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ljkeane

Rugby: A New Dawn

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So England's new World Cup cycle hasn't started very well.

Absolutely terrible first half from England. Having criticised Scotland for their profligacy in the Irish 22 yesterday England have been even worse today, I think it's 5 opportunities in the French 22 they've let slip by without picking up any points. In defence they've really gifted the French 2 tries. The first try they line up wrong for the Thomas break then Youngs just straight up misses the tackle on Rattez. The second try, even if it may have touched Ollivon's arm, May just stops. None of that is down to Eddie Jones as such but with both Vunipolas already out and Tuilagi off it's clear they don't have enough ball carrying options with the balance of the squad he's picked.

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Not really a significant improvement from England in the second half. A couple of pieces of individual brilliance from May saved them from an embarrassing scoreline and, to be fair, the French try was great play from Dupont but England really created nothing from phase play from multiple visits to the French 22. The only real positive as a team was that they gave France a bit of a beasting in the scrum.

From the French point of view it's important they managed the game well once they had a big lead, something they've been guilty of not doing fairly frequently in the past, and their new Shaun Edwards coached defence looked very solid. Good start to the Galthie era for them.

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8 hours ago, ljkeane said:

Absolutely terrible first half from England. Having criticised Scotland for their profligacy in the Irish 22 yesterday England have been even worse today.

It did seem a bit reminiscent. I wonder which of those teams will manage to sort this out for the Calcutta Cup match.

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On 2/3/2020 at 12:33 AM, williamjm said:

It did seem a bit reminiscent. I wonder which of those teams will manage to sort this out for the Calcutta Cup match.

It was the defence of both sides last year rather than the finishing that was the problem. So many ways for it to go wrong.:dunno:

Scotland have pretty much stuck with the same side. I suppose the notable thing about that is that they haven't gone straight back to Finn Russell but Hastings did reasonably well so there was no pressing reason to.

England have rung the changes a bit. Good to see 3 actual backrows in the backrow. I'd rather have seen a real number 8 or at least a big blindside like Hill involved rather than 3 utility backrows but it's still an improvement on last week. Another ball carrier in the pack in Vunipola also makes sense. The backline still looks a bit lightweight but Heinz for Youngs is the right call from the squad Jones has picked. There still should be another scrumhalf in the squad though.

The Ireland and Wales teams for Saturday's other game. That's a bit of a conservative selection again from Farrell. I suppose they did get the win last week but it's hard to see them really kicking on without taking a bit more of a gamble. Tompkins is into the centres for Wales. He was really good off the bench for last week, England might have missed a trick letting Wales poach him.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the game in Dublin goes. If Pivac can get a win there I think Wales are really in business.

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Salaries in even more trouble:

https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/champions-cup/leinsters-quarter-final-with-saracens-in-doubt-as-champions-face-hearing-over-fielding-potentially-ineligible-player-38935748.html

Fielding an ineligible player in Europe (by a few hours as work visa expired).
Plenty of precedent in the premiership, though I can think of any in Europe. IIRC, it's a 5 point deduction in the prem. Which would see them out of Europe...

Edited by Which Tyler

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4 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

Salaries in even more trouble:

https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/champions-cup/leinsters-quarter-final-with-saracens-in-doubt-as-champions-face-hearing-over-fielding-potentially-ineligible-player-38935748.html

Fielding an ineligible player in Europe (by a few hours as work visa expired).
Plenty of precedent in the premiership, though I can think of any in Europe. IIRC, it's a 5 point deduction in the prem. Which would see them out of Europe...

If it's just down to his right to work rather than competition rules you're still able to work while in the process of applying for an extension of your work visa. He was registered for the competition (which is usually the problem) so I'd be fairly surprised if they're going to get kicked out.

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Good point, well made.

It would seem excessive to me to apply 5 point deduction for that - fair in a competition with 22 rounds; but in one with 6?

 

ETA: I recalled incorrectly - Sale got 1 point, Gloucester and Exeter got 2 for theirs; LWelsh got 5, but for a player who'd played several games, not one.

By my maths, a 1 point deduction means that Sarries retain their place (4 wins to Glasgow's 3); but a 2 point deduction gives that spot to Glasgow.

 

Just so long as EPRC play it by the book; rather than drafting a new book, and then applying it retrospectively like PRL did.
That's all I ask - be it a telling off, a fine, a 1 point deduction or a 5 point deduction - just go with the existing procedures!

Edited by Which Tyler

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18 hours ago, Which Tyler said:

Just so long as EPRC play it by the book; rather than drafting a new book, and then applying it retrospectively like PRL did.

It's a 50,000 Euro fine and Sarries keep their place in Europe. I'd guess that's the lower end of the scale. Seems fair enough to me.

Annoyingly today with playing rugby and travelling back I'm not going to be able to watch either of the Six Nations games live. I'll just have to put my headphones in and try and avoid the scores.

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If you're playing rugby, then good luck avoiding the score - back in the day when I played, most club houses would record any matches whilst the home teams played, and show them when everyone sits down to their curry

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I think this year's Calcutta Cup match is very different to last year's, which is probably inevitable given the weather. It does feel like England have been dominating but they're only 3-0 up at half time, Scotland still have a chance but they need to play better in the second half.

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10 hours ago, Which Tyler said:

If you're playing rugby, then good luck avoiding the score

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering I was travelling on a coach filled with rugby players between two rugby clubs, I didn't manage to avoid the score. It wasn't exactly a classic though.

4 hours ago, williamjm said:

I think this year's Calcutta Cup match is very different to last year's, which is probably inevitable given the weather. It does feel like England have been dominating but they're only 3-0 up at half time, Scotland still have a chance but they need to play better in the second half.

When I'd just seen the score I was going to complain about both sides being as wasteful in attack as last week but to be fair conditions really were awful. There wasn't a huge deal they could really do about it.

England did really well with the three opensides in their backrow disrupting Scotland's ball in the first half while Scotland had the wind and then, eventually, were able to take a chance in the second half. That's pretty much the story of the game with the weather limiting both sides opportunity to play rugby so much.

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Much better from Ireland to beat Wales pretty handily.  Much of the improvement came from the back row and from Conor Murray rediscovering some form.  It’s a bit surprising they got such improvement from that selection, but let’s see how it goes at Twickenham. 

England beat the Scots but it didn’t sound like much of a game.  I know the weather was bad but England had a point to prove after the French game. 

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9 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Much better from Ireland to beat Wales pretty handily.  Much of the improvement came from the back row and from Conor Murray rediscovering some form.  It’s a bit surprising they got such improvement from that selection, but let’s see how it goes at Twickenham.

Fair play to Ireland that was a good performance. They really controlled territory and possession well to not really give Wales much of chance to get themselves into the game.

It's not looking great for Finn Russell's future with Scotland under Townsend. Apparently Russell thinks he doesn't have a personal relationship with Townsend which, considering Townsend's been his International coach for years ad was his coach at Glasgow before that, isn't ideal.

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1 hour ago, ljkeane said:

It's not looking great for Finn Russell's future with Scotland under Townsend. Apparently Russell thinks he doesn't have a personal relationship with Townsend which, considering Townsend's been his International coach for years ad was his coach at Glasgow before that, isn't ideal.

I wonder how long Townsend is going to be in the job. There have been some high points, but overall I don't think we could say that Scotland have really made progress since the Vern Cotter era. If Scotland only end up with a win over Italy in this year's Six Nations then it might be someone else's turn.

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2 hours ago, williamjm said:

I wonder how long Townsend is going to be in the job. There have been some high points, but overall I don't think we could say that Scotland have really made progress since the Vern Cotter era. If Scotland only end up with a win over Italy in this year's Six Nations then it might be someone else's turn.

Yeah, I understand why the SRU thought it might be a good idea at the time but with the benefit of hindsight I think it's pretty clear getting rid of Cotter to bring in Townsend was the wrong decision.

It's a surprisingly good game in Paris so far. France have played some great rugby, Dupont really is excellent, but they've also been very French at times and gotten bored with doing the basics and given Italy some chances. Italy scored a pretty good try too.

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Unless there is a dramatic change in results then this needs to be the last 6 Nations for Townsend.

 

Russell is too much of an influential, game changer to be sidelined for personal reasons.

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The Six Nations is back this weekend. The Scotland, Italy, Wales, France, England and Ireland teams.

I really don't know what Jones is doing with his selections this year. It's not a team picked on form and it's not a team with young players brought in to develop for the next World Cup. It's not inspiring a lot of confidence.:frown5:

 

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2 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

I really don't know what Jones is doing with his selections this year.

 

I don't want to talk about it - but suffice to say - buggered if I know

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France look really good. Dupont in particular. All they need to do now is avoid a horrific second half collapse.

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We have very little attacking flare. It's vital that Townsend and Russell sort themselves out.

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