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Wales v Ireland ANC Match Thread

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 6:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

Nice to have somewhere to post about this tournament.

https://www.world.rugby/news/586964/autumn-nations-cup-everything-you-need-to-know?lang=en

First up Ireland v Wales.

13/11/2019, K/O 19:00


Last edited by rugby racing and beer on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 7:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 8:53 pm

It is hard to judge this game without fans. I do think that Wales' period of 'dominance' with ball in hand, when they have long stretches of phases and hitting soft shoulders, would be far more effective with fans putting pressure on and not being able to hear calls etc., taking vocals out of the game for the defence.

However, Wales look like France and Scotland. A combo of both. Scotland in that they look soft up front and easy to bully, and also a bit like France and Scotland, they seem unable to do the 'stringy' bits of rugby like exits. The bits the stitch a test match together and you cannot afford to just neglect or concede because you're then immediately on the back foot. Sadly, they neither have the trickery of mdoer day Scotland with ball in hand, nor the power of the French even when they were at their worse.

The scoreline now flatters Ireland a tad and the knives will be out for that first half performance. Cannot argue, either. You can't play for 20 mins and expect to win test matches.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:05 pm

Positives for Wales: not many. Tipuric, Halfpenny, Adams did fairly well. Jake Ball, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Lloyd Williams the better performers from the bench.

AWJ isn't the leader he has been, whether captain or not. Simply doesn't have the physical power to compete against a team with Roux, Ryan etc.

I'd keep Lloyd Williams over Tomos Williams. Looks a better test option at this stage, Tomos has many weaknesses at test level, still has time on his side. Gareth Davies didn't offer much, nor Biggar.

If Pivac twists instead of sticks he might decide to end a few Welsh careers over the next few weeks. AWJ, Biggar, JD2 all looking ripe for the chop.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:08 pm

Not a great match. Ireland offered more but still struggled for cohesion. Scoreline may have flattered them, but Wales only ever looked as if they would score from kicks.

With France v Fiji cancelled, I hope that the other two matches are better.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:09 pm

I wasn't really paying much attention to Ireland or Irish players. They all enjoyed an armchair ride in the first half, nice first caps for the two Kiwis. Lowe looks like he's well at home at this level. Zero need for Zebo to come back, he's a step up on him in nearly every way while offering a similar thing.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:12 pm

Shame about the Fiji game. Was looking forward to those two playing each other. It might have been the first decent game the NH has seen since the restart!

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Post by Brendan on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:15 pm

England will destroy Ireland at the lineout. Without a line out Ireland can kiss the game goodbye.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:18 pm

Another loss for Wales,. Who would of thought that?
Pivac is not doing very good is he?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:18 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Not a great match. Ireland offered more but still struggled for cohesion. Scoreline may have flattered them, but Wales only ever looked as if they would score from kicks.

I thought both were turd and are going backwards under their new coaches, but Ireland to a lesser extent. With Ireland, their provincial teams are very strong right now, so their players will always be sharp and skilled enough for international rugby. They don’t look as good for Farrell though. It was a convincing win for them nonetheless and maybe they can be congratulated for winning whilst playing, average? They could go on to get better but neither look capable of finishing within 10 points of England, and that prediction is being kind to Wales.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:40 pm

When Wales lost to Scotland for the first time in how many years? AWJ said Wales was a bit rusty since the last time they played due to the pandemic.

Surely they Wales cannot say that this time?

Have Wales for gotten how to score try's? and keep relying on Half Penny and Biggar kicking the points instead?

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Post by sensisball on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 9:50 pm

With a misfiring lineout and coughing up numerous scrum penalties, it becomes extremely hard to win an international match against decent opposition. England could have a field day up front against Wales. I feel sorry for Wyn Jones. This season will surely be his last in the red jersey and it looks like it will be a sad way to end an illustrious career.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 10:07 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:When Wales lost to Scotland for the first time in how many years? AWJ said Wales was a bit rusty since the last time they played due to the pandemic.

Surely they Wales cannot say that this time?

Have Wales for gotten how to score try's? and keep relying on Half Penny and Biggar kicking the points instead?

You misread the headlines. Pivac said Wales were rusty after France, AWJ came out and directly contradicted him. Clearly all is not well and I can't see Pivac getting the time to make this work. There are flashes of where Pivac wants Wales to be, but they're a poorer team now than they were in the 6Ns. I didn't think they could be a worse side than they were earlier in the year, I thought that was growing pains, but this isn't rust. It appears the players aren't buying in to a system that has seen them become far less competitive on the international stage almost overnight since Gatland left.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 10:09 pm

sensisball wrote:With a misfiring lineout and coughing up numerous scrum penalties, it becomes extremely hard to win an international match against decent opposition. England could have a field day up front against Wales. I feel sorry for Wyn Jones. This season will surely be his last in the red jersey and it looks like it will be a sad way to end an illustrious career.

I wouldn't disagree with that. He had decent hopes of going on the Lions tour but those are withering with every game he plays in a red shirt.

The WRU has to be putting the feelers out to Scott Robertson, Pat Lam, and whoever else might fancy a shot at a potentially lucrative coaching job in international rugby. Pivac doesn't look like the man who is in a position to end AWJ's career but that's what it looks like Wales need to do in order to improve - start making bold decisions.


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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 10:13 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Had that been a try it would have summed Wales up.

Carre off. Right call. He's just too tall.

He's shorter than Andrew Sheridan. Sheridan have a few tightheads an awful time of it. Carre is only an inch taller than Marcos Ayerza one of the most technical and consistent scrummagers I've ever seen, most props have a good spell in their prime. Ayerza's prime lasted about a decade and spanned several rewrites of the scrummaging laws. It's all about the technique, Carre probably needed to stay at Sarries that bit longer where he could learn from Vunipola and practice up against Koch.

For me, the height is the major issue with him. Sheridan was a freak and as you say not the most technical. He has a reputation for bullying Aussies but they were pants anyway. Sheridan is the exception, not the rule, for tall props.

The way Porter one the last penalty at the scrum by driving underneath Wyn Jones and dropping it, while still maintaining a flat body angle, is for me a great sign why Carre doesn't stand a chance. Unless he is insanely strong and can batter Porter while Porter's lower than him, he's going to be in trouble.

I don't disagree about it being a shame he isn't still at Saracens. They'd at least get the basics of forward play in to him. The Pro14 doesn't.

It's harder if you're taller but not impossible. The size means you can carry more weight and more power. He's just got to work hard on his technique. As I said he's only an inch taller than Ayerza and he was an incredibly technical prop at scrum time. It's tough to get to that skill level but if he wants to get there it's what he needs to do. If the WRU have any brains they'll bring in an experienced prop or scrum coach to work with. If he gets his height lower at the scrum he can go far, he's a young prop and traditionally he shouldn't be close to his peak for another 5 years.

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Post by profitius on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 10:22 pm

Poor game for the neutral I'd say. Ireland fronted up but need something extra in terms of the attacking side of things. Lots of chances were butchered. POM immense.


I hope for Wales' sake they have some new talent in the pipeline. They look a bit over the hill so maybe it was a good time for Gatland to step away.
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Post by TightHEAD on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 10:49 pm

Too many players are selected on past glories for Wales.

1/2p, AWJ, JD2, North don't look up to it

Plus NH teams look like they have forgotten how to play attacking rugby. Yes I include England in that.
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Post by No9 on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 11:36 pm

First.. We’ll done Ireland. But you need to improve vastly to have any chance of beating England.

Now, I got slated last game for saying Pivac had to go and also calling for Hayward to leave. Well thats one down, please please pull the plaster off quick and sack Pivac now before he does any more damage (if thats possible).

And who to replace him. My thoughts would be, leave Stephen Jones there, get shot of Humpries and give Geth a chance. BUT, see if Gats would come back for a short term to advise and assists. Now, as I know there is no way that would happen, my second choice is going to get me chased out of town by trolls and fans alike here.....

Leave Wellie and Geth in place, as said, and offer Howley the job. He would at least build on the legacy that Gats created not simply be out to destroy it.

(Blue paper lit... I’m now off to a safe spot till it calms down).

Oh.. and I am serious, its not a WUM.

If we dont do anything, this tournament is a lost cause. We dont have a chance in hell of beating England, and with our set piece, especially scrum the way it was today, I’m not confident we’ll beat Georgia.

So that will be Wales v Italy for last spot.... what a f**king year 2020 has turned out to be.

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 11:44 pm

Gash.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:10 am

To be fair, Wales right now look like they did under Howley. Thank fu/- his current contract sees him on the other side of the world. I can’t for the life of me see why anyone would want him back. There’s always a kiwi who will want the job. Replacements to consider should be names like Pat Lam, Scott Robertson, etc.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 9:58 am

mikey_dragon wrote:To be fair, Wales right now look like they did under Howley. Thank fu/- his current contract sees him on the other side of the world. I can’t for the life of me see why anyone would want him back. There’s always a kiwi who will want the job. Replacements to consider should be names like Pat Lam, Scott Robertson, etc.

Would Pat Lam find the same problems as Pivac though. Ignore for a minute that Lam is the highest paid DOR/head coach in the Prem so Bristol would want a fortune to end his contract early. Pivac is clearly a good coach because he got the Scarlets flying and playing a very attractive brand of rugby. Wales didn't play like that under Gatland, they leaned heavily on the Edwards defence and Gatland Ball in attack. Lam won't take them back to that he'll want an even more expansive game than Pivac. That's going to take time to build whether you keep Pivac or go with Lam.

Robertson strikes me as a more pragmatic coach so could do brilliantly and he is clearly open into broadening his coaching experience. He might be tempted to hang on in NZ a little to see if there's a change in view about whether Foster was really the right option.

Whomever comes in needs to sort the pretty poor Wales tight five and add some aggression to the defence. Maybe offering Edwards the top job would get him back, at least you'd then have that defence and Wales have good place kickers so they'll always be in a game whilst they rebuild. How long until a Williams/Tomkins midfield?

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 11:07 am

Pivac's a good coach, not a great coach. Much of what made him good was based on recruitment and picking up unheralded players who turned out to be top boys at a club of underdogs who enjoyed a 2 year period where they upset the odds in both Europe and the league, while only picking up one trophy.

I don't mean to dump on Pivac's achievement, he exceeded expectations no doubt, but he was close to the sack at the start of the title winning season. They had been on a poor run of games in the last few months of the previous season, playing ineffective and easy to read rugby, and started in exactly the same manner the start of the next. They were losing and losing and then...something clicked.

I said as much that the same WOULD happen with Wales. Now it's a COULD, I'm not sure he's going to get the time to have that period in the sun. I never thought they'd lose as many games as they have, and since lockdown they've been extremely poor (there were decent performances pre lockdown).

As above, it's high risk high pay off rugby trying to play running rugby. But it doesn't help if you look so...disorganised...when it comes to the basics. Very little test match rugby in the NH is like the 20 minute period we saw in the second half where both teams were having a crack ball in hand, long phase plays, wide passing, running at outside shoulders etc. A lot of it is just an arm wrestle and Wales were outclassed by Ireland and, embarrassingly, even managed to lose to a Scotland team that are significantly more underpowered than Ireland, England etc. and these were teams Wales were beating and beating impressively 18 months ago to win a Grand Slam.

The reality is, Pivac would not have been given the job had we hired after the world cup instead of before.

I want it to work. There were glimpses there of a performance that, probably, saved his job. Had Wales been dominated for 80 minutes like they were in 40 I could see it being over before the end of the year, but he does still need time. It's never just a one man issue and, frankly, as I've said elsewhere, the young players coming through for Wales are nowhere near the talent we've had over the last 15 years. Aaron Wainwright as one of Wales' rising stars? That's pretty depressing. SLH looks like a good, nuts and bolts trier, but he also doesn't look like he's in Tipuric or Warburton's class or anywhere near it. Carre raw and a set piece liability, the locks have been dropped, our young 9 is a defensive weakness and has been dropped admittedly in a position of strength, Patchell/Amos and others repeatedly shown they're not really up to the job against the big boys in test match rugby. Only really Josh Adams is a quality young player for Wales. We need to give Sheedy and Lloyd and others a shot at 10 because Biggar is done in this gameplan for me. A great bench player like O'Gara could be, but he's done.

Gatland's rugby made a lot of decent, some good, and a few very good players get results beyond their means. But it also put a glass ceiling on how well Wales could be. There was no way we'd ever beat NZ under Gatland. I genuinely think we could do it under Pivac, that's how different the pay off COULD be once his style of rugby clicks. Wales are playing closer to their actual standard based on regional rugby than they ever did under Gatland. What this hopefully shows is that you can't go from being pants in the regions to expecting us to pick up a running rugby game and win at test level. Look at Ireland: even with Leinster's dominance they go through periods of dross and failure at test level.

We won't be buying Lam out of a contract, or Robertson, but the feelers should be put out. It's a shame we didn't keep Brad Mooar in Wales for so many reasons. When Pivac's rugby 'clicks' it is a thing of beauty but I think what was a 'just wait and see' is now a 50:50 whether he'll get the time to make it work. We'll beat Georgia, probably batter them, but a thumping by England will not go down well.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 11:18 am

Sam, I’m sure Lam would find the same issues as Pivac but I think he would deal with it better. Wales look as though they need a new team. The players are here and there, but it might take an outsider to come in and make the changes and not get scapegoated. I’m not saying Lam will get the job but he has to be a prime candidate to succeed Pivac if he’s available. It isn’t entirely Pivac’s fault, the WRU and Regions aren’t sorting out the domestic game, it looks as if it’s dying. Pivac can be held accountable for his poor selections, the coach and playing staff, and there’s players on the pitch who look good for their clubs but clueless in a Wales jersey. That has to be a management and leadership issue.

Pivac might have been given the job too soon. He was given it whilst he had another year with Scarlets and they were very poor in his final season. I feel that guys like Lam and Robertson have cut their cloth better. Robertson’s team have dominated SR. He could come to Wales and do an okay job, and probably still get the AB’s job.

Yes, and you could sort that out with that personnel changes. Drop Elias, bring in John, bring in a new lock, get rid of Jon Humphreys. We won’t get Edwards back but surely there’s someone good out there.

I also doubt we’ll be seeing Tompkins as a mainstay. I would be looking at Williams and Halaholo.
Players to drop are Elias, Faletau, JD2, North, Biggar, Halfpenny, Lewis. Players to phase out are AWJ, Tipuric. It’s not over for the guys dropped but we’d be better off without them for now.

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Post by TJ on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 11:22 am

Wales dominated at no point in the match. yes they kept the ball in irelands half for a period but all they did was go side to side and never looked like doing more

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 11:36 am

Anyway, lots of positives for Ireland. Not sure about VDF but Doris looks tidy. Quinn Roux back is a good call, big powerful lock, important to have. POM getting a lot of praise but the pack was so dominant in the carrying in that first half any back rower would have a field day. Their 9 looked decent as well, wouldn't rule him out of Lions contention.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 11:46 am

TJ wrote:Wales dominated at no point in the match. yes they kept the ball in irelands half for a period but all they did was go side to side and never looked like doing more

They looked better when Williams came on at scrum half. Finally a bit of tempo brought some gain line success. The set piece was such a mess though and they looked lost at sea on what to do. England get a fair bit of stick both from the english and elsewhere regarding leadership but Wales looked very similar yesterday. No one really put their hand up.

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Post by bsando on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 12:08 pm

Scotland vs Italy up next. For all the praise and positivity in Scottish rugby these past few weeks they need to build on that and avoid a relapse into old bad habits.

Italy are playing some good rugby at the moment but their accuracy, ill discipline and unforced error count is too high. Even if they were to reduce that slightly today they should give Scotland a tough match. I'm not expecting an easy win at all and think it will be a close one.

Going by the stats against England, Italy had three penalties and conceded two free kicks at scrum time with England conceding a solitary free kick at the scrum. Italy had seven ruck penalties as well. The stats for me though are twelve bad passes/handling errors to England's four. It might suit them to tighten things up a bit and not try to play too expansively when it isn't on. It's not like they don't get go forward ball but I believe they tend to waste it.

Scotland will be using Hogg to drill the ball back in Italy's half and keep them pinned back. I'm expecting a lot of kicks from him and Weir today. Hopefully if Scotland can dominate scrum time they can keep Italy in their own half and look to attack a bit more than they did against Wales. The Scottish scrum has probably been my favourite improvement this year, it's something close to what it was when an in form Dickinson, Ford and Nel were packing down in that front row during the 2015 RWC.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 12:10 pm

I won't point the finger at AWJ, but as I said we are at the point where we need to being phasing the great world class player out. Tipuric part of the supposed leadership group wasn't really doing anything - another to be phased out considering the great depth we have there. Owens is getting on a bit but we sure do miss him it seems - a good player and part of the leadership group. If Sheedy comes in and kicks on I don't doubt that he would be a good leader.

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Post by No9 on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 1:34 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:To be fair, Wales right now look like they did under Howley. ...
I can’t for the life of me see why anyone would want him back. ....

Look like they did under Howley. We haven’t looked this bad since 2007.

Howley, was part of a 12 year building phase, he delivered a 6 Nations win with the demolition of an English team going for the Slam, as well as part of successful Lions tours as coach, and is the only coach that would build on Gatlands legacy not be out to pull it apart and start again, as any new Kiwi coach would.

I really do think, where we are at the moment, he would probably be the best option available to us, and he would do it at a drop of a hat without costing the WRU a fortune. Alternatively, the WRU need to put their hand deep in their pockets, swallow their pride and get Shaun Edwards back head coach. Be great if Gats would come back, but he won’t know, as he will be eyeing up the All Black job, especially on the back of the last two All Black games.

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Post by No9 on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 1:42 pm

No9 wrote:So that will be Wales v Italy for last spot....

Changed my mind.... we’ll be playing for last spot but might not be against Italy.

Shows how poor Scotland really are, but shows how p!sh poor we have been.

WRU, grow a pair now and sack Pivac.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 1:43 pm

Yeah we don't, apart from the times Howley was left in charge. You don't remember at all?

Howley presided over some shocking autumn campaigns (4 straight losses), a bollocking by Aus, 5th place in the 6 Nations, and a loss to Scotland! The team back then looked like they do know, disinterested and clueless. The backline never flourished under him. Numerous pro players called him out for being a poor coach and people manger. It would be crazy to ask him to come back, it would be as bad if not worse than it is now. Shocker of a call. I'll never get why people still try and make out Howley is a good coach, it's a joke.

He's contracted to Canada, we can't get him. We can't get Edwards either. Gatland will be focused on the Lions, Chiefs and then the AB's. The WRU need to be thinking about a replacement and yes, they need to be getting in touch with Kiwi's like the aforementioned.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 1:45 pm

No9 wrote:
No9 wrote:So that will be Wales v Italy for last spot....

Changed my mind.... we’ll be playing for last spot but might not be against Italy.

Shows how poor Scotland really are, but shows how p!sh poor we have been.

WRU, grow a pair now and sack Pivac.

It's entirely possible we'll lose to Georgia, then it's curtains for Pivac...

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Post by TJ on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 4:25 pm

No9 wrote:

Shows how poor Scotland really are,


Really?  Italy played well and scotland got a 4 try bonus and won by 11 points.  Scotland now have a 6 game unbeaten run.  Scotland also with the 3rd choice 10 starting and lost a prop and a flanker in the early part of the game. Scotland also rising up the rankings

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 6:09 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
No9 wrote:
No9 wrote:So that will be Wales v Italy for last spot....

Changed my mind.... we’ll be playing for last spot but might not be against Italy.

Shows how poor Scotland really are, but shows how p!sh poor we have been.

WRU, grow a pair now and sack Pivac.

It's entirely possible we'll lose to Georgia, then it's curtains for Pivac...

Georgia were blowing out of their backsides after 25 mins...and their pack were weak. If you don't beat them pivac deserves to go

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 6:23 pm

True; they were a little better at the World Cup. There were times where their pack destroyed ours, and then they were blowing. We wouldn’t want to just beat Georgia though it will have to be convincing.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 6:25 pm

TJ wrote:
No9 wrote:

Shows how poor Scotland really are,


Really?  Italy played well and scotland got a 4 try bonus and won by 11 points.  Scotland now have a 6 game unbeaten run.  Scotland also with the 3rd choice 10 starting and lost a prop and a flanker in the early part of the game.  Scotland also rising up the rankings

Scotland don’t look to be playing that well right now, but they can get better and probably will. Still it must be nice to be winning, we’ve forgotten how that feels!

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 15 Nov 2020, 5:12 pm

In the Wales v Ireland game who got man of the match?

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sun 15 Nov 2020, 6:22 pm

Doris I believe

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 15 Nov 2020, 6:26 pm

cheers.

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Post by No9 on Mon 16 Nov 2020, 10:54 am

TJ wrote:
No9 wrote:

Shows how poor Scotland really are,


Really?  Italy played well and scotland got a 4 try bonus and won by 11 points.  Scotland now have a 6 game unbeaten run.  Scotland also with the 3rd choice 10 starting and lost a prop and a flanker in the early part of the game.  Scotland also rising up the rankings

You really should have quoted me fully, not just sound bite it..

I said... "Shows how poor Scotland really are, but shows how p!sh poor we have been." ... and I stick by that.

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Post by TJ on Mon 16 Nov 2020, 8:50 pm

If you think Scotland are poor then you have no idea at all. 7th in the rankings. 5 wins in a row. 3 wins in the last 6N only missing out on 3rd by points differnce

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 7:41 pm

No9 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:To be fair, Wales right now look like they did under Howley. ...
I can’t for the life of me see why anyone would want him back. ....

Look like they did under Howley. We haven’t looked this bad since 2007.

Howley, was part of a 12 year building phase, he delivered a 6 Nations win with the demolition of an English team going for the Slam, as well as part of successful Lions tours as coach, and is the only coach that would build on Gatlands legacy not be out to pull it apart and start again, as any new Kiwi coach would.

I really do think, where we are at the moment, he would probably be the best option available to us, and he would do it at a drop of a hat without costing the WRU a fortune. Alternatively, the WRU need to put their hand deep in their pockets, swallow their pride and get Shaun Edwards back head coach. Be great if Gats would come back, but he won’t know, as he will be eyeing up the All Black job, especially on the back of the last two All Black games.

I agree with your defence of Howley. The back seat judgement by people in Wales is terrible. Howley = everything bad. Gatland = everything good. It's infantile and embarrassing.

What I found interesting was how Wales were actually a worse attacking side with Stephen Jones out in Japan than Howley. Now, mitigating circumstances, yes, but we're seeing the same binary blame culture within the Welsh tabloid media and then of course too many of its readers as well. Stephen Jones = good. Why? Great Welsh player, has done well at two clubs. Humphreys = bad. Why? Not a great, people don't give credit to forwards for doing their jobs and winning, much easier to praise the backs. Pivac = mostly bad. Why? The man in charge, everything's about results. It's infantile.

Howley is a decent coach who has now been lost to Welsh rugby, which is a shame. The reality is, he's one of Wales' best coaches, and that's not Howley's fault.

I wouldn't look at Howley, he's burned too many bridges, and I also think Pivac has a better pedigree for the job.

However, we cannot hold on to Gatland forever. We probably got more out of him than we ought to. Shaun Edwards was meant to leave in 2011. Gatland was likely to leave after 2011 had the WC not gone well. People forget, a lot of Gatland's early years were poor. Following the Grand Slam there was a steady decline until fresh blood reinvigorated the side for 2011 RWC.

The job at hand in evolving the side is far, far bigger than it was then. It's also been ruined by covid and the lack of sharpness and rugby that's been played. Add in the issues at the Scarlets with Brad Mooar leaving and the prime Welsh region on which Pivac would be selecting players and basing his playing squad on has been disrupted and so the transition from regions to international side is even less seamless than it normally would be.

In all honesty, you look at the players, and Wales look like the 4th best side in the Six Nations. Comfortably so. They look better than Scotland, better than Italy, but they're miles off the other 3 packs. The backs could hold their own in certain positions but they're let down by the half backs, or rather the 10s. I think Wales is in something of a golden era of 9s and it's good to have Lloyd Williams back and looking like a decent option. Making this Welsh team compete with the big 3 teams is going to be a challenge. Gatland coming back wouldn't bring back the top players who won the tournaments and games that he built his reputation upon. No Warburton, no Roberts, Faletau looks knackered, no Anscombe, AWJ nearing the end, JD2 looks crocked. No leaders like Mike Phillips or Gethin Jenkins. We're just not a good group of players at the moment. The Welsh pack in particular looks tier 2, far too lightweight.

Gatland's legacy had to be 'pulled apart'. His legacy was basically training the Welsh boys in a specific way to maximised their accuracy and fitness within a particular defence-oriented and high ball in play time gameplan. That was basically Gatlandball - keep the ball in play, take the explosiveness out of bigger, stronger packs, and then be more accurate them then. Add in Edwards and you get the defence. Which region played like that prior to Gatland? Which region plays like that now?! Gatland's work went from tournament to tournament, taking underperforming groups of players and making them overperform. That wasn't a 'legacy' - it was excellent coaching/management that covered over the fact that Welsh rugby has been slowly declining over the last 15 years at every level below the national team. Pivac didn't 'inherit' that because there was nothing to inerhit - only something metaphysical and abstract, like 'confidence' from being Grand Slam champions and pushing the WC winners to the wire out in Japan.

Pivac has inherited a struggling rugby nation that isn't producing talented rugby players in the way it was during the 20 previous years. The results are unacceptable and so are the performances since the restart but we need to look forward, not back, and if not Pivac, then who. Not Howley for me, Gatland obviously not. So who? Lam? Scott Robertson? Dai Young? Bernard Jackman?

The options aren't great. As far as I see it, Pivac's the best man for the job, still.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 7:48 pm

TJ wrote:If you think Scotland are poor then you have no idea at all.  7th in the rankings.  5 wins in a row.    3 wins in the last 6N only missing out on 3rd by points differnce

Scotland are definitely a poor team. They were outplayed by Italy for 50 minutes until Italy lost their nerve. They're definitely not a good team, put it that way. The Scots are enjoying the benefit of humiliation after Japan while everyone else rebuilds with less sense of shame. It's like that mate after they break up with their girlfriend, they start hitting the gym, chatting up girls, spurred on for a short while until...it all wears off and they're back to what they were. They scraped past a dog turd Welsh performance and struggled v Italy that were beaten by an English side that was fighting them one handed. I honestly think this is as good as it gets for the Scots. I know it's depressing to read, and probably painful as a Scotland fan, but I look at that team and all the game changing ability is coming from foreigners or Hogg, and they are a side that will in no way compete with a pack that wants to put its weight in to the game. So, SA, NZ, France, Ireland, England. Australia are far more talented. Once Wales sort themselves out you'd expect them to start dominating Scotland again. So 7th...I can't see how Scotland can go higher. I can't see Scotland doing what Argentina have just done. You can hold on to 'nearly third on points difference' if you want but I don't see anything but a bang average team in Scotland, and I know that's going to upset people, but it's an honest opinion. I think the same applies to all the NH teams in some ways compared to the SH, other than France and maybe England, but England can mitigate the skill gap with their power and head coach. France finally look like they could be the best team in the world if they find consistency. Scotland look like a bad iteration of what's wrong with NH rugby in my opinion, and that makes them a poor team.

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Post by No9 on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:05 pm

TJ wrote:If you think Scotland are poor then you have no idea at all.  7th in the rankings.  5 wins in a row.    3 wins in the last 6N only missing out on 3rd by points differnce

Yep, your right, I've got no idea. So lets look at those last 5 games...

Italy 0 17 Scotland [Six Nations] - A really poor Italy side...
Scotland 28 17 France [Six Nations] - A strong result against a good French Team ( OK )
Scotland 48 7 Georgia [warm-up] - Done what was needed, but not really a benchmark (although can see us falling into this trap)
Wales 10 14 Scotland [Six Nations] - Wasnt a great performance against a p!sh poor Welsh side (as I've said)
Italy 17 28 Scotland [Autumn Nations Cup] - Italy had the first 60mins (or so) of this game. Wasn't a commanding performance.

When Scotland have won 8, 9 or 10+ games against stronger opposition, then I'll agree Scotland are on the up and no longer a poor side. Until then, they haven't done anything to prove otherwise.

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