Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ljkeane

Rugby: Building up to Japan

Recommended Posts

Lots of points scored at the start of the game...hopefully stays a close match!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/15/2019 at 11:36 PM, ljkeane said:

My picks for the quarterfinals.

England v Australia: Like ithanos says Australia actually do have a solid tight five now so England's traditional way of beating the Wallabies probably won't work. The issue is they don't really seem to have a clear idea what they're going to do with the platform the tight five give them. I think Cheika would like to play the old school incisive wide attacking game of Australia but they don't really have the players for it and chopping and changing your halfbacks certainly doesn't help.

The England team of the last couple of years are a pretty well balanced side capable of blowing teams away. The issue has been they don't tend to do it for 80 minutes so they've put a lot of teams to the sword at the start of games then let them back in later on. Overall though I don't think Australia are the kind of side who're going to outlast England so I'll go for England to win.

New Zealand v Ireland: The games in which New Zealand have struggled recently (other than the loss against Australia) have tended to be against sides with powerful forward packs and aggressive linespeed orientated defences who're able to slow the tempo of the game down and drag them into an arm wrestle. To win the World Cup they're probably going to have to beat 3 teams capable of playing that way. I think concern about that is why they've switched Barrett to fullback to give them an extra decision making option to pull the ball back to and picked Sonny Bill Williams despite him not being in great form prior to the World Cup. The big test for how well it works will be Saturday though.

Ireland are certainly capable of beating the All Blacks as they showed last year and Schmidt's a very smart coach who will no doubt have a good plan to do it. On the downside they've had a pretty terrible year since that win and all the injuries they've had in the back row won't help their ability to slow down New Zealand ball. The fact that they weren't able to impose themselves on Japan is a bad sign for me. Given that I'm going to go for a New Zealand win.

Wales v France: I feel like I'm fairly consistently underestimating Wales. Gatland has designed a gameplan for the team which is tailored to their limitations and they very rarely do anything particularly exciting. What they do is defend ferociously, give the opposition no easy opportunities and usually take their chances. They also win a lot.

France are kind of the opposite. They're very talented, Dupont, Penaud etc are great to watch and they usually give the opposition lots of chances. If it all clicks for France they might win but overall I don't think they're particularly well coached and I'm dubious that's a great foundation for beating Wales. So I'm going for a Wales win.

Japan v South Africa: Japan have been great and I'd love to say I could see them going further but unfortunately I can't. They beat South Africa last time but this Springbok team are a lot better than the 2015 vintage. Fundamentally the up tempo game Japan want to play is very hard to do if you're losing collisions on the gainline pretty consistently which is what I think it going to happen against this South African pack. So, yeah, I'm going for a South Africa win.

That was a pretty long winded way of saying I think all the favourites are going to win their quarterfinals.

Come on. Sure, SA will beat Japan, but this Springbok side is in no way better than the 2015 team. The 2015 team had far more world class players, and simply underestimated Japan on the day. It won’t happen again. 

But that team also came within 2 points of beating a much stronger All Black team than the current NZ crop in the 2015 semis.

SA are likely to face NZ in the final this year, but both sides are weaker than the two teams that faced off in the 2015 semifinal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jeor said:

I'm worried that despite promising so much, the QF matchups might end up in four one-sided matches.

My concern as well. But France out to prove a point.

Damn, was busy doing some domestic chores, forgot the Wales/France game had started.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Well, good job by Wales. Not convincing in any sense, but they did what they should when chasing down a lead, especially after an opposition player has a brain explosion and leaves his team a man down for the last half hour. Though I hope they front a better performance than this for next week. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit late to the party because I was too lazy to get up but that was a fun game. Like Jeor I was a bit disappointed with the New Zealand Ireland game yesterday so it's good to get a decent game in this morning.

Wales were very lucky to get through that game. Vaahamina's brainless red card gave them a chance and they still needed two pretty lucky tries and Ntamack to forget his kicking boots to get through. Credit to them France were better than I thought they'd be, they were great at times, but they still managed to shoot themselves in the foot.

2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Come on. Sure, SA will beat Japan, but this Springbok side is in no way better than the 2015 team. The 2015 team had far more world class players

No way. The 2015 South Africa team had a few players who were world class in 2007, still good in 2011 and were well past their best in 2015 and playing on reputation because the South African coaching team didn't have any better ideas. The current team are actually picking on current form and look well coached under Erasmus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ljkeane said:

I'm a bit late to the party because I was too lazy to get up but that was a fun game. Like Jeor I was a bit disappointed with the New Zealand Ireland game yesterday so it's good to get a decent game in this morning.

Wales were very lucky to get through that game. Vaahamina's brainless red card gave them a chance and they still needed two pretty lucky tries and Ntamack to forget his kicking boots to get through. Credit to them France were better than I thought they'd be, they were great at times, but they still managed to shoot themselves in the foot.

No way. The 2015 South Africa team had a few players who were world class in 2007, still good in 2011 and were well past their best in 2015 and playing on reputation because the South African coaching team didn't have any better ideas. The current team are actually picking on current form and look well coached under Erasmus.

Current SA team is a racial quota based team, sadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Current SA team is a racial quota based team, sadly.

That’s rubbish. Which white players should be in ahead of any of the black players in the side?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

That’s rubbish. Which white players should be in ahead of any of the black players in the side?

 

The South African Super Rugby teams are ALSO racial quota based teams, as are their age group based teams. Quotas are now close to 50%. So the pool of available players is in itself racially skewed. And the players who lose out to those quota rules? They either stop playing rugby after age group level, or head overseas.

The 2015 team narrowly lost to a much better NZ team than the current NZ team, by just 2 points in the semifinal.

Siya Kolisi would not make a Springbok bench if not for quotas, never mind captain the team. Mtawarira would not still be there, either.

It is reality. Look at the number of SA players overseas. CJ Stander would be a Springbok loose forward today, but decided to leave barely past the age of 20 to rather qualify for Ireland, because of the issues in SA rugby. And now he is a British Lion. That pattern repeats itself again and again. And is a sign of things to come.

Sad, but undeniable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The 2015 team narrowly lost to a much better NZ team than the current NZ team, by just 2 points in the semifinal.

That's nice. They still lost though, just like they'd been doing repeatedly . This South African side got results away in New Zealand for the first time in a decade.

18 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Siya Kolisi would not make a Springbok bench if not for quotas, never mind captain the team.

Complete nonsense. Kolisi's been brilliant for South Africa and under his leadership it's been the best period for South African rugby since 2009.

20 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Mtawarira would not still be there, either.

I probably would have gone with Kitshoff but they're not picking 100 plus times capped Mtawarira because of racial quotas. Come on.

On top of that Mapimpi, Kolbe and Am are clearly there on merit. Mbonambi's done really well to deservedly fight his way into a starting spot in a very competitive position.

24 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

 CJ Stander would be a Springbok loose forward today

Would he bollocks. He left South African rugby because he was nowhere near getting a Springbok place and they told him he was too small to ever make it. You'd be picking CJ Stander ahead of Duane Vermuelen? Yeah, right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

That's nice. They still lost though, just like they'd been doing repeatedly . This South African side got results away in New Zealand for the first time in a decade.

Complete nonsense. Kolisi's been brilliant for South Africa and under his leadership it's been the best period for South African rugby since 2009.

I probably would have gone with Kitshoff but they're not picking 100 plus times capped Mtawarira because of racial quotas. Come on.

On top of that Mapimpi, Kolbe and Am are clearly there on merit. Mbonambi's done really well to deservedly fight his way into a starting spot in a very competitive position.

Would he bollocks. He left South African rugby because he was nowhere near getting a Springbok place and they told him he was too small to ever make it. You'd be picking CJ Stander ahead of Duane Vermuelen? Yeah, right.

I'd pick CJ Stander well ahead of Siya Kolisi, that's for sure.

Compare the two teams then.

Willie le Roux today is a shadow of the Willie of 2015.

I'd go for 2015 Habana over any of today's wings.

Pietersen vs the current wings probably more of a toss up.

The centers were the same guys as today if I recall, until Kriel got injured earlier in this tournament.

Pollard as well.

Fourie du Preez is not only the greatest South African scrumhalf ever - yes, better than Joost - he is a contender for greatest scrumhalf ever to play the game. Even in 2015 he was better than Faf de Klerk is today. His try to put away Wales in the quarters was sublime.

Duane Vermeulen of 4 years ago was better than today's mid-thirties Duane. As was Francois Louw 4 years ago.

Etsebeth and De Jager 2015 vs Etsebeth and de Jager 2019- much of a muchness.

Then the front row - Bismark probably the best SA hooker since professionalism. Certainly better than John Smit who kept him on the bench for years purely for captaincy reasons. And you can't deny that Mtawarira of 4 years ago was better than Mtawarira today.

Then the bench:

Ruan Pienaar

Victor Matfield

Willem Bonecrusher Alberts

Adriaan Strauss

Pat Lambie

Overall, it is a pretty easy call for me that the 2015 team was better, and had more world class players across the park - than today's team.

Edit

Heyneke Meyer's winning percentage with that team was also much higher than Erasmus's winning record with the current team. And his matches against probably the best NZ team ever, were always competitive. The All Blacks were deservedly the victors.  Because they were unbeatable in that era. But South Africa ran them a close second during that period.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I'd pick CJ Stander well ahead of Siya Kolisi, that's for sure.

You'd pick CJ Stander at openside? I'm sure that'd work out well.

Anyway, good effort from Japan today. They kept it tight for longer than I thought they would but ultimately the power of the South African side showed.

ETA:

23 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Heyneke Meyer's winning percentage with that team was also much higher than Erasmus's winning record with the current team.

Heyneke Meyer was coaching during probably the weakest period of international rugby in the professional era. Even given that the Springboks rarely looked like they had a clear and cohesive gameplan beyond being bigger than the opposition under his tenure and mostly seemed to win despite rather than because of him.

 

Edited by ljkeane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ljkeane said:

You'd pick CJ Stander at openside? I'm sure that'd work out well.

Anyway, good effort from Japan today. They kept it tight for longer than I thought they would but ultimately the power of the South African side showed.

Maybe just close with this for today:

Not a single black player in South Africa gets excluded for quota reasons. But with a quota target of almost 50%, it is an undeniable fact that white players HAVE to be excluded. Because every white player HAS to be picked on merit, but the same doesn't apply to black players. That's why quota systems are so repulsive. It damages everyone involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well those two matches were a little better, at least from a competitive point of view.

Credit to Japan for keeping it to 5-3 halftime. They were never going to have a good chance of winning but they put on a good showing and the home fans can be proud of how they played that match. This successful tournament shows that they are legitimately making their way up the Tier 1 nations, stronger than Fiji and Italy and now officially ahead of Australia in the rankings (ouch).

I'm glad Wales won against France after that nasty red card. The final try was a marginal call (I saw one angle where the strip looked flat, but another where it looked forward) but France also have themselves to blame for missing the conversions as well as the card. South Africa are hardly going to be worried about their semifinal after that showing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×