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ljkeane

Rugby: Building up to Japan

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England have announced their squad to tour South Africa.

I suppose the notable selections are Cipriani being back in a New Zealand begrudingly backing down over Shields.

Overall not bad squad. They've taken a lot of back rows, which probably isn't too surprising, but, although I do like both of them, I'm not sure it's worth taking both Curry and Earl as I can't really see either of them playing. I'd be pretty gutted if I was Don Armand though, he's probably been the best flanker in the Premiership and he didn't seem to do anything wrong when he was finally picked in the Six Nations. Shields is basically a very similar player and I'm not entirely convinced he's notably better.

Having condensed their player base down to 4 Super Rugby teams the South Africans have looked very physical in the forwards. I don't think it's going to be an easy tour by any means.   

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The England team for the first test against South Africa has been announced.

So, er, I have to say that doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence. Robshaw was awful against the Barbarians, ok it was only the Barbarians but he still missed 6 tackles, and Brown just isn't fast enough to play wing at international level. The lack of a second row sub also seem to me like a potential big issue against a pack the size of the Springboks. On the plus side hopefully Curry does well.

Ireland are starting with Carbery at 10 which should be interesting. I'm not sure about them resting quite as many players as they are though.

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I can see the logic of most things - but I can't say I'm overly impressed.
Tight 5 are fine.
Robshaw should be sitting on a beach sipping Mojitos; as it is, he's in there to hold Curry's hand whilst he gains experience. I don't think it's time to dump him, but he really needed to spend this summer giving his mind and body a chance to actually recuperate and build some beneift from the beastings. I'd be nervous about 2 rookies on the flanks; but I think it would have been better long-term management.
No lock on the bench is a bit risky, and surprising given Eddie's usual desire for as many locks as possible. Surely this is a fitnes issue rather than a desired outcome.
I'm fine with Ford n Faz (though again, Fazlet should be chilling out somewhere he doesn't have to think about rugby); but I can't see how they work with Slade - who I like on principal; I just feel he's wasted at 13; and doubley so at 13 alongside FordnFaz. It's just a bit weird; but then the only centre we've taken who could attack the line is Daly - and I CAN see the point of getting some gametime into him at 15; especially doing so at altitude.
Daly at FB is a good thing; but Brown on the wing... as with the BaaBaa.s match, that can only be as starting backup in case Daly has a howler; when they can switch positions and not use up a replacement. I don't like it, but it is what it is. I'm also fine with Drunken Denny getting as few minutes for England as possible - on the principal of twattishness, not talent. I'd far rather have had Daly and Woodward starting together; but that's got that old "experience" issue, of having a rookie FB, with his backup being a rookie international - a risk well worth taking IMO; and an issue that is of Eddie's own making.
The less said about Francis over Lozowski (or even Cipriani) the better

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1 hour ago, Which Tyler said:

I'm fine with Ford n Faz (though again, Fazlet should be chilling out somewhere he doesn't have to think about rugby); but I can't see how they work with Slade - who I like on principal; I just feel he's wasted at 13; and doubley so at 13 alongside FordnFaz. It's just a bit weird; but then the only centre we've taken who could attack the line is Daly - and I CAN see the point of getting some gametime into him at 15; especially doing so at altitude.

I’m not a huge fan of the midfield balance, especially against South Africa, but in fairness Slade’s the only player in the squad who’s been playing 13 regularly this year. Daly has mostly played wing, and they clearly want to develop him as a fullback, and Lozowski’s had a good couple of games at 13 but he hasn’t played there that much. Lozowski should clearly be on the bench though if he’s fit.

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Not a bad test match for 50 minutes or so between New Zealand and France until a fairly harsh yellow for France tipped them over the edge and New Zealand are so clinical once the game opens up they picked the French off brutally. In fairness I think France were having to do so much defending in the second half they were going to crack eventually anyway, yellow card or not. The big issue for them was how bad their lineout was, if you're not winning your own ball or putting any sort of pressure on opposition ball you aren't going to get much possession or territory.

ETA: A bit of a scrappy game in Brisbane. Ireland didn't play particularly well but they're really good at controlling the tempo anyway which kept the Wallabies restricted. The way they normally do that is with their contestable kicking game but with Folau and Haylett-Petty in the back three for Australia that didn't really work but they still found a way. With a couple of first choice players to come back in for Ireland the next test should be interesting.

 

Edited by ljkeane

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Hmm, well that was something. Ultimately that's a very disappointing half from England, to get that far in front then let it slip, with some pretty poor defence too, must be very demoralising.

All the selection question marks have come up too. The balance of the midfield was a bit of a worry but to start the game the handling was excellent and they were carving up the Springboks, as soon as South Africa realised they were getting yards at will every time they ran it in midfield though it's completely swung the other way. Isiekwe's off so we're down a second row and Mike Brown got exposed for pace for the last try.

All in all if it carries on like this the criticism Jones is bound to get looks like it's going to be justified to me.

ETA: The May try on the end has put a veneer of respectability on it but that's a very shit performance by England. You shouldn't be losing any game that you're 21 points up in. Eddie Jones is on very thin ice now.

Edited by Eusebio da Silva ljkeane

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Je suis heureux que les Anglais aient perdu, évidemment, mais ils ont été chanceux que leurs premiers scores aient empêché le massacre que leurs fragilités défensives méritaient.

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Ok having had a little time to think about it I'm still pissed off about Jones yanking Isiekwe off after 35 minutes.

I assumed it must have been a failed concussion test or something at the time. I know he made early substitutions in Australia and it worked but in this case Isiekwe wasn't notably worse than anyone else. Maybe he wasn't doing something he should have been for the system but he's a 20 year old in his first start in international rugby, wait 5 minutes and try and sort it out at half time. Also, you know, there's no bloody lock on the bench so is it any surprise that the set piece got worse and we were already struggling with the size of the Springbok pack let's bring on an undersized makeshift second row. Ffs.

In the back row Robshaw wasn't quite as terrible as in the Barbarians game but apparently he made 6 tackles. Curry made 20, a clearly not fully match fit Vunipola still made 12 and Isiekwe, who was subbed after 35 minutes, made 8. If Robshaw's not bringing a high work rate I just don't see the point, he's always been relatively slow for an international back row but it looks like he doesn't have the minimum level of pace to get by anymore for me. If you're going to parachute a back row in Shields straight into the squad then play him at back row.

Eddie Jones is starting to do some pretty bizarre things and if it's not producing wins there has to be some serious questions asked.

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The England team for Saturday. Fortunately Launchbury's fit to play so we're at least starting with 2 second rows and Shields is in for Robshaw, who needed to go. Overall I'm pretty happy with the starting pack, the backrow in particular looks to have a decent balance. On the downside Brown's still on the wing and there's no second row on the bench again, because the Springboks are definitely the team you want to play with an undersized pack.

Ireland have made a lot of changes. I'm not sure it's a full strength side from what's available, you'd think that'd include Henderson, Stockdale and maybe Aki, but it's certainly closer than last week with Sexton and Furlong back in. It'll be interesting to see how it goes.

Wales have rung the changes too. From their point of view it really looks like an exercise in building up depth from Gatland. It seems to be going pretty well too.

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Another really poor performance from England. The wheels didn't come off to quite the same degree as last week but after building up a good lead again and defending pretty well for a while they let in another soft try and from then on the number of errors was ridiculous. They're only a point down at half time but at the start of the second half twice in the space of about 3 minutes they won turnovers to put themselves in great attacking positions and promptly handed the ball straight back to the Springboks, just awful lack of composure.

ETA: I forgot about the stupidest yellow card you're ever likely to see from Hughes. What's the point in doing that when they're in their own 22 and probably going to kick it back to you anyway you moron?

Ireland had a really good win in Australia. I thought they were in trouble after the early Wallabies try but, notably unlike England, they're a really composed try. They fixed the problems they had last week at the breakdown and with their kicking game and just kept applying pressure on Australia.

In New Zealand unfortunately the game was spoiled by the red card for Fall as France had been the better team before it, and actually did pretty well down to 14, but they were never going to have a chance playing that long a man down. It was absolutely the right decision under the laws but it shouldn't be a red for me. Fall's absolutely in a realistic position to catch the ball, he's right under where it's coming down with his eyes on the ball, the only thing he's done wrong is not jump as high as Barrett. I get that it's a potentially dangerous situation but there needs to be some sympathy.

 

Edited by Eusebio da Silva ljkeane

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I've said this before, and no doubt I'll say it again, but...

For me, the penalty should go to whoever creates the dangerous situation, if the defender is in place, and you jump into him, that's your fault, and your card, even if it means showing a red card to a player as he's stretchered off (the reason it will never be this way)

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Great win for Ireland. Strangled them. Losing the first one will stand to them as some of those boys were starting to believe their own hype (especially the young leinster lads which is kind of understandable given the season they've had).

Furlong was spectacular, and thats the world cup centre pairing, injury permitting. Psyched for last test on Saturday. Murray is now our only irreplaceable player. The gap behind him is too steep.

England are a rabble and can't see Jones making the world cup. He appears to have lost the dressing room. Thats 5 on the spin lost right? 6?

Ominous signs of life in SA rugby as RWC hoves into view. With Rassie Erasmus at the helm and a real feeling of unity and togetherness coming off them, they are going to be a serious threat

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On 6/18/2018 at 1:41 PM, Valandil said:

Ominous signs of life in SA rugby as RWC hoves into view. With Rassie Erasmus at the helm and a real feeling of unity and togetherness coming off them, they are going to be a serious threat

I wouldn't jump the gun on that yet. They've shown pretty good spirit to stick in the games despite being so far behind, especially in the first test, but we shouldn't gloss over how poor England have been to let them back in. England have repeatedly exposed their defence in the wide channels and if England can do it you'd think New Zealand and Australia should be able to too and the All Blacks at least won't be letting them back into the game given a double digit lead.

Good test to finish a good series in Australia. I have to say Ireland were pretty lucky to get the win though. The Wallabies were fairly clearly the stronger side in the second half and a couple of the penalties Ireland scored off were fairly dubious, on top of that if Stockdale hasn't deliberately knocked it on at the end it's not for lack of trying. Still, you have to give credit for Ireland keeping it tight enough to take advantage of the luck they got given the pressure Australia were putting them under, they're a very tough side to beat. Good signs for both teams I think.

In New Zealand once again France started pretty well and once again they were, pretty bizarrely, fucked by the ref. I've got no idea how Lacey allowed the try when he was right in the way of Serin trying to make a tackle to stand. I expect New Zealand would ultimately have won, they were a lot better in attack this week, but they don't need to be gifted any points by the officials.

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England finally get a win!

It certainly helped that South Africa rotated a bit, notably Jantjies in for Pollard, and conditions simplified things for them; there's no real decision to make other than kicking for territory in your own half and it made it easier for the forwards not to have to worry about playing wide wide plus it was harder for the South African big runners to keep smashing into contact. Still, it was a better performance and they showed a control they never really had in any of the other 2 games, even when they were in front.

In terms of personnel I really wasn't a fan of Robshaw coming back in but, credit to him, with the game slowed down he was very effective. Curry's probably cemented himself as the openside for the next few games and Cipriani, although he didn't have the opportunity to showcase his full range of skills, certainly didn't rule himself out of the running. One notable thing is although he's not a good defender he is a bigger guy than Ford so at least he's more of a speed bump. On the downside I'm a big Slade fan, I think he's the most talented back English rugby has produced since Cipriani, but unfortunately since a good first test his defence really hasn't been good.  

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Sam Warburton's retired from rugby.

It's a bit of a shock a year out from the World Cup but professional players put their bodies through so much punishment in the modern game you can't ever be too surprised. Still, not a bad career captaining Wales to a couple of Six Nations wins and the Lions to a win in Australia and a draw in New Zealand.

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Looks like Japan may be deprived of their #8

I'd seen the pics of Timani's face; but thought it was normal enough... disagreement between team-mates gone too far (Fearns on Henson, Lewsey on Cipriani, nay number of various training grounds).

If this report is true, then F*** me,;it's way, way beyond that...

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/105657697/i-thought-i-was-going-to-die-lopeti-timani-claims-he-was-bashed-after-drinking-in-dunedin

Australian rugby player Lopeti Timani has told the Sydney Morning Herald he was repeatedly bashed and bundled into a car in a vicious attack at the hands of Melbourne Rebels teammate and childhood friend Amanaki Mafi in New Zealand a week ago.

Timani claims he endured four hours of terror in South Dunedin after Mafi set upon the towering former Wallaby over a swear word Timani used in front of Mafi's sister, who was present at the time.

Timani, 27, claims he fled in fear of his life, was hunted down and bashed again in a nearby park, then dragged into a car and driven around town, before eventually fleeing at traffic lights and hiding in a bush.

Article continies in link

If true - jail time will surely be in Amanaki's near future

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33 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

If this report is true, then F*** me,;it's way, way beyond that...
 

Jesus.

Yeah, I'd heard Mafi had been arrested for assaulting Timani but I assumed he'd just thrown a punch or two in a bar. If all that's true Mafi's going to prison then.

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On 7/18/2018 at 1:01 PM, ljkeane said:

Sam Warburton's retired from rugby.

It's a bit of a shock a year out from the World Cup but professional players put their bodies through so much punishment in the modern game you can't ever be too surprised. Still, not a bad career captaining Wales to a couple of Six Nations wins and the Lions to a win in Australia and a draw in New Zealand.

Shocking. I really thought he'd come back. 29 years of age and thus fully in his rugby prime. 

Big loss.

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England's August training squad (NOT the EPS):

1. Hepburn, Marler Vunipola,
2. Cowan-Dickie, George, Hartley, Singleton,
3. Hill, Sinckler, Williams
4. Launchbury, Spencer, Kpoku
5. Lawes, Itoje, Isiekwe, Stooke
6. Robshaw, Rhodes, Wilson
7. Curry, Haskell, Underhill,
8. Hughes, Simmonds

9. Robson, Spencer, Youngs
10. Cipriani, Farrell, Ford
11. May, Ibitoye, Olowofela
12. Francis, Slade, Te'o
13. Daly, Marchant
14. Cokanasiga, Earle,
15. Ashton, Brown

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Oh dear.

As soon as he's forgiven his previous, and allowed another shot; Mr "not socialised as a puppy" does it again!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-45201916

England rugby international Danny Cipriani has been charged with common assault after an incident at a Jersey nightclub.

 

 

Police said he had been charged with common assault, larceny, assault on police, resisting arrest and being disorderly on licensed premises.

The 30-year-old has been remanded in custody until a hearing on Thursday.

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