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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 mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 3:14 pm

Dillon Lewis released from squad due to nick injury. WillGriff John called into squad.

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Post by No9 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 3:23 pm

More concerned that Rees-Zammit and Faletaeu will be playing for Glous and Bath this week... Before a Wales/England game, where England cant afford to lose and Wales can take a Triple Crown and be 99.9999% guaranteed to have a Grand Slam game against France.

I know there's no formal agreement between WRU and PR, but this sticks in my throat as being totally unfair with no consideration at all for player welfare.

furious furious furious

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Post by chris_501 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 3:31 pm

I always wanted to see what the team could do this 6N, so far 2/2 and I’m very happy about that. His team selections over the last 2 games have been impressive. Bringing back Beard, North at 13. He was clearly experimenting and using the autumn to look at players.

He’s also made some tough decisions, getting rid of Hayward, then at the weekend, bringing on Brown, Sheedy and Hardy when he did.

I think it’s easy to look back at the Gatland era with rose tinted glasses, we had a phenomenal amount of success, but it wasn’t plain sailing year on year. I heard that we hadn’t scored 4 tries away from home except against Italy for over 10 years before Saturday. We slipped to third seeds for the 2015 WC, but Gatland got it right in most of the big matches, which I hope Pivac will continue to do.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 3:34 pm

No9 wrote:More concerned that Rees-Zammit and Faletaeu will be playing for Glous and Bath this week... Before a Wales/England game, where England cant afford to lose and Wales can take a Triple Crown and be 99.9999% guaranteed to have a Grand Slam game against France.

I know there's no formal agreement between WRU and PR, but this sticks in my throat as being totally unfair with no consideration at all for player welfare.

furious  furious  furious

But the clubs pay their wages! Sheedy is starting for Bristol too. The only reason I would expect these clubs not to select the Welsh players would be COVID related.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 4:11 pm

chris_501 wrote:I always wanted to see what the team could do this 6N, so far 2/2 and I’m very happy about that. His team selections over the last 2 games have been impressive. Bringing back Beard, North at 13. He was clearly experimenting and using the autumn to look at players.

He’s also made some tough decisions, getting rid of Hayward, then at the weekend, bringing on Brown, Sheedy and Hardy when he did.

I think it’s easy to look back at the Gatland era with rose tinted glasses, we had a phenomenal amount of success, but it wasn’t plain sailing year on year. I heard that we hadn’t scored 4 tries away from home except against Italy for over 10 years before Saturday. We slipped to third seeds for the 2015 WC, but Gatland got it right in most of the big matches, which I hope Pivac will continue to do.

I mean those are all fair points of view, but i don't see why we have to give credit when it was so patently obvious laughing. I mean I did give him a bit of credit for some of the picks anyway, through gritted teeth. I don't think it was really about experimenting. What Pivac had tried in the 6N failed, he carried it on into the game against France, Scotland and the rest of the Autumn - it still failed. Then he turned around and said "yeah fam we're just giving everyone a chance." A lot of the selections were just wrong since day 1 and it was costly.

He appointed Hayward in the first instance. I and many others spoke out against this, it turned out to be true. Again bringing on Brown, Sheedy and Hardy was the obvious call.

The Wales coach is always going to be hamstrung because the Regions aren't fit for purpose. Not saying we need to disband them, I'm saying they need to improve. Gatland did a great job all things considered. No.1 in the world speaks for itself. I think had he remained he would've freshened up the squad anyway, where-as Pivac tried to do his own thing but held onto some players and picked a bunch of average Scarlets. LRZ aside, and we were all clamouring for that selection last year, I didn't see a whole lot of positives in the first two matches. I honestly believe we would have lost both if it was 15 vs 15. I know that won't matter to some but it's what I believe to be true. If we beat England despite our form, it just shows NH rugby is in a horrible state. France look like the only ones who can play successful rugby that is good to watch.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 20 Feb 2021, 12:20 am

Watched, or slept, though parts of Bath-Gloucester this afternoon.  Louis Rees-Zammit is absolutely freaking phenomenal.  I almost felt bad that he has to play for a team that gives him so little opportunity - but still he finds the ball and makes things happen.  Hopefully he stays healthy and really develops his career (except when playing Saints, then a little STD should keep him away).  I even want to see him against England next weekend.  He can really light up a defence and is simply fun to watch.

Of all players being considered for Lions, if he continues to play at this level this season, how can he not be selected?  I know it's a small data set so far, but who now is better?

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Post by chris_501 Sat 20 Feb 2021, 11:24 am

He's clearly a guy that's playing with huge confidence at the moment. I would say that he's jumped ahead of Adams on current form, only Watson, May and DVDM would be ahead of him in my opinion.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 20 Feb 2021, 12:36 pm

Not a bad shout. I didn’t picture it happening but LRZ is a Lion if his upward trajectory continues. The home nations’ locks are also better than I previously rated them, there’s some good competition there.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 20 Feb 2021, 1:43 pm

I think he is right on target. The only caveat is he has to continue his form through the rest of the season.  If he does, however, he should get his passport ready and will certainly offer something very different and aggressive in attack. The options Lions would have with LRZ, van der Merwe, May, and Watson is incredible. Each with pace, but each offering something completely different.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 22 Feb 2021, 12:12 pm

chris_501 wrote:He's clearly a guy that's playing with huge confidence at the moment. I would say that he's jumped ahead of Adams on current form, only Watson, May and DVDM would be ahead of him in my opinion.

The lesson for Josh Adams should be that when you've got a place in the national side, don't jeopardise it.

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Post by chris_501 Tue 23 Feb 2021, 2:48 pm

Forwards look pretty well sewn up, I'll be interested to see who gets the bench spots for the 2nd and back row.

What do we all think will happen in the backs? Personally, I'd like to see -

9.Davies
10.Sheedy
11.Adams
12.Halaholo
13.North
14.LRZ
15.Williams

21.Hardy
22.Biggar
23.Watkin

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Post by Noble-Surfer Tue 23 Feb 2021, 3:55 pm

chris_501 wrote:Forwards look pretty well sewn up, I'll be interested to see who gets the bench spots for the 2nd and back row.

What do we all think will happen in the backs? Personally, I'd like to see -

9.Davies
10.Sheedy
11.Adams
12.Halaholo
13.North
14.LRZ
15.Williams

21.Hardy
22.Biggar
23.Watkin

I'd go with Hardy over Davies to start - I think his service has looked faster when he's come on in the previous games, and Davies always likes to look for a snipe around the fringe of a ruck, so might be more suited to coming on later when there are a few tired bodies on the field.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Feb 2021, 8:00 pm

Noble-Surfer wrote:
chris_501 wrote:Forwards look pretty well sewn up, I'll be interested to see who gets the bench spots for the 2nd and back row.

What do we all think will happen in the backs? Personally, I'd like to see -

9.Davies
10.Sheedy
11.Adams
12.Halaholo
13.North
14.LRZ
15.Williams

21.Hardy
22.Biggar
23.Watkin

I'd go with Hardy over Davies to start - I think his service has looked faster when he's come on in the previous games, and Davies always likes to look for a snipe around the  fringe of a ruck, so might be more suited to coming on later when there are a few tired bodies on the field.

Can't argue with that. If available I think JD2 or Williams might be on the bench. If Williams and JD2 start then that's a shocker.

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Post by No9 Wed 24 Feb 2021, 1:50 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Noble-Surfer wrote:
chris_501 wrote:Forwards look pretty well sewn up, I'll be interested to see who gets the bench spots for the 2nd and back row.

What do we all think will happen in the backs? Personally, I'd like to see -

9.Davies
10.Sheedy
11.Adams
12.Halaholo
13.North
14.LRZ
15.Williams

21.Hardy
22.Biggar
23.Watkin

I'd go with Hardy over Davies to start - I think his service has looked faster when he's come on in the previous games, and Davies always likes to look for a snipe around the  fringe of a ruck, so might be more suited to coming on later when there are a few tired bodies on the field.

Can't argue with that. If available I think JD2 or Williams might be on the bench. If Williams and JD2 start then that's a shocker.

Cant go with that, we have no consistent kicker, and we'll need to take the penalty points against England if offered up..
Sheedy's kicking against Scotland was woeful.. I would have passed them to Liam after some of those misses Sheedy had.

For me, based on game performance so far (and that's not great performance for most) it has to be:

9.Davies
10.Biggar (as Halfpenny, I believe, is out following concussion protocols)
11.Adams
12.Halaholo
13.Davies
14.LRZ
15.Williams

21.Hardy
22.Sheedy (and then I'd really consider Jarrod Evans for this game before Sheedy)
23.North (can cover Centre and Wing.. will make an impact off bench)

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Post by chris_501 Wed 24 Feb 2021, 8:28 am

Sheedy kicked 6/6 at the weekend, and I would argue that kicking in the Principality is a lot easier than at Murrayfield.

The reason I've gone for Davies over Hardy is to add a little experience in those half backs. Hardy is a more experienced coming off the bench and making an impact.

With the options we have at centre, combined with his form so far this year, I can't make an argument for having JD2 in the team. It's a shame he wasn't released back to the Scarlets over the weekend to get some game time and to see how he got on.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 Feb 2021, 9:16 am

Oh dear No9 are you Wayne Pivac picard

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Post by Noble-Surfer Wed 24 Feb 2021, 11:19 am

chris_501 wrote:Sheedy kicked 6/6 at the weekend, and I would argue that kicking in the Principality is a lot easier than at Murrayfield.

The reason I've gone for Davies over Hardy is to add a little experience in those half backs. Hardy is a more experienced coming off the bench and making an impact.

With the options we have at centre, combined with his form so far this year, I can't make an argument for having JD2 in the team. It's a shame he wasn't released back to the Scarlets over the weekend to get some game time and to see how he got on.

I can understand wanting a bit more experience in the half backs, and appreciate that going with Hardy/ Sheedy at 9 & 10 does leave us light on experience, but I just think we gain more than we lose with the speed of Hardy's pass over Davies' experience. There will be plenty of other players on the pitch with lots of experience who can contribute as and when that's needed, and this would leave Hardy and Sheedy to dictate the pace of our game.

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Post by chris_501 Wed 24 Feb 2021, 11:26 am

Noble-Surfer wrote:
chris_501 wrote:Sheedy kicked 6/6 at the weekend, and I would argue that kicking in the Principality is a lot easier than at Murrayfield.

The reason I've gone for Davies over Hardy is to add a little experience in those half backs. Hardy is a more experienced coming off the bench and making an impact.

With the options we have at centre, combined with his form so far this year, I can't make an argument for having JD2 in the team. It's a shame he wasn't released back to the Scarlets over the weekend to get some game time and to see how he got on.

I can understand wanting a bit more experience in the half backs, and appreciate that going with Hardy/ Sheedy at 9 & 10 does leave us light on experience, but I just think we gain more than we lose with the speed of Hardy's pass over Davies' experience. There will be plenty of other players on the pitch with lots of experience who can contribute as and when that's needed, and this would leave Hardy and Sheedy to dictate the pace of our game.

I have to say, I wouldn't mind if Hardy was starting. He looks like he'll be an international standard scrum half for quite a long time. It's good to have options, once Tomos Williams is back, there's real competition for the shirt. Would having Halaholo at 12 make a difference in terms of lacking experience?

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 24 Feb 2021, 12:19 pm

It seems like Wales are going with this.

Hardy, Biggar, Adams, JD2, North, LRZ, Williams.

WOW.

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Post by No9 Wed 24 Feb 2021, 1:01 pm

RiscaGame wrote:It seems like Wales are going with this.

Hardy, Biggar, Adams, JD2, North, LRZ, Williams.

WOW.

According to the BBC... but they don't know, they are just speculating the same as the rest of us.

BUT... Against England we have to have a kicker, so expect Biggar to start. Expect Pivac to play North, but think he should be on the bench allowing Halaholo to start at 12 and JD at his usual 13. Why play both centres out of position against England. This is NOT the game to experiment with.

And as I was challenged earlier about Sheedy's kicking. He may have slotted 6 from 6 for Bristol on the weekend, but he also missed kicks you don't expect an international 10 to miss against Scotland. He has to be given another go, as he will learn and get better, but NOT against England with a Triple Crown riding on it. Try the week after against Italy, where he should have plenty of practice of conversions.

But still think Pivac's job has been saved by 2 very poor performances but wins never the less. If he continues to "change the way Wales play", then I'm expected a 2-3 score loss this weekend and Wales to wave goodbye to this years tournament... But eh.. expecting to win against Italy, its still 3 times better than last years 6 Nations furious

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 Feb 2021, 1:36 pm

Biggar has been too poor to justify a start. You either lose the higher likelihood of scoring 7 points (Sheedy), or losing the higher likelihood of scoring 3 points (Biggar).

It's a no-brainer for me, especially seeing as Sheedy can easily improve his kicking.

I'm not sure why anyone would select JD2. He is getting a little old which seems to make him more injury prone, and he's had a horrid time with injuries lately, which has affected his pace and form. I would have left him with Scarlets to get some game time as he hasn't played much - also I feel it's important to note that the last time JD2 featured for Scarlets he was completed outplayed by Halaholo and Lee-lo.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 24 Feb 2021, 1:43 pm

I got it from the Telegraph. Journos do tend to have the inside track on these things. It won't surprise me if he does, as I suspect Pivac will focus on the kicking battle and thus go for Davies' left boot. This is all wrong for me. Davies has been injured for long periods and was woeful against Cardiff. I have no qualms with any other of the selections, other than him. I would play North at 13 and Halaholo 12. If not Halaholo, then at least Johnny Williams.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 24 Feb 2021, 2:22 pm

No9 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:It seems like Wales are going with this.

Hardy, Biggar, Adams, JD2, North, LRZ, Williams.

WOW.

According to the BBC... but they don't know, they are just speculating the same as the rest of us.

BUT... Against England we have to have a kicker, so expect Biggar to start. Expect Pivac to play North, but think he should be on the bench allowing Halaholo to start at 12 and JD at his usual 13.

Halaholo and Davies 12 and 13 is what I'd go for, and seems like the obvious choice to me. JD2 at 12 is a horrible selection. When was the last time he played inside centre? Has he ever played there at Test level?

I also object to Josh Adams waltzing back into the side like that, but that's my issue not his!

No9 wrote:But still think Pivac's job has been saved by 2 very poor performances but wins never the less.

Pretty much.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 24 Feb 2021, 2:29 pm

What would be the alternative to Adams on the wing? North going back there?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 24 Feb 2021, 2:45 pm

Adams coming in makes sense, that wasn't really my point, I just don't like him, to be frank. He comes across as a bit of a d!ck on the field, and then with the gender-reveal party thing - I can't stand it when people think the rules don't apply to them. The rest us have toed the line, and it's been sh!t, but we've done it.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 Feb 2021, 4:00 pm

JD2 played 12 a couple times for Wales early in his career, back then Scarlets and Wales weren't sure where he should play. He also played 12 for the Lions. As I said I wouldn't have started him, Halaholo and North for me - not many greater attacking threats than that in the 6N.

JD's first Wales match at 12: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/welsh/8363510.stm#:~:text=Three%20opportunistic%20tries%20led%20Wales,Argentina%20in%20Cardiff%20on%20Saturday.&text=Wales%20showed%20their%20early%20intent,back%20of%20an%20Argentina%20ruck.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 24 Feb 2021, 4:07 pm

Thanks OK

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Post by No9 Wed 24 Feb 2021, 5:42 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I got it from the Telegraph. Journos do tend to have the inside track on these things. It won't surprise me if he does, as I suspect Pivac will focus on the kicking battle and thus go for Davies' left boot. This is all wrong for me. Davies has been injured for long periods and was woeful against Cardiff. I have no qualms with any other of the selections, other than him. I would play North at 13 and Halaholo 12. If not Halaholo, then at least Johnny Williams.

Fair enough Risca. Mentioned BBC as I read a very similar thing on their pages at lunchtime.. All speculation on North and JD starting, so I assumed that's where you got it from.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 Feb 2021, 8:24 pm

BBC and WOL said the same, I don’t think they would all say it if it weren’t any substance to it.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 01 Mar 2021, 4:09 pm

Does anybody know the outcome of Keiron Hardy ? He limped off holding his hamstring, did anybody else notice this ?

I have not heard any news on it though.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 01 Mar 2021, 6:05 pm

Strange it wasn’t spoken about in the post match interview. Hopefully just cramp.

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Post by No9 Mon 01 Mar 2021, 6:29 pm

No9 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:It seems like Wales are going with this.

Hardy, Biggar, Adams, JD2, North, LRZ, Williams.

WOW.

According to the BBC... but they don't know, they are just speculating the same as the rest of us.

BUT... Against England we have to have a kicker, so expect Biggar to start. Expect Pivac to play North, but think he should be on the bench allowing Halaholo to start at 12 and JD at his usual 13. Why play both centres out of position against England. This is NOT the game to experiment with.

And as I was challenged earlier about Sheedy's kicking. He may have slotted 6 from 6 for Bristol on the weekend, but he also missed kicks you don't expect an international 10 to miss against Scotland. He has to be given another go, as he will learn and get better, but NOT against England with a Triple Crown riding on it. Try the week after against Italy, where he should have plenty of practice of conversions.

But still think Pivac's job has been saved by 2 very poor performances but wins never the less. If he continues to "change the way Wales play", then I'm expected a 2-3 score loss this weekend and Wales to wave goodbye to this years tournament... But eh.. expecting to win against Italy, its still 3 times better than last years 6 Nations furious


Ok, pulling back one of my previous posts, to say I WAS WRONG... Sorry

I was totally wrong about Sheedy and I stand corrected... His place kicking on Sat, was top drawer as was his all round No10 play.. He's  young man and will only get better. I stand corrected, and agree with those who put me in my place before. He should be the incumbent of the No10 shirt and think he'll be for quite a while ... Well done Mr Sheedy sir... clap clap clap notworthy


I'm not saying I was wrong about Pivac yet, but I will say I've probably judged him too soon. If Pivac can carry on and take us to a Slam this year (which only Sean Edwards and France can stop us), and he builds on that for the Autumn (assuming we get some SH test), then I will accept I was totally wrong.

But for the time being... Thank you Mr Pivac, please please keep the team going and dont fall back. clap clap clap

... and that goes for me saying North shouldn't be in the Centre... George is proving me wrong there as well ... Well done George, keep it up boyo..  clap  clap  clap

But I do stand by my original comment that Byron Hayward as international defence coach was a b!oody stupid appointment.

Fingers crossed I will eat my previous words again.. Yahoo


Last edited by No9 on Mon 01 Mar 2021, 6:36 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 01 Mar 2021, 6:30 pm

Post match has the aged donkey centre pairing won people over?

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Post by No9 Mon 01 Mar 2021, 6:33 pm

Just edited.. as forgot to mention my criticism of North at Centre..

But I think it worked.. Good call by Pivac.. can see now why he got the job and not me.. Whistle

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 01 Mar 2021, 7:26 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Post match has the aged donkey centre pairing won people over?

Most were only really questioning Davies, weren’t they? I wouldn’t change my mind on that.

Halaholo to start against Italy.

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Post by JDizzle Mon 01 Mar 2021, 7:28 pm

No9 wrote:
No9 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:It seems like Wales are going with this.

Hardy, Biggar, Adams, JD2, North, LRZ, Williams.

WOW.

According to the BBC... but they don't know, they are just speculating the same as the rest of us.

BUT... Against England we have to have a kicker, so expect Biggar to start. Expect Pivac to play North, but think he should be on the bench allowing Halaholo to start at 12 and JD at his usual 13. Why play both centres out of position against England. This is NOT the game to experiment with.

And as I was challenged earlier about Sheedy's kicking. He may have slotted 6 from 6 for Bristol on the weekend, but he also missed kicks you don't expect an international 10 to miss against Scotland. He has to be given another go, as he will learn and get better, but NOT against England with a Triple Crown riding on it. Try the week after against Italy, where he should have plenty of practice of conversions.

But still think Pivac's job has been saved by 2 very poor performances but wins never the less. If he continues to "change the way Wales play", then I'm expected a 2-3 score loss this weekend and Wales to wave goodbye to this years tournament... But eh.. expecting to win against Italy, its still 3 times better than last years 6 Nations furious


Ok, pulling back one of my previous posts, to say I WAS WRONG... Sorry

I was totally wrong about Sheedy and I stand corrected... His place kicking on Sat, was top drawer as was his all round No10 play.. He's  young man and will only get better. I stand corrected, and agree with those who put me in my place before. He should be the incumbent of the No10 shirt and think he'll be for quite a while ... Well done Mr Sheedy sir... clap clap clap notworthy


I'm not saying I was wrong about Pivac yet, but I will say I've probably judged him too soon. If Pivac can carry on and take us to a Slam this year (which only Sean Edwards and France can stop us), and he builds on that for the Autumn (assuming we get some SH test), then I will accept I was totally wrong.

But for the time being... Thank you Mr Pivac, please please keep the team going and dont fall back. clap clap clap

... and that goes for me saying North shouldn't be in the Centre... George is proving me wrong there as well ... Well done George, keep it up boyo..  clap  clap  clap

But I do stand by my original comment that Byron Hayward as international defence coach was a b!oody stupid appointment.

Fingers crossed I will eat my previous words again.. Yahoo

Hardly worth mentioning as Sheedy played so well with ball in hand and kicked so well too on Saturday - but you don't see elite kickers with his almost old school big right to left draw style of kick anymore. Barrett is perhaps the only one, and he can be flakey. Biggar and 1/2p are dead straight almost. Something to work on, but churlish to bring it up and hold it against him at the moment!

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Post by The Oracle Mon 01 Mar 2021, 7:42 pm

I thought JD2 was largely anonymous against England. Did he do much of note? Can’t remember what his defence was like but must have been fairly solid for me not to notice any glaring missed tackles. If that’s the case then great, but I think a centre paring of North and Halaholo, with back 3 of LZR, Adams, Liam Williams would be my preference going forward. Just think that JD2 suited a more defensive game under gatland and could make a little bit of ground in heavy traffic. But with a more open style, especially if we go for someone like Sheedy, then we need better running centres. Not saying Halaholo has set the world on fire so far, but just that I feel it’s probably about the right time to be phasing out JD2 unless he can show at club level that he’s sh*t hot and worthy of a place in a fast attacking set up.
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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 01 Mar 2021, 8:20 pm

I thought JD2 was anonymous too, like he mostly has been for Scarlets. I still think Halaholo needs a good run with North, otherwise try Williams at 12 with Halaholo at 13; no point in starting JD2 against Italy as we don't gain anything from it but I would give him a run off the bench against Italy to see where he is at during that round and then no more.

I'm still not sold on Pivac. There is a lot that is stodgy about Wales' play still, and I can just picture the SH putting 60 on us playing like that - luckily for Wales the home nations and Ireland aren't great this year. i think it's a step backwards to extend Pivac beyond his two years. We need to beg Pat Lam to be our coach before it is an opportunity missed, the guy has to be the best coach in this hemisphere and he wants to coach us!
That said I can now see the Kiwi blueprint (that was instilled in Scarlets) and I like it, it produces more points. It involves our wingers more too, and it's why any winger from NZ is usually class. It would be good to see McNicholl and Owen Lane come back and show us what they can do. Going forward I don't think Halfpenny will really challenge Williams for the 15 jersey, but LRZ and Jmac can.

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Post by chris_501 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 10:21 am

Pivac is doing a great job. 3 from 3, with two of those being bonus point wins, its a combination of what everyone has been asking for, even during the Gatland era. This idea that SH teams would 'put 60 on us' is pure fantasy I'm afraid Mikey.

While I am a huge fan of Pat Lam, Pivac has earned his contract extension from this 6N to see us through to the WC in 2023. Look at the players blooded in the Autumn that have played a part in our campaign in the 6N so far, Botham, Hardy, Sheedy, LRZ. Throw in Halaholo and it's hard to argue that they haven't been a success. If he hadn't taken the decision to select new players with results being secondary back in November (admittedly forced by injury in some cases, especially in the back row), we may never be where we are now, sitting pretty at the top of the championship.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 02 Mar 2021, 10:51 am

Results have been timed perfectly for Pivac and there is no doubt he will get an extension. I am still unconvinced by some of his selection methods, but there we go.

I still think he could do a better job of phasing out the older guard, but at least he has started seeing the impact Dragons players can make now Wink

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Post by Oakdene Tue 02 Mar 2021, 10:58 am

You can say what you want about Pivac but at the end of the day he is 3 from 3. Also he has shown he isn't scared to make big calls during games when things aren't working. Against Scotland he pulled Davies & Biggar for Hardy & Sheedy & that, along with Hallaholo, changed the game & Sheedy's running game helped again Saturday.

We need to go fairly strong against Italy as they are always the game you target to help your points difference.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 11:20 am

chris_501 wrote:Pivac is doing a great job. 3 from 3, with two of those being bonus point wins, its a combination of what everyone has been asking for, even during the Gatland era. This idea that SH teams would 'put 60 on us' is pure fantasy I'm afraid Mikey.

While I am a huge fan of Pat Lam, Pivac has earned his contract extension from this 6N to see us through to the WC in 2023. Look at the players blooded in the Autumn that have played a part in our campaign in the 6N so far, Botham, Hardy, Sheedy, LRZ. Throw in Halaholo and it's hard to argue that they haven't been a success. If he hadn't taken the decision to select new players with results being secondary back in November (admittedly forced by injury in some cases, especially in the back row), we may never be where we are now, sitting pretty at the top of the championship.

chris, I figured you would strongly disagree with me, which is okay Wink, we can agree to disagree.

I think he is doing an okay job (and it's not an easy job to do). If anyone thinks he is doing a great job then they didn't pay attention to the way we played against Ireland and Scotland. Even England played better than us when they actually had possession; high skills/tempo and very hard into contact with the ball in the ruck for what seemed like less than 2 seconds. Gatland transformed Wales and not just the international team, I don't think we can knock him or even compare.
Whilst it might be an idea, do you remember we were due to play NZ three times in NZ and Hayward was still defence coach, you don't think those would have been drubbings? To me that's common sense, not fantasy. Whilst I'm pessimistic anyway I think it's clear to see that the SH are ahead of the NH. I'm just comparing the rugby I've seen from each and I have to say ours looks awful (except for France who aren't even the finished article yet). All of this just feels very hollow to me and I don't get excited watching any more, which is sad...

Strange times when this team, albeit full of quality but poorly coached, is top of the table. As I said I wouldn't extend and don't see myself changing my mind unless something wonderful happens in 2023. As for Pivac well I guess him and Wales were finally due some luck and we sure are riding it! His selections can still be naf but it's only recently that he has realised this - even the fans recognised it after his first couple of games. Why do coaches get credit for picking form players over past it and out of form players? It's the obvious thing to do!


Another word on our back-row, I think the current unit of Navidi, Tips and Faletau is the best unit we can out out. They were literally doing everything on Saturday, which highlights how our front 5 were a little less mobile than England's and probably a lot of other nations'. Navidi still doesn't quite get enough credit for everything he does, strange. He's probably the best player. I would experiment against Italy just a little. If you want to improve the lineout and maul then we could start Beard, Rowlands and Hill... No idea why there is reluctance towards that and towards Hill, he showed his worth again - in spite of the fact he's gone backwards since joining 'Cardiff Rugby' Wink.

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Post by chris_501 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 11:46 am

I totally agree that Gatland transformed Wales, I'm not arguing against that, but how many times did we say we wanted to see a progression from 'Warrenball' to a more attractive game. It was only the last 3/4 years I think the Welsh fans were all in agreement of what a great job he did. (Just for reference, I had no issue with the style of play, backing defence, discipline and work rate is just as as valuable a way to play as free scoring).

The old guard though are key to our squad. AWJ, Biggar, Owens and Tipuric bring the high standards enforced by Gatland and Edwards, which is what made us one of the best teams in the world. Whilst players like JD2 probably don't deserve to start with their current form, they are setting those standards for the younger players in training and around the camp.

What I think Pivac has done well in is starting to get a balance between his beliefs and those of his predecessor. Top level international rugby is always a tight affair, the margins of victory against Scotland and Ireland are similar to what I would have expected from this team under Gatland. What I'm delighted about is that it seems this Pivac team has maintained that ability to believe that when its close, and it gets to the last 5 minutes, that they WILL win the game.

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Post by chris_501 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 12:08 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
chris_501 wrote:Pivac is doing a great job. 3 from 3, with two of those being bonus point wins, its a combination of what everyone has been asking for, even during the Gatland era. This idea that SH teams would 'put 60 on us' is pure fantasy I'm afraid Mikey.

While I am a huge fan of Pat Lam, Pivac has earned his contract extension from this 6N to see us through to the WC in 2023. Look at the players blooded in the Autumn that have played a part in our campaign in the 6N so far, Botham, Hardy, Sheedy, LRZ. Throw in Halaholo and it's hard to argue that they haven't been a success. If he hadn't taken the decision to select new players with results being secondary back in November (admittedly forced by injury in some cases, especially in the back row), we may never be where we are now, sitting pretty at the top of the championship.


Whilst it might be an idea, do you remember we were due to play NZ three times in NZ and Hayward was still defence coach, you don't think those would have been drubbings?

Just quickly on this point, the team is very different with a different coach in charge of defence. You can look at it in one of two ways, either it was a poor appointment in the first place, or it was a good decision to get rid. As it currently stands, I don't believe this team would ship 60 against anyone.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 3:37 pm

chris_501 wrote: I totally agree that Gatland transformed Wales, I'm not arguing against that, but how many times did we say we wanted to see a progression from 'Warrenball' to a more attractive game. It was only the last 3/4 years I think the Welsh fans were all in agreement of what a great job he did. (Just for reference, I had no issue with the style of play, backing defence, discipline and work rate is just as as valuable a way to play as free scoring).

The old guard though are key to our squad. AWJ, Biggar, Owens and Tipuric bring the high standards enforced by Gatland and Edwards, which is what made us one of the best teams in the world. Whilst players like JD2 probably don't deserve to start with their current form, they are setting those standards for the younger players in training and around the camp.

What I think Pivac has done well in is starting to get a balance between his beliefs and those of his predecessor. Top level international rugby is always a tight affair, the margins of victory against Scotland and Ireland are similar to what I would have expected from this team under Gatland. What I'm delighted about is that it seems this Pivac team has maintained that ability to believe that when its close, and it gets to the last 5 minutes, that they WILL win the game.

Warrenball certainly divided opinion, but 7 out of 10 times it would work and those are good odds. It was always more useful than Schmidtball for example. I'm not saying drop the old guard though. AWJ, JD2, Biggar are certainly three that need to be phased out. Tips, North, Owens among others will be here for a little while longer. Elias, Lewis are two that needed to go, among the other Scarlets (Davies for example) that he kept picking. Still no Rhys Webb. Let's face it, we struggled against 14 men in both games and both opposition are not in great form either.

chris_501 wrote:Just quickly on this point, the team is very different with a different coach in charge of defence. You can look at it in one of two ways, either it was a poor appointment in the first place, or it was a good decision to get rid. As it currently stands, I don't believe this team would ship 60 against anyone.

Well as I said I just see NH rugby being awful in comparison, and we won't know otherwise until we know. Our defence isn't exactly amazing right now, some of it was very poor against Scotland and England.
Yes it was a poor appointment in the first place, one made by Pivac. We all said it was a bad idea. It took several games where the defence was horrible for Pivac to realise. You're actually wanting to give him credit for firing someone he hired who was out of their depth???

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 02 Mar 2021, 3:49 pm

I thought Byron Haywood finished on his own behalf... Headscratch

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Post by chris_501 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 7:02 pm

Definitely. Give me a coach that is happy to admit his mistakes rather than being too stubborn. You don’t need to look too far for an example of one of those....

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 02 Mar 2021, 7:14 pm

chris_501 wrote:Definitely. Give me a coach that is happy to admit his mistakes rather than being too stubborn. You don’t need to look too far for an example of one of those....

Yeah I remember when all the Wales fans moaned endlessly about Gatlandball too Whistle

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Post by chris_501 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 7:31 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
chris_501 wrote:Definitely. Give me a coach that is happy to admit his mistakes rather than being too stubborn. You don’t need to look too far for an example of one of those....

Yeah I remember when all the Wales fans moaned endlessly about Gatlandball too Whistle

Gats certainly had his moments too!! Cuthbert on the wing seemingly for years when he was shot of confidence!!

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 8:17 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I thought Byron Haywood finished on his own behalf... Headscratch

Really? Too bad chris can't give Pivac credit for firing him then!

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