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Odin
18-03-2005, 11:49
I believe we were discussing the Six Nations before the unfortunate interruption (cheers to Portent organisers both past and present BTW).

So, where were we? Referee wins Man of the Match in Ireland vs England (they wouldn't have won without him). Wales going from strength to strength. Scotland show how well they can play in the second half against Wales - just need to get a bit more consistency. England need to beat Scotland on Saturday or it will all be looking very bleak (well, not for the Scottish fans of course).

I can't wait for the Wales -Ireland match. I support Wales whenever they're not playing England (actually, this year I was even happy to see Wales beat England - I think they deserve it). Even though Ireland have missed out on the chance of a Grand Slam, it's still going to be a hell of a match I think. Can't wait.

Hywel
18-03-2005, 12:25
Well, we don't have a good history against the Irish in Cardiff... and its been a long time since we won anything (1994 five nations) so I'm still nto convinced it won't go tits up. :p

As long as the bloody French don't sneak in through the back door by tonking Italy... Wales need to win for the sake of the tournament as much as anything else, wouldn't seem right if they won on points difference after losing to Ireland.

Odin
18-03-2005, 16:41
Indeed. I want to see a fully fledged resurgence of Welsh rugby. It'll be great for northern hemishere rugby. The Welsh team have raised the bar, and the other teams are going to have to work hard to meet that. They also play some of the most entertaining rugby I've seen for a long time.

If the Lions can combine Wales' attack with England's defence, they could do pretty well this summer.

Wez
18-03-2005, 20:30
The Scotland - Wales game was great to watch. The first half was just awesome; watching fluid play from Wales essentially ignoring the Scottish defence (light-contact rugby can be interesting, even if I do miss the broken ribs;)). The commentator's comment that "the only reason Wales have committed more fouls than Scotland is that Scotland haven't had the ball long enough to foul"* summed it up nicely. I'll give it to the Scots though, coming back after that start was impressive.

The commentatorís "He lifts his legs and dumps"* quote, did crack me up though, I admit. :eek:

Looking forward to Wales - Ireland. Looking
here (http://www.6nations.net/resultsandstandings_england.htm), how can Wales lose? It would require either an absolute thrashing from Ireland (24+ pts looking at the table), or France getting a ridiculous win over Italy AND Wales losing? It's possible, but really as long as Wales don't have a major *******-up they've won. The Grand slamís another thing though...

Rugby really is more fun to watch than most other sports. Now if only Germany learnt what the game is, followed by how to play I may be more interested, but until then Iíll be rooting whoeverís playing England/ France.

*Probably not the exact quotes, but you get the idea.

-Wez

Hywel
19-03-2005, 01:19
Yes, yes, this all makes logical sense - but become a Welsh fan for a couple of decades and you'll soon see that means nothing to your guts. :p

Far too used to the 'gallant defeat' - time to break the mould.

Wez
19-03-2005, 22:09
Hmm. Portent was down all day nearly. Fortunately, six nations was there so I could seer out my retinas on something else:)

Congratulations to Wales... hopefully this will even up six-nations a bit, so that there's no more dominance of England/France. Maybe Italy might get somewhere next time? (I can only think of them winning once against Scotland in the whole of my [limited] memory of six nations... I don't actually think they won more than that one?) Maybe not, but I suppose at least theyíre getting better. T'was a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The Scots seem to be getting good at having a comical defence, while France played nicely... even if at times it was just a huddle of flailing fists!


Yes, yes, this all makes logical sense - but become a Welsh fan for a couple of decades and you'll soon see that means nothing to your guts. I see Newcastle [football]... I can relate. *looks at match of the day* Yep 1-1 with Portsmouth. Oh and to top it off, Bellamy, who we got rid of so recently scores a hat trick for Celtic. *claps*

-Wez

Antaeus
19-03-2005, 22:26
Ah well. We had some moments of great rugby, Chris Paterson had a particularly good game and may be an outsider for a Lions slot. Just gave away too many chances for their faster players to cut through our defence. For us, hopefully we can pull ourselves together over the next 12 months and find some consistency.

Congrats to the Welsh, my 2nd favourite of the Home Nations :)

Odin
19-03-2005, 23:59
Well, that was quite an afternoon. Very chuffed to see Wales win the Grand Slam - well deserved I think. If they continue to build on that, they could be contenders for the World Cup in 2007. I only wish I'd done what I intended to do and bet £20 on Wales winning. Reckon I would have got good odds on that 3 months ago.

Scotland seem to be where Wales were a year ago - moments of great play, but still not much success. They showed their potential this year, if they can build on that, they could surprise everyone next year.

England have a long way to go, but it was always going to be a major rebuilding job after losing so many good players to injury and retirement (the downside of being a "dad's army"). Jaime Noon, Harry Ellis and Mark Cueto both looking very good, and with a bit more experience we still could be good enough by the next World Cup.

Can't wait for the Lions tour.

Hywel
20-03-2005, 12:25
Well... that was quite pleasant. Can't think for the life of me why there are so many empty bottles in my room...

It has been 11yrs since we last one the tournament (or indeed any tournament) so its nice to know my frustrated loyalties have finally come to some good. I hope this doesn't mean we've peaked too early before the next world cup, but our squad is fairly young so it bodes well. Wales successfully proved that entertaining, flair rugby can win games and the comparisons to the 70s are not misplaced. The tournament gets a lot more exciting when it is flair that dominates, and not tight, mechanical, (english ;)) boring play...

As for the other nations... France are going to become a terrifyingly good team. The fact they cared very little for this tournament yet still came 2nd is a worrying omen. They have been consistently experimental and are beginning to find the systems and the players that can carve up teams. Laporte has revealed himself as a genius - willingly taking defeats on the chin in order to toughen up his pack and get them used to a grinding game before introducing his magical backs - not to mention his abolition of most of the old guard in the search for youth. France may well win the world cup.

Scotland put out the worst side I've seen from them in memory. They were laughable. They have one or two decent players (Cussiter, White, Paterson) but are consistently let down by the rest of the team. Why Lamont is hyped up I don't know, he can't catch and he can't tackel - fairly problematic for a wing.
However, they have revealed they can play good rugby when they've already lost the game, so perhaps its a case of mental strength to play that well when the game is still on the line.

Ireland... what a shambles to come in as favourites and end up 4th. Most of their players suceeded in playing themselves out of the lions squad. O'Gara in particular was terrible against Wales, he almost independently sabotaged Ireland's chances in the first half. At least Eddie O'Sullivan realised Humphreys is superior, as I have been saying for some years. Perhaps more problematic was the minimal impact their much-lauded pack had. No doubt they have the talent, but they have to find desire and imagination.

England - oh dear. Oh deary dear. The team isn't that awful, they're unfortunate to be in the shadow of the world cup champions. However, they could do with someone that can kick. Hell, I'd give it a bash if I was English, sure I'd do a bit better.

Italy let themselves down this tournament. They have looked to be on the rise the past couple of years but this tournament left them looking amateurish again. The forwards are good, if a little confused in open play but the backs are the problem area. They have no imagination, no penetration and a poor kicking game. They constantly stand too flat and spread the ball wide too early. They would be best off playing simple rugby and building from that. Draw the man and pass, bring in forwards for crash ball and look for overlaps. I have hopes for them, there are some very able players in that squad, they just need consistency for 80mins, better territorial kicking and some imagination.

I really don't know why I went on so long and covered every team.

Odin
21-03-2005, 11:28
England - oh dear. Oh deary dear. The team isn't that awful, they're unfortunate to be in the shadow of the world cup champions. However, they could do with someone that can kick. Hell, I'd give it a bash if I was English, sure I'd do a bit better.

Thing is, England were very close to getting a Grand Slam this year. All three losses were very close. They lost against Ireland mainly because of some dodgy decisions by the ref. Wales won with a last minute penalty. And France was very close as well, with England the better team, but a bit unlucky.

I guess it just shows how well Wales have opened up the championship. It used to be just about whether England or France would win, but now it's become a really close-run, tense contest.

Samoth
21-03-2005, 12:08
Didnt the kiwi's beat the english in a friendly just the other day? Doesn't bode terribly well...

Odin
21-03-2005, 12:21
Er, no. Unless you're referring to the IRB Rugby Sevens? In any case, playing NZ will always be a challenge - the New Zealenders were genetically created by the Old Ones in order to create a race of perfect rugby players.

Or something like that.

Hywel
21-03-2005, 17:22
Thing is, England were very close to getting a Grand Slam this year. All three losses were very close. They lost against Ireland mainly because of some dodgy decisions by the ref. Wales won with a last minute penalty. And France was very close as well, with England the better team, but a bit unlucky.


That is very true. Hence the need for a more reliable kicker. The team is good enough to gain the necessary field position. Had kicks been made, England would have beaten Wales and France at least. In fact, they may well have heavily defeated France as the defence would have been under less pressure and given away less penalties.

All speculation and it does seem rather too obvious to point the finger at one player, but the point still stands, kicking let England down.

Antaeus
21-03-2005, 17:59
Though Charley Hodgson is an excellent rugby player,a she showed against us. He's just not that good a kicker. Those runs he makes should merit him a place in the England side even once Wilkinson's back in my opinion.

Hywel
22-03-2005, 23:09
Those runs aren't winning games though, kicking would.

Hodgson doesn't necessariyl have to be the man to leave, but one player in the squad needs to be picked on kicking merit.