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Wales International: games, squads, tournaments, chat - 2021/22

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Post by Guest Sat 06 Nov 2021, 9:09 am

First topic message reminder :

A place to chat about everything ‘Wales’ going forward.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

First up: South Africa 6th November 2021

Wales: Johnny McNicholl; Louis Rees-Zammit, Jonathan Davies (capt), Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ellis Jenkins, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Wyn Jones, WillGriff John, Ben Carter, Seb Davies, Gareth Davies, Gareth Anscombe, Liam Williams.

South Africa: Damian Willemse; Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Herschel Jantjies; Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Lood De Jager, Siya Kolisi (capt), Kwagga Smith, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn.


Last edited by The Oracle on Sat 06 Nov 2021, 9:15 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 03 Jul 2022, 10:11 pm

I’m not sure we pulled that maul down, if that was the offence? It looked like both went down together, at least from where I could see it.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 03 Jul 2022, 10:14 pm

Biggar was annoying even before the match, but so was Kolisi during the match acting like a petulant child. Following on from the URC all the South African forwards appeal for everything to the ref, it’s as if they’re never wrong. It always seems to be Wales that get the inexperienced ref’s and on this occasion he wasn’t good enough. If Rassie can come out and say it then why can’t we?

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 03 Jul 2022, 10:17 pm

The Oracle wrote:Yes some good performances. Reffell on debut. LRZ took his tries well although didn’t need to do a great deal for them. Rowlands put in a good show again (that sealing off penalty in front of his owns posts not good though).

Thought the scrum was better than I feared but still gave away scrum penalties.

The main area we still lack is ball carriers to get over the gainline. Some of the SA guys just manage to get up such a head of steam and top speed in such a short distance and then blast though and well over the gainline. While most of ours were just stopped on contact. I watched Gareth Thomas the prop a couple of times just sort of run up to contact, try some sort of weak forearm fend, and then just flop to the ground. No ground made. Easy to defend. Would be great if we can find a couple of guys who can just cannonball straight into the opposition defence and skittle people out the way. We don’t seem to have anyone like that though. SA has them in spades!

Rowlands was good, as always. If we are to get an extra carrier then we need to put someone else at blindside. SA always seemed to have a lock or flanker running at our weak channel (10/12) and they were effective carries.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 03 Jul 2022, 11:08 pm

doctor_grey wrote:I agree the pen count is skewed in the Boks favour.  But as I said, I think Biggar's yellow would likely have been just a pen if someone else. And, I still am not clear what LRZ did wrong.  Was certainly not card worthy.  I forget, who was the ref?

I don’t know his name and I could Google as much as Madge does, but the Georgian one.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 04 Jul 2022, 10:17 am

Anyone think Lake could start this weekend? Francis will be unavailable, I think him and Lake were only on the bench to counter the bomb squad. I'd have Wyn Jones cover TH on the bench, yep we're at that stage. I wouldn't be surprised to see AWJ start - I do think he is a good option off the bench. We need to do something about the week 10/12 channel, but Watkin isn't the answer.

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Post by Oakdene Mon 04 Jul 2022, 10:21 am

Yes I would start Lake, to be honest I would have started him Saturday but there we go.

No, I wouldn't ask Wyn Jones to cover TH against a world class SA front row, he is just coming back from injury so that's asking too much for me.

I'd look at starting Jonny Williams at 12, Tomkins was solid if unspectacular & Williams is a better defender for me & he carries the ball well.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 04 Jul 2022, 10:34 am

Didn't we have Wyn Jones as TH cover on the Lions tour? I know it isn't great but that's better than the alternatives, right?

Agree with you on Johnny Williams, and I think he needs to play 13 for Scarlets as JD2 can't defend there any more. Wales has a lot of 12's and not many 13's. Hopefully Grady at Cardiff progresses in the next couple years.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 04 Jul 2022, 12:32 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I get it about Dan Biggar being annoying, but how do you cope when it seems one sided reffing? His card was harsh, as I said. Four yellows to none. It’s weird for a team to go 18-3 up and be more penalised? I think I’ve been pretty balanced about the cards, as in AWJ and the driving maul one (albeit wrong guy), but it seems mad.

You can’t see highlighted online that a ref lost control, off both sides of supporters, without it being an inexperienced ref with no idea.

How does a ref like that get a big test? What’s his history?

He's reffed internationals before I believe and Champions Cup Rugby. He was the ref who sent off Porter for the collision with Fritz Lee in the Tigers Vs Clermont game. He's one of the younger refs they seem keen on bringing through. I think I've mentioned it already that he can be quite harsh and quick to card if he thinks something is cynical or dangerous but that he's pretty consistent in his decision making. I think I've seen him ref half a dozen games so don't know that much but if I was picking idy have him over Karl Dickson who the Irish got lumbered with.

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Post by Oakdene Mon 04 Jul 2022, 1:16 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Didn't we have Wyn Jones as TH cover on the Lions tour? I know it isn't great but that's better than the alternatives, right?

Agree with you on Johnny Williams, and I think he needs to play 13 for Scarlets as JD2 can't defend there any more. Wales has a lot of 12's and not many 13's. Hopefully Grady at Cardiff progresses in the next couple years.

We did, from memory I think he came off the bench against New Zealand & maybe Uruguay. I have read that they're not looking to use Wyn as a TH so it will be one of the new boys on the bench.


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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 04 Jul 2022, 2:19 pm

I don't remember it being NZ and Uruguay. I am not sure why he's down the pecking order, is it because of lay-offs through injury? I mean, that hasn't been applied to other players... who can guess Pivac's guesswork though. Gareth Thomas is rightly leading the way at LH, I think he's a good all-rounder. Still no sign of Carre becoming the world class LH we all hoped for Very Happy.

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Post by Oakdene Mon 04 Jul 2022, 2:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I don't remember it being NZ and Uruguay. I am not sure why he's down the pecking order, is it because of lay-offs through injury? I mean, that hasn't been applied to other players... who can guess Pivac's guesswork though. Gareth Thomas is rightly leading the way at LH, I think he's a good all-rounder. Still no sign of Carre becoming the world class LH we all hoped for Very Happy.

Yeah he has been struggling with a couple of niggly injuries, last game for us was against Cardiff at the beginning of April.

Yeah the continued selection & hyperbole of Carre is getting beyond now. Yes he offers a lot in the loose but what good is a prop who can't scrummage?

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 05 Jul 2022, 11:50 am

Warrick Gelant; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi; Handre Pollard (capt), Jaden Hendrikse; Thomas du Toit, Joseph Dweba, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Evan Roos.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Vincent Koch, Ruan Nortje, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Grant Williams, Damian Willemse.

14 changes made, still a host of class players. I hope Pivac makes a few changes himself, Ratti should be in the 23! Maybe we could go for a similar bench split.

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Post by Old Man Tue 05 Jul 2022, 12:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Warrick Gelant; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi; Handre Pollard (capt), Jaden Hendrikse; Thomas du Toit, Joseph Dweba, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Evan Roos.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Vincent Koch, Ruan Nortje, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Grant Williams, Damian Willemse.

14 changes made, still a host of class players. I hope Pivac makes a few changes himself, Ratti should be in the 23! Maybe we could go for a similar bench split.

That is actually quite an exciting matchday 23. Nice to see some experimentation. This selection makes the match completely unpredictable as it depends whether these guys gel quickly, might be another slow start, but it might also be some exciting attacking rugby.

nienaber has never taken such a selection risk before.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Jul 2022, 12:32 pm

Just a few changes then! Unnecessarily risky for me.

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Post by Guest Tue 05 Jul 2022, 12:32 pm

Ridiculous depth in the Boks! Kudos clap

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 05 Jul 2022, 1:08 pm

The Oracle wrote:Ridiculous depth in the Boks! Kudos clap

14 changes would usually sound promising, but looking at that squad it really isn't ha.

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Post by Old Man Tue 05 Jul 2022, 1:11 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Ridiculous depth in the Boks! Kudos clap

14 changes would usually sound promising, but looking at that squad it really isn't ha.

The biggest challenge fir that squad is they need flow in the game, if they don't gel quickly Wales can again find themselves up by a coup,e of tries

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Post by Old Man Tue 05 Jul 2022, 1:43 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just a few changes then! Unnecessarily risky for me.

Apparently the Springboks have been training as two teams, this team would form the bulk of the Springbok team in their last test vs England as the Premiership players won't be available. The hope is this selection will come out well after the second test.

Nerves might be a factor in the first 20 minutes or so, but if they can come through the test succesfully it will add a tremendous amount of confidence for Nienaber and additional depth.

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Post by MichaelT Tue 05 Jul 2022, 1:56 pm

I was expecting this amount of changes but for the third test and once the series was won. Basing that on third tests in 2009 Lions, 2012 and 2018 England tours where once the series was won the changes were made.

Bold move considering how close last week was. Good on South Africa.

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Post by Guest Tue 05 Jul 2022, 2:14 pm

Well, here I am again with my pessimism and negativity! But perhaps the Boks feel that the first test was Wales’ ‘world cup final’ and it will be all down hill from here. Certainly in previous Wales tours to the SH big 3 they tend to have 1 good game and run the hosts close, and then it’s all gone to cr@p.

How have we done in the SA tours? I remember a very close game where Liam Williams did a flying high tackle to stop a match winning try, but the ref (rightfully) gave a penalty try instead and Williams got his marching orders. Really close game that. Was that the last Wales tour to SA?

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Post by Old Man Tue 05 Jul 2022, 2:32 pm

Nienaber said the protocol would normally be to make changes after the series is in the bag, but these guys know they must win this test, so they have something to play for.

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Post by Guest Tue 05 Jul 2022, 3:07 pm

Yes a good carrot on the stick for those players - win and they’re in better contention for World Cup squad I guess.

Would love to have some of that depth in Wales. We have some but it’s paper thin.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 05 Jul 2022, 3:37 pm

The Oracle wrote:Ridiculous depth in the Boks! Kudos clap

They have class all over the pitch in so many positions, only matched by the All Blacks.

The two nations are head and shoulders above everyone else.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 05 Jul 2022, 3:54 pm

Wales U20's are playing Italy tomorrow as well at 7pm. Wales are second in Group B with this game being the decider. Both teams on 10 points.

Some decent youngsters in this Welsh side. OK

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 05 Jul 2022, 8:02 pm

It's not a vintage U20s team this year, but it's perhaps the most balanced team I've seen. Every man in their position compliments the other.

Wales U20: Cameron Winnett; Oli Andrew, Mason Grady, Joe Hawkins (Capt), Harri Houston; Dan Edwards, Morgan Lloyd; Rhys Barratt, Efan Daniel, Nathan Evans, Christ Tshiunza, Dafydd Jenkins, Ben Williams, Ethan Fackrell, Ryan Woodman

Replacements: Oli Burrows, Cameron Jones, Adam Williams, Mackenzie Martin, Morgan Morse, Luke Davies, Josh Phillips, Bryn Bradley, Joe Westwood, Iestyn Hopkins, Caleb Salmon.

Not sure if I'm reading this right, but Woodman is moved to 8. That looks like two 7's in the back-row. I wouldn't have done that, the previous back-row was very good.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 06 Jul 2022, 1:09 pm

Some supporters group put out the predicted team, not sure how accurate - there could be someone in there who knows someone... Lake starting. Ratti was starting at 8.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 06 Jul 2022, 1:11 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Some supporters group put out the predicted team, not sure how accurate - there could be someone in there who knows someone... Lake starting. Ratti was starting at 8.

Deserved.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 06 Jul 2022, 1:24 pm

Yeah, I would certainly start Lake.

Faletau doesn't deserve benching. I might've expected somebody in for Lydiate.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 06 Jul 2022, 1:40 pm

Back row was Faletau, Reffell, Ratti. That makes sense to me. I doubt it's accurate anyway, given it makes sense and it was probably a fan opinion.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 06 Jul 2022, 4:22 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:It's not a vintage U20s team this year, but it's perhaps the most balanced team I've seen. Every man in their position compliments the other.

Wales U20: Cameron Winnett; Oli Andrew, Mason Grady, Joe Hawkins (Capt), Harri Houston; Dan Edwards, Morgan Lloyd; Rhys Barratt, Efan Daniel, Nathan Evans, Christ Tshiunza, Dafydd Jenkins, Ben Williams, Ethan Fackrell, Ryan Woodman

Replacements: Oli Burrows, Cameron Jones, Adam Williams, Mackenzie Martin, Morgan Morse, Luke Davies, Josh Phillips, Bryn Bradley, Joe Westwood, Iestyn Hopkins, Caleb Salmon.

Not sure if I'm reading this right, but Woodman is moved to 8. That looks like two 7's in the back-row. I wouldn't have done that, the previous back-row was very good.

Mason Grady looks an absolute massive prospect. The kid is huge and he is like greased lightning. Just hope he gets some game time for Cardiff this season.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 06 Jul 2022, 7:59 pm

Good enough first half. Italy are allowed to commit constant offences in the Redzone without being carded (the idiotic taking in the air aside).

I do wonder how before all those scrums and subsequent first Italian try, how the 12 wasn’t pinged for rolling too. I thought rolling on the ground was banned now?? Otherwise, I think Tshiunza should’ve been rewarded for the jackal??

Anyway, good half regardless.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 06 Jul 2022, 8:32 pm

Really tough game, and very fast.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 06 Jul 2022, 9:20 pm

Bit stop start with the scrums constantly resetting. When both tried to play, it was good.

Good win. I wasn’t certain on this one, because of the Six Nations. Great guts.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 07 Jul 2022, 8:27 am

BBC:
'"If there had been five or six changes, you would maybe have raised an eyebrow. But 14 changes? It's overwhelming," said the British and Irish Lions great.

"I don't think it shows respect for Wales and, looking logically, there is only one way to view it and that's to give them a good tonking, as they say.

"I suppose the only way they [South Africa] can justify it is if they win. I think it shows a little bit of disrespect.

"It doesn't matter that it's Wales. In these days, everyone is building towards World Cups so they have a different outlook.

"Yes, make changes but not that many. I'm a bit disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing Wales take on these guys again."

Springboks make 14 changes for second Test against Wales
Bloemfontein awaits but Pretoria hard to forget for Wales
Having finished fifth in this year's Six Nations, Wales were expected to be comprehensively beaten in the first of their three Tests against the world champions last Saturday.

However, Wayne Pivac's rejuvenated side led for long periods during an exhilarating encounter in Pretoria before Damian Willemse's last-minute penalty left Wales still searching for their first away win against South Africa.

On Tuesday, Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber announced an almost entirely new team for the second Test in Bloemfontein, with six uncapped players in the matchday squad.

Nienaber insisted he was not disrespecting Wales with his selection but Edwards believes the home side are devaluing the series by making so many changes.

"I think it does [devalue it], to an extent. There is a lot at stake but I think it takes a bit of an edge out of it," said Edwards, who was voted the greatest player of all time in a poll of international rugby players conducted in 2003 by Rugby World magazine.

"I am not going to suggest for one minute that I know all that is right and wrong about the modern game, except that it is a pretty physically demanding set-up, and it is important that you do [make changes] but there are ways and means of changing. I think it has stunned a lot of people.

"Take it from me, any side I've played against in a green and gold jersey, you are going to have to give respect to.

"It's not going to be easy, far from it, second team or not. They'll be a tough, tough side.

"I think it is great motivation for Wales. First and foremost, beat them.

"I think they [Wales players] are probably talking to each other and saying 'right boys, that's what they think of us'.

"It is a great opportunity to beat them and say 'thank you very much for picking that team'."'



Not sure I can agree with Edwards here. You have a squad and surely it is up to the coach as to how to use them. I do think it's a risk due to consistency and cohesion but you can't doubt the quality of player. I haven't seen him (may have missed) make comments on times when Wales make wholesale changes to their side.

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Post by sensisball Thu 07 Jul 2022, 8:39 am

I think he is harking back to the days when a team was limited to  your "best" 15 and the 7 subs who only came in if there was an injury.
To win a world cup you need at least 36 players you can rely on to get a win, that means untested combinations should be stress tested, if possible before the world cup starts.
Looking at the players coming in eg. De Roos was voted player of the URC, they are picking quality youngsters who need to be tested.
Think fullback is a position the Boks need too strengthen, Le Roux is far to variable in his play and he  needs genuine competition.

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Post by Old Man Thu 07 Jul 2022, 9:04 am

If the Boks secured the series and then made the changes would that be seen as more respectful?

Nienaber is taking a huge risk here, he is gambling that he won't be the first SA coach to lose against Wales at home. Now he is a statistics man, only pays attention to the data, this is totally against his charachter, he is basically demanding from this team to go and beat Wales if they want to be considered for starting positions.

But

Lets not forget what Rassie did in the 2019 Rugby Championship. He sent his "A" team to New Zealand early, and played Australia with a "B" team. And won the RC.

Remember the Boks missed out on a year of development due to Covid, so their experimentation and development now has to catch up.

I don't see this as disrespect to Wales, but as a challenge for those wanting to prove they are worth a starting position, or at least a bench position.

We have depth, but it is inexperienced depth due to lack of tests for this cycle and Nienaber's unwillingness to experiment. So this is a welcome change in my book.

As for Fullback, we have plenty of quality youngsters that have not been given enough opportunity because Nienaber believes in Willi Le Roux like a little dhild believes in Christmas.

Apalile Fassi, Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse all need exposure to test rugby, otherwise we will see an aging and slowing Willie le Roux next year in the RWC.

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Post by Guest Thu 07 Jul 2022, 9:19 am

Old dude out of touch with modern rugby. Nothing to read into really. Next!

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 07 Jul 2022, 9:28 am

He's wrong for me.

I personally think SA are stronger in a lot of positions anyway, but these games are exactly the right time to experiment and certain sides like SA have the squad depth to do it too without weakening their starting team. When they inevitably beat us, comments like this will look a bit foolish.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Thu 07 Jul 2022, 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest Thu 07 Jul 2022, 9:33 am

Spot on Risca.  It's part of the game.  Look how many times we've gone on tour to, say, USA or Canada or Japan and taken a more experimental looking side.  We've perhaps struggled (Japan) and been criticised for not respecting the opposition.  Happens most Autumn games when we play the 'lesser' of the 4 teams - usually a Tonga or Fiji or similar.  We rotate, make a silly amount of changes, and then scrape a draw or a narrow win.  But rotate we must, especially ahead of a World Cup.  It's a squad game these days.  And if you've got it (squad depth), flaunt it!

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Post by Guest Thu 07 Jul 2022, 12:59 pm

Team is out. Not many changes. Just Cuthbert in for Adams. Same back row so no Ratti as per the rumours.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 07 Jul 2022, 1:48 pm

I didn't really pay attention to it last week, but it seems like Josh Adams was heavily strapped, so it's a good decision to replace him for this game.

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Post by Guest Thu 07 Jul 2022, 2:02 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I didn't really pay attention to it last week, but it seems like Josh Adams was heavily strapped, so it's a good decision to replace him for this game.

Yes agreed. Adams has struggled a little the last couple of seasons I think. Had that amazing season for Wales (was it his first full one?) where he was scoring for fun and then has not been finding the same sort of space. A bit of 2nd season syndrome, of sorts. Did well on the Lions tour in the warm up games, too try scorer I think, but still couldn’t get selected for the tests (from memory). Perhaps knocked his confidence a bit?

But anyway, heavily strapped so better not to risk him. And Cuthbert has been given a new lease of life lately so might work well.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 07 Jul 2022, 2:21 pm

The Oracle wrote:Team is out. Not many changes. Just Cuthbert in for Adams. Same back row so no Ratti as per the rumours.

And Wyn on the bench for Carre & Wainwright on for Francis. Adams moves onto the bench in place of Watkin which leaves us very short of centres if Tomkins goes off.

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Post by Guest Thu 07 Jul 2022, 4:04 pm

Sorry, meant not many changes to the starting XV. But yes a few more changes on the bench.

Adams to cover Centre then?

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Post by Guest Thu 07 Jul 2022, 4:06 pm

I think Pivac suggested previously that Adams might be viewed as a centre going forward.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 07 Jul 2022, 4:49 pm

So only in attack?

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Post by Guest Thu 07 Jul 2022, 5:44 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:So only in attack?

Tumbleweed

Shocked Crying or Very sad Laugh

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 07 Jul 2022, 8:43 pm

I think the lack of changes from Pivac just shows he is desperate. Almost everything he’s tried hasn’t worked. Everyone, Wayne Wonder included, mention the lack of ball carriers. Well you’ve got one of the best ball carrying No.8’s in the squad and you’re not exposing him to international rugby. Instead you play a past-it blindside. At least if Shingler was in the squad (he was in better form having actually played this season) then you have another lineout jumper.

There’s some good back 5 forwards in the U20s, some of which already on a pro contract. Hopefully they continue their upward trajectory.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 08 Jul 2022, 8:43 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I think the lack of changes from Pivac just shows he is desperate. Almost everything he’s tried hasn’t worked. Everyone, Wayne Wonder included, mention the lack of ball carriers. Well you’ve got one of the best ball carrying No.8’s in the squad and you’re not exposing him to international rugby. Instead you play a past-it blindside. At least if Shingler was in the squad (he was in better form having actually played this season) then you have another lineout jumper.

There’s some good back 5 forwards in the U20s, some of which already on a pro contract. Hopefully they continue their upward trajectory.

Normally I would agree but given the changes that the Boks have made this could be our best chance to win in South Africa & lets face it, we played pretty well last week. Lydiate played well last week but I would have brought Navidi on about 20 minutes before he came on.

Shingler has played well & his comeback is remarkable considering how close he was to not playing again.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 08 Jul 2022, 1:15 pm

It is our best chance yes. Our last best chance was just last weekend, and we (more notably Biggar) blew it. Oh well, we go again.

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