Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  173
Dislikes Dislikes:  2
Page 36 of 36 FirstFirst ... 26343536
Results 351 to 359 of 359
  1. #351

    Default

    This is a Lions thread, but I thought I might go off at a bit of a tangent. Nobody seems to have commented on the extraordinary state of the current international game.

    Obviously NZ are way out in front. However rugby has imploded in South Africa and Australia. The Springboks are currently the worst they have been in over a hundred years of excellence. The current Wallabies are the poorest Australian team since at least the 70's. A very unhealthy position for the world game of rugby in my opinion. It's not an exaggeration to think that rugby could be going into terminal decline in these countries.

    In Europe there is not an awful lot to choose between Wales, England and Ireland. Scotland are vying to join this group - hopefully they will they cement their place? France are outside of this group and have for a long time now been the worst they have been in decades.

    Obviously the big 'winner' in this slump in the world game is England. With the current state of Springbok, Australian and French rugby things have never looked brighter or easier for England. The same applies to any of the home unions who get their act together. Unless something radically changes we will only be talking about Southern Hemisphere dominance in terms of the All Blacks. An entirely new position for the game to find itself.

    Phil
    Last edited by Waddington; Yesterday at 04:12 PM.

  2. #352
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Yorkshire (were there a god it'd be god's own country)
    Posts
    2,793

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddington View Post
    This is a Lions thread, but I thought I might go off at a bit of a tangent. Nobody seems to have commented on the extraordinary state of the current international game.

    Obviously NZ are way out in front. However rugby has imploded in South Africa and Australia. The Springboks are currently the worst they have been in over a hundred years of excellence. The current Wallabies are the poorest Australian team since at least the 70's. A very unhealthy position for the world game of rugby in my opinion. It's not an exaggeration to think that rugby could be going into terminal decline in these countries.

    In Europe there is not an awful lot to choose between Wales, England and Ireland. Scotland are vying to join this group - hopefully they will they cement their place? France are outside of this group and have for a long time now been the worst they have been in decades.

    Obviously the big 'winner' in this slump in the world game is England. With the current state of Springbok, Australian and French rugby things have never looked brighter or easier for England. The same applies to any of the home unions who get their act together. Unless something radically changes we will only be talking about Southern Hemisphere dominance in terms of the All Blacks. An entirely new position for the game to find itself.

    Phil
    The bit in bold is clearly a wind up?

    Here are the World Rugby current rankings:

    Rugby Rankings Jun17.jpg

    World Rugby



    Wales are where they deserve to be IMHO, and the same for Scotland and Ireland.

    You are right though, and the collapse of Aus and RSA will have ramifications for AB rugby too, given that's their main opposition...

    Anyway, there is another thread called "The Rugby Thread" for non Lions banter, also by Aled

    Back to the test tomorrow. A Kiwi mate of mine, sounds worried despite a brave face. I think the Lions will go one better than the understrength England side that came close in 2014.
    "...hooking mortality is higher than you'd expect: further evidence that as a numbers game, catch-and-release fishing isn't always as straightforward as it seems"
    John Gierach


    Fed up of debating C&R - see Hidden Content

    Unless otherwise stated, data used in any graph/figure/table are Crown copyright, used with the permission of MSS and/or EA and/or ICES. MSS / EA / ICES are not responsible for interpretation of these data by third parties

  3. #353
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dinefwr
    Posts
    2,085

    Default

    Right to answer Waddingtons post in a Lions related way: If this Lions team was playing South Africa or Australia I would expect them to win the test series.
    How's that for diplomacy?

    Anyway yep I fancy the Lions chances tomorrow, however we need a bit of luck, notably getting the ball to that back three with a bit of space, and Farrell/Daly/Williams must not miss a single penalty kick.
    I'm not saying the Lions will win for definite, but it wouldn't surprise me hugely if they did!
    Cheers
    Aled

    Ps 'll be back on line in the early hours after I'm back from the river, hoping there are some sea trout about!
    Last edited by Aled; Yesterday at 07:02 PM.
    Rhywle lawr yr afon/Somewhere down the river........

  4. #354

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by seeking View Post
    The bit in bold is clearly a wind up?

    Here are the World Rugby current rankings:

    Rugby Rankings Jun17.jpg

    World Rugby



    Wales are where they deserve to be IMHO, and the same for Scotland and Ireland.

    You are right though, and the collapse of Aus and RSA will have ramifications for AB rugby too, given that's their main opposition...

    Anyway, there is another thread called "The Rugby Thread" for non Lions banter, also by Aled

    Back to the test tomorrow. A Kiwi mate of mine, sounds worried despite a brave face. I think the Lions will go one better than the understrength England side that came close in 2014.

    Seeking,

    I have difficulty in following a lot of your statistically led salmon posts. That's because When it comes to anything maths related I'm a bit thick . I do appreciate them and often agree with your arguments .

    I do however have a pretty good idea that the world rankings in both football and rugby are to put it politely often misleading. This is the same Wales side which effectively ended England's home World Cup not so long ago, with the third choice scrum half playing on the wing . The same Wales side which did everything bar beat England this year. The same Wales side which beat Ireland, who then rather convincingly beat England. Do you not see a pattern emerging? All three sides regularly achieving wins over each other. Hence my point - not much between the sides! I prefer the evidence of the teams actually playing each other, rather than relying on world rankings.

    I was actually trying to write something regarding the state of the world wide game. Perhaps next time I'll just argue blind there should be 15 Welshmen in tomorrow's side and have done .

    I appreciate its a bit of a tangent and perhaps should have put it in the other thread. It is relevant to suggest that with the demise of the previously very strong Springboks and Wallabies, we are in more danger than ever of overestimating the quality of our players. Anyway we shall soon find out!

    Phil
    Last edited by Waddington; Yesterday at 09:30 PM.

  5. #355
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Lothian
    Posts
    2,602

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddington View Post
    Interesting observations Ozzyian. The three guys you highlight are good players, but if you conducted a uk wide poll of rugby fans, I don't think you would get anywhere near a majority in favour of their selection.

    The one thing we have learned in Wales with Gatland is that he is totally ruthless in pursuit of victory. There are several guys he simply dropped like hot potatoes just shy of 100 caps. Wales coaches in the past would have let blokes like Adam Jones and Mike Phillips trot out and make the 100. I honestly don't think bias comes into Gatlands thinking when it comes to selection. He would draft me in if he thought it would help win!

    I think it was difficult for Scotland players to get selected for the tour. They were up against the world number 2 side and double championship team England. An Irish team who have beaten the All Blacks, ended England's world record wins attempt. Then you have Wales who have been very competitive in the championship and dominated against Scotland in recent years - ok not this year! The Scottish disaster at Twickenham must have influenced the selectors thoughts. There was a lot of talk before the game, but a lot of the Scottish players imploded when it came to the crunch. Not a great way to put yourself forward for selection to face the All Blacks at Eden Park.

    It's great to see Scottish rugby improving. It has been to nobody's benefit within the game, to see the Scottish team being so poor for so long. Believe me we know all about being terrible for a long period of time in Wales! Some tough fixtures for Scotland in next years championship. I'll be very interested to see how they get on against England and then away in Dublin and Cardiff.

    Phil
    No offence here Phil but I'm a bit suspicious of the the breadth of your rugby observations. In this regard you are I think similar to many English rugby watchers who don't seem particularly interested in anything outside of their immediate sphere of patriotic interest

    I thought we had already dealt with your dodgy belief that in recent history Wales had 'dominated' Scotland? Anyway here you go again, the last 3.

    S 29 13
    W 27 23
    W 23 26

    Last weekend Scotland were 4th in the IRB rankings momentarily (until the Ire result) now 5th, the team ahead of them (a very strong Aus team) were beaten fair and square by them in Sydney - a deserved and classy win. Personaly I doubt even a full strength Wales would have been able to do that, it's not that easy to go to Australia and win - you probably know that since it's 48 years since Wales managed it Incidentally this was Scotlands second successive win against Aus in Australia.

    I think Gatland shares the same attributes as many parochial observers and cannot see very far ahead and like many probably doesn't watch rugby that widely. The weighting of the Lions squad was not justified and I can't think of a single non Welshman who doesn't think that. Lets face it you'd have to be a results denier to think that Wales are any good at the minute and worthy of 15 or whatever Lions places.

    I take your point about the Twickenham disaster but a decent rugby observer should be able to see through the odd bizarre result. In a few weeks time you'll be hearing about Finn Russells french contract which will make him one of the worlds highest paid backs. Personally I would say that the guy who signed him knows more about the subject than Gatland.

  6. #356

    Default

    Ozzyian I can assure you that I watch rugby from right across the world. I always like to think I'm objective and I don't think many people are harder critics of their own players than myself.

    Dominance in the case of Wales and Scotland fixtures could be a reference to the fact that I think Wales have won 9 of the last 10? Look there is no doubt that Scotland have greatly improved in the last few years. We will have to disagree over the Twickenham disaster. If that game was replayed in a few weeks time, I would confidently expect England to win by 20 - 30 points. I've been pleased to see it. I can understand the excitement of Scotland making 4th in the world. But where would a few narrow Scottish losses and narrow Wales wins play out in the rankings?

    I genuinely believe that the Welsh guys selected are a better bet for this tour than their Scottish counterparts. We're just going to have to agree to differ . I don't think that with the exception of North, who has disappointed, anyone could suggest that the Welsh contingent have played badly on tour.

    Well done on the Australia win. . I'm more than aware of Wales' failings against Australia . I believe it was Scotlands second win in the last couple of years against the Wallabies. The last previous win was I think 1982. Wales won last November against South Africa for only the third time in their history. It sort of confirms what I've written about Springbok and Australian rugby. There is no Southern Hemisphere dominance now - just the All Blacks with the rest following and all capable of beating each other.

    Good luck to Russell in France. I'm not sure France is always the best move for a promising career, but I hope it works out for him.

    Phil
    Last edited by Waddington; Yesterday at 09:10 PM.

  7. #357
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Lothian
    Posts
    2,602

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddington View Post
    I'm not sure France is always the best move for a promising career, but I hope it works out for him.

    Phil
    Well, I'd agree with that but with the proviso that not many would look at him as 'promising' I think that over the last 12 months he's proved often enough that he's a game changer.

    If the rumours are correct he's going to have to get ahead of both Aaron Cruden and Francois Steyn in the pecking order. The fact is though that they're not paying that sort of money for a bench player - they think he can. To put this in perspective, in the absence of Carter, Cruden would have been a high cap number AB (instead of the 32 he did get) and Steyn got 50 odd for the Boks.

    Did you watch last weeks Sydney game? He made Foley look very second best (as he did against Carter in the European Cup game earlier this year) He should have been in the Lions squad from day one. Gatland should have known.

  8. #358

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzyian View Post
    Well, I'd agree with that but with the proviso that not many would look at him as 'promising' I think that over the last 12 months he's proved often enough that he's a game changer.

    If the rumours are correct he's going to have to get ahead of both Aaron Cruden and Francois Steyn in the pecking order. The fact is though that they're not paying that sort of money for a bench player - they think he can. To put this in perspective, in the absence of Carter, Cruden would have been a high cap number AB (instead of the 32 he did get) and Steyn got 50 odd for the Boks.

    Did you watch last weeks Sydney game? He made Foley look very second best (as he did against Carter in the European Cup game earlier this year) He should have been in the Lions squad from day one. Gatland should have known.
    Perhaps a trifle unfair referring to Russell as 'promising'. Russell will have to play well if he wants selection ahead of Steyn and Cruden. Nice you have a decent number 10 to get excited about. It must be great after the horrors of some of Russell recent predecessors. Honest tryers like Dan Parkes, but they made Dan Biggar look like Beauden Barrett .

    I did watch the Sydney game. Yes Russell played well. He was helped by the Scottish forwards dominating the breakdown and generally going forward. It's always been that way for halfbacks and always will. Full credit to Russell. I'm not sure the Australian media saw it quite that way though .

    Gatland picks players to do a particular job - particularly in the major controlling positions on the field. Deviate from the job you have been set and you get dropped. I think you would have to be a very special player indeed for Gatland to change his philosophy. Gatland, like a typical NZer, believes in the team rather than individuals. He said publicly when he first came to Wales that he could not understand the Welsh preoccupation with the number 10 position .

    I'm not sure that Russell is the man to direct a very structured stifling gameplay. Look at the way James Hook's career has petered out - a similar flair player. Russell still has plenty of time on his side and I'm sure his time will come .

    Phil
    Last edited by Waddington; Yesterday at 10:14 PM.

  9. #359
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dinefwr
    Posts
    2,085

    Default

    Interesting comments guys, I've nothing further to add about Russell so there we go. All I will say is that as a Welsh rugby fan of many years, back in the 90's and early 00's I saw so many false dawns it was worrying. A great win somewhere .....followed by a slump. I hope for the sake of the competition this is not Scotland's fate, however beating Australia is something us Welsh really do struggle with so Scotland are in front of us there! The 6 Nations needs all sides to be competitive throw in those flukes, (which by the way I've seen Wales win and lose by!) and its what makes it so enjoyable. Lets not forget that it took France bang on 60 years to win their first Grand Slam (joined in 1908 first GS 1968)....yet since then they have won more of them than Scotland and Ireland put together, so Italy will probably have their day....will us here on the forum see it though in 2070? (unlikely!)

    Hours away from kick off, and I am looking forward to it. Now I truly would liked to have seen a Scot in the line up, but sadly due to injury there is not one there, but the tour is not over yet! (Back in 1993 there was only 1 Welshman in the 1st test team Ieuan Evans and only 5 in the squad so I can speak from experience!)

    I said I'd be back on line in the early hours after sea trout fishing. Another blank for yours truly no sign of any sea trout, although again I did see a salmon turn. My partner in crime Arwel however did catch and return a cracking salmon of around 12lb before dark. I'm struggling to get going at the moment!

    Finally enjoy the game all, for once (I hope) we are all shouting for the same team. There are some pubs open early doors so if you are going to one drink some beer shout for the Lions and enjoy the game BUT, Dewch mlan y Llewod/Come on the Lions! See you all (electronically anyway) later on today.
    Cheers
    Aled
    Rhywle lawr yr afon/Somewhere down the river........

Page 36 of 36 FirstFirst ... 26343536

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •