Discussion in 'Other Sport' started by unchanged_lineup, Jan 30, 2018.
Super Rugby's also a few weeks away. Hopefully the Bulls can at least appear to be competitive this year.
Really looking forward to Saturday.
Ireland 15/8 to win it, England 5/2 to win the Grand Slam. Both worth a look.
I'd love to see England, Ireland and Scotland all in with a chance of winning the championship on the last weekend. Not expecting a great deal from Wales, Italy and France.
@unchanged_lineup @diarm and other Irish supporters - are you confident of Ireland's chances of winning the crown?
Never. Can't wait though.
As an England fan I can't see past Ireland this time. That Irish squads look so impressive, while looking so strong in the Autumn and with the Irish teams in Europe on top. England won all the games in Autumn but looking at the squads and past 6 months of international and club rugby Ireland edge it.
I don't trust this Ireland team to go to Twickenham and win (not fully confident they'll win in Paris). We've lost our last trips to England, Scotland, Wales and France aand have played poorly in a few of those. The rumour is that Schmidt is going for more of the youth (Ryan, Van den Flier and Stockdale starting with Porter, Leavy and Carbery on the bench) which may bring energy and fearlessness to the team so it will at least be exciting to see. England have lost once in two years, they're deserved favourites.
I can't let you worry like that. We are shit.
You were shit two years ago and beat us. Logically we should win handily but Irish wins in Paris are rare, the biggest ever was by 7 points.
I can't really understand why France chose Brunel to replace Noves; getting rid of Noves seemed like a good move, but replacing him with someone with a supposedly similar archaic style is not what France need right now IMO. Anyway, how do you think Jalibert will fare on Saturday, provided he is the starter?
No one was going to take the job, if the rumor is to be believed Collazo, Azema and Cotter were at the top of the list but none of them were going to leave their clubs in December and it's not even sure if they would do it next summer., they apparently tried half of Top 14 before settling with Brunel.
And I have no idea about how anyone will do, in particular the halves, traditionally the poor guys are left without gameplan and tend to drown, maybe it will be different with Brunel.
Not confident as such, because this is always our tough year with trips to Paris and London, even if the 3 home games in succession could be a great opportunity to build momentum if we can get off to a good start in Paris.
I'm happy with the depth we are building. There are two or three good players for both props, locks, probably 3 separate backrows who are all good internationals, really good options at centre and in the back 3. We could be stronger at hooker and while Carberry and McGrath are good players, we wouldn't want to be losing our world class halfbacks either.
What we need to see this six nations, is a real development of our attack. We have the talent and depth now where Joe can't get away with a conservative, safety first approach any more. I'd prefer us to finish 2nd or 3rd but show some real attacking endeavour, than win another championship playing defence and kick chase rugby.
That style is good enough for 6N but as we saw 3 years ago, it won't get you to the latter stages of a world cup and that has to be the end game for this team.
As for the other sides, I'm not as worried as most about England. I think they have real issues in their backrow, especially with Vunipola out. Underhill is a good prospect but Robshaw wouldn't make any of the 3 Irish backrows I mentioned and wouldn't get a look in at a Welsh or Scottish squad either.
Scotland worry me because Townsend will have them playing smart, expansive rugby with absolutely no fear of coming to Dublin for a result. I can see us being full of beans and confidence after good results against France, Italy and Wales and with the whole country whispering about a final day showdown in Twickenham, the Scots come over and put us to the sword.
Scotland (no Grand Slam)
This is not so far fetched at all.
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Whatcha reckon about that team JP? Waiting on the Irish announcement here.
That team can't handle the ball, I would be very surprised if it's not a dropped ball festival.
How's your scrum going to be then, in that case?
Penalized, british referees have a problem with Slimani.
I'm am bias being a Quins fan but gonna have to disagree on Robshaw he is very underrated, even by England fans. He is international quality for the backrow imo. But I agree on back row for England if it is Robshow-Underhill-Simmonds that is very unbalanced no big ball carriers. Not just the back row England players look tired I read a stat the other day they have stacked up the most minutes of any Lions players.
Scotland are interesting for first time in a long time they have expectations to actually do something. Richie Grey is out, he is so important to them and listening to 5live they seem to have an injury crisis (sounds like every team does right now). They were impressive in autumn but I can't see England and Ireland's defense making those mistakes.
I'll go -
I want your thought about that one, Raka allegedly wants to play for France. Unlike other players, he hasn't been targetted by the FFR but he apparently wants to play for the country of his wife and child and he should be naturalized this year. What do you guys think about it?
I've always thought the opposite. Because he's a fine club and even European level player, Quins and English fans have tended to overrate him as international quality. Even though time and again, in crucial matches I think he's come up short. I think he's a little underpowered and doesn't have that great attribute that a top backrower needs. He isn't a big carrier, isn't a weapon in the lineout or at pilfering the ball and he doesn't make a silly number tackles per game.
The advantage we have over England in being able to manage the minutes of our players is huge. I know we're missing Kilcoyne, Strauss Ruddock, OBrien, Heaslip, Ringrose, Conway and Payne but by comparison, we've got off pretty lightly and will be fresher for the IRFU game management.
Stander being top of that list for the Irish is a concern. I thought he looked tired towards the end of last season and during the Lions tour. Its continued into this season and while he still gets through a mountain of work, his carries aren't having the same impact as normal.
Wouldn't be at all surprised to see Jack Conan take over the 8 jersey during this tournament.
Still a big injury list though. One of the reason I hope we get some sort of global calendar. Is it 2020 they're looking at changing the calender? The account of minutes these guys play. Nothing will change and that is a shame. It seems like every 6N every team has so many injures. I can't remember last time England had a fully fit 23. English and French clubs are a big problem.
I'm not sure how much a global calendar could do now. The foxes have taken over the henhouses in France and England and the health of their international sides are fairly low down the list of priorities for fellas like Nigel Wray or Mourad Boudjellal.
What is going to have to be looked at very soon is body positions in the tackle and ruck. It's rumoured that since the Lions tour, Jared Payne still can't perform a light jog without suffering crippling headaches which is bloody scary.
You've got probably a first choice Lions backrow in Warburton, O'Brien and Vunipola out for the tournament as well as a whole host of other global stars missing. Something has to give because fellas are just getting too big and the game is getting too ferocious to sustain.
I have to correct you here, in France club rugby has always been more important than the national team, in Rugby country, rugby is a bell tower thing. It's only recently that some found a passion for international rugby.
Yeah that's probably right in fairness. It's just that the more recent influence of money and foreign recruitment is having a more negative impact on the national side than historically.
Provincial rugby in Ireland is a bell tower thing as well. Doesn't mean it can't work in tandem with the national side and for me, as with many French supporters I've met at games, it feels sweeter when the players representing our clubs are from our region anyway.
Nah, that's a lame excuse, the hard truth is that our players are brainless, it has nothing to do with foreign recruitment. When you can't pass the ball, can't receive the ball, don't understand that you need to target the gaps, when you fail to understand that rucks have to be cleaned quickly, that the ball need to move quickly, you will be shit at modern Rugby.
Our problem isn't recruitment, it's that we are bad at developing modern rugby players, just look at the back line that Brunel chose, they are all enforcers at the exception of Jalibert, not a single player with a bit of subtility.
For me absolving the foreign recruitment of any influence is the lame excuse.
It's all reflective of the 'throw money at it' to win at all cost mentality in French rugby. You are bad at developing modern rugby players because there is little emphasis on developing them. The Top14 is so hard and uncompromising that it doesn't make sense to take risks bringing through younger, smaller, quicker or skillful players when you can spend money on a ready made giant from South Africa or Polynesia.
It's very difficult for a talented young French player, coming through at 19/20/21 to learn how to pass and receive the ball, target gaps, develop ruck technique and hone the thousand other skills he needs to master when he is repeatedly getting smashed in the head by monsters week in, week out.
Jonny Sexton went to France as a bona fide world class outhalf and spent more than half his time there on the concussion table. If French rugby players are brainless, it's because those are the only ones capable of surviving the Top 14.
That's not true, we don't have enough players with actual brains but we do have them and they are the best players in Top 14. Players like Para, Paillaugue, Dupont, Lopes, Bales, Lacroix, Pelo, Rattez and many others. These players aren't selected with France, they are pushed aside in order to select players that have no business being the back bone of a team. The balance is completely wrong, because our coaches are idiots, they love their big enforcers.
He just didn't want to be in charge at Ulster post the departure of Christian Lealiifano
All the Ulster fans replying there saying their CEO is ruining the club.
Ireland (v France)
15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray
1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (captain)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. James Ryan
5. Iain Henderson
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. CJ Stander
16. Sean Cronin
17. Jack McGrath
18. John Ryan
19. Devin Toner
20. Dan Leavy
21. Luke McGrath
22. Joey Carbery
23. Fergus McFadden
Parra, Lopez and Lacroix are all long term injured (my point exactly). Pelo is a massive Polynesian and Dupont is in the 23.
I agree with you that there has been a succession of bad decision making by French coaches but I don't think it's fair to land everything on them. The bad decision making has been made at club and underage level as well. I'm not convinced there is the level of quality French players there that you think they have to pick from and I believe it's because the emphasis at club and in the academies is being put on producing bigger, stronger, meaner enforcers as you put it.
England won't have any problems or requirement to clarify something seemingly simple with the ref this weekend against Italy unlike the corresponding game last year.
And that's my point, the problem isn't foreign recruitment but the weird fetish for enforcers particularly in the back line, because the front rowers are generally sligthly undersized technical players. Also I meant Priso not Pelo(who is french, Wallis and Futana is France), we had a problem with the previous generation of french coaches who put a lot of emphasis on a certain type of player and they killed our backline selection, we are starting to see normal players make their comeback among the younger players but they are around 18-22 years old.
Now, we could do with less has beens and more young french players, I won't argue against that but we can't use the recruitment excuse when we completely failed in terms of player development.
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