6 Nations

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Belfast Barman, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Well, the usual yearly jamboree has arrived and the questions are:
    1. How bad are Italy (again) ?
    2. Will weight of expectation be France's undoing (again)?
    3. Will Ireland walk it (again) ?
    4. Can England finally play an expansive game, or through the forwards (again) ?
    5. Are Wales the All Blacks of the northern hemisphere again - great attacking rugby but not much end product?
    6. Do Scotland have any strength in depth if injuries occur?

    Looking at the first couple of matches, I thought (personally), Ireland were okay, Italy terrible, England looked better than they did in the autumn tests and Wales seemed to lack any leadership in the pack.
    Now I know we are only 2 games in, but my tip this season is France because they play their 2 hardest games at home, and my final table is thus:

    1. France
    2. England
    3. Ireland
    4. Wales
    5. Scotland
    6. Italy

    Anybody care to add their own thoughts?

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I was massively disappointed by the Wales display today. Having watched them play rugby for well over qurter of a century that's not a new feeling, but the current team seem to be significantly less than the sum of their talented parts. Lineout was shocking, handling was shocking (another intercept try? schoolboy stuff!), discipline was bad, creativity and imagination was sorely lacking, decision making on the pitch was woefully inadequate. Why didn't Jones take the first two penalties? Why did Cooper chip rather then run? Why in god's name did Alan Wyn Jones commit a stupid trip tackle? Why did we get sucked into a kicking tennis match - especially when the resulting lineout was so weak? We only seemed to win the ones that weren't thrown straight!

    Ironically, in the odd moments when genuine quality peeped through (like Hook's try), Wales made England look very, very ordinary - they will struggle against better opposition. Wales were much better at getting quick ball from the breakdown, when they put the effort in. But there wasn't enough quality - maybe 15 minutes in the whole match.

    Next Saturday in Paris (Ireland v France) already looks like a decider.:rolleyes:
  3. I agree with you there Andy, I thought the lineout for Wales was nothing short of schoolboy-ish - although it did tighten up when the subs were introduced, and as for A W Jones...... well god knows what he was thinking, especially right under the referee's nose - if it was the blindside, maybe, but not when Rolland is 2 metres away.
    Speaking of the ref, how did you rate him? I honestly thought he had a bit of a shocker, but that always happens when Alain Rolland is at HQ, be it on the touch or in the middle.
    And again Andy, I think you are right about next week - roll on the triple crown ;)

  4. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I actually thought he did OK, although he must have been watching the lineouts from a 90 degree angle not to spot some of the bad throws. Mind you, I reckon I could have reffed that match, it was schoolboy stuff a lot of the time.

    Missed today's match (this will sound terribly geeky, but I was busy practising - English Heritage cornet sectional on Tuesday and I still can't play the first 40 bars :eek:) - was it any good? Did the French play to their potential, or is going to be another year of frustrating underachievement from a potentially excellent side? Has Andy Robinson managed to make a silk purse out of Scotland's sow's ear of a side? I could see Wales getting sucked into a three way fight for the wooden spoon if the Scots have improved on last year and the Italians put up a fight - they must be due a good year soon.
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Thankfully, my sectional was at 9am today, so I've managed to watch every kick of the tournament so far.

    Have to say, being primarily into motorsport, football and test cricket, I'm still working out the various rules of the game (and getting verbal broadsides from my league-supporting colleagues) but it's compelling stuff. I suppose I can relate it back to association football much more easily because the territorial play is fairly similar. (Hoofing it long to push your opponent back etc.)

    To my (desperately untrained) eye, france looked to have some great movement and passing going forward, and - to use football parlance - closed down very quickly. They also had an enormous number 13 who looked like a battleship on legs, but was mobile enough to score twice without really running through anyone - and a blonde chap who made two absolutely killing tackles in which he hurt himself both times and ended up leaving the pitch after four minutes.

    Scotland lost the ball a lot and looked a bit blunt in attack, but dogged in defence.

    Their scrum was regularly bulldozed by the french pack though.

    Rather enjoying this rugby lark....
  6. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    France dominated a very poor Scots pack. Patterson kicked brilliantly as usual. Thought the French under peformed and will get better, although their blitz defence left a few gaps that could be exploited by some decent backs.
  7. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    I thought that although England played better they are still sticking to a strategy of kicking away possesion and slowing down the play from the rucks. Perhaps they're being sporting, givimg the opposition time to organise themselves!

    I would imagine that Ireland, Wales and Scotland will all show a lot more energy and inovation next week, there'll be words said during the next few days training! Andy Robinson looked thunderous today.
  8. The guy you refer to is called Matthieu Basteraud and he is actually William Gallas' cousin - funny story about him as it was his first game back after the French summer tour to New Zealand.
    What happened (or what he said happened) was that he was out in Auckland (I think) celebrating after winning the 2nd test over there and was jumped by 4 hulking kiwi brutes - well international rugby federation was going mental, angry emails and talks of ostracising NZ because of it.
    What actually happened was : He got drunk and fell over the coffee table in his hotel room, thus encurring several nasty cuts and bruises to the facial area, and made up the "being jumped" story to escape any punishment!
    Kind of like the Alan Partridge moment when he's jumping on the bed in the travel tavern, I believe! :oops:

    Again though, I will probably leave judgement so far until next weekend, when all the teams have had a chance to warm up a tad more.

    Andy - rucking and rolling!
  9. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    Another sad day for English rugby (union). Aerial ping pong and slow ball. We may win but it's not entertaining. I might have to mov north and start watching league!
  10. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    League???? Don't be ridiculous, even football is better than that! ;)
  11. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Mmmmmm Italy v England or Cas V Leeds? No contest mate, I fell asleep watching that rubbish this aft :D - Then again it's probably as well you Southerners have airial ping pong and 'geen army' to drool over :wink:
  12. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    Football!!!!! Noooo!!!!!! 90 minutes of acting all to end in a draw, nooooooo!!!!!!! Seriously fed up with England rugby though. Thoroughly enjoyed Scotland v Wales yesterday and southern hemisphere open running game is still good.
  13. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Have to agree Rugby League is much better. Rugby Union especially against 2 good teams is just a penalty kicking competition. They have a big pile up and a penalty is given, very rarely is a try scored. Union is utter rubbish, bit like the england team!!
  14. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    League is for Girls! Real men ruck and maul, not wriggle on the ground like they're being electrocuted.
  15. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Union is for public school boys jessies, league is for proper working class men
  16. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    When I was a young (working class) lad growing up in the south west I once asked our (Welsh) sports teacher why it was league in the north and union in the south. He put it down to the rules, there are a lot more to remember in the union game!!

    Union is a good game when the players are allowed to use their initiative, run with the ball and score tries. England are losing supporters because it's too boring to watch, the team manager and coaches should take heed!
  17. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    That'll be why I played Union in the Heart of the East End of London, at a comprehensive school, in one of the poorest boroughs in London.
  18. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    At least the Home nations are respected as such, and do not have to play as Great Britain :wink:
  19. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Generally I don't mind either. Internationally I prefer Union. As a game on the whole its league.
  20. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I think Stella's hit on the real point of the league/union debate.

    Think about it. England RU at home, 80,000 fans at Twickenham, place sold out.

    GB RL play in the heart of league country and can't even fill Huddersfield Galpharm (capacity 28,000)

    BUT league clubs regularly sell out their own grounds for club matches.

    It seems that league is very heavily based in club rugby - and while they have fanatically loyal support and very passionate fans there, I suppose it's less easy to get taken seriously outside the M62 corridor if the international game is as poorly supported as it is.

    I think one of the major League-fans' criticisms of Union is fully justified if one only watches the england games (ie: too much aimless kicking) but it's only england that seem to do that. It didn't happen in the other two games.

    And why we insisted on kicking away posession four or five times when Catrogiovanni was off the pitch is anyone's guess! There were only two occasions when the england backs really broke forward - and we scored once and nearly scored once. The rest of the time was dull, poorly organised and uninspiring. If we play like that against France we're gonna get mullered.

    France look like the team to beat for me now. They were very good against ireland. That french scrum is something to behold!

    And what a cracker between Wales and scotland! I must confess I do have a soft spot for the welsh, so was very pleased to see them nick it right at the death. On balance, probably a fair result, but a tad hars on a dogged scots defence.

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