’s getting defences up in his face much quicker and he’s being manhandled a bit. We either need to evolve our style of play to suit him and what he brings, or bring in/bring back players better suited. I’m not sure what Pivac is trying to do yet so maybe we’ll end up being well suited to Tompkins and vice versa.

We do look better than the Autumn series, but we’re attacking against teams with a man missing in their defensive line so I think we have to take it with a pinch of salt. Really pleased with the scrum though generally. A few penalties against here and there but plenty won too. We haven’t been marched back. Generally it looks much better. Better lineout yesterday. Fewer mistakes across the pitch too and much better at retaining possession and building phases.
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Post by The Oracle Sun 14 Feb 2021, 2:48 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Isn't Josh Adams back in the fold for the next game  ?

I would like to see Liam Williams back at fullback for the next game, Halfpenny has been poor as of late, I would be tempted to drop Biggar and Gareth Davies as well, but I think we will need their experience against England, also England tend to target the 9/10/12 area and Dan Biggar is a bit of a beast in defence.

I’d like LW at FB too. Great if Adams back. A back 3 of LRZ, Adams and LW, North and maybe Halaholo in the centres. That would be great for me. I agree Biggar brings experience and the big game ability but has been a bit poor too lately. We seemed so much better with Sheedy and Hardy on yesterday. Wasn’t it last year or the year before when Biggar was on the bench vs England and then came on all fired up and won it almost single handedly? Maybe that’s what he needs. Put him in the bench and let him finish the game for us.
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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 14 Feb 2021, 4:05 pm

Difficult to leave Halfpenny out as the guy never does wrong but we need more of an attacking threat, and I don’t see him as the future anyway. So if North is 13 then it’s Adams, LRZ and Williams in the back 3 for me. With Lane unavailable there is definitely a drop-off in quality behind these guys.

That line about experience is overused, often by Pivac and it hasn’t benefited us yet. It will bring absolutely no benefit against England. Can Biggar close out a game? Presumably so, the last 10 or 20 maybe.

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Post by chris_501 Sun 14 Feb 2021, 7:24 pm

Great to get another win yesterday, I don't think the red card had a huge amount of impact on the final result. It was a 2 point game at the time, with all the momentum in our favour.

The major positives for me, was the improvement in the lineout and maul. Beard was great in both attack and defence around that. He also played a part in the move for LRZ's second try. It's good to see him back in form.
LRZ was electric, he is jogging past other quick back 3 players sprinting.
Watkin, missed tackle on Hogg aside, offered some real physicality both in attack and defence. The best game I've see him play for Wales.
Wyn Jones, again showed up well, fair play for going the full 80.
The replacements - I was a little worried by our bench, but Halaholo, Sheedy, Hardy and Botham came on and added a real positive impetus. Massive shout out to Leon Brown too for coming on and shoring up the scrum under all that pressure.

Negatives are the continued patchy form of Davies, Biggar and Tompkins. The first two have shown their class internationally and I wouldn't rule them out still playing a big part in this campaign. Tompkins has had a bit of time in the international game, hopefully he can go back to the Dragons and work on the areas around defence and contact that he's lacking at the moment.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:53 am

Just thinking about recent form and injury records for a moment, I've concluded that Williams and Davies are the second choice midfield. If we're to have any chance of beating England then Halaholo and North have to start at 12 and 13. Maybe start the former 2 against Italy as that should be a win no matter who we put out. I can't see Jarrod Evans being involved in any shape or form against England, but he could make the bench against Italy I suppose. Watch clueless Pivac do the total opposite now and start Davies, Biggar, Williams and JD2 against England whilst citing experience Rolling Eyes.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:30 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Just thinking about recent form and injury records for a moment, I've concluded that Williams and Davies are the second choice midfield. If we're to have any chance of beating England then Halaholo and North have to start at 12 and 13. Maybe start the former 2 against Italy as that should be a win no matter who we put out. I can't see Jarrod Evans being involved in any shape or form against England, but he could make the bench against Italy I suppose. Watch clueless Pivac do the total opposite now and start Davies, Biggar, Williams and JD2 against England whilst citing experience Rolling Eyes.

Huh?

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:37 pm

chris_501 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Just thinking about recent form and injury records for a moment, I've concluded that Williams and Davies are the second choice midfield. If we're to have any chance of beating England then Halaholo and North have to start at 12 and 13. Maybe start the former 2 against Italy as that should be a win no matter who we put out. I can't see Jarrod Evans being involved in any shape or form against England, but he could make the bench against Italy I suppose. Watch clueless Pivac do the total opposite now and start Davies, Biggar, Williams and JD2 against England whilst citing experience Rolling Eyes.

Huh?

Clueless Pivac.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:41 pm

I was being a bit facetious, but I'm still interested in what he would have to do to win you over?

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:50 pm

chris_501 wrote:I was being a bit facetious, but I'm still interested in what he would have to do to win you over?

Leave the role.

What has he done to win you over? His record is abysmal. His selection of coaching and playing staff has also been poor. I think a bit of perspective is required for the previous two games...

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