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Which Tyler

Rugby IV - Striking Hookers Are Back In Fashion

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Bristol are back in then, even if they did manage to make a 30 point lead at home in the second half look like a vulnerable position for a while there.:lol:

Also the Ireland squad for the South Africa tour has been announced. The most notable omission being McCloskey, particularly for a tour to South Africa where you'd think some bulk in midfield would be a must.

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I'm looking forward to these Tours in June.

Wales vs All Blacks

Aussies vs England

Ireland vs Saffers

Nice.

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I feared for Slick's sanity with 20 minutes to go. 

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This weekend we had the Premiership and Pro 12 finals and the pre tour England Wales match.

The Premiership final pretty much went to form I thought. Exeter are a good team but Saracens are the form side in Europe and they had a grip on the game throughout really. Exeter did better than I thought they would to come back in the second half but when they had to Saracens got the score to kill the game off. The one concern for me is that Slade didn't have a great game which probably hurts his chances of making the England team in Australia.

The Pro 12 final was a bit more dramatic. I was really impressed with the attacking rugby of Connacht. Great stuff from forwards and backs, playing from everywhere, very similar to Glasgow last year actually. Looking at that game it's hard to see how all of the Leinster back 3 are going on tour with Ireland and none of the Connacht back 3. From and England point of view Te'o wasn't great despite apparently having a very good year.

Finally the England Wales game. It was a bit of a scrappy game, which will probably concern Wales more than England considering they were closer to full strength but at least they've got a game under their belts before going to New Zealand.

From an England point of view good to get the win and there were some flashes of good play. I thought Launchbury was excellent and the likes of Clifford, Lawes and even Burrell were decent. Ford had a bit of nightmare though, I just can't see how they can stick with him on current form. Harrison was ok but I thought Kvesic was miles better than him when he came on, I still not quite sure why he seems to be out in the cold.

For Wales it wasn't great facing the prospect of a tour of New Zealand. They had a few reasonable moments in attack in the first half but they didn't do particularly well at maintaining any continuity in attack for most of the game, which isn't ideal. Even more of a concern for me would be how many times England were getting over the gainline when they started playing direct. They're going to have to step it up a lot.

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So the Summer tours start this weekend. Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to watch them on Saturday but here's a few thoughts anyway.

New Zealand v Wales: In theory this is about as good a chance Wales have had of winning in New Zealand since I've been alive; Wales have a close to full strength, experienced side while since they last played New Zealand have lost their openside/captain and arguably the best player ever, arguably the best flyhalf ever, a vastly experienced centre partnership and Whitelock is out injured. On top of that their new captain is a class player but he hasn't been quite at his best since he started suffering concussion issues. But, yeah, Wales have got pretty much no chance, the New Zealand sides have been in spectacular form in Super Rugby and Wales were dire against England in their warm up. The goal will pretty much have to be to not get embarrassed and, hopefully, show a bit of an expansion to their gameplan.

From a New Zealand point of view I can't see them losing a game but it'll be interesting to see how their midfield goes in defence. Cruden's not a particularly good defender but when he's played in the past it hasn't really presented much of an issue with the defence around him being so well organised. Fekitoa and Crotty are good tacklers but the loss of the defensive organiser in Conrad Smith might present some problems.

Australia v England: You'd think England have the best chance of doing well of any of the NH sides coming off the back of a Grand Slam plus the Australians haven't been in good form in Super rugby and they've lost a few players to injury.

Having said that, although I've been wrong about Jones selections before, I'm not a huge fan of that side. In the forwards, ok, I can see sticking with the starting team that won the Six Nations, although I think we might struggle at the breakdown, but given the concerns at the breakdown no specialist backrow on the bench is nuts. I can't see why Cowan-Dickie's ahead of George either.

In the backs I'm not his biggest fan but I think it had to be Farrell ahead of Ford at 10 with their current form but I'm not convinced by a Farrell Burrell combination at 10/12. I suppose the logic is with Australia picking a big backline they want some size in there but I'd really rather have seen Slade or even Teo'o.

South Africa v Ireland: This is another one which in theory could have been a decent chance for Ireland with a new coach for the Springboks plus some political wrangling behind the scenes but with all of Ireland's injuries it's hard to see it going well.

Actually, to be fair, I do quite like the look of the team South Africa have picked. I'd probably have gone with a few more Lions players but I like De Klerk and Mapoe coming in and, when he's fully fit, it'll probably be Jantjies at 10. Still it looks quite a dynamic side. Ireland really need to get more aggressive with their gameplan and some of the injuries might have forced them into that a bit, Payne to fullback should definitely be the way to go. I can't believe Dillane isn't starting though.

Edited by ljkeane

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It's Friday, and I'm bored; so a religious XV

 

1. Zeus. Father of the gods and eventually all old dudes end up in the front row. 
2. Hades. God of the underworld so embodies the dark arts perfectly. 
3. Ganesha, the Hindu elephant God revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. A perfect choice. 
4. Thor. Specialist in random violence from above. 
5. Tane Mahuta. God of the forest. Basically a Maori version of Colin Meads 
6. Allah: player/coach who thinks he knows everything. Never brings his missus to the pub after the match. Capable of sporadic, violent retaliation against any slight real or imagined. 
7. Anubis: Jackel-headed Egyptian God of death is clearly expert at wrapping things up and jackeling. 
8. Buck Shelford. Has disciples still awaiting his return so you're damn right he's a god. 

9. Janus: God of transitions. Has two faces, at least one of which is always bloody talking. 
10. Cupid. Baby-faced but an excellent marksman. Chicks dig him. 
11. Mercury, very fleet of foot. 
12. Buddha: despite noticeably gaining weight over the years, insists he can simultaneously run an eight-fold path. 
13. Osiris: God of resurrection, never dies with the ball. Awesome offload. 
14. Jebus: right wing is a safe, out of the way place to put the long haired, sandal wearing ponce who thinks he is God but is only in the team because his dad is the coach. 
15. Maui. Safe hands, could catch the sun if he had too. 

Player/Coach: Jehovah. Doesn't believe in any of the players except his son. Basically a psychopath.

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17 hours ago, ljkeane said:

So the Summer tours start this weekend. Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to watch them on Saturday but here's a few thoughts anyway.

New Zealand v Wales: In theory this is about as good a chance Wales have had of winning in New Zealand since I've been alive; Wales have a close to full strength, experienced side while since they last played New Zealand have lost their openside/captain and arguably the best player ever, arguably the best flyhalf ever, a vastly experienced centre partnership and Whitelock is out injured. On top of that their new captain is a class player but he hasn't been quite at his best since he started suffering concussion issues. But, yeah, Wales have got pretty much no chance, the New Zealand sides have been in spectacular form in Super Rugby and Wales were dire against England in their warm up. The goal will pretty much have to be to not get embarrassed and, hopefully, show a bit of an expansion to their gameplan.

From a New Zealand point of view I can't see them losing a game but it'll be interesting to see how their midfield goes in defence. Cruden's not a particularly good defender but when he's played in the past it hasn't really presented much of an issue with the defence around him being so well organised. Fekitoa and Crotty are good tacklers but the loss of the defensive organiser in Conrad Smith might present some problems.

.

Lot of new names in the All Blacks side, I am very curious to see them in action.

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That Eng v Aus match was one of the best I've seen in years. 

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It's been a good weekend of rugby so far.

SAA vs Saxons yesterday; NZ v Wales; Aus v Eng; SA v Ire currently; Irish kids beating the JABs; Georgian kids still holding Wales at bay...

And more to come

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If Ireland lose this, it is ENTIRELY Connor Murray's fault!

What utterly brain-dead decision making led him to that?

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On 6/10/2016 at 3:27 AM, ljkeane said:

So the Summer tours start this weekend. Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to watch them on Saturday but here's a few thoughts anyway.

New Zealand v Wales: In theory this is about as good a chance Wales have had of winning in New Zealand since I've been alive; Wales have a close to full strength, experienced side while since they last played New Zealand have lost their openside/captain and arguably the best player ever, arguably the best flyhalf ever, a vastly experienced centre partnership and Whitelock is out injured. On top of that their new captain is a class player but he hasn't been quite at his best since he started suffering concussion issues. But, yeah, Wales have got pretty much no chance, the New Zealand sides have been in spectacular form in Super Rugby and Wales were dire against England in their warm up. The goal will pretty much have to be to not get embarrassed and, hopefully, show a bit of an expansion to their gameplan.

From a New Zealand point of view I can't see them losing a game but it'll be interesting to see how their midfield goes in defence. Cruden's not a particularly good defender but when he's played in the past it hasn't really presented much of an issue with the defence around him being so well organised. Fekitoa and Crotty are good tacklers but the loss of the defensive organiser in Conrad Smith might present some problems.

 

Well with 20 minutes to go Wales certainly had every chance. When you stack up the starting line ups you'd have to say Wales was the better side, the problem is the All Blacks have a bench of players who could easily be in the starting line up, whereas Wales bench isn't that sort of quality. And that seems to be where the All Blacks can turn close or even losing matches into what look like easy wins on the scoreboard.

I don't know what Wales can realistically do now. We are probably looking at the remaining games going a similar way. Close and possibly even Wales ahead for 60 minutes, then the ABs pile on points in the final 20 for the win.

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I'm not convinced about that - the Wales being the better starting XV that is. I think if you stack up the relative starting XVs; you'd say that NZ are better by about 5-10%; and predict a 1 score victory for NZ. Absolutely right about the bench though. I'd also say that if you stack up the respective coaching teams; you'd have NZ out of sight in the lead; much more flexibility of game plan, permission to decide things on the pitch, and an ability to use the bench properly (though Gatland IS hampered here by the lack of quality - but he still sticks to the script written 6 years ago; mind, that's exactly how he approaches the rest of his coaching too, so...).

 

As for the rest; I suspect Ireland may take a while to recover from this one - an awful lot of whiskey and beer will have been consumed; and that's gonna come back to haunt the entire country today... eventually... when they crawl out of each others beds.

Never won in South Africa; playing with 14 men for 50 minutes, and 13 for a further 10; and a SH desperate to throw the game away in the last minute - that was just fantastic.

If that wasn't enough, their kids then gave the Baby Blacks only their 8th ever defeat; and become the 5th country ever to beat NZ at this level.

Edited by Which Tyler

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Well I was trying to be nice to Wales, so I'll go with your 5-10% in favour of the ABs.

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I just caught up with Saturday's games, great start to the summer tours.

Wales did better than I thought they would, I agree the bench is where they fell down, which isn't too bad a result for them. Good win for England, not entirely unexpected but to come back from the start they had was really encouraging. Fantastic win for Ireland though, I didn't give them too much of a chance before the game with all the players they're missing, to do it with 14 men for 60 minutes was phenomenal.

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Yes.  Unbelievable.  A big boost for Ireland.

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I guess Waikato's pounding of Wales in the mid-week match highlights the shallowness of the player pool for Wales.

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1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I guess Waikato's pounding of Wales in the mid-week match highlights the shallowness of the player pool for Wales.

 

1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I guess Waikato's pounding of Wales in the mid-week match highlights the shallowness of the player pool for Wales.

Pretty much! There is zero depth in our squad.

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Charlie Morgan of RW turns his attention to the breakdown from Aus v Eng 1st test.

http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/england-countries/analysis-sights-sounds-breakdown-battle-england-australia-58824

These articles are always worth a read; even when he looks at a match or player you're not interested in. Properly intelligent and actually knows what he's talking about - which is why he can't get a job in the mainstream media.

As ever, the page takes a while to load, as it's chock full of GIFs

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