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Which Tyler

Rugby IV - Striking Hookers Are Back In Fashion

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Well the Australia-New Zealand game ended up being pretty disappointing as a neutral. New Zealand are a very good side and they played well but Australia were dire. I know it's easy to look back and pick out mistakes without taking into account the amount of pressure sides are being put under but all the New Zealand tries apart from Savea's were directly attributable to rubbish errors/play from the Australians, on top of that their lineout and tactical kicking are dire. You don't win test rugby matches giving even half decent sides that sort of advantage.

The South Africa-Argentina was a lot better to watch. Argentina were better than I thought they might be after the poor season the Jaguars had, they look like they might continue the upward trend they showed at the World Cup. The Springboks are a bit of an odd one. They were better than they were against Ireland, Mohoje and Goosen look like sensible additions. On paper that's a decent side, although I'd have Janse Van Rensburg and Mostert involved in some capacity, but they definitely seem to lack coherent idea of how they want to play and consequently they don't seem very composed under pressure.

 

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Massive beating beating for the Aussies.

England the second best team in world rugby right now? I feel they are.

What a team the All Blacks are. Losing Nonu, Smith, Carter and McCaw, and against Wales as yesterday I just find them very impressive. Superb replacements I guess. I may not have given this enough thought, but to me they are the best in any sport I follow ( and that's quite a few).

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53 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

England the second best team in world rugby right now? I feel they are.

You'd probably have to say they are on the back of winning a Grandslam then whitewashing the Wallabies. Having said that it's only a relatively short term improvement so I wouldn't say they're a long way clear of the pack and they have a lot to do to get close to the All Blacks. England have tended to struggle to beat the Springboks for the last few years as well. Still, hopefully we'll see general improvement in all the sides over the next few years so international rugby becomes a bit more competitive again.

Sad to see Giteau broke his ankle and his leg in Saturday's game which probably means the end of his international career. Credit to him for trying to play on but, yeah, it probably wasn't a good idea. It's a shame that his Australian career will end on that note.

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While there's not much doubt that the ABs would have won, the Aussies just about beat themselves with all the unforced turnovers. They had a few good segments of play, and they got more ruck turnovers than the ABs did (I think, at least it feels that way). But they just kept giving away possession. And Israel Folao almost might as well have not been on the field. The few times he got the ball he ran strongly, but he got the ball so few times. I think Julian Savea got more carries than Folau, and a try of course.

Aussie just managed to avoid losing by the biggest ever losing margin to the ABs, so that's something.

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It seems fairly unlikely Bath are going to be anything great this season but I suppose anything is possible.

I just caught up with this morning's game. Australia were actually a fair bit better, at least the tries they conceded were only not great, rather than abysmal, defence and they fronted up a bit. The worrying thing for them is they still didn't even come close to causing the All Blacks any real problems.

At this point I think they need to give up player Pocock and Hooper together in the back row. I know they're their two best forwards but if you're not decisively slowing down the opposition's ball what's the point of having 2 opensides in the team? They need to just take the tough decision. I don't really see what they're getting out of playing both Cooper and Foley in the side either. I did think, despite his stupid card, Coleman looked a useful addition.

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I think Owen Franks needs to be held to account for his eye-gouge / facial on Kane Douglas. I dunno if he actually got a finger in there, but grabbing someone's face is never a legit move, and it's not like his face was the only part of his body that was accessible at the time.

I thought the aggro and niggle from Aussie was tactically stupid, and ultimately didn't help them aside from reduce the AB's winning margin. But this foul play from Franks is unacceptable.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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I'm sure we're all absolutely shocked that Gatland has been named to coach the lions, but I'm a little surprised no-one's bothering to even mention it.

Utterly uninspiring, and utterly predictable - as is the way the Lions will now play; despite all the evidence in the world that Gatball isn't enough to beat the ABs.

 

And now we have the tour schedule released: The kiwi's still seem to have a different definition of "second Saturday in June" to everyone else.

Game 1 – Saturday 3rd June 2017 Provincial Union Team Toll Stadium, Whangarei
Game 2 – Wednesday 7th June 2017 Blues Eden Park Auckland
Game 3 – Saturday 10th June 2017 Crusaders AMI Stadium Christchurch
Game 4 – Tuesday 13th June 2017 Highlanders Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Game 5 – Saturday 17th June 2017 Maori All Blacks Rotorua International Stadium
Game 6 – Tuesday 20th June 2017 Chiefs  FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
Game 7 – Saturday 24th June 2017 All Blacks Eden Park Auckland
Game 8 – Tuesday 27th June 2017 Hurricanes Westpac Stadium Wellington
Game 9 – Saturday 1st July 2017 All Blacks Westpac Stadium Wellington
Game 10 – Saturday 8th July 2017 All Blacks Eden Park Auckland

 

http://www.rugbyrebels.co/board/download/file.php?id=119

 

Edited by Which Tyler

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Well there wasn't much option really, Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt had already ruled themselves out and, while I think he's a good coach, you can't really argue Gatland doesn't have a significantly more impressive CV than Cotter.

To be fair Wales didn't really play traditional Gatland style against the All Blacks in June and they did cause them some problems in the first 2 tests. It's going to be an uphill task regardless but I'd be pretty surprised if he doesn't change it up a least a bit given access to a bigger pool of players with the Lions.

Anyway:

1. McGrath 2. Hartley 3. Nel 4. Itoje 5. Jonny Gray 6. Faletau 7. Haskell 8. Vunipola 9. Webb 10. Sexton 11.North 12. Roberts 13. Joseph 14. Liam Williams 15. Hogg

 

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2 hours ago, ljkeane said:

Well there wasn't much option really, Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt had already ruled themselves out and, while I think he's a good coach, you can't really argue Gatland doesn't have a significantly more impressive CV than Cotter.

To be fair Wales didn't really play traditional Gatland style against the All Blacks in June and they did cause them some problems in the first 2 tests. It's going to be an uphill task regardless but I'd be pretty surprised if he doesn't change it up a least a bit given access to a bigger pool of players with the Lions.

Anyway:

1. McGrath 2. Hartley 3. Nel 4. Itoje 5. Jonny Gray 6. Faletau 7. Haskell 8. Vunipola 9. Webb 10. Sexton 11.North 12. Roberts 13. Joseph 14. Liam Williams 15. Hogg

 

Get Tommy Seymour in there and it's a fine,fine side.

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On 09/09/2016 at 11:47 PM, Which Tyler said:

And now we have the tour schedule released: 

We've waited twelve years, and the best they can come up with is tour matches against the Super Rugby Franchises, the Maori All Blacks, and a combined Provincial team? :(

Damn it, as late as 2005, they were still playing Manawatu, Otago, and Southland. Hell, seeing as it's now a once-in-twelve years event (rather than once-in-sixish, as it used to be), why not go the whole hog and have a four test series? I hate modern schedules.

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The concept in general. It's time has passed. England, despite the last World Cup, have proven that they can regularly defeat the southern hemisphere teams on their own, and I have a feeling Wales and Ireland would do it more often if they didn't have the Lions to fall back on. Lastly, playing for your country should be the pinnacle, not some hybrid team that isn't even British any longer.

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6 hours ago, Hereward said:

The concept in general. It's time has passed. England, despite the last World Cup, have proven that they can regularly defeat the southern hemisphere teams on their own, and I have a feeling Wales and Ireland would do it more often if they didn't have the Lions to fall back on. Lastly, playing for your country should be the pinnacle, not some hybrid team that isn't even British any longer.

Perhaps if Scotland holds another post-Brexit independence referendum and actuality succeeds/secedes this time, you may finally get your wish. I do always wonder why Ireland remains part of (or even joined in the first place) this thing.

From a host perspective, there's something a bit different and special about a Lions tour. It's a serious thing, but test rankings and all that aren't on the line, so it's also a bit more festive and less tense; dirty spear tackles notwithstanding.

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9 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I do always wonder why Ireland remains part of (or even joined in the first place) this thing.

 

Because when the forerunner of the Lions started, the whole of Ireland was still part of the UK, plus, later, most Irish rugby players used to be from Northern Ireland, or were Anglo-Irish protestants from the south with no nationalist qualms about playing for a British team.

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It will probably surprise no-one here that I want this sort of behaviour stamped out of the game; he'll probably get a year or so, but IMO should be a life ban.

Worse than Dupuy's that earned 24 weeks or Hartley's that got 26 weeks; far more consistent and repeated (but less pointed and specific) than Attoub's that earned 70 weeks.

I'd put it up there with Callum Clark, Duncan McRae or Umaga/Mealamu as the worst acts I've seen on a rugby pitch; and of the 4, this is a clear winner.

 

If only he'd been wearing a black shirt, or playing against the Lions (or even both!) - that would have been fine ;)

Edited by Which Tyler

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Disgusting. Ban him forever.

Edited by Hereward

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Interesting article. The point about the g force monitors, which I've mostly seen talked about as a good thing with regard to concussion, issues, actually encouraging players to make more big hits is a bit as it's quantified is a bit worrying.

Ugalde should definitely get as long a ban as it's possible to hand out. That's disgraceful.

Going back the Lions the All Blacks game at the weekend wasn't particularly encouraging for their chances. You could look at the Australia games and say 'ok New Zealand were good but the Wallabies were shite' but that really wasn't the case with Argentina. I actually thought the Pumas played really well and they had a smart game plan which the All Blacks clearly struggled with, they really targeted the fringes of the rucks and focused on going through the phases to negate the All Black's line speed in defence. They were the better side for 50/60 minutes of the game for me and they still shipped over 50 points and lost by 35. Yeah, this tour is going to be tough.   

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