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Wales v England, Parc y Scarlets, 28th November 16:00

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 22 Nov 2020, 8:12 am

First topic message reminder :

England have been pretty comfortable so far clearly led by a set of forwards performing brilliantly. Breakdown, lineout, scrum, everything has been smooth and frankly dominant.

The backs continue to stutter looking for a bit of cohesion, perhaps unsurprisingly to an extent given there have been shuffles to selections. We've perhaps learnt that Furbank isnt good enough for international rugby and that having a winger play on the wing is sometimes a good thing. Obviously this means Jones will ignore that.

One guy completely set in stone is May who moved to joint second highest try scorer for England though. Always lightening but added so much to his game. Hes been relatively quiet this year but excellent yesterday. Quotes from Jones via  the bbc "The great thing is he is 30 and still improving,"
"There is no limit to where he can go. I don't think I have ever seen a player who is more professional in his preparation than Jonny. He is fast and elusive, at one stage it looked like he had spiders all over him."

He was always playing well when he got his england chance but obviously the best players continue to improve. You would normally say first name on the team sheet but theres about 5 of them at the moment.

Jones also said: 'We put ourselves in a good position to maybe go on and dominate. We didn't, but there is a lot more in us, which is pleasing," added Jones, who was named England head coach five years ago on Friday.

"Defence was pretty good but we are disappointed with the try at the end. We'd have liked to have a clean sheet, as they say in football, but we are improving. I particularly liked the ferocity of our ruck defence today."

"Wales is a massive game," added Jones. "If they have one game a year to save their season, it is against England. There is intense rivalry, the Scarlets' ground is an open one, so the elements will affect the game. It will be tough and we will pick our best 23 again."

Seems to me hes also a touch annoyed we didnt add more to the scoreboard and nil Ireland. Great defence clearly in the 2nd half but we struggled for field possession. The last sentence for me could be a bit misleading as it suggests the same team and bench for Wales, cant help but feel there'll be 2 or 3 changes though.


Again from the beeb it looks like Wales have a few injuries and doubts for the game: Tipuric was forced off the field in the second half, while Wales full-back Liam Williams also left the field with 15 stitches in his mouth after a stray boot but should be fit to face England. Wing Johnny McNicholl also departed with a rib cartilage issue.

Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau will be fit after recovering from injury, while Cardiff Blues back-rower Josh Navidi is battling to be in contention after missing the autumn programme so far with his own concussion issues.

Ross Moriarty is sidelined with an ankle problem.

Dragons back-rower Aaron Wainwright was handed the man-of-the-match accolade against Georgia after an impressive performance at number eight with Pivac believing this should be his long-term position.

"I personally like him at eight," added Pivac.

"I prefer him at eight to six. He gets his hands on the ball, he has very good acceleration out of the boot.

"You saw some of those skills tonight and I like him in that position."

Wales have an outside centre void to fill missing against England with Jonathan Davies set to miss the game with a knee problem. Johnny Williams impressed at inside centre on his debut.'

All set for a comfortable Wales win then.


Teams

Wales

TBC


England

Daly; Joseph, Slade, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Launchbury, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Stuart, Hill, Earl, Willis, Robson, Watson

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 29 Nov 2020, 8:35 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:

Elias seems to be getting a lot of stick and it's laughable. The lineout is just as pants with Dee. Neither has Ken Owen's throwing ability (47 out of his first 48 lineouts in pro rugby as a teenager) and even with Ken, Wales' lineout is average to poor. Particularly without Charteris and Shingler. SLH has twice been slow/unathletic to get up at the tail and twice it's gone over the top of him. That's not the hooker's fault. I do 'get' it, it's a case of Dragons fans seeking self esteem through destruction rather than construction, which makes sense given how little they team they support has contributed to the national team over the last 15 years, but Elias showed his ability in the loose with big hits on Itoje and a great counter rip in the maul. Also offers turnover ability at the breakdown, something Wales are desperately in need of. The lineout is poor but putting it in the hands of one man is reactionary bulls1t that is absolutely clueless. Wales need to improve their set piece in general, it's not a personnel issue, not just one man anyway. Ball is poor in the lineout, AWJ is decent but not exceptional, Rowlands doesn't look up to much...they're lacking talented lineout specialists. Shingler would be a very welcome player to have back in for the next 18 months just to tide Wales over but can't see him staying fit long enough, ideally they need lock forwards.


It seems a little strange to pop at Dragons supporters like that, when there have been some on here actually discussing him fairly. Considering you’re the one person who hyped him so much on here, maybe some people expected to be blessed by the second coming and it hasn’t happened yet. Plus international selection is very subjective anyway, especially when you’re an ex club coach. Although that is a point that is frequently brought up by those from down west.

Dee never had an issue with his lineouts until Humphreys came along. Elias has never gone to Ireland and thrown 100% accurate lineouts like Dee and hasn’t proven his worth yet as a starting hooker. At least Dee has some credit in the bank. But then again, Dee isn’t anything more than a squad injury replacement currently anyway, whilst the great Elias was meant to be second choice at worst from the initial selection.

The bluffer also named Elias as the best scrummaging hooker, yet that remains to be seen. For all your positives of him though, maybe he should play flanker instead? Because to be honest, Parry is very good at jackals etc too, yet hasn’t been given much of a shot considering the bluffer wanted to look at him.

Elias, Halfpenny and Biggar have been poor. The fact that this person thinks their amazing shows that they don’t know much about rugby. The bias is unreal, ironic given that’s an accusation that he/him throws around. It’s been a pleasant week on here but now someone is back trying to ‘win the internet.’

Dee has been better. Scott Williams is still poor. Suck it up.

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Post by Guest Sun 29 Nov 2020, 8:40 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:

Elias seems to be getting a lot of stick and it's laughable. The lineout is just as pants with Dee. Neither has Ken Owen's throwing ability (47 out of his first 48 lineouts in pro rugby as a teenager) and even with Ken, Wales' lineout is average to poor. Particularly without Charteris and Shingler. SLH has twice been slow/unathletic to get up at the tail and twice it's gone over the top of him. That's not the hooker's fault. I do 'get' it, it's a case of Dragons fans seeking self esteem through destruction rather than construction, which makes sense given how little they team they support has contributed to the national team over the last 15 years, but Elias showed his ability in the loose with big hits on Itoje and a great counter rip in the maul. Also offers turnover ability at the breakdown, something Wales are desperately in need of. The lineout is poor but putting it in the hands of one man is reactionary bulls1t that is absolutely clueless. Wales need to improve their set piece in general, it's not a personnel issue, not just one man anyway. Ball is poor in the lineout, AWJ is decent but not exceptional, Rowlands doesn't look up to much...they're lacking talented lineout specialists. Shingler would be a very welcome player to have back in for the next 18 months just to tide Wales over but can't see him staying fit long enough, ideally they need lock forwards.


It seems a little strange to pop at Dragons supporters like that, when there have been some on here actually discussing him fairly. Considering you’re the one person who hyped him so much on here, maybe some people expected to be blessed by the second coming and it hasn’t happened yet. Plus international selection is very subjective anyway, especially when you’re an ex club coach. Although that is a point that is frequently brought up by those from down west.

Dee never had an issue with his lineouts until Humphreys came along. Elias has never gone to Ireland and thrown 100% accurate lineouts like Dee and hasn’t proven his worth yet as a starting hooker. At least Dee has some credit in the bank. But then again, Dee isn’t anything more than a squad injury replacement currently anyway, whilst the great Elias was meant to be second choice at worst from the initial selection.

The bluffer also named Elias as the best scrummaging hooker, yet that remains to be seen. For all your positives of him though, maybe he should play flanker instead? Because to be honest, Parry is very good at jackals etc too, yet hasn’t been given much of a shot considering the bluffer wanted to look at him.

I don't think it's strange at all, it seems entirely justified and in fact, more importantly, true.

He's a good player. Definitely has the class to be the Welsh hooker going forward. The lineout is pants but scapegoating him as the sole cause is delusional, particularly as he was playing in the 'windy' game v Scotland. If you thought he was going to be the second coming then more fool you. I merely said I think he could make the Lions tour and would be the starting Welsh hooker by 2023. I don't think either of those two things are out of the question, although the Lions tour is slipping away given how poorly the Welsh set piece is going. In terms of his performances in the loose he looks good, yesterday as in other games. Hard to judge hookers when it comes to scrummaging but I'll trust Pivac (bluffer? oh dear) over you if that's alright, chap.

I'm not having your chat about Dee tbh, I've seen him have plenty of poor games throwing in for Wales. Are you talking about club rugby?

Your little dashes of flair about how 'great' Elias was supposed to be are just proving my point tbh. Parochial.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 29 Nov 2020, 8:51 pm

So brave talking down to people on the net, and still so delusional laughing.

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 29 Nov 2020, 8:52 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:

Did England look like scoring tries? Nope.

Well they literally did score tries

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Post by Guest Sun 29 Nov 2020, 8:53 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:

Did England look like scoring tries? Nope.

Well they literally did score tries

...more than they did. One break, nullified by Halfpenny. That's about all I make it. The notion of 'should have won by (a lot?) more' tends to imply there were tries begging to be scored. I didn't see them. Did you?

As for the tries England did score, one was from a dreadful decision to play from their own 5m lineout - a mistake Wales have been making time and again under Pivac, and in particular one that Ireland profited from back in the 6Ns in Dublin - and the other one was a blatant penalty that led to the turnover that England scored a good try from, were it legal. Is that dominance when it comes to try threat? Really?

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 29 Nov 2020, 8:57 pm

You can’t call people parochial, after your Dragons supporters seeking self esteem comment. Clearly that’s just as parochial to pop at a rival team, when we are talking about the international squad.

No, I’m not talking about club rugby. I’m talking about Ireland v Wales in the RWC warm up.

Yes I do see Pivac as a bluffer. You won’t, as you’re a Scarlet. That’s fine. I think he contradicts himself often in his interviews. I feel like he doesn’t take ownership of his mistakes in selection etc. I feel he threw a coach under the bus, when there used to be loyalty under Gatland. He got the job off the back of a good season for Scarlets, but has shown nothing since. So forgive me for thinking he’s a bluffer.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 29 Nov 2020, 9:00 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:

Did England look like scoring tries? Nope.

Well they literally did score tries

Come on less of the facts..... more delusion about Elias being a quality international hooker please.

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Post by Guest Sun 29 Nov 2020, 9:08 pm

Look, Risca, I don't have a problem with you. But I do think it's fair that there is a very 'eastern' bias within Welsh rugby culture generally, particularly when it comes to the media, and there are a select few people online who are motivated more by negativity than positivity. You only need to head over to twitter to see that and it's boring having it on a rugby forum as well. If you go across to a Cardiff based twitter feed you'll see this weird defence of Dillon Lewis and Rhys Carre when, clearly, Wyn Jones is head and shoulders a better scrummager than Carre, and Lewis is poor - yet apparently because Poite penalised Wales, we have to now just go back to regional squabbling and 'my X is better than your Y'.

I think it's true that some enjoy sticking the boot in to players who play for other teams, it's that simple. When it comes to this forum it's dull to hear such reactionary chat about certain players where it's so blindly devoid of nuance you can only conclude one thing.

Ah, warm up game, ok. I remember him being poor in a few games but can't say I remember the warm up game all that much.

I don't think Pivac's a bluffer in the slightest, no. I think there's a difference between not being good enough for the job and a bluffer. I am wholly open to the fact he might not be good enough, but bluffer? That's ridiculous. I'm confident he's coming out and defending Elias on the basis that, yes, he actually is a better scrummager than Dee. More importantly, though, when it comes to managing the media, it might simply be a case of picking one element where he just thinks Elias is a better player with more potential. I'd go along with that, in the loose I think they're both good but different: Dee more of a worker bee, busy, annoying, useful at disrupting. Elias has a bit more to his game for me, a bit more 'class' I suppose, a bit more rugby ability. Dee will deserve a go, Elias hasn't been good enough at the lineout, but he's definitely not going to be the next Priestland/Cuthbert/North scapegoat for the types who DESPERATELY need to channel their hatred at someone/something. That's just ridiculous, I'm not going to just ignore that, and nor should you.

By pointing out the parochalism it's an attempt to avoid it. I want to see Basham and Ollie Griffiths given a go. It's not about the Dragons or hammering them, quite the opposite. Like I said, Wainwright looks like a good 8 option and I'm glad the move has come so soon - I don't think he looks like a test flanker, in either shirt, but at 8? Could be a good move. I don't want to just go back to this petty tribalism but I'm not the one doing it, am I.

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Post by Guest Sun 29 Nov 2020, 9:12 pm

Also, the foe feature?

Wales v England, Parc y Scarlets, 28th November 16:00 - Page 9 Tenor

Why did no one mention this before?! It would have stopped years and years of problems. Beautiful feature.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 29 Nov 2020, 9:24 pm

“ I don't want to just go back to this petty tribalism but I'm not the one doing it, am I.”

You’re always doing it.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 29 Nov 2020, 9:28 pm

Can anyone point out why my comment attacking the post was removed? Can you also clarify why more action isn’t being taken against certain postings, the ones that lie and are full of self importance? They’re preventing discussion.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 29 Nov 2020, 9:45 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Look, Risca, I don't have a problem with you. But I do think it's fair that there is a very 'eastern' bias within Welsh rugby culture generally, particularly when it comes to the media, and there are a select few people online who are motivated more by negativity than positivity. You only need to head over to twitter to see that and it's boring having it on a rugby forum as well. If you go across to a Cardiff based twitter feed you'll see this weird defence of Dillon Lewis and Rhys Carre when, clearly, Wyn Jones is head and shoulders a better scrummager than Carre, and Lewis is poor - yet apparently because Poite penalised Wales, we have to now just go back to regional squabbling and 'my X is better than your Y'.

I think it's true that some enjoy sticking the boot in to players who play for other teams, it's that simple. When it comes to this forum it's dull to hear such reactionary chat about certain players where it's so blindly devoid of nuance you can only conclude one thing.

Ah, warm up game, ok. I remember him being poor in a few games but can't say I remember the warm up game all that much.

I don't think Pivac's a bluffer in the slightest, no. I think there's a difference between not being good enough for the job and a bluffer. I am wholly open to the fact he might not be good enough, but bluffer? That's ridiculous. I'm confident he's coming out and defending Elias on the basis that, yes, he actually is a better scrummager than Dee. More importantly, though, when it comes to managing the media, it might simply be a case of picking one element where he just thinks Elias is a better player with more potential. I'd go along with that, in the loose I think they're both good but different: Dee more of a worker bee, busy, annoying, useful at disrupting. Elias has a bit more to his game for me, a bit more 'class' I suppose, a bit more rugby ability. Dee will deserve a go, Elias hasn't been good enough at the lineout, but he's definitely not going to be the next Priestland/Cuthbert/North scapegoat for the types who DESPERATELY need to channel their hatred at someone/something. That's just ridiculous, I'm not going to just ignore that, and nor should you.

By pointing out the parochalism it's an attempt to avoid it. I want to see Basham and Ollie Griffiths given a go. It's not about the Dragons or hammering them, quite the opposite. Like I said, Wainwright looks like a good 8 option and I'm glad the move has come so soon - I don't think he looks like a test flanker, in either shirt, but at 8? Could be a good move. I don't want to just go back to this petty tribalism but I'm not the one doing it, am I.

I don’t have a problem with you, when you post without what could be perceived as swipes at people or teams (including rugby knowledge etc). When you post on here, you post a lot of good stuff and it’s evidently thought out etc. I take your point on the media etc and see Twitter for myself too, with daft things posted like how Tompkins has regressed since joining Dragons (whilst ignoring Cory Hill’s fall from grace etc).

I feel like Dragons fans get a lot of stick off certain posters on here, but half of it is probably due to feeling like they have to react to digs at their team too. There are good posters still around who are Dragons supporters, who are capable of discussing things properly. I can actually see why Dee didn’t initially get selected, but then it also seems a bit strange to bring him straight back into the 23. I like him as a player, but things like the constant fussing about taking a step across to his side of the lineout annoys me.

Bluffer isn’t a great description probably, but I do feel like he’s passing the buck so often so maybe that’s another reason too. I also feel like he could’ve justified his selection of Elias better than having to highlight mistakes by Dee too. To be honest, he sees the players at the coal face so I have to respect his judgement, but I’m not sure how he can perceive a hooker a better scrummager, unless they both get equal opportunities ie he could’ve looked at Dee or Parry with a first choice front row, as Elias has had the chance to have.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 29 Nov 2020, 11:07 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:It will be a travesty if AWJ goes on the Lions tour. He is cooked and its time to seek out a career in the media.

Maro made him look every year he is. Old and slow. Happens to us all.

That isn't a fair comparison. Itoje is a unique player and would be an automatic pick for the next game vs Mars.[/quote

*Laughs in Afrikaans*

Laugh all you want. One game doesn't make him a worse player than the SA locks

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 7:22 am

Itoje just looks more and more the premier lock in the world. Helped by Rettalick being seen so rarely over the last few years granted. Even I'm pleasantly surprised by how well his partnership with Launchbury is going though. Seem to compliment each other really well and the latter seems to be adding lineouts to his game at the top level. I'm hoping what we're seeing means no more locks at blind side.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:13 am

Peoples thoughts on Henry Slade?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:18 am

Meh. Ita behind a paywall so havent seen it but Stuart Barnes has seemingly blamed his form on Jones defensive tactics. I just dont think hes shown enough ball in hand. Personally I'd be going back to joseph and looking closely at Marcant....while Lawrence is out.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:24 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Peoples thoughts on Henry Slade?

Never been my favourite tbh so maybe an inherent bias but he doesn't strike as one of the strongest links in the England backs. Jack of all trades master of none? Hes a good all round footballer but doesn't have the pace of Daly, running of Jospeh, or physicality of Tuilagi. Id really see him more of a backup to Farrell at 12 and handy utility back for the 23 than a starting 13, even if his club success was at 13.

Not going to blame him for the fiasco of the Wales try, or praise him for walking in his own try.

It was discussed on here recently that he's never really had a stand out game to announce him as a real force in test rugby. Rarely been terrible either although he took a bit of stick for the Georgia game. I don't think he's Jones' first choice starter when all are fit, Lawrence probably would've played and if Tuilagi can come back from the latest injuries Im sure he'd be there. The next game could see Joseph back to 13 and a specialist wing start (or Daly move out and Malins in at 15) and Slade benched.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:31 am

I like Slade and suspect in a different set up he'd look better. But he is a little like a universal sticky plaster for problems we don't have.

I wouldn't mind seeing him in instead of Farrell to be honest, but it is unlikely to happen unless Farrell gets injured. Simmonds/ Slade at 10/12 could be fun

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:45 am

Im really struggling with Slade.

Theres too many fancy gimmicks etc..like "no look" pop passes, Little flicks etc.

In between you see the odd amazing long miss pass or such...but not enough.

I dont think he will be starting when Farrell, Lawrence, Marchant, Joseph...and maybe Manu are available.


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Post by LondonTiger Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:53 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Meh. Ita behind a paywall so havent seen it but Stuart Barnes has seemingly blamed his form on Jones defensive tactics. I just dont think hes shown enough ball in hand. Personally I'd be going back to joseph and looking closely at Marcant....while Lawrence is out.


Stuart Barnes - The Sunday Times wrote:Artist Henry Slade doesn’t fit into earthy Eddie Jones’s aim of negative destruction with England


In the sporting Soviet of English rugby, over which Eddie Jones rules with dictatorial ruthlessness, there is little room for the artist. The genius bestriding the field with his head in the clouds for most of the match, whose vision can turn a game in an instant or two, is unwelcome.

Nor the dilettante socialite, straight out of Evelyn Waugh, wafting cigar smoke at dinner tables, recounting tales of dash and daring from the distant past, or the other day. England’s playmakers, Jones said in the build-up to the Wales game, do not wear dinner jackets. Jones wants workers. We lovers of the sport yearn for that something from out of this rugby world; Eddie wants his players rooted deep in the soil.

What we desire of our players, and what the England manager allows them to give, is encapsulated in the presence of the elegant (see how many times the adjective is used in relation to him) Henry Slade.

Fans love that languid break, the late shift of the wrist to put a colleague into space, a flick of the boot to send the ball soaring 40 metres downfield. All this is a bonus to his England manager. What England did not need was a charge-down courtesy of Slade’s left boot in the 11th minute. The irony was that Dan Biggar, a workaholic of a fly half, forced the error that lead to Johnny Williams’s early try.

A few minutes later, the Exeter Chief atoned — on the scoreboard, at least — by cantering over, unmarked, for a try out wide. There was an earlier pass received from George Ford, a sloppy one behind his back that checked any momentum, and near half-time a kick into the Welsh 22 from a split scrum where England for once opted for someone other than Nos 9, 10 or 12 to put boot to ball. Four actual touches of the ball in 40 minutes.

The No 13 was far more attendant than centre-stage star, living down to the Jones billing of playmakers dressed for a fight, not a ball. By my count, he committed himself (in a “sort-of” backs way) to five breakdowns. No place for a DJ there. There was one tackle on a Welsh forward and that was it for a first half where mostly Slade kept himself warm by running into the mêlée to pat forwards for winning penalties at scrums. Occasionally he would amble around, slapping hands with the other backs.

Of course, with the incessant kicking downfield he loped up the field quite a lot while turning and running backwards almost as much. The game was going on, not so much around as over his head. The England collective spirit, we hear, is strong, which is just as well, otherwise Slade might stop and wonder what it is all about, bar the pay cheque for playing.

The second half followed a similar grinding pattern. One opportunity to show off his left foot with a kick to the corner and two further passes suitable for a crash-ball carrier, not Slade. Watching with a focus on the outside centre made me question his specific roll in this era of non-artists.

Jones likes to think his own fresh thoughts. Remember Jack Nowell, another Chief back, being talked of as a flanker? Well, why not play another flanker in the back line? Yes, Slade has a reputation as a fine defensive outside centre, but most Test teams have given up on utilising the width of the field.

If Jones is content with his artists as artisans, it makes eminently more sense to add another of the England back-row riches into the mix. Sam Underhill and Tom Curry would be delighted to see Jack Willis included, hitting breakdowns with more conviction that Slade.

What is the point of a No 13 whose strengths are wasted, whose left foot could be replaced by that of Elliot Daly, whose overall contribution against Wales was probably negative, taking the charge-down into account?

The logic of the England game suggests an extra forward in place of a creative back would add to the pressure game — the name given to the incessant kicking and rush defence — which is at England’s core.

Playing low-risk territorial rugby isn’t something new. The way England play isn’t the mark of a coaching genius but a man unwilling or afraid to expose his charges to the extra risk that comes with the creativity of handling. Jones has deserted the creative for the easier acts of negativity and destruction. Slade is an artist whose gifts are being shackled by England’s not-so-great dictator.


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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 30 Nov 2020, 12:03 pm

Interesting article from Barnes...but im not sure i agree with it as a whole.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 30 Nov 2020, 12:06 pm

Stuart Barnes still cant get over Rob Andrew.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 12:45 pm

I mean it's exactly what I expected from Barnes.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 30 Nov 2020, 1:17 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Interesting article from Barnes...but im not sure i agree with it as a whole.

For me its more the issue is mostly loaded assumption that one type of rugby has a moral highstanding over another, and that winning somehow doesn't matter, rather than the argument that England want a physical centre because it suits their gameplan better. Also a bit of overegging of Slade, and unfair comparison between Exeters success at club level and whats possible in test rugby.

Jones has openly said on a number of occasions right from him first coming to England that he wants a Tuilagi type in the backs somewhere. And the current backline is only the result of the first choice two bulldozer centres being injured, and possibly a reluctance to pick Cokasinga who's short on game time after injury.

It is far to say that Slade isn't the right fit for how England want to play, and fair question as to why Jones hasn't backed his own statements about forwards playing there.

Also note another example of people talking about Jones having his own ideas and sticking to them as some kind of problem, certain journalists (and posters) seem to believe that the England coach is paid millions to agree with their opinions rather than have their own.

Do agree that Englands attack hasn't clicked often enough since the world cup semi final, but its wrong to say that Jones is somehow deliberately limiting the players and is anti skill. More that they are only given license to play once the game has opened up and it has a chance of working that outweighs the risk of shipping good possession to the opposition. Of the three tries England have shipped this autumn two have come from their own possession. All Blacks struggled to turn endless pressure into points against Argentina and the floodgates only opened when Argentina finally got some decent possession themselves and started trying to force the game, immediate interception and try. Wales switched up to bring on their flair 10 and chasing the game, his great contribution was running sideways till him tripped over his own feet...is that what we want from Ford to unleash the majesty of Slade?

Reads very much like something written with a deliberate hyperbole to generate some controversy and click bait. Some elements of truth, but written with emotional loading and a lack of balance. Here's me falling for it Whistle


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Post by lostinwales Mon 30 Nov 2020, 1:52 pm

Performance vs expectations is also difficult. The charge down was unfortunate, to put it mildly, but outside of that he was still probably the best centre on view in that match.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 30 Nov 2020, 2:05 pm

Slade is rock solid defensively so from that point of view does suit the gameplan.

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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 30 Nov 2020, 3:12 pm

Slade is a square peg for a round hole. He's marvellous when firing and unleashed -the interception vs Australia in the world cup plus his back of the hand pass to Jonny May for one try , can't remember the game were things of beauty that not every player could have achieved. He can kick amazingly well and is a useful and adaptable back line player - offering cover at 12, 13, 15 and - at a pinch - probably 10 if needed. The trouble is although he fits the play maker at 12 role to complement Ford that Jones likes, Farrell is there and Eddie won't drop his Captain.

I hate it when coaches play International players out of position just to get them in the side, especially when there's great players available. Curry, Wood at 8, Banahan at 12, even Joseph on the wing. Slade I feel is unlucky as none seems to know what his best position is. Personally I think it could be 12, with Ford inside him, but I believe he was trialled by club at 13 at England's request to fill in for Joseph and Tuilagi when they were injured, and he's amassed a hatful of caps there since.

A good player, but like Austin Healey, where to play him??

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 30 Nov 2020, 3:18 pm

Actually, MrB, Slade has played most of his career at 13 for Exeter I believe. While he was a 10 at age grade rugby (though understudy to Farrell and Ford) the Chiefs soon decided he needed to be slightly further out. For quite some time their first choice midfield was 10 Steenson, 12 Whitten/Hill, 13 Slade and now it is 10 Simmonds, 12 Devoto, 13 Slade.


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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 30 Nov 2020, 3:21 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Actually, MrB, Slade has played most of his career at 13 for Exeter I believe. While he was a 10 at age grade rugby (though understudy to Farrell and Ford) the Chiefs soon decided he needed to be slightly further out. For quite some time their first choice midfield was 10 Steenson, 12 Whitten/Hill, 13 Slade and now it is 10 Simmonds, 12 Devoto, 13 Slade.


I stand corrected. I still think he'd be better than Farrell at 12 given the right 10, which Farrell isn't. He's a useful player to have and by now pretty experienced.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 30 Nov 2020, 3:27 pm

In an ideal world Farrell is the one who gets dropped leaving Ford at 10 with any two of Slade, Tuilagi, Joseph or Lawrence making up the midfield depending on opposition. Will never happen but probably should.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 30 Nov 2020, 3:35 pm

The Farrell place is a quandary. He is the captain and hugely valued by Eddie. At the same time many fans look at him and feel he is a hindrance to the team.

Last week a NZ Rugby podcast were the latest to state Farrell is world class:
https://www.rugbydump.com/news/new-zealand-rugby-pod-admit-owen-farrell-is-world-class/

This follows Martin Johnson making the same assertion last year:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/rugby-union/50252255

And the Sydney Morning Herald in 2018:
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/farrell-is-the-world-class-no-10-the-wallabies-need-to-learn-from-20181123-p50hu3.html


I do not see him as a World Class 12, while the skills he brings to the table at 10 are the more utilitarian ones, but valuable none the less. I am fine with Farrell being selected at 10 but less so at 12. Just feel that Eddie should pick Ford or Farrell and not shoe-horn both in. Moving the captaincy to Itoje would make it easier to switch them around as needed.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 3:49 pm

Stuart Barnes is following the Nelson Muntz school of 'gotta nuke something'. There's so little to write about, so few interesting angles to take that don't delve in to philosophising about the future of rugby, the clash between money and morals etc., that you have to settle for something sensationalist if you want to talk about the actual game of rugby and still generate clicks.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 3:58 pm

Farrell is a world class 'player'. He's incredibly consistent in his performances, he's ruthlessly competitive, his weaknesses are of the easily to forgive kind (lack of footballing ability as opposed to, say, can't catch high balls, or shirks tackles).

He's never been a world class 10. For a period I think he was a top 12 but the game is too physical and it's passed him by in that position to be deemed world class. And that's the issue England have - he's such a presence, such a force, yet also key to the way England play. Dropping him, or not playing him, doesn't just mean tinkering with the way they attack - it's like losing the equivalent Richie McCaw's focus and drive. England play better when Farrell is playing.

I've said it for years that I don't rate him when his pack is on the back foot, and time and time again I think we've seen that. He simply hasn't had enough practice of it and in those circumstances, given their similar skillsets, I'd take Biggar in a heartbeat. But he's clearly a much more physical presence than Biggar, which is why he can play 12.

Whatever you think of Farrell, England will miss him when he's gone, I know that much. I don't think the answer to England getting better lies in messing about with moving Farrell around or dropping him.

The Lions tour will be very interesting. Pollard is the most well rounded and 'best' 10 in the world in my opinion. Highly underrated, good decision maker, much better at controlling a game than the Kiwi 10s who can obviously play a bit more. If Farrell starts at 10 for the Lions - a position he was moved from by Gatland and where the Lions profited from moving him from - and does well then it'll be something of a shock, I'll be honest. But he has to be in the team just for the above mentioned qualities.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:03 pm

lostinwales wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:It will be a travesty if AWJ goes on the Lions tour. He is cooked and its time to seek out a career in the media.

Maro made him look every year he is. Old and slow. Happens to us all.

That isn't a fair comparison. Itoje is a unique player and would be an automatic pick for the next game vs Mars.[/quote

*Laughs in Afrikaans*

Laugh all you want. One game doesn't make him a worse player than the SA locks

It's not just one game and the implication was that it's the South Africans laughing.

Itoje is definitely England's AWJ. For some reason you get misty eyed about him. He's overrated, that much is clear; he was being talked about as FEC and even Lions captain before he was in to double figures for England caps. Madness. There's this expectation of what Itoje should be, and what he actually is.

He's good. He's very good. But his ball skills? They're dreadful compared to the likes of AWJ and Retallick. He's not much of a passer and I reckon the carry/pass stats will show that Itoje is not given the ball to pass it because he doesn't have that skillset. Fine, you don't need to be to be classed as a world class lock, but it's important to note. Bakkies Botha was an enforcer, I don't think many people spoke of him as 'first in line to play Mars' in a world XV...

The South African locks do what Itoje does as their bread and butter and have done for years. It's really not just one game where Itoje has been ineffective or outclassed. Which is natural, he's still learning and growing. But the hubris around him is odd - as I said, like the English AWJ, you're overrating him given how important he is to England. Put him in South Africa, let alone up against a fit and firing Retallick, and he looks far less special. Still a very good player though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:05 pm

LondonTiger wrote:The Farrell place is a quandary. He is the captain and hugely valued by Eddie. At the same time many fans look at him and feel he is a hindrance to the team.

Last week a NZ Rugby podcast were the latest to state Farrell is world class:
https://www.rugbydump.com/news/new-zealand-rugby-pod-admit-owen-farrell-is-world-class/

This follows Martin Johnson making the same assertion last year:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/rugby-union/50252255

And the Sydney Morning Herald in 2018:
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/farrell-is-the-world-class-no-10-the-wallabies-need-to-learn-from-20181123-p50hu3.html


I do not see him as a World Class 12, while the skills he brings to the table at 10 are the more utilitarian ones, but valuable none the less. I am fine with Farrell being selected at 10 but less so at 12. Just feel that Eddie should pick Ford or Farrell and not shoe-horn both in. Moving the captaincy to Itoje would make it easier to switch them around as needed.

I'm very much on the side that he's class at either 10 or 12 at international level but as with all things rugby to get the best out of the individuals and thus the team there needs to be a balance. Currently the tactics of kick first look second across the half backs and midfielders I don't think is getting the best out of anyone. there are some form issues but I think the balance of play what is in front of you is still developing and impacting how the backs are being seen.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:07 pm

Also, to keep this on topic, I don't think Itoje's had a great game v Wales since 2016. Each time he's played, AWJ has got the better of him, and that was the same again at the weekend - AWJ outplayed Itoje. That's not exactly the sole barometer for judging just how good or bad he is but it reveals something; I don't 'fear' Itoje in the same way as coming up against some English players you just know they're going to be unplayable at times. That might almost entirely be down to AWJ nullifying them as there's a nice little love:hate rivalry there that has been forged in the Lions tour as well but Itoje hasn't been impressive v Wales since the first time he played them.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:21 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Also, to keep this on topic, I don't think Itoje's had a great game v Wales since 2016. Each time he's played, AWJ has got the better of him, and that was the same again at the weekend - AWJ outplayed Itoje. That's not exactly the sole barometer for judging just how good or bad he is but it reveals something; I don't 'fear' Itoje in the same way as coming up against some English players you just know they're going to be unplayable at times. That might almost entirely be down to AWJ nullifying them as there's a nice little love:hate rivalry there that has been forged in the Lions tour as well but Itoje hasn't been impressive v Wales since the first time he played them.

That is an opinion that you won't be able to back up with evidence. On the other hand there is that old video out there of Itoje outjumping AWJ unaided when AWJ was being lifted.

Look I do get the 'he's a totem for one team but unrated outside' thing. I really do. The best recent English example was Mike Brown. But Itoje is the real deal and one of the finest England rugby players of the modern era, not just at lock. I remember reading the Australian rugby forums when we went out there and beat them 3-0. They really disliked all of the shouting (winds up everyone) but all respected the player.

Even Wales Online has him down as the 'finest player in the Northern Hemisphere'

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:24 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Look, Risca, I don't have a problem with you. But I do think it's fair that there is a very 'eastern' bias within Welsh rugby culture generally, particularly when it comes to the media, and there are a select few people online who are motivated more by negativity than positivity. You only need to head over to twitter to see that and it's boring having it on a rugby forum as well. If you go across to a Cardiff based twitter feed you'll see this weird defence of Dillon Lewis and Rhys Carre when, clearly, Wyn Jones is head and shoulders a better scrummager than Carre, and Lewis is poor - yet apparently because Poite penalised Wales, we have to now just go back to regional squabbling and 'my X is better than your Y'.

I think it's true that some enjoy sticking the boot in to players who play for other teams, it's that simple. When it comes to this forum it's dull to hear such reactionary chat about certain players where it's so blindly devoid of nuance you can only conclude one thing.

Ah, warm up game, ok. I remember him being poor in a few games but can't say I remember the warm up game all that much.

I don't think Pivac's a bluffer in the slightest, no. I think there's a difference between not being good enough for the job and a bluffer. I am wholly open to the fact he might not be good enough, but bluffer? That's ridiculous. I'm confident he's coming out and defending Elias on the basis that, yes, he actually is a better scrummager than Dee. More importantly, though, when it comes to managing the media, it might simply be a case of picking one element where he just thinks Elias is a better player with more potential. I'd go along with that, in the loose I think they're both good but different: Dee more of a worker bee, busy, annoying, useful at disrupting. Elias has a bit more to his game for me, a bit more 'class' I suppose, a bit more rugby ability. Dee will deserve a go, Elias hasn't been good enough at the lineout, but he's definitely not going to be the next Priestland/Cuthbert/North scapegoat for the types who DESPERATELY need to channel their hatred at someone/something. That's just ridiculous, I'm not going to just ignore that, and nor should you.

By pointing out the parochalism it's an attempt to avoid it. I want to see Basham and Ollie Griffiths given a go. It's not about the Dragons or hammering them, quite the opposite. Like I said, Wainwright looks like a good 8 option and I'm glad the move has come so soon - I don't think he looks like a test flanker, in either shirt, but at 8? Could be a good move. I don't want to just go back to this petty tribalism but I'm not the one doing it, am I.

I don’t have a problem with you, when you post without what could be perceived as swipes at people or teams (including rugby knowledge etc). When you post on here, you post a lot of good stuff and it’s evidently thought out etc. I take your point on the media etc and see Twitter for myself too, with daft things posted like how Tompkins has regressed since joining Dragons (whilst ignoring Cory Hill’s fall from grace etc).

I feel like Dragons fans get a lot of stick off certain posters on here, but half of it is probably due to feeling like they have to react to digs at their team too. There are good posters still around who are Dragons supporters, who are capable of discussing things properly. I can actually see why Dee didn’t initially get selected, but then it also seems a bit strange to bring him straight back into the 23. I like him as a player, but things like the constant fussing about taking a step across to his side of the lineout annoys me.

Bluffer isn’t a great description probably, but I do feel like he’s passing the buck so often so maybe that’s another reason too. I also feel like he could’ve justified his selection of Elias better than having to highlight mistakes by Dee too. To be honest, he sees the players at the coal face so I have to respect his judgement, but I’m not sure how he can perceive a hooker a better scrummager, unless they both get equal opportunities ie he could’ve looked at Dee or Parry with a first choice front row, as Elias has had the chance to have.

Yeah twitter is a cesspit and rugby twitter is no different. In terms of this forum it obviously used to have a good spread of different Welsh fans and each region was well represented. One of the issues is in how Dragons-centric has become and I won't go in to why that is but I think we both know what has been a major contributing factor to posters leaving over the years. The result is very lopsided when it comes to club or regional bias and, yes, there clearly are good posters who are Dragons fans.

Dee will get his opportunity now and should start at least one of the next games. In terms of Pivac coming out and 'justifying' his selection, I think that's a hiding to nothing. No coach should be in that position. The media can in no way dictate the team and Eddie Jones shows that almost with belligerence to any 'suggestion' for the press. I can think of several reasons why Pivac would go with Elias that aren't reasons you want to tell the press; Jake Ball is one of the locks and he has a relationship with him from the Scarlets. That might help the lineout. The front row is all Scarlets and therefore picking that unit together should help scrummaging (incidentally, it did!) simply because they have experience together. In a team evidently lacking stability and experience, Pivac might be looking to take whatever he can. Now, there's no way Pivac could say that, let alone having been the Scarlets coach, but both are probably true when it comes to influencing his decision. I also think we're forgetting how poor Ken Owens can be at lineout time for Wales and it's largely due to how bad the pack is - particularly without a lineout specialist like Charteris, or having a 'third lock' in Shingler. It might be different were Carre and Lewis the two best props in Wales, and he wanted a look at Dacey, but he can't come out and say 'I'm picking a club unit' because of the issue we have with regional tensions in Wales. Yet again, it's another thing Gatland was able to benefit from when he favoured the Ospreys in the early years - he wasn't labelled as biased and in hindsight it made sense to pick from the one region that was actually winning trophies. It's been a few years since the Scarlets won something but they are the best region in Wales, despite their head coach issues (3 in 12 months). Not only that but it goes without saying - the Scarlets boys will have played 'Pivacball'. Whatever that eventually becomes on the international stage, I can see good reason for picking Scarlets players in these early days. That said, I also think Elias has a high ceiling of where he can go as a player, and although he lacks a bit of boomfa physicality in his carrying, I think he has the all round skillset to replace Ken long term without much worry. The experience now will do him good and if he isn't up to it, then he'll have to earn his way back. Dee and maybe Parry will get chances though as he hasn't nailed down the shirt.

I think we're getting to the stage where Pivac needs to start settling on a first team. He's given a lot of players a chance and not many have taken it. One of those is Lloyd Williams, so fair play to him. We need to start developing units and I think Wyn Jones has shown he's too useful in the set piece to not play. There are still a few question marks over Tompkins, Rowlands, of course the flankers, but by and large we're moving towards a first team now.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:30 pm

lostinwales wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Also, to keep this on topic, I don't think Itoje's had a great game v Wales since 2016. Each time he's played, AWJ has got the better of him, and that was the same again at the weekend - AWJ outplayed Itoje. That's not exactly the sole barometer for judging just how good or bad he is but it reveals something; I don't 'fear' Itoje in the same way as coming up against some English players you just know they're going to be unplayable at times. That might almost entirely be down to AWJ nullifying them as there's a nice little love:hate rivalry there that has been forged in the Lions tour as well but Itoje hasn't been impressive v Wales since the first time he played them.

That is an opinion that you won't be able to back up with evidence. On the other hand there is that old video out there of Itoje outjumping AWJ unaided when AWJ was being lifted.

Look I do get the 'he's a totem for one team but unrated outside' thing. I really do. The best recent English example was Mike Brown. But Itoje is the real deal and one of the finest England rugby players of the modern era, not just at lock. I remember reading the Australian rugby forums when we went out there and beat them 3-0. They really disliked all of the shouting (winds up everyone) but all respected the player.

Even Wales Online has him down as the 'finest player in the Northern Hemisphere'

The media is a poor judge of player. Let alone whatever WalesOnline is.

I think your standard of 'evidence' is pretty dodgy. Yep, Itoje burst on to the scene. Has he lived up to the billing? No, in my opinion. Through no fault of his own - it's just the hype was too hysterical.

You can feel free to go back and either watch the Wales games yourself or you can take my word for it. Itoje caused mayhem while he was on the pitch v Wales in 2016. Since then, he hasn't been a player I've felt Wales have struggled with. He hasn't looked head and shoulders like a world class player. He's evidently an athletic phenomenon and could probably play any number of sports but if I wanted to offset the hubris I'd say something like: "penalty machine, poor basic skills with the ball, media darling." That would be unfair but so is deeming him the best lock in the world. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

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Wales v England, Parc y Scarlets, 28th November 16:00 - Page 9 Empty Re: Wales v England, Parc y Scarlets, 28th November 16:00

Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 30 Nov 2020, 4:56 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:The front row is all Scarlets and therefore picking that unit together should help scrummaging (incidentally, it did!)

How can you say that? What are you comparing it with? Genuine question.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:02 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:The front row is all Scarlets and therefore picking that unit together should help scrummaging (incidentally, it did!)

How can you say that? What are you comparing it with? Genuine question.

Poite was giving England penalties for what appeared to be 50:50 slips and/or English indiscretions half of the time. By contast, Rhys Carre was absolutely done by Porter in the Irish game - which isn't the first time he's been done in the scrum - and Wyn Jones quickly improved that by coming on (sadly, Pivac brought on Dillon Lewis not long after half time which offset the change). The Welsh scrum was solid on several occasions v England, particularly on our own ball. How can you not notice that it was a marked improvement from what we've seen so far this autumn? Genuine question (understandable if you're a back).

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:05 pm

Francis was the starting tighthead against Ireland.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:07 pm

Yeah thanks for that, well aware Luckless. But it was Carre who was getting a pasting.

So you didn't notice that the scrum was better v England? Genuine question.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:12 pm

I'll ask the question again: how can you say any improvement was down to the front row being a regional unit?

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:16 pm

'Again'? What do you mean?

If that point isn't at least somewhat self explanatory to you then I can't help you, sorry.

Did you not notice that the scrum was better v England? Asking for the third time.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:21 pm

'Again' means once more.

Better compared to which game? Wyn Jones certainly improved things against Ireland, but that wasn't an all-Scarlets unit. I'm just asking you provide some evidence for your original claim. You wouldn't want to criticise other posters for the standard of their evidence without providing any of your own.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:29 pm

Ooft, thanks for that, but unfortunately that was the first time you asked that specific question - hence my confusion at your repetition of 'again'. If you had wished for an answer to that you should have asked the specific question.

I've already answered you about which game I'm comparing it to. If that's not satisfactory for you, sorry, you're not getting an alternative one.

I've given you enough opportunity to play fair but you're going on the foe list, sorry, we both know what you're up to and it's much better for the forum if stuff like this is kept to a minimum. This is derailing the thread. Your refusal to answer my question, again, for the third time, is more than enough opportunity to prove you're interested in a genuine conversation. I'm not interested in a substandard interrogation and nor is anyone else who uses this forum for healthy reasons.

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Post by Old Man Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Itoje just looks more and more the premier lock in the world. Helped by Rettalick being seen so rarely over the last few years granted. Even I'm pleasantly surprised by how well his partnership with Launchbury is going though. Seem to compliment each other really well and the latter seems to be adding lineouts to his game at the top level. I'm hoping what we're seeing means no more locks at blind side.

As a combination the South African locks as a squad has no equal currently, with Etzebeth, de Jager, Mostert and Snyman the quality between the starting pair and subbing pair does not drop. You have line out prowess, work rate, physicality mobility and ball carrying with great ball skills.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:33 pm

I thought it was straightforward enough. I still don't know how you can say an all-Scarlets front row improved the scrummaging as a matter of fact.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:36 pm

Old Man wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Itoje just looks more and more the premier lock in the world. Helped by Rettalick being seen so rarely over the last few years granted. Even I'm pleasantly surprised by how well his partnership with Launchbury is going though. Seem to compliment each other really well and the latter seems to be adding lineouts to his game at the top level. I'm hoping what we're seeing means no more locks at blind side.

As a combination the South African locks as a squad has no equal currently, with Etzebeth, de Jager, Mostert and Snyman the quality between the starting pair and subbing pair does not drop. You have line out prowess, work rate, physicality mobility and ball carrying with great ball skills.

Disagree. But that's life.

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