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Wales v Italy Match Thread

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Heaf
mikey_dragon
Heuer27
JDizzle
No 7&1/2
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The Oracle
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lostinwales
majesticimperialman
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Dec 2020, 2:56 pm

Autumn Nations Cup: Fifth-place play-off - Wales v Italy

Venue: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli Date: Saturday, 5 December Kick-off: 16:45 GMT

Live coverage on S4C and Amazon Prime

WALES

Liam Williams; Josh Adams, George North, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit; Callum Sheedy, Kieran Hardy; Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), James Botham, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, Aaron Wainwright, Gareth Davies, Ioan Lloyd, Jonah Holmes.

ITALY

Jacopo Trulla; Luca Sperandio, Marco Zanon, Carlo Canna, Monty Ioane; Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney; Danilo Fischetti, Luca Bigi (capt), Giosuè Zilocch, Marco Lazzaroni, Niccolp Cannone, Maxime Mbanda, Johan Meyer, Braam Steyn.

Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Pietro Ceccarelli, Cristian Stoian, Michele Lamaro, Guglielmo Palazzani, Tommaso Allan, Federico Mori.


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:04 pm

It's not the worst Wales side I've ever seen. I've never liked North at 13, mainly because his defensive positioning isn't the best even as a wing, and our defence was much improved against England, so it's a shame to see it potentially weakened.

Ioan Lloyd covering 10?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:30 pm

I'm not sure I like the half-back pairing, given the relative importance of the match. Like if you're going to start Sheedy, give him an experienced scrum half. Maybe not Lloyd Williams though....

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 02 Dec 2020, 4:37 pm

It’s the whole randomness of it, that annoys me.

Parry has gone from not in the 23 to starter, which is fine but it’s a game too late.
A whole front row change, after this scrummaging front row nonsense.
North goes from released to start and then at 13. I get that Tompkins hasn’t set the world alight, but there are other centres in the squad.
To start Hardy is slightly random too, as again it’s somebody from outside the last 23.

There we go. He’s doing a presser now, so maybe there are reasons for how random it appears, more than looking at the squad etc.


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Post by RiscaGame Wed 02 Dec 2020, 4:42 pm

Also, looking at the squad and giving opportunities and yet Jonah Holmes number 23 again. Leon Brown hasn’t really had much of a go either.


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Post by majesticimperialman Wed 02 Dec 2020, 4:56 pm

No Dan Biggar, surorised about that. thought he would at least made the bench.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Dec 2020, 5:00 pm

RiscaGame wrote:It’s the whole randomness of it, that annoys me.

Parry has gone from not in the 23 to starter, which is fine but it’s a game too late.
A whole front row change, after this scrummaging front row nonsense.
North goes from released to start and then at 13. I get that Tompkins hasn’t set the world alight, but there are other centres in the squad.
To start Hardy is slightly random too, as again it’s somebody form outside the last 23.

There we go. He’s doing a presser now, so maybe there are reasons for how random it appears, more than looking at the squad etc.

For me it's a selection that says they don't think it's a must-win game - either that, or they don't think we can possibly lose. It's sort of divorced from the reality of the run we're on, Georgia aside.


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Post by lostinwales Wed 02 Dec 2020, 5:02 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:No Dan Biggar, surorised about that. thought he would at least made the bench.

Injured?

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 02 Dec 2020, 5:04 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:No Dan Biggar, surorised about that. thought he would at least made the bench.

Its pretty evident that the "giving everyone a chance" policy extends to rotating players, regardless of seniority. fully out of the 23 without it being a value judgement.
CBA to check but has anyone played in all the matchday squads this Autumn ?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Dec 2020, 5:15 pm

It's a strong enough side on paper, and I quite like the pack, but if you're going to put defeats down to the players having to get used to a new way of playing, don't make so many changes.

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Post by majesticimperialman Wed 02 Dec 2020, 5:23 pm

I always thought that if it is a must win game, you put your best 23 players out there.
Is this the best 23 players Wales have? or is this game being put down to giving every player game time, and to hell with the score. may be one more loss in 2020 wont matter.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 02 Dec 2020, 5:56 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:No Dan Biggar, surorised about that. thought he would at least made the bench.

Its pretty evident that the "giving everyone a chance" policy extends to rotating players, regardless of seniority. fully out of the 23 without it being a value judgement.
CBA to check but has anyone played in all the matchday squads this Autumn ?

Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee and Callum Sheedy have made every 23, by the looks. I checked a few names I thought might have and can’t really see any others. Couldn’t really be bothered to check in full Wink

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 02 Dec 2020, 6:08 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:It's a strong enough side on paper, and I quite like the pack, but if you're going to put defeats down to the players having to get used to a new way of playing, don't make so many changes.

I like the pack. I did actually assume Botham would play 6 this week, because I certainly hoped they wouldn’t play Navidi. I probably wouldn’t play Tipuric either mind, but obviously they have followed protocols or Navidi would be playing.

I like the back three too. It is exactly what a lot of people would’ve wanted as Chris (I think) said on another thread.

As I’ve said, it’s just the way he seems to look at his squad and how he gives opportunities. I suppose he has kept the same halfback combination from the Georgia game, but then the centres are new, his front row is new, as well as other combinations. There’s no chance to get settled combinations. Sam Parry has his first start, but is throwing lineouts at a new pack. In theory, he has more jumpers to aim at as Tipuric is good in the air but when he has been defending Elias by saying that there’s more to lineout misses than just the hooker throwing, his selections aren’t really allowing combinations to gel like lifting units etc.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 02 Dec 2020, 6:13 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I always thought that if it is a must win game, you put your best 23 players out there.
Is this the best 23 players Wales have? or is this game being put down to giving every player game time, and to hell with the score. may be one more loss in 2020 wont matter.

Its not a must win game, none of them have been really. His jobs not riding on these results directly. Theres no relegation and once they'd lost a fixture progression was pretty unlikely. The last 6 nations game was a dead rubber. Pivacs been quite open in saying hes using this autumn as a development tool and looking at a wider sqaud.

The sides for England and Ireland probably give a good indication of what Pivac sees (or saw) as something like his best squads, but even that was influenced by injury.


RiscaGame wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:No Dan Biggar, surorised about that. thought he would at least made the bench.

Its pretty evident that the "giving everyone a chance" policy extends to rotating players, regardless of seniority. fully out of the 23 without it being a value judgement.
CBA to check but has anyone played in all the matchday squads this Autumn ?

Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee and Callum Sheedy have made every 23, by the looks. I checked a few names I thought might have and can’t really see any others. Couldn’t really be bothered to check in full Wink

Cheers Risca ... the front row resources are already stretched enough and if the ones there arent good enough then the 4th/5th choices really arent likely to be up to par. Sheedy getting in all the squads really seems to suggest he's seen as a key player for the future I guess.

Anyway I think my points still valid, the really big name senior players have all been rested for a game. Cant read too much into Biggar and Halfpennys omission here.

A key part to the merrygoround selection is that being left out isnt a value judgement on a player, and one assumes that clearly understood and communicated within the team.


Quite funny that despite the moaning about the rotation theres still players who should have been given a go and no two posters can agree on what the best 15 should be. Perhaps sums up Pivacs problem, its much easier to be consistent when you have players who deserve the spot and perform to keep it. Far too few of those for Wales this autumn.

Also agree that theres a real downside to this names out a hat thing, cant help the new players grow into the team and test rugby or players really learn the systems and get comfortable with those around them. This has been a unique opportunity to work with a squad for an extended period in the autumn (world cups aside and everyone except AWJ retires after them) with only a short turnaround till the 6 nations, you'd hope Pivac would have a much more settled side for that once all this experimentation is done. Even if its not the same 23 individual fans might pick (and boy will there be arguments over that) if the teams going to develop and grow you need some stability and security.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 02 Dec 2020, 6:31 pm

I've no issue with the squad as such as, for me, this just shows that Pivac is using this tournament as a way to look at everyone. We've had these arguments plenty over the years - i.e. should we always put out our best team? If so, when do we try new players? It's such a tricky balance. To change coaching team completely after 12 years there has to be some time in live real game situations where the coach tries new players and combos to see what suits the game he's trying to develop. You just don't get that same sort of thing in training matches. So this is the best place to judge it.

So he's experimenting even though the pressure is on. He knows we have an ageing 'best' squad so needs to bring the next wave through. But probably realises that some of the older ones are still the best options..... for now. So needs to keep them in and on side while blooding new ones and giving them enough time to assess them and, if they're deemed good enough, time to settle into international rugby.

Either that or he's the new Claudio Rainieri tinkerman and he'll never settle on his squad and it'll be like this forever more! The Scottish posters talk about the tombola selections of Townsend. Maybe that's what we'll get with Pivac?
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Post by BigGee Wed 02 Dec 2020, 7:08 pm

Believe me

You don't want to go down the Tombola route. It has its moments, but is very stressful!

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 03 Dec 2020, 4:09 pm

Pembrokeshire-born scrum half Stephen Varney starts for Italy. He was in the under-20s side that beat Wales in Colwyn Bay last year, as was Garbisi (and possibly others, I haven't looked). They were very good.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/51280706

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 3:50 pm

Johnny Williams ruled out. JD2 brought in, so I assume North moves in one to 12. Pity.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 4:08 pm

Although the general consensus seems to be Fox will play 12.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat 05 Dec 2020, 4:18 pm

This should be an easy win for Wales. But lets not under estimate Itali.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 4:53 pm

Feels like that’s the first defensive lineout we’ve ever competed for.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 4:53 pm

Fantastic by tipuric.

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Post by JDizzle Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:00 pm

Hardy’s passing is frustrating. Been a couple already behind the man or too high - stopping them.

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Post by Heuer27 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:03 pm

How was that a legal clean out. Straight contact to the head

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:06 pm

I don’t get how he can look at that and be happy.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:08 pm

Arm to the head. Looks a penalty to me. If Barnes had seen it I'd reckon it would have been called as such. Warburton seemed happy

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:10 pm

That was a good offload from AWJ, and JD2 fumbles it.

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Post by Heuer27 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:13 pm

Big decision. He will be banned for that as he was off his feet too. Another instance of poor reffing. The exact type of dangerous play that put an end to Warburtons career.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:18 pm

It was a good clearout. The arm tapping his head seemed secondary, if that’s a ban then it’s crazy.

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Post by Heaf Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:23 pm

I have to admit I'm struggling with interpretations these days - the other week a player that wrapped his arms etc but lightly bumped heads due to being a bit upright in the tackle got a YC as there was contact with the head. I don't think the clear-out was that bad in reality but these days they seem to sanction any contact with the head so it's all just a bit inconsistent.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:23 pm

Great try for Itali.

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Post by JDizzle Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:24 pm

Nice try for Italy. Wales need to sort out the breakdown offences - there is no need to be that aggressive in trying to turn the ball over. Italy are fairly toothless in attack, they will get opportunities to turn them over... No need to force it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:26 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Great try for Itali.

Who?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:28 pm

Bit naughty from Adams afterwards as well.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:28 pm

Card for Adams is correct. But Barnes warned the Italian 2 he’d get yellow next time he messed about too?

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Post by Gooseberry Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:29 pm

Welsh fans very quiet, must be enjoying the action

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:34 pm

1 point in at half time. Wales got off to a cracking start, great first try. Line out needs work for both teams.

Lets hope the second half is as good as the first half.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:35 pm

It’s a bit crap. Do something good then do something bad. Some good players on display for Wales, but something still not quite right. Still think Hardy’s passing is too slow.

Faletau and Tips consistently linking well, but it would have been nice had they done this earlier in the tournament...

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Post by JDizzle Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:38 pm

LRZ and Lloyd have looked sharp every time they have got the ball, but they just aren’t seeing much with North/JD2 inside of them - which isn’t really a criticism of the centres as they are just doing what they do. The line out has no redeeming features though.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:38 pm

What I will say about Williams’ clear out, is I wonder if they let it go because Canna’s hands are on the floor and so is in an illegal position. Would be interested to hear why it wasn’t properly looked at tbh.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:38 pm

Twice this presenter has called Ken Owens ‘Keith Owens’!
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:39 pm

RiscaGame wrote:What I will say about Williams’ clear out, is I wonder if they let it go because Canna’s hands are on the floor and so is in an illegal position. Would be interested to hear why it wasn’t properly looked at tbh.

Tmo looked and thought it was fine.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:39 pm

The Oracle wrote:Twice this presenter has called Ken Owens ‘Keith Owens’!

Ah, he’s been corrected now!


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Post by JDizzle Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:39 pm

The Oracle wrote:Twice this presenter has called Ken Owens ‘Keith Owens’!

Haha, just got called out for it. Love that.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:41 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:What I will say about Williams’ clear out, is I wonder if they let it go because Canna’s hands are on the floor and so is in an illegal position. Would be interested to hear why it wasn’t properly looked at tbh.

Tmo looked and thought it was fine.

Yeah, I heard. Just was confused as to why he didn’t think there was anything in it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:45 pm

My only guess risca is that it was a genuine attempt at a clear out using arms and didnt have too much force.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:My only guess risca is that it was a genuine attempt at a clear out using arms and didnt have too much force.

I think it was that, because he did try to put his arm across the shoulder (seatbelt like) and it was elbow to head rather than shoulder.

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Post by Gooseberry Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:53 pm

JDizzle wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Twice this presenter has called Ken Owens ‘Keith Owens’!

Haha, just got called out for it. Love that.

They could do with keith harris and orvill the way this heading

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:54 pm

Italy playing smart against 14 and stretching play. North just seemed to give up there.

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Post by JDizzle Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:55 pm

If you were generous you would describe that defence by LRZ and Lloyd as ‘ropey’. Not sure Lloyd fancied that after the previous knock on the shoulder.

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