Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

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Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Twist » November 27th, 2016, 11:12 pm

There's a realistic prospect now that England will come to Dublin looking for a second slam in a row and a 19th win in a row. Australia should be properly dialled in next week but if they get over that I'd say it's odds on

However, that comes with the coda that every other team looks unpredictable

Wales finished the autumn much stronger than they started. I suspect Howley is trying to de-Warrenise them a little. That won't work if they don't view him as a "real" coach, since he's only there temporarily. But given his standing in Wales, they might throw off the Warren-ball straitjacket

Italy - best RSA. Lost to Tonga. Conor O'Shea sounded very upbeat about their medium to long term prospects.

Scotland - More Jekyll and Hyde. I get the sense that Cotter isn't going to suffer lame-duck syndrome because his values are similar enough to Townsend. They looked very good against Aus

France - no need to explain the unpredictability but I hope we really go to town in them after the game in Paris. Run the legs off their behemoths then cut them open.

Think our own fortunes depend on injuries


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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby simonokeeffe » November 28th, 2016, 9:55 am

Not to cross polinate threads but we have 3 irreplaceable players we cant afford to lose

England just lost B Vunipola but Nathan Hughes not worst deputy. They have some weaknesses at halfback and ballplaying in general but old cliche of matching them up front

France are playing rugby again but selection is still all over the place and theyre undercoached

Wales I'll disagree on, they still look clueless trying to move beyond warrenball, against mostly poor sides too. Pack is good except TH but they cant avoid playing one centre that isnt a blackhole of creativity
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby suisse » November 28th, 2016, 2:07 pm

Twist wrote:Scotland - More Jekyll and Hyde. I get the sense that Cotter isn't going to suffer lame-duck syndrome because his values are similar enough to Townsend. They looked very good against Aus


Scotland regularly flatter to deceive but this November looks like being a turning point for them. They seem to be building, gradually but nicely, for the World Cup. However, they're changing managers mid cycle. I know Townsend is a great coach but the SRU will be plunging Scotland into uncertainty from next year
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Peg Leg » November 28th, 2016, 2:11 pm

suisse wrote:
Twist wrote:Scotland - More Jekyll and Hyde. I get the sense that Cotter isn't going to suffer lame-duck syndrome because his values are similar enough to Townsend. They looked very good against Aus


Scotland regularly flatter to deceive but this November looks like being a turning point for them. They seem to be building, gradually but nicely, for the World Cup. However, they're changing managers mid cycle. I know Townsend is a great coach but the SRU will be plunging Scotland into uncertainty from next year


I would say the announcement was made so early and publically to facilitate Townshend's engagement and frequent visiting with the SRU backroom to keep him u to speed.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby kermischocolate » November 28th, 2016, 2:39 pm

Peg Leg wrote:
suisse wrote:
Twist wrote:Scotland - More Jekyll and Hyde. I get the sense that Cotter isn't going to suffer lame-duck syndrome because his values are similar enough to Townsend. They looked very good against Aus


Scotland regularly flatter to deceive but this November looks like being a turning point for them. They seem to be building, gradually but nicely, for the World Cup. However, they're changing managers mid cycle. I know Townsend is a great coach but the SRU will be plunging Scotland into uncertainty from next year


I would say the announcement was made so early and publically to facilitate Townshend's engagement and frequent visiting with the SRU backroom to keep him u to speed.


Given that he's dealing with mostly Glasgow players anyway. And taking his coaches with him....
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Flash Gordon » November 28th, 2016, 4:00 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:Not to cross polinate threads but we have 3 irreplaceable players we cant afford to lose

England just lost B Vunipola but Nathan Hughes not worst deputy. They have some weaknesses at halfback and ballplaying in general but old cliche of matching them up front

France are playing rugby again but selection is still all over the place and theyre undercoached

Wales I'll disagree on, they still look clueless trying to move beyond warrenball, against mostly poor sides too. Pack is good except TH but they cant avoid playing one centre that isnt a blackhole of creativity


Think Murray is pretty much irreplaceable at the minute but we have decent depth in other positions - 12 Henshaw, Marshall, Olding, Ringrose, Madigan and at 3 we have Furlong, Mike Ross, Bealham and should the need arise Marty Moore. There isn't a prohibition against players playing abroad rather a preference and nobody's retired from international rugby.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Ruckedtobits » November 28th, 2016, 4:57 pm

IMO, lets not assume Mike Ross will be included at this level again. His scrum work is top drawer but unfortunately his mobility and handling are in deficit on this team. Include him and you have to adjust the entire Defensive line-up to hide him on the pillar every time. In addition, you cannot have an expectation he will carry ball like Furlong or Bealham or offload like either.

Mike Ross has given us great service and two Championships stand to him, or him and others, but our game has moved on and the present combinations allow us to develop both in attack and defence
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby desperado » November 28th, 2016, 5:03 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:Not to cross polinate threads but we have 3 irreplaceable players we cant afford to lose

England just lost B Vunipola but Nathan Hughes not worst deputy. They have some weaknesses at halfback and ballplaying in general but old cliche of matching them up front

France are playing rugby again but selection is still all over the place and theyre undercoached

Wales I'll disagree on, they still look clueless trying to move beyond warrenball, against mostly poor sides too. Pack is good except TH but they cant avoid playing one centre that isnt a blackhole of creativity


Beyond Murray; who are the 2 other 'irreplacable' players ?
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Oldschoolsocks » November 28th, 2016, 5:24 pm

For me they would be Jack McGrath and Simon Zebo


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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby hugonaut » November 28th, 2016, 5:28 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:France are playing rugby again but selection is still all over the place and theyre undercoached


I wouldn't agree with you on either those counts Simon.

From my point of view, I think that Noves has improved the performances of the national team more in the last five months than St André did in the previous four years. I don't know how you can look at the transformation in how they play and say that they're undercoached. Their quality of attacking has been transformed from a very low level to a very high level in the space of a year. That doesn't happen by accident. Look at the key figures in the game they played against us in the Six Nations compared to the recent game they played against New Zealand:

4 clean breaks, 10 offloads and 390m made against us in the 2016 Six Nations [source: http://en.espn.co.uk/statsguru/rugby/match/254979.html ] on 13/02/16
versus
17 clean breaks, 31 offloads and 629m gained in a 5 point loss against the All Blacks [source: http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/playerstats ... gue=289234 ] on 26/11/16

Comparing those games, they more than quadrupled the number of clean breaks they made and more than tripled the number of offloads they made ... against a better team. Those numbers against the All Blacks aren't outliers either:
15 clean breaks, 19 offloads and 602m made in a 52-8 thumping of Samoa
18 clean breaks, 34 offloads and 495m in a 2-point loss to Australia

They have shredded defenses in this series. If a team keeps making line breaks, they're giving themselves a lot of opportunities to score.

Secondly, I think Noves has more or less established his core group of players – Guirado as his hooker, Vahaaminha and Maestri as his locks, Picamoles as his No8 and Gourdon as his openside in the pack, with Machenaud as his scrum-half and Lamerat and Fofana as a centre combination in the backs. I don't think that there's anything particularly zany about those selections. Serin has come through extremely quickly as a good second choice scrum-half, and there are two decent options at No10 between Trinh-Duc and Lopez.

As with other coaches, the November tests are going to be used as a bit of a test bed for selection. Ollivon has done well playing blindside rather than his usual No8, and adds phenomenal size [201cm in height] and athleticism in the backrow; Atonio is doing relatively well as a starter rather than an impact sub and, when you put him into the mix with Maestri and Vahaamahina, you've got an absolutely enormous tight five. People always tie in Toulouse with the 'jouer-jouer' moniker, and conveniently forget that Noves routinely put out monster packs filled with the likes of Pelous, Servat, Census Johnston, Albacete, the Maka brothers, Trev Brennan etc.

I think that France are looking stronger than they have in quite a long period of time, and if Noves can get any co-operation from the Top14, I think that they'll finish in the top half of the table.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby johng » November 28th, 2016, 5:34 pm

the only way you could say they are undercoached is the access he has to the players compared to union run Ireland
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby simonokeeffe » November 28th, 2016, 9:22 pm

desperado wrote:
simonokeeffe wrote:Not to cross polinate threads but we have 3 irreplaceable players we cant afford to lose

England just lost B Vunipola but Nathan Hughes not worst deputy. They have some weaknesses at halfback and ballplaying in general but old cliche of matching them up front

France are playing rugby again but selection is still all over the place and theyre undercoached

Wales I'll disagree on, they still look clueless trying to move beyond warrenball, against mostly poor sides too. Pack is good except TH but they cant avoid playing one centre that isnt a blackhole of creativity


Beyond Murray; who are the 2 other 'irreplacable' players ?


Hensahw (our one big back we use) and Furlong
Have to distinguish between a Carton House Squad and a matchday squad too

@Hugo theyve had 8 different halfback combinations in 10 tests in 2016, still occassionally faff around with playing scrumhalves at outhalf (ahead of FTD), and Scott Spedding still somehow gets picked sometimes, would say the same about Maestri. Samoa have been a rabble beset with problems since before the world cup so wouldnt put huge stock in that game, plus they lost to Georgia and squeeked home against Canada

from what Ive read from pundits/explyers/journalists Noves does next to zero of any actual coaching and hasnt for quite some time
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Oldschool » November 28th, 2016, 9:22 pm

hugonaut wrote:
simonokeeffe wrote:France are playing rugby again but selection is still all over the place and theyre undercoached


I wouldn't agree with you on either those counts Simon.

From my point of view, I think that Noves has improved the performances of the national team more in the last five months than St André did in the previous four years. I don't know how you can look at the transformation in how they play and say that they're undercoached. Their quality of attacking has been transformed from a very low level to a very high level in the space of a year. That doesn't happen by accident. Look at the key figures in the game they played against us in the Six Nations compared to the recent game they played against New Zealand:

4 clean breaks, 10 offloads and 390m made against us in the 2016 Six Nations [source: http://en.espn.co.uk/statsguru/rugby/match/254979.html ] on 13/02/16
versus
17 clean breaks, 31 offloads and 629m gained in a 5 point loss against the All Blacks [source: http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/playerstats ... gue=289234 ] on 26/11/16

Comparing those games, they more than quadrupled the number of clean breaks they made and more than tripled the number of offloads they made ... against a better team. Those numbers against the All Blacks aren't outliers either:
15 clean breaks, 19 offloads and 602m made in a 52-8 thumping of Samoa
18 clean breaks, 34 offloads and 495m in a 2-point loss to Australia

They have shredded defenses in this series. If a team keeps making line breaks, they're giving themselves a lot of opportunities to score.

Secondly, I think Noves has more or less established his core group of players – Guirado as his hooker, Vahaaminha and Maestri as his locks, Picamoles as his No8 and Gourdon as his openside in the pack, with Machenaud as his scrum-half and Lamerat and Fofana as a centre combination in the backs. I don't think that there's anything particularly zany about those selections. Serin has come through extremely quickly as a good second choice scrum-half, and there are two decent options at No10 between Trinh-Duc and Lopez.

As with other coaches, the November tests are going to be used as a bit of a test bed for selection. Ollivon has done well playing blindside rather than his usual No8, and adds phenomenal size [201cm in height] and athleticism in the backrow; Atonio is doing relatively well as a starter rather than an impact sub and, when you put him into the mix with Maestri and Vahaamahina, you've got an absolutely enormous tight five. People always tie in Toulouse with the 'jouer-jouer' moniker, and conveniently forget that Noves routinely put out monster packs filled with the likes of Pelous, Servat, Census Johnston, Albacete, the Maka brothers, Trev Brennan etc.

I think that France are looking stronger than they have in quite a long period of time, and if Noves can get any co-operation from the Top14, I think that they'll finish in the top half of the table.

Didn't see the France v NZ game but heard that France dominated possession but didn't really know what to do with it.
That's probably good enough to beat Wales, Scotland and Italy but Ireland and England will be a different kettle of fish.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Morf » November 28th, 2016, 9:28 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:from what Ive read from pundits/explyers/journalists Noves does next to zero of any actual coaching and hasnt for quite some time


It didn't really do much to diminish Fergie's reputation for the last decade or more not doing any coaching though . . . .
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby simonokeeffe » November 28th, 2016, 9:35 pm

Morf wrote:
simonokeeffe wrote:from what Ive read from pundits/explyers/journalists Noves does next to zero of any actual coaching and hasnt for quite some time


It didn't really do much to diminish Fergie's reputation for the last decade or more not doing any coaching though . . . .


tbf Fergie used more French players
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby dropkick » November 28th, 2016, 10:07 pm

I think England are a little bit ahead of us at the moment because they've a more dangerous backline. I don't buy too much of the hype but they are strong all over. Billy Vunipola could be missing for them which would be a bonus for us.


France look better under Noves but I'm not convinced yet. The lost to Australia's second string the other week. The are playing a nicer style of rugby now but they still pick all the giants in their pack which means opportunities for other teams because those massive players can't cover as well in defence. The ABs looked tired against them but fairly comfortable.


Wales usually save themselves for the 6 nations so we can't read that much into the november tests but even so they don't look the force of old. They're not able to bully teams physically anymore which has led them to try and change their style and they are having problems in trying to play more expansively. For instance many of their players struggle to pass the ball. I watched their win over SA on youtube and while a win is a win, they didn't do anything only defend and let SA continue to press the self destruct button.
What you'll get with Wales is a good defence and kicking game so they won't be easy beats especially not at home but Ireland have stepped up a level and they have not.


Scotland have improved a bit. I'd expect they're going to throw everything at Ireland in that game and they have some dangerous players. Key there will be to keep Hogg quiet and go after their weak scrum. They play a nice style of rugby now but have weaknesses Ireland can exploit.


Italy are Italy. I don't think they'll win any game in the 6 nations although I would love to be proven wrong as long as they don't beat Ireland.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby simonokeeffe » November 29th, 2016, 10:30 am

I would have said England's strength is in their pack

Ben Young's dummies have to have been clocked by now
Ford has been erratic at 10, they move Farrell there theyre back to the problem of having no 12's, Brown never passes, and their backs and forwards dont combine well from broken play
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby Oldschool » November 29th, 2016, 12:03 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:I would have said England's strength is in their pack

Ben Young's dummies have to have been clocked by now
Ford has been erratic at 10, they move Farrell there theyre back to the problem of having no 12's, Brown never passes, and their backs and forwards dont combine well from broken play

Spot on and the loss of Billypola their wrecking ball seriously weakens the whole team
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby simonokeeffe » November 29th, 2016, 12:14 pm

Oldschool wrote:
simonokeeffe wrote:I would have said England's strength is in their pack

Ben Young's dummies have to have been clocked by now
Ford has been erratic at 10, they move Farrell there theyre back to the problem of having no 12's, Brown never passes, and their backs and forwards dont combine well from broken play

Spot on and the loss of Billypola their wrecking ball seriously weakens the whole team


Nathan Hughes is a good replacement but he doesnt have Billys fitness/engine and no20 now is a problem position
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Six Nations 2017 - Other teams

Postby dropkick » November 29th, 2016, 1:10 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:I would have said England's strength is in their pack

Ben Young's dummies have to have been clocked by now
Ford has been erratic at 10, they move Farrell there theyre back to the problem of having no 12's, Brown never passes, and their backs and forwards dont combine well from broken play



Their pack is their main strength but they are more free scoring than Ireland are.
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