The Game for Those with Odd-Shaped Balls (the Rugby thread)

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  • Bad news for England (and the player), good news for Wales: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47217407.

    Too true. He's been immense, in every way, for the last couple of years. No wonder Joe Marler quit. He realised that he was very much second-best. I suppose the evil Ellis Genge will get a game or Exeter's Ben Moon or Alex Hepburn. Personally, I reckon Genge could give too many penalties away so I'd start with Ben Moon.

    Anyway, we didn't miss Maro Itoje against France (and the penalties he is prone to concede). With Lawes, Kruis and Launchbury in form and a couple of decent #6s, he might have to work hard to get back in!
  • That was a tough game!
  • So now its 12 wins on the trot :grin:

    And, as I said up-thread, Liam Williams is a genius, now recognised "officially" by him getting Man of the Match.
  • A well-deserved win by Wales. I feel it hinged on the last play of the first half: had England scored, even three points, they would been a clear score ahead. As it was Wales went in at half-time with a moral victory under their belts which set up the second half. As TheOrganist says, Liam Williams was immense, Navidi was superb, -and I think Dan Biggar is likely to start against Ireland, if not the Scots.
  • Ouch! Not easy viewing during the second half but still, we came away with the win.

    Not the usual Welsh flair or inventiveness maybe, but we seem to have learned (finally!) how to "win ugly".

    Still, I rather suspect we'll need prayers next weekend, taking on Ireland the day before the feast of St Patrick (although he, as any fule no, was a Welshman) :grimace:
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited March 11
    To me, the Wales-Scotland match was a bit like the Wales-France game, but the other way round. Seeing that England are biting at their heels, it's a real shame that Wales couldn't get more tries and hence a bonus point. Although the Wales defence was indeed excellent, Scotland were unfortunate not to pull victory out of the second half.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Wales were (just) worth the win, thanks to outstanding defence, but as Gatland said, too many were thinking about next week, and that is going to be quite a battle. The Irish have an outside chance of the title, so they will be going all out and even in the absence of Robbie Henshaw they are going to make bigger dents in the Welsh midfield than Scotland did.
    I have yet to see who will be refereeing the game: that could make a difference, especially at the scrum.
  • The gamesmanship and verbal powerplay continue: http://tinyurl.com/y6qxd9cf
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    The gamesmanship and verbal powerplay continue: http://tinyurl.com/y6qxd9cf

    WTF is it with Antipodean coaches? EJ, Gatland and now Joe Schmidt. You would have thought that they were busy enough and smart enough to know that in a home match the home team will exercise home advantage in everyway it can. Someone will soon be asking for tickets sales to be organised so that as many away team supporters can attend.

    Mummy, it's not fair.
  • The weather is going to be foul. I think that advantages both teams equally in this case.
  • Amazing first try by Wales. And Ireland are going to wish they hadn't asked for the roof to be open. Still, it's a game of two halves ...
  • Yup. Games of two halves, and Wales with the upper hand in both.

    I fear that Eddie Jones's future as a pundit may have taken a step backwards ... :lol:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Crikey!

    I've just read the match report for the Calcutta Cup - poor wee Scotland! How often do you see a draw in a rugger match???

    To borrow a phrase from the game with spherical balls, we was robbed.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    In a reminder of perspective, it was good to see that one of the main NZ provincial matches (canterbury v Otago, aka Crusaders v Highlanders) was cancelled yesterday, following the Christchurch attocity :cry:. Christchurch is the "capital" of Canterbury.

    Sometimes perspective matters. A cricket test was also cancelled.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited March 17
    Right and proper.

    Am I right in thinking that there was a visiting cricket team who were supposed to be going to one of the mosques but had a change of plan? And if so, might they have been the target (for more publicity impact)?
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Yup - Bangladesh. Their escape was miraculous ... a delayed media conference held them up.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Yup. Games of two halves, and Wales with the upper hand in both.

    I fear that Eddie Jones's future as a pundit may have taken a step backwards ... :lol:

    Wales really had an iron grip on that game and they will be disappointed to have conceded that late try, but their play beforehand won oit by a distance. The score at half-time in Paris seems a long way ago! Congratulations Wales!
  • Wales delayed that final scrum until the last possible moment and then, thinking it was all over, lost focus. The try should not have been conceded!
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Wales delayed that final scrum until the last possible moment and then, thinking it was all over, lost focus. The try should not have been conceded!

    True, and Scotland blew it too. Had they forced the try in the corner, they could have made the conversion very difficult!
  • That was after the game.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    That was after the game.

    My mistake, but I wouldn't expect a couple of my teammates to go off on their own after the match.
  • Eddie Jones has confirmed that Owen Farrell is his choice of team captain for England at the World Cup. Quite apart from him referring to Farrell's youth at the press conference announcing it (Farrell is 27, for goodness sake) he has only having captained the national side once - this year's Calcutta Cup match when it was lack of decision on the field that contributed to the astonishing result.

    I can't see this ending well.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Eddie Jones has confirmed that Owen Farrell is his choice of team captain for England at the World Cup. Quite apart from him referring to Farrell's youth at the press conference announcing it (Farrell is 27, for goodness sake) he has only having captained the national side once - this year's Calcutta Cup match when it was lack of decision on the field that contributed to the astonishing result.

    I can't see this ending well.

    I would have thought there are half a dozen better choices, Kruis and Launchbury for a start. Jamie George would be a good one too.

    If Farrell is still "young" at 27 he is way too young. Maro Itoje is 22 or 23 and is way more mature, even if he does give penalties away. At least he's not petulant.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited April 3
    Now Will Carling has come out saying that Farrell "will develop" but "needs support" - but at a World Cup :astonished:
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Now Will Carling has come out saying that Farrell "will develop" but "needs support" - but at a World Cup :astonished:

    Was it Will Carling who complained about the RFU committee being "Old farts in blazers"? I think he must have acquired a blazer. Any captain worth his salt should be capable of doing his day-job and leading the team, with no question. Johnson was exceptional, as he was enforcer-in-chief too (Mark Wilson seems to be the "team nail" now and for that reason if no other should be an automatic choice).

    I wouldn't give the job to any of the three mentioned.
  • Apart from anything else Farrell is unlikely to stay on for entire games if he keeps shoulder-charging instead of tackling.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Referees have got fed up with him too. If he wants to know how to question something he should watch Alan WJ. Farrell also has a nasty temper.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Those from the Northern hemisphere looking forward to the Rugby World Cup may take some comfort from the fact that the Australian team is about to sack its best player (Israel Folau), with the rest of the team splitting into factions about the way he is being treated by Rugby Australia. In brief, RA is trying to sack him over his posts on social media which damn all homosexuals to hell.

    Apart from its interest for rugby followers, the case raises so many issues about employment law and "discrimination" , that I have started a thread on Purgatory about the case.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Now near the end of the southern hemisphere season, Australia and NZ have each shown variable form. In the Bledisloe Cup (contested between those two), in match 1, Australia won 46-20 after dominating the forward battle (esp scrums) - a record score against New Zealand. But in match 2 (last night) the All Blacks went in much harder (presumably after a rocket or two from their coach) and won 36-0. That means NZ retain the cup, as they have done for the past 15 years or so.
  • Yesterday's match wasn't pretty but ... WE WON. Wales now head the world RU rankings.
  • Yes, congratulations to Wales on knocking NZ off the top of the rankings for the first time in nearly 10 years. The last couple of world cups have been about who was going to lose to the All Blacks in th final. This year it seems to be more open, there are even some European teams showing some promise. I'm really looking forward to it.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Well done Wales! Ther were a lot of happy, wobbly Welshmen and women around on Saturday night. None of them gave aa damn about the score, just the result.

    Japan's toughest opponents appear to be Ireland and Scotland; if they can win oone of those, they ought to make it to the quarter-finals.
  • The Rugby World Cup is under way, and Japan beat Russia in the opener, by 30-10. That's closer than I expected, but it was Russia's first game so they chased everything, and they might have given a lot of themselves holding Japan to just four tries.

    We have some more significant games tomorrow, and in New Zealand v South Africa one of the really big ones. That could be between the #9's, Aaron Smith and Faf de Clerk, the best pound-for-pound players anywhere. I know these teams play each other every year now, but it's the RWC so it is special.

    France v Argentina could be a bloodbath, with kicking, stamping and gouging, and Australia play Fiji too, so a lot of Europeans will be getting up in the dark to watch rugby with tea and toast, which might seem odd.
  • Back from church and now on the ship having watched Ireland-Scotland on catch-up: England-Tonga to follow.

    What I like about some of the otherwise dire rugby coverage in the printed media is its grasp of the essential - such as that the combined weight of the Tongan team is greater than that of an Indian rhinoceros :lol:
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Wales seem to be knocking seven bells out of Georgia.
  • Well it was certainly a nervous start by Georgia. They had a much better 2nd half, where they scored 14 points, same as Wales, despite being down to 14 men for 10 minutes. Georgian forwards can go head-to-head with just about anyone in the world, but their backs are a long way off, and it showed.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited September 23
    Watched England-Tonga on catch-up: I thought the score flattered England: clearly Eddie Jones and his team have some work to do - the handling errors were dreadful.

    Hats off to Gareth Anscombe for going to Japan as a pundit - as someone out of the WC through injury it must be difficult.

    We made a good start against Georgia but seemed to go off the boil a bit in the second half. Still, respectable score and a bonus point :grin:
  • Uruguay have beaten Fiji! Their captain was in tears when he was being interviewed after the match. Fantastic result for them, and very good for rugby.

    I feel sorry for the Fijians, who look to be going out. The dreadful refereeing in their game against Australia, in particular the failure to deal properly with Reece Hodge, possibly cost them the match. Hodge has been cited but he should have been red carded, IMHO.
  • Hodge's offence has been assessed as being worth a red card, so he has been banned for three weeks, and will miss Autralia's remaining pool games.

    Following the criticism of refereeing by World Rugby, I expect things to be tightened up. Australia have to play Wales, which will be competitive, and Georgia and Uruguay, which will be bruising affairs, cards or no cards.
  • And the USA had someone sent off for an armless tackle- ironically on Owen Farrell, that fine (and frequent) exponent of the same.
  • Argentina unconvincing winners against Tonga.
  • But a completely shocking win for Japan over Ireland!
  • In a kind of local derby, South Africa is knocking seven bells out of Namibia.

    I do wonder if the qualifying outside Tier 1 ought to be tightened up.

  • What the hell was going on with Ireland? Half asleep didn't even come close.

    Of course, tactically they've become rather one dimensional (like England) so it could just be a case of no plan B, but really?

    On the other hand the Japanese were mustard-keen, kept plugging away, and their backs were inventive and accurate.

    Does this give Scotland the glimmer of a life-line?
  • We're singing Hymns and Arias in our house after a win against the Aussies. From Dan Biggar dropping a goal inside the first minute it was wonderful. I had a service to play for while the majority was taking place but the children texted me updates :grin:
  • We placed a ban on saying anything about the rugby in church and at coffee time, as some people were recording the match and didn't want to know the result.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    The penalty against Samu Kerevi (Australia) was a tough call, And Cheika will be bitter about until eventually he will be choked by his own bile. But Cheika is bitter about anyone daring to come onto a rugby field without a yellow jersey, so nothing new. The whole world is against him. And such a nice, reasonable, eloquent, fair-minded guy.

    In the end Wales hanging on was a wonderful result - but then I'd support Outer Mongolia's Prison Draftees' Janitors Group against the Wallabies. I had to go to bed - our hacked coverage was buffering badly after half-time and anyway it was the day daylight saving (evil thing) kicked in and therefore it was hours past my bedtime. I thought the Wobblies would get on top, but was happily proved wrong.
  • And Scotland not only managed to beat Samoa but to keep a clean sheet too - who'd have thought it? Not convincing but better.
  • And Scotland not only managed to beat Samoa but to keep a clean sheet too - who'd have thought it? Not convincing but better.

    Any clean sheet is impressive. Avoiding a silly interception or turnover with the game won shows good preparation and a good attitude.
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