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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » On seconds thoughts, 6N redux plus squabbling thread (Page 22)

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Author Topic: On seconds thoughts, 6N redux plus squabbling thread
Wyatt Earp
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Pat Jennings--yes, that Pat Jennings--has lodged an official complaint.
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Hieronymus Bosch
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I know there are reservations over his personality, but you don't think the old addage about form being temporary and all that?

The best part of three years have drifted by since O'Driscoll looked a dangerous player. That's a long time to be in a patch of poor form. He appears to have lost a couple of yards of pace in that time and never looks capable any more of the crazed bursts of speed through opposition midfields that used to be his trademark.

This is a separate issue from him retaining the captaincy of Ireland, which most people now believe should be given to either O'Connell or Ronan O'Gara. Listening to him speak in interviews -- he talks in a soft, mildly high-pitched southside Dublin drawl -- you would have trouble believing that he could motivate the Pope to go to Mass.

[ 16.03.2008, 18:20: Message edited by: Hieronymus Bosch ]

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Etienne
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He seems to have bulked up a lot too. Basically he's morphed into Jamie Noon.
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Eggchaser
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Let's not fool ourselves into a Welsh style false dawn here (they are, you will admit, past masters at that), that was no more than a basic and competent performance by England against a woeful Ireland. Whilst you can only beat what's in front of you, we were quite lucky in certain aspects - Murphy, Ireland's most creative back (who tore our defence to shreds to put in Kearney with nothing more than a simple run in the opposite direction and a pass inside) went off, leaving Trimble and Horgan to bang up the middle mindlessly, and Leamey's outplayed Easterby by miles this tournament.

GOOD STUFF -

Cipriani - Not the Second Coming, but he marshalled things well and put in a mature performance; the flash stuff was kept away until the right time. Definitely one to be fighting for the 10 shirt for years to come.

The Forwards - Good display.

Tait's cameo - Showed what he can do if only we'd give him the damn ball sometimes (and a lovely piece of correct skill in shifting the ball to the correct, right hand prior to his try)

Sackey - He may make errors in his technical ability (and he did again today), but give him the ball and the sniff of the line and he's what we need, a cutting edge out wide.

Noon - Solid as they come.

ACCEPTABLE -

Balshaw - showing why he's really a winger playing at full back. I don't need to hear the crowd drawing its collective breath when he looks to field a kick.

Most other stuff - As I said, the basics done right against a team doing nothing right meant we were going to win.

BAD -

Wigglesworth - Got caught by the Irish as he was walking backwards to wind a pass up too many times. He's not quite there internationally. I saw Quins vs. Bath today, and Danny Care's the future, trust me.

Simon Shaw - Age has caught up with him at last. He was off the pace and his handling skills seem to have deserted him. The problem is, where do we find a big beast to replace him. All of the obvious successors (Kennedy et al) are lineout locks rather than engine room boys.

Vickery as captain - He's playing much better than the start of the 6N, but the fact remains that your captain should b a player who is guaranteed to last 80 minutes, injury permitting. We had this problem with Corry being dragged off for Dallaglio a few years back and it's disruptive in the extreme. Either back him for 80 as captain, or have him there to scrummage run and tackle his backside off for 60 before letting his sub loose.

Vainikolo - Has done nothing in the whole 6N to show he is worthy of his place as an international winger. And why is he in the team, exactly? At his age and with his experience and injury record, it's doubtful he'll be around for the next World Cup, he is quite clearly still clueless about certain aspects of the game and there are any number of younger lump wingers we could call up to crash ball it or run decoy lines. Plus, the unjustified excitement from the comentators when he gets the ball is embarrassing.

Ireland - They were woeful.

I think there's still a long, long way to go before we're a decent team. We also have succession problems. As I've said, for the first time in years we're light at lock and there's a problem with hooker - Chuter's getting too old and the replacements are all a bit callow at the moment. Paice would probably be more of the same as Mears.

Ashton still seems entirely disinclined to call up any 12 cover, preferring to slot an out of position Wilkinson in there, or use Noon, who quite definitely isn't a 12.

Plus Balshaw. Still not convinced at all.

End of Term Reports

Wales -

Thoroughly deserved their Grand Slam. After a half of drivel and nonsense against England, they rolled up their sleeves and started playing proper rugby; the forwards punch the holes, the backs did the finishing. In Williams they had the best back in the tournament . Defensively they were superb. I curse the RFU for letting Edwards slip from their grasp. Well done Wales!

France -

Lievremont can probably be fairly satisfied with things. He blooded a lot of new players and tried some new things and could have won the Championship if he'd had a little faith in his team rather than reverting to some older, less successful ways against Wales. But I'd far rather be in his boots those of a certain old man at the moment. Plus, he and Maso win the "Stereotype of the Year" award for their matching velvet jackets and light blue rollneck sweaters against Wales. All they needed were berets and a Gauloise on the go!

England -

See above. Wrong coach, wrong team. We beat a plucky Italy narrowly, we pulled a World Cup act on France by beating them up front without showing any imagination behind the pack (helped by a huge dollop of luck in missing Noon's knock on for Sackey's try) and a clueless Ireland. We imploded against Wales and Scotland and for all that we've blooded new players, it still feels an awfully stale old team.

Ireland -

Pants. O'Sullivan is a dead man walking. However, his successor does have a few things going for him - their scrum seemed finally to turn up and out wide they have some good young talent. Now all they need to do is find some centres to get it to them and a decent alternative to O'Gara before he strays into Eric "Who else is there?" Elwood territory.

Scotland -

The question that must be asked is, if they can pump themselves up to beat England at Murrayfield in a monsoon, why can't they do it elsewhere. Utterly toothless against teams with an organised defence.

Italy -

Despite getting the Wooden Spoon, Italy can be pretty pleased. Mallett is trying to get a team with as many Italian Italians in it as possible and in Parisse they have the best no 8 in the tournament (edging Ryan Jones). Again, they need a fly half to unlock their backs as the experiment with Masi, a good centre, isn't working.

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Bored Of The Dance
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I think you are being generous there, Eggchaser, I am not sure that we looked totally convincing in the tournament until yesterday and, even then, France bottled it somewhat.

Having said that, after the England game, we won the games rather than other teams losing it with the possible exception of France yesterday. This is unlike the last Grand Slam. The Ireland game was a professional job done and the turning point of the tournament for me.

As it stands, I think that us and France can be reasonably happy and build upon what we have and, hopefully, it isn't another false dawn. Everyone else has a lot of work to do.

I wouldn't give up hope with Edwards either. There appears to be some typical WRU contract jiggery-pokery going on

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Harry Carpenter
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How old is Noon? What accounts for his hairline and build? Did Dallaglio bequeath him his steroids?
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Eggchaser
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Someone needs to tell Cipriani to wash his mouth out, too. Naughty swearing at that time of day!
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Harry Carpenter
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Well, it's been two days and the dust is finally close to settling after a monumental display in the last round of matches meant the media searching for superlatives to fully describe the achievement that left a surprising name at the top of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Yes, congratulations Danny Cipriani on winning the whole damn thing! Your name is on the trophy as of right and you can hold it aloft with pride!

There's been some talk of some team winning all their matches perhaps even with a record defensive performance, a record-breaking individual try haul and many outstanding individual displays but let's not let that distract us from the true story of the season...

(...continued in The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Beano, Tatler etc ).

[ 17.03.2008, 22:22: Message edited by: Harry Carpenter ]

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Heh.

Christ, Ireland were mind-numbingly awful. I should have sold my ticket.

Eddie Out!

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Eggchaser
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JOINT record defensive performance, if you please. We must get an England angle in somewhere.

Radio 5 were pretty shameful in ignoring the Grand Slam this morning, I must say. Mind you, I doubt you can move in Wales for the coverage.

Quins gutsed it out against Barf and won too! AND WE'VE SIGNED A PLAYER AND ANNOUNCED IT BEFORE THE END OF THE SEASON! CHRIST ALMIGHTY! (Actually, Gonzalo Tiesi from LI)

 -

"Latin charms"

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Harry Carpenter
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I thought our two tries conceded was a new record for the 6 Nations?
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The Moral Animal.
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I'm fairly sure they said it was a joint record, with two of England's recent campaigns.

It was another very memorable day out in Cardiff, I have to say. I agree that the opposition haven't been all that great, but I thought we looked completely in control of the last few games. Why the hell do we have to find this sort of form, four years before the next World Cup?

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Harry Carpenter
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I'll bow down to the far superior rugby minds on here ( I called Mike Blair "Ben" on the last page after all) but I've been reading things like this for the last few days;

quote:
Apart from the Grand Slam and Six Nations title, which would be added to the Triple Crown they have already collected, Wales could also break a notable record tomorrow.

They have so far conceded only two tries in the tournament, which is two lessthan England's 2003 Grand Slam team leaked.

England claimed the defensive record of four in 2002 and 2003, but Wales can now set a new best under the watchful eye of assistant coach and defence guru Shaun Edwards.

Edwards said: ''England's World Cup-winning side set the defensive benchmark, conceding just four tries in 2002 and 2003.

''With only two tries conceded to date, we are in with a chance of bettering that record.


Were the previous records 5 Nations ones (i.e. one less game) or while not part of a Grand Slam season?

[ 18.03.2008, 13:43: Message edited by: Harry Carpenter ]

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Fausto Ptang
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Yeah it is a new record. The previous was 4 conceded by ENgland in 2002 and 2003.
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Eggchaser
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Oh well, I was wrong. But it's the right way to go about it. England's period of success was built on a rock solid defence above all else.
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